Monday, August 24, 2015

The Living Room

I gave a little bit of a living room teaser in a previous post. Well, it finally dawned on me to push some boxes out of the way, take some pictures and do things proper already.

I think the living room may be my favorite room in the house. I spend the most time in here (like, right this minute, even...) and every day I look at something in the living room that makes me smile.

Let's talk color!

I have two rules when it comes to picking colors for a room.

  1. Pick colors you look good in. If you're not sure, think of your favorite outfit and literally go out shopping with those exact colors in mind. Use these staple hues in the large scale areas. (Wall color, curtains, upholstery, rugs, larger furniture and art pieces.) If these are the colors you feel best while wearing, that will translate into ambiance as well. (Not to mention, you will always photograph well in that room too!)
  2. Accent with a color you love, but never get to wear because it looks hideous on you. Incorporating colors you've always longed for will give your space some extra zoom-zoom. (The only adjective that's coming to me at the moment...) Just like when dressing, I'll sneak these colors into small accessories, shoes or toenail polish. Even though it may not be a color I look good in, using it in smaller pops won't clash with any selfie-taking. (And, you know you're taking selfies in the living room. Let's be truthful!) 
But, you say you don't look bad in any color? Well, you can just keep that information to yourself, Miss Perfect! Pick another favorite color then and go back to your beauty sleep.

My good color is teal. I used it in an entire wall of curtains, pillows, throws, furniture accents and other accessories big and small. My living room doorwall also opens to the Florida Room, which is screaming teal at all times. Bring on that universally flattering color!

My color I look ugly in, but always wanted to decorate with, is yellow. I used it in lamps, picture frames, a chair, some art pieces and... oops... one of my largest pieces of furniture. It's okay, though. I toned it down with some antiquing wax so it won't bite my face if I accidentally bring the camera out over there.

Two solid colors are good any for basic interior design. But, that was a little basic-basic for me in my largest room.

I'm a bit of a color screamer, so I added lots of red into the mix as well. I personally prefer three main colors to a living space. 

Well... maybe more. 

Since, I had a bit of olive in my existing art mix, and I'm not shy of a fourth color if it's practically a neutral (in my world), I was planning on purchasing an adorable Strandmon chair from Ikea in a lovely shade of olive green. But then the fridge went kaput and robbed me of my wing chair funds. I ended up using green in my dining space, anyhow, which is open to the living room... so I guess that makes it a whoppin' FOUR big colors in the mix.

Do it if you dare! Your eyes will stop you once it's too much! Be brave and trust those eyeballs. (And, for the third and fourth colors, be sure to go back to those hues you look good in!)

To offset all this color mania, I made sure to use large amounts of neutrals in the backdrop to prevent major headaches in my relaxation space.

I went against my past design history and decided to leave almost all of my walls white. (A color I do not look good in.) I knew I'd be bringing in lots of color in the artwork, so it was alright. (Plus, I didn't want to end up having to wear sunglasses in my own home.)

When I was younger, I used to despise white walls. Then again, when I was much younger, I also had carpet the shade of Pepto-Bismol on my bedroom floor. Let's just say, I got over it. Baptism by Barbie-toned fire. I eventually learned to incorporate white, and you will not find a drop of pink in my home today! (Don't look at that stripe on the chevron pillow...)

My favorite thing about this room: Is it wrong to say "EVERYTHING!"?

What this room will be used for: Once again, EVERYTHING. I eat in here. I drink in here. I binge-watch in here. I fold laundry here. I catch up on social media here. I read right here. Sometimes I accidentally fall asleep in here.


Of course, this is also the place for quality kitty time.

What I'd still like to do with this space: Not much, really. Maybe eventually another end table and lamp to replace the floor lamp. And, who knows... maybe once the rest of these boxes are put away, I'll unearth the perfect place for that olive wing chair.

This room is chipmunk approved!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Hallway

Yes. The hallway! When you're working with barely 800 square feet, every inch counts.

The last this blog saw of my hallway was Audrey being strategically placed to be dragged away by vengeful Cat. 

Well, I ended up doing a little bit more with this "room". 

As I started unpacking and unearthing things that would have gone in my second bedroom, if I had a second bedroom... I found the immediate need to start getting creative with storage.

Enter this cubed shelving from Target I had been using as closet storage in my former residence. It fit perfectly into this narrow space, without impeding function or safety.

I now call it my Kid's Section.

Having eight nieces and nephews also means having more kiddie stuff than most singles my age. With nowhere else to put the movies, toys, children's books, Sunday School material and video games... this new "room" became a blessing in disguise.

It's out of the way enough for everyday living. But, accessible enough for small visitors that call a-callin'.

My favorite thing about this room: The little bit of art and the family pictures I've enlarged and framed to match. Everything's a perfect fit! And, the colors blend with the adjoining rooms.

This space is also a perfect showplace for some of my many pieces of Disney memorabilia.

Not to mention, my salvaged collection of Golden Books that the kids don't really care about, but they give me a warm case of nostalgia... therefore, they stay!

What this room will be used for: The first stop for pint-sized visitors. And, at just the right height for little hands to help themselves.

What I'd still like to do with this space: Nothing! This room is complete. *sigh*

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Dining Room

I've eaten in my dining room, maybe, three times since moving in over a month ago. I feel like I've been awkwardly avoiding the room, like an unappreciated but necessary roommate.

Until this weekend, the dining room has been basically used as a.) a passageway to the kitchen, b.) a storage place for my sewing equipment and c.) a last full-length mirror checkpoint before leaving the house.

I usually eat out in the fresh air or on the couch while "studying" (ie. watching Netflix), so I've been torn on how to use this space.

I was tempted to turn it into an office/library, but I figure every home needs a table. Every woman (or dude) with a sewing machine also needs a table. And, I can't expect my house guests to all be "couch eaters". (But, if you are... welcome!)

Besides, my younger sister had so generously donated to me an entire free dining set. So, dining room it is!
New addition to the blog: Unrequested cat photobombs with every pic!

I'm not gonna lie, and it's no family secret, that this set has seen better days. It was my brother-in-law's childhood eating place. It saw my sister through her newlywed years, motherhood, and even survived a most unusual fire. (Yes, fire! A strange freak accident involving sunlight and a perfectly/poorly-placed mirror.)

It's not something I'd pick out for myself at the store... but the best DIY projects usually aren't. It's sturdy, solid, and without the leaf, transforms into a perfectly compact round table that's just the right fit.

Now, what do I do with it?! Pinterest plus my imagination had a billion ideas and it took me forever to settle on just one.

First, I had planned to paint the top black, the legs white, and then do the chairs in a bolder hue that would compliment the Disney wall.

But, the white base ended up looking way too stark against my white walls.

Enter, Home Decor's Wood Tint product in walnut. I had bought this out of curiosity and figured I could use it as back up, since I wasn't really sure what I wanted out of this project. Good thing I did, because I ended up loving the results!

Wood Tint is designed to work right on top of chalk paint. This is a miracle product for lazies like me who are vehemently opposed to stripping and sanding before refinishing. Since, I didn't like the result of the white and black chalk paint combo, I simply brushed the Wood Tint right over top of the dried paint and the brush strokes gave it a pretty realistic look of stained wood grain.

I also painted a layer of it on top of the black table top to give more depth to the flat chalky look. Sealed with a clear coat, for protection, and voila! All on one work night. No sanding or stripping required!

My arsenal.

Now what about those chairs?!  It took me almost another week to finally decide on a color.

I wanted something that was fun, but not too juvenile. Something that matched the artwork, but didn't clash with the exposed living room's palette. I settled on either an apple or olive green. (Krylon's "Ivy Leaf" being the final winner.)

Although, I love the ease of chalk paint, I let Pinterest persuade me into thinking that chairs are easier sprayed than brushed.

Fume management 101: If it's a must, at least try to be cute about it.

I hate spray paint (if graffiti's not involved) but fell victim to viral peer pressure. I hate the smell. I hate the mess. And, I especially hate this:

The spray paint "tent".

Apparently, one of my neighbor agrees with me on this, because two chairs in, I received a note on my front door inquiring about the smell. I ended up having to finish the job at my parent's house. Chalk paint wouldn't have done this to me! 

Spray paint tips: 1.) Invest a few dollars in the nozzle. It made spraying so much easier
and I didn't end up with "spray paint fingers". 2.) Remove the cat. 3.) If you don't have a
well-ventilated workspace (or even if you think you do!) spray outdoors. Your neighbors
will thank you. 4.) Chair-painting goes alot smoother working from the legs up. "But paint drips
downward!" Trust me. I did two each way and the Pinterest bloggers are right!

I can still taste the fumes today. Slightly helping me out with neighborly relations is the cinnamon candle I've left endlessly burning right next to the shared wall.

But, in the end... Lookee here!

I really do love how it finally came together!

My favorite thing about this room: Still the Disney wall. But, also the other this 'n thats I found to go with it that make me nostalgic for childhood vacations. And, the chair color still has me swooning! (Or, it may just be the fumes.)

What this room will be used for: Hopefully, not just this.

What I'd still like to do with this space: I'm on the lookout for a long dresser or other such object I can pretend is a buffet, but will secretly be hiding all my sewing stuff. The little left-over dresser pictured below just ain't cuttin' it!