Moving On To The Next Living Room Project — The Ottoman

I’ve officially driven myself crazy with the living room window treatment decision. I can’t, for the life of me, decide which one I like better. One day I like the “all draperies” option. The next day I love the “draperies and Roman shades combo” option.

So I’m stepping away and moving on to something else.

For the record, the overwhelming majority of you preferred the drapery and Roman shade combo (draperies on the big window, fabric Roman shades on the two smaller windows). The vote (including Facebook commenters) was 64 votes for Option 1, and 129 votes for Option 2. 🙂 I probably should just put myself out of my misery and go with the majority on this, but for some reason I just can’t make myself do that just yet.

Okay, blah, blah, blah. Enough about stupid window treatment.

I’m moving on to the ottoman. Fortunately, this was an easy decision for me. For the longest time, I’ve been planning on making an ottoman from scratch, and I had something like this ottoman from Joss & Main in mind…

Tufted ottoman from Joss & Main

But then yesterday on a whim, I decided to search for other ottoman designs on Pinterest, and I came across this amazing ottoman from Layla Grayce.

tufted ottoman from Layla Grayce

So my plan has changed, but I know for certain that this is what I want. There will be no second-guessing the ottoman design for me. No agonizing back and forth deciding between two designs until I drive myself insane. None of that with the ottoman.

I ordered the legs last night — these William & Mary coffee table legs from TableLegs.com. (They’re actually unfinished wood.)

William and Mary unfinished wood coffee table legs

They’ll probably have to be cut down a bit to work with my ottoman design, but I was just excited to find them at such a great price of $15.95 each!

My ottoman fabric, Robert Allen Tex Weave in Baltic, was delivered yesterday…

Fabric for living room ottoman

And for those of you who aren’t on my A2D Facebook page, let me share some info about this fabric.

I originally found it at JoAnn Fabrics. It was priced at $54 per yard, so I waited until it was on sale at 40% off to order it. (I actually took in a 60% off coupon that was effective beginning that day, but they wouldn’t let me use it since it was on sale.)

So the 40% off sale brought the price down to $32.40 per yard. I thought I had gotten quite a deal (after all, it was 40% off!!) until I searched for the fabric online so that I could share a photo of it on my Facebook page, and I found the very same fabric at several online retailers for considerably less. I ended up ordering it from Decorator’s Best, and their regular price for the same fabric was $21.99 per yard. That’s almost $11 per yard cheaper than the 40% off sale price at JoAnn’s!!

Lots of people warned about the quality, saying that the online store is probably selling seconds, but the fabric was shipped directly from Robert Allen, and the quality is fantastic.

I know lots of people have very strong feelings about shopping locally and supporting your local economy. I’m all for that as well, and I know that brick and mortar stores have to charge more since they’re paying for overhead. I get all of that. Really. And generally I’m not opposed to paying a bit more when purchasing something locally, especially for the convenience and instant gratification of being able to walk out of the store with product in hand (generally).

But a $32 per yard difference in price for fabric? That seems a bit ridiculous, especially when we’re not talking about a little locally-owned fabric store. We’re talking about JoAnn Fabrics, which is a nationwide store that buys fabric in massive quantities. It makes no sense to me.

In addition, JoAnn’s was going to charge me $15 for shipping, and the fabric would be shipped to the store where I’d have to pick it up. They don’t even offer the convenience of shipping directly to your house on special orders.

Suffice it to say that I’ll probably be sticking with online shopping from here on out when it comes to fabric.

Anyway, that’s the ottoman plan. It’ll probably be a few days before I get the legs, but Matt has encouraged me to go get the rest of the supplies today and get started. I think perhaps my indecision lately has been getting to him a bit, and he’s ready to see something actually get done. 😀 Not necessarily for his sake, but for mine. He knows I’m a much happier, much less anxious person when I’m actually accomplishing things.

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  1. I completely get not going local when shopping at JoAnn’s the price difference was insane. We are building a table too, but ours is a console table for the dining room. I can’t wait to see how you do the apron on it, cause I’ve been up all night trying to figure out which way is best.

    1. Lucy, do you have a Kreg Jig? I think that’s the absolute easiest way to do an apron for those of us who don’t have all of the fancy wood working tools that furniture builders have. That’s what I’ll be using. I bought mine at Lowe’s, and I got the set that was right around $100.

      1. Kristi, I just love that ottoman that you are going to build! Gorgeous! Lucy, you can get the Kreg Jig Jr and spend considerably less than $100 if that’s an issue. Either way, it is the bestest! 😉 Kristi, so glad you are stepping away from the drape decision and digging into something else. It will come to you when you least expect it!

  2. love the table can not wait to see it. for your windows i just that of some thing what if you do the roman shades out of that fabric and for all the windows use a soild color fabric on the sides. you could even do the roman shades on the big window. just a thought

    1. I considered that, but the big window leaves me stumped. It almost seems like I’d need three separate Roman shades for it, since it’s in three sections (and one huge roman shade would be a bear to make, and almost impossible to raise). And I’m just afraid it would leave that big window looking really chopped up.

      1. what about two sections instead of one or three. play around with different programs to see what looks good. some times i buy sheets at goodwill and cut them to see if i like it then if i do i will make the window treatment for the good fabric. i know it is a big decision to make and maybe when you make and do more in there the decision will be clearer.

  3. Kristi,
    I think it’s a good idea to move on to something you feel confident about rather than sit and beat your head against a wall with indecision. Decorating is so much more fun and gratifying when we go where our inspiration is taking us and leave the indecision for later…because sooner or later that indecision will become inspiration and confidence as well! Then you will know exactly which way to go! 🙂

  4. If you use this design for your ottoman, you will need to nix the roman shade idea. Remember how people pointed out that it made your room look too boxy? Well, the ottoman is adding more boxy to your room. I wish you had chosen a round ottoman, but do not second guess your decision now. Just go for one panel drapes and semi-sheers for the two smaller windows (without the wood blinds to keep it from being so smothery.) Then drapes and semi-sheers for the big window also.

    1. I really would have liked to have a round (or oval) ottoman, but then I would have had to buy it rather than DIY it and I’ve had my heart set on DIYing a diamond-tufted dark teal ottoman for this room for at least two months now. I don’t know how to make a round or oval ottoman since most of those require bending wood. That’s a bit beyond my skill level. 🙂

      1. Beyond your skill level, pffft!! If you have your heart set on an oval or round ottoman, you could always use wiggleboard, also known as Neatform Bendy MDF. It’s sold at Rockler, for about $22 for a 24″ x 48″ sheet. I saw Christopher Lowell use it. He made a kidney-shaped bar using it. Just sayin’. 🙂


    2. And what about if I use relaxed Roman shades, rather than the ones with the rods/dowels in them to make them perfectly square? I love relaxed Roman shades, and that might take away the boxy look. Plus, they’re easier to make than the other kind of Roman shade, so that’s a bonus. 🙂

      And then I could use a pretty mirror between the windows that is oval or some other shape other than square or rectangular.

      And I could use some curvy lamps, place an oval tray on the ottoman, etc.

      Think that would work?

      1. Yes that would work.. I think the boxy thing is getting people too hung up. MOST rooms are square and most windows are square and are broken up many other ways. I think – honestly and don’t hate me – the all draperies in that age of a house help to date it 🙁 The roman shades are more polished, modern, and at least in my opinion of you, more you (not that my opinion of you matters inside your own house!)

        Plus the fabric roman shades were my suggestion so I want to see them in your awesome room! LOLOL 🙂

        Tip on the foam – if you have any old furniture that’s being discarded you can use pieces – just spray glue them together and you can’t tell at all once you have them under the fabric. An electric knife cuts foam really well too!

      2. Yes, relaxed roman shades would really take the boxiness out of that wall, and the other curves you’re considering will take away the office look and give it a softer, elegant living room look.

  5. I can’t get over how beautiful the ottoman is! I haven’t seen any like that! I can’t wait to see how you make it so I can make one too! Okay so I’m lying. I’ll never make one because, well, I have kids and a job and a husband and housework etc. And I’m a big fat chicken when it comes to tools =( But a girl can dream right 😉 I’m still excited to see how it’s done =D I’ll live vicariously through you

  6. I totally agree with stepping away from the window treatments and moving on. This happens to me, too. I totally obsess over something, it bends my mind, takes over my life (!)…until I just have to throw my hands up. For the time being, at least. This is how I deal with everything in my life. If trying to make a decision or figuring out a solution seems to be hurting WAY TOO much, I accept that it’s not the right time. And I move on. Come back later. And almost invariably the answer comes to me much easier. ps. I have plans to make an ottoman myself — I’ll be watching you! 😉

  7. Kristi, Do you usually find the fabric locally so you can see it before buying online. My problem with online is that I am afraid the colors will be off due to the monitor and also I can’t actually feel it.

    1. No, but I usually do order a sample before ordering a bigger quantity.

      I don’t ever go to JoAnn’s or any other local store to look at fabric with the intention of ordering online.

      My own experience has been that most of these online places will send you samples very quickly. And at one place, I even requested that they send me a sample that showed one of the specific colors (since the patterns that I like are generally really big and can’t be seen on one small sample), and they said, “Sure! No problem!”

      When I’ve ordered samples first, I’ve never been disappointed with an online fabric order.

  8. The answer to the window treatments will come when it is time. My gut feeling says let them be last. Once the living room takes shape – including re-covering the floral monstrosity – you will know what to do with the windows. And be at peace about it. I learned long ago that if a decision can’t be made, then that’s the decision for that time. For now, the windows are covered and they look fine and in time they will look perfect!

    1. Oh gosh…that sofa. It’s my nemesis. I can’t find fabric for it!!! But yes, it needs to be addressed soon. Nothing else will look right in the room until the floral monstrosity has been tamed.

      1. Kristi, have you considered recovering the sofa in a fabric color that would blend with the walls? Or would that be too dark?

  9. Hi Kristi!
    A couple things….
    First, I’ve done lots of price comparisons on fabric and even when Joann’s has their home decor fabric at half off I’ve always been able to find it cheaper online. onlinefabricstore.net is one of my favorite and when you have a limited budget the way I do you have to go with the best price. Good for you for price shopping!
    Second, I LOVE the look of curtains on all of your LR windows. I think what I’m struggling with is there seems to be too many layers. Curtains, sheers plus the blinds seems to make it all too heavy. My vote (which is just my humble opinion) would be to just do two layers on the windows….just the curtains and wood blinds would be my pick but if your loving the sheers do just the curtains and sheers. I know you really don’t need another opinion, but I couldn’t help myself! 🙂 Whatever you decide I know it will look amazing!
    And one last side note — I LOVE all your fabric choices! If I’m a hoarder of anything it would be fabric and you’ve made some beautiful selections!

    1. Onlinefabricstore.net is actually where I purchased the drapery fabric for my living room. They have great prices, great service, and their shipping is really fast! I’ve also purchased from http://www.fabricguru.com, http://www.fabric.com, http://www.decoratorsbest.com. Great prices there as well.

      I definitely agree about the three layers. If I lose one, it’ll be the woven shades, and I’ll just use the sheers for light filtering, and the draperies for light blocking and privacy at night.

      And please, keep the opinions coming! 🙂

      1. I’m wondering if the reason you can’t make a decision on the window treatments is that you are being swayed by the majority’s opinions. Could it be that you really truly prefer Option #1, but are being influenced by the opinions of the majority who like Option #2? I do agree that when you reach the point you have with making that decision, the best thing is to just ‘put it on the back burner’ and move on to something else for the time being. Your subsconscious mind will be working on it and the right solution will come to you when the time is right! Or, use the old tactic of pretending you are doing this room for a client and make the decision you would make for her, or imagine you are going to move soon (shudder, I know) and just want to decorate the room to look really nice and see what pops up in your mind. Stepping back from the emotional commitment can help.

  10. Oh, Kristi! I absolutely LOVE the ottoman you are planning to make! I actually loved the first one, too…. but when I scrolled down and saw your new plan…. I drooled! I would really love to try to make one (probably without the tufted top, cause, well, let’s face it… I’m just not that good!), but I am kinda new to this DIY furniture stuff. PLEASE tell me you will do a DETAILED tutorial how you make it!

    As far as your window treatment goes…. you should go with what you love. It doesn’t really matter who prefers what or why. It doesn’t even really matter if anyone else likes what you choose. YOU live there, we don’t. I read most, if not all, the reader comments about which option you should choose. (I even threw in my two cents.) And everyone had a reason why they like what they like. It’s great to get opinions, but ultimately, not one of them matters. It really only matters what YOU like. I hope you will keep that in mind when you make your decision.

    1. Karen, I feel certain you could do the tufting! I actually have a tutorial on my blog for a diamond-tufted headboard, and it is by far the most used tutorial on my blog. Ever since I posted it three years ago, I’ve had people consistently send me photos of their headboards they made using my tutorial, and so many of them are so proud and so excited (and rightly so) because it’s the first thing they’ve ever made before. Now if they can do it, you certainly can, too! 🙂

      Ooohhh, those silly window treatments. The problem is that I like each idea so much. Each one has pros and cons. Just when I think I’ll go with all draperies, I say to myself, “Well, but what are you going to do about rods and finials? There’s no way finials will fit into the corners, so then you’ll be covering up too much of the actual window!” And just when I think I’ve made a decision for Roman shades, I think, “Well, but is that too casual for a formal living room? And what if the pattern turns out to be too overpowering for that wall when it’s all flat like that?”

      See what I mean? I’m driving myself crazy. :-/ Hopefully once I get the ottoman finished, and get a few more projects done in the room, the window treatment solution will become clear to me.

      1. I do see your dilemma on the window coverings. Hopefully, once you have finished your ottoman and put a few more things into place, what you feel looks best and works for you will become more clear!

        And thank you so much for the tip about your tufted headboard. I just looked at it and as much as I have wandered around your blog, for some reason, I never came across that one! You do make it look easy, but then you make everything you do look easy, and I know I couldn’t do a fraction of it! With your great tutorial, I just may be brave enough to give it a go! That’s why I’m hoping you will do a tutorial for your ottoman…. I want one!

        Thanks, Kristi, and good luck with your decisions! 🙂

  11. I work at JoAnn Fabrics. And in their defense, some of the fabrics have set pricing, depending on the brand of fabric it might not be our choice. And even then, its CORPORATE’s decision how much to charge, this is not a decision made by your local JoAnn store. If fabric or anything is already on sale, we canNOT change the price so you can use your coupon.

    Special order fabrics, the kind that come from the fabric samples, are not fabrics we have already in the store. They are specially available through order, and that is why you have to pay shipping. If you found an ROT (huge tubes of fabric in store), those come on the company truck (I am 99% sure) and are then available with free shipping. We cannot ship to your house, I don’t know for sure why, but I know that is our policy. Of course if you found a fabric at our store and we don’t have enough, and other stores nearby (or not so nearby) have it, we can order a store transfer from the other stores that should also be free shipping, at no other cost to you. You can always use your coupons on special orders unless the item is already on sale. Of course theres another unless to this! If you have a transaction % off coupon, almost always those are good for sale prices too!!! Please remember, unlike many other craft stores (Hobby Lobby included), we accept competitor coupons on items we both sell!!! And this also includes you can use multiple coupons for different items, in the same transaction. Lots of other places don’t do that.

    OK, rant over. Can’t wait to see the ottoman fully built!

    1. Yes, I know. 🙂 I worked at JoAnn’s for 3 years. But when I worked there, we would allow people to use a coupon in lieu of receiving the sale price if the coupon savings was greater than the sale price savings.

      But I’ve also been a self-employed interior decorator with to-the-trade accounts at all of the major fabric houses, including Robert Allen, so I know first hand how much flexibility there is in setting prices. And it doesn’t make sense that there would be a $30+ per yard difference in price for such a big corporation as JoAnn’s, when online stores are selling it for so much cheaper.

      But you’re right…these are decisions made in the corporate office. Unfortunately, they’re going to start losing business (if they haven’t already) if they don’t start making some changes, because they’ll get eaten up by online stores.

      I did ask them to match the price, and the manager said he couldn’t do that, so he refunded my money.

      I’ll still shop at JoAnn’s, but I just won’t look for special order fabric there anymore. I prefer the online prices, as well as the convenience of it being shipped to my front door. Why JoAnn’s doesn’t offer that simple convenience I’ll never understand. If I order from JoAnn.com, it comes to my door. But if I order something in the store, I have to go back to the store to pick it up. It’s baffling to me.

      1. Hmmm…they must have changed policy about the coupons, because they no longer do that. I think Hobby Lobby lets you, but I don’t go there anymore because of how rude the staff is.

        To be completely honest, I totally agree that some prices are expensive at JoAnns, I do not understand the custom order fabrics whatsoever, few people actually buy from there at my store. And I do think buying those fabrics is better online than through a store, because you are paying for more when you go through a brick n mortar retailer. Not just the actual fabric, but storing in the warehouse, transporting, and then of course all of us at the actual store.

        I love working at JoAnns but I do think when it comes to pricing and what they offer, they could definitely improve. I always tell customers when they don’t agree with someone, to write to corporate because they are the only ones who can change something. The store manager can tell corporate, but coming from several customers means more.

        At least the manager refunded your money. As far as I knew, special orders can’t be refunded once they’ve been fulfilled.

        I would assume if you ordered it in store, and they delivered it to your house, its more money on JoAnns side to do that. Although, for orders that do not come on the company truck and the customer has to pay shipping, I definitely think those should be delivered right to their house. I think we lose business when people find out that $6 spool of ribbon will cost an additional $10 for shipping. (true story- they laughed and walked away)

        1. I’m sorry, “if they don’t agree with *something, to write to corporate”

          PS. I am a fairly recent new reader (and first big time commenting), so I may have missed some of your posts about your previous work experiences that may have given me more insight prior to my response. Oh well, live and learn.

  12. I think its smart to walk away from the window treatment decision. If you’re focused on something else, it’ll probably come to you which way you should go with it.

    As for your ottoman plans – NICE! I love the little shelf underneath it – a bit more storage and stability.

  13. Hi, first time I have ever left a comment on a blog before…I am a bit nervous. Weird, huh!? Ok, about the window treatments; normally I love bamboo type blinds with curtains–that is what I have in most of my house. When I look at your pictures I think the problem is the wall color with the color of blinds. There doesn’t seem to be enough contrast and they do look quite “heavy”. Would picking up a lighter shade for your wall colors ( I know, a huge pain to repaint….) from your curtains help the overall look? Thinking of a lighter gray with a hint of blue in it. Could you try that in Photoshop to see if that would make option 1 better? Just a thought…I am sure it will come to you whatever it is. :). Thanks for letting us in your home and thoughts!

    1. Hi Bianca~
      I’m sorry I took so long to respond, but I’m honored that you left your first ever blog comment on my blog! 🙂

      I did end up going with fabric shades on the two smaller windows and removing the woven wood shades. I love how it turned out. I still need to make my draperies for the big window, though! 🙂

  14. Whatever you choose to do with your window treatments, your completed room will be lovely! You have such a great eye and sometimes there’s just no right or wrong answer. I can’t wait to see your beautiful ottoman and all the other great projects you have planned. Thanks so much for sharing your home with us!

  15. I am in love with the Layla Grace ottoman! Hands down the more beautiful of the two and look forward to the tutorial! Already left my 2 cents about the windows 🙂 What I do know is that whatever you decide for the windows, YOU will be happy with the outcome and that is what matters in your home.

  16. I am confused about why you didn’t purchase from Joann.com. I just looked up the fabric you purchased and today is is $21.60 a yard with free shipping over $100. Their samples are $3.00 which I think is on par with other online fabric sources.

    Yesterday they offered 12 cents shipping on any size order. So, if you keep an eye on their website and ads you can get a good deal. I have had very good luck with their sales and online fabric orders. They also have the best in-store selection of special order fabrics in my town. (Calico Corners is also here but their prices are OUTRAGEOUS, sale or not.)

    1. Right. Today it’s 60% off. They have a different sale every week. As I explained in the post, when I was ready to purchase the fabric a week-and-a-half ago, it was only 40% off, which put the price at $32.40 per yard — almost $11/yard more than what I found online.

      I asked them if they’d match the price, and they said they couldn’t because that price was well below their “at cost” price. Seems to me if they offer it at that price on occasion, they could have very easily given me that price and kept a sale. But they chose to refund my money instead.

      1. Yes. You do have to be patient as prices do change weekly. Sometimes daily at this time of year. I am just pointing out that results may vary. I’ve had very good luck buying fabric there (online). Yesterday I purchased fabric that I had seen on the Ballard Designs website for $38 a yard plus shipping. I paid $26 per yard plus 12 cents shipping on joann.com. It’s hard to source Ballard fabric. Luckily, I came across it at Joann as I had been searching for it for months.

  17. Kristi…. Re: Window Treatment…… When one finds oneself in “decision impasse”….. which I believe means neither option has “hit home” yet…. suggest you look for a third option… as crazy as it sounds…. sometimes having three to choose from can narrow the field considerably and believe it or not and your eye will find the one that pleases you most…. Just a thought….