Tag Archives: home decor

LIVING ROOM UPDATES

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a redecorating addict. If I had my choice and a little extra time on my hands, I would rearrange my entire house every other month. Unfortunately, my husband is the complete opposite and tends to loathe change. So in order to have some semblance of compromise, I try my best to tweak my patience and he lets me sneak in changes here and there until over the course of a year….voila! An updated room. Oh, the things we do for love.

Anyhow, I thought I’d share with you the updates I have made to my  living room to make it feel a little more, well, livable! But first, here is the BEFORE:

Living Room 2013_edited-1

Not terrible, but a little “college student meets Pottery Barn.” Yep. I bought that IKEA couch and chair for my first “adult apartment,” intending to keep them for a couple of years until I could afford something divine, and somehow got stuck with them going on seven years. SEVEN! Those suckers had been dragged through 3 apartments, my very first home, way too many boyfriends, a cat, a dog, a husband, and another dog. I think it’s safe to say that they led a very good life and were more than ready to retire.

Living Room Angle 2014

Needless to say, the new couch was the biggest and most necessary change. And the oversized chair was easily replaced with a piece I already had in storage (found for $40 at a hole in the wall vintage store!) topped with a Pier 1 cushion and throw pillows I already had from Arhaus.

The next thing on my list of things to go was that rug. That poor Pottery Barn rug had been through the ringer. It actually stayed in good condition until we decided to get a ridiculously large puppy. Let’s just say that two adults that happen to enjoy the occasional glass or two of wine and an oversized, gangly dog with a tail that has a mind of its own is definitely a recipe for rug disaster! And frankly, my tastes have changed drastically over the course of the year and that rug just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. So I simply did a quick little switcheroo and threw the floral rug into the library/newly converted play room, and brought out our larger, more neutral silk rug. And to keep those wine stains at bay, I purchased an inexpensive throw rug from Urban Outfitters to fit under the coffee table. $80 well spent, I must say!

Living Room Rugs 2014 edited

Oversized dog tore through the room right before this picture was taken, hence the off-kilter rug. Just a little bit of reality for you 🙂

I would love to have more greenery in the room, but it simply doesn’t get enough sunshine. That gorgeous fiddle leaf fig you see in the BEFORE pic? Gone. Death by starvation. It is my one biggest regrets. Sigh.

Bookshelf Styling

Living Room Straight On 2014

The pie safe, “NY” signage, milk jug, and most of the pieces on the shelves were all vintage finds – the Lucketts fair near Leesburg, VA and Class and Trash in Richmond, VA are musts for the vintage collector!

Next on my list of to-go’s…that coffee table and ladder shelf. I’d love to go for more white, and that coffee table just isn’t the right shape for the room. I have a piece that I recently refinished sitting in my studio as we speak that just *may* work. Perhaps you’ll be seeing another update soon!

What do you think? Is it an improvement? What have been some quick and easy tweaks you have made to your home?

FINDING MYSELF IN EVERY DIRECTION

Finding myself: I’ve discussed this topic before, but this is something that I have struggled with on a daily basis.In a world where, well, the world is at your fingertips, it is so hard not to get pulled in every direction. And to compare. Dear Lord, the comparison – it’s enough to drive any human absolutely and utterly insane.

I think Pinterest is the most terrible and wonderful technical creation since the invention of the computer. Truly, how would I know how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie, or wear the perfect top-knot bun, or apply the perfect bronzer, or find that perfect 15-minute buns of steel workout, if not for Pinterest? But somewhere along the line, this bombardment of inspiration becomes a visual overload and I have a meltdown. A serious, what-the-hell-am-I-doing-with-myself-why-can’t-I-bake-that-golden-delicious-stonefruit-pie-and-pull-together-that-Martha-Stewart-lookalike-tablescape-with-perfectly-bloomed-flowers-and-gorgeous-hostess-hair kind of meltdown. I turn green with envy and right in that very moment I decide that THAT is what I want to do. Whatever it is, IT is the new thing. THAT is how I want to decorate. THAT is how I want to look. IT is who I am. But what I so often fail to realize is that while I may find something visually beautiful, it doesn’t make it fitting or necessary for my reality.

 

Gregory and Jenny's Relaxed Hippie Bungalow House Tour | Apartment Therapy

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A prime example: a few years ago I fell into a “I want my house to look like a page from the Pottery Barn catalogue” obsession. And it just so happened that I was getting married and purchasing a home in the same short span of time. So, very conveniently, I had my wedding registry with Pottery Barn.

Needless to say, my home now looks like a page from Pottery Barn. And I hate it. Not because it isn’t beautiful, but because it isn’t ME. I fell into one style and came out regretting it. Not because I hate Pottery Barn, but because I was trying to emulate something in its entirety without taking my personality into consideration.

What I am finally beginning to recognize is that there isn’t – or shouldn’t be – just one style or image that is “you.” You can’t fit your life into a box, nor should you want to.

 

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Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest. I read a few dozen blogs in any given week. I browse through hundreds of images on any given day. And every single day I am pulled in every direction. But instead of feeling the rise of that little green monster, I take it all with a grain of salt. Instead of narrowing in on any specific image, I look at them all as a whole and ask myself, “why am I drawn to these images?” Is it the serenity? The splash of color? The confidence? The sense of freedom?

 

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By keeping an open mind and allowing myself to be pulled in every direction, without zeroing in on any one style or image, I have been able to better define myself and what it is I actually desire: a more carefree, laid-back, “unbuttoned” home (which is anything but Pottery Barn!).

 

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(I’ve also learned that I really, REALLY need to transform my black thumb into a green one because all the images I am drawn to have some form of alive and well plant life.)

Kind of like psychotherapy, huh?! What styles are you drawn to and how has this helped you define your wants or end goal?