ORC Week 4: Textiles!

Hello, everybody! Thanks for stopping in for my week 4 update for the One Room Challenge, hosted by Calling It Home. Every week for 7 weeks (there’s been an extension due to natural disasters and the ensuing disruptions to peoples’ lives), designers and bloggers are posting their updates on a total transformation in one room of their home. Check out all the exciting changes here and here!

I’ve been working on the master bedroom in our c. 1900 vernacular cottage home in East Tennessee, lovingly named the Huffaker House after its first owner, Dr. R. O. Huffaker. Last week, I showed you the antique furniture that occupies the space, introduced a new piece by my super talented woodworker husband, Peter, and laid out the plan for artwork in the space. This week’s theme is textiles!

I knew I wanted new curtains for this space; the only ones I had in here were white printed ones from TJ Maxx, bought in a hurry because they were cheap. They were too short for my windows and no longer fit my style. So I spent a while picking out a fabric and researching sewing techniques for these babies.


Making these curtains myself was an important part of the plan for this space. I struggle with the idea of disposability in our homes, and the overarching theme of this blog is learning to make permanent things in a disposable world.

I learned the basics of sewing about a year and a half ago from a friend who is now a retired costume designer and educator. I’ve since taught myself more skills via blog posts and YouTube. These curtains are certainly the biggest project I’ve ever tackled, and I definitely learned a lot about working with large pieces of fabric.

That said, anybody can learn to make lined curtains. I used this tutorial by Kelly from View Along the Way. I can’t say the project was easy, but I understood every step and never made any huge mistakes. Hallelujah! And look at how beautiful my curtains turned out!


Now, in a perfect world, there are some design things I would change here. I realize that “hang them high and wide” is the general motto when it comes to curtains. Unfortunately, we hung these rods when I didn’t know that, and replacing the hardware is not in the ORC budget. Instead of replacing the rods, I chose to do a single panel on each window so that the curtains didn’t block all the sunlight in the room.

I love the pretty fabric I used for these curtains. It has a subtle variegated stripe pattern on it, and it keeps a big, navy blue element in the room. Since painting the closets, I’ve been missing a high contrast element to ground the room, and I feel really good about the curtains stepping in to take that place. They’re not as heavy and looming as the navy blue paint on the closets, but they still give the room and the windows some weight.

I purposely left the curtains hanging just above the floor. I know that sometimes the fashion is to let them pool, but white dog + navy curtains + folds on the floor = mess and I just can’t handle that.

I did line the curtains with blackout fabric. This room gets amazing light, but sometimes, that amazing light makes an afternoon nap for a toddler (or an adult…) less than easy. They have hidden tabs, which I like because they create a clean finish at the top of the curtain, pleat nicely, and reduce hardware costs and rubbing on the rods.

Now, on to the bedding…



I’m so excited about the way the textiles are coming together in this room! I made envelope-closure pillows out of the pretty floral and the cream toile fabrics in the top left corner. The blue in the floral almost exactly matches the original blue milk paint on our ceiling, and brings that color down to the ground just perfectly. The cream is a nice way to tie into the white walls. I love the pin dot pillow covers; because the closets are now light, I wanted some contrast to set off the pillows. And I’m still deciding on a throw blanket. (Side note: I have an unhealthy obsession with blankets. Just last night Pete asked me if I wanted more for Christmas. Truth be told, I will never have enough blankets.)


So why aren’t all these pretty things on the bed, you ask? Well, I told myself I’m not allowed to bring it all together until I paint the antique iron bed. That’s next week’s challenge, and my motivation for getting through painting something as pain-in-the-rear as a wiry old iron bed.

ORC logo

So, that’s the plan. Only two more progress updates before the big reveal November 16! I’ll see you all after the weekend!