Tag Archives | Ikea

Decorating UNschool: My Favorite Recipe for Windows

This post is part of my Decorating UNschool series… if you’re new here, you can find the introduction here and the other posts here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Nothing makes a room feel more finished than some beautiful curtains.  They are the icing on the cake and the jewels in the crown.  Often when I visit someone’s home for a consultation, I feel as though all they need are some beautiful long curtains for their windows and the room would have such a finished and put together feeling.

I know it can feel overwhelming, because there are so many options out there.  How and where do you get these beautiful and elusive curtains?  How do you hang them?  Aren’t they expensive?  How do you choose what color or pattern that will go with what you already have?

If you find yourself overwhelmed with those kinds of questions and decisions, I’m here to make it really simple for you:  Long white curtains hung high and wide on a black rod.  I’ve found this to be a pretty widely used and no-fail solution.  I’m not saying its the only solution, but I’m saying if you’re feeling paralyzed by the massive number of choices out there and you’re just not sure how to proceed, here’s a way that will look great pretty much every time.

Living Room // The House of Figs

Ikea Ritva curtains in my living room

The Ikea Ritva curtains are my absolute favorites.  They have a linen-like texture, are not super bright white (so they even look great on white walls) they hang so nicely, are a great price, and come in two lengths: 98″ and 118″.  Super long compared to your standard 88″!  The longer they are, the higher you can hang them.

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Two sets of Ikea Ritvas give fullness on each side of this master bedroom window seat.

The curtains should at least hit the floor and its okay if they puddle a few inches on the floor, but they should not be above the floor (unless you’re going for a specific look that is several feet above the floor, for example in a kitchen window). Do you remember that phase in the late 90s and early 2000s when if you wore your jeans too short it wasn’t hipster or ironic it was just plain dorky?  That’s how your curtains still feel if the wall is showing.  You don’t want to have highwaters on your windows, okay?

Sometimes when there are multiple narrow windows in a row, I like to treat them as one big window.  For example, in this living room below, it would have felt fussy to have too many curtains in between each narrow window behind the couch.  The homeowners hung one long rod all the way across three narrow windows and hung one panel on each side (sorry the pic doesn’t show them all).


Long Ikea curtains hung high and wide in this living room.

For this wall of windows, where the wall itself is sort of a focal point of the room, we put panels in between each window.  I also adore the texture that natural fiber shades bring in.  The bamboo shades in my house are from Lowes (kitchen and kids rooms)  and Select Blinds (living room). In this client’s home, the windows had beautiful moldings, so we hung the bamboo shades on an inside mount.

The Montgomery House_Master_4 Small WM

These are the Ikea Lenda curtains with tab tops in this master bedroom.

the nester curtains

source: The Nester

Fixer Upper Curtains

Even Joanna Gaines knows the secret of beautiful white curtains.

And now, how to hang them?  This drawing perfectly illustrates where your curtain rod should go.

Both windows are the exact same size, but window 2 has a much longer rod that is hung higher and wider.  My preference is all the way to the ceiling (or just under crown molding) if possible!  As you can see the window panels are not covering hardly any of the window at all in the picture on the right- allowing more light and the appearance of a bigger window.  This gives the whole room a larger and more designed feeling.

Curtains hung like this also take up more wall space, so there is less of a desire to hang “littles” in between windows or near windows because you have the big beautiful curtains.  When you focus on the main important pieces of the room: “the bigs,” you find you don’t need as many “littles” to compensate or fill in for what’s lacking.  When you have great lighting, a great rug, curtains that are hung well, a furniture layout that works well for your family, it really is true that “less is more.”

So what do you think?  Do you have curtains in your home?  Have you ever bought Ikea curtains?  I do love beautiful patterned curtains as well, but white or cream curtains are definitely my favorite!  How about you?

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HandUp Global Goods Office Design

Office Design // The House of Figs

Now that I’ve shared with you about this nonprofit that has stolen my heart (missed that post?  read about it here) I wanted to show you how HandUp Global Good’s office design came together.  Here’s the original design board I created for it.

HUGG Design Board

I was going for a modern global feeling that was also light and bright.  We did make a few changes along the way that worked well for the function of the office, but I was so pleased to see how it turned out.

HUGG Office // The House of Figs

Please take note of the amazing original old wooden floors!  How gorgeous are those??  The gallery wall above the desks includes functional pieces like a dry erase board and a cork board but also some inspiration like this map of Haiti and a few prints from Lindsay Letters.  One says “Live Creatively” and another one “Be Brave.”

HUGG Office // The House of Figs

This company is giving sustainable work to former street children in Haiti that are aging out of an orphanage.  The young men are skilled artisans being paid a fair wage to make beautiful bracelets.  Read more about it (and even see a short video if you want!) on their website here.HUGG Office // The House of Figs

Everyone I know who works stateside for HUGG is incredibly passionate and has been to Haiti several times.  They know these hard working young men personally and have come to love them dearly.

HUGG Office // The House of Figs

Its been a huge blessing to me to discover this company and I knew I wanted to be involved somehow.

Office Design // The House of Figs

They don’t currently have necklaces for sale, but I have it on good authority that there are more beautiful things coming… check out this gorgeousness they have on display!

HUGG Office WM_2

HUGG // The House of Figs

Office Design // The House of Figs

This is a fantastic company doing great things.  Looking for some meaningful Christmas gifts that can make a difference in someone’s life this year?  Look no further than HandUp Global Goods. I’ve already been checking a few things off my list. 🙂  Happy Monday!

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Living Room Tour

I realized I hadn’t really shown you my living room since we made a few updates to it, so today I’m sharing new pictures (along with sources at the end of the post).

Living Room // The House of Figs

The major update is that we sold our round ottoman (see the old pictures here) and replaced it with an actual coffee table.

Living Room // The House of Figs

We loved the ottoman and it was great for when we had littler kids but we had been wanting more space for drinks and books, especially because there really isn’t room for end tables with the sectional.  Also, our older kids are at the age where they like to play games and color in here.  Its been nice to be able to accommodate that now!

Home // The House of Figs

I purged some of the books and rearranged just a few things on the bookshelves.  The bottom few shelves house kids toys and books in baskets and bins.  I love having toy storage in the living room.  More on that later this week.

Bookshelves // The House of Figs

Even though I don’t really do seasonal decorating, I did find a few branches I liked at Hobby Lobby and those pumpkins on the mantle are real ones from the grocery store.  A few of the pillow covers have been changed out too to add to a cozier fall-ish feeling (the weather here in TX is finally starting to match too, hooray!)

Living Room // The House of Figs

Like I shared in this post, I brought down the ottoman from our youngest son’s room and I love having it in here now.  I keep that little side table empty.  Its so nice to have empty space, its just inviting.

Living Room // The House of Figs

Have I mentioned there used to be a window over the fireplace?  That was weird, you can read about that here.

Here are a few of the sources for the room:

Wall color: Olympic Willow Springs

Mantle color: Olympic Silver Dollar

HOME letters: Found in Round Top, TX

Bookshelves: Ikea Hemnes

Coffee Table & white lacquered tray: West Elm

Pouf: Amazon

Curtains: Ikea Ritva

Black & White pillow & blanket: Ikea

Roman Shades: Select Blinds

Gray Chair: Ikea

Rug: Rugs Usa

So that’s it for the living room!  One quick little fun thing… I’ve just recently joined Periscope and yesterday afternoon as Paul was taking these pictures I did a quick little broadcast of behind the scenes of the shoot.  Find me by searching for @thehouseoffigs!  The broadcast is still available for 24 hours after its created.  My camera work was a little shaky- sorry about that.  Still figuring the whole thing out. Are any of you on Periscope?  Come find me!!



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Going Dark- Black Walls

Black Hallway // The House of Figs

So I took my own advice last week about taking risks and did something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

Black Hallway // The House of Figs

I painted our upstairs hallway black.  I had some leftover paint from a black and white striped powder room we painted over a year ago and one Sunday afternoon I just started rolling on the paint. That’s one way to get motivated on a painting project you’d like to finish- just start rolling, haha! Once you start, you can’t go back!

Its not a huge hallway and has five doorways and a closet- all trimmed in white.  There’s also a big window.  I felt like for all these reasons it could really handle the black.  It’s also open to downstairs and with the new gallery wall going up the stairs, I didn’t want to have to hang anything on the walls that would compete.  The black is now interesting enough that I feel like I can leave the walls blank (except for the Ikea wire with some instagram prints on it- leaving that).

Black Hallway // The House of Figs

Here’s the view looking through to our little “library” and playroom.  I just love all the contrast.

Black Hallway // The House of Figs

I have to admit it felt a little crazy at first to have black walls but once we finished it I was completely in love.  It has transformed how the upstairs looks and I love not feeling like I need to hang anything on the wall. I’m a sucker for contrast in all forms and black and white is just so classic, you just can never go wrong with it in my opinion.

Thanks so much for reading, hope you’re having a great week!



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My Master Bedroom (And Gallery Wall Sources!)

First of all, thank you so much for your response to my gallery wall tutorial video!  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out here.

I have to admit, it was a scary thing to hit publish on that one.  Its always hard to try something new and put yourself out there in a different way.  I appreciate your response to it and to all my new subscribers- thank you and welcome!!  Today I’m going to share with you some more pictures of the bedroom along with sources for all of the artwork I used in the gallery wall.

Our bedroom was always been the room that is kind of the forgotten one.

The last one to get cleaned.

The one where we throw the laundry baskets when company’s coming over.

The one place where I didn’t really have anything decorative and stuff just kind of  piled up with no plan for organization.

I realize this goes against everything I believe in because decorating is not just for the rooms that are on display.  I know that my room should be a haven for my husband and I but even I get stuck in thinking that in order to make it pretty I needed to start fresh- new furniture, new bedding, new everything.

But we all know that isn’t really true.  I just needed to get creative. I stole some of my favorite art pieces from our powder room (like I mentioned in the video) to use in our bedroom.

Why was I keeping my favorite pieces in the powder room?  I guess I just felt like I wasn’t supposed to have all that color in my bedroom.  Bedrooms are supposed to be soothing and soft.  Spa-like, right?  But who’s rule is that?

Here are a few of my inspiration pictures that helped me get over my hang ups:

bedroom inspiration2


bedroom inspiration


I went and stole that art right out of the powder room, along with a few other frames I had here and there around the house, and made myself a gallery wall.  Once it was up on the wall, Paul and I just kept saying “Wow!” and “Why didn’t we do this a long time ago?!”

Master Bedroom gallery wall // The House of Figs

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs
Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Here are a few more pictures from around the room.  Its nice to have a little drop spot next to the bed.  Also, I could wear these two pieces of jewelry almost everyday- earrings are from Noonday Collection, Bracelet/necklace wrap is from Amazima.
Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

These are blackout curtains from Ikea.  I love them and how dark my room can be during the day!  As you can see we get a lot of natural light.

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Ever since baby number three came along, our bedroom has also been our home office.  We don’t do a lot of “work” here, but we do need to keep some files and things organized.  These floating shelves from Ikea help with that.

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Here’s a peek into our master bathroom.  Nothing fancy here, its very builder grade, built in 2000.  I’m thankful for the natural light in there and would like to update it eventually.  I’ve been thinking about how we can work with what we have- similar to what we did in our kitchen.  Instead of a drastic & expensive overhaul, how can I get creative and maybe just change out a few things to make a big impact?  That’s been on my mind lately, but for now, my favorite Ikea rugs and some greenery help a lot!

Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Back to the gallery wall! Below I’ll break down for you piece by piece where each thing is from.  Some of them are pretty unique, but a few are from my favorite sources and will hopefully be useful for you!

Gallery Wall Sources // The House of Figs

1.  This little print that’s hard to see is actually a piece of Cavallini map gift wrap that can be found at Paper Source or Amazon!  I also have several of their papers framed in my kids’ rooms.  Here’s one of my favorites (I have this one in my son’s room and have used it in a couple of playrooms as well.).  This is another one that I love- the colors are so great.  Like to travel?  Grab one from your favorite destination, like this one from London or this one from New York City.  My favorite in my daughter’s room is this one with the luscious pink cake.  These would be so adorable in a little girls’ room as well!

2.  I found this piece of vintage art in Round Top, TX.  I just love the seaside scene and the colors drew me in as soon as I saw it.

3. This horse painting was given to me by my husband for our anniversary.  He found it on etsy.  Its a super meaningful piece to me because he surprised me with it shortly after I started this blog and wrote this post.  So happy to have found a great place to hang it.

4. I ordered this personalized anniversary print online several years ago.  You can find similar ones on etsy like this one,  this one, or this one.  The frame is from Ikea.

5.  We bought this piece from a vendor on the streets of NYC when we went about 8 years ago.  Its Autumn in New York and I just love all the color.  The frame is from Aaron Brothers.

6. This is a printable from The Nester– you can get it for free when you subscribe to her blog!  It says “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”  A lovely statement for not only your home, but your marriage, and pretty much life in general!

7. This is a hymn card from Magnolia Market that I bought when I visited Waco a few weeks ago.  This one says “Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it.” And now I have a whole set of them that I can use in other places around the house.

8. This is a black and white photo of my husband and I.

9. I bought this camera print for my husband for Father’s Day several years ago on Joss & Main.  The frame is also from Aaron Brothers.

A couple other resources that I LOVE but did not use here- Naptime Diaries & Lindsay Letters.  I have some Naptime Diaries prints on their way for my stairwell gallery (see the video here) and I have used Lindsay Letters over and over for clients.  Just beautiful pieces!  She also has a line of things at Hobby Lobby that you may have seen before.

So there you have it… the gathering up of some random and colorful pieces from around my home to create this wall of art in my room.  It finally feels finished and like I place I actually want to hang out in. It doesn’t have be new, perfect, or like someone else’s idea of what a room “should” be.  Its our home, our style and its finally looking like it.

Thanks so much for reading!


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A Spa Inspired Master Bedroom- After!

A Spa Inspired Bedroom // The House of FigsEarlier this week I shared with you the before pictures of this master bedroom (if you want, you can see those here).  We were going for a serene and relaxing spa inspired feeling.  I am loving how it all turned out!  They already had a beautiful headboard, beautiful wood floors- a lovely blank canvas from which to begin.  We kept the existing duvet and added new pillows and a few new accessories and pieces of furniture.  I don’t like to be matchy-matchy and an easy way to avoid that is to add in lots of texture and neutrals.  The pillows in the back are Euro shams so they stand up taller, giving a fuller appearance.

Master Bedroom // The House of FigsThe big white lamps lend lots of light for reading in bed.  Everything is bright and reflective.  I loved these plants my clients already had! Any space can benefit from something leafy and green!

Bedside table // The House of FigsIts always nice to have a drop spot for those spaces that can become so easily cluttered.  A little bowl and a pretty box on a bedside table are perfect for holding jewelry and hiding the not so pretty bedtime necessities- chapstick, lotion, ponytail holders, etc.

Above the bed, I used two of my favorite prints from Lindsey Letters– I recommend her prints and canvasses all the time!  Beautiful words for marriage and for life, don’t you think?

Lindsey Letters Prints // The House of FigsSpa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of FigsSpa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

On the other side of the room, the tall chest of drawers was replaced with a wider dresser.  I surrounded it with a gallery of black and white family pictures and also added in a small reading spot.Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of FigsThe rug brings in a little more color and pattern without competing too much with the duvet.  I love how subtle it is here.  Even if you don’t have wood floors, you can lay a rug right over your wall to wall carpeting!  They make special rug pads just for that.

 The white curtains (my favorite Ikea Ritvas!) frame out that tricky window seat nicely making it feel like one large window.

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of FigsThis was a fun project and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Looking forward to sharing more with you.  I’m working on a few kids’ rooms right now and also finishing up The Spring Valley House.  More to come!  Thank you so much for reading!



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A Few of My Favorite Things: Ikea Edition

Happy Friday!  Anyone been to Ikea recently?  I do love a good trip to Ikea.  I’ve scoped out some of my favorites for you before (see that post here) and today I’ve got a few more to add to that list!
Work LampThis Ranarp work lamp is super stylish and I love the brass- it gives it kind of a vintage look!  Its hard to see here, but the cord is wrapped in a black and white almost houndstooth fabric.  Love the detailing!

Pink PillowI had never noticed these throw pillows there before, but I’ve got to use these in a little girl’s room sometime soon!  How sweet are they??!!

Medium PlanterIkea has got some great planter options right now.  They all come with plastic liners to keep them waterproof. Love the colors in this little one.

Large PlanterHere’s a big one that’s a little less bright for all you neutral-lovers out there (me, haha!)  Even though its neutral it still brings in so much texture to a space, especially filled with a big leafy plant!

Ingolf ChairThis Ingolf chair is one of my favorites. We have it in our breakfast room, which you can see here. I recommend it frequently for clients.  Its a pretty classic looking chair and you just can’t beat the price!

Desk ChairMy most recent trip to Ikea was the first time I ever spotted this sweet little chair.  Its a little on the small side, though not child sized.  Its the one we’re using in our oldest’s room at his new desk.  Its a gray color that just goes with anything and I’m loving the kind of farmhouse style!

Striped PlateA little striped plate??  Who can resist!?

Fintorp Rails

This Fintorp rail is so fun.  We got this with three of the white buckets for my daughter’s room.  She has it filled with colored pencils, markers, and crayons. I recommend these for playrooms quite frequently, but as you can see from this picture I found Ikea’s website, its super fun for a kitchen as well!

There’s my round-up of favorites for you!  Do you have any to add to that list?

As much as I love Ikea, there is one part that is definitely NOT my favorite:

Saturday at Ikea

Shopping and then standing in line with 1,000 other Houstonians. Its definitely a love/hate relationship with that place, especially on a Saturday afternoon, haha!

Thanks so much for reading!  Have a lovely weekend!


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