living room updates

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after talking through being stumped in my decorating decisions last week, i have slowly started to work out my kinks.  and i am finally feeling like i see the direction i want to head.

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don’t mind the mess – i don’t!  for years i have had this yellow dresser in our living room, either here under the windows, or behind the couch where the piano is.  its a great piece, an awesome color (french pale gold by behr), and worked so well for our family for storing toys and art supplies.  but for now, i am removing most of the vibrant colors from our living room and letting the room be quiet for a bit, and maybe slowly add things back in.  well, this dresser is anything but quiet.

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i decided to pull the orange locker cabinet from gracie’s room (this picture was when it was silas’ room).  i bought it several years ago at a garage sale (its an ikea piece).  it was red, but i sprayed it orange.

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i had a couple super helpful “helpers” tape off the base of the cabinet.  i really wanted a nice glossy white finish.  from past experience, i knew that it was hard to get a smooth finish with a brush or roller, so i planned to spray paint it.  but i also am really picky about the final product when using a spray can.   i hate seeing spray lines.  after several coats using krylon color master in white gloss, and sanding in between, i was still getting an inconsistent finish.  i went to get one more can hoping it would do the trick (i think i used 5 or 6 cans total), and i accidentally got the wrong kind.  i finished off with krylon fusion in gloss and while the finish wasn’t nearly as glossy, it was much smoother and more consistent – yay!

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i was too impatient to wait a couple days for the paint to fully cure so rather than spray painting the base gold (i would’ve had to tape off the newly painted white), i hand painted the base with some gold i had on hand.  it took several coats (maybe 4 or 5) but it dried so quickly that i could paint the next coat as soon as i finished the first one.

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this little bit of a modern touch is just what i wanted!

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i’ve had the chair next to the cabinet for several years (an old iron patio chair).  its not the most comfortable, but it provides an additional seating option and i think its cute.

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 the euro size pillows had brown velvet covers on it that had faded pretty badly from when i moved the chair to the porch for a short time.  a friend suggested i try dying the covers black, and most likely they would turn out a dark grey.

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so for $4 for a pack of rit dye and 45 minutes of my time, i transformed this chair!  the cushions turned a deep greyish brown and i’m pretty happy with it!

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a couple small transformations done over a weekend for pretty big impact and very little cost!

the itch that can’t be scratched

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you guys, i think i’m going through a style mid-life crisis.  i need help.  maybe professional.

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ok, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but there is a touch of seriousness.  after closing my shop several months ago, i have been struggling to “find myself” in my newfound creative freedom.  i walked away from my sewing machine, only to go back to stitch a tear or patch a hole.  thats pretty much it.  and i have built up some odd immunity to crafts and all things crafty.  i still love handmade, but not in the same way i used to.  i am yearning for a different kind of handmade, almost where you can’t tell that its handmade, but just cleverly designed.  leaning a bit more toward modern.  but then i feel like i’m denying my vintage/thrifted roots!  oh, how i still love all things old and chipped and slightly damaged.

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in my home, i have been stripping myself of my usual patterns of adding every little tchotchke that would fit on the shelf (and look adorable) to a more simple look, even taking away some things that are adorable, just to set out less.  less is hard, you guys!  while i love color, i am feeling myself pull away from color in a big way.  i’m yearning for quiet in my decorating life.  i want less color, more layers & texture.

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i am not willing just yet to sell off every non-necessary tchotchke or bright colored accessory (although i’ve seriously thought about it), but i’m also not ready to dish out hundreds of dollars for items that i think will satisfy my i’m-not-quite-sure-what-to-name-it hole i’m trying to fill.  so instead i’m doing what i do best:  shopping my house to create just the right feeling in each of our spaces.  the only thing is, i’m redo-ing everything i can get my hands on… and i’m not happy!

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i have rearranged silas & lily’s shared room and totally hate it.  while i was trying for something different, i got it.  but what i also got are 2 beds that are difficult to be made (against a wall) and corner’s of beds that we all catch our ankles on – ouch!%*@!  i bought a $100 rug on a whim (aka bad idea) and it landed in here after trying 2 other rooms where it apparently wasn’t welcome (aka it looked way too busy, like i was trying too hard).

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i haven’t touched gracie’s room but i want to.  what i really want to do is put the girls back in this room together, but sean said moving the kids to different rooms just to serve my need for change wasn’t a good enough reason.  i guess i can’t be too irritated by his practical rationality.  so i’m working on some better reasons.  no really, i am.  i’ve got 2 pretty good ones worked up and  will solidify the “need” with a 3rd reason as soon as i think it up ;)

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i am also still loving the fresh changes i made to the kitchen.  i want my whole house to feel like the kitchen, but with knit throws and textured pillows ;)

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our living room is probably the trickiest, and most annoying to me.  it is the biggest space with the least amount of options for functionality.  design is one thing, but functionality has to come first.  perfect example:  silas and lily’s room.  i think i can get the design back to something i like, but its not functioning well for our family.  but the living room’s functionality issues aren’t really ones i can change – our couches are big, our entry way is small/nonexistent, the entry to the school room is straight through the living room, and i have very little wall space.  after 8 years i feel like i have tried every option for rearranging the furniture in there (without buying new furniture) and am at a loss.

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(not my home.  i wish.  no really, i want this house.)

so the only solution is to sell the house and build a new one!  if only it were that simple.  in all reality, sean and i have been talking about bigger dreams and taking on a building project again.  we both love our home and our neighborhood (its really hard to beat), but we are also both feeling a strong push for change.  while i’m trying to work out my need for change within my home, the pull for looking elsewhere is getting stronger.  we aren’t at a point where we are seriously pursuing anything, and definitely not at the point of selling our home, but its fun to dream.  even the kids have been catching on to our talk of our “dream house” and have enjoyed putting in their 2 cents.  while we are assuring them that this is only dreaming for fun, there’s a big part of us that is hoping it can be true.

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but for now, i will continue to work out my issues on my home and try to hone in on what i really want via pinterest.  i hear its cheaper than a counselor.

(p.s. if you want to see the direction i’m heading, you can follow me here.)