Monday, October 14, 2013

My Old House: Living Room Update {With a Touch of Fall}

You may, or may not, have noticed that with most of my designs, whether graphic, craft, or interior, it is an evolutionary process.  My home is a prime example of that.  I think it's because a designer is their own worst client!  Or at least I am.  But I'm always seeing new things I like and want to try, or rearranging my furniture because I know it'll function better this way.

In the case of my living room, it was function that drove the evolution.

We don't have a "guest" bedroom in our house.  But we recognized there is a need to have a place for guests to sleep.  We decided the best way to solve this was to get a sleeper sofa.  And that new purchase gave way to many new purchases.  (:  As always, he he!

We actually began this "update" a little more than a year ago, but when working on a budget, or sometimes NO budget, change takes time.  I definitely would prefer it not to be that way {I'm a bit of an "instant gratification" kind of a girl}, but it is.

Here's what we started with {read that story here}:

Here's how it was after we moved in:

And here it is now!:

*SIDENOTE*:  I don't like referring to budget because I would love to share with you how much it took to make these updates.  But, I don't really set budgets. I mean, I would love to say, "I have $500 to make this room awesome!" but I don't save moolah like that.  Because that is a patience thing, and I don't have much, lol.  So it's more or less like, "Oooo I like that....I think I can swing that this paycheck...yep we can....let's get it."  Which is why it takes months to complete my rooms, but that's how I roll.  Although I think it works for me because I tend to have a hard time making up my mind or I change my aesthetic as time goes by, so this way I get to contemplate my choices before I actually buy it.  Even though I would prefer for it to all happen at once.  Yep, I'm a walking contradiction.

But, all in all, excluding the sofa, I would guess all these updates cost between $250 - $300.  Not too shabby I think.  And that may REALLY be over-estimating.

Some of these changes you've already seen:  the naked coffee table, the doily art, new dining chairs, and the dresser drawer shelves.  And with each I promised a reveal soon.  Well, soon has finally come folks!  Ya-HOO!!

Obviously, as I stated before, the biggest change is the sofa.  When we first moved in, we had to make do with what we had, and that was a bulky sofa with an equally bulky loveseat.  They functioned beautifully in our previous house, but here, they were just too large.  The literal elephants in the room! {See the "before" pics at the end.}

So we sold them and got the new one.  We love the chaise, and sometimes when we are lounging for movie night, we'll pull out the bed part and really "lay out."  The only thing I sometimes question is the color.  The neutral is good, but it's lighter than our other sofas, which meant I never really noticed all the doggie dirt {yes, we let our puppies on the furniture}.  Now, I do see it and it drives me a little nutty.  But I just Scotchguard the heck out of it and hope for the best.  And these days I'm contemplating a slip-cover -- DIY style.  We'll see.

After the sofa came the new coffee table.  I quickly recognized that the boxy sofa/chaise did NOT work with the boxy trunk coffee table.  You may remember I spotted my new table on our Habitat Restore's Facebook page and knew I had to have it, and how perfect it would be with casters.  SO EASY to roll out of the way when we need to pull out the bed.  That table cost me all of $15 and then $4 for the casters.  

I think it was not too long after that we decided to retire the lace curtains and get blinds.  I loved the open windows, but the sun glare was not cool at certain times of day.  Literally.  I'm pretty sure our electric bill went down a bit after we installed them.  It was also a privacy thing.  The blinds, curtains and curtain rods were probably the most expensive purchases for this room, even though they aren't the high-end kind.

I also did a better job styling my dresser drawer shelves, I think, for someone who doesn't really do knick-knacks.  {You can see how they originally were styled here, as well as the DIY tute.}

We also got new dining chairs from the most awesomest antiques fair ever!  Ok, I take back my comment about the blinds & curtains being the most expensive purchase.  These chairs were, but they were SO worth it!  And I didn't have to do anything to them {although I did mention here that the two ladderback chairs may soon have new cushions.}

But I would say those are the biggest changes. 

Here are a couple of small things:

New rug:

Some of you may be wondering:  why so small a rug?  Generally, a rug should be large enough that the major pieces of furniture should sit upon the rug entirely, or at least their front halves.  I specifically chose a smaller rug for a couple of reasons.  First, I was inspired by a picture of a living room with bare wood floors.  It was fabulous!  While I love that look, for practical reasons I couldn't do it, so I opted for a rug that just sat under my coffee table.

Secondly, our new sofa has a roll-out bed, and those wheels slide better on a bare floor.

Ok, moving on... (:

New sofa pillows:

New lamp made from a broken lantern from Hobby Lobby {broken = super cheap!  Yay!}:

This fun little find.  When we saw him, we knew we had to have him, but we had NO CLUE where to put him.  I think he has finally found the perfect home on my sewing table.  Now he just needs a name...  Hugo?  Too cliche?

I made this bookcase brighter by painting it and lining the inside with wrapping paper, and I tried to style it a little better as well.  It's a learning process, right?

Those two lil' kids on the right are the hubby and I when we were little.  We had this on display at our wedding, and decided we had to have it in our house!  My mom loved this, too, because she said this was a glimpse at her grandkiddos.  Guess she got to meet them before we did.

This typewriter belonged to my great-granddad, which if I remember the story correctly, it was payment given to him by a writer who was staying at a hotel he managed.  If only we knew who that writer was....

I loved this quote and felt like it perfectly described my home:  "Collect moments, not things."  Almost everything has a story to tell, a moment in time.  (:

This butcher block table was a gift from my mom.  Really one of the last things she was able to go out and get by herself before she got too sick.  And, crazy as it may sound, it was an anniversary gift for my husband and me.  She knew how much we love funky antique/vintage stuff, and when she saw it, she knew we had to have it {plus, I may have mentioned once that I wanted one}.  Our kitchen is too small to have it as an island or a work table, but it's great as a little entry/hall table.

Speaking of my mom, I have to share the story of this blanket on my sofa with you guys.  My mom's favorite season was winter, and probably spring.  Spring would be a close second--like by a minuscule-point-off close--because that was the best time to work in her garden.  And she loved gardening.

But I say winter was her favorite for two reasons:  Christmas {her FAVORITEST holiday--like, you should have seen our house at Christmas!} and sweaters.  She freaking loved sweaters!!  Which is funny and sad.  Funny because we live in South Texas.  Where we are lucky if we get a week of "winter weather" during winter.  I mean, we get excited when highs will only be in the 50's or 60's because then it will feel like winter.  And we can bust out our sweaters and coats.  

It was sad, too, because as much as she loved sweaters, she never really got to wear them because of our fickle winter weather.

There is a point to all this, I promise.

When we were going through her things, cleaning out her closets, I couldn't believe how many sweaters she had.  Well, I could, but you know what I mean.  And some of them {I love you, Mom} could have easily won the "ugliest sweater contest."  Just terrible.  But they reminded me of her and I hated to part with them.  I remembered a cousin telling me of a friend of hers' mother passing away, and she made a blanket out of some of her old shirts, as a memory keeper.  And I knew that's what I had to do with my mom's old sweaters.

So after researching I found a really great tutorial -- which I could totally relate to the cats! -- and pieced together a sweater blanket for myself and my brother.   I also used the sleeves to make scarves for her sister and nieces, since she was so close with them.  

My kitties love this cozy blankie too!
The only part of the tutorial I couldn't follow was felting the sweaters.  I couldn't wash them.  They still smelled like her and I just couldn't bring myself to wash that away.  It did make cutting and sewing a little more difficult, but I made it work, and I'm pretty proud of it.

Hope you didn't mind the little detour, but that's one of those pieces that has a story, and it was a story I felt like sharing.  (:

So, I think the living room looks better now, more like what this house is telling us, not what our old house told us, and more like who we are now.

Ok, some final "befores & afters."

After seeing my room in photos, I see a couple of things that might need some changing.  But I'll have to get approval first.  Or maybe not, since my hubby remarked to me the other day that I could do whatever because "he just sleeps here."  Nice, babe.  He he he...

Maybe one day I'll actually get the Master Bedroom -- the last "makeover room" in this house -- done.  My husband and I don't really "hang out" in there other than to dress and sleep, so it has definitely taken the back-burner for room makeovers, but I am slowly making changes, and fingers crossed, I'll get to reveal that one before the year's out.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! (:
Have a great one!

for now!

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  1. Great updates! You have a beautiful house. I'm hosting a pillow cover giveaway that you should enter.

  2. Replies
    1. It's an Ikea sofa {the Manstad} but I'm not sure it's available anymore. ):


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