Throw in a headboard....

As I have mentioned, I'm a craigslist stalker. For a while I was stalking headboards, looking for an upholstered one for the guestroom that I could just recover with new fabric, as Jenny over at Little Green Notebook demonstrates in her girls' room, or a wooden one that I could build onto, like this one at High Street Market (love the nailhead trim). After a while I gave up and decided I would just build one from scratch, like I did for my girls room. I was thinking something like this

[via House Beautiful]

Awesome, no? But my carpenter (aka Mr. Heather) was not up for the challenge.

Luckily, just before Christmas my stalking paid off with a beautifully built queen headboard for $35--LESS than the cost of the raw materials to build it. Major score. It came from a total McMansion in the middle of nowhere, with rooms full of brand new showroom sets and zero character. The husband and wife each told me that it was custom built and that it was "very good"; I just nodded, thinking they might be sad to know I was planning to cut off the welting and staple some new fabric over their french toile.

But what fabric?

I love textiles, but I am cheap when it comes to yardage, and as I have mentioned a thousand times, I get almost everything from S. R. Harris, an amazing warehouse in Brooklyn Center, MN, where all fabric is 50% off and upholstery tends to go for about $7.49/yard. I made the mistake of going to Calico Corners this time, where I fell in love with some fabrics that fetched about 10 times that amount, like this navy chenille. It has this amazing texture like the navy fibers were sort of scraped away, revealing a gold base beneath. Delicious. This scan, of course, does it no justice.

But more realistically, I was thinking about this linen, Calais in Indigo, ($21/yard)

Or Ila from Annie Selke, in Chocolate, ($34.99/yard).

Oh, how I sweated those swatches! I only needed 2 yards of fabric, and thought I could splurge, but I took myself off to the warehouse and came home with samples that were truly all over the map.

This one had the texture of the pricey one from Calico Corners, but the floral pattern felt at odds with the graphic in the rug.

This one had the graphic, but read a little (okay, a lot) too Navajo.

To this one, my husband just said, "is that, like, silver zebra print?" Um, yes. Yes it is.

Our neighbor, who has a PhD in social psychology, recently told us that there are two types of decision makers: optimizers and satisfiers. I am wildly paraphrasing here, but a satisfier will look at a set of options and choose the best of those. An optimizer will continue to look, and look, and look, seeking the best possible choice. In the world. Guess which one I am? Right. But I am also trying to respect budgets, so I did what any CHEAP little optimizer would do: I went ahead and dyed some fabric myself. Obviously.

More on that tomorrow. And just guess whether or not that was the end of this quest?