Monday, November 12, 2018

family room updates with thrifted lamps- before and after

I made a few quick changes to our family room recently that greatly improved the function of this room. The first thing on the agenda was to add some additional lighting. Its been getting dark early, so finding a pair of lamps to go on either side of the sofa was the first priority. This room has recessed lights, which are great some of the time, but it needed another layer. 

I found a pair of lamps that I loved, but they were quite expensive at $1200 for the pair. You can see what I was lusting after here.  I ended up finding lamps in an unexpected place when I wasn't looking. I was at a thrift store shopping for coffee table books (second hand stores are a great place to find inexpensive hardcover books) when I came across a pair of large lamps with a great shape. 

The ceramic base had a nice crackle finish but the color wasn't what I wanted. I was still thinking about the black and brass lamps. I brought them home thinking I could give them a makeover and if I didn't love them I was only out $6.

I spray painted them matte black, hand painted brass accents using a brushed metal craft paint, and topped them with lampshades from Target. 

If you give a mouse a cookie-
Isn't that how projects go? One thing turns into another.
Now that my lamps were in place (I'm thrilled with how they turned out!) it was time to replace the morrocan side table that lived on this side of the room. It was a few inches shorter than the card catalog we use as a side table on the other end of the sofa. 

I love mix-matched tables, but if matching lamps sit on top, I prefer them to be a similar height. I found this one at Pottery Barn here. The style compliments the antique coffee table and the size is just right. 

The back door, basket of shoes, and a stool are on this same wall so space is limited on this side. 

Let's talk about chairs-
I've had these Louis arm chairs forever. They are from Ethan Allen and have held up great! I couldn't be more pleased with the quality, I just don't like the fabric in this room. 
Lately they have been moving around the house but ended up back here. I wanted to give them another good look before deciding if I want to invest the money to have them reupholstered or just go with something completely different.

This time around I placed them on either side of the coffee table instead of the pair sitting side by side on one side of the room. This set up works so much better for conversation. I notice we are sitting in them much more often now. 

My family is not a fan of where I hung these framed botanical prints between the windows. I just popped them up there with removable velcro strips just for fun. What do you think?

Getting cozy-
This room is all about rich dramatic colors and cozy textures. I added some faux fur pillows and a new chenille throw blanket for the chilly nights we are already having. The green and white hydrangea pillow cover is from Everyday Occasions. When I saw that pretty dark brown trim, I knew it would be perfect for this space. 

Now to finish up a couple projects before we start decorating for Christmas. Stay cozy friends!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

swing arm sconces and a gallery wall

I am really excited to share our most recent home project with you, so much so I had to write a post about it! I have been thinking about adding swing arm sconces to the gallery walls here in the living room for a while now. They would add cozy charm to the room, highlight the photographs and add a nice layer of light with the lamps we already have in place since this room doesn't have overhead lighting.

Sounds lovely right? Well there was one problem. Hiring an electrician to cut open the plaster walls to add electricity, then having someone fix the walls was not something we wanted to deal with. 

There had to be a way around all of that added expense and mess, but how? How can we add the charm of a sconce anywhere we want without electricity? Well Brooke Christen came up with the genius idea to add a puck light inside the sconce. She even coined the term "magic light trick". Brooke shares all of the details with lots of inspiration on her blog Nesting with grace.

That's right, these babies are running on batteries! I hot glued the backside of the puck into the sconce, the top piece screws off so I  can replace the batteries as needed.

The puck lights I bought even come with a remote that has timer and dimmer options.

The Lights I went with were a great price, they were brushed silver and I wanted black so I spray painted them. You can find my sconces Here. It would have been easier to buy sconces that were already black but my sweet husband surprised me with the silver ones for my birthday and I liked the brass accents, so I painted them. You can find a set of two similar black sconces here if you want a magic light trick or two for yourself.

It was time consuming meticulously taping them off before painting, but it was worth the effort.

 I love how they turned out. 

I will share some pictures and video of how they look at night over on my Instagram account @sixtyfifthavenue.

Now I've got my eye on a spot in the dining room that would really shine with a"magic light trick" (I couldn't help myself with that one, ha!) I found a few more inexpensive sconces below that would look great (click image to shop) and the puck lights we used.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Easy spring centerpiece

Spring is taking forever to get here, this time last year we had blooming tulips and flowering trees. You've gotta love the Midwest! Lately, I have been buying flowering plants to bring spring inside. They last longer than a bouquet of flowers and cost about the same.

I like having something pretty on the kitchen table, but since we eat most of our meals here, it needs to be easy to move.

For this arrangement I used a six dollar pot of white tulips from the grocery store. I didn't bother to plant them, I just popped them into this clay pot I found at an estate sale. I love that it already has a weathered, mossy look. 

I usually use trays to corral a group of pretty things, but this time I used a big wood slice. A bread board or cutting board would look great as well.

You can add a little drama to your arrangement by cutting a few branches to force into bloom. Cut the ends of your branches on an angle and put them into a floral water tube. You can find these at any craft store.

Then I arranged them in the empty space inside my pot and covered it up with preserved moss. You can also put the tubes right into the soil if needed.

My branches started blooming about a week later.

Easy, inexpensive and long lasting. The perfect centerpiece to remind mother nature that it really is spring. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Creating an entryway when there isn't one

I have a thing for big beautiful foyers. One with a round table sitting in the middle of the room stacked with pretty books and a vase of seasonal branches. Or a unique entry table with a pair of matching lamps. Maybe I have this obsession because we don't really have a proper entryway. The good news is, you can carve out a functional space to welcome you and your guests almost anywhere.

We do have a coat closet opposite the front door and it works fine for our guests coats and shoes, but since this is one of only two closets on the main level (old house problems) it has to be multi-functional. And I have to admit, I haven't taken any time to make it look pretty on the inside. Honestly, its a total disaster waiting to happen if the door opens. Yikes!

This little area came together slowly. I started with a small bench for guests to sit and remove their shoes (we don't wear shoes in the house) but it always felt like it was floating a bit. Coat hooks were on my radar but I was terrible about committing and kept putting it off. (Does anyone else feel like hanging things on old plaster walls feels so permanent?)

To get an idea of the layout, here is a view of our living room looking towards the front door before the hooks were hung.

(The little white  door opens to our mail slot in case you were wondering)

I bought a few of my favorite black and white coat hooks from Anthropologie but after holding on to them and not pulling the trigger to hang them, I knew they weren't quite right. I needed something with a back plate for more weight. I was surprised when I found these light and airy hooks at Hobby Lobby for a great price, I always forget how good their hardware selection is. These came as a set of three so I just hung two of them together to get the length I wanted. 

All we need now is for someone to clean out the coat closet (that would be me) and to find a rug to go in front of the door. I'll probably look at Ballard Designs, their indoor/outdoor rugs are so easy to clean outside with a spray down from the hose. I have one at our back door, that opens right into our family room. This is the door we use everyday. Another non-entry situation solved with hooks, a big basket for shoes and a garden stool to sit on. 

I store seasonal essentials in hanging baskets to grab and go. Sunscreen, bug spray and swim goggles for summer and hats and gloves in the winter. Its not ideal but it works. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our comfort works custom slipcover

Oh my goodness you guys, I couldn't be more excited about the new farlov sofa covers from comfort works! 

After getting my fabric samples in the mail, I narrowed it down to a few favorites. I went with a light gray cover called kino ash to tie in with the dark gray family room that you can see through the doorway. I was really tempted by the suede for fall and winter. I might have to order one more.

If you read my Ikea farlov sofa review here, you know I didn't like the slipcover that came with the sofa. It had a very textured look and didn't feel comfortable to the touch. I wanted our custom slip covers to be soft and I wanted more color options. In hindsight, I would have just bought the sofa and not the cover that Ikea offers.

The look and feel of the fabric I chose is perfect for us. It's durable, washable, and fits our sofa so well. I am really so impressed!

I was curious to see how the replacement covers would fit compared to the one that came with the sofa. I'm happy to say that this cover couldn't fit any better, It went on easily and looks amazing!

I love the helpful tags showing which cover goes where. 

Our living room is feeling so cozy now, just in time for fall. I'm ready to do some serious cuddling with my little family here. 

"This blog post was sponsored by (Comfort Works) I received a slipcover in exchange for my honest review"

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ikea Falov Sofa Review

When it comes to buying upholstered pieces, I go one of two ways; buy the very best you can afford and it could last a lifetime, or buy something inexpensive, knowing it will have to be replaced down the road. 

When I was in my twenties I purchased a floor model sofa from Ethan Allen for a great price. It was well loved for years until the fabric wore out and it needed to be reupholstered. Having large furniture reupholstered isn't cheap, I think I paid around two thousand dollars including the fabric about ten years ago. The cushions held up great over the years and they never looked squished or saggy but the piping on the seats was starting to wear out again. It was time to take a good look and decide if I was going to invest in this piece of furniture again and have it reupholstered for a second time. I realized I wanted something a little longer with a washable slipcover. 

I've been eyeing the slope arm sofa from Restoration Hardware but it had mixed reviews about the cushions not looking good after a while and I didn't want to take a chance because of the price. Then when Ikea came out with their new Farlov line it stopped me in my tracks. They are not identical but there are similarities. 

                                                                      RH Slope Arm Sofa

I was excited to check out the Farlov because the price is amazing, it has a washable slipcover and its really deep, which we like for lounging. I also like the simple arms, much less bulky than our previous sofa. 

The first thing I noticed about the Farlov was the fabric on the slipcover. It isn't very soft and has a weird textured look that I didn't like. I knew right away this sofa would be amazing with a custom slipcover. 

As far as comfort goes, it's definitely not as comfortable as the Ethan Allen sofa was, you don't sink into the cushions the same way. But the depth, single seat cushion and slipcover sealed the deal. I'm excited to have a new slipcover made from a company called comfort works. They make beautiful slipcovers for Ikea furniture and custom covers as well. 

I can't wait to show you what I chose! Follow along on Instagram if you don't already.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kitchen before and today

Hello there! Since we have been picking away at phase two of the kitchen renovation, I thought it would be fun to share some before and in progress pictures with you.

To recap our journey, we gutted the kitchen right after we closed on our house, a couple weeks before we officially moved in. The kitchen was old and in bad shape, so we knew right away we would be starting fresh. I wanted all the messy work out of the way before we moved in if possible. 

After having the tile floor ripped out and oak hardwood floors installed to blend with the original, we ripped out the soffits to see what we were working with. With any small kitchen storage is key, so cabinets would go to the ceiling if possible. I'm ok with getting on a stool to reach items stored on the top shelves that aren't used very often. 

Taking the soffits down created a problem, the heavy plaster ceiling didn't have anything to hold on to and was no longer secure. Having a new drywall ceiling wasn't in our original budget or timeline but with any old home things are going to pop up, or in this case fall down. I was so happy a bunch of mouse poo and icky stuff didn't fall from inside the ceiling. It seems like that always happens on the renovation shows right?!

I was a bit worried about the newly installed floors hiding under those tarps, surprisingly they were fine. We hired the drywall out but unfortunately the guy doing it was very slow. The pressure was on to get the drywall mess done at this point because the new owners of our previous house wanted to move in. They were more than generous to let us stay a couple extra weeks so we could at least clear the dust. 

We also hired an electrician to add pot lights in the ceiling since the only light source was over the sink and kitchen table. Our last kitchen never felt bright enough at night so good lighting was important when able to start from scratch. 

We moved into the house without a finished kitchen, it would be six weeks before we had the time set aside to put it back together. That gave us time to figure out a layout and materials. After reading many reviews and blog posts about Ikea cabinets, we ended up going with the Adel cabinet and wood countertops. I liked the shaker style doors and soft close drawers, and of course the price point is great. 

We used the software available at Ikea to design the space and fit everything in like a puzzle. Our little kitchen never had a dishwasher (for almost 80 years) so that was a must on our list. I used an integrated cabinet door over the dishwasher, it helps with flow since it is such a small space. Too many stainless appliances in a tight space would have been too much. 

It only took us two years to get back to work on the kitchen (insert sarcasm) Life of a DIYer can be slow at times, especially when it comes to the finish work. We still needed to add crown moulding to the cabinet tops and tile. I knew I wanted to use mini subway tile since the kitchen is small, and I wanted to take it to the ceiling. We are tile rookies so it took us about three full days to install and grout. It still needs to be caulked and the moulding needs to be finished but we are almost there!

Here is a look at the banquette on the other side of the kitchen. We eat most of our meals here, do homework and just hang out together. Its the workhorse of the kitchen for sure. You can read more about the banquette here.