Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time for a Furniture Refresh?

 It's been a while since I last shared new photos of our Living Room during my "Five Year Refresh Week", but I've seriously been thinking about a furniture refresh ever since when it comes to our couch/sofa situation- and I mean seriously like it's officially scribbled in on my to-do list.

Currently, we have a leather sectional that we purchased in 2008 when we lived in our condo downtown. It actually was the first big furniture purchase we made together (awww!) and it still is a very nice sofa...  but as you may have noticed, that sectional doesn't fit into our living room due to the sofa/chaise positioning and we have been using each section separately.  If we had purchased the sectional with the opposite layout- chaise on the right, sofa part on the left (facing the sectional); it could have worked in our house just fine.  - wa-wa -

Yep.    I know.    It's kinda really janky :(  

Perhaps we had grown "house blind" to how odd it probably looks to everyone else?  Regardless, we've come to the realization that it's time pull the trigger on buying a (real) new sofa! 

I have been digging the look of the Chesterfield style sofas and thankfully, Alex is onboard with this look too... Ahhh, always feels like magic when we just happen to agree on design/style choices!  Really though, there's something nice about that classic tufted look that seems to fit our style...
Images via The Rustic Modernist | The Little Green Notebook | Veranda Interiors | Pinterest | Elle Decor | Pinimg | 47 Park Avenue
I've been doing a lot of online research but I hope to get out and do a little shopping this weekend to see what my options are.  As for our current/old sofa, we will likely list it on Craigslist since we can't fit it anywhere else in the house.  Kind of a bummer but at least we can use that money towards a new one!  Now, I'd love to hear your ideas/suggestions/recommendations since this is a larger purchase, ya'll better give me some tips...

Where would you shop for a new sofa?
Would you buy online without seeing it in person?

A special thanks goes out to our friend Amber for keeping it real and telling us that our sofa situation is strange :)  we always appreciate your wise insight... and Alex always knows you are right :) you have secret mind powers!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

West Elm Souk Rug Pattern Inspired Pillow Cover DIY

It was gettin' crafty up in here today- Check out my latest little DIY pillow cover project!

A combination of things inspired me to take on this little DIY project which started when I found this cute "Ziggy" pillow from Fine Little Day  on Pinterest a while back....

The pattern was cute, simple, irregular and had a handmade sort of feel.  I kept coming back to the Pin thinking "I wonder if I should try to DIY something like this?"

The look or texture of the print reminded me of the popular zig-zag or interlacing trellis patterned Souk and Torres rugs at West Elm with that similar irregular type line work...
West Elm Souk Wool Rug $199-$1299 and Torres Wool Kilim Rug $59-$599; Sidenote- I'd love to have one of these if anyone has a spare $1,000 I can borrow?! JK
I figured I should give this DIY a green light using a combo of the looks I was inspired by,  seemed like DIY-ing the print would be totally do-able right?  So, I had to try it!

I had an old cheaper white pillow cover that I figured I could sacrifice in case this turned out terribly and after steaming and ironing it for nearly an hour to de-wrinkle it was ready!  I started out by lining up the pattern look I wanted with painters tape.  I wanted to fit the three lines of diamonds going along the length of the Souk rug so I started by lining up that pattern with painters tape.
Using the painters tape allowed me to adjust and get the right size and shape similar to the rug.  Once I had the diamond shapes fitting across the center I cut out a piece of cardboard that fit into each of those three diamonds then used it to trace out the top and bottom rows of the diamond/zig zag pattern.  Once that was complete I used black fabric paint and a foam brush to apply the pattern.
All in all, it was a pretty simple DIY and I imagine there's probably ten other (and perhaps better?) ways I could have gone about applying or tracing out the pattern?  But I am just happy with the end result!  I think it has a simple modern look that we can fit easily into our living room or sunroom decor.  What do you think?

 Do like how the pattern turned out?
If you want to try this DIY, would you do the same pattern or something different? 

I almost want to attempt a sewing version of this DIY now, hmmm... Using the same pattern inspiration I could use thicker yarn and stitch it through a pillow cover instead of the printed/painted version?!  Sound crazy or should I try it???  Let me know!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Old Street Sign to Remember a Special Place

Don't you love when you are in the right place at the right time?

That happened to me earlier today during a walk with the dogs when I happened to stumble upon a couple city workers that were taking down old street signs and putting up new ones.  Being the neighborhood history nerd (posts on our house history and neighborhood history) and weirdo in general that I am, I had to bother ask them, "Excuse me, what do you do with the old street signs?" and one of the workers replied with, "Do you want one?" and the other began taking apart the old sign to give to me.
This little random moment totally made my day!  

Even though it was probably TMI I told them, "My husband and I live in the first home we've ever owned on this street, so thank you, it's special to have."  I kind that might have brightened up their day a little too?  Then, with the street sign in hand I walked home grinning like an idiot :)
Maybe it seems silly to be this excited over a street sign but I'm thankful to have this sign that marks the place that became our very first home together (you know I am also a weird overly sentimental person too right?).  Whether we are here for another year, ten, or twenty-five, this home and neighborhood will always hold a special place in my heart.  Ahhh, aren't you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside too?!

Where would you put it or what would you do with it?  
Would you have asked for a sign too? 
Does anyone in Minneapolis know how old the streets signs were that just got replaced?

I don't think we can really display it anywhere since most of our walls have windows breaking up the amount of space we could place it on so I'm not really sure what or if we will do anything with it.  If you have ideas let me know!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

How the Sunroom Ended Up

Now, where was I again with my house projects, hmmm.... Oh yea, the Sunroom!  Seems like forever long ago when I began changing up the look of our sunroom but I finally got around to adding in a few finishing touches and I'm calling it complete... for now at least :)
The images shown on the left above are various "before" photos of our sunroom- 2009 when we moved into our home, 2010 after we painted the room and refinished the wood floors, and 2011 after Alex built the radiator cover/bench.

This sort of spontaneous room update started with changing the paint color to the darker black/blue paint (same color that we used in the kitchen, Martha Stewart Francesca from Home Depot).
The next change I tackled for the room was redo #2  on the set of chairs I picked up at a yard sale last summer.  Yep, making the chairs blue with a maroon seat cushion was a really poor choice but I did learn how to tuft a seat cushion at least!  Not a total waste I guess?
I admitted my DIY mistake and made my wronged chairs look right with a new coat of paint on the wood, faux leather upholstery, and silver nailhead trim.
Click here to see the second chair redo (updated to black & added nailhead trim)

After painting the room and fixing the chairs, the sunroom project took a pause... a VERY long pause.  
[Insert NYC, my 30th birthday, Hong Kong, China, Toledo, filming a tiling project, Alex in Europe, big business partner meeting at work, and last but not least my unlucky ER visit to get 16 stitches on my shin]
- PLAY - 

With all that craziness behind me, I had time to tinker and finish things up in the sunroom again!  The finishing touches included new wall decor, window treatments, light fixture, and repurposing/redecorating our DIY radiator cover/bench.
On a random Ikea trip I picked up the Marmorblad pair of curtains for $17.99 (not sure why I can't find them on Ikea's website, they are shown on page 264 if you have their 2014 catalog).  I thought the look fit nicely with the color and mood of the room and I liked the simple modern windowpane pattern.  
The light fixture was kind of a random experiment.  While at Ikea I found the $5 Hemma Cord Set and thought why not?  I was looking for something different than a floor lamp or table lamp when it came to lighting and so far I'm liking the change.  I might get a different shade for it, we'll see!

For the wall art I just shifted around some frames and mirrors I had in other places.  I used a mix of family photos and a few travel photos of Alex and I. 
Over on our DIY radiator cover/bench (click here for the DIY tutorial if you are interested) I made the decision that it didn't make sense to have pillows on it because we never actually used it as a bench or sat on it really.  Instead, we mainly used it for storage and I kept my indoor plants there because the windows are south facing.  
I also started keeping a basket of all the typical items I would bring outside at the end of the bench right by the door.  It came in handy a lot this summer, whether it was just me and the dogs sitting outside on the deck or if we had company over too.

That's the whole update in a nutshell!  I'd love to know what you think of the new look!

Do you like the updated look?

What are you favorite changes?

What else would you add or change in the Sunroom?