Showing posts with label Living Room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Living Room. Show all posts

New Mirror for the Fireplace

Sep 16, 2018

Let me dust off this blog and show you something new! I have been so busy with work and the kids school/sports schedules that I haven't had a chance to update lately. Actually, I haven't been able to do a lot of things the past month. I'm hoping things will settle down by next weekend so I can put out my fall decor...and take a breath!

Remember when I showed you the new chandeliers? I had mentioned that I chose two of them before I even moved into the house a little over three years ago. This mirror is also something I chose back then, but just like the chandeliers they were out of my budget. The only reason I finally bought the chandeliers is because I found knock-offs. I recently happened upon a much less expensive version of the same Restoration Hardware mirror too. It is six feet tall, which is exactly what I needed for these tall ceilings. 

Here is it is before with the smaller mirror.

I absolutely love this mirror too. It's just so short for these ceilings. Thankfully, I have the perfect spot for it over the dresser in the guest room. That room has been getting a mini update lately. I'm hoping to finish up a few details to show you soon. 

Hanging the mirror was a bit scary! I had wanted to lean it, but my skinny mantel is only 5 inches deep. It looked odd perched on that tiny mantel so we decided to hang it. Thankfully, my teenaged son had a friend that spent the night when we hung it so between the four of us it wasn't too bad. It also frees up space to decorate the mantel!

Here a few different views of the mirror in the room. 

The previous mantel decor was way too small in scale for the mirror, but I didn't want the decor all tall. When everything is oversized I get the Alice in Wonderland feel of everything being too big. I was shopping for a client at Arhaus a couple of days after we hung the mirror, and I noticed these candlesticks extremely discounted (under $60 for both). I love the way they pick up the gray in the painting next to it. I was thinking of wood candlesticks, but I think these work even better. I pulled the orchid out of my "decor closet." Doesn't everyone have one of those? The orchid isn't ideal long-term, but it works for now. I probably won't change it for a while because between decorating for fall and Christmas I really won't need anything until January. I'm so excited to decorate the mantel for the holidays!

This room is getting closer and closer to how I always envisioned it. I would really love a tall built-in media center with doors that cover the TV next. My husband said we should go ahead and buy the biggest TV we would ever want so that we could build around it when we are ready. That makes sense, but I feel like I'm being talked into a new TV we don't need. He also mentioned we would need to put in the surround sound at the same time as the built-in. I feel like I'm definitely being played! Maybe the drapes should be next instead?


Check Out My New Chandeliers!

Aug 14, 2018

I am so excited to reveal my new chandeliers! Our ceilings are so high in three of our main rooms that we needed very large chandeliers and an electrician to hang them...aka expensive! This is why I put it off for the three years we've lived in this house. Even though I didn't think we were going to install chandeliers this year I decided to go ahead and pick out the decor for each room of my house. It's something I do for my clients before I buy a thing. I realized I needed to treat myself like a client and have a plan for every room. That way I can go ahead and make purchases a little at a time without worrying I will make a mistake or went over budget. It turns out if I had just looked a bit harder I would have been able to find the exact lighting I had in mind all along at a fraction of the price of large retailers (not to mention my designer discount). Also, I found a highly recommended electrician that charges much less than many people I used in the past. It's a little disconcerting to realize I could have had chandeliers years ago, but I am happy to have them now!

Let's start in the dining room!

I think this chandelier was made for my furniture! The color, style, and size couldn't be more perfect. The funny thing is I kept coming across it in my online searches, but it just didn't look that great in photos. I had stopped by a local furniture store for a client and happened to see it there. I was instantly sold! I had no idea it was so substantial in person. The size of it still makes me take a second glance every time I walk past it. Honestly, it didn't look that well made in photos either. That couldn't be further from the truth. It is so well-made! The beads, mother of pearl and champagne finish couldn't be more beautiful.


Here are tips for hanging chandeliers in rooms with high ceilings. Many designers will tell you to hang your chandelier 30-34" over a dining table, use a method of adding the dimensions of the room to find the height of the chandelier in inches you should buy, and to keep the width 10-12 inches smaller than the width of the table.

Throw all of that out! That's only good advice if you have an eight foot ceiling. I don't know a soul with an 8 foot ceiling! It makes no sense for us with new homes and skyscraper ceilings. Well, the configuration of the height of the chandelier is fine. When you buy a very tall chandelier you are also going to get unexpected width because most of them are made for foyers. It is completely okay to have a chandelier the width of your table. The reason why it is recommended to keep the chandelier width smaller than the table is to avoid your guests from hitting their head on the chandelier as they stand or sit. If you have taller ceilings you can easily just hang your chandelier higher. It also takes up the void of space in the upper half of your room. I prefer to use the rule of thumb of hanging the chandelier in a room without a table in this case, which is at least seven feet from the floor. In my case, I hung the chandelier six feet from the floor since the last 12 inches tapers in toward the table. The candles that are in danger of my guests noggins are seven feet from the floor. This isn't recommended advice I have seen anywhere FYI, but it's basic math. Once you research the why for the "chandelier rules" it is shocking how outdated they are. I hope this helps all of you with tall ceilings like mine!

Let's move to the foyer!

I absolutely love this chandelier! I picked this one out before our house was even finished three years ago today. Yes, three years ago today is when we moved into this house! It was very pricey at the retailer I saw it at all those years ago. After looking around recently I realized I could buy almost the exact chandelier at a much more reasonable price. I could not be happier with it! It is so dramatic and beautiful. The photo does not do it justice!


The living room chandelier is also another one that I chose before we even moved in. I looked around to see if there was anything I liked better, but I always came back to this one. Just like the foyer chandelier, I found it for much cheaper than a popular brick and mortar store sold almost the exact one.


I hope you enjoyed the new lighting tour! I am sure I will have more photos for you soon!

Before and After: Juliet Balcony Update

Mar 6, 2018

It's finally finished! I posted about my Juliet balcony a couple of times as I finished each stage of giving it a makeover. I'll start at the beginning if you missed it.

This is a photo I took on moving day. The balcony railings were completely plain, and they didn't match the stair railings at all.

The railings had a detail on the spindles called a knuckle. I found the knuckles at Home Depot, but they only came in one solid piece. Since the railings were welded to the balcony floor there was no way to add a knuckle to them.

A google search led me to knuckles that came in two pieces that I ordered and installed in minutes when they arrived! The next step was to add moulding to the bottom of the balcony.

Most of the homes in our area included the moulding so I'm not sure why mine did not. I like the corbels on this one, but decided on the an easier trim for now.

Here it is complete! We just added a piece of trim to the top and to the bottom after we built the initial box.

I'm so glad that project is complete! It's been bothering me for almost three years. We also added the moulding around the windows you can see in this last picture. It makes such a difference! There are so many more moulding projects I'd like to work on, but I'm taking it one project at a time.

New Living Room Lamps

Feb 10, 2018

The living room update continues! It really is a mini update with small changes, but they make such an impact all together. I just received these faux marble lamps from Overstock a few days ago. I've eyed these for a while, but was wary of the quality. I realized if I waited around for my budget to catch up to my taste this living room was never going to come together. I have to admit when I took them out of the box I was skeptical over the extremely shiny brass. I kept looking at my Pottery Barn gold lamps (the ones with the gray shades) and could not help but notice the difference in quality. As soon as I set them up on my media console all of my doubts went away. They just blend so nicely! You would never know how inexpensive they really were. They are a bit more contemporary than what you usually see from me, but they still go with the traditional elements in the room. I love this mix of traditional French and contemporary for this house. It just fits!

The fiddle leaf tree in the corner is new, but I am still scouting for a taller one. Those plate covers where the surround sound pre-wire drives me crazy. A taller tree would definitely cover the one on the left.

Here's a closer look.

I also painted the frames on this artwork a champagne color. They were a bright silver before. I had hoped some of the silver would shine through since I don't want everything gold, but it looked streaky with a light brushing. I ended up using three coats of paint, which covered the entire frame in a dark gold color. I am considering sponging on a bit of silver so it looks more like my mirror over the fireplace. I am still on the fence about it (mainly because I just don't want to do it lol). We'll see if it continues to bother me. 

Here is the before with different art above the TV and random accessories on the media unit. Hopefully, the new fiddle leaf doesn't meet the same fate as the one next to the fireplace. This picture was also taken before we added the window trim. The bamboo shades helped block the sun, but definitely do not go in this room any longer. The black console has been moved to the breakfast room (aka the land of leftover furniture).


Decorating around a TV is always difficult, but it's especially hard when you have a bare 20 foot wall with zero architecture. A collage of paintings/photos around the TV also works, but I decided to style it as I would any other console. Ideally, I would like a very tall custom media center with doors to cover the TV down the road. Until that day comes this works for now!


If you do not see a source above, please click on the "SHOP MY HOUSE" tab. Some of the sources above are similar due to the company not being affiliated with Reward Style. I have included the actual source on this tab unless the item was bought at Homegoods or TJ Maxx.

Living Room Update: More Artwork

Feb 3, 2018

My living room update is chugging along! I hung up the artwork over the TV, and I just love the way it looks. They add so much interest to this wall. The silver frames still need to be painted a champagne/gold color. I bought the paint so I'm thinking I will have it completed some time in the next week. I considered starting it tonight, but I'm sitting in front of the fire with a glass of wine. I need brighter light and no alcohol so I don't get paint on the glass!

I'm still working on accessories for the fireplace, media center and black end table. What I'm really struggling with is the pillows. I have so many options pinned, but I just can't decide! Hopefully, I will decide soon since they will take a while to ship out because they are custom made.

This living room update spurred a master bedroom update. There's a post coming soon! We're also getting quotes for the home office wallpaper and the back porch balcony railing, too. Did I mention I'm also in the middle of planning a big party? Yes, it's a crazy time!

Living Room Update Progress

Jan 30, 2018

You're probably wondering what living room update? It was not on my to do list until last week. I've been working on my home office, but that is on hold as I wait for a wallpaper installer to call me back. I was told there is a shortage of installers. I suppose that makes sense because it went out of style in the 90s and has come back so quickly the past couple of years. I decided to turn my attention to a couple of home projects that need to be completed before summer as I wait. 

One of those projects is drapes for my living room windows. Our west facing living room gets flooded with bright light on summer afternoons. The drapes for my tall and wide windows will have to be custom made to function properly. The previous bamboo shades did not cover the top transoms, and it didn't quite go with the look of the room.

I could put them back up temporarily, but then it would cause holes that would need to be repaired in the new window trim. Besides the functionality, drapes on each end of the windows would help soften the wall. It just feels so bare since the Christmas tree came down. Those chairs need some color, too. Good grief, these January pictures are depressing!

Custom drapes will be expensive, and I do not want to have to replace them with future home decor changes. I had already been considering changing up my living room so I decided to go ahead with it before adding the drapes. It will be a small update of just adding a bit of blue to the already cream and gray color scheme. That means the high contrast black and white abstract has to be moved to another room to make way for a softer look. 

I didn't want to add too much blue because I want the option of adding different colors in the future. The gray will not be going anywhere. It's in my media center and my kitchen island. I'm happily stuck with gray! I've heard it is on it's way out, but I don't believe that for a second. I do think you may see it blended with other colors instead of just gray and white/cream. However, that is just my prediction. Or maybe it's because I am tiring of my ultra-neutral room? It needs some life! Actually, in real life it isn't quite this washed out. This is really just a result of using my iPhone to take pictures. These are probably the worst pictures I have, but it shows you what I'm talking about. I have to brighten up the photos, which tends to white out everything. Regardless, I'm ready for a softer and more colorful look. Maybe I'll start bringing out my Nikon when I photograph this room, too!

The first thing I did was remove the small pictures from above my TV and not put the black sofa table back after Christmas.

I have always been frustrated with this view of the TV. I'd love to have a very tall built-in media center with doors covering the TV, but that is way down the line in priority so I decided to add larger artwork with a bit more interest/color. My foyer art is perfect!

It has blue, gray and tan/caramel in it. It's also part of a series so I picked up it's companion and hung it above the TV. I haven't taken a picture yet because they are hanging by the previous nails and need to be moved. I'm also painting the silver frame a champagne gold color to go with the living room decor. The blue color is small enough that I can choose to bring out the blue or ignore it if I go in a different direction in the future. 

I love abstract art, but for the big wall I decided on something a bit more like a landscape so they weren't competing with each other. I also decided it should not have blue in it to keep it to a minimum in the decor I won't be changing for a while. I knew instantly the painting that would be perfect. That's the benefit of keeping on top of new items to the market. It makes decorating a room much easier!

I just love this abstract landscape! The best part is I didn't have to move the nails. It's exactly the same size as my old art. The leopard pillows are temporary. I just moved them from the media room until I buy new pillows. 

I added a bit of color albeit gray to the chairs in front of the window. Oh, you can see the art above the TV in this picture!

You might notice I'm also moving around the accessories on the fireplace, media center and tables. I only need a few things and I'm pretty sure they will be picked up at Homegoods for a low cost update. The art and drapes will be the only high cost in this room, but I did get the art 50% off (order via phone or in-store for the discount). I'm ordering custom pillows for the sofa, but thankfully they aren't that expensive on Etsy. I haven't quite decided if I'm going to keep the pillows on these chairs. It depends on the color combo I come up with for the sofa. I just love the direction it's going so far. The colors are still muted to keep a serene feel but contrast better for more interest. I love to add pops of color in the florals or a couple of accessories. I can't quite do a blush color in a pillow with four men in the house, but I can add pink florals without it looking to feminine.  

This week (and probably next week too) I will be deciding on pillows, painting the silver art frames and looking for accessories. I'm hoping the drapes will be decided on as soon as I get samples and quotes. I decided on a solid cream color and possibly a gray tape trim on the leading edges for a look that will last years. I'm hoping I can wrap up this project and the office in the next 4-6 weeks, but if it lasts longer that's fine too. As long as I get my drapes by summer I'll be happy!


Kid Friendly Fabrics

Nov 6, 2017

I'm sure you have seen mentions here and there of "kid friendly fabrics." What are they? How do they work? Where do you find them? I imagine these are questions most people have when they see designers talk about light colored fabrics they chose for homes of families with small children. I don't see them go into detail so as someone who has lived with these fabrics for several years I'd like to share my thoughts.

This is just an average day after school. I've heard psychologists say they are bonding when they wrestle like this.

My sofa and two side chairs are both covered in Sunbrella fabric. They are the same outdoor fabric you already know, but the fabric is made for indoor use. They can mimic cotton, linen and even velvet.

The two cream colored chairs are from Pottery Barn. Most of their upholstered fabrics come with the option to be covered in Sunbrella. Mine are similar to a linen weave. The fabrics aren't quite as soft as a typical linen fabric, but once you combine that fabric with the down cushions it is one of the most comfortable chairs.

The sofa is from High Fashion Home. If you order online the only fabrics are standard linen, but if you visit the store you can choose from hundreds of fabrics including kid friendly ones. I initially chose a Sunbrella navy velvet fabric for this sofa. What a different look that would have been! Unfortunately, it was just a promotional fabric at that time and it was undetermined when I could get enough fabric to cover the sofa. The only fabrics they had at the time simulated linen or cotton. It's amazing how things can change in just a few years. There are so many new kid friendly options available now.

How resistant to stains are these fabrics? I would recommend to test out a sample before buying furniture covered in it. I spilled my two biggest vices on the samples, coffee and red wine. Both came out immediately after spills. I was thrilled! I did notice once I bought the furniture it was a little more difficult to remove stains that had been there a while. The reality is it isn't that hard to get out stains in any fabric if you remove it immediately. The hard part is removing stains that have been there for days, weeks or even months. In my experience, most of them can be removed easily with water and a paper towel. There are some stains that required a bit more work, but they all eventually came out. The issue was the integrity of the fabric was compromised the more I worked on it. The bottom line is it was definitely worth the extra cost for these fabrics regardless if you have kids or pets. I do not think these fabrics would have been worth it with very young children. My kids are older (school aged) and do not eat or drink in the living room. I think back to when they were toddlers and preschoolers and realize the leather sofas we had were probably the best choice. I wiped them down with a wet towel daily.

Restoration Hardware has been offering their Perennial fabrics for years. I've tested them out and they appear to be very similar to Sunbrella when it comes to stain resistance.

Crypton fabric is the newest fabric available. I have to be honest that I don't have any experience with this fabric, but it seems to be similar to Sunbrella and Perennial fabric with regards to texture and stain resistance.

I am happy to see more and more retailers offering kid friendly fabrics. I honestly can't imagine going back to regular fabric on light colored fabric furniture.  It is quite a bit more expensive, but you won't have to replace the furniture as often so it does pay for itself. I do not have one stain on my furniture at this time. I can't say that will always be the case, but after two years that's amazing!

Living Room Update: DIY Window Trim

Oct 23, 2017

I think I might have mentioned the living room trim project at least a dozen times, and now I can say it's finally complete!

Here are the windows before. I tried to live with them, but I found myself shying away from photographing this side of the room because they just seemed so unfinished.

My first thought was to add drapery panels between each window from the top of the transom down to the floor. That would have worked to hide most of the drywall around the windows, but drapery that tall between every window is overwhelming. It's also very expensive! Trimming the windows gave them a custom look for much cheaper than four to six custom drapery panels. The total cost of the trim was what one French pleated 140 inch panel would have cost!

We used pre-primed boards to frame each window and a piece of crown molding on top, which is what we did in the formal dining room and study doors of our last house. The only problem was that the drywall around these windows was not even. If the board next to the window was flush at the bottom, it overlapped the top of the window by up to an inch.

My husband wanted to scratch the entire project and return the wood we had not yet cut, but I ran back up to Home Depot to stare at the wood trim and come up with a creative fix. If you have read my blog for a while you know this is not the first time I refuse to take no for an answer when a project doesn't go right! I found these L-shaped trim pieces that would just cover the imperfect areas where the wood did not meet the edge of the window. It's not the normal way to add trim to a window, but it works! You can see that extra piece of trim that wraps around the corners in the picture below.

I am thrilled about the result almost as much as I am about it just being done! I was on this hamster wheel of putty, caulk, and sand for weeks until I was satisfied enough to finally paint. All of those uneven edges and walls caused a caulking nightmare. I told my husband if he ever says I can hide something with caulk again then he will be the one caulking!

You would think I'd never try to attempt this again, but now we are working on the Juliet balcony trim I mentioned in my last post.

This time it will be simple trim under the balcony We'll see how this turns out next weekend!