Monday, January 21, 2013

living room: before and after (finally)

So, I'm finally getting around to posting photos of the first floor of my new house, finished and ready to be shown!  I know I've already put some images here of the room(s) in various stages of being complete, but at long last, I think I'm more or less done with making changes here on the main level (with maybe one or two small exceptions).  Before I kick off this massive photo dump, let me remind you of what the room looked like before I moved in (photos below taken by the previous owner of the house):

And now, here's a first look at how things have changed, before I break it down, step by step!  Kevin, of course, is saying hello.

You might be wondering, if you're one of my three regular readers, where exactly that new couch came from, since I had already purchased a new leather sofa for this house shortly before moving in.  Well, I have a confession to make.  I am woefully fickle when it comes to where I live and the items that I use in my place, and so, after dropping some cash on that first leather sofa and having it delivered, I decided I didn't like it (and in truth, I had reservations about it shortly after it was delivered).  It wasn't comfortable, I didn't like the shape of the arms, it was too small, and the leather always felt cold.  So in a moment of indulgence, I ended up selling it on craigslist and buying a new Chesterfield style sofa (actually the Saybridge sofa from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy's, upholstered in the "cocoa" colorway), which I totally LOVE.  It's the perfect size, comfortable, and the tufting keeps it always looking neat (i.e. not a total sloppy mess like my old sofa that always looked shapeless and messy).   But let's talk customizing.  When the new sofa was delivered, it looked like this:

Not bad, but the pillows seem huge and the whole thing is kind of blah.  So I hopped over to Joann fabrics and Target and got myself busy buying/making some pillows.  I must admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for becoming increasingly handy with the old sewing machine; I've finally learned how to 1) tuft, and 2) add piping/trim to pillows.  These newly acquired skills have now been put to use on the new sofa:

The black ribbon trim pillows and the yellow pillow in the center of the couch are from Target (my favorite store in the world) and the blue pillows w/burgundy trim and the striped tufted pillows I made on my own.  I love that pom pom trim.

But let's get back to the rest of the room.  Here are a few shots, from different angles:

The living room, with the dining room behind, and off to the right, my (striped!) powder room.  Quick sneak peek of the powder room below (more to come on that later).  I painted those stripes myself!

Back to the living room.  Here, a shot of the fireplace and the eBay oil painting I bought when I moved in.  Curiously, various friends have asked me if this picture is either a) Ayn Rand (good lord, I hope not), or b) an effeminate man. Bookshelves are "Hemnes" from IKEA; coffee table was $40 on craigslist; red chairs are from overstock; gold pouf (almost hidden by sofa) is Nate Berkus collection from; brass and lucite floor lamp is from eBay; leopard rug is from overstock.

My blue painted credenza with some majorly oversized brass lamps (also found on eBay); I covered the lampshades with some fun zig zag red/pink/gold paper from Paper Source.  Sorry for the backlighting on this one.  Black and white chevron pillows are from Nate Berkus collection from Target.

Close up of lamp:

Moving right along, here are some shots of the dining area behind the living space. 

I  love the look of wingback chairs at the head(s) of the table, and found these at IKEA, of all  places.  Really like the mid century shape.  Since they kind of tilt back- and downward, I made those big pillows (with the same fabric as the couch pillows - incidentally also purchased at IKEA) so that anyone sitting there is propped up to the appropriate distance to the table.  It actually works really well and the chairs are really comfy.  Bought that new rug from overstock and re-covered my dining room chairs with a blue/white toile fabric (still loved the old fabric I had on the chairs, but it was looking dingy and little worn). 

Here's the new bar that's located across from the dining area:

As promised, a small update on this, too.  The deer head was a DIY project; I bought it on eBay and it originally looked like this:

He's got a cute face, but the whole thing is a little too rustic.  I spray painted him (took MANY coats), and I think the new look is still fun, and a little more modern (and a little less country cabin).   The credenza itself is a nice piece by Drexel that I found on craigslist.  Doors are birdseye maple (so pretty) and I really like the 1950s Asian inspired legs.  

And I think that's about it!  All that I have left to do is get a lighting fixture for above the dining room table, but that's proving to be difficult to find (of course, the one I really like - Meurice chandelier by Jonathan Adler - is waaaaaay out of my price range, so back to craigslist and eBay for me).  The kitchen, incidentally, is located behind and off to the side of the dining area - will post pictures of that later on, since this seems to be a long enough post for one day.  Thanks for looking!  I'll leave you with one last instagram photo of the space, since everything looks nicer through those fun vintage filters.


  1. I am one of the three regular readers!

    YAY ME!

    oh, and I like the living room, too. Hee. The couch - awesome. The bar, even more awesome.

    You have a gift for styling and putting patterns together. Reminds me a bit of Mondo from Project Runway.

    Can't wait to see more of the house as it comes to life!

  2. I think I'm reader #2! Your house looks beautiful. Looking forward to more pictures.

  3. And a comment from reader #3: looks amazing! The new couch is super awesome. Can't wait to sit on it sometime this summer. :)

  4. Thank you so much for posting. I'm thinking of buying this couch and wanted to see how it looks in something other than the room that is used for advertising. Your room looks great--I really have to be more brave!

  5. I bought it yesterday, and its sturdy and beautiful. But I like showcasing tufted part of it, not covering it up with pillows.

  6. I came to your blog because I was looking at buying a new couch in the middle of the night when the kids are sleeping and my boss isn't watching me. It helped me have confidence to purchase a new couch....maybe 2. You have a nice eye for style that I like. I believe you are much younger than me but I wanted to see if you live near Atlanta, Georgia to come and consult at my home on giving my great stuff (you will love) a facelift so to speak........

    1. Hi there! So sorry I missed this note when you sent it back in October! Unfortunately, I don't live near Atlanta - wish I could help!