Thursday, August 25, 2011

A warm welcome

Before we moved in our front porch was a pretty underutilized space. There was a lonely faux fern in a styrofoam container, and nothing else. Tasteful! 

What's made the biggest difference so far has been removing the shutter next to the door. Why anyone would cover a window in an already dark house is beyond me, but I don't understand a lot of the things that we going on in this house before we got here. It opens up the foyer a ton and has a nice retro look to it.



We polished the kick plate on the door (which is going to stay brass for now until the door gets painted), added a new rug, a wreath I made, and a plant stand my dad made out of a branch from our backyard. For now our patio set has a home here until the sun porch is done being our painting room.

We've got other plans for the front porch and front of the house including:

- painting the front door bright red
- refinishing the door hardware from brass to brushed nickel
- painting all the trim
- painting the brown wood panelling
- putting together the bench we purchased
- putting a cushion/pillows on the bench
- planting the big white pots we bought with herbs and flowers
- installing and planting hanging baskets
- buying and installing new lighting

That should be enough to keep us busy for a while!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Living room inspiration

In theory, I like to build a room over time and add pieces as I find them. But I'm also impatient, and that trumps building the room over the course of a year. The living-room-turned-family-room (the room with the marble fireplace) needs all new furniture. The old brown couch and chair are getting moved to the "new" living room...where furniture goes to die. While they've seen better days, they really aren't too bad and I have to give my 23 year old self some credit for picking them out. However, the look we're going for in the family room—and the rest of the house—is bright, colorful, and eclectic. We're battling enormously deep soffits and gargantuan trees, so we need to lighten things up in order to keep the house from feeling dungeon-like.

I created the inspiration board to help the design process along. Don't judge my Photoshopping skills! Passible for a "regular" person but subpar for a designer. Chalk it up to hurrying through that part of it. It's helpful to remember this board when I'm out looking for pieces so that everything we get really fits in the room. The main anchor pieces are going to be the white sectional couch from Ikea and the black and white chevron rug from RugsUSA.

The pieces in my board aren't exact, but they give the overall direction of the room. We already have the vintage stereo console and we're using it as the TV stand. The record player doesn't work, so we're going to rip it out and retrofit ours into its place. The inside center portion, which now houses bar storage (hello gold paint!), is going to get a makeover in the form of shelves for the electronic equipment and a fun patterned paper. I like an element of surprise.

Depending on the configuration of the couches, we may end up using a long narrow coffee table and two end tables we purchased for $5 from the previous owner of the house. The are mid century and fabulous. We also need some sort of console for behind one of the couches to hold some bright funky lamps. I'm not holding my breath on the arc lamp, but I would die a happy woman if I found one for a reasonable price. I also just learned the term "swag lamp" a few weeks ago. In a house with no overhead lighting like ours, we're gonna need some of those. I got a good start on finding some vintage ones, but more on that another day.

The walls are going to get painted a light turquoise color, and the fireplace is going to get an overhaul. We're thinking small square glass tiles to replace the marble, a new mantle, and built-in bookcases flanking both sides. The metallic Moroccan pouf is going to be a DIY project, and the curtains, pillows and artwork are going to add some punches of bright color.

I'd love to bring in some reupholstered Bergere chairs (like the ones that slipped away from me) to offset the clean lines of the couches, but those might have to wait. I've been trolling Craigslist for some, so they're mine when they pop up! Is it too much to ask for someone to list a pair of excellent condition chairs at an extremely cheap price and sell them to no one but me? Didn't think so.

Since the dining room is connected to the living room with a pretty wide open doorway, the rooms need to coordinate. I'm thinking a bolder color on the walls (since the bottom half will be white under the chair rail) but still in the same family as the turquoise. I'm working out that inspiration board now to see how it plays out. Aaaand then the dining room is connected to the kitchen so it needs to coordinate with that, and you can see the half bath from the kitchen so that needs to tie in as well. I want them to work together, but also not look like they are one big room. Cripes.