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Monday, July 21, 2014

Decor Dilemma: Living Room Furniture Part 2

Last week, I shared with you my problem concerning my new living room furniture. Despite really liking the furniture itself, I wasn't liking the way it looked in what were using as the living room space. You can see that post here.

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to move the furniture into what was our formal dining room to see if we would like the layout and scale better than in the other room. We shoved all of the dining room furniture to one side of the room so that we could at least get a visual and feel for what it would be like to permanently make this room the living room.

Two things that jumped out at me right away were the fact that the scale of the furniture worked really well in this space, and that it felt more cozy and "homey." I also like that the walls are gray, so instead of having a color palette dictated for me already, I am free to add color and texture how I please. 

The pillows that came with the couch are very pretty, and are a well made, thick upholstery fabric. BUT, they just don't flow with the colors in my home. I have pops of blues and greens everywhere, so I will not be using them in this space.

I threw the pillows I currently have laying around onto the sofa just to get a visual of what some color would look like in the space. While, I don't plan on a strictly blue and green color palette for this room, it does, however, let me visualize the room with pops of color and not just gray.

Now that my husband and I have made up our minds about switching the dining and living room spaces, it's time for the fun part. I get to take the neutral canvas, add curtains, a rug, textures, and accessories to make the room come alive. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

From House to Home Community

 Happy Friday, friend! I just wanted to take a moment and tell you about a community I host on Google+ called  From House to Home. If you are on Google+, head over and join the community. (If you aren't on Google+, you have to go check it out. I love it!) 

Anywho, more about this community.  It is a place where you can get tips, tutorials, and how-to's for making your house a home.  And you don't have to be a blogger to share or participate in discussions.  

Here are the categories that are in the community. Lots of ways to get new information and inspiration and to share to inform and inspire others:
Home Decor
Cleaning Tips
Budget/Frugal Living
Thrift Store Makeovers
Furniture Makeovers
Seasonal Decorating/Recipes

Here are some examples of what others have shared in From House to Home:

5 Things To Do With Old Tree Stumps

Outdoor Upcycles and Creations


The Dedicated House Feature Roundup


Free printable
Head over to see more about all of these projects and much more! It's a lot of fun turning your house into home!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Decor Dilemma: Living Room Furniture

The Dilemma
Let me tell you, there is nothing like finding furniture that you really like, buying said furniture at a great price, only to bring it home and find that it just doesn't work in your space like you envisioned it would.

Nothing like it

Except maybe getting a root canal. Or waiting in line at the DMV. (Wait, have I ever mentioned that I do not like waiting in line at the DMV?)

Here is the lovely new furniture that I have waited a while for.  It's a gray color that would go with just about anything.  It has a little tufted detail on the back cushions. And it's comfy.

The only problem is that it just looks really awkward in the space to me.  Our kitchen is open to our living room, which is quite large.  There is room for a breakfast table and a sitting area in the large room. This new furniture just doesn't quite "fill up the space" like our sectional did.  If we could return the furniture and pick out something else, we might not be in this pickle, but that isn't an option.

We had had this sectional, square ottoman (which is wonderful for small children), and oh-so-comfortable-but-not-so-pretty recliner for a few years now. The couch had seen better days and the frame had broken on three different occassions. (Thankfully, my hubby is good at patching it up.) But we knew it wouldn't last much longer and it was time for new furniture. 

 Here is another view of the old furniture and the large living room. (Yes, it was from Christmas. I couldn't find another photo from this angle.) 

Here is the new furniture in the space. I love the round, teak side tables. But from this angle, which is the only way we could configure the furniture to look right, the table doesn't fill up the space between the couch and chair like I would like it to. I tried to stick a Band-Aid on that problem by adding the stool with a stack of books there, but it just looks off. 

Same thing on this side of the room.  We did have to angle this chair for the ottoman and the coffee table to both fit. It still just looks weird. 

It looks better from this angle, but this is not what you see when you walk in; the other side is. 

View from kitchen

So basically here is the run-down:
*The scale is too small for the room
*Awkward placement of furniture
*When my children eat at the breakfast bar, which is directly behind the sofa, they turn around without thinking and rub their food-stained hands all over the furniture.  (exasperated sigh)
*It just doesn't feel right (that's a legitimate basis for wanting to flip-flop your whole house isn't it?)

The Solution (or at least I hope it is)
If I am really honest with myself, our current living space hasn't ever felt quite right. I don't know if it was because of the furniture or the large space.  I have been toying with switching out our living and dining spaces for a while now. I have always been on the fence about that, but now I am convinced that it is the thing to do. 

These pictures of our "formal dining" space are a little old.....before I added curtains or anything, but they give you a good idea of what the layout of the space is. On one side is the office, and the other side is the foyer.  Actually, this room was originally the formal living space and what we use as the office was the formal dining space. We really don't need a formal sitting room so we decided that this would be our dining room. 

So, my idea would be to make this space the living room. I would move all of our dining furniture into where our couch currently is.  A switcharoo, if you will. A great big flip-flop. One that, by all accounts is going to take a little bit of logistical planning to execute. I feel like it will be a much cozier living space and more functional dining area that way. I have to find a way to get blinds for that huge window (Lowe's doesn't even cut custom blinds that big), we have to get our satellite provider to run cable to this room, and we have to figure out how to move our humongous, heavy entertainment center that we semi-built. 

If anyone has any other suggestions, I am open to hearing them.  But for now, that is the way I am leaning on the situation.  Hoping to make the final decision soon and get to work on it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

4th of July Recap

I'm finally getting around to sharing our Fourth of July pictures. I meant to share last week, but I had lots of photos to upload and edit for this post so I am just now getting to it.

If you remember, we wanted to have friends over for the Fourth of July, but our outdoor space was a bit lacking.  We set out to make it as inviting as possible on a very small budget. Here is the before. 

It was a big mess. We just kind of threw stuff back there. It didn't get used much at all except to store stuff. In case you missed it, you can see my design board inspiration and when I spray painted "all the things" here

We started by clearing off the patio and started adding things back in to make designated areas for our barbecue. I'm sure you've probably seen the pin floating around Pinterest on how to make a bench from cinder blocks. We decided to try it since we already had lots of cinder blocks on hand. All we had to buy was the timbers. The tutorial online had double the width that we did for our "benches." (As shown above.) But once we had it four timbers wide it was too deep and my feet couldn't touch the floor. 

So, we halved it and swung the other section out like an "L" shape. That worked much better for us since we were putting a table there for people to eat on. I only had to put chairs on two sides. (We had about twenty people over and three to four people sat on a side of the bench at a time and it held up really well. It was very sturdy.)

Here is the bench after I added lots of throw pillows. 

This was our beverage and paper goods area.  The red shelves and the console table are both made of pallets. My husband made them for me about three years ago. I just gave them a fresh coat of paint. 

I used the shelves to house decor. But I also thought that if I ever needed, it could house supplies for barbecues or just outdoor needs.  That area could be used as a potting bench.  You may recognize the printables that I made for the holiday. You can download those here.  (I already had all of the items I used for decor in this area...the frames, mini chalkboard pots, fabric bunting.)

I used a wagon to put all of the kiddos drinks in. It was easy access for them, right on their level.  And the ice didn't melt too fast. It kept them cold long enough for them to drink just about all of them. 

I mostly used spray paint to make pots and othe decorative items coordinate.  There are a lot of pictures so I am just going to interject ever so often. 

I found this red chair, which is very sturdy and heavy, already painted red for $5 at a flea market. 

This swing was one of the only new purchases we made for the outdoor space. It was a natural wood and I painted it white. For the party, I brought a lot of my indoor pillows outside just to make it more cozy. 

We had a potluck style barbecue. Everyone brought sides. I set up a table to house the food with a cute paper medallion backdrop. We hung a temporary light above the table so everyone could see once it got dark. I put all of the condiments in a metal bucket of ice to keep cold. 

The kids enjoyed playing on a water slide. (Thanks to Stefanie for letting us borrow it.) We also had a couple smaller pools for the little ones. It was unseasonable windy and cool that day, so I think they were freezing!

The guys played a couple games of horse shoes.  

Then we did some small fireworks. I tried to get one of those cool photos with the sparkler leaves a squiggly line and this is the best one I got, which isn't too great. 

We had so much fun celebrating our country with our friends! And it gave me the push I needed to get some things done outside to make a least a little more presentable for right now. I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth, as well!

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