I’ve decided that our living room needs some more “natural” elements.
The annual Restoration Catalogs may have helped sway me in this direction, but I’ve realized that pretty much all our furniture is painted, or made of man-made materials. Obviously, a huge reason for this is because I’ve been making the most of what we have, and slapping paint on anything I can to extend it’s life in our apartment, but the main reason we have all this faux-material furniture is because I was on a TIGHT budget when buying furniture the first time around. Particle board was my best friend.
Not anymore… we need some rustic up in herreeee!
These bad boys started this whole thing!!!
I’ve been toying with the idea of a little DIY on our coffee table to take it from this… shiny and really dark…
To something more like this…
Or this… (even though this is a dining table… you get the idea)
I even toyed with the idea of painting it white, and getting a plate glass top to protect the paint on top (something like the below photo). The glass would be essential here since it gets A LOT of wear and tear, and I suspect paint wouldn’t stick so well to that slick surface.
WHERE TO BUY:
Knobby Loop Rug from RugsUSA
Pink Striped Silk Taffeta Curtains from Linens n Things
Manchester Apartment Sofa from Ballard Designs
Courtland Club Chair from Ballard Designs
Gold Edge Coffee Table from 1800 Lighting
Brown Ikat Pillow from Etsy
Brown Medallion Pillow from Rug Studio
Brown Patterned Lumbar Pillow from Etsy
Portico Mirror from ZGallerie
Mirrored Console Table from Target
Mother of Pearl Lamp from Bed Bath & Beyond
Mercury Glass Vase from Luna Bazaar
This space is girly… funky… and Kris would totally die if he walked into our house decked out in hot pink. My favorite thing about her, is that she takes risks, and creates rooms that are as livable as they are beautiful. Simultaneously ‘relaxed and elegant’ if you will, and somehow it all works.
While I’m sure this room didn’t come cheap, that’s not how we roll in my household, so the design I put together below focuses on getting the same look, while staying on budget (dang that budget… I could throw it out the window!)
Enjoy the “where to buy” below for this affordable reconstruction!
While we are on the topic of a gallery wall, I’m starting to collect the pieces I’d like to hang together, gather frames that work well with one another, and work on a layout that will look organized without being perfectly symmetrical. Thank god I didnt’ decide to just start hanging things… I can just imagine trying to do a large gallery wall without at least a little planning…
This is what we are working with… a big empty wall. Let’s get a good “before” here…
I cringe to even look at this picture, but this is what our living room looked like almost a year ago when we moved in – this was taken just after Christmas, so we’d been there for just about one month by this point. The wall behind Kris’ sad little love-seat is big… REALLY big… and this picture does a good job of showing how much empty space there is.
If there were a title for my life, it would be called, Making Do With What You’ve Got – and I have gotten pretty good at it! While I’d love two new sofas (instead of two old, mismatched, and very uncomfortable love-seats) it just is NOT going to happen right now. Banishing the idea of a new sofa, my goal is to distract from what I don’t like with things I love. Since these love-seats are smaller and lower to the ground, this means that I have even more wall to work with – if we were to replace the black love-seat with a sofa, this gallery wall might need a bit of adjusting, but since a new sofa is a very distant purchase on the “want” list, I think this gallery wall will be intact for some time.
Now that we’ve got a really good “before” pic (aka, a really awful photo that makes any improvements I’ve done look AMAZING) let’s take a look at what the wall looks like now.
We may or may not have one or two unpacked boxes shoved in the back of my closet, but I couldn’t stand looking at a huge blank wall, so a few months after moving in, I hung a few pictures on this sad, empty wall! It currently looks like this…
This is the best photo I can find to illustrate how the wall looks now. There is a trio of black and white photos hanging (even though this photo only captures two of them) and as you can see, the room is a far cry from last January. The addition of curtains, coordinated throw pillows, and a new rug made a HUGE impact on what had been an empty shell of a room. That said, you can still see that despite having a few frames on the wall, they are hung too high, and are just too small for the space (also, I realize after posting this that the frames are STILL crooked… I tried!!)
This photo shows the wall from another angle – excuse the horrid lighting. The wall needs some love – it’s as simple as that.
Since it’s clear that I am not so great at hanging frames symmetrically, I am looking for a layout where I can have staggered frames of varying sizes while keeping a somewhat organized look and feel. I searched online for some gallery wall layouts (why reinvent the wheel, right??) and I found none of them helpful.
Thanks for nothing Pinterest!
So, in an attempt to be resourceful, I started working on my own layout. I have most of the frames I plan on using already, so taking their measurements, I began playing around on the floor of the living room.
This is what I ended up with after a few tries…
Eh… I wasn’t loving it. I think I definitely need a couple more frames to round it out, so I turned to my computer to start mapping the wall out…
This is what we have right now…
I’m not going to continue to beat a dead horse… three frames = too small for large wall… moving on
I like that even though these frames are different sizes, having the four smaller frames on the bottom row still make this feel balanced and symmetrical.
I have one large piece that I’d like to hang as a portrait, but it’s large… in order for it to be hung vertically, the largest frame would need to move, so I played around and came up with this…
UPDATED LAYOUT II:
Stay tuned for updates!!
For those of you who have been reading, you know how much I love to work on our apartment, taking it it from a blank slate, and turning it into a a home that reflects us. Well… I recently started helping my friend re-envision her own space, and it turns out, it is even more fun, because I get to collaborate with someone else!
I actually used to live in this apartment with her, so trust me when I say that it is a great space. Big rooms, high ceilings, and beautiful crown molding. She has great taste already, but the challenge is finding a cohesive look and making a space work for both her, and her significant other (ie: How do we get rid of the boyfriend’s hideous bachelor stuff in the nicest way possible, and revamp the space they are living in?) I can sympathize…
If you weren’t sick of hearing my talk about throw pillows, then you definitely will be now! Yep… we’re back on the topic. AGAIN! I’ll be brief, but I can’t promise this will be the last time you see me agonize over them…
Quite awhile ago, Emily Clark posted photo’s of her friend’s living room, and after stumbling upon this post, I thought, hmm… that rug is pretty much the same as the rug we have in our living room… and yet… even with all those crazy colors and patterns on the pillows, it looks just right.
And, that’s when it hit me… I’ve been going about it all wrong! I’ve been looking at patterns that are too big and mirror the pattern in our rug. I need to look for smaller, scaled back versions of that pattern, and invert the colors of our rug to avoid feeling like the pillows are competing. Duh. Why I had such a hard time with that, I have no idea. What I do know, is that come this weekend, I’ll be hunting down a small grey and white patterned fabric (similar to the two outermost pillows above) to compliment, our lovely trellis rug.
Also, not sure if you noticed, but she’s also got the Chiang Mai Dragon Print throw pillows (in china blue). I’m still holding out for Mocha, but they look pretty fabulous, no? Perhaps that will be my Autumn splurge once October rolls around….
Time for a few updates on our living room!
As I mentioned here, I pulled the trigger on a grey trellis rug that I’d been eyeing for months. I originally thought it was back-ordered until May, but when it arrived early, I was thrilled! It REALLY brings some life to the room… I think I’m in love.
I literally scoured my hard-drive for some good “before” pictures, and was shocked that it was so hard to find any! In advance, excuse the poor quality, weird light, etc. P.S. don’t mind that the edge of the rug is rolled up in this picture – I had JUST layed it out, and since then it’s flattened out 🙂
That’s right! The Homespun Moroccan Trellis Charcoal Rug is mine all mine in 7-10 business days! (Just wait until Kris finds out *devilish grin*) The decision to get this rug has been a long time coming and I could not be more excited!
My love affair with this rug started with a few rooms I stumbled upon online – several admittedly coming from A Well Dressed Home‘s blog.
A few Google Searches later, I was officially obsessed and needed a grey trellis rug in my house ASAP. Unfortunately, this rug was on back-order indefinitely! I hemmed and hawed over other colors, but kept coming back to the grey! All the reviews said it was a very pretty grey with blue undercurrents – so perfect for our space! I had accepted defeat, but on a whim, I decided to check the site last week. What do you know?! It was back! In less than five minutes, the order was placed, and I was sitting back happily at my desk, flushed with excitement!
(Side note: remember this post and Inspiration Board I created several months back? This was completed just before I learned that I couldn’t get my hands on that rug!)
Anyways, since creating the above inspiration board, I’d say that I’ve fulfilled about 80% of the ideas! Of course, as things have been hung, bought, and moved around, I have a few other ideas that I’d like to try, so the inspiration will need some tweaks. The owls are on hold along with the star-burst mirrors. I am actually now contemplating a gallery wall and a few sea fan art installations… more on that later!
We are also STILL looking at pillows (the seemingly never ending conversation) but I want to put any pillow decisions on hold until we get the new rug. I think it will really transform the space, and maybe I’ll end up hating all my initial pillow options!
Also on the table? A new sofa. Macys is having a sale (again) and I am kind of loving the Chloe Fabric Velvet Metro Living Sofa. Here it is in the sample photo and again from DecorPad.
Macys Stock Photo
The sofa is a great deal, and truth be told, I am dying to get rid of one of the love-seats we currently have. A nice long sofa will be so nice to stretch out on.
Another secret? As much as I hate Kris’ black love-seat from his bachelor days, I’m almost willing to let him keep it for now, and sacrifice mine because his provides better back support! Wow, I’ve never sounded more like an old lady. We need a new mattress, and a slew of other things before a new love seat, so I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. Replacing the cushions on mine seems daunting, and re-upholstering his seems WAY out of my league.
Anyways, the rug will make me happy in the short term! Stay tuned for updates on my little sea fan project 🙂
Ok, back to the pillow discussion. This has been pretty much consuming my thoughts, so I need to start making some decisions!
Unfortunately, my day job has nothing to do with design or decor, so I live vicariously through other bloggers who are invited to fabulous design previews. Emily of A Well Dressed Home recently posted the below photo from the grand opening of the Bel Air Studio & Design in Dallas, and take a look at those pillows!! They are SO close to a few I had been looking at last week – I think I should definitely get some, but which ones?!