Friday, October 2, 2009

Loving My Small House Living Room

Okay, so I said I would show you my living room (yes, two days later - life's been busy lately).  Please keep in mind that I am NOT a photographer and we've had nearly a week straight of rain here in the burbs of Cleveland so I had to hurry up and take some pics during that brief spurt of sunlight we had yesterday (or was it two days ago?).

Anyway, here is the view from the stairs. 

The wall color looks washed out in this photo.  The color is called Linguine and is a beautiful yellow with a green undertone.  It was from "The Rome Collection" by Dulux. My Dad, my brother Bill and I first painted it this color when I moved into the house.  Then a couple years ago when it needed to be refreshed, I couldn't find a color I liked better so I hired painters to repaint it the same color.  Hiring painters was a luxury of my former life in corporate America.  Now as an entrepreneur (i.e. person with vastly reduced income), I am back to painting with the (free) help of Mom.

As you can see, the curtain hardware is not hung all the way to the picture molding as we know you should do to draw the eye upward, but I had these panels made at Calico Corners prior to knowing about that tip and I like them too much to get rid of them (although I've had them for years).  If you have a similar situation and want to raise the bar (so to speak), leaving your curtains too short, you can have a coordinating fabric added to the bottom or top to extend your curtain's length.  I prefer a clean look in window treatments so I won't be doing that, but may put some festive trim on them to change the look a bit. BTW, the linen sheers are just Pottery Barn and machine washable (love that).

I do have a very beautiful wool area rug for this room, but I always put it in storage for Summer because I like bare floors in the warm weather.  I had it cleaned by Arslanian Brothers last year and when they returned it all neatly rolled and wrapped in brown paper, I decided to just put it in storage for a while.  I am still enjoying the bare floors.  I realize the floor and furniture colors are very close making for a lot of same color wood, but I'm considering painting that armoire.  Any thoughts on colors?

Here is the view a little further to the right where you can see my old curio cabinet that houses my Waterford crystal collection.  I don't love this piece of furniture, but it fits perfectly into this nook and provides great storage.


This photo was taken a different day than the ones above (see the green candles and almost dead plant?). I love my sofa from Arhaus; it's covered in a super soft chenille and the cover on each piece can be removed and machine washed.  I believe a sofa must have excellent "napability" and this one more than qualifies.  Whenever I lie down on this baby, I mean business...the business of napping that is

My cocktail/coffee (depends on the time of day?) table is from Pier One and I don't remember exactly what I paid for it, but I definitely got my money's worth out of it.  Still, I went on a mega search for a new one last year and only found two I really loved.  Both were antique and cost thousands of dollars.  I found a few so so newer ones, but all were just too big for my little living room.  This one is just 36" of roundness and fits perfectly into my little conversation area.  So, it too shall remain where it is for a while longer.

The mirrored star is from Z Galleries, the glass ball paper weight is from T.J. Maxx (called Home Goods in other areas) and they're sitting on three of my decorating books.  The (two) crystal and (one) glass candlesticks are the latest form of candlelight, but I'm always changing out the look to keep it fresh.   

 This is the (gas) fireplace featuring my Tarjay firescreen.  I don't remember what exactly I paid for it, but it was cheap.  I begged the guy to give it to me at a big discount as it was end of season, it was the display piece and there was a small chip in the paint.  I would love to upgrade and have found plenty of contenders, but not ready to make a committment yet.

I LOVE that starburst mirror that I found at Tuesday Morning for just $124 (saw the exact same one on the internet for double that price).  My sweet Uncle Joe patiently hung and rehung it until I was happy with the position and convinced it wouldn't come crashing down on my noggin some night as I was innocently starting the fire.  

More to come next week, but I need to get busy on paid work right now.  

The sun finally peeked through and I'm ready for my weekend. Go have yourself a fun filled weekend (seriously, what's not to love about a weekend?).



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inspirational Living Rooms

The living room in my home is my absolute favorite room to relax in. I spend the most non-working (and sometimes working thanks to wireless) hours in my living room and it's the room I've put the most thought into decorating.

Because the room is just 23' by 12', I have to work hard to keep it from becoming cluttered with the magazines, books and papers I drag in there whenever I sit in my favorite upholstered rocker to watch TV or listen to music (can't seem to cure myself of the desire to constantly multi task).

So in honor of living rooms everywhere, here are some I think are beautiful and inspiring...

This room is just pure heaven to me.  The only thing in the entire space I don't absolutely love is that coffee table.  I don't hate it, I just don't love it.  What is that base?  I like the roundness, I like the glass top, I just don't get the base.  Seriously, if you know what it is tell me, please.


This would be too formal for me to live in the way I live in my own living room, but it's so gorgeous to entertain guests in.

I love the slightly eclectic, comfy, evolved over time feel of this living room.  And the adorable doggy is the perfect companion to cozy up to next to the fire when you're pouring over your decorating magazines (assuming your BF or hubby doesn't love looking at your decorating magazines with you :-).

This super soft blue and brown living room manages to look perfect and comfy at the same time - difficult to pull off for most rooms.  I normally don't like white walls, but the vanilla backdrop lets the beautiful blue fabrics and touches of brown really shine.

I pulled this heavenly room off of the wonderful Joni Webb's blog, Cote de Texas that's an amazing feast for the eyes and responsible for making me fall in love with the decorating blogging world.

These are the kinds of colors I could live with forever.  Everything is a neutral shade and yet it looks very colorful in the most tasteful way.   Love it.

My bedroom is painted a super soft pink like this, but I don't think I would ever have the courage to paint my living room this color.  Still, this room has that feel of a room that evolved over time that I love.

This is another living room I couldn't live comfortably in, but love looking at it for inspiration.  I love the bright splash of color the pink flowers give the otherwise neutral color palette. The gold picture frames, sconces and table and stool legs really give the room glamour.

I love the contrast of white furniture against dark stained wood floors.  I had the floors on the first floor of my home refinished prior to moving in and wanted them stained a deep rich brown, but the refinisher, Mr. Harris, advised against it saying it would make the room seem too small (of course it already is small, but I guess it could always look smaller).  Still, when I see a room like this, I wish I had gone with the dark floors.

I also love the mix of the antique chandelier, mirror, sconce and desk (in the corner with the flat screen TV on top) with the very modern furniture and animal skin rugs.

Another beautiful neutral room with splashes of pink and red in the flowers and pillows.  This room shows great restraint - check out how clean and uncluttered those shelves are on the back wall.

Maybe tomorrow I'll post pictures of my living room...but only if you promise not to judge me.