So…it’s 2013. What? I trust everyone had a nice December. All your homes across blogland looked absolutely beautiful. We had a pretty tree which is now sitting next to me, undecorated. I can hear needles dropping with every keystroke. Someone really needs to vacuum around here.
I thought I’d update y’all on the state of our living room. Awhile back I posted an in-progress mood board of some of the changes I hoped to make.
– Replace the french side tables with something more modern
– Repaint with a less-pink gray
– Replace the rug with something neutral and add a zebra hide
– Rethink the art over the sofa
– Reupholster the bergère chair and possibly the velvet one
– Replace the lamps
Presenting, side tables:
Better, right? The scale is right and they even have antiqued mirror tops, which make them modern and yet ANTIQUE. I found them on Craigslist and when I went to pick them up the girl had this pillow on her couch and a house layout identical to ours. I think they were meant to be ours. Love Craigslist karma.
If you compare the before and after photos above, you’ll also notice the SLIGHTEST difference in the paint color. I spent a Sunday repainting the room from Martha Stewart’s Whetstone Gray to Behr’s Silver Drop. I finished and Taylor and I looked around and I said, “No one is going to be able to tell the difference.” But *I* can tell and that’s really all that matters. The old color was chosen to go with the pink in the rug, and it just did not transition well to the more neutral gray in the dining room. Drove me nuts!
Speaking of the rug… I ordered a seagrass rug from Myers Carpet here in Atlanta. I went big with it. Like, 15’10 x 11’6. I wanted it almost to be wall-to-wall. I think there’s about 12″ of floor showing all around.
It’s definitely not plush, but it kind of feels like you’re getting a foot massage when you walk on it barefoot. We’re still planning on the zebra—just haven’t gotten there yet.
I took down the mirror that separated the two beach prints. I feel like they work much better together. I wish I had 3 of them, to be honest. The long term plan is for Taylor to paint something for this space, but that might be awhile and I couldn’t live with the nakedness.
I finally put to use a pretty Tiffany platter that we got for our wedding. And a succulent that I’m sure will kick the bucket any day.
On the flip side of the room I added a sheepskin to the velvet chair. It never really works with a pillow, so this was a nice way to make it a little cozier.
I’m still digging the color scheme.
And I have a plan for the back of the china cabinet to pull it all together a bit more. It involves Rachel Zoe wrapping paper. Bananas, no?
Here’s the little white corner table. Another Craigslist score. The glazing job has grown on me.
So to recap where we are:
- Replace the french side tables with something more modern
– Repaint with a less-pink gray
- Replace the rug with something neutral and add a zebra hide - Rethink the art over the sofa
– Reupholster the bergère chair and possibly the velvet one
– Replace the lamps
The last two are not super duper urgent priorities at the moment. Those would be the 4 suitcases waiting to be unpacked and the laundry to do and the thank you notes to write… But we’ll get there.
If you’re still checking in on me after my sporadic posting this fall, I really appreciate it. I thank you so much for the time you spend with me!
So I pretty much just had the awesomest Thanksgiving week ever. I took off Monday and Tuesday, giving me the entire week off. And? I didn’t have to go ANYWHERE. It was pretty life changing. And the total opposite of Christmas, when we’ll go everywhere, so I’ll take the couch time when I can get it.
We had a nice family Thanksgiving with the kids and my Mom here. We also welcomed our friend Angie and her lovely parents who might as well be family too. I used our wedding china for the very first time and felt all grown up.
The wine glasses have been used once or twice, however.
I went with a sort of ombre flower plan. Our chair fabric has purple, pink and orange in it so I bought flowers in those shades and went down the long table from darkest to lightest.
Working in small, low arrangements, I went with the cheapie alstromeria found in grocery stores everywhere. Although I love gorgeous flowers, I think the “use cheap items in multiples for a big impact” theory works too.
Taylor did a bang-up job on the turkey, using the Big Green Egg. Sadie’s not so sure.
I was impressed with his herb collection, though I totally can’t stand parsley. He snagged the rosemary before I could shoot the picture, though.
And it was nice having Mom join us from just up the street! She’s doing really well with her treatments.
And, BEST OF ALL, we finished the turkey leftovers today. Wahoo!! I don’t think I could take another day of gravy.
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend and took at least 1 nap.
So before all the leaves fell off the trees, I wanted to share with you the end of the deck saga. Long story is, we love it.
The sectional sofa is from Target and it’s awesome. I bought it online and on sale, and though it still wasn’t exactly a steal, it was considerably less than similar pieces from Frontgate and Crate & Barrel. I did buy furniture covers (from Crate & Barrel, actually, along with the short green table) and we keep it covered during the week. So far, it hasn’t gotten caught in the rain yet. And depending on how cold it’s gonna get this winter, we may bring it in the basement.
Here you can see the center of the herringbone pattern. We really liked this look over the straight decking boards. And our railings have aluminum pickets (which never need to be painted) and the “Double Stack Cadillac” rails, which are the signature of our builder. We felt it added a little somethin’-somethin’ that makes it look more finished.
The patio set was from Taylor’s Dad. It and the Big Green Egg kind of set the tone for my green color scheme.
Along with all the greenery in the background, I figured a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” plan of attack was the way to go.
So those are the details. How about a big picture? Here’s the back of the house before:
We really like the bow front. It brings you just a smidge closer to the trees, which will one day crush us all.
There are two ways onto the deck, one straight off the carport and the other through the kitchen.
We have several tables in our basement. This small one is perfect for a little drink station. I forsee some Summer Beer action in several months… The napkins-as-tablecloth are from Target.
Ithink that about wraps up the tour! Hard to believe we started this back in May and now it’s done. Just in time for 50-degree weather…
The deck is done! And it is extremely difficult to photograph! So while I figure that out this weekend—I think the solution is morning sun—I will catch you up on the build and some of the choices we made.
First choice? This is not a DIY project. We saved up the cash, drew up a plan, researched contractors via referrals and Angie’s List, got bids and pulled the trigger.
Then a load of lumber arrived in our carport.
Then some very nice workers spent a week at our house building the whole thing.
It was so crazy to come home each day and see the progress they’d made. I could so get used to paying people to do things around my house other than the whole paying people thing.
You’ll have to stay tuned for the full after photos, but let’s chat about some other details.
First, Taylor quasi-begrudgingly refinished the grill table to match the stain of the deck, which is Chestnut semi-transparent oil-based deck stain by Sherwin-Williams.
We designed a custom nook just for the table, so we couldn’t justify putting the table into its nook with the wrong color stain on it.
Then, there was the issue of converting a window in our kitchen to a door that walks straight out onto the deck.
If you ever need door or window work in the Atlanta area, I can’t recommend New Life Windows and Doors highly enough. Todd (the owner) is a true craftsman and extremely detail-oriented. Let’s just say he does not use my measuring system of “39 and a half and 2 lines past the half.” He contracted a mason who sourced bricks to match our 1950s-era house to turn the window frame into a door frame that looks like it is original to the house.
Pretty impressive, right? I did freak out a little when I came home mid-door hanging process to find this scene.
They carefully removed the paneling (along with an electrical outlet) and replaced it once our outdoor electrical work was done.
For finishes, I picked out this door handle set—things you don’t think about picking out until you have to do it. And by “have to do it” I mean running to Home Depot on your lunchbreak because the door guys are at home waiting for the hardware you forgot to pick out.
They had a set that was a little less expensive—the one that the Young House Lovers just used on their new deck door, oddly enough—but I preferred the squared-off lines on the plates of this one. Also this one features the SmartKey system, so you can easily re-key your locks yourself (should the need arise) instead of having to get a locksmith.
Then for lights, I picked out a super cute sconce from Quoizel Lighting. I believe it is called “Ironwood.” I love the jaunty curves at the top and the ring. I originally wanted #5 in this sconce round-up, but upon further inspection, it was plastic and that just didn’t sit well with me.
Then on the corners of the house—the one closest to the carport and the one closest to the grill nook—we put in these flood lights from Progress Lighting. I liked how simple and unfussy they were. We also put them on a dimmer so that we can control the light better for nighttime ambiance. On our patio we had motion-controlled flood lights and you’d be sitting out there, mellowly enjoying your third glass of wine and someone would get up to go the the loo and all of a sudden it was like you just got caught escaping from Alcatraz.
I think that about covers all our decision making. And, don’t forget I got an outdoor sectional and made some pillows for it. As well as revived a plant stand from Goodwill. Here are some Before shots. Wish me luck with the light this weekend and I’ll be back next week with true “Afters.”
When we were planning our Spain trip I remember thinking that I had to track down a Zara Home and check it out. Then I completely forgot about it until we were on a double decker tour bus and we sped past one and I thought, “Dangit! Meant to go there.”
But never fear, because Zara Home is now in the U.S.!
And what is that I spy? It’s their Walton Mirror.
Which looks a heck of a lot like the one I picked up at the thrift store. (And am hoarding for something special.)
And the one Jenny hung in her entry way.
I think I paid under $30. Zara’s is $80, which is not insane. It says it’s wood… Zara’s is 21″ tall, which is the Mama Bear between Jenny’s Baby and my Papa.
Hi. Remember me?
I hate it when bloggers make excuses. “It’s been so long! I promise I’ll be better.” So I won’t do that. I’m here. Let’s move on.
So let’s talk about paint colors. When Taylor and I were looking at homes we both loved the houses that seemed to flow from room to room. Not that every room had to be the same color, but it was nice when the owners used varying shades of the same tones and the transitional spaces led you into the next room.
We’ve been thinking about changing up the living room. Still thinking…no actual progress has been made. But in trying to figure out the color palette, I decided to plot out the colors of our house. I saw this post by Emily Henderson, where she mapped out the colors that work for her and her hubs and decided to see what our house said about us.
Yes, that looks like a whole lotta crazy. So much for flow, huh?
Well maybe not so fast. These are the wall colors.
Okay. That’s a little better.
But I tried to pull out the similarities from room to room. Obviously gray weaves through the entire house (minus Sadie’s room) as the neutral. Pink and orange are in several rooms, as are varying shades of blue. And a color in every room can be pulled from our big Moroccan Mirror in the bedroom hallway. (Need to take a new picture of that–ugh!)
Also–it’s kind of hard to tell–but the order of the rooms is done in the way they flow from one into another. So, I tried to repeat a dominant color from one room to the next. So, orange is a main accent color in our family room and a secondary accent color in the adjacent dining room.
And then pink from the dining room to the living room.
And then turquoise from the front hall to the bedroom hall.
So I think that is very key in making your house feel like it flows. It should feel like you are in a completely different house when you go from room to room.
Finally I boiled down all the colors from the first grid and broke them out into Cool, Warm and Neutral.
What’s funny is that the 4 green/yellow/beige squares on the end don’t really look like they belong. And then I realized they are totally the colors I’ve picked out for the deck accessories! So, clearly I’m trying to make them fit in other places in the house. I’m feeling the green more and more and may try to phase it in in more spots.
Anyway, this is still a whole lotta colors. I’m not quite sure exactly what this says about anything. I wouldn’t say these are boiled down enough to be “our” colors, the way Emily did. But it sure was fun playing around with all these little virtual paint chips!
How do you handle the “color story” in your home? Do you stick to one or change it up as you go?
I went to get the mail on Saturday and waiting inside was the October/November issue of HGTV magazine.
I did one of those things where you stand in the driveway and tear open the mail. You can’t even wait until you get in the house.
Because this was inside!
I’m like totally famous! Ha. Not really. But it was really cool to see my nightstand project in there. I had sent a few things to the magazine so long ago that I don’t even remember doing it. Then, when we were in Spain, HGTV magazine emailed me to say they were considering running the photo in their Letters column and asked me a few questions about the project. I guess I did a decent enough job of waxing poetic about green paint because it made the final cut!
I like to think of Anna Wintour in The September Issue scrutinizing my nightstands. And Anne Hathaway coming in wearing a green sweater and not even knowing WHY.
The cropping of the photo is less than ideal, but what can you do.
Here’s the full before/after in case you never saw them:
And currently, they’re in the boys’ room, holding lots of PS3 games and warding off predators.
The color is Barnyard Grass by Behr, in case you’re curious.
And for the record, I’ve really enjoyed the magazine. It’s not as intense as a true shelter magazine and I like the DIY tips and the real estate articles, too. Plus they leverage the heck out of their TV personalities and it’s fun to get a better sense of their personalities in print.
Do you read it?
I asked Taylor when does life gets back to normal and he wisely said there is no normal. If you wait for normal to happen you’ll miss the whole ride. Ok then. Off we go.
I got Mom mostly settled in her apartment last weekend. There are still pictures to hang and Comcast’s inadequacies to deal with, but for the most part she’s set. Her treatments started today and so far she’s feeling good. Hallelujah. Fingers crossed for more of the same. As I was hanging a mini-plate wall for her, I overheard her say, “She thinks she’s decorating her second home.”
While she was pretty squared away in terms of stuff, I did pick up two items for her that we are both loving.
First, this seagrass trunk from World Market is a great price. 40 bucks! (And I had a $10 coupon, so $30 for me.) You can’t get a big basket half that size for the same price.
I stuck it beneath a console table to hold DVDs, extra cords, blankets, and general living room stuff. It looks great and it hides the cords from the TV above. I also stuck felt feet on the bottom so it can slide out easily on the hardwood floors. Win-Win.
Secondly, Mom needed a small ottoman. I found this one on Clearance at Target and it is perfect! I also slapped some felt feet on the bottom, but it’s just the right height and size and the Union Jack goes great with her things. (Light blue sofa, olive/blue/red striped wing chair.) A happy find.
Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be celebrating my birthday next week—the Samantha Jones “Welcome to my Box” Birthday—yikes. Aren’t I still 27?
I finally started working on a mood board for our living room…
which as you may recall, but probably not since I don’t show much of this room, currently looks something like this.
But anyway, here’s the beginning of a plan:
Blue couch (which is paler in real life than in the photo above. The one in the moodboard is from the Google.)
Bergere chair (reupholstered in a pinkish ikat? Possibly with painted or (lord help me) stripped wood?)
The “navy” chair (reupholstered in white linen? West Elm chair shown as placeholder.)
The pewter coffee table (the one in the moodboard is from the interwebz, but you get the idea)
Taylor’s grandmother’s china cabinet (it has glass doors on it, not shown in the moodboard. Will possibly cover foam core in fabric or paper to liven up the back.)
The french side tables. I realized everything is old and traditional and we needed some sort of modern energy to make this room feel like ours instead of our grandparents’.
The Nate Berkus Beach Art and mirror combo. Taylor hates. I like the beach stuff as a duo, not so much as it is right now.
The rug. It’s a lovely oriental. Unfortunately it’s the focal point of the room and I don’t want it to be.
Paint color. I picked Martha Stewart’s Whetstone Grey because it went with the rug. The undertones are all wrong with the adjacent dining room and I think we gotta go with Silver Drop by Behr, which is the next shade lighter on the card from the dining room’s Dolphin Fin.
A sisal/jute/seagrass type rug. Possibly with a zebra hide. (Is this over? Someone please tell me if this is over.)
Some sort of end tables with really clean lines, as I mentioned.
New lamps, possibly some Goodwill finds I have hanging around with polka dot dreams. These may go into our bedroom, though. Or the trash. We’ll see.
A large black and white painting courtesy of Taylor.
A kilim-covered ottoman? So bummed I passed on this turkish bag at Antique Factory a few months back.
So until all the details are ironed out, which could totally be a really long time from now, here are some inspiration photos I’m leaning on heavily for reference.
Love the calm colors in the furniture and the pillows that punch you in the face. Also, that turquoise table is just like this one I rehabbed.
Like the little ottoman and the black and white artwork. Layered rugs. Also kind of like the sofa table idea…. hmm.
I like using floor lamps behind the end tables. Also kind of makes me realize I like the pink in the mix, but not necessarily directly on top of the blue.
Love the modern black and white stripe with the classic sofa shape. Also love, love, love the flower arrangement in the champagne bucket.
Digging the unique shape of the coffee table/ottoman and the rug. Also kind of intrigued by the furniture arrangement.
More formal than I’m going for, but I love the mix of the traditional and modern.
How’s it feeling so far?
I’m sitting in a Courtyard Marriott watching Tropical Storm Issac turn some palm trees inside out. I planned this weekend to the minute, but did not plan on a hurricane! Neither did Mitt Romney, I suppose.
For the past few days I’ve been down in Florida, packing up my Mother’s house. Due to some health issues, she’ll be moving up to Atlanta to be closer to me. It was so strange packing up her things. Trying to decide what is important. Trying to decide what a 21st century gal such as myself is going to do with a silver chafing dish and 2 tea sets. Happy to let things go, like ugly glasses that have been moved to 4 houses and never used and plates that get nuclear-meltdown level hot in the microwave.
All this to say, posting has been pretty light this summer and thanks for sticking around.