Open up

Sometimes the simplest changes can make a big difference. Exhibit A (the "before"):

Exhibit B (the "after"):

The before was from about a year ago - we finally got around to putting in some curtain hold-backs and I snapped this picture yesterday morning. It might not be super obvious from the pictures, but the room feels significantly larger now - just showing off more of that fun window (one of my yes-let's-take-it features) and letting in more light does wonders for making the room feel fresh and more interesting.

Of course, the addition of new books, a new pillow (tutorial coming soon!) and our oh-so-chic cat scratching post (just keeping it real!) make the room feel more polished as well. It's slowly coming together. It's nice that at least in this room we're just fussing with details now - only a few projects on the horizon, then it's just tweaking until I like it. At least until I get some cash squirreled away to reupholster (or replace) the sofa and chair someday in the future.

If you're thinking of adding curtain holdbacks, try Pottery Barn. I kept finding REALLY bad, ugly ones (or just not the right thing at all!) until I tried there. $30 for a set of two - not the cheapest but definitely not the priciest option either.