Why I made a mad splurge of $12 on second-hand curtains:
First of all, you have to understand that I loathe the color beige, which I strongly associate with dentists' offices and other unpleasantly grown-up spaces. And that the interior of this house is mostly beige.
Once upon a time, someone at a household textiles company told their designer, "Design a fabric for a woman living in a Fifties rambler that has been updated in neutral colors, who wants a more organic feel to the home." The designer came back with a pattern that had goofy modernistic rectangles in beige, off-white, and white in the background, and greenery with purple flowers in the foreground. The curtains fit very well into the bedroom, and really help to tie it together, even though the pattern seems cynically over-deliberate.
There is a principle here that I am trying to work out, which I call "Accept and Transcend". The curtains accept the basic beige room color, but transcend it by going beyond it into floral colors. I've been experimenting with this in several other rooms with the artwork that we have, two paintings and a photograph of natural subjects. Each picture has a little beige in it somewhere, so it accepts the wall color, but then each picture goes off into a different and much richer palette of colors from nature. I hung up a piece of birch bark in the bathroom that accomplishes the same thing.
I've since added a couple of pieces of wood furniture to the bedroom that seem to really glow against the beige carpet and walls and the very pale bleached woodwork. I salvaged an IKEA floor lamp that my husband was going to scrap and made a quick shade for it with thin sheet copper. The rest of the lamp is gray, and I am thinking of decoupaging over it with jungle green paper from magazine pages, since I am low on paint at the moment, and deep emerald green is a color that I would like more of in my home.