Posts tagged ‘Living Room’

November 14, 2012

Before and After: Chair

Way back in May, I shared some photos of the awesome things I found at Antique Weekend in Round Top, TX. One of the items was an old chair.

Our plan was to recover the seat with a fun fabric and leave the weathered look of the wood. Well, we finally got around to it. I found a super cute fabric (Herringbone in Pond) online at Hawthorne Threads. I left the actual task of recovering to my husband who has a little more experience than myself. I like the contrast of the crisp blue fabric against the worn brown frame. I couldn’t be happier with the result!


January 23, 2012

A hint of red to make them pop

After a little hesitation, I finally tackled the “E” painting. We hung these letters a while back (see here) with the plan of painting them so that they would pop off the wall a little more.

But then, I fell in love with the imperfections and the raw quality of these metal letters and didn’t want to take away from that. So as a compromise, I painted the outside of the letters and left the inside in its natural state.


Don’t you just love the inner grittiness? And I think the red works perfectly. I used a red spray-paint that I bought at Lowes. I had to contend with some bad spray-painting weather for a while. It was coldy and rainy, and although I was doing the painting in the garage, the humidity caused the paint to bubble up in some areas. So I had to sand it down and reapply. And getting the inside of the lowercase “e” was especially tough. That’s one tight little space. But in the end, I’m pleased with the results. We get a lot of compliments on those letters.

October 17, 2011

It’s starting to look a lot like somebody lives here.

That’s because our living room walls are becoming less and less bare. Wahoo! We still have yet to tackle the gallery wall, but we’ve hung things on every other wall in the room and that makes me giddy with excitement.

The Etsy prints finally have a home.

And so do these wall shelves that we scored (totally free!) a couple of years ago. For now, we just threw a couple of things on them so that we didn’t have empty shelves hanging on the wall. Do you like that big white hand we found at Home Goods for only $10? Because I do. I love it!

Ok, now I know you are completely jealous. I mean, hello, look at how awesome these are. My sister scooped these up for me at Round Top flea market in Austin since I wasn’t able to go myself. We do plan to paint them, but just couldn’t wait to hang them.

Just getting a few things up on the walls has made the living room feel so much cozier. Exactly what I was wanting.

August 22, 2011

Gallery Wall Inspiration

There has been a lot of gallery wall talk in our house lately. We are gearing up to tackle the wall above the new bookcases. We want to fill it with a mixture of art and photos, but mostly old photos we’ve been gathering from our parents’ and grandparents’ albums.

I’ve put together a few images of gallery walls that I think are done really well. Hopefully ours turns out as nice as these.

And, just for fun, here’s one of the photos that I found at my parents’ house. I love this photo of my dad and me!


July 25, 2011

Fab Find: Map

If you haven’t joined yet, I highly recommend it. And not just because I get credit if you use my personal invite and then make a purchase – that’s just a bonus. But because it introduces you to so many new designs and ideas that you haven’t seen before (or at least that I haven’t see before), and you can really catch some great deals. I visit the site everyday to see what’s new. I’ve wanted to buy much of what I’ve seen. I’m constantly yelling, “Alex, come look at this!” from across the house. But, I’ve managed to maintain self-control and just do a little cyber-browsing. However, last week I came across this map and just had to have it.

I’ve been wanting a map for the walls, but just haven’t found one that I thought was quite right for us or our budget. This one is from The Future Mapping Company. I love the bright colors, and the size is great (about 4 ft x 2 ft). It was reduced to $29 on And with my $10 of credits, it was only $19 + shipping. Not too shabby for wall art that will cover a huge space. I’m hoping to hang it above the couch in the living room, but if it doesn’t work there, we have plenty of empty walls to fill. We are on a roll with wall art. I mean, we haven’t actually hung anything yet, but we’re getting there.

June 26, 2011

Shut the front door…we finally hung something

Most of this week was spent oohing and awing over the new living room wall color (I’ve told Alex a million times a day how much I love the new color). But we managed to stop admiring it long enough to finally hang something on the walls. Well, not quite on the walls, more like on the fireplace above the mantle. That still counts though, right?

I mentioned a couple weeks ago (read here) that we had finally purchased a mirror for the living room from World Market. And now, we finally hung it up. Yay! Go us!

Here’s a little before shot of the sad, empty space that we’ve been staring at for so long.

And here it is a little less naked.

Did you check out the awesome wall color? Alright, I’ll shut up about it. I guess I’m just too easy to please.

For the most part we are very pleased with the mirror. We weren’t quite expecting it to be covered in shiny gold thread, but we are getting use to it. At first, I thought we’d be sending it back for sure, but it’s starting to grow on me. Now, the thing that I want to change is the color of the brick. I’ve never been a fan of the color, but I just don’t know if I have it in me to paint over brick. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way painted brick looks, but will future potential buyers love it too? Not that we plan to sell our house anytime soon, but you never know.

What do you think, paint the brick or leave her be?

June 20, 2011

There’s paint on our walls

We did it! We finally found some time to paint the living room, thanks to grandparents taking one child away for the weekend. And although we had a couple of curve balls thrown our way (last minute hockey tournament for Alex, trip to emergency room for Oscar), we somehow managed to finish. And I must say, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s the before shot right after we moved in:

And here’s what the living room looked like with all new furniture, but before tearing down the built-ins:

And for good measure, here’s a shot of what the wall looked like after tearing down the built-ins:

Finally, here’s what the living room is looking like today:


The change doesn’t seem very drastic in these photos, but the room feels so much better now. Not only did we paint the walls a light gray color, we also applied a new coat to all of the trim. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a room.

Before, we felt that the walls, trim and carpet were all a very similar color. The antique white caused the entire room to give off a sickly, yellow glow. We think the soft gray color on the walls adds the perfect amount of contrast without making the room feel too dark. And it’s a great neutral color that won’t scare off potential buyers should we decide to sell the house for any reason anytime soon.

Next step is to hang art/pictures on the wall and organize the bookshelves. And of course hang the mirror that I talked about here. It has been delivered, we just haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet.

I didn’t get a chance to shoot any “in progress” photos due to the fact that the hubs kept leaving me to paint all on my own. He got the chance to play in a hockey tournament, and I wasn’t about to complain about it seeing as he was going to spend his Father’s Day painting and all. So I did a lot of the room on my own, just saved the hard parts for him :)

Oh, and that trip to the emergency room that I mentioned above… Well, Oscar was being very silly Sunday morning, spinning around, making himself dizzy and falling to the ground. At one point, he stopped spinning and started to fall, so Alex tried to catch him. We aren’t quite sure what happened, but he wouldn’t stop screaming and wouldn’t move his arm. We decided a trip to the ER was the new plan for the day. Luckily, the x-rays were normal, no broken bones!

June 5, 2011

Just a little eco-friendly vanity

Over the past week, we’ve continued working on the living room, but it’s going to be a slow process. A lot of little steps need to be taken before we can actually start painting. So no mind-blowing “after” pictures this week. However, between sanding and wood putty, I did manage to make a long awaited purchase for the room.

Alex and I have been on the hunt for the perfect mirror to hang above the mantle in the living room for over a year. Due to the lack of windows in the room, we knew a mirror would be a good way to help bounce a little light around the room. After buying all of our new furniture last year, I found a mirror at World Market that I thought was a good option. But it was only available online and that always makes me hesitate. I really like to see things in person to know for sure what kind of quality I’m getting. However, I hadn’t really had much luck in my search, and I couldn’t get that World Market mirror out of my head. So, I showed it to Alex.

Not only was it the right size, price and color, it was also made from recycled magazines! Eco-friendly is always a plus. Unfortunately, my dear husband never manages to muster up enough excitement about these things, so even though he said he liked this mirror, I could tell he wasn’t in love with it and continued my search. A few months later, Alex asked me, “Whatever happened to that World Market mirror?” You can imagine the look on my face. I quickly went to the website and found that they no longer had it available. WHAT?!?! That was it. I was done. No more mirror shopping for me.

Now lets fast forward a year. I’m back at it. Searching high and low for the perfect mantle companion. And to my surprise, what do I find? World Market has brought back the mirror that I thought was gone forever! I tell Alex the good news, and we decide this must be a sign. It’s meant to be. I search for an online coupon and find a Free Shipping offer at Retail Me Not. Over $20 worth of savings! Works for me!

Now we are just waiting for the mirror to be delivered and keeping our fingers crossed that we will love it just as much in person. I’m a little worried it’s going to look very small in such a large room, but we’ll find out for sure very soon.

May 29, 2011

The built-ins are out!

Finally! We did it. The built-ins are gone. To refresh your memory on the awkwardness of these built-ins read this post.

First step in removing the built-ins was to gather a couple of quotes from carpet companies. We knew there would be no carpet in the space under the built-ins, so we wanted to see how much that would cost before moving forward with this project. It wasn’t too bad. So we chose a company and scheduled a day for them to come. Now that we had that set up, it was time to get to work. Out came the sledge hammer. Okay, maybe it was a little rubber mallet, but regardless, it did what we needed it to do.

Here are a couple of shots of Alex in action.

Unfortunately, Alex had to finish the last part of the removal on his own while I was at work. But he took this shot with his phone and sent it to me so I could see what it looked like.

Besides the actual demolition itself, the best part about removing these built-ins was getting a glimpse of what this room looked like in the 70s when it was built. Notice the dark wood paneling that is showing through on the unpainted parts of the wall and the brownish vinyl flooring that is apparently beneath the carpet throughout the entire room. I bet this room was groovy, baby.

The vinyl flooring didn’t stick around for long. The following afternoon, the carpet guy came out and covered it for us. He removed part of the carpet from another room (that we plan to eventually pull up anyway) and used it to patch up this spot. So this is what the room looks like currently.

The carpet that was pulled from the other room was under a couch so it’s very clean compared to the carpet in this location which is a high traffic area. But we were assured that after getting the carpets cleaned, the line will hardly be noticeable. Also, carpet repair guys do not mess with tile. Boo! He was not sure how to handle the crazy tile situation that was mentioned here. So instead, he cut the carpet extra long so that we could figure out later how we wanted to handle it. We think we’ll end up putting in a transition strip since we aren’t ready for new kitchen flooring. But who knows. In the mean time, I’m enjoying the more open doorway and can’t wait to get started on painting.

May 2, 2011

Awkward Built-ins

So we got the new bookcases in the room and have even moved everything over that was on the built-ins by the fireplace. You know, those awkwardly placed built-ins that I’ve mentioned before here, here and here. I never actually explained why we are not exactly fans of those built-ins, so I took a few pictures to help you understand our disdain.

This picture was taken while standing in the kitchen looking into the living room. As you can see, there is an extra wide doorway here, but these built-ins are jutting past the frame and invading the openness. It annoys me that obviously they do not really fit into this space so why are they there? Especially when the living room itself is very long and somewhat of an awkward space to fill. Adding bookcases where we did makes so much more sense (at least to us).

And because these shelves were built into a space that wasn’t quite right, the depth of the shelves is awful. I placed my iphone on the shelf to show you just how shallow they are. Our poor art books have been hanging off the edges of these shelves just begging for a better home. Our new bookcases have very deep shelves and the art books have now been tucked away, safe and sound.

I’m very excited to demolish these built-ins. As soon as these things are gone, we will get paint on the walls and be so much closer to a completed room. However, we have to time our demo with the arrival of a carpet guy. Why, you ask?

Well, as you can see here, once we remove the built-ins there will be no carpet underneath. And with kiddos running around this house, we think it’s best to have that fixed immediately. We have the same carpet running throughout the house so we plan to take some from the formal living/dining area to lay down in this empty spot. We eventually want to put hardwood floors in the formal living/dining area, so removing some carpet from under the couch we have in that room won’t be a big deal… we hope!

Also, as you can see from the picture, we will need to cut into the tile a little to align the carpet edges properly. Why can’t things just be easy?

By the way, in case you were wondering, these built-ins are not originally part of the house. They were added later. Otherwise, I would be much more hesitant to knock them down.