I just watched a home makeover show where they renovated an entire living room and dining room in three days — all compressed into 22 TV minutes.

And these blogs I read. One day you’ll see a grungy before shot of a room. And the next day? Dozens of gorgeous after photos.

I know better. I really do.

I know these are nothing more than camera tricks. Cleverly edited reveals that skim over the hard work between before and after. They are  design community equivalent of time-lapse photography. Because home improvement and home decorating projects take time.

But they shouldn’t take as long as my living room has — six months from concept to completion — when all I had to do was hang some curtains and some artwork and do a little accessorizing and fluffing.

living room with botanical prints and ballard designs susan kassler ikat curtains

You may remember back this summer I asked you to weigh in on some lamps I was pondering for my living room.

Well, that wasn’t even the beginning of the living room makeover. Nope, it had started two months earlier, when I had Rene from the blog Cottage & Vine stop in to give me her opinion on how I should deal with my living room, namely the huge expanse of wall behind the sofa and the wall of windows and doors in the room.

We moved some furniture around and Rene sent me a plan.

living room design plan mood board I ruminated on it for a while and moved some furniture around — relegating some pieces, like my handpainted secretary from Lucketts and my round Duncan Phyfe table, to other rooms. I brought in others pieces, like the green-and-white-end tables, stealing them from my antique store booth when I realized they would work perfectly in my living room.

Sometime around August, I ordered the curtains and bought the large frames for the botanicals.

And they sat in the living room — for months.

For the botanicals, I was a little concerned about the cost of such large-scale pieces. (But I’ll share later this week how I accomplished a large scale art installation like the one above my sofa for less than $250, including framing.)

But I think mostly I was worried that some of the DIY jobs would be a little too challenging.

How would I get 165 inches of curtain rod hung level, securely and without drilling dozens of holes in my wall? More importantly, how would I iron all that fabric?

living room curtains Ballard Designs Susan Kassler Ikat curtain panels

I called in an engineer to help. My dad. And in four kid-free and husband-free hours on Sunday, we got those curtains hung. The ironing was all me.

And speaking of getting things level? How would I get those botanical prints hung above the couch in the arrangement I envisioned?

living room inexpensive botanical prints

The answer. Math. A tall husband. And maybe a few extra holes in the wall.

I wish my photos did this room more justice. It was overcast when I shot them, so there were definite lighting challenges.

living room French settee and chalkboard armoire doors

Here’s a view of the staircase, the spoiled only child gallery wall, my vintage French damask settee and the chalkboard I made from old armoire doors to hide the thermostat.

I am so very pleased with how this room has turned out.

It really reflects my style. A little French. A little vintage. Colorful. Lots of different printed fabrics, both traditional and contemporary. (I’ll be sharing sources later this week.)

feathers in vase unique flower arrangement mercury glass

I love the unexpectedness of these feathers and a mercury glass ornament in a vintage green vase, one of many in my collection.

vintage gold french bird lamp

And this vintage gold accented bird lamp is one of my favorite pieces in the room.

I love my living room. I declare it “done” — for a few days, at least. Now it’s time to start decorating for Christmas.

living room with botanical prints and ballard designs susan kassler ikat curtains

For now, though, I’ll enjoy this space that is so very me.

Partying at the following places:


  1. It seriously is beautiful!! I am in love with all of the elements!! You did a wonderful job!!! ~ Lori
    Lori recently posted..Our Story of Down Syndrome…My Profile

  2. Looks great Amy – lots of space on the floor for you to do the Worm too!

    LOVE the large artwork – really makes great use of that huge wall!

    I hate ironing so don’t envy all that curtain work you did – but the results are worth it (and having 4 kid free hours is always a good thing)!
    Kelly recently posted..Horse Drawn Carriage White ChristmasMy Profile

  3. I’m in love! It looks just beautiful, Amy! I’m looking forward to hearing how you did those large scale prints.
    Suzy recently posted..Designer’s Christmas Tree Decorating How-ToMy Profile

  4. So pretty! I love the mix of fabrics on your sofa and the armoire doors! Smart and beautiful.

  5. What a beautiful room! Mine has taken a year to finish!

  6. it’s perfect in every way! :)

  7. WOw! What a gorgeous room. Great job!!
    Kim recently posted..Christmas Sneak PeakMy Profile

  8. Stopping by from WOW us Wednesday to see your makeover. Your room looks amazing! I totally understand how much work and how long it can take. I have been buying and working on projects for our master bath/bedroom makeover for more than two years. Patience is a virtue they say…

    I’m not good with measuring so my husband has to do all the curtain rod hanging. I can do basic picture hanging and even then have a few extra holes.

    Love how your room turned out. You should be proud!
    Bonnie recently posted..Christmas Decor PastMy Profile

  9. Amy, Your living room turned out fantastic! Love the bird lamp and the blue end tables, …and your couch, and the secretary …I just love it all! :) The curtains turned out great, too!
    Rhonda ~Ramblings of a Southern Girl recently posted..A Thankful HeartMy Profile

  10. Hey, Amy! You didi a great job! Our house has been 21 years in the making. Does that make you feel better? We’ve been in early married/little kid mode forever!

    Thanks for commenting on our hutch makeover. Yes, hubby is a pro and does a great job! It just takes him a while to join my project team! I keep hoping he’ll end up doing some of these things for a living instead of just painting. He’s majorly talented (in many other things as well).

    Let me know when you can do lunch!
    Marty Walden recently posted..How to Chalk Paint FurnitureMy Profile

  11. Amy……the room is gorgeous..love the window treatments…
    Shirley recently posted..Living Room Christmas MantelMy Profile

  12. I love these curtains- where are they from?

    • Atta Girl Amy

      They are from Ballard Designs. The Suzanne Kassler Ikat. I’m not sure if they’re still available, although you may find them on clearance or on eBay.

  13. Mollie Alvarez says:

    Love the curtains! Where did they come from?

    • Atta Girl Amy

      Sorry for my delayed response, Mollie. They’re from Ballard Designs. The Suzanne Kassler ikat. I’m not sure that particular pattern is still available, but there’s a similar version available. And you may be able to find some on ebay.


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