The Curtains : Fiona’s Room

Fiona’s Room Reveal started yesterday. First up on the show and tell stage are the curtains. Ah the curtains. Long story short, they were a long story that needed an ending. I had a sewing phobia. And I got over it. Because I was silly and the room hinged on their completion. The story told in full and funnily is here.

Looks like I may be sewing afterall on

The loose Roman shade design was based on some shades I saw on the Hunted Interior but I didn’t want to have to tie them up every time thus the velcro straps. First, I did a Pinterest perusal to feel the project. hand gathered roman shade inspiration on

This one was for a boy’s room. I loved the suspender straps and if I could have found three pairs of overalls, I’d have lopped off the straps with hardware in a heartbeat and used those instead of the velcro/ fake buttons gimmick.

curtsin tie up close up on

I wanted a roman shade feeling but looser. Decided to gather them up by hand and used Velcro on ends of my jean tie ups made from Mark’s old jeans and vintage buttons. The jean fabric inspiration was from the pops of navy in the curtain fabric plus I thought it was a bit of tomboy to go with the floral. I’m good at the finger pleating but my husband is not so you’ll note a difference in the quality of pleating in the window treatment shots.

I used some beautiful silk blend curtain panels I’d gotten from the Goodwill in Bridgeville, Delaware while shopping with my bestie during our monthly shop and lunch chow down at Jimmy’s Grill (fried chicken, sweet potato, and slaw). I am a sucker for fabric especially when it feels vintage. Yet I don’t always actually use it for all my good intentions. So this was really a necessary for me to use what I’d bought. This fabric was also the inspiration for a lot of the other art and color touches in the room. Fiona's room Curtains with no rods on

Sadly, a project also can’t happen for me without some sort of crisis. At first it was the sewing machine. Then it was figuring out how to use two fabric panels to cover the three windows in the bay window configuration. I was stumped and unhappily trying to figure out a work around when it occurred to me to turn the huge fabric panels sideways. They were that big. Eureka, I had enough without piecing them together.

Also the tie-ups ended up different lengths and I mistakenly used sticky back Velcro which the sewing machine hated me more for. At first, I installed the flat wooden pieces that the fabric is stapled to with just one screw each to just “See how to do it”. This used to be known as jury rigging.  But then I spent another hour later on to correct all of my half butt jobs. I did it darn it. Next up is the rod design and second layer of the curtains which make the window ensembles completely fabulous !!!

Fiona’s Room Reveal Starts

There’s been much ado about Fiona’s room. It was a laborious process to finish the painting and the curtains and to finally load in the room. Mostly the drama is based on the fact that it’s hard to work on her room when she’s in the house. Ironic but true. And since she’s pretty much been sitting on my head since she was born, and I have a blog and a house and another kid to run, this hasn’t always been prioritized.

Panoramic view of Eamon's room revealed on

When I did however prioritize Eamon’s room remodel before she was born, that worked out really well. So little by little, I’ve made progress on her room. To celebrate Fiona’s Second birthday this coming Thursday, March, 5th, I’m doing a week’s worth of Fiona’s room posts. Five days in a row including all the cute little projects in between, culminating in a total room reveal.

Should we start by remembering what it looked like prior to the two-year remodel? The first coat of pink paint went on September of 2013. Check out the beginning of the remodel in the Fiona’s Womb Room post. Fiona's room before the remodel  on

It went from the yellow and green combo (yes, but it was way better than the dark blue woodwork that was there when we moved in) to…

Toasted Oat wall color in Fiona's room on

the wonderful Toasted Oat color I belabored over.

Then there was the issue of the curtains. Sigh. I had my knickers in a not about the sewing. I watched helplessly as my baby slept nap after nap in a room with bald windows because I couldn’t face my sewing machine. But I changed that story because I hated retelling it. In the post Fiona’s Room Redesign Take Two last November, I finally conquered the sewing phobia and my machine. Turns out I needed to read some directions. It’s a funny read.

Contemplating the sewing project in the craft room on

So starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting daily to reveal her room bit by bit. Because it’s time to move on and celebrate Fiona’s birthday!!

My Decorating Style

When we moved into this house, I wanted to change everything. And I almost did. I randomly and creatively reformed this old house into an artist’s house. It’s something I just do. I Hardly ever buy newly msde stuff. No way. I must have unique homemade and thrifted stuff. And use it in a totally new way.That’s me.

mantle in the living room from my decorating style on SHALAVEE.COM

I am a little short fused when it comes to going all the way on a project. I’ll try to take shortcuts to get the results I want to see immediately. And that doesn’t always work well. But the spontaneity was always there. And I created a style. Until I stopped.

As I was happily styling something today, it occurred to me why I stopped making the effort to decorate. Because I was never going to do my stuff as perfectly as those perfecty perfect people on design shows and magazines. My stuff just isn’t professional enough. My apples to their oranges.

My kitchen from my decorating style on SHALAVEE.COM

But today, I decided to give myself the credit back. What I do is art. I live artfully. And because of that, there are no rules. And although I’d never make it as an interior designer for my sloppy short cuts, I think a lot of designers could probably use a little artist in their souls to loosen them up.

I desperately need to have the permission to play with my house again. There are so many unfinished areas that I have passed my irritated with it all phase and have moved into my “disgusted give up never going to happen hopeless” phase. I need hope again. I am trapped in my small world and need to be happier with it.

My dining room from my decorating style on SHALAVEE.COM

I know everyone enjoys seeing the house, even in its current state of horrors, so I am going to open my mind up to some possibilities and some risks. I have decided to do another house walk through soon. A real live video containing me walking and talking. Risk is good and it also gives me something to work toward. I know I didn’t come through with the baby’s room yet but this is different I promise.

Thanks for putting up with me. See you soon. Or you’ll see me soon.


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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


Even though I would never call myself a graphic artist, seems I keep attempting to design logos .  You’ve probably have already seen the one at the top of my Shalavee website. cropped-shalagh.png

After attempting to get the domain name of Chez La Vie, I had to settle for Shalavee (same pronunciation). Even Shalavie was taken. And that’s when I designed the little house around the letters.I am in love with it. Just as I am with all creations.

Bally Eden business card

But the very first logo I designed was for my shop, Bally Eden.  You’ll hear and see all about my shop here tomorrow. My sister is to thank for the graphic artist work to get all my logos to a happy useable place.

This last one was for the local Culinary School project for which I sat on the board. There was a need for a fresh new logo and I set myself to the task. Never realizing that logos are hard to accomplish by committee.

Here are a few of my raw sketches and the many forms this project logo took until I found the right one.

Ches Cul Cnter logo 001

font, pan, and color paletteMay I say again that I do not do graphic design on a computer. So the most frustrating part is to have to find someone to help me out in this capacity. Especially when we’re talking about a non-profit project. Eee-yikes. I had many talented hands lay themselves onto this logo. My happy ending was that the committee voted to approve the logo and we were done.


Now if I can only get it up on a sign now, I’d be so very happy to drive by and see it in front of the building being renovated to host this auspicious and necessary program.

Next up, Bally Eden is revealed. And if you can take a moment to vote for my blog by clicking once on the badge to the right in the sidebar and clicking the word vote, I’d be so overjoyed. I’m a little behind here. I am aiming for phoenix status. Rising from the ashes.

Trading Spaces

When we first moved to or house in the boonies, I discovered the Home and Garden Network on my new cable box/best friend. We were renovating the house on a “budget”, as in cheaply as possible without making any real progress that money would require. Channel 43 became my bestest friend outside of General Hospital which I maintained a relationship with far longer than is admittable here.

So HGTV housed all the tips, inspiration, and TV personalities I could handle. My favorite shows were ones where a room would be redone in half hour and included Design on a Dime andDecorating Cents. But my very favorite was the unforgettable Trading Spaces from TLC. Even before I was a was a Design Star fan, and it’s more upscale brother Bravo’s Top Design, I was devoted to Trading Spaces. It premiered 3 months after we moved. And had an impressive seven year run.

This was a reality show produced with the premise that two neighboring families would switch houses for 24 hours and completely redecorate one room in each others houses with the “help“ of a designer. It was crazy and fun. I recently found myself thinking about the show as I contemplated a gallon of Venetian plaster I have yet to use.

Venetian plaster was a favorite medium of designer Doug’s. Those poor homeowners up all night polishing, sanding, and waxing those Venetian plaster walls into the perfect sheen that Doug impressed himself with in his design. He was always right. Until that time he painted everything in the couples’ room white.

Doug and Hildy were known for designing for looks and not for comfort. Many a person walked into their “new” rooms and wondered how they’d be comfortable watching their TVs. Where was their TV anyway?

But the designers who cared about comfort, Vern and Genevieve specifically, ended up with their own shows. I loved Genevieve’s style. From papering the walls with pattern tissue pieces to drawing her own charcoal bull for artwork (did I mention the budgetary factor?), she always valued the artistic and the aesthetic and the comfort for the homeowners.

Design should be both visually pleasing and inhabitable. The most talented designers figure this out within the parameters of the homeowners tastes. And surpass their expectations. And I do so miss the drama that was Trading Spaces. I can not even watch HGTV anymore with all the house selling and buying shows.

Apartment Therapy did a pretty comprehensive retrospective and homage to the show back in 2011 that you can find at this location.




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