Friday, September 27, 2013


Whew! It has been an ordeal finishing up the sun room/office, but it is finally done.  (Can I claim that even though I still need to find the perfect rug for the sitting area and paint the side table by the rocker?). I'm only finished because it's fall and I didn't have to settle on an accent color for the room.  From now until November 30, the accent will be fall colors.  In December I'll be decorating for Christmas, so I won't have to address it then either (red and green all the way, baby!).  However, eventually January will arrive and it will be decision-making time.

Have I told you how thrilled I am with my new flooring in the sun room?  I love it so much that I have talked my hubby into continuing it into our master bedroom which is right off the sun room.  That project that will be addressed in October.  However, since I love the wall color in the bedroom and all the decor is already in place, it will be a much easier transition.

The sun room/office is a large room so I was able to create a sitting area at one end of the room
(a great place to relax and read or listen to music) and my office at the other end.  The office is far enough away to ignore when I'm not working.

I have cubbies for all my stuff on an inside wall.
My new motto is a "place for everything and every-thing in it's place!"  The cubbies work great for this, with the addition of photo boxes and fabric bins for storage (all carefully labeled, of course!). 

I'm very pleased with the way the faux Roman shades turned out.  They were an easy and affordable way to go.  Although mine are sewn, they could easily be made without a sewing machine, using fabric tape or a glue gun.  There are numerous tutorials on Pinterest showing how to make them.  I went online and found my decorator fabric for only $5.00 a yard.  You may have to spend some time searching for exactly what you want, but beautiful, affordable fabric is available.

A file cabinet, computer desk, chair and roll-top complete the office side of the room.

I'm especially happy with the empty frame collage I made above the piano.  That's a very high wall and needed something sizable to balance the room.  I was fortunate to be able to shop my storage area for all the frames you see.  Being able to do that meant this project was a "freebie".  I'm
considering going higher up the wall as I find additional, inexpensive, large frames at thrift stores.  What do you think?  Is less more?  Or should I go for it?

All the fall decorations in the room are things I already had on hand.  The pumpkin centerpiece is a foam pumpkin I sliced the top off of and added silk mums until it covered the opening I had cut.  Prior to adding the mums, I antiqued the pumpkin with a stain.  It's several years old now and still looks good.  There are a few nicks here and there, so before I put it away this year I may antique it again.  I actually think that the flaws add character and make the pumpkin look less fake and more realistic.

You may notice that I have added a monogram on the under $5.00 Goodwill lamp.  It's not perfect, but for my first attempt it's good enough!  Next time I'll actually measure instead of eye-balling the placement of the letters.  I selected the font on my computer, copied each letter individually, taped them inside the shade and used a black marker to copy the letters onto the outside of the shade.  It was really very easy to do and I know you will measure before doing yours, right?  Just sayin'.

I hope you have enjoyed our little visit.  Come back when you can stay longer and relax in my new sun room/office with a steaming cup!

Thanks for stopping by!

                                   ~Norma Jean~

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I'm so sorry to have been out of the loop for such a long while, but I have been busy redecorating and reorganizing my sun room/office.

My sun room/office has nine windows and french doors.  I love it by day because of all that light.  However, I have always felt a bit "on-stage" at night, with so little privacy.

My problem?  How could I keep the light and airy feeling, but still provide a bit of privacy?  The solution came to me one day when I was reading about using fabric as wallpaper in rental homes and apartments, where you are not allowed to apply anything permanently to the walls.  The article said that by using a "paste" of cornstarch and water you could temporarily "glue" fabric to walls without damaging the fabric or the walls.  When ready to move, you simply pull the fabric off the wall and  wipe with a damp cloth. 

Hmmm...would the same process work on glass, using lace?
Window Before Lace Treatment

Since I had several yards of lace fabric in my sewing room, I decided to try it out.  I measured my window and cut a piece of lace to fit the glass.  I mixed a cup of water with some cornstarch and applied the mixture to the window with a small paint brush.  I quickly dipped my fabric in the mixture and began smoothing it on the window.  To my amazement it stuck.  Once I had the lace properly positioned, I used the paint brush to apply more of the "paste" over the lace making sure that it would hold.  The thicker the paste, the less you can see through the window.  If you get it on too thick, you can spray it with clear water and blot the excess off.  It's a process of trial and error (and can get a little messy) finding the perfect "solution mix" to suit your needs.  However, clean up is easy.  Once the mixture is dry, it can be easily wiped off and/or vacuumed from any surfaces where it's not wanted.  I was quite pleased with the final result.  I can see outside, have plenty of light in the room, but I also have a degree of privacy.

Window With Lace Treatment Added
Once all the windows were covered in lace it was time to start making the faux Roman shades.  My shades hang down approximately 18" and took two yards of fabric per window.  Since my windows are all 29" wide between the frames, I cut my fabric 30" wide to allow for a half inch seam on both sides.  Once cut, I folded the fabric in half, right sides together and stitched a seam across the bottom.  Placing the fabric on the ironing board I ironed a half inch seam all around both open edges.  I then turned the fabric right side out and stitched down each side (leaving about 1.5 " opening on the top of each panel to insert a rod).  At this point, I had a panel of fabric  36" long and 29" wide, with the pattern facing out on both sides.

I slipped a tension rod through the opening at the top and hung the fabric panel at the top of  my window.  I measured down 8" and installed a second tension rod in front of the fabric panel.  I then pulled some of the fabric up and over the rod.  I installed a third rod in front of the remaining panel about 6.5 inches down and pulled the remaining fabric up and over that rod, leaving about a 3 inch bottom edge.  I adjusted the fabric on each rod until it had the "look" of a Roman Shade.  It's a simple process and can be done relatively quickly (unless you have to make nine of them!). 

It was a fairly inexpensive "fix" as I already had the lace fabric and only paid $5.00 a yard for the decorator fabric for the faux Roman shades.  However, I did forget to factor in the cost of the three tension rods per window.  They added about $9.00 per window to my costs.  That wouldn't have been an issue if I had only had one or two windows, however nine of them took a significant bite out of my decorating budget.  In spite of that, I'm very happy with the way the windows turned out.

In my next post I will show you the completed room and talk more about the reorganization of the office part. 

I would love to have you comment on this post.

Thanks for stopping by!

                                   ~Norma Jean~