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Monday, May 11, 2009

my fifteen seconds of creativity

There is a little area at the top of our stairs that really challenges me.  It is directly opposite the stairway, and it has a nicely sized window that lets in a lot of light and keeps the stairway from being dark and depressing. The previous owners customized this area by (what else?) adding wood paneling and a mirror. Oh, and the window doesn't open. It can't. It is not designed to open. (Hello? Who ever heard of such a thing?) Anyways, it is one of the first things you see when you walk in the door, and it is certainly the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs. This is what it looked like on move in day;

Lovely, no? You don't think so? Well, it just so happens that I agree with you. :-) I've been racking my brain for months now trying to figure out what to do with this awkward space. I started out by taking a chest that we inherited with the house and painting it a creamy vanilla color. The chest fits in the space perfectly, and is just the right height. Then, I was stuck. I had no more good ideas. Don't you hate it when that happens?

So, today, I put on my creative hat and this is what I came up with. 

What do you think? I think it is definitely an improvement, but I don't think I've hit the nail on the head just yet. Anyways, here's what I did. 
  • Painted the chest, like I said.
  • Made a roman shade out of muslin and the existing miniblinds, via these instructions. It was pretty simple, and this way we still have a way to shade this window in the summer.
  • Hung the curtains from our apartment bedroom on the existing rod to soften up all of the harsh vertical and horizontal lines going on in this little space.
  • Hung a favorite print from a calendar and two pretty mirrors.  

  • I have loved this print for a long time, and I always manage to find a home for it. I like how the gold mirror goes with the frame, while the cream mirror coordinates with the chest and the walls. 
  • Added a paper star for whimsy.
It's not great, but it's definitely better than what was there. The best part is I didn't spend any money, so if I change my mind and want to do something completely different, I can! 


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