A Letter to My Windows

Dear Windows,

You have been a part of our home since day 1. We didn’t have a lot of money when we first moved in, so we were left with no choice but to cover you in low grade shades. I hope you can forgive us for mistreating you for all these years.

Windows, without you, our lives would be dark, cold, and our house would be considered a shed. You are the eyes to our house allowing us to see out and others to get a glimpse inside. I often look through you and not at you because I’m ashamed of the ill-fitting cheap blinds I covered you with, and the store bought curtains were only supposed to be temporary!Bad-Window-Treatments

To the windows we left bare, I’m sorry. You’re funny shaped, you’re in a place where no one can see in, and quite frankly, we weren’t sure what to do with you. Oval window before & after with shutters

That all changed when I met somebody…
I met Ashley P., a window treatment specialist, in the Quad Cities.  She showed me that a bare window is a missed opportunity to add style to the interior space, to better frame the outside view, and to save on energy costs!

Home Window Treatment Ideas: Sliding Glass Door Shutters - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Together, she and I are going to give you the respect you deserve; not just one window, but all windows!   Ashley helped us find these inspiration images that we’re using for the new treatments!

Master Bedroom Before and AfterHunter Douglas Design Studio - Interiors by The Sewing Room
I’m embarrassed I disrespected you with cheap blinds for all this time. I am going to fix the rookie mistakes I made in the beginning, and I am going to treat you right with proper shades and drapes. With her help, you will look and feel better inside and out. Your treatments will last longer, my family will sleep better, and our energy bill will go down. I’m sorry this has been a long time coming, but I was waiting to meet the right person to guide us through this journey.

Sincerely,

Shaping up our Shades

Image Sources:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Looking for that perfect person to help your windows?  Call Ashley: (309) 755-0045

Or schedule a consultation today!

Interiors by The Sewing Room

Home for the Holidays and a Giveaway

My front porch finally has perfectly plump pumpkins surrounding beautiful mums in full bloom.  The air is getting a little more crisp and a mug of warm apple cider sounds like the perfect evening treat.  I love fall!

But wait… Christmas is only 11 weeks away!  According to Pinterest’s stress-free holiday planning guides, I’m already 2 weeks behind.

We’re here to help with what we do best, home decor!  While it may be just one piece of the to-do-lists of the holidays, we’ve put together a few home items you’ll want to get started on sooner-than-later.  Plus, we have a fun giveaway at the end!

Holiday Guest Room Decor - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Planning for your guests

We mentioned in a recent post [here], that home renovations often take longer than you think.  So here are a couple things to consider:

Make sure there’s plenty of room to sleep.

Is your extended family growing, or are you inviting more out of town guests than years past?  Sometimes furniture can take 8 weeks or more to be delivered from when you order it.  So if you’re thinking about a new sofabed, or guest room bedroom set, you’ll probably want to start your search.

Makeover the guest room

If you already have plenty of places for your guests to sleep but your guest room could use an update (or just a little fun holiday decor), start collecting your ideas and think about how to make your guests more comfortable when they visit.  Could you use some warmer bedding, new window treatments, a bed lamp for evening reading or a bedside table?  If you’re considering any custom updates (window treatments?) or ideas that may require a handyman (new light fixtures?) you’ll probably want to start talking to the professionals soon!

Cozy places to relax during the holidays - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Create some cozy places for you and your guests

The holidays are a time of cuddling close to the ones you love.  Sometimes, you need a little place to get away as well.  Think about planning places to spend time with all your family together as well as a little relaxation corner for some quiet time.

 Giveaway time!

We’re giving away this coordinated set of five decorative pillows perfect to spruce up your home for the holidays!  These pillows are hand-crafted by Interiors by The Sewing Room, and will look great in your living room, guest room, bedroom or any cozy place that could use some holiday spirit.

Deck the Halls Giveaway - Interiors by The Sewing RoomSorry, this giveaway has ended!

How long will your remodel take? Kitchen Renovation Timeline - Interiors by The Sewing RoomIf you’re interested in ideas on a few more involved renovations before the holidays, check out our previous suggestions for your kitchen, bathroom, and guest room planning.

 

Call us: (309) 755-0045

Or schedule a consultation today!

Interiors by The Sewing Room

Image Sources:  1a | 1b | 1c | 2a | 2b | 2c | 3a | 3b

 

Tips for Fall Decor & Paint Color Palettes

Tips for Fall Decor & Paint Color Palettes - Interiors by The Sewing RoomDo you love to spruce up your decor with every season, or are you looking for a color palette for your home that provides the warmth of Fall colors?  We have some great tips on bringing a Fall feeling into your current home’s decor, or if you’re looking for a color palette that gives the warm and cozy feeling of Fall, we’re covering that today, too!

The simplest place to start is by bringing the beautiful outdoors in.  Find seasonal flowers at your grocery store, look for leaves turning color and collect branches from your yard (or a friend’s yard with their permission), or purchase silk blooms to use year after year!

Accesorize with Pillows in a Fall Color Palette - Interiors by The Sewing RoomWe love changing up decor with a few pillows in a color palette that gives a nod to Fall.  Bright oranges, yellows and teal with a few neutral pillows added for balance is a perfect Fall combo.  We are happy to help put together a great look with you for your living room sofa, bedroom or breakfast nook!

Fall Color Palette - Interiors by The Sewing RoomIf you love how warm and cozy you feel with Fall colors around, perhaps a Fall-inspired paint color palette is right for you!  I love this rich orange-brown with light blue-gray, gold and neutral color palette inspired by the image above.

A color consultation with one of our designers may be what you need if you have an image that inspires you or piece of artwork that you’re not sure how to make into the perfect color palette for your room!  We take a look at your current style, take time to understand the look you want to achieve and provide you with a combination of paint colors you can follow.

Call us: (309) 755-0045

Or schedule a consultation today!

Interiors by The Sewing Room

How to Mix Patterns with Decorative PillowsIf you’re interested in more ways to accessorize with pillows, check out this post:  How to Mix Patterns with Decorative Pillows

 

Image Sources:  2a / 2b / 3a / 3b / 3c / 4

Home Renovation Timelines for your Kitchen, Bathroom, Guest Room and the Finishing Touches

How long will a home renovation take?  Start preparing now to be ready for the holidays!

Home renovation timelines for your kitchen, bathroom, guest room and the finishing touches - start planning now for your holiday home improvement projects - Interiors by The Sewing Room

I know, I know… it’s still summer (though the air is a bit more brisk these days), and kids are JUST heading back to school, but if you’re going to embark on any home renovations to impress your holiday guests, it’s time to start your planning!
Especially if you’re considering a remodel of one of the key areas of your home – the kitchen or a bathroom.  Even a guest room may take longer than you think – unless you have a solid plan in place.
Here are the timeline estimates that we give our clients for the most requested areas  to  complete in time for the holidays.

Kitchen: The Hub of the Home

  • Planning & Design = 4-8 weeks (the fun part!)
  • Collecting Bids, Hiring a Contractor & Getting Permits if needed = 4 weeks (we can help shorten this time – and reduce headaches – by providing you with our resource list of trusted contractors)
  • Construction = 6-12 weeks (depending on the extent of the remodel, this could take even longer, and you may want to consider holding off on construction until after the holidays if time is getting tight)
  • Putting on Your Finishing Touches (or a little buffer time in case one part of the process takes a little longer than expected) = 1-2 weeks

Total Time = 15 – 26 weeks. ~ 3 1/2 – 6 months up to 9 months, depending on just how much of a remodel you’re looking for

How long will your remodel take? Kitchen Renovation Timeline - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Bathroom:  A great investment for resell & your own enjoyment

  • Planning & Design = 4-6 weeks
  • Collecting Bids & Hiring Contractors = 4 weeks
  • Construction = 6-8 weeks (similar to kitchens, if you’re planning to expand your bathroom, or move plumbing & electrical, this could take longer, and you may want to get your plans ready to start after the holidays)
  • Buffer time:  1-2 weeks

Total Time = 15 – 20 weeks. ~ 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 months

How long will your remodel take? Bathroom Renovation Timeline - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Guest Room:  Give your guests a welcoming place to stay

  • Planning & Design = 3-5 weeks
  • Finding the right contractor(s) & getting on their schedule = 2 weeks
  • Renovations = 2-4 weeks (A fresh coat of paint, and new bedding can really make a difference in giving your guests a treat when they stay with you)
  • Shopping for all the finishing touches = 2-4 weeks (If you’d like to add custom window treatments or bedding, see timeline below)

Total Time = 9 – 15 weeks. ~ 2 – 3 1/2 months

How long will it take to redecorate my guest room? Guest Room Remodel Timeline - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Custom Window Treatments:  Complete your home’s decor

(similar timeline for bedding, drapes, and blinds)

  • Planning & Design = 1-2 weeks
  • Creating your Custom Design = 2-6 weeks (depending on how complicated the design & how quickly the fabric arrives)
  • Installation = 1 week

Total Time = 4 – 8 weeks

Custom Window Treatments Timeline - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Hopefully this gives you the information you need to make a decision of when to start your planning & design for your next renovation project.  Please keep in mind that renovation schedules can vary widely dependent on timely decisions, in stock materials, hiring reliable contractors and the size of the renovation (we can help make sure none of these potential delays happen to your project!).  It’s always a good idea to start planning early, and allow some extra buffer time, so you don’t have ‘Wet Paint’ signs up when your guests arrive!

Image Sources:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4

If you’re looking for more home renovation inspiration, check out these posts:

Create your dream home today!4 Tips for Getting your Dream Home in 2015

 

Comfortable Bedding - Masculine Design - Must Have Upgrades for your Bachelor Pad8 Updates You Must Make to Your Bachelor Pad

 

How to Paint Stripes on a WallTips from the Pros: How to Paint Perfect Stripes on a Wall

 

If you’re ready to get started planning updates for your home, schedule a consultation, or give us a call for your free initial consultation (309) 755-0045

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Before & After: Traditional Style Swag Drapes for Large Windows

Today’s Before & After shows a great way to add traditional style to a very large window.

Before:  Our client recently moved in to their traditional style home, but knew they wanted to add some style to the beautiful large windows in their living room that came with white wooden blinds.

Large Window Drapery Ideas - Interiors by The Sewing Room

After viewing the client’s home and chatting for a bit, our designer knew they would prefer traditional style drapes.  For this initial consultation, our designer brought along sample books (notice the stack on the sofa above), and together she and the clients selected a silk fabric a shade darker than the wall color that would shimmer in the glow of the chandelier hanging from the high ceilings.

Traditional Swag Drapes for Large Windows - Before & After - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Once we showed the clients our idea for these the classic pole swag drapes, they were thrilled and couldn’t wait to have them installed!  We all agree that these drapes really complete the traditional style for these large windows.

Swag Drapes on Large Windows - Before & After - Interiors by The Sewing Room

Are you looking for more window treatment solutions for your large windows?  Check out our Successful Solutions Series for more ideas!

 

 

Interested in more information about what you’ve seen here?

Call us: (309) 755-0045

Or schedule a consultation today!

Interiors by The Sewing Room

Get to Know Our Team: All About Ashley

Ashley - Interiors by The Sewing Room

I like to work from the floor.

If you see me on the fantastically patterned carpet at Interiors by the Sewing Room, do not be alarmed. When I’m creatively working through a problem, my mind and body needs more surface area than a chair and desk can provide. In order to think outside the box, I remove myself from the box (a chair), and sit on the floor where my mind can explore more options and possible solutions to your design problems.

Ashley - Interiors by The Sewing Room

I studied art, design, marketing, and Italian for four years at Northern Illinois University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree. I grew up in the rural village of Sherrard, Illinois, where I spent most of my time enjoying nature, animals, drawing, and creating. When I was 17, I started painting and selling shoes. I painted the original pair to look like feet ; they went on to win a 2nd place ribbon at a High School art competition.

Ashley - Painted Feet Shoes - Interiors by The Sewing Room

My creativity and artistic abilities stem from the Piasecki family; my grandma, aunts, uncle, and father are incredibly talented artists, and I wanted to be the first Piasecki to further my education of the arts. After two years of working towards an illustration degree, I found myself feeling unsatisfied. I didn’t want to be the artist; I wanted to help the artists.

Once I stepped foot in NIU’s College of Business, I felt like I was home. Through the College of Business, I landed a 2 week internship with a nonprofit organization (Human Connections) in Mexico during the winter break between 2014 and 2015. I worked with local artisans to better market their wares and sell in the US; I was essentially an international business consultant (which is pretty big for a 21 year old)!

Ashley - Human Connections - Interiors by The Sewing Room

I’ve found my new home at Interiors by the Sewing Room where I seamlessly combine my appreciation of art and love for business. There’s an artist somewhere designing these beautiful and sometimes intricate textiles, and I get to find a home for that fabric. I was blessed with artistic vision which I utilize in people’s homes, and I can help those whom are design challenged or overwhelmed by so many colors, patterns, and textures. I love helping others, I love creating, I love sitting on the floor, and I love my job.

Ashley - Women's Connection Event - Interiors by The Sewing Room

If you enjoyed this post, call or email me, and together we can transform your windows into a visual sanctuary for your eyes.

309-755-0045

ashleyp@qcsew.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleypiasecki

Or schedule a consultation today!

Interiors by The Sewing Room

Ribbon Cutting - Interiors by The Sewing Room

If you liked this post, we think you’ll love Big Reveal of our Storefront Renovation Plans & Ribbon Cutting

 

 

Additional links mentioned in post:

http://newsroom.niu.edu/1504-2/

http://humanconnections.org/

 

How to Mix Patterns with Decorative Pillows

We love coming up with new color and pattern combos!  Whether you’re pattern mixing a bunch of throw pillows for your sofa or bed, or looking to pull patterns together throughout your room, we’ve compiled a few ideas.  You could add a pattern to your drapes, and use the other two as pillows on your bed.  Whatever your style, we can help you make it happen!

Pattern Mixing Decorative Pillows

Pattern Through Texture:

For those who like to play it safe but still have a little bit of flair, stick to a solid color (on a contrasting color sofa or chair, of course) and incorporate multiple different textures in the same color family.

Neutral Colored Patterns with a Pop of Color:

Feeling a little more brave?  Keep the neutral colors with a classic tone on tone approach and add a fun pop of really bright color! How to Mix Patterns with Decorative Pillows

Same Color Family, Mixed Patterns:

This pattern mix is along the same lines as the previous, staying in the same color family tones it down, but a bright color in simple geometric prints adds the perfect amount of punch.

For the Bold and Fearless:

Go all out!  My favorite is mixing animal prints in anywhere I can.  There’s no rule saying you have to stick with certain color families, just go with what speaks to you!  Keeping all other elements in a room simple through solid colors will keep this pattern mix from getting too out of hand.   Dramatic Pattern Mix - Interiors by The Sewing Room - check out our blog post for tons of ways these pillows can mix and matchLooking for more pattern mixing ideas?  We think you’ll love our Peppy Pillows post! Interested in more ways to mix patterns? Call us: (309) 755-0045 Or schedule a consultation today! Interiors by The Sewing Room

Design Board: Sun Porch with Tropical Accents

It’s that time of year, summer is quickly approaching and now is the time to spruce up your sunroom or porch!

We’ve been noticing so many tropical foliage and bird prints on outdoor fabrics and cushions these days. This trend is the inspiration for this mood board showing tropical birds and foliage used in small amounts as accents on pillows, art, cushions, and rugs to freshen up your outdoor or semi-outdoor space!

I think these prints add a bit of whimsy and fun to an interior. Mix in some natural fiber poufs or rugs for a true tropical feeling.

Shop for the Look:

1 – Natural Rug / 2 – Palm Rug / 3 – Natural Pouf / 4 – Palm Pillow / 5 – Fabrics (a/b/c/d) / 6 – Humming Bird Print / 7 – Birds Pillow / 8 – Foliage Chair Cushion

Inspiration Images:  1 / 2

Love this trend and want to go take it a step further? Inspired by this trend but not sure how to pull together the perfect look for your space? Schedule a consultation today! We have a wide variety of fabrics to choose from to create just the right tropical abode for you, from cushions to pillows to the perfect window treatment!

Bright Color Palette - Colorful Living Room - Interiors by The Sewing Room

If you enjoyed these ideas, we think you’ll love 3 Bright Color Palettes for Your Home

 

 

 

Interiors by The Sewing Room

(309) 755-0045

Schedule a consultation today!

8 Updates That You Must Make to Your Bachelor Pad

Guys, we’re talking to you today.  And we want to be perfectly honest.  Your bachelor pad may be scaring people away.

Consider this, you’ve spent hours scoping out the beautiful lady across the bar or in the office next door, and you’ve finally worked up enough courage to ask her out on a date.  The date goes well, awesome!  But then you’re embarrassed to take her back to your apartment.  Even if it was tidied up, you know (and we know) she’d still be scared off.

We’re here to help!  Here are the 8 updates you must make to your bachelor pad so you and your guests will feel the most comfortable.  And, no, we’re not talking about which color bean bag chair matches your favorite sports team color the best, or just how big of a TV can you fit on your living room wall.  We’re talking about ideas for the mature single guy; the staple items a man should have in his home that are timeless and appealing.

8 – A place to eat besides your couch

Dining tables come in all styles, sizes, finishes, and budgets.  Figure out how much room you have for a table (we recommend about 3 feet from the table to the wall or other obstructions to make sure it’s comfortable for everyone while seated).  How may people will you have over for meals – is it mostly just you with the occasional guest (table for two!), or do you have your kids over sometimes and want them to feel welcome at your place with have all the comforts of home they’re used to (table for 4 or more?).  If you don’t already have a dining table or at least a knack for entertaining, you likely won’t be needing anything too large, but if that’s your thing, go for it!

alias-adjustable-bistro-tableIf you’re lucky, your place may already have a kitchen island for bar height seating.  Great!  Pull up a few bar stools and, *Instant Dining Area* (just make sure your stools are the right height, counters are often built in one of several standard heights – check out our post Choosing the Right Bar Stool Height for Your Counters).

compact-modern-kitchen-with-eat-in-island

7 – While we’re talking about eating, you need dishes, glasses and silverware

Frank Dinnerware from CB2I hope you’ve graduated from the red solo cups, 3 mismatched plates from goodwill and whatever plastic silverware you can find leftover from the drive-thru by now and at least own a few wine glasses and real forks.  If not, it’s time.  You don’t need anything fancy, basic white plates, bowls, mugs; a set of matching glasses (wine glasses, too) and full sets of silverware will do the trick.   Stick with plain white so it’s easier to find a replacement if one gets broken.

Frank Dinnerware from CB2

IKEA, CB2, or even Target have the basics that won’t break the bank, but also won’t send your *new friend* running when it’s time to serve breakfast and juice in the morning.  Aim for 6-8 place settings, just in case you happen to have a group over for dinner.

6 – A Bar

Okay, now you have some glasses, maybe some bar ware and a few decent bottles of liquor.  You need a place to keep it all.  Invest in a sturdy piece of furniture (you don’t want a rowdy night with friends to end in your rickety bar cart getting nudged and all your glasses and bottles crashing to the floor).  Think outside just a built-in wet bar (though those are great, too), but consider a sideboard or a freestanding bar cabinet.

Parisan Brass-Topped Bar - Restoration HardwarePlease – Please don’t fill an entire wall with your collection of empty Jagger bottles circa 2001-2015, or your 67 shot glasses from every bar you’ve been to on vacation.  Display only what you use regularly and like.  It should be a reflection of your personal style and tastes as well as a functional piece of furniture.

Antique-Bar-Cabinet-Furniture5 – You need Art on your walls

Maybe you spend most of your time at home watching the game on your 60″ TV, but if the rest of your walls are bare, your place is seriously lacking in style.

Now, you don’t need to have a curated gallery of pictures of your family or original works of art, but if you still have your college posters taped to the wall, please take those down!

Make sure your art is large enough to appropriately fill the wall (don’t just hang a single 5×7 photograph on a large wall), and, most importantly, hang art that reflects your style.  Do you love to travel?  Hang enlarged photos from your trip, or find images of places you’d love to go someday!  Do you like modern art?  There are excellent resources to find prints or original art on any budget (for more art ideas, see 4 New Ways to Use Art as a Design Statement in Your Home).

Bicycle Art Room - Interiors by The Sewing Room4 – Lighting Options

Lighting can do wondrous things to the way you feel in your home.  If you have the right lighting plan, you can flip a switch for a bright work light, change it up for a romantic dining experience, and dim it down for a great moving-watching experience!  Correct lighting can improve your mood, and make you look better.  Now, maybe you don’t plan to do widely varying activities in every room in your house, or maybe you don’t have the budget for a ton of lighting schemes.  But a couple of key lights can really make a difference.

  • Reading lamps by the bed – while most bedrooms have an overhead light or two, the switches are not often next to the bed.  Turning on a bedside lamp and the overhead light off gives a sub-conscious signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down for bed, and can lead to a better night’s sleep.  (It also feels more romantic – if that’s what you’re going for!)

Masculine Bedroom Lighting

  • Plenty of bright lighting in areas you do work.  If you have a home office or desk area, make sure there’s enough lighting there so you aren’t straining your eyes to see.  Also, your kitchen needs plenty of lighting to make sure you can see everything you’re cutting and cooking.
  • Softer lighting for dining and relaxation areas.  There’s a reason most traditional dining rooms have a light above the table and restaurants typcially dim the lights just before dinner service, you want enough lighting for seeing the food and eating, but having that fixture on a dimmer switch can help you completely change the ambiance depending on who your dinner guests are.

3 – A mirror with good lighting

One more area that needs to have the lights addressed is a place for you (and your guests) to make sure you’re presentable to go in public.  Add a mirror near the front door with a light source above to check your clothes and hair on your way out the door.   You will make sure you’re always looking your best when you leave the house, and your lady friends will definitely appreciate this when they come over.

Mike's Masculine Entryway - Apartment Therapy2 – Bedroom Furniture

If you aren’t a recent college graduate, you need to have your mattress up off the floor.  Also, make sure you have a place to put away your clothes.  Though you will likely only have a few guests visit your bedroom, often those are the most important guests.  You want your place to be a peaceful place that reflects your style and shows that you are an adult.

Start with a bed, not just a metal bed frame.  It’s great if it has a headboard, or you can add art above the bed if you’d prefer that over a headboard.  A night stand on each side of the bed (which is a great place to put those reading lamps we talked about earlier), at least somewhere to put your phone at night.  And last, a dresser or chest of drawers to put away your clothes.  Of course you can add more furnishings if space & budget allows, but start with the basics.

Simple Masculine Bedroom1 – Bedding

Your comfort, and your guests comfort starts with good bedding.  At the minimum you should have a set of white sheets (the best quality for your budget), 2 pillows for you, 2 pillows for a potential guest, and a comforter.  Bonus points if you have a second set of sheets, a down comforter, a duvet cover and decorative pillows, but those are up to you, your style and your budget.

If you’ve just ended a long-term relationship, that’s a good time to invest in new bedding as well.  No need to be reminded of the past every night when you go to bed and every morning when you wake up.  A crisp, fresh, clean set of bedding can really set you on the right foot for the day ahead.

Comfortable Bedding

We hope these ideas will help you update your bachelor pad, whatever your style.  Our goal is to make you and your guests to feel relaxed and at home in your space.

If you’re still having trouble with where to begin, want some ideas on how to pull it all together, or are looking for someone else to do it for you, we’re here to help!  Call or email our designers at Interiors by The Sewing Room today!

(309) 755-0045

Interiors by The Sewing Room

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Image Sources:  8a / 8b / 7a / 7b / 6a / 6b / 5 / 4 / 3 / 2 / 1