Saturday, January 28, 2012

Boys Room - Part III

The Closet.

It's like the Inferno, levels of hell depending on what kind of week we've had, determined by number of sports games, time spent outside, getting dirty, number of loads of laundry mommy's felt like doing, time spent in timeout in room, and amount of time it takes to get to bed.  Some days it's really bad!
So we're starting again.  We removed the doors, that were broken anyway, and started with a fresh coat of paint. 

Better already.  My heart palpatations are fading... breathing much easier now, right?  This is a color somewhere in between the hall stairway and the boys room color.  I mixed the hallway paint with grey.  I would have used what I had for the boys room, but we didn't have any left.  The room paint was called Sanderling by Sherwin Williams HGTV Home and it is a great shade of neutral light brown.  My mom even helped me paint it!  Thanks, Mom! What to do next?  It is so alluring to imagine all the possibilities.  A lovely reading nook?  a bunch of shelves for sweaters and sweatshirts and sneakers?  And what theme?  A pirate's nest?  Sunken Atlantis?  A Hockey net?  A crowd of fans painted on the wall?   But for now we stuck with what we had at hand:
Step 1:  Add a desk

Step 2:  Add a small light (even though there is a small light overhead with a cool pull string, well it's not cool yet, but we'll see about that...)

Step 3:  Add symmetrical storage and a chair

Step 4:  Accessorize

Now the closet/office or cloffice is not finished, no, not even close.  I didn't yet get to do the creative part that had me up at night thinking, what if?  So I'm busy getting out my wallpaper glue and drill and I'll show you more in Part IV.  Forever, it's taking, forever!

Joannie  ~~

Friday, January 27, 2012


You are braver than you believe, you are smarter than you think, you are smarter than you know.
Christopher Robin to Winnie-the-Pooh

Monday, January 23, 2012

Boys Room - Part II of ?

I can see how I might just get stuck in this project forever.  The boys are starting think that anything is possible, like a drop down hockey rink?!  I don't think so!  I don't care if they did do it on Trading Spaces Kids, they had about 10 full-time construction workers who were paid to do that stuff!  However, I was finally able to get into the boys room and finish two more little projects.   Here's what worked:  The Hanging Chair!

This is from IKEA, and it's called EKORRE.  It was a real struggle to find, which began about 3 years ago (seriously)!  It is available at amazon, but just make sure you have the good hooks, which they do have at IKEA.  You might be able to wait until later in the spring and it may come out again.  It was much cheaper at IKEA than amazon. 
It's such a cool spot, but we I mean, ny husband, had to go into the attic to find the stud because the stud finder doesn't work through plaster. 

Instead of a table nearby we used an old window box for books. 

I love this because the books stand up and you can see all the titles.  These were a find last year at the end of the season for under $5 at Joann Fabric.  I painted Sports on the front just to be cute, not that the boys want any cute!  Really I couldn't see putting "books" on there and I thought about "Fact" and  "Fiction" but we just did sports and nature to mix it up a bit.
At the other end of the room we added a chair of sorts...

This was supposed to be a small beanbag cube, but I misjudged the size of it.  It turned out much larger than expected, which so happens to be the perfect size for an 8-year-old:

If you want to do the same, the pattern for this is fairly simple.  Cut two 6' by 2' sections of fabric and turn one piece so it fits the other like a "T".  Pin and stitch these together.  Then, simply follow the seam around until you have made a cube.  Don't stitch the last side until you have stuffed with fluff.  (Ours was leftovers from another project.)  Of course you might end up with something a bit more like a chair if you make it 3' by 1'.
The boys picked out this "Realtree" fabric at Joann, where I had a 50% off coupon.  Since I thought I would be making two of these, I have lots of leftover fabric which we will try to use somewhere else in the room.   It is a cool fabric and it pulls together all the browns and greens in the room.
Here are two more pics, the before and the before-before of the closet:

I think we need a gun rack for all those Nerf guns.  Or maybe a YARD SALE is a better idea!  :)

I've got big plans for this though.  I just have to get to Home Depot and have some shelves made... I'll keep you posted!
Pre-Planning Phase!  Not so very Candice Olsen, is it?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

False Starts

I love watching races, when the runners are all set in their blocks in that zen state of focus and anticipation, and because of all that adrenalin and excitement, one of the runners starts before the gun.  Everyone has to start again.  Despite a few false starts this week, I'm not going to focus on the negative, like the fact that I accidentally posted only half a blog entry on Wednesday, I'm going to chalk it up to that enthusiasm and fervor we all have starting the new year.  
There were some other false starts, like the fact that I wanted to post more about the boys room.  My son was so sick that he wanted to stay home even when I threatened him with taking a nap, and when he did take that nap, and did take it in his own bed, he didn't even wake up when his new iPod alarm went off, so there was no way I could boot him out of there to take pictures. 
So I'm starting again.  First, back to Gather.  I love the idea of a word of the year.  It does the job of a resolution without being so intimidating.  So after you choose a word, you try to find an image that supports the word, and I thought I would find some cool field of dreams or something.  Not quite.  I did see those thing, but this was the image that most spoke to me:
Now, please allow me to be old-fashioned, and conservative, and pre-modern here for a moment.  Gathering is women's work.  And, despite the fact that I like to think of myself as something of a feminist, I'm liking that idea right now.  This year, besides gathering ideas for blogs and home design and writing, I'm also gathering in the sense of a traditional woman.  Gathering food, gathering from my garden, (hopefully, see here for muddy work), and gathering things that need to be sewn back together are all things that I enjoy doing.  At least for this year. 
Gathering also implies those wonderful times when we gather around a table with friends or family.  I hope to do more of it this year - have some families over for Friday night pizza, as soon as hockey season ends!
Here's what the gathering looked like last night in our house.  Charlie took out Monopoly because I told him, "No, we can't go to family game night at school... It started an hour ago, and it might snow, and mommy already has on jammie pants."  You know, a list that means absolutely nothing to your child but that you think might get you off the hook.  Not good mothering, right?  So then we hear him, playing Monopoly by himself, rolling the die, moving his guy, reading every property value and talking through whether he should buy or not.  Well, I think it tugged on everyone's heartstrings.  So about 8 minutes later, after I guilted all the older siblings into please play, just for 20 minutes, I won't even ask you to do your chores tomorrow, we all gathered around the coffee table, chose our tokens, and got busy.  An hour later we counted up our mortgages and money and the only one who beat Charlie was Daddy, by about 8 dollars.  I think he felt really bad, Daddy that is.   In the meantime, we had lots of laughs, lots of "Will you stop whistling?!" and "Whose turn is it?" and "I have to go to the bathroom..."  It was not what we had planned for the evening, but it was gathering.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day off

Well, I was going to show you some more stuff we put in the boys room last night, but we've all been fighting the cold/cough for a few days and my little guy is asleep in there right now and I can't go in and take pictures.  It's not earth-shattering, I'm sure it can wait another day. 
So today I had a surprise day off - he couldn't go to school.  This kind of sets me in a tizzy.  I'm lost without having my clear objectives for the day set and done and checked off the list.  Which is really sad when you think about it.  I took a test online called the Enneagram, to learn more about myself as part of my coaching practice, and the one area that came in really low was "PLAY."  I  wish I could make that a priority, but you know what happened last week with the swing... well I've got some hangups...
So today on my day off I did manage to take a nap, make two important phone calls and then go into the blogosphere to play.  Here's what I found, the Word of the Year.  I have been toying with the idea of a word for the last week or so, but couldn't come up with anything and frankly I'm not ready to have 'play' as my word.  It would be too intimidating for me.  So I'm playing with words to come up with the one that I can commit to this year.  Are you ready...
GATHER.  I love this word.  I love that it is a verb that has to do with friends, family, food, gardening, but when I went to google images, look what else I found?


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Boys will be Boys

When we moved into the house, my husband and I set the kids' rooms as a top priority.  We thought that by creating spaces for them, we could kind of get them out of our hair as we worked on the rest of the house.  ;)  We had paint, window treatments and furnishings up in the first month.  Then we gradually added the personal touches.  Both boys love the outdoors and exploring, so we started with that as a focal point. 
We found sticks in Massachusetts that became curtain rods and wall hooks.  If you paint the hooks with a clear acrylic, they are actually much stronger and will last longer.   Charlie made the explorers' map in art class!
(This area is still a work in progress.  The old chair is going up to the attic.  Our plan is to put up the hanging chair and then see what else it needs.)

These twill curtains were a real steal at Lowe's last August.  For 4.99 a pair we bought them for all the kids rooms!  I think they may need a little personality though - got to think about that!  Buttons, maybe?
We had given Matt the rock wall for a birthday present last year, but  it took a lot of work (on my husband's part) to get it up on the wall.    There's even a bell they can ring when they reach the top!

You might notice the pictures above the bed - Charlie took these in the fall and we had them printed with a border, which makes everything look gallery-quality.  (One of the rare times a project like that gets done :) ) 
On the beds you might notice the stuff left behind... this is the best present ever: a head lamp

You can get them at REI pretty cheap and the kids loooove using them as book lights after lights out!  And I know in the summer when they are playing flashlight tag, these will come in very handy!  They are even on sale for under $13 and they are more powerful than the kids size, AND they do fit the kids!  Click to see the link.
The wall map is from a school yard sale I went to about 10 years ago and believe it or not, never found a home until now!  It's one of my favorite things and the kids enjoy saying, "Hey can you find...?" and challenging each other to find remote places or tricky geographical spots.  Now these school maps were featured in Country Living last fall, and are going for fortunes... see if you can just befriend someone who works in a school (start with the maintenance man) that might be tossing some of these...

Plus, I can't help it - sometimes my inner teacher comes out in my decorating and well... the kids are very tolerant,

but they also know that blackboards are perfect for scrolling a little message... so we painted this IKEA table set with blackboard paint too.  But now that I look, I realize it might look cooler in red or bright green.  Jumbo pencils are not only fun to use but pretty funny looking too!  (These are a few years old from Pottery Barn Kids - but guess what? They still have them, in an even better version and they're on sale!)

The lamps are hand-me-downs from a friend that fit perfectly.

I have two more projects to do here (hopefully this week) before I can call it done, and I'll tell you the paint color too.  I know even then it will continue to change as the boys quickly grow and make their own mark upon the room.   I'll be perfectly fine with it when they do, (there's already an Angry Bird poster up)  because I'll know I started with a vision that came from them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Befores

The other day I drove past a newly sold house down the street and I can see the boxes piled up in the windows.  I remember those days.  A year ago I thought this move would never happen.  Now here we are seven months after moving in and we are reasonably comfortable.  Actually, I should cross that out, we have more blessings than I ever dreamed possible and we are happy and content in our new home.  But I thought before we get to the fun stuff, you might like to see what it looked like this time last year when we were coming in with inspectors to see the house.  So here we go:)

Hopefully you get the idea.  Clockwise from top left, the family room, the blue room, the dining room, front bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.  The theme throughout:  lots of creamy white paint, nice wood floors, old lights and the need for a fresh look.  Tomorrow I'll show you the "Boys will be Boys room," complete with rock wall and (maybe) the hanging chair!  I think I'm writing on the walls again, too!  That's our project today.   Enjoy the day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Charlie the Trainer

Before the rain settled in for a few days I knew I had to get out and run.  After a day of.. well, you know, cancellations and missed calls, and coughing kids, I had to get out and run.  So I invited my son Charlie to ride his bike alongside me.  And he told me he would only go if we went to find "The Swing."  I had no idea what he was talking about, but he had been there with my husband and kids and cousins not too long ago and he really wanted to go back.  I imagined that the swing was pretty far away and I told him, "Look, Mommy can only run short places, not far away places."  He answered me, "Mom it's really not far, I promise.  You can do it."  I felt like I was turning my training over to my 8 year old.  I kept complaining, I really can't go that far, I really can't go that far... He kept reassuring me, It's not that far, It's not that far... but who can trust an 8 year old to understand distances, especially when one trip was in a car and now I'm going by foot?  What seemed close to him could easily be miles and miles away.  So I thought to myself, I can get him to go with me and tell him I'll go as far as I can and then, well, we'll see.  He accepted my willingness.
Off we went, me in my headphones (I know that's really bad mothering...but I can't stand to listen to myself breathe when I run) and he in his little green bike helmet.   I kept the volume low and he kept the conversation up, starting each sentence with, "Mom!"  Now I'm standing right next to him and I've been listening to him and responding the whole time, but he feels the need as the youngest in the family to constantly refocus my attention on him.   It's a really bad habit that we've gotten ourselves into, even when we're right next to each other.  So he tells me the important things about his day: who lost a tooth in school, who is wearing a wolverine costume for the video they are making, what he is writing about, what he saw on Phineas and Ferb last summer, and each fact is preceded by "Mom."  It's really pretty funny...
So we're going along no problem and I don't need to stop, which would have been really bad, and we get to a perfect spot to detour our way back home, when it starts drizzling.  Now I'm a tough enough cookie, and I'm geared up for the weather, but I decide this might be my chance for a quick getaway.  "Whaddya say, Charlie, should we head back?"  Now he is still very focused on that swing.  With a very dramatic roll of the eyes and an incredulous voice he says, "What, because of one drop of rain?"  Well, I have a competitive seed somewhere in me and I can't bear to have my 8 year old looking down on my workout ethic, so I say, "Oh, no, I was just wondering if YOU were tired and afraid of the rain."  Did I mention we'd only gone about a 1/2 mile? 
So we ventured on in the slight drizzle, and we made it to the lake.  This is where Charlie swears we'll find the swing.  Now being the all-knowing mother, I realize that this park stretches for about two miles and that the only swings are another mile down the road.  This is going to put us out for a bit.  But he surprises me by saying, "No, mom, this way.  They're not on that side."  Now I'm the one trying not to roll my eyes, like you poor little child, someday you'll understand about geography and sometimes things look familiar when they are really not and it all kind of blends together and we think we're somewhere we're not.    But again, I can't disappoint.
We get going at a good pace and I'm feeling really good and he's riding along and we're enjoying being near the river and I'm thinking well, soon enough we'll be at the point where we have to turn back and he'll listen because the rain is picking up.  And then all of a sudden, he says, "Wait... wait...," and he's looking ...up.  And I'm looking up too, and all I see is the enbankment and there are all these trees around and then I start to see some clearing in the brush.  "There it is!" he shouts.  The Swing.  I don't know if I was more overcome that we made it there or that he was right all along.  He had promised and I didn't believe him and here it was.  We settled his bike and climbed up the hill to a knotted rope swing hanging from a high branch.  The coolest thing was that it had been there forever and kids had obviously been climbing up here for years and had worn away the ground cover exposing all these roots that made this cool stairway up to the swing.  The rope was hanging from a tall solid tree so that you would swing way out over the top of the hill and be literally 15  feet off the ground. 
"The stick is gone," Charlie said, sadly hanging his head.  Apparently they had hung on to a stick tied to the rope and then swung out.  But it was still usable.  Now it was my turn to encourage him.  "Go ahead, you can hang on here."  He shrugged his shoulders and went for it.  When he swung back in for a landing in the roots and sand, there was a look of pure joy on his face. 
"Okay, mom, your turn!"  I hadn't thought that far ahead.  I made it this far.  He had his swing.  Weren't we done?  But at the same time, I thought, I made it this far, he had his swing, Isn't it my turn?  So I took the rope from his hands and gathered my wits, (or dismissed my wits) and hung on for dear life.  I think he saw the anxiety in my face so he coached me on how to pull up your feet when you come back in so that you don't tear up your knees on the hill.  I got it.  I hung on and then pushed off.  I swung so high over the ground I couldn't believe.   Thankfully there was no one around to hear me scream like a little kid.  But I did.  And I found joy.  Surprisingly.  All because of an 8 year old who knew a lot more than I did about how to handle a hard day.  Have you gone swinging lately?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Writing on the Wall - Part II

We also found another way to write on the walls, by writing directly on the cabinets.  We did not have a lot of wall space for art due to the cabinets, etc., and I wanted to have something fun to look at while doing the dishes.  The old cabinets here are made of tin, or some kind of metal!  Although some of the doors were refaced, they are not the kind of doors you'd be afraid to play with, so I gave it a shot.   What to draw?  Back to my favorites.  I don't know if I could actually paint a lemon freehand and have it look half-decent, but I do love to write.  One of my favorite poems is "This is just to say," by William Carlos Williams.  I drew with pencil first and planned to make it look just perfect, but I just grabbed a Sharpie and it took on a life of its own!  Here is the result:

I wish I could start everyday with forgiveness in this way, 'cause by the end of the day, I'm sure I'll need it. 
Annie is the "permanent" kitchen helper and she wants to letter on the sink front, D.Y.O.D., or do your own dishes.  So cool, right?  We just haven't gotten to it yet.
Another fun thing to do in the kitchen is write on the table.  A friend of mine told a story of two professors who put white board on the entire surface of their dining room table so they could work and make notes on it while the kids drew pictures.  Great idea - and our tabletop was already spray coated in white and makes a perfect wipe-off surface.  Who'd a thunk it?

And windows!  Although we used a window paint pen, they are a great wipe-off surface.

Just purchase some dry erase markers and voila, instant write on surface!  Picture frames and glass jugs too!  Think of the fun you could have.  On the milk jug ..."DRINK ME!"  On the water pitcher... "5 GLASSES A DAY!"  "ANYONE THIRSTY?"  "GOT WATER?"  "FEELING DRY?"
And last but not least, who can resist magnet words. 

After your kids have grown out of magnet letters on your refrigerator, get them a bunch of these magnet words.  Quite honestly my kids spent a total of two hours playing on the refrigerator yesterday, sending messages and making up funky, silly sentences!  And believe me when I say, I'm not the one who spent about twenty minutes arranging them in order by number of letters, then live or dead, then alphabetical...
Okay that wasn't the last thing...  I am the one who spent days deliberating over what to put in the void left by the jumbo-size (eye candy) calendar which I did not want to purchase again.  I had two old pictures that I decided to paint...
and stencil...  (these are the same stencils I used for the pocket organizer)  We thought about prayers and sayings and funny quotes, but ended up with simple lists:

I should redo the a's on the first one... but it doesn't have to be perfect, right?  I also thought about replacing the switch plate, but I like the patina that the copper (?) has gotten over the last 50? years...so it's staying.  Maybe we'll find a way to write on that surface too!  Write on!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Writing on the Wall - Part I

In our classrooms we tell teachers to surround kids with print.  Growing up in a print environment helps children develop early reading skills.  So I am loving all the decorating that revolves around the written word.  From antique printers' blocks to French script on fabric, it is really endless.  I am trying it out here at home too.  One of the fun ways is by writing on the walls.  We had a chalkboard on the kitchen wall in our old house and we had to do it here too. 

I painted right over the outlet cover so it all blends together.  I'm not sure if we'll replace that old light fixture.  Maybe it looks cool and vintage?
It's a great reminder of holidays, countdowns for birthdays, and even whose gym day it is.  I hung the chalk bucket in the exact spot where the wallpaper (yes, more wallpaper!) ripped when I tore off the tape.  I has great function though.  I wonder though, if I should have painted the whole wall chalkboard, which would be really cool too, but it might have made it too dark.  More writing on the walls tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Piles to go before I sleep

Well, this weekend was busy with taking down Christmas.  It is such a chore and each year I think I"m going to whittle things down and not put so much up.  If I only decorate with fresh greens, there's not so much to pack away, I tell myself.  But each year I still love the hanging lights, the Santa collection I started, really by accident when I received them for Christmas from students, and the trains under the tree.   Really you can only do that for so long while the kids are young, so may as well buck up!  And each room has it's own style now, so you decorate and then you un-decorate!
With all that stuff down, here are the piles I still have to put away today:

So I'm going to get busy... finding fun things to do to distract myself.  Maybe the piles will magically disappear!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Tango

One thing I love about the cold January days is all the new awards that are given out.  I'm not talking about Emmy and Oscar, I'm talking about the new Pantone 'Color of the Year.'  Are you ready for it? ORANGE. 

Bright, bold red-orange that is.  In colorist jargon, Tangerine Tango.  I think I'm in love.  "Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day," according to Leatrice Eiseman, director of the institute at Pantone, and that's the message sent by this color of choice for 2012.
The interesting thing about this is the amount of time and energy spent by the colorists at Pantone creating this color of the year.  They literally travel around the world to see what people are doing, what they are wearing and talking about, and how they are feeling.  This year they have taken all that wonderful insight into our lives and added this great splash of orange.    Marketers, merchandisers, buyers and fabricators then translate the color into wonderful items for home and fashion. 
I can't wait to go out and find something to do with this color.  My old living room chair could get an orange facelift.  My kitchen table?  Pillows?  A lampshade?  Maybe all of the above.  It's going to be bold and it's going to be fun!  It holds a promise.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Run, Mommy, Run

One of my new year's resolutions was to get back into my running routine which had quickly gone by the wayside during the holidays.   Not that I had much of a routine to begin with.  At my peak I was running about 18 miles a week, but let's just say that ain't happening.  So last night I was committed to going to bed early and getting a big start to my day, about 6:30 - run a few miles and then head out grocery shopping. 
Not so fast... I didn't actually get out of bed until 7:15 (because I waited up for my husband and son to get home from the Winter Classic game last night.)  Then once I did arise I realized that, along with everyone else in the house, I didn't have any socks that matched.  So I sat in my son's room sorting socks and talking.  I thought I was ready to go. 
But I came downstairs and my youngest didn't want to go to basketball.  That took a few words of encouragement.  Ready to go? 
I checked my iPod - low battery  and plugged in because I cannot run without my music.   So I grabbed a quick snack.  Ready to go? 
Annie is sick and coughing and needs medicine.  Ready to go?
Matt is coughing too.  Charlie is coughing too.  Do he have to go to basketball?  Yes.  Ready to go?
Charlie didn't have his basketball t-shirt, which of course was closeted with the rest of the summer gear.  Back upstairs.  Found it.  Ready to go?  Charlie was ready to go, mommy wasn't. 
One more trip to the bathroom.  Ready to go?
Colder than it looks outside - grab the mittens.  Ready to go!  So finally about 8:45 I headed out the door.  There is a chill in the air today, about 38*, but it's nice and sunny.   As I started to warm up I felt I had already done my run for the day.  It just didn't involve much heavy breathing.  But it sure felt good to finally get out there, run, and be energized, ready to go the rest of the day. 

Friday, January 6, 2012


We teach kids in school about the value of repetition in every subject from math to science to writing.  Well let me tell you that what you learned in kindergarten is everything you need to know about DESIGN too.  Really.  As I was clearing out designing my pantry tonight I realized that is the secret. Just take a look at these pictures:

Sorry, I just don't see myself decanting my soda, oils, vinegars, and what not into fancy (i.e. expensive) vintage bottles.

Do you only buy food that comes in green packages?  I don't.  (See below.)
We have more of a red-yellow-blue-brown-white-whateversonsale theme.  But if I had twelve boxes of Quaker oats and eight boxes of ricekrispies you would might be just as impressed with my closet.
So I went around the house, like a kindergartner, finding things that are ALIKE.  They all had to be the same material and the one I found the most of was, stainless steel.  So that was the winner. 

These are some cool vintage flour,sugar,coffee,tea containers I picked up at a church Christmas bazaar about ten years ago.  (I scrubbed them so hard the black paint came off the handle..)

If I was to properly stage this for you, I would have chosen the most prominent color and only used those things, repetition.  And it's the same with all design. Forget elaborate fabrics(which I thought was the key) or fancy lighting (a close second), no, it's all about the patterns you learned about in kindergarten. Just decorate and repeat,whether it's a color, a box of rice, or a beautiful fabric  - that's all you need to know!  Now I can't compete with Country Living and Crate and Barrel, but this is my attempt at making do with my stainless steel... though I am tempted to paint the closet pale grey and buy all the green packages I can!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Window treatment

This is the theme of our bedroom right now.  Yes, even the fan matches.  Not quite the romantic master suite I had envisioned.  Since there is so much wallpaper to deal with, this room is one of the last on our list.  It will take some time to figure out what to do here, but in the meantime I wanted to share with you a quick and easy window treatment that you can use to easily update, or in our case, color-correct, a room.  I call it Panel-ies or Panel-ease.  My drapes from our old house were still in good condition when we moved, but weren't exactly the right color for our new rooms.   Here are some befores and afters:

The drapes are a darker tan color that doesn't go with blue exactly.  So I used some old fabric to come up with a new window treatment that didn't cost a lot or involve a lot of effort.  I simply hung the old drapes and added a strip of this blue and tan paisley fabric in front of the drape.  (As long as both colors are present in the fabric, it should work.  The other factor is scale of the fabric, one patter should be approximately twice the size of the other pattern, in this case, the wallpaper.)

They are not even sewn together so I can still change them out with another room or another panel-ly.  It livens the window up a bit and allows me to coordinate with what we had.  It won't last forever, but will let me take my time planning for this bedroom.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with this fan!