Fall ’22 One Room Challenge: The Height of Modern Cottage | Week 7

The Height of Modern Cottage Design Week 7: Show-Stopping Fabrics Take Center Stage!

Welcome to My Fall ’22 One Room Challenge Featuring Bold Design Choices in a Modern Cottage Style

I’m just so over the moon about participating in this 10th anniversary year of the One Room Challenge!

I look forward to sharing every step with you as the 8-week challenge goes on. Thank you ORC for hosting this wonderful event and I’m excited to cheer on all the other participants as we all take on this design challenge! (Psst…after you’re done reading my story, head over to the ORC Blog Page to read about the other guest participants’ designs.)

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up-to-date with everything I’m doing for my fall 2022 One Room Challenge.

This Week, I’m Sharing Cottage Style by the Yard with Fantastic Fabrics!

1) Window Treatments

2) Blanket Throw

3) Pillows

I’ve been hard at work for weeks on all aspects of my “Height of Modern Cottage” design, and now it’s FINALLY time to make my window treatments, a blanket throw, and pillows! Fabric is my favorite part of design and I am known as a window treatment specialist, so this is a VERY fun week for me!

Let’s get right to it! Woohoo!!

1) Window Treatments


My living room windows can take a bold floral, and when I spotted Thibaut‘s Indienne Hazel fabric while working with a client, I knew I wanted to use it in my design! The lively color palette POPS off my semi-gloss white walls and panels. Thibaut’s fabric is a STAR FABRIC for the room – I repeat the fabric with pillows and for the top of my tufted ottoman I reupholstered to coordinate with my husband’s plaid chair (which is also Thibaut’s fabric!).

I love to start with fabric when designing. I knew when I spotted the fabric that I could build my WHOLE design around it – and that’s what I did! Then, I looked in one of my big books of Thibaut fabrics and found a couple coordinates that I love just as much. You can see one of the complementary fabrics on the leading edge of the drapes (as well as on my entryway bench cushion).

Finally! After all this time of messy construction work, today’s the day I get to cut my pretty Thibaut fabric!

I flair out my fabric for every job I do. I love to lay it out so I can figure out exactly where to cut. It’s such an exciting time! Here we go!

I cut Thibaut’s Fern Stripe fabric into a banding to include a thin blue stripe so that a little blue will show when I sew the band onto the drape. It’s acts like a faux welt!

You can see that little bit of blue showing after I sew on the leading edge. It’s a nice transition point between the bold print and the red and white detail on the banding.

This is the back of my pleats for the drapes. That little red tool and ruler in the picture helps me position the drapery pins on the pleats. OMG! Putting in the drapery hooks means I’m about ready to hang the drapes for the very first time! Woohoo!

I really love a ruffle for the leading edge of my drapes – it’s so cute and cottage. This time, though, I chose to go with a more modern straight edge. The long line of the drapery edge draws the eye up to the newly raised ceiling line, emphasizing the “height” in my “Height of Modern Cottage” design!

Designer Tip: I double-lined my drapes to get the effortlessly full draping effect I wanted. Thibaut’s Indienne Hazel fabric is a light cotton, which is beautiful, but needs a little lining treatment to create more billowy fullness. I used both an interlining and a lining courtesy of Hanes Fabrics to create the effect I wanted – a technique to think about when discussing your next custom drapery project.

Now I’m finally hanging them one right after the other! One of the beautiful things about custom is that I was able to control the length of each drape so that they are suited for the different wall lengths perfectly. These drapes are actually 3/4 of an inch different in length to accommodate the change in floor height from entryway to living room. Custom is the way to go!

The 6-inch French pleats at the top are a little oversized to make for a nice feature at the top. And look at that leading edge in front of the window! The white almost disappears so the red looks like floating lace – a couture fabric detail! I’m so happy I pushed myself to create a bolder modern look for my custom drapes this time! They’re still cottage – but with a fresh new twist! I can’t wait to share the whole look for the big reveal happening NEXT WEEK!

Custom Drapery Rods

Sparks are flying! This is my husband Steve hard at work cutting the French metal tie-backs apart that would eventually become my two custom drapery rods. Steve really helped start to finish with my overall drapery rod design. First, he had to cut the decorative detail off the two antique tie-backs I found and then he had to weld, weld, weld! He created the rods entirely from scratch. Each one includes two brackets, with five separate pieces he had to weld together to make each bracket. The tricky part was getting the joints smooth enough so that they would disappear when he spray painted them black.

Each rod had to be built to a custom size to accommodate the square rings I bought to hang the drapes from. Everything goes together seamlessly. I couldn’t have done it without Steve! Thanks, honey! 

I bought my antique tiebacks from Bungalow Style in Fair Oaks, Ca. They came from Europe and the decorative fleur-de-lis-esque ends have the perfect traditional-meets-modern-Euro-flair I needed for my “Height of Modern Cottage” design.

I painted the rods black to continue the black accents throughout my new modern cottage design. The black paint was a gutsy move, and I’m so glad I went with it! The contrast of black against the white walls really shows off the intricate details of the star feature of the rod.

I also wanted the finial detail to hit nicely on the wall’s trim. The line of the rod aligns with the ornate crown moulding and dental trim for a clean look that exudes European charisma. The square rings add just the right touch of modern to this window treatment design for a fresh but traditional look I’ll enjoy for years to come!

Roman Shade

My white fabric has beautiful texture that I knew would give my roman shade a woven feel. I picked this fabric up a while ago and I’ve been sitting on it. I knew I would make roman shades with it and when I decided to redesign my living room, I knew now was the time to use it!

At the last minute I decided I wanted to put a trim on my roman shades so that they would have a little extra flair. I shopped for bandings but never spotted the right one. At the last minute I looked at my stash and went, “Aha!!” I saw this fun and flirty bead trim from Fabricut (Madrid / Bluebell). I put it next to my Thibaut drapery fabric and it was the perfect shade!

To make the trim a highlighted feature, I sewed it so that the beads would dance along the edge of the fabric. I then went for a non-traditional edge by sewing the edge over the top of the trim. It’s another modern power move to add to my “Height of Modern Cottage” design!

The bead trim in concert with the white linen fabric really helped coordinate the roman shade with the drapes. The glass beads on the Bluebell trim gives the roman shade a fun and flirty edge.

When my new roman shade is up, it’s a very nice, clean look. The fun part is when it goes down! I was thrilled to see how warm and welcoming the shade made my living room when it was lowered – especially at night! My new roman shades have a lot of function as well as beauty, and they complete my layered modern cottage window treatment design!

2) Blanket Throw

I used Thibaut’s Grassmarket Check / Red for my new throw blanket as well as a pair of pillows in my living room. The chunky fringe I custom-created for my blanket throw is so on trend and I had a blast making it.

Designer Tip: Make your own custom jumbo fringe!

  • Start with a loose-weave fabric.
  • To make the braided edge, first cut a clean edge on your fabric of choice.
  • Take apart the fabric bit-by-bit to fray the edge. (This is a great task to do while you have your favorite TV show on in the background!)
  • You may need to fray several inches of fabric to ensure you have enough to make the braid length you want.
  • Braid away!
  • The finished result is a jumbo custom fancy edge! So fun!

Thibaut’s fabric was the PERFECT choice for my cozy cottage blanket throw. It’s going to be so nice to curl up under it on a cold winter evening!

Featured Sponsor:


Thibaut’s prints are ideal for modern cottage design. All the fabrics I chose, especially the Indienne Hazel fabric really elevated my design to amazing heights.

Thibaut prints their fabrics overseas in England. The fabrics are all top-quality, with a vibrancy and crispness that makes them truly a designer’s dream.

The Indienne Hazel print was the foundation for my entire “Height of Modern Cottage” design. It takes a strong fabric to act as the foundation for a design, and I can always count on Thibaut’s designer prints!

I used several Thibaut fabrics in my design, including on my tufted ottoman, chair, and for pillows. Thibaut’s fabrics added so much panache overall to my modern cottage design.

I’m beyond grateful to have Thibaut as a sponsor for my One Room Challenge! They are OUTSTANDING to work with, and I absolutely LOVE all the fabrics of theirs that I used for this design. THANK YOU THIBAUT!

3) Pillows

White Linen Pillow

This is my favorite pillow! Would you believe there are THREE different fabric companies represented in this ONE pillow? Just look at the way the banding trim (from Fabricut) pops off the white linen from Greenhouse Fabrics. It’s to die for!! I also used Spoonflower’s fabric for the zebra stripe welt. The pillow goes so well on my cottage chair (High Plains Navy / White fabric courtesy of Thibaut). How fun to have a design moment in my living room that features all the fabric companies I love the most!

I love how the pillow turned out, but the other reason it’s my favorite is because I had so much fun making it! I loved sewing those bandings on the front of the pillow and enjoyed making that cute welt out of Spoonflower’s fabric. The way I cut it made it look like a zebra print – so cute!

Every step of this process was a joy and makes me love the finished product even more. It looks fabulous front and center sitting pretty on Thibaut’s modern diamond print!

Spoonflower/Danika Herrick – Trellis Print Pillows

I made three blue trellis pillows with Danika Herrick’s beautiful print (#11310161). The true white of Spoonflower’s fabric brightens the room and acts as a crisp backdrop for the blue trellis pattern. The fabric itself is a Belgian linen – perfect for cottage design!

This was a really fun fabric to cut because of the trellis pattern. I had to find the right way to cut the fabric to highlight the trellis pattern in the best way – something super exciting to work on! I also had to cut bias strips to create the zebra print effect for the welt.

Two of the three pillows have a flanged edge and will go on my sofa, but one has a welted edge and goes on my entryway bench (pictured above). Spoonflower’s trellis print fabric really is the anchor fabric in the rooms. Its light, lively, and cheerful – the perfect addition to my design!

Red and White Pillow

My solid red pillow is reversible! It’s a solid red linen on the front (Cowtan & Tout COCO / Ruby #11174-15) and a white linen on the back. I love designing for versatility and this seemingly simple pillow is the perfect example of that! I can flip the pillow whenever I want for a totally new look!


I picked the shade of red for this pillow straight out of Thibaut’s Indienne Hazel print fabric – it’s the exact red and I LOVE that shade of red!

The texture of this fabric is also divine. It’s another Belgian linen fabric moment. The fabric has a wider weave, which gives it a luxurious texture.

You can see my red coffee table peeking out in the background of the photo above – it features the same striking red as the pillow!

An added benefit of this pillow is that it really looks good from the side, especially on my bold striped chair. Sometimes simple is best, and that is certainly the case for my red and white pillow!

Thibaut Fabrics – Indienne Hazel / Red and Blue Pillow

I’m bringing my Thibaut Indienne Hazel drapery fabric in to the room to be experienced in an entirely new way! The focal front pillows for my sofa shows off the print pattern and feels silky-smooth when you sit down next to it!

I’m also adding welts to my Indienne Hazel print pillows with the same beautiful solid red linen fabric! The fabric really does most of the talking here. It’s just so fun to make pillows from this fabric! No matter which way they sit on my sofa, they look great.

I also made a rectangle pillow for husband’s chair, which features Thibaut’s Chandler Check fabric (Item #: W80076).

My new focal pillows create harmony and continuity throughout the living room. They’re like the cherry on top of my designer sundae! I can’t wait to feast my eyes on the entire design for the big reveal in JUST ONE WEEK! Woohoo!!!

Featured Sponsor:


Spoonflower is such a special company in the fabric industry! They do so much more than sell fabric! They offer customization galore right at your fingertips! When you purchase from Spoonflower you can do things like:

  • Pick the fabric you love
  • Pick a designer
  • Pick a print you like from any collection
  • Pick the COLOR of that print (hello, how cool is that?!)
  • Pick how much yardage you want and…order it!

(And you can do the exact same thing with wallpaper too!)

This is such a special fabric that it needs special care. Spoonflower suggests you prewash the fabric and line dry before you start to work with it.

I was so ready to start cutting my Spoonflower leafy trellis print fabric for pillows!!

Here I am constructing the flanged edge. When I work this way, I can see all the pieces laid out before I’m going to sew them together. I cut the flanged edge so there are two different patterns on each side – that means each pillow gives two different looks! Love that!

I also cut the print so that the edges would line up – a little detail with a big impact!

Just look at how cute these pillows are all stacked up! They’re like a little pile of joy – all thanks to Spoonflower!

Next Week…It’s Showtime! Woohoo!!

The BIG REVEAL is happening NEXT WEEK! I’m sharing ENDLESS DAZZLING PHOTOS of all three rooms. You’ll see the living room, entryway, and hallway from EVERY ANGLE with DRAMATIC BEFORE AND AFTERS… I hope you’re as excited as I am! Big reveal here we come!!

Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date when the FINAL CHAPTER of my “Height of Modern Cottage” design story goes LIVE!

See the rest of the story!

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6 / Week 7 / Week 8

My All-Star Team

I couldn’t possibly pull of a design of this size and ambition all on my own in 8 weeks! I want to introduce you to the whole team, so you can see everyone who’s going to bring this design to life! (Shhh…don’t tell, but we’re all in our sixties!)

Steve Hersh

My electrician, custom metal worker, and my overall handy guy (oh, yeah, and he’s my husband)! It’s great to have my husband on board supporting me and helping me make this design happen!

Bill Mott

Master carpenter in charge of building…well, everything! I’ve worked with Bill for years. He’s so skilled and passionate about what he does and always goes above and beyond. Just wait till you see the videos of Bill in action! You’ll be amazed at the work he’ll produce just like I am every time I work with him.

Martin Beebee

My incredible photographer! Martin has been instrumental for me when it comes to taking gorgeous, magazine-worthy pictures of my designs. He’s going to work with me throughout the challenge to take in-progress and completed design photos and I know he’s going to help show off every part of my design in the best light possible.

Keely Hersh (that’s me!)

Homeowner, painter, drapery fabricator, re-upholsterer, room stager, finishing detail work…the list goes on! (Oh, yeah, and I’m my own designer this time! What a treat to put my skills to work for myself!)