Posts Tagged ‘Living Room’

Mini Updates

I’ve hinted about a few things that we’ve done to the abode recently, but they just didn’t seem blog worthy enough in my book. I’m basically just buying new things and repainting some rooms (for the 50th time) but after several reader requests, I decided to share the goods with the blogosphere.

First off, I decided to paint our über green living room. My husband and I were talking about how, although we love color (and especially green), we were growing a bit tired of such a vibrant color in our main living space. Maybe we’ve matured dramatically from 25 to 26 or become more dull in our old age, but we’ve slowly been gravitating towards more neutral colors in our house.

Quite the departure, right? The reason I’ve been hesitant to post this change is because it’s not completed. Shocker, I know. Nothing is ever complete in this house. I love the new paint color, but the room is almost too neutral for me now. I’m dying to DIY some drapes that will bring in a necessary pop of color, but those are still in the planning stages (ie. swirling in my brain).

We decided to paint our kitchen the same neutral color (Sherwin Williams – Ancient Marble) to make the two rooms feel a bit more cohesive and a bit larger. This is the new color that I’m using as a backdrop for kitchen cabinet decision 2010, so feel free to weigh in now that you’ve seen what we’re up against.

You’ve seen the new bedspread in the master bedroom, which leads me to another little update in the house. We moved the rug from our front living room into our bedroom to have something cushy underneath our feet when we wake up, and we’re loving every minute of it. This rug swap was definitely the right move, but it left us with an empty hole in the living room. Enter, lovely yellow rug.

Ever since I saw this rug on Making It Lovely, I knew I had to have it. I reminded me of the Pottery Barn moorish rug that I’ve kicked myself for 3 years now for not buying – and with a lovely price, I purchased this bad boy immediately. I love how the yellow plays off of the gray wall color, and ties in with the subtle yellow and orange accents throughout our living room.

Oh, and we got a new roof. Crazy, right? Our roof had some leaks in the past and it was well past its prime, so we did the adult thing and paid some nice roofers to spend a very long day in the extremely hot sun for our hard-earned dollar. I won’t bore you with a picture of our new onyx black shingles, but I will do a post later with the things we learned through the whole (extremely thrilling) roofing process. Enjoy the newest additions to the abode!

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Yowza. The Charlotte area was hit with quite the hail storm last night – Florida style. Growing up in Florida, I became completely immune to bad storms. It was an every day occurance to have intense lightning storms and downed branches all over the yard. Now that I live a bit more north, I’ve lost my edge and actually get a bit nervous when a big storm comes our way. Especially since I’m a homeowner.

This storm brought some nasty hail that actually did a little bit of damage to our roof. Nothing too major, but it was enough for us to investigate the condition of our roof and think about possibly taking the plunge and getting our roof replaced. We looked into our insurance policy and think that we could get a good portion of the work covered, so once Scott mentioned “new roof” I started thinking “new color schemes”.

You see, I’ve been dying to repaint our house since we purchased. It’s a perfectly fine shade of yellow, but it’s just not quite… us. I’m not sure if we’ll want to invest in a full exterior overhaul before we sell our house (whenever that day might come) but it’s fun to dream, right?

I love love LOVE the look of a grey house. Call me crazy, but I’m giddy over grey recently. Add in a pop of color on the front door and I’m as happy as a clam.

This dark house color and chartreuse door is dead on for me. I can even imagine a lighter colored roof here, even though I’m partial to a dark, almost black roof.

I could even get on board with a sweet colored door, like this beautiful sky blue. It’s just enough to offset the neutral exterior but still gives enough pop to set this house apart from the others on your street.

This look is super traditional, but I kind of love the taupe colored roof with the white on white exterior color scheme. Add in a simple black door and this color palette is crisp, simple and will stand the test of time.

So many options, yet so little money. On a completely different note, I’ve been wracking my brain for a while now trying to figure out what to put over the mantle in our living room. I’ve been debating over a stretched canvas with a photo that we’ve taken, a fun textile or a funky mirror. Enter option 3:

Funky, beachy driftwood mirror, courtesy of West Elm. I’m not sold on this, but it’s a fun option, no? Thoughts on my random Monday ramblings?

Images borrowed from Google and West Elm, and lovingly displayed

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Christmastime is here!

Did the holidays sneak up on anyone else besides me this year? I had the best intentions of making the abode into a winter wonderland for the holidays, but then I turned around and Christmas was a week away. D’oh! I have to admit, with coordinating travel and immense amounts of gift buying, I haven’t had much time to get my creative juices flowing this season. I desperately want to do a post on some garland and wreath ideas that are sneaking into my noggin, but those will have to wait for another year. Note to self: begin holiday decorations next July.

Regardless of our sparse Christmas decor, we still managed to bring a bit of holiday cheer into our house, starting with a fresh Fraser fir and matching wreath, handmade by the lovely people at our local Christmas tree outpost. I’ve always considered investing in a faux tree, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. The dropping needles and constant watering are all worth the wonderful smell a real tree brings into a home. A fake tree is like having eggnog without the splash of rum – it’s just not right!

I couldn’t decide which ridiculous picture to post of my husband decorating the tree, so I decided to include both. :) Below is the aforementioned handmade wreath made from leftover tree limbs. I can’t help but buy one of these every year since it’s such a great use of (essentially) trash and the yummy smell greets me every time I walk in the door.

Another note: yes, next year I will spruce up this standard wreath with something amazing that will blow your socks off. Just let that be a little something to keep you coming around until next year. :)

We’re definitely rocking the silver and red theme this year – it’s hard to avoid the classics. I do like to mix up my gift wrapping, though. I love all things paper and ribbon, so I can’t stick to one kind of wrapping paper for my gifts. This year I brought in some standard shipping paper in a natural brown tone, and accented it with green and red raffia for a rustic look…

… or used a simple brown box tied with some classic brick-a-brack ribbon for a simple, fresh look.

I continued the criss-crossing of the raffia on some more graphic wrapping papers that I was gifted from a wallcovering rep (love free stuff!). I love a good, graphic pattern on anything, especially a Christmas gift.

I even brought in a punchy, lime green ribbon to keep up with the bold pattern of this fun wrapping paper. Sure all of my gifts don’t match, but they’re keeping in the same color scheme, with varying scales of pattern, so it makes an interesting display under the tree.

Yes, I’m not the first person ever to decorate with glass ornaments (gasp!) but I just can’t help myself. The way the Christmas lights play off of their reflective surfaces is just perfect for holiday decor. Plus, we have an abundance of glass vases that we received as wedding gifts, so they’re the perfect vessel to hold these little balls of colored light.

We even took a bit of leftover wrapping paper and popped it in a frame to bring the whole red and silver theme to fruition. Genius, right? Yeah, I know it’s nothing new, but I wanted to share my holiday decor with all of you nice people so you can get a taste of how holidays are in the H household. Any holiday decor ideas you’d love to share? Do it do it!

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Custom Coral Craft

I love artwork and one day plan to make a million dollars so that I can cover my home with pieces by Mondrian and Seurat. But until then, I enjoy thinking up new ideas to make custom artwork for my barren walls – on the cheap! I’ve always loved the simplicity of botanical prints, but felt like their look was too vintage for our pseudo-modern home. So, one day I decided to play around with photoshop to see what I could come up with, and the result was surprisingly perfect! This little number can be created with just a few simple steps and look like a million bucks… which one day I will have. whahaha.

I started with doing a simple google search for “botanical prints” and found some coral ones that tickled my fancy. Their simple lines were just modern enough, but the organic shape kept things fluid and less rigid than say, a Mondrian. Side note, I love google. Really. We have a little love affair going on. I use the big G if I ever have a question/query and it never disappoints. Oh, how I love thee.

After you find an image that rocks your world, just open it in photoshop and do these two simple steps (if you don’t have photoshop, send it to me! I love helping my homedogs out). Choose a color that you’d like your image to be (I matched the color that was in the botanical print). Then, go under Filter- Sketch and choose Graphic pen. The graphic pen tool does a sketchy line drawing of your image, and the botanical print lends itself so well to this because of it’s white background. After that, hit print. You can tweak the colors/size for a particular frame, but the artistic part of it is that simple.

Pop these puppies in a crisp white frame (or a variety of colored/textured frames) and hang them on the wall in multiples. I picked up these frames from Target, but plan to get some similar ones this weekend from Ikea for another DIY art project. Easy peasy, right?

P.S. If you didn’t catch that, I’m going to our new Ikea this weekend. I might burst into stars with excitement – I can’t wait! It’s like the mothership is calling me home.

P.P.S. I am partially Swedish so that last comment almost made sense. Almost.

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A flower a day…

…keeps the blues away! Oh internet, it’s cheesy, but it’s true. I took a cue from one of my favorite blogs, This Young House, and decided to bring some greenery into our humble abode. I don’t have much of a green thumb (I planted some flowers in the yard last year and neglected them into a short and painful death), but having some fresh flowers in the house is an easy trick to bring the outdoors in. The weather here is downright spring-like for the time being, so I felt it was my duty to start the spring season off right with some fresh blooms.

I picked these up from the ‘Teet (our neighborhood Harris Teeter grocery store) for a whopping $4.00 and spread them out between 2 vases in our house – one in our almost finished living room and one in the kitchen. If 4 dollars every once in a while will put a smile on my face, I think it’s quite worth our hard earned dough.

Putting flowers next to the kitchen sink isn’t something I had thought of, but it’s actually quite brilliant. You get to see them constantly (furthering your enjoyment) and it makes scrubbing off caked-on food much more pleasant.

Plus, flowers give me a chance to use my new 50mm lens and perfect my soon to be amazing photog skills. Swoon.

p.s. apparently I’ve been spelling “lens” wrong for quite some time. My awesome photog abilities just went down a notch. ouch.

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The new lamp from CB2 finally came in! Remember the living room idea collage where I mentioned the more affordable lamp option for our living room makeover? Well, here it is – in all of it’s glass bulb glory! It’s so freaking awesome I can’t stand it. And Scott secretly loves it too. He’s just too proud to admit a love affair with a lamp. Me, on the other hand, have no qualms with sharing my adoration towards an inanimate object that so easily spruces up my otherwise dark and sad living room – for under 100 smackaroos. Now, in glass bulb lamp world, this really is a steal of a deal. CB2 took it’s sweet time in delivering this little piece of heaven, but I will say that their customer service representatives are super friendly.

These pictures were taken with my new 50mm 1.8 lens that I got for my birthday. I’m still working on taking pictures in low light and not screwing them up, so bear with me! The new lense is a dream though, so I know I’ll be able to produce some rockin’ images in no time.

Even Charlie expressed his love of lamp to me (I had to refrain from calling this post “I love lamp” after a favorite Anchorman quote… so I chose something even more cheesy). Do you agree with Chuck? Any awesome house ware finds that you’d like to express your love for? Come on, it’s liberating! I love lamp!

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First Idea Collage

Need inspiration for what to do in your house? Try an idea collage! I created this one with photoshop, but simply snipping ideas out of a magazine will have the same effect. We recently painted our front living room a chic gray (eliminating the last remains of the blah beige the previous homeowner had left) but I was stuck on what to do with the rest of the space. I had found things online or in catalogs that I liked, but had never thought of the space as a whole. You would think as a designer I would do this in my home, but no, the thought never occured to me. :P

One lovely Saturday morning, I decided to sit down and “design” my living room. It all started with the couch we already had in the space and the china cabinet we had our eye on. From there, I decided that I wanted white accents and a touch of orange to liven up the gray and black palette, but still keep things clean and contemporary. I spent some time browsing the internet and collected some images onto one page until I was happy with the compilation. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to visualize a space once all of the components are right in front of you.

Some of the items have gone by the wayside because of budget (a gorgeous Crate and Barrel lamp was replaced by the more economical version from CB2) or simple internet shopping issues (the awesome mirror was more gold in person that we had hoped – Scott said he felt like he was in “grandma’s house”), but the idea collage definitely helped the look and feel of the space stay on track. We’ve gotten a couple of the items so far, so I’ll post some finished pictures once the room is finalized. :)


I'll be rolling on this in no time

I'll be rolling on this in no time

Take a stab at an idea collage and share (if you’re like me and want to spend a Saturday afternoon doing this… I’m such a nerd!)

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