Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

Sarah Richardson Dining Room

I‘m just starting to get into a decorating groove around here. Even though I’ve lived in this house for three whole years, I finally feel like I can devote some time to working on my house.

I’m a little more sure of what I want this house to be like. I know what my house feels like in all seasons. I know how we live here, as opposed to how we’ve lived elsewhere. I feel like I am ready for this to be home.

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

Sarah Richardson

I’m also figuring out what this house is NOT going to be like.

At first that can almost be a little bit like grieving because you have to say no to so many options that you really like, but that aren’t going to work for your house right now. So you say good-bye and start refining exactly where you are going.

Yet once you start figuring out what path you are going down, all decisions come a little easier. You feel freer and more excited to get going! At least, that is how I feel. Maybe I’m strange.

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

Sarah Richardson

It is also a little bit scary to move in some directions though, if you are not choosing a simple path. Simple whites or solids are lovely too, but it is not the direction I’m going. Mixing colors and bold patterns is not always the easiest way to go, but I’m willing to risk it and have fun with it!

I adore Sarah Richardson’s style in so many of the rooms she’s designed.  She does pattern and color well.

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

Sarah Richardson

Sarah feels that each room in a home can be unique. I like that. I do like my house to flow, but I don’t think it has to flow in that every room looks exactly the same. In fact, that is not fun for me! I don’t want to keep designing the same rooms over and over with only slight variations.

I want each room to be fresh and unique, but I will still try to have certain threads of style or vibe that tie it together. That is what I’m working on right now in my house. It takes a bit of tweaking to make it all work, but that is part of the fun, right?

So after creating the inspiration board for my home office, the next step in the process was to get brave and actually buy the curtains. They are BOLD and that always makes me a little nervous. I was holding my breath until they arrived!

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

Anthropologie Mantadia Curtains

While ordinarily my mom makes my curtains for me and they turn out beautifully as well as save me money (remember my $30 curtains? and my recycled dining room curtains?) this time I fell in love with the bold pattern, color, detail and texture of these Anthro curtains.

I decided if I really loved them, they’d be worth the splurge as they will be the focal point of my office and in fact, set the stage for my color scheme and style in this house.

Now before anyone gets all bent out of shape over the price of Anthro on a budget, sometimes a splurge is worth it they fit into the overall budget AND you are in madly love with them.

So I ordered the curtains cautiously, fully expecting to return them but once they arrived if I wasn’t in love with them. I couldn’t tell for sure how I felt about them from the pictures online and I waffled back and forth about other options.

But much to my utter shock, I gasped with JOY when I pulled them out of the box. JOY! I might have even WOO HOO’d. They are TO DIE FOR. So, with a payment from an unexpected job and the excuse of a birthday discount, I made them MINE!

No guilt! No regrets.

By the way, if you like the pattern on my curtains but want to make some yourself for less, there is some fabric here that is a lot like it!

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

This is the window (before curtains) in my office. The walls are NOT painted yet, by the way. It is still sporting its swine walls! The curtains will be hung just like my dining room curtains, stationary and to the sides as to not cover up the window or molding.

As I mentioned, the curtains in my office going to pretty much be the jumping off point to tie color and style together in my entire house. They are fun, whimsical and remind me of a long-ago vacation my husband and I took to the lovely Hawaiian island of Lanai and a Four Seasons Hotel called The Lodge at Koele Bay.

I love decorating in a way that bring happy memories to our home!

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

I was in Lanai about 20 years ago and the hotel may not be as stylish today (maybe I need to fly over and find out?! YES!)  but I hope to capture the vibe rather than actually copy the exact decor of the hotel. It is a feeling I want, not necessarily an exact replica of the style. Although it was an AMAZING hotel.

The hotel was full of color, stripes, bold pattern and yet had a refined island or British colonial sense about it, with antiques and gorgeous furniture.I just loved it. I was actually horribly sick from the choppy boat ride to the island and once I got to the hotel I finagled my way into a room to rest!! It worked out well because I got to see more of the hotel, ha!

As I’ve mentioned I adore the contrast of serious and whimsy in mood and color. And that is what I hope to capture in my house.

See the bird of paradise in the pattern? I love that bit of fun and whimsy.

Next in the home office redecorating saga, I’m going to show you my new chairs! YAY! I’m moving along, slowly but surely.

Defining Directions: Colors and Patterns and Curtains, OH MY! {and my home office Anthro curtains have arrived!}

UPDATE: You can see how the office turned out (above) and find an updated post about the office right here!

I’m excited to round more corners in making my house feel like home! I’m glad you are coming along for the somewhat scary ride!! 


  1. Absolutely IN LOVE with the fabric of your drapes. Fun. Classy. Warm and Inviting. Perfect! Trying not to be jealous. FAIL.

  2. Love those!! Can’t wait to see how they influence your whole house!

  3. Those are great Melissa. One of my favorite stores!!

  4. I love the second room you feature by Sarah Richardson. I was wondering if I could do the “chair rail” type thing in my own room, but there I don’t have the same slanting ceiling feature…would that look strange?

  5. Hi Melissa, I think I have been at the same hotel on Lanai, only it was about 7 years ago, the Lodge at Koele, gorgeous ! I understand if that’s the vibe you’re going for, I could see your new curtains there, so pretty.

  6. I can see why you picked those curtains. The colors that you can pull from them will have the rooms flow without being boring. This is exciting!! I’m thrilled to see a return to some color and touches of wallpaper. You have a lovely home to work with. It’s going to be great! I agree just have FUN.


  7. OMG – I love it!!! Can’t wait to see them up and all tied into the room decor. Wow, wow, wow.

  8. Love those Anthro drapes- they will be incredible in that room!

  9. I think the curtains are amazing! And having just looked at every available curtain in Kitsap County and being totally unimpressed, sometimes you’ve got to branch out and look elsewhere! Actually, I made mine, but if it makes you feel better, decorator fabrics are still way pricey. The nice thing about buying them too is that if you hang them up and are unsure, you can still return them. When you buy all that fabric and sew it all up, you’re committed! I hung ours up and thought it was overkill, but I’ve come to love them! It was a big change and big changes are scary!

    I can’t wait to see your room!

  10. Oh my! I really love those ideas and I would love to have it in my house now…

  11. I love the drapes. Just to-die-for. I also love Sarah Richardson. I have been in my house for 6 years and it’s so different from my past home(one that I loved). I am just now starting to feel at home. I like this house but I’ve never loved it. That may be about to change. I can’t wait to see your office when you’re done. I’m sure it will be so beautiful.

  12. Sarah Richardson is the queen of pattern- she does it so well. Your drapes are beautiful – it will pop against your wall color

  13. Love the drape pattern – there is so much to play off of in each room. And, yep, a little whimsey can bring a lot of joy.

    (Coincidentally, whimsey was intentionally invited to our wedding a couple years ago. And, I’m glad it showed up with bells on!)

    The birdie’s cute, the casualness of the lines in the pattern will let you be as free as you want, and you can still bring your grace and elegance to the room – like you always do!

    Can’t wait to see the rest as it unfolds!

  14. Love the drapes! I look fondly at them everything I’m on Anthropologie, but they would not work in our house. And I’ve come to terms with that. So I look at them longingly in the catalogue, and now apparently your blog! :)

    After watching each and every episode that Sarah’s made, I think Sarah would approve of your choice- she always starts with fabric and often with one of many colours.

    Enjoy your new curtains! I can’t wait to see the rest of the room.

  15. Those are fantastic curtains! Wow!

  16. Your curtains are gorgeous, and I agree that a splurge on something you love is well worth it. Also loved Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse pictures. She does have great style.

  17. We have two things in common…Sarah Richardson and anthropology…I am always stopping in at a nearby store to check out the sales…great furniture knobs and handles can be had for very reasonable prices. I also purchased two unusual lamp shades with dark navy background and paisley patterns…love them still. You will be able to pull any color out of your curtains for wall paint choice…they are stunning. Don’t you just love those old wall brackets in sarah’s dining room…she’s a go-to inspiration especially in that house. Wish her show would come back ASAP! I enjoy your ideas! Thanks, Judy

  18. Sooo looking forward to the room reveal piece by piece!!

  19. Elizabeth says

    I just have to say, Melissa, that I love everything about what you’re doing and thoroughly enjoy how you approach design. You’re very real.

  20. You are a tease!!!!!!!!!!
    I feel like I’m reading a newspaper serial in the ‘olden’ days!! You got me and I CAN’T WAIT for the next installment!
    Your curtain choice is stunning. I love the curtain colors. I love color. True, I like tone on tone and rooms that are various shades of whites. But curtains like those will make any room come alive. So happy for you to have been able to get such a wonderful treat!
    P.S. I scored some roadside treasures yesterday. Four french provincial cabinet doors – 6 ft tall with mini chicken wire insets. Now…what to do??

  21. Beautiful curtains…I love strolling thru “Anthro” at my mall…such unique and beautiful items…That Sarah Richardson series is my favorite…I could watch that over and over again…hmm..wonder if there is a DVD..

  22. So lovely! And – side note- I loved seeing those Sarah Richardson photos because it made me realize that maybe I’m not a total weirdo for loving my single panel curtains in the living room. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out to hang two up symmetrically. :) You can see what I mean in my Spring Has Sprung post:

  23. I love this! I’m the same way – I’ve lived in my house for over two years and I’m just starting – starting, mind you – to feel I’m ready to make any kind of decision at all about it.

    I also love the first photo you posted of the Sarah Richardson dining room. My house has a bump-out window, too, except it’s shaped more like a bay window. It has the same lack of space at the top immediately above the window, and I’ve been struggling to figure out what to do with it other than blinds. I like how she handled it.

  24. Melissa,
    I too love Sarah Richardson and always marvel at her ability to layer pattern upon pattern along with bold color choice. I know you can achieve this and I look forward to seeing some of your finished rooms as you journey this path.

  25. On a totally unrelated note, I LOVE Sarah’s dining room chairs! I’m so glad you posted those pictures. I’m on the hunt. Thanks!

  26. I am a die hard no pattern curtains girl- but you really pulled this off. Lovely

  27. I agree with you Melissa. Sometimes a splurge can add something to a room that will set the tone for everything else. It’s like wearing one designer piece and everything else doesn’t have to be expensive. That one splurge piece makes everything else sing! Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  28. Isn’t that what planning, and diy-ing and painting yourself is for?? so you can splurge on one or two of the dreamy things that MAKE the space!!??
    SO glad you went for it. It is going to be amaze-ness!!!!
    HUGS girl!
    – {dar}

  29. Oh, I do love all of those pictures of Sarah Richardson’s style, YUM! And those curtains you chose, can’t wait to see your office once they’re up! Lovely colors!

  30. I love your new curtains! I can’t wait to see how they will look when they are up!

  31. You’re off to a great start..Sarah would be proud! “Canadian House and Home” is my “go to” magazine. franki

  32. sorry to get off topic from those adorable curtains, but I haven’t seen the final results for the vent/faux fireplace SCREEN idea you were working on- how can I find that? thanks!

  33. I absolutely love your curtains! I had actually seen a wall hanging in that same print several years ago (that I NEEDED) but have never been able to source it. Maybe it was a rug used as a wall hanging? Anyways, I don’t know how I’ve missed those at Anthro. Doesn’t it feel great going for something a little more “daring” instead of sticking to the safe and comfortable neutrals? You totally won on this one!

  34. I too love how Sarah Richardson “does” a room- or a whole house for that matter! You’re on a good track with those curtains. It will be fun to see you the rest evolves! Thanks for the great post!

  35. Oh man, did you have to show me those from Antro? Now I have to click over and look :) I love the alternative fabric you posted from It’s beautiful and I have a coupon from them! Thanks, just what I need is another sewing project! Have a great weekend!

  36. Oh, I love your curtains! I can’t wait to see them up.

  37. Hi. Do you have a tutorial or ideas for extra long curtains? Our formal living is a two story ceiling and I was to make faux panels that don’t go all the way across the extend from floor to ceiling.

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