Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lampshades, Slip Covers and Forgotten Corners

So I have been chugging along trying to make some progress in the living room since my last post. I got the sofa slip-covered and started painting. I also realized I forgot to show you the last corner of the living room. So I figured I should start with that.

We have the TV in one corner of the living room which you could see in this picture.

In the front 2 corners we have the toy box and Aleena's desk.

The toy box is under the window and Aleena's desk is against the shared wall for the foyer.

The last corner is where we have been stashing a bookshelf that holds our movies and some books and it doesn't get much attention.

So things start to accumulate. I am a little embarrassed to show you some of the pictures you will be seeing today but at the same time showing them to you will be good motivation for me to fix it! We have plans for a small table/desk in this corner moving the bookshelf to where the love seat is currently. Just wait- it will be a much better use of space.

We use this lamp all the time since it is the dark corner of the living room. I got it because 1. it has a mercury glass feel and 2. it reminded me of leaves. But I hated really wasn't fond of the shade. I got an email reminding me that Pottery Barn put a whole bunch of stuff on clearance and I saw this.

I loved the texture!! So I figured I would give it a shot. 50% off was a pretty good deal. So we started here.

and ended up here.

The jury is still out. (sorry about the picture quality the camera is giving me fits today!) I think I need to live with it before I decide. I LOVE the shade. LOVE. Just not sure it's right for this lamp. It's definitely better than the other shade though.

The other thing I wanted to show you is our slip-covered couch. I really struggled with the slip cover. Our couch is so weird. The back cushions are sewn on and it was hard to tuck in the extra fabric to make everything smooth. I love the color. It makes the room so much lighter. I just wish I was better at making the slip cover look good. Helpful hints are welcome if you have slipcover experience! I want to preface this photo with a warning.- this is how my house looks right now. The empire dresser I am working on is stuck behind the couch.  Motivation to get moving!

I know it would be nice if the front were ironed. I would like that. I was more worried about getting it ON the couch. It's a starting point at least! The ticking pillows are staying but I am going to switch out some of the other ones now that the couch is nice and light. No hurry on that though. I have a room to finish painting!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Trying to find my style

I cannot be the only one who struggles trying to find their own style. Yet every time I make a design choice recently it almost induces a panic attack for me trying to decide if it's the "right" choice and what people will think of it. Then I realized it doesn't really matter what anyone else will think of it as long as my sweet hubby and I like it. Ok so it may matter down the road when we go to sell the house but we aren't going anywhere for a while so right now it needs to be about making us happy.

We have been in this house over a year now and I would not declare any room as finished. Probably the closest thing to being finished would be the foyer.  Since there is a light fixture waiting to be hung, half finished table (went round 2 with the dining table and we'll call it a draw) in the middle of it and chairs that need to be reupholstered in it (now that the cat has been sharpening his claws on them even though he has a scratching post) I still am not feeling like it's anywhere near being done.

I guess where I am going with this is that my goal for this year is to have a room that is DONE and in my style AND budget. I am heavily influenced by many beautiful blogs but none of them would be MY perfect house.For instance, I Love, LOVE Miss Mustard Seed's home. I have always wanted a blue and white room (almost her whole house is blue and white) but when I try to do it other colors always seem to creep in. Then I feel like I failed because it doesn't look the same. But it's not supposed to because it's MY house. So I am telling you, and asking you to hold me accountable, that I am finishing my living room this year.Yes I know I still have to work on other rooms too (kitchen?!) but since we spend the most time in the living room I think it makes sense to focus on that room. So let's take a look.

When we first came to look at this house we saw this.

Sorry the pictures aren't great but I was juggling 3 kids and trying to take pictures. We really wanted to refinish the hardwood but if you recall we had a small issue with that.

Trying to get that carpet padding off the floor in just the living room and dining room would have cost more than installing carpet in those 2 rooms PLUS the entire upstairs so we went with carpet. Total bummer. Someday, right? Right now a typical day for this room looks like this.

So what can I tell you? Well... the couches are something that Sweet Hubby and I picked out together shortly before we got married and they totally don't work in this room. They are just too big. Not to mention it makes it feel like a black hole on the side of the room that they are on. The loveseat used to be in front of the windows where my 2 painted chairs are but it was up against the radiator and that was no good so we moved it. Now it it sticks out so far that I can't even put the coffee table between the couches.

Noticing some peach paint on the wall down there at the front of the room? Yes, yes you are. I had MANY paint samples when I started to choose my paint color for this room. I found one I REALLY liked. I started to paint the room but not the front because it had been blocked by the loveseat. Have you ever visited Melissa's blog The Inspired Room?  She is renovating their house ( it looks amazing! Check it out!) and the previous owners had a paint color on the wall she likes to call swine. Well my paint choice looks a whole lot like that during the day when the sun in coming in those front windows. At night it's lovely but during the day... awful.

Curtains- I had them hanging in our dining room at the rental. I like that we can open the blinds and still have privacy but they aren't my favorite.

Artwork- yes one off centered wedding picture that is hung on whatever nail was already in the wall. sigh..

Fireplace/Mantel- The fireplace doesn't work. Can't get it fixed because no one carried the parts for it anymore. We realize we will have to do something to it before we sell but unless we win the lottery (which we don't even play) it won't be for a few years. The mantel has become more of a catch all, keep it out of reach area and I would really like it to be more than that.

Tentative plan-

1.Slip cover the large couch- I found a brand new Pottery Barn Slipcover on ebay for $60. Can't afford a new sofa but we can make this one look better and be easier to clean!
2. Remove the Love Seat- Might go in our bedroom or it might have to go away completely. I don't think it will fit around the corner upstairs. We'll see.
3. Paint the walls the same Bone White as the foyer. (I have paint leftover!) It might be too much white but I know I like the color and how it interacts with the color of the woodwork. I can always repaint.
4. I am mid-process on making drapes for the dining room. I may make more or something similar for the living room. The good news is that I can take the ones I already made and try them out in here before making the decision.

That is as far as I have gotten in my thought processes. I kind of want to start with those things and see where I end up. Do you have any suggestions or ideas? I would totally welcome input!


Monday, January 21, 2013


What good is a plan without a few hiccups right? It's annoying character building! After I showed you my project line-up I decided to start on the coffee table because it would be good practice for our dining table- same type of wood, similar shape - you get the idea.

The plan was to sand and stain the top and paint the bottom. Same as the dining table and giving some continuity between the rooms since they are fairly open to each other. The top of the coffee table needed some help.

But the top was easy- but I am going to draw out the suspense and not show you the finished version because of this.

I like a little distressing on my furniture but I couldn't get the lid off my bonding agent when I mixed my milk paint so I figured I would just take my chances. Bad idea.  More paint chipped off than stayed on. I knew I was in trouble when my milk paint started to like like this as it was drying.

So I have to get the lid off my bonding agent give the table another good sand and try again. THEN I will have after pictures for you.

Our "new" dining table has been sitting in the middle of our foyer since Christmas. It's been too cold to do too much but since it actually hit 50 degrees yesterday I decided to take my chances and try and get the top sanded and stained. I used 80 grit and took a layer off the table- seriously I was COVERED in saw dust.

You can see from this picture it didn't look like it needed much but I wanted to make sure the stain took evenly hence the 80 grit.

I thought I was doing really well until I stained it.

There are big patches where it doesn't even look like I sanded at all. Sigh. Bang head against wall. Game plan? I guess I am going to have to sand another layer off? I don't think I really have a choice. So yeah while I have been working hard I don't have much to show you right now. I know it will be worth it in the end so I will keep persevering!! I don't like hiccups when I get them or in my plans so hopefully this is it for these projects!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy New Year and a Line-up

Happy New Year!!

This being the first Christmas in 3 years where we haven't moved I thought we would have a nice relaxing holiday and I would be able to kick out numerous projects. Ha. Funny. Not so much. We dealt with lingering issues with the plumbing (as in the plumbing inspector didn't pass everything and the plumber had to come back) and sick kids (they took turns) and having Christmas Dinner here and other various guests- which was the fun part! But it meant I didn't get a lot of other things accomplished.

So my goal is to get a few projects out so we can get this house in better shape (and so I don't drive my husband crazy.)

I did get a little painting done so hopefully I will have a reveal for you soon on this project.

We have had the same dining room set since we were married. Actually it was Matthew's before we were married and it has been fine -but not my style. So my sweet, sweet hubby got me this for Christmas.

How awesome is he?! It came with 3 leaves and I just LOVE the legs. While it is nice in it's current state it's a little banged up and it doesn't match the rest of our furniture so I have some plans for it! It's just been a little too cold to get outside to sand it. I am still in search of some chairs to go with it and we will be selling our current table and chairs. I will let you know when I put it on craigslist.

We also have a very nice solid maple coffee table and end table that were my grandmother's but as we make changes I try to keep the styles consistent so I got a Queen Anne style coffee table from my mom that is in line with the style of the chairs I painted.

Again this is a little beat up so I have plans for it as well!

We also still have this project waiting for some more attention-

There will not be a lack of things for me to do. Also, as I complete some of these projects it will prompt some rearranging and hopefully we get some rooms that are more functional out of the musical furniture. I also thought about sharing some recipes with you if anyone is interested. Let me know!

Hopefully we will be seeing more of each other- Keep me on my toes and make sure I am getting stuff done!