'F' for Fabric Library

Plans for the Library

Our “library” (the landing at the top of the stairs) looks pretty good. I mean, it was even in a magazine not long ago… but I’ve always thought that it could look better.

My Library
(photo by Janet Mesic-Mackie for Home Magazine, September 2008)

The little light in the room is horrible and it doesn’t even fully cover the hole in the ceiling for it, but I’ve had a hard time finding a replacement because our ceilings upstairs are only 7.5′ tall. I had ordered this Jonathan Adler light previously, but it was far too large for the space and we used it in my studio instead. I did see this light recently, and it may work since it’s a bit smaller.

The stairway woodwork has been painted mustard yellow (“Campground” by Behr), which does look nice with our current curtains, but I was never a huge fan of those. They’re okay, but not great. I’ve always loved Amy Butler’s Lime Primrose fabric, and seeing it recently as pillows made me revisit the idea of using it for new library curtains.

I’m just a little worried that the fabric won’t work with the yellow wall. Brandon’s mom gave us a curvy wooden side table recently (and the go-ahead to paint it or do whatever we want to it), so maybe it would be nice if it were painted the same yellow? I also have a neat little side table on the way that could be painted. Or we could keep a dark brown side table to match the legs on the chair and ottoman, and rely on the mustard yellow throw that’s in the room (which was just $1 at goodwill). The Orla Keily pitcher from Target that I’m eagerly awaiting (used as a vase with some pink flowers) would be nice too.

Library Updates

I love the fabric so much, I’m determined to make it work.

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Princess of Power
    February 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Oh Nicole! I wish you would do a video tour of your house! I just love seeing pictures of it! And I covet your library. The Amy Butler fabric is gorgeous. I am sure you can make it work!

  • Viv
    February 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I agree. I’m sure you will make it work! The pink flowers would look great in the room with that fabric too.

    This reminds me, I’ve got to get my act together and tidy up the study.

    Viv xx

  • Dionne C
    February 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    This fabric is lovely. Your library looks lovely now, but this fabric is too good to leave out!

  • Deanna Hurley
    February 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I love the new curtains but I love the old ones too! Can I have the old ones when you get new ones? :)

    Also, great ideas on the lights. Our ceilings are 8′ tall too, so I have the hardest time figuring out what to do on my living room. I dont want a fan and chandeliers dont work either. I need something because right now its a light bulb hanging from a wire. Where to go?

  • jo
    February 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    wow. if you get new curtains would you be willing to sell your old ones to me? they are exactly what i’ve been looking for!

  • luuvely
    February 9, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    well i dont want the curtains but i do reeally want to see what you do! because i have the same fabric as curtains in my office..which is right off from my living room and i want some pillows to match for the living room…so i cant wait to see how nice it all comes together…im not sold on the wall color with the curtains though..but IM SOOO SURE you will make it alll come together soo nicely!

    cant wait :)

  • Becky
    February 9, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Ooh, so which Orla Kiely pieces did you get? Did you order them online? I just ordered a bunch of dishes online because my store has nothing out but the storage boxes. I got that same pitcher in the brown–didn’t look like the yellow was even available. And the canisters were sold out. :(

    Sorry, do I seem obsessed? I’ve blogged about it like 3 times!

  • moodboard
    February 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I don’t think I would paint the mid century table. That design looks so familiar to me(thonet???) and I would keep the wood. It even reminds me of some 30’s pieces that I saw in Paris.

  • Jaime
    February 9, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Lovely! Where did you find your current curtains? I love them and would love to find something like them for my living room!

  • Denise Smith
    February 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Just my looking at the photo here, and drawing on memory from previous posts, I, too, am worried that fabric will not flow with the gold in the hall. The Amy Butler fabric appears lighter and brighter. Can the hall be repainted? Would you consider the teal in the fabric for that space? This would be different, yet harmonious will the pinks and browns and oranges I have seen that you have used on the lower level.

  • Heather
    February 9, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I was just considering the Jonathan Adler light, but opted for the Heath flushmount light from Restoration Hardware (you just missed their sale!) I think the 9” would work well for your space. I made the mistake of ordering TWO on the 13″ for my upstairs hall, and they’re way too big. ALSO… have you considered the new line of decorator grade Amy Butler fabric? Check this out: August Fields
    Spruce Coreopsis HDABS13 at http://www.purlsoho.com
    Good luck…whatever you do, it’s going to look great!

  • Brooke
    February 9, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Where did you get your old curtains. They would be perfect for my space!

  • Ariane
    February 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Oh my… I love the side table. I have been searching everywhere for small round side tables. I planned on painting them too and using them for plant stands… I think a yellow would look nice.

  • pearllinds
    February 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Such a gorgeous space! You mentioned the color of the stairway, what is the other color (the dark one)?

  • Melissa
    February 10, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I love the fabric. I wouldn’t paint the side table, I think it looks nice in brown and picks up the brown in the fabric.

  • tiina
    February 10, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for sharing photographs from your home. I’m just reorganizing and decorating my home office. I’ve got so much inspiration from your blog, and love your eye for colors and patters.

  • Shashi
    February 10, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I love the curtains you have now, it’s brillant with the wall.

  • sue
    February 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

    well, what a lovely day..not only did I sell my little table but I have found a new lovely blog to follow. Love the library..and love the little table is going there! Thank you for including me in this.

  • Melissa
    February 10, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I love the fabric. However, I don’t think it goes with the mustard yellow. But what do I know? Haha.

    And I adore your old curtains. I actually have very similar ones, except mine aren’t see-through, mine are chocolate brown. But I also use my curtains to cover my closet since I don’t have closet doors. lol

  • Ashley Brooke
    February 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I love the way it looks! You have already done such a fantastic job! I can’t wait to see what you do next with the space.

  • Taylor
    February 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I love the curtains that you have now. I’ll take them! :)

    I’ve put a plug-in pendant lamp in my study that I bought from CB2. The best part about that is that I can hang it at any height and plug it in anywhere.

  • pamela
    February 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Goodness, can you just ship yourself to our house and decorate for us! Probably not with that little one on the way. Everything you seem to touch turns out beautifully. You have such a talent. Your home ooks souper organized too. I think this space looks awesome as it is, I could not believe all the changes you’re hoping to make. Thanks for all the inspirational photos and your details about each space. Really enjoying peeking into your blog and flickr site.

  • Amanda
    February 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    FYI…you are my style muse! Pink is my favorite color and I LOVE how you’ve used it in such a classy way :)

    This library nook is awesome! The Amy Butler fabric would rock in that room. It would give it even more pop than it has now.

    Thanks so much for inspiring me!!

  • Jules
    February 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I think I will be the lone dissenting opinion. I don’t like the mustard with the new fabric, and I think if you are trying to sell yourself on it, you probably won’t love it in the end. I think you would be happiest in the end if you painted the stairwell in a color that compliments the new fabric. :)

  • Dewi
    February 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Keep the table wood.
    New Fabric is fantastic,
    However it’s the wrong fabric for that window if you’re keeping the walls mustard color.

  • Ellen
    February 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    The new fabric is very beautiful! I agree that it likely won’t work with the mustard paint, but if you love the fabric, repainting the walls would be worth it. The new colors also might provide a better flow with your other rooms.

    Another possibility if you are not fixed on the pink: today, I saw some pillows in that same Amy Butler fabric in two different colors — they were on a sofa in the window of Mig & Tig (going out of business) on N. Wells near Merchandise Mart. They are the aqua and olive, I think, and up close are quite pretty. There’s a chance that one might work with the mustard walls, as some of the accent colors are in that general range.

    I also vote to not paint the new etsy table. The wood finish has such a warm, rich character, and will be a nice complement to the chair legs and a nice contrast to the potentially painted mother-in-law table. If you want to add some color to the etsy table, maybe you could cut a piece of wool felt to fit inside the raised edge. This would also serve to cover most of the wood repair, plus negate the need for coasters.

    Good luck!

  • Nicole E
    February 10, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Amy Butler goes with everything. Do it.

  • rachel in Cali.
    February 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Oh my gosh! I thought I would be the first to ask what you would be doing with the old curtains. I think they would look awesome in my kitchen! That room is in need of some finishing since we redid our cabinets and countertops. :0) Do you remember who makes the fabric or where you purchased them? Hmm, maybe one lucky reader could win them? :0)
    Thanks so much,

  • coral
    February 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Victoria over at sfgirlbybay mixes mustard, pinks, and greens really well, but its always in a sea of white. My first reaction is to get white curtains and make a big floor pillow/ bean bag out of the butler fabric, then the bookcases, window, and chair will give some breathing room between the colors. And you can be comfy down on the floor playing with your little one.
    My other thought if you really want the green as curtains is to find a patterned pillow for the chair that has the green and the mustard in it. I’m not sure if the colors are quite right in this one, but the graphic is a perfect counterpoint to the curves in the curtains (the yellow one, not the blue one).

    Love your library – I’m eventually going to do a reading area in a nook at the top of my own stairs.

  • Cathe
    February 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I love pink and yellow as a combination, but I think it needs to be mixed in with a grounding color like white or the dark brown. Maybe you can add a little of each around the space? But, seriously Nicole anything you do will turn out wonderful.

  • Making it Lovely
    February 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I have a photo with the fabric up in this post. Eh?

    I’m not sure if I’ll hold on to the old/current curtains or not… if I decide to let them go I’ll let you all know. They were from Pier 1.

    Becky, I don’t have any of the Orla Kiely pieces yet. Target i soupposed to debut the FULL collection on the 15th, so I’ll be heading out that day to hopefully get some goodies.

    Pearllinds, the dark brown i s”Afternoon Tea” from Pittsburgh Paints.

    Jules, you may be right. I should have to convince myself (because when I do I often dislike it not long after).

  • Nikki, chicago, 27
    February 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    um i like the yellow ones better. the old ones. they look perfect

  • tanya
    February 13, 2009 at 11:33 am

    not surprising at all that it was showcased–your study is fabulous!! Love the pops of yellow…

  • Ali
    February 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    You might want to go ahead and check your Target store because mine has all of the items out already and has sold out of a few as well!

  • Kara
    February 19, 2009 at 7:52 am

    This is my first time (EVER) to blog, this is first time I had a strong opinion, My vote is NAY, if you change the fabric you have to change the paint and that throws off the beautiful way you have used the mustered all the way to the patio. Having said that, you could use the mustard stuff in your master bedroom for a redo somewhat like had mentioned.
    I also think the green fabric would be great for the nursery!