Here’s What I’ve Been Up To This Week…

Hey there! I actually hadn’t planned on being away for most of the week, but here we are on Friday, and this is my first post of the week. 😀

I’ve just had a hard time getting things done around here lately, so I had nothing blogworthy to share. I haven’t felt like working on my house, or doing any projects (not even any fun, artsy projects), which is unusual for me, especially when I have a few projects that are so close to being finished. My piano just needs two more coats of polyurethane with a bit of sanding in between, and then it’s done. My hallways cabinets need some trim and a couple of coats of polyurethane on the inside and they’ll be done (again). My hallways doors just need a couple of coats of paint and some door knobs, and then that’s finished. The hallway walls need to be primed and painted, which is super easy stuff.

You get the point. A handful of halfway finished projects, but zero motivation.

Generally when I get that way, it’s because I’m either in pain (my pinched nerve issue, which hasn’t been a problem in several weeks now) or it’s because on some level, whether consciously or subconsciously, I’m not happy with the way something is turning out, and that sucks the excitement out of it for me.

So I decided to gather up my paint and fabric samples and head to JoAnn Fabric and look for fabric that complements my drapery fabric that I can use for the chairs I want to reupholster for the living room. Remember my drapery fabric? The only picture that I have of the one finished drapery panel is with the green walls, which I no longer have.


I also need fabric for the chairs that will go in the music room. I figured that shopping for fabric would get my creative juices flowing again, and my motivation would magically reappear.

But I just couldn’t find anything that I liked. Nothing at all. I felt stuck, which made me frustrated.

I finally decided to come home and search online for a living room rug that would complement my drapery fabric. But after a couple of hours of searching, I had nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. I felt like my drapery fabric was really limiting me, and keeping me in a green/blue/teal rut that I couldn’t get out of.

Then I decided to put all of that out of my head, and just look for a rug, any rug, that would work with my kitchen. I wanted something that would complement my teal kitchen, but also allow me to pull in some purple as well as some warm colors like coral, orange, yellow, etc. And I didn’t want neutral. I’ve been stuck in neutral rug zone for way too long, so I wanted to break out of that and get something with some color.

The first rug that I found that I really liked was this green and white geometric Dash and Albert rug

new rug possibility for the living room - green and white Dash and Albert rug

I really loved the “room” pictures that I found like this one…

new rug for the living room - dash and albert green and white rug

…where that rug is mixed with pinks and yellows and oranges. But that rug scares me a bit. In all of the straight-on product views, the green looks so bold and kind of harsh. But in the room settings, it looks so much softer. But it’s an indoor/outdoor rug, and most of the pictures of it are outside in bright sunlight, so naturally it looks lighter in color outdoors. The lighter green, as it look in the photo just above, would work with my kitchen cabinets. The darker, harsher green won’t work at all.

So I kept looking. I found so many possibilities, but none of them really went beyond the, “Hmmm…well, I guess that would work,” degree of excitement. And I really wanted to hold out for some that made me go, “Oh wow! I love that!”

After about an hour, I finally gave up and decided to take a Facebook break. As I was scrolling through Facebook, I naturally saw ads all over with the very rugs from the very online stores I had just been looking at (which I find totally creepy, by the way). But then there was an ad with one rug that I didn’t remember seeing. And it gave me that, “Oh wow, I love it!” feeling. It was this Safavieh Bristol Purple/Grey area rug from Overstock

new rug for the living room - 1

The main colors, as you can see, are a light purple and gray, but if you look closer, you can see that there are all kind of colors in there, like turquoise, teal, yellow, orange, etc.

new rug for the living room - 2

So I decided to take the two rugs that I had found and that I really like (which are sooo vastly different from each other in style and color), and put each of them into my photo editing program and just start building a room around each one.

The green and white rug left me stumped. I couldn’t get past the rug and the drapery fabric (a solid teal linen).

new rug and other options for living room - with green rug

That green was just all wrong. Had it been a softer, more muted green, I would have had an easier time working with it. But that bold, in-your-face green just isn’t right for my house.

But the other rug? Well, it was so easy to work with! I started out with the teal drapery fabric, and then added an orangish coral accent chair and a neutral sofa.

new rug and other options for living room - with neutral sofa

I won’t actually be buying new chairs. I’ll be reupholstering two chairs that I already have, but I just wanted to test out the color. That orangish coral color is a bit too strong, but it’s the Larkin swivel chair from Ballard Designs, which is one of the few places online that I know of where you can change the fabric on the furniture and it actually changes the picture to show you what it’ll look like. So my choices were limited, and that particular color isn’t really exactly what I’d choose. And then the neutral sofa is this Kaylynn Sofa from Birch Lane. If I go neutral on the sofa, I’ll just reupholster my sofa with the neutral fabric I already have.

But the one thing I was lamenting about that rug is that it doesn’t have any green in it. Not even a little bit. But I decided to try a green sofa with it anyway, and oh my goodness, just look at the life it breathes into this “room”…

new rug and other options for living room - with green sofa

So now I think I want a green sofa! 😀

I went ahead and ordered the rug, and I’m just hoping and praying that the colors in the actual rug are true to the colors on my computer screen. I’ll be so disappointed if those colors aren’t accurate and end up not working out. Once the rug gets here, and I verify that the colors will work, I can make a final decision on the rest.

Another thing that I realized during the last few days is that the paint color I chose for my hallway doors was just not quite right. It was just way too blue, and way too bright. So I ended up digging through my stash of paint, finding all of the green samples that I had purchased lately, and adding them to the blue paint to make it more teal. And then I added some black to darken it up a bit. I like the new color so much better. You can see the left door painted with the new darker, richer teal, and the right door painted with the original blue color. The door on the right just has one coat of paint on it, so it would be just a bit darker with two coats, but you can still tell the difference in color between the two doors.

new door color - 2

The new color is darker, which I originally thought I didn’t want, but I was wrong. 🙂 I love the darker, richer color, and in person, it’s unmistakably teal/blue and doesn’t look black.

So I feel like I’m back on track, and I’m excited about the direction I’m heading in the living room. That plan for my living room also made my decisions for the music room come together quite easily, but I’ll save those for another day. As long as the rug ends up being the right colors, I’ll be set. 🙂 And don’t worry. The living room drapery fabric won’t be wasted. While it was presenting roadblocks for me in the living room, I think it’ll be the perfect jumping off point for the guest bedroom. And that room also had three windows, so I have the exact yardage needed for that room. It all works out perfectly.

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  1. Love, love, love that rug! I love the muted color that gives an aged look to it. It gives a dimension to the floor that does not overpower the room. Glad to see you back!
    Sheila F.

  2. Something to share on the indoor/outdoor rugs (i see you haven’t gotten it) it’s material is pretty stiff, and it’ll take some effort to get it to lay flat and stay. I got one in a similar design in a darker royal blue on my kitchen floor. My husband said he wanted an IKEA rug out of that material, sadly it got discontinued before we got it, but the next month saw a similar color/material one on clearance on a whim.

  3. The colors are absolutely beautiful in the rug you’ve ordered and I think it really compliments your entryway grasscloth and your kitchen cabinetry colors. It’s the grounding piece and I think it will look absolutely gorgeous in your living room. I really liked the first hallway door paint color, but wow, the new ‘Kristi Mix’ color is totally ‘wow’. I envision a new paint color here…haha!!! I also want to add that I can totally understand your time off, as it can be so very frustrating at times trying to get so many things done, especially if there’s a hiccup along the way, but, for us Kristi, I want you to know that it’s exciting for us that you have so many nearly completed projects and can’t wait to see the reveals. You are very inspiring to us with everything you do and achieve!!

  4. I always feel sad when you’re in a slump. So glad you found the beautiful rug to re-energize yourself. You’re so amazingly talented and I love watching your progress.

  5. Kristi, come on. Fussin’ because that absolutely perfect rug doesn’t have any green? Paint some on, girlfriend.

    1. It’s from JoAnn Fabric — just one of their basic linen fabrics. I haven’t actually purchased it yet, but right now it’s 50% off, plus I have a coupon for an additional 20% off. So that makes it around $9/yard, which is pretty amazing for decorator fabric.

      1. I”m pretty sure that’s the same fabric I used for my ottoman that was in the pictures I sent to you. It’s such a rich teal, I love it so much more in person than in a picture!

  6. I think you’ve made the with that rug! I love to have a colorful area rug that ties together the whole color scheme of the room.

  7. I have the Dash and Albert rug you are referring to in your post. Couple things I thought I’d mention for anyone considering the rug:

    1. It is much less harsh in color and design than the zoomed picture you have. It’s much more like the “room” photo you show in your post.
    2. It is a true green apple green, perhaps one shade lighter.
    3. It is not a comfortable rug. It a very high quality outdoor rug, but not comfy to sit on.
    4. It cleans exceptionally well.
    5. I love the rug and use it on my front, exposed porch. I leave it there for all four New England seasons and it has held up beautifully, even through seasons where it is literally frozen solid.

    Having said all of that, I think the rug you chose is a much more versatile rug for you. I tend to like to change things up very regularly, similar to you, and have often felt a bit stifled by a two-color rug. Sounds ridiculous….but true.

  8. I love that rug! I have been looking at it for months thinking I needed it my bedroom! Can’t wait to see it in your house!

  9. Love the rich door color and window moldings. I thought the carpet was a bit flat for me, but when you put your scheme together it looks wonderful. Wish I had your in-site.

  10. I love the rug! The green sofa does warm up the “room” . I love to listen in on your design dilemmas and watch you work through them. I learn a lot. Great job!

  11. Love the rug and the hallway door color! Just an observation, but it seems like every time you’re in a rut, it turns out to be some choice you’ve made previously that just doesn’t fit with the way the house and design has evolved over time, but you’re still trying to make work. Once you recognize it and adjust plans to fit the current design, everything seems to fall into place beautifully! 🙂

  12. I love that second rug and am hoping it goes with all of your colors. I really liked either couch so that won’t be a problem. 😃

  13. So glad that the lack of posting this week wasn’t due to the pinched nerve, and glad you are back on track. Love the rug you chose!

  14. The green is sharp and eye catching but seems more suited to a fling rather than a long term relationship. The one you chose on the other hand is gorgeous and perfect for long term. I love it.

    I feel like I’ve seen that coral color in a fabric on here before… either for dining chairs or drapes?

  15. Love that rug, hope it is as you expect it to be!!! I would love to try a more “contemporary” rug too, but I can never commit to them. In our first house I found a totally crazy, colorful “traditional” rug ( wool, no less!) on clearance at Home Depot. It had a black background, and all the colors just stood out with that black. Loved it, but left it in the house when we sold, because it was 11×14, we were moving to temporary quarters while our house was built, and I wasn’t sure it would work for the new house. I have regretted it ever since! STILL wish I had kept it,and it has been over 10 years now. Anyway, I hope yours is a keeper – if not, would you sell it or return it? Never got one online, so I don’t know how that works. Is it too costly to return? And I love the doors! Not that I would do it, but I still love them, and your strength to go for it!

  16. The rug you picked out is very pretty! And gives you lots of colors to work with. I think, however, you need to commit to doing your window treatments last. First, address anything that is a safety issue or will potentially cause damage to your home if left undone (like your unpainted siding). Once that’s done, finish fixing walls, building cabinets, adding molding, etc. Paint it all white or just primer it so you have a blank canvas. Pick out rugs for each room, then large furniture pieces like consoles, tables, sofas or beds. Then, once you have done all that, add in draperies, accent furniture and wall colors. Make yourself a blank canvas so you can see how the whole room is coming together and then add in the big, difficult to change stuff. With your skills you can change paint colors or sew new curtains on a whim, and complete those projects in a day or two. Leave those things for the end. Plus, it will be so much easier to sew draperies and keep them clean while you’re sewing them in finished rooms!

  17. The Oriental-style rug is pretty and looks like a very worn and faded version of a real Persian. It will never go out of style. But as the owner of genuine Oriental rugs (3 Turkish, a Persian and a Caucasian), I’ll pass on some of the things I learned from various rug dealers: The decor should be built around the rug, not the other way around. In other words, the rug should be the star of the show. One dealer said he cringed when people came in to buy a rug, not on the basis of its origin or artistry, but whether it “matched” their furniture. Neutral-color upholstery is best for showing off a special rug. If you want the rug to play second fiddle to the furniture, that’s a different story. That’s not what most people would want to do after paying a thousand and up for the genuine article. This may be a fun replica but it’s got enough charm that if I were using it, I wouldn’t want to upstage it with bright-colored upholstery. But that’s me. Who knows? Bending the rules might be just the thing to do, if your taste leads you in that direction.

  18. So glad to have you back! I’m also loving that you’re going colorful again. 🙂 I worry when you go too neutral, ha, ha! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

  19. Love it all….
    There is something magical about how you synthesize your decor, pull it together. I was raised with way too much depression era parenting…. “MUST BE PRACTICAL”. Spent my life shaking that off. Finally a couple years ago ditched my traditional area rugs for some eclectic play….. boy that sure helped.

    Personally I think you should bottle an elixir…. Decor de’ Kristi! Something I could drink when I’m being faint of heart, not pulling my ideas together, getting a fresh perspective!!!!! I’d be your first addicted user!!!!

  20. Hi Kristi – I had some of the same dilemmas when I was selecting a rug. A friend suggested that I look at Target.com…they actually had all the same brands that I had been looking at on high end rug sites. The upside of Target is that I could order 2 rugs then return one to a local store. This was waaaaay easier than the time I had to reroll a rug to fit back into the tiny plastic bag it came in before UPS could pick up and I paid enormous shipping costs on the return. Another bonus was that Target kept discounting the price while it stayed in my shopping cart as I was thinking about what to purchase. By the time I made the purchase, I paid 40% less for the same rug that I almost purchased from a high end rug site. Hope this tip helps others as much as it helped me 🙂

  21. Love the purplish rug. I’m not a fan of that green on the sofa or the coral color with that rug. I feel that you have been down those roads before with chairs, etc. and that they had been ultimately rejected. I do however love your new door color!

  22. I’ve been considering that rug in a different color for a while now but have been nervous about the quality. When it gets there please let us readers know how it feels and whether the colors look “painted on”, which is my worry. Thanks in advance!

  23. I like the rug! If you decide it doesn’t work for you, here’s an option (if you’re looking for bold). I got this one for my guest room and I absolutely love it. The gray is more of a muted purple. https://www.wayfair.com/rugs/pdp/red-barrel-studio-adams-aqua-area-rug-rdbs4267.html
    I tend to get into a slump this time of year too. I went to Home Goods on Saturday and only bought ONE THING (can anyone even believe it?) Part of the problem is this is not the season for our color schemes. It’s hard to find the greens, teals, yellows, etc. because they’re spring/summer colors. Wait til after Christmas to look for fabrics and decor, I’m sure you will have lots of luck then!

  24. I personally love these colors, and this is something that I would choose exactly! It is colorful and fun while still having some sophistication. But, that being said, didn’t you mention awhile back (after the butterfly/bird mural and coral chairs and contemplation about coral colored curtains) that you had felt like you were forcing yourself into something that wasn’t really you when you were trying to incorporate so many warm colors? I don’t mean this as criticism, at all, it just seems like the past couple of years have been an ongoing back and forth between “I always use blues and greens, I’m in a color rut, I want to try something new” and “That was never really ‘me’, I need to stick with my blues and greens that I love.”

    I do love the rug that you chose and think that it will look amazing, I was just shocked to see you expressing a desire for corals, oranges, and yellows again after the last round. Great call on the adjustment to the door color, also! The new one is so much richer and interesting!

    1. I think the key for me is to find a happy medium between the two. Last year, I went really overboard with the warm colors. This year I headed in the direction that feels more “me” with the blues, teals, and greens, but I do still want some warm colors here and there.

    1. Those are the ones I plan to reupholster and use in the music room. When I was going to use the Gentleman’s Gray (dark blue) on the kitchen cabinets, the current blue fabric on those chairs worked. It doesn’t work so well with my teal kitchen.

  25. Love the drapery fabric and the picture of your living room. The purplish rug is so pretty. I would never have considered it — but after your close-up, I think it’s a fabulous choice. Very nice.