Wednesday, July 28, 2010

death by interior design

So I've been gone... for a really long time. I would like to blame it on a busy life, but that would be a lie. It has actually been busy if you consider countless hours perusing interior design and decorating blogs and trying to make up my mind about our house. Well, my mind is made up but I guess its more how to fit "my style" into the architectural design of the home. If I had it my way our dining room would have black walls. You see it has a lodge feel and why I didn't realize the challenge it would be when we bought it I don't know. For goodness sakes they decorated the place with pine cones and deer trophy heads or whatever they're called. I still have the pine cone wall paper border in my guest bath because I just can't decide what to do in its place, and I'm lazy. Its easier to shut the door.

Anyway, I've been working on our living room. There are several challenges with our house. The architectural design, already mentioned, and then the other is the floor plan. It is very open, which we love but that means that whatever I do in one room has to flow into the other. The third challenge that I have had to come to terms with is the lighting, or lack thereof of natural light. It has made for the most difficult challenges in choosing colors for the wall. That black dining room I want, well it will have to exist in my mind for now until another house, which I hope with all my might has plenty of natural light! The natural light we do have from our north facing windows makes the colors read cold and brings out any amount of blue in the paint. So as a result I ended up testing at least 10 different colors (which I still have proof of on our kitchen wall, can someone say circus!) and holding off painting for a month before I could commit to a color. We spent our 4th of July weekend painting. Even then when I finally did commit to the color, well, we hated it! On the advice of the nice guy at Benjamin Moore (thank you dear Richard, yes we're on a first name basis now, for your patience) we decided to live with it for a while. I was so tired of trying paint colors and failing, we spent quite a bit of $$ on the paint and primer and Ryan just started back to school for his post-graduate work, thus time is too precious for re-painting.

So I decided to work on changing some of the layout and accessories. After doing that I feel 100 times better about the space. As our $$ budget allows we will be upgrading our entertainment center to a larger white one and adding some black floor lamps from Ikea.

Without further ado, here is the room as it sits today (guaranteed it will be different in some way in a month).

That being said, the color is growing on us and when it reads warmer from incandescent light I actually think I really love it. It is a lot of blue though so I doubt we will keep this color for more than a year or two (sweetie I hope you don't read this). I guess any length of time is better than having to had repaint it that same weekend like Ryan said he would just so I could feel at peace and be happy. I really had a hard time with it at first. I didn't want to even be in the room. Horrible!

I really didn't add too many new things, even though Ryan would disagree. For an early Mother's Day gift Ryan surprised me with the area rug. I had been pining over it for months and when I informed him there was only one left on he grabbed it on his lunch break and surprised me with it a week later when it arrived. It should last us for a very long time. I highly recommend for killer rug deals. This rug retails for over $1200 on other websites. Its a Surya Rug designed by Jill Rosenwald and made of 100% wool which I have read is great for kid-friendly homes. It has saved Gavin's head countless times already when he falls and our last rug was so thin it was like hitting the hardwood floor. I got the rug for about 1/3 of the retail price. It was a steal and a great investment in my mind.

The bookcase and baskets are from Ikea which we used to keep in the front entry area. I made custom stickers to put on the tags from Bake it Pretty to identify what is in each basket and I will change them as Gavin uses them more. They house lots of toys and I love having them organized and not visible but accessible at the same time.

I sewed the turquoise pillow myself (don't look closely the sewing will scare you) from a discontinued sample of a Waverly fabric at Joann's for $2.50. I already had all of the other pillows. The chartreuse-like green pillows (from Ikea, ofcourse) were the foundation for this entire makeover. Its my favorite color and so I went searching for a wall color that would compliment the green well. I found some great inspiration photos and decided to take the plunge. I plan on getting some fabric paint and a stencil and painting a geometric pattern on the green ones, someday.

I wanted to ditch the glass coffee table but until Gavin splits his head open on it I think it will stay. Although it shows every hand print and water ring it is super easy to clean off and for that I think it will add to the kid-friendliness. The chevron-like print pillow is from Ross for $10. I am not a huge fan of Ross (love TJ Maxx/Homegoods) but have frequented there more lately and have found some great deals on pillows for our bedroom as well.

I love that our artwork pops out more from the wall. I will eventually change up the art on the wall with the entertainment center on it, but I'm trying to take a break from worrying about it for now.

Now I have to find a solution to covering up the 8 or so spots of sample colors I painted on the kitchen/dining wall (we don't have any of the original wall color paint). Hopefully Richard isn't tired of me coming into his paint store!

I'll try to be back sooner than later... if making decorating choices doesn't kill me first.