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Adding some red to the living room

Happy Monday everyone.  🙂

The air is crisp, the winds are picking up, the leaves are almost all on the ground – and tomorrow is Remembrance Day.

I want to call November 11th a special day. It’s a solemn day. It’s a day that we all need.

For me, it’s a day not only to remember how Canadians have fought for our freedoms and rights, but it’s also an intensely personal day.

You see, Sunday, November 11th, 2007 was the last day I saw my Gramma. She and my Mom had come to visit me for the weekend in North Bay, where I was living and working at the time. We spent the day shopping the main drag for Christmas stocking stuffers and home decor.

Sunday, Mom and Gramma stopped by my apartment for a cup of tea before they set back down the highway. We turned on the Remembrance Day ceremony and sat and watched it and talked about how one day, I’d be on the news anchoring Remembrance Day coverage – and how important it was. Little did we know then that my first day on the television anchor desk would be six years later on November 11th. There is poetry in life, I do believe.

I hugged them both, and as the door closed – I’ll never forget this as long as I live – Gramma looked down and said “Oh! I’m wearing all red. I’m just like a poppy…” and then she smiled and I smiled. And the door closed.

My Gramma died on November 12th, 2007. And I miss her every single day.

So while I don’t like to decorate for Christmas before Remembrance Day, I DO like to add some red and some sparkle into my life as a way of remembering her and channeling her joie de vivre. In our old, teeny condo, I’d pull out a red dish or add a red placemat to our multi-purpose coffee table.

This year, I’ve decided to add some red around the big picture window in our living room. Eventually, this theme will make its way into my holiday decor. I found these ruby red drapes at Home Sense in the clearance bin way back in the summer. They were $16 – so, for that price, I bought them and stashed them away knowing I’d whip them out sometime after Halloween. I actually am a big fan of holiday decor that is actually decor.  Switching out drapery, pillows, artwork – just for a couple of months or weeks can really make your space feel so renewed and transformed!

The problem? They were too short! In fact, they were an entire 9 inches too short.

Red Curtains Before

I like my full-length drapes to be hung as high as makes sense and just graze the floor. I envy people who can have their drapes puddle on the ground, but we have a dog and cats and vacuum so bloody often that puddly drapes just won’t work for us.

So last week, I bopped over to Atlantic Fabrics and bought 1 meter of white heavy cotton duck canvas. It’s a bit softer than actual canvas and a bit heavier than thick cotton. There are a bazillion tutorials online for how to lengthen drapes, so I won’t go into great detail here.

Basically I cut two pieces of white cotton – each measuring 12″ x 40″ (my drapes were 39″ wide). I had heavy duty heat and bond that I cut into strips approximately 2″ wide and I used those to adhere my cut fabric to the back bottom of my panels. I used the existing hem as a guideline.

Then, using regular strength steam and seam, I hemmed the outer edge of the fabric by about 1″ and the bottom too! The whole thing took me maybe 30 minutes, start to finish.

The drapes certainly add drama to the living room.

Red curtains in the living room

Admittedly they look a little grand in the space right now, given that we don’t have any of our other holiday decor yet – but it’s coming!

Red curtains in the living room

My hope is it will all start to come together in dribs and drabs over the next few weeks. I did whip out an old Dollarama cookie jar and fill it with shiny baubles though. I also got the candles at Home Sense and I wish you could smell them. They are from their Thanksgiving display and they actually smell like sweet cranberry sauce. I can’t wait to try them out!

Red curtains in the living room

Oh ya. And I did bring the end table back into the living room where it belongs because I’m cooking up a solution for the sun room corner. I hope to start on that project next week.  🙂

As I was putting away our autumn stuff in the china cabinet, I swapped in some of our red pottery onto the open shelf too. That just helps tie everything into the red and white theme I’m going for.

Red curtains in the living room

This year, I really hope to decorate for the holidays using lots of textures – my sheepskin rugs, woven blankets and feather pillows along with foliage and rustic wood. Speaking of which – I’m working on a really fun DIY project that I’ll show you this week using wood.

Red curtains in the living room

Look at this sweet boy! He looks like he’s waiting for someone, but really – he’s scowling at the mail man! Haha…maybe Buddy needs a red collar to match?

My Gramma probably would never believe that I have a 70 pound rottweiler-retriever cross. But I’m sure she’d love my red drapes.

Please take some time tomorrow to reflect and be thankful.  I know I will.

Chat soon



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