A little inspiration for Rachelle

I’m so over-the-moon to share with you all today a recent reader question that came across the Dream Green DIY Facebook page. I’ve actually been working on this for a couple of weeks now – You know how you sometimes land a project that becomes more like a fun reprieve from reality than “work”? Well that’s pretty much the gist on how I felt about gathering swatches, colors, patterns and furniture for this reader’s home.

Rachelle came to me with a simple request for direction. She lives in a darling condo with a lot of really unique architecture – The bones are there, but she just needed a little help tying it all together. So I’ve been taking my time researching and dreaming up ways to transform her space from “rental” to “Rachelle’s home” – Even if she doesn’t plan on making this place her forever home, there’s no reason she can’t make a few tweaks here and there to make it something super special for the here and now.

So let’s start in the living room…

See what I’m talking about with the cool architecture? The sloped ceiling definitely makes for a neat space. It just needs a little refinement. So these are some of my thoughts…


rug (5’x8′ on sale for $128.40) curtains (on sale for $15.99 per panel) ikat pillow cover ($18.00)
chevron pillow cover ($16.00)

With a soothing blue and gray color scheme (inspired by Rachelle’s favorite colors), this hypothetical room could be one welcoming, calming space. Painting the room is going to take a bit of work with all of those angles, but I think it will be the biggest impact. The other major impact in this room is the rug. It’s pretty graphic, but I think the neutral wall color needs a little something to pump up the personality. A big rug (can’t BELIEVE the awesome price on this statement item) will help ground the seating area, which now seems awash in a sea of cream carpet. And lastly, new inexpensive curtains from Target and patterned pillows will be the finishing touches to give this room more of Rachelle’s personality, which she describes as vintage, comfy and classic.

As for the wall decor, I am loving the unopened mirror sitting on the floor!! I say hang that bad boy right up there with the other mirrors (maybe tape them off and spray paint the frames in a similar color – black? white? navy blue?) to make it a cohesive collection. Gotta love free art. For behind the sofa and TV, I think something BIG is needed. If giant store-bought art isn’t in the budget, pick up some inexpensive foam core board at the nearest art supply store for less than $5 and a couple yards of some punchy fabric (like this or this). Simply wrap the fabric around the rectangular foam core board and adhere it to the back using duct tape. Oh, and a new frosted glass globe from the hardware store will refurbish that bare hanging light bulb in no time!

Now let’s move on to the office/guest room. Here’s the current layout and look:

This room gets GREAT light and I love the tree peeking out in the background from the window – Again, it just seems to need the finishing touches. Forget buying all new pieces – I have a few suggestions to amp up what Rachelle already has to make things come together.


curtains ($49.99 per panel, although I think you can find cheaper versions in places like Wal Mart or Target), orange pillows (already owned, pulled from living room), rug (already owned), couch (already owned, but slipcovered $89.99)

For the “lounge” area, as I’m calling it (i.e. the space with the loveseat and rug), I would say splurge on some curtains to add warmth to the window and a white slip cover for the couch. Draping rich fabric around the window will soften the look, while a neutral white slip cover will make the couch less of a focal point – I think the view out the window deserves the attention! As for the pillows, no need to buy those new – Rachelle already has a great set of funky orange pillows in the existing living room set-up. Simply bring those in, with new orange drapes to carry on the color scheme, and she’s good to go.


orange lamp ($32.99), rug (already owned), desk (already owned, just painted white), DIYed/thrifted gold framed cork board (tutorial example here)

As for the “office” area in the space, I really like Rachelle’s unique desk – Check out the “x” design on the side! That’s definitely a keeper, but if it were mine, I would give it a nice glossy coat of paint. Based on the rest of my proposed design, I’d go with a neutral white so it doesn’t overpower the rug and textile patterns. If she’s feeling gusty, I’d also encourage Rachelle to paint the black bookcases white (which she told me she’s since fixed). Finish it off with an orange lamp to carry on the color scheme, a vintage-frame-turned-cork-board and the ribbon memo display she already has. Done!

And last, but not least – The bedroom…

LOVE the color on the walls – Don’t touch that! And I also really love the bed spread – It sort of carries through the graphic prints I proposed for the rest of the home, so I say hold on to that too. The only things I can think to add are curtains, a mirror for the vanity and a headboard.


curtains ($17.97 per panel), vintage mirror (search thrift stores or ebay for this, probably will be in the $40-$50 range), bed spread pattern look-a-like (already owned), estimated wall color (already done), white vanity and bench (already owned), shutter headboard (DIY project tutorial found here)

In Rachelle’s email to me, she mentioned doing a DIYed headboard using shutters or fabric – Either direction she goes will be a beautiful addition to the space. As for the curtains, I chose these inexpensive panels from Wal Mart that mimic the wall color and also incorporate a VERY subtle damask pattern. A vintage mirror is the last touch to give Rachelle a classically feminine oasis to retreat to.

If you have any other suggestions for Rachelle’s home project, weigh in with thoughts in the comments section! Hope we are able to inspire you, Rachelle – Thanks for including us in your dreaming.

P.S. I announced the Art Carried Away shop giveaway winner!! Click here to see if it was you.

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