As we’ve said previously, we are focusing our efforts on the common areas of our dream.  That means the kitchen and family room are getting a lot of love right now.  The dining and living rooms must be incredibly jealous.

Our kitchen and family room adjoin — so they’re basically one big room.  And that’s exactly what we want it to feel like.  However, as you’ll see in future posts, the kitchen is light and bright, the family room is more subdued with darker colors.  We needed to tie it all together somehow — and fabric is the answer.  Fabric for valances, dish towels, table runners, placemats, napkins, aprons, pillows, drape panels, quilt, stretched frames, shower curtain, bed spread… uhh… now we’re getting a little carried away.  Okay, just a nice fabric that we could put in key spots (without overdoing it) to tie the two rooms together.  In Style magazine June 2008 gave me the perfect answer:

Schumaker's Chiang Ming Dragon

Schumaker's Chiang Mai Dragon

She’s gorgeous!  I heart her.  She is so out of my league.  This was from a spread on actress Kristen Bell’s house.  A quick Google search prooved that this fabric is so fab, everyone is dreaming about it.  Your best chance of getting it is to stalk Ebay like a drunk ex-girlfriend e-stalking her former lover.  Not happenin’.  I am happily married, thank you.

So, with ripped out magazine photo’s in tow, I set out fabric searching with a pro:



After measuring (thrice!) our three target windows,

This montrosity is 5'x6'!

This montrosity is 6'x5'!

We set out on quite the trek.   My mom is an artist, not prone to organizational skills.  However, she proved me wrong (and spoke my language) on this day.  Bringing with her an intinary:

On the list: six home fabric stores!
First, we gotta fuel up for the day…

In all, we visited seven fabric stores that day and literally saw thousands of options.

So many options...

Where do you start?

One of these made the short list... can you spot it?

One of these made the short list... can you spot it?

Having Chiang Mai Dragon in mind helped tremendously.  We were able to whip in (and out) of many of those stores fast if I didn’t see something close to my beloved unattainable dream fabric. By the end of day one of fabric searching, I took home two samples.  (Both from the first store. Cue: rolling of the eyes.)

Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

The samples from these two beauties sat taped to our dream’s walls for a week.  Something was not quite right.  Option #2 was too dark for the light and bright kitchen.  Option #1 was too white for the darker and subdued family room.  So, I set out again – venturing to three more fabric stores.  At the last stop, store #10, I spotted her.  It was love at first sight.

EHarmony couldn't have matched this better.

e-Harmony couldn't have matched this better.

And there she is.  No dragons are involved, but she is sassy and classy.  (And very “Pottery Barn” – I do a double take every time I see a photo of PB’s Deirdre design.)  We love her.  Even better, she was on sale — 20% off, and she was a housewarming gift.  So, now 13 yards of this free-to-us fabric dream sits rolled up in the corner.  Ready to be transformed into 3 valances, several pillows, 1 table runner, 1 shower curtain and many future blog posts.

About Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin is a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom. She's also an award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional. Michelle spent nearly a decade working in television newsrooms across the country, both behind and in front of the camera. Training future broadcast journalists in her faculty associate roles at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and at Arizona Christian University was a cherished focus of her post-TV career. Today, she maintains a roster of public relations clients focused on empowering fellow “momprenuers.” She also serves as a speaker for various women's and mom's events. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and Master of Mass Communication (MMC) from Arizona State University. She and her husband, two young kids and English bulldog call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.


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