Category Archives: Living Room

venturing into mid-century modern

Do you ever try out a new decorating style only to detest the very sight of it shortly thereafter?  I have tried so many different trends/styles hoping I would have that “Aahh Haa” moment and guess what…NOPE!  (Bear with me, I just need to ramble as usual for a bit).

Shortly after move in day at our new house I got busy trying to make this house a home that reflects who we are.  Sounds simple.  But if you’re someone like me who second-guesses every design choice and gets bored easily, not so much.

SHABBY CHIC:

My first design love affair was shabby chic.   Great style if you don’t over do it.

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I thought this was the direction I wanted to go with our house so I purchased an old oak claw foot dining table from a sweet lady who had one for sale on craigslist.  I purchased some AS Chalk Paint in French Linen and got to town.

Here was my first attempt at shabby chic:

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I really do love the way this turned out, especially knowing how it looked (and smelled) when I bought it.  While I still have this table in the exact same spot I’m having serious doubts about it now.  Something is just “off” when I look at it paired with our cobalt blue sofas.  Once I start to second guess something you bet your sweet booty that it just wasn’t meant to be.  Always listen to your gut.

TRADITIONAL / ANTIQUE

Boy, this trip to traditional was the shortest lived.  My husband grew a few gray hairs when I started bringing antique relics home.  [He's a modernist all the way].  I don’t even remember what inspired me to venture here, other than testing it out to see if it stuck.

Back to craigslist again!  I found these beautiful antique (huge) end tables for sale and dragged my kids along to purchase them.  I should have known to trust my gut and not purchase these.  I think my daughter even knew these things weren’t really my taste because she said, “You’re gonna buy THESE, Mama??!”

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I was also never in love with them because 5 minutes into our drive home my kids and I started complaining that they stunk of cigarette smoke!  The seller never disclosed this and I never bothered to give it the smell test while I was at her house.  Lesson learned.  I went through box after box of baking soda to try and rid these poor guys of their odor.  Cigarette smoke is a nasty, clingy, unforgiving odor, but I eventually was victorious.  I had the same feeling about these end tables as I do with the clawfoot table…something is just off.  So I sold these to a sweet friend!

I scoured and trolled craigslist, eBay, garage sales, you name it to find the perfect end tables.  Nada.  During one of many late night Pinterest binges I stumbled on these beauties and had that “Aahh Haa” moment.

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Hmmm….something just felt right when I made two of these end tables all by myself.

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Things were starting to click at this point, but it wasn’t feeling 100% like me (I mean, us) yet.

CONTEMPORARY

The turning point for me venturing into this design style was those end tables.  They can go with modern, rustic, shabby chic, eclectic, you name it.  I liked the simplicity of the design and loved the clean lines.  Hmmm…this feels right!  I decided to embrace contemporary design wholeheartedly and pushed myself to tackle an entire room makeover.  Holy crap!!  What safer place to experiment than my youngest child’s room!  Mean Mama.

By this point I had a nice collection {hoarder’s paradise} of contemporary fabrics on hand and incorporated some into his room.

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That “chipper” ikat fabric is still one of my favs.  Things were starting to feel comfortable and I liked the way his room turned out.  The only thing nagging me was that I felt like I had seen this style and look on countless blogs.  I have always had a rebellious streak in me and the last thing I want to do is be like everybody else.  This brings me to my last design stop….

MID-CENTURY MODERN:

I have never been drawn to mid-century modern, much less know just exactly what the hell it is.  While in a design slump/block, I decided to scour the blogosphere for some pick-me-up.  Don’t ask me how, but when I landed on this blog I finally had my “Aaah Haa” moment!!!

It was this image that stopped me in my tracks

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YES! YES! YES!  I still refer to this room as one of my all-time favorites, mainly because there is a cobalt blue sofa staring you in the face.  The eclectic mix of this room is perfect and I am now venturing into the mid-century modern world.  It’s a very foreign and intimidating style for me as I think it can look too theme-y if over done.  I have never known how to decorate with our blue sofas until I found this picture.  I mostly love the mid-century modern chairs paired with a modern b+w rug and oh-so-done-right gallery wall.

Here is a recent picture of the family room after finding my inspiration

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 So, I made my first trip to a cool vintage store about 30 mins from our house this week and purchased a few things that I had my “Aahh Haa” moments over.  I will be posting about them very soon.

I guess my point to all this rambling is it’s perfectly normal (and quite healthy I think) to test many different styles.  Who knows how long my love affair with mid-century modern will last, but it’s fun trying out new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  It’s what keeps life interesting!

hugs

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our living room

So I thought it might be time for an actual room post.  Today I’m sharing with you our formal living room.  I feel funny even calling it “formal” because there is a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. nothing formal about this room at all (I guess that’s what we call rooms nowadays that get little use).  It’s the first room you see when you enter our house. The first three pictures are older ones and the way our living room looked a couple months ago.

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This red faux suede sectional was purchased pre-kiddos and has held up pretty well despite all the vomit and other DNA embedded cooties.  I’m hoping it’s gone-zo sooner than later though.

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The jute rug was a craigslist purchase and has been moved to the guest room.  I also re located the IKEA arc lamp to the family room.

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I also swapped out a few pillows for brighter, more funky ones.  The pillow swapping is a disease!

So here is the way our living room looks like (as of this afternoon).  If you’re anything like me, this room will be different by tomorrow.

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I love my new “LOVE” pillow from One Kings Lane.  This was on sale and it looks like someone painted it with watercolors.  I love the funky vibe it adds to the room.  I’ve also admired the look and feel of throwing a flokati rug on a chair or couch and thought I’d give it a try.  The jury’s still out though.

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living rm rug

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This room is my first experiment with ceiling mounted drapes.  The ceilings in this room aren’t super tall so I wanted to hang my OLD IKEA panels as high as I could to give the illusion of high ceilings.  I got a little goofy one day and tied my self-made topiary balls from the drapery rods because…well…just because.  The jury’s still out on that one as well.

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The starburst mirror (doesn’t everyone have at least 2 of these in their home?) was a DIY I made from balloon sticks, wood circle disc and IKEA mirror.  This sucker is huge but I needed something large to eat up the bare wall space.

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living rm entranceView from the front door

I hung an antique mirror on the wall right when you open the door.  This mirror has been in my family forever and I always love getting the door, checking my make-up and wondering how many ancestors did the same exact thing.

living rm plantstand

This stool was a recent Home Goods purchase and I couldn’t believe it was only $40!  This thing is so versatile, but I like it best now as a plant stand.

living rm coffee tbl2“The White Beast”

I say that not because it’s an eye-sore, but because it weighs as much as our car!  This was yet another IKEA purchase about 8 years ago.  I love this coffee table and would love to have it in our family room, but my son has two chipped teeth from this thing already!  I will be mentally ready to re introduce it to the family room probably in another year (or five!).

living rm coffee tbl

living rm orb

The decorative orb was a Z-Gallerie purchase ($25) and the tray was a Joss & Main purchase ($15).

living rm chair

This chair was a craigslist purchase and I dragged my poor kids in our little VW along for the joy ride.  I felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies bringing this chair home because I drove 35 mph the entire 23 miles home with this thing sticking out the back window.  Ooooh the stories my kids will tell about their crazy Mom someday.

living  rm pillow

This pillow is similar to my “LOVE” one and was purchased from the same sale on One Kings Lane.

living rm chair lamp

This end table and lamp were Home Goods finds.

Well there it is (for now!)  I do have some plans for the room as it is definitely missing something.  I would love to do something like this on the wall where the starburst mirror currently is…

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I’ve asked Santa for a power nail gun for Christmas so I could bang this out in a few days.  A girl can hope.

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