Tag Archives: living room

a new ottoman

buffalo check and lucite ottomanI knew from the start I wanted an ottoman with lucite legs, so it was just a matter of fabric selection. I originally wanted a large scale floral print, something ridiculously feminine and chinoiserie, but because of some hiccups I detailed here, I had to switch to a less fussy fabric. It was frustrating at the time, but ultimately, for the best.

As you can see, the rug is not exactly a neutral, so the ottoman provides a nice counterpoint to it. The print plays off of the green accents in the rug and balances the red, while the buffalo check itself is a good contrast to the ethnic rug design. In the end, I think a floral on top of this rug would have competed too much.

We’ve also finally settled on a good, workable furniture layout. The end tables are vintage ones I’ve had for years, and the lamp is another oldie–something I originally bought four years ago for our bedroom. The skirted table I wrote about in the fall is alive and well, just moved to a better spot in the room.

Resources: London Sofa – MGBW / Kira Ottoman – MGBW / Table – Vintage (Similar) / Michelle Lamp – Amazon / Rug – Vintage (Similar) / Pillow – c/o Mom (Similar)

a simple skirted table and other things

white skirted tableIt’s always a wee bit awkward coming back from a break. I didn’t plan to take a month off. Nothing dramatic happened; just one of those times where life and interest went in a different direction for a while. I haven’t had any great visual updates for our apartment, and felt a little lame popping in to post a round-up or something else that felt insubstantial.

A skirted table (that I desperately need to steam) is pretty insubstantial in the way of things, but I have a complex about writing long missives without a halfway decent lead-in photo. So there it is, a fairly inexpensive round table from Ballard, doing the trick in a long-neglected corner of the living room.

As for other house things, our kitchen difficulties are kind of resolved. There’s still a hole in the ceiling, but the gas line was sealed and tested. Our gas was turned back on, but the question still remains whether or not the pipes are actually to code. In another week my dad will be here, replacing our electrical box, and investigating whether we can have more power brought into the apartment. If we can, we’ll start thinking about running a dedicated line for an induction stove, which would nip any code violations in the bud.

Elsewhere in the house, I’ve been making progress again with some trim and door painting. I can’t really stand those two projects for some reason–it all feels horribly tedious, even though I’ve been noticing it doesn’t actually take that long to paint a door or do a length of trim. But it’s annoying work, and so I avoid it a bit more than I should, dragging out a task that really could be done by now. I told myself this week it was too warm for the paint; now it’s cooled down considerably and I’ve been thoroughly shamed into finishing.

Then there’s the matter of the living room ottoman. I put in the order in July, coinciding with a sale. I opted for COM fabric: a really lovely floral from Lee Jofa that is also absurdly expensive. With the low yardage needed for an ottoman, I rationalized the splurge with the fact that all together, the ottoman with the fancy fabric costs no more than the store’s leather ottomans. But then I failed to factor in my fabric’s enormous repeat size. While the ottoman could be upholstered with 3 yards of a solid fabric, to properly match my giant pattern and manage with the fabric’s slightly smaller-than-average width, the upholsterer would need 8 yards. Not only 8 yards, but in a new continuous roll. So I have 3 yards of very expensive fabric coming back to me (and a husband glaring at me to figure out a useful purpose for said fabric), and I’ve just ordered 4 yards of a humble Duralee buffalo check that will definitely be adequate for the job, and cost less all together than 1 yard of the other stuff. I guess some floral pillows are in order now.

Next on the list? Painting ceilings. I’m really ready to hang up the roller.

happenings around the house

pink popsicle paint

Last weekend my husband was complaining about the look of the kitchen. The room was painted a very institutional semi-gloss beige and the walls looked perpetually filthy. I don’t do much cooking, so I’ve been happy to ignore the room, which is easy given that it’s a galley kitchen closed off from the rest of the house. But I was in a chipper mood that Saturday I guess, because I flipped open my Farrow & Ball paint brochure, picked out a green, and marched myself down to Benjamin Moore to get the color matched.

While I was there, I picked out a gloss paint for my entry credenza. I ended up going with Pink Popsicle, which looks quite awesome with the living room wall color and a potential wallpaper for the entry. farrow and ball arsenic

As for the kitchen, things are looking better but some details are missing. We’re switching out a light fixture and possibly the cabinet hardware, so enjoy a close-up of our dumbwaiter and freshly-stripped knobs. The room definitely looks better, but it’s nothing mind blowing.painted lamp

In the living room, another piece of the puzzle came via Etsy: a hand-painted ginger jar lamp with spot-on colors. With a bird!

a painted living room

deep caviar living roomLast month I bit the bullet and painted the living room. I was a little hesitant about using such a dark color, but I’m so happy with it!

The color is Benjamin Moore Deep Caviar, a dark brown with blue undertones. It’s the same color I’m using to (slowly) paint the doors in our house, albeit in a high gloss enamel. We have southern and western exposures, so it’s a bright room even with dark paint.

As you can see in the photo, I also moved the Expedit out of the office, swapping with the Billy bookcase that was languishing in the living room for several months. Expedits can scream Ikea, but this one is tucked in a corner, so you only see its profile when you walk in.

So here’s my running list for the living room:

  • paint
  • order slipper chairs and an armchair
  • order ottoman
  • have curtains or shades made
  • lighting – table lamps and floor lamp
  • new tv
  • paint and install french doors between dining room and living room
  • find large art

I think once the rest of the furniture arrives the room will feel a million times less in flux, and I’ll have a better sense of next steps. For instance, I have a little graveyard of end tables on the other end of the living room because I don’t know if I’ll need them or if they’ll fit with the chairs. I would very much like to be out of that phase and onto the fun stuff: accessories!

gold leafed vittsjo

gold leafed vittsjo

We’re getting ready to go to Morocco this weekend (!!!), which also means getting the house ready for my brother who will be watching our animals. Oh and my mom decided at the last minute to come visit my brother while he’s here, adding on a layer of mom-visit-cleaning. Since the guest room was still bed-less, we bit the bullet and got a daybed from Ikea and while we were there, I picked up the humble Vittsjo tv unit that I had decided to gold leaf.

Let’s just say I bit off a lot of things but it’s not going as horribly as expected.

Spray painting the tv stand gold crossed my mind, but gold leaf seemed like it would be a more interesting final product. Having never gold leafed before, I was very dumb. I hated this project. Hated. It.

I didn’t follow or read any tutorials because I felt reading the instructions on the bottle of leafing size was enough. Applying the size was easy enough: brush it on, don’t gloop it, and then let it get tacky for about 30 minutes. Straightforward.

The thing about gold leaf (or the imitation leaf I used) is it’s tissue thin. You pick it up, and it’s billowing all over the place, or tearing, impeding accurate placement. You want to slightly overlap pieces, but when you’re holding a piece of leaf like the lady of the lake just gave you excalibur, it’s near impossible. And the wrinkles. And again the tears. There really was a moment where I thought, gee, I just wasted $40 at Ikea, shucks.

But then I fortunately stopped caring. I used 50 sheets, wasting most of the pieces because unlike leafing a mostly flat surface, I had to wrap the leaf. So I’d try desperately to center the leaf on top, smooth with a piece of cloth (a brush kept tearing it), and then let the excess dangle from the bottom of the bars of the unit. I went back over gaps with small pieces, giving the finish a rather mottled look. Once I had covered the whole thing, I took my cloth and just literally rubbed it against all of the excess leaf. Everything that wasn’t adhered simply brushed off.

We’re going to eventually hang the tv on the wall (well a bigger one, 32″ is for suckers/non-tv addicts), but I like the height of the table itself–it keeps components well below eye level.

So that was the ridiculous project I did a week before a major vacation. Oh and by the way, I still haven’t cleaned the guest room because, priorities.