Morning all! I feel a little disingenuous calling revealsies on my living room, since not a post goes by without my posting a picture of some part of the living room, but I’ve finally gotten to a point where there won’t be a lot more work being done in the room. You can stick your collective forks in it. Ok, ok… it still needs to be painted, but that has been scheduled, tests have been slathered on the walls and by the end of next week, the walls will be a nice shade of dove wing white. We’re a step closer to getting back to sewing clothes rather than engaging in home decorating OCD.

So let’s get on with this, shall we?

This is how the living room was arranged prior to setting up the breakfast nook. In the course of nook creation, I swiped those two pink chairs for comfy seating. I also swiped the little pillows on the longer sofa – brownish linen with strips – to put on the pink chairs.

I replaced the pink chairs with two new chairs. I also swapped the placement of the longer sofa with the two chairs. Here’s a shot from the same perspective as the above photo.

When we first saw the house, the previous homeowner had her sofa against the window as well. I hated it and was resolved to NOT block the view of the backyard with a giant piece of furniture! But when I started to organize my own stuff, I ALSO didn’t want to block the view from the front door (and my office!) with the back of the sofa – below is that view. I liked how having the chairs there kept it nice and open. One could just enter and head right on into the family room with no obstructions.

I really hated the sofa in front of the window, though and decided to try it the other way around. Turns out the sofa didn’t block things off as I thought it would. Those Ikea sofas are pretty short – around 32″, so I can still see the pool even when I’m sitting at my desk, and you can see that it doesn’t really create as much of a visible wall as I’d been worried about.

Oh! About my two replacement chairs! I introduced you to the Frenchie chair last week, and here’s my other replacement chair. A pretty indoor wicker chair I found on Craigslist for $50 (includes the ottoman.) I think they are from Pier 1. Here’s how the chair looked when it came home with me.

I didn’t hate the original brown cushion, but wanted something lighter and thicker. I cut it open (the cover is not removable), stuffed it with a bunch more stuffing and made a new cushion from dropcloth material. The same stuff that’s on the seat of the Frenchie chair. I left the cover nice and loose looking.

Here’s the ottoman…

Here’s the ottoman with the new cover. I like them both much more with the lighter covers.

Here’s a different view  – you can see how rearranging the furniture opened up the view to the backyard. I like it SO much better! I also replaced all my pillows with larger ones with a more beachy/neutral colorway going on.

Same room, same furniture arrangement – old cushions and pillows.

Here’s what changed! Also, I changed our slipcovers this weekend. We have two sets of white slipcovers, one set of very light beige. The white slips are on in the ‘before’ picture, the beige in the after. I like the white slips a little more, but the beige hide lucy slobber a bit better. The beige ones are dryclean only and are relatively new, so they just got back from their first trip to the cleaners – it was $49 to clean both of them. Not a terrible amount, but certainly not free. Since I rotate with the machine washable whites, it’s doable. I WILL say they looked about a million times better when first on – no wrinkles!

Another angle showing the current arrangement with the previous collection of pillows, etc.

Same view, new pillows, new cushions. Much lighter!

Same view, pink chairs.

The main reason I swapped out the pillows was because I wanted to add larger square pillows to the mix. I also wanted to integrate more blues. I had the blue ticking/natural fabric look in mind. I’m not a huge fan of blue, but it’s Mr. Bug’s favorite color and I wanted him to love the living room too.

Once I started picking fabrics I realized I had a little problem with cohesion. The fabrics I liked looked great together and in the seating section of the family room, but they didn’t really work with the breakfast nook and the pink chairs. It was too jarring. The breakfast nook was all pink and grey, the seating area all light fabrics and blue. To alleviate, I started out by swiping the little Ralph Lauren via TJ Maxx brown striped pillows for the pink chairs. Ah. Neutrals in the breakfast room!

Here’s a shot of the pink fireplace on the other end of the room. I really needed to find a pillow with the right colors to tie the pinks and blues together without looking too Miami Vice!

Here’s what I came up with for the family room fabrics – from top to bottom: a white pillow from Ikea, same fabric as my white slipcovers and being used as the back cushion on the wicker chair; a blue and natural striped pillow (total score from a consignment shop! From Pottery Barn WITH the down insert for only $22!); the next two pillows (blue pattern and Suzani embroidered print) are both from Pottery Barn; the natural at the bottom of the stack is handmade from fabric at Joann’s. You can also see the color of the dropcloth cushions at the bottom of the pile in the cushion on the ottoman.

The embroidered Suzani was obviously my print to pull everything together. I’ve tried to stay away from Suzani’s and Ikats as they aren’t my favorite and they strike me as SO trendy. I know, I know – ticking stripe is also trendy right now (or was, a few months ago??) but I’ve always loved ticking so I don’t really care!

I really liked the pattern on this pillow, though – the rusty color is perfect with the pink and mixes with the blue without looking overly Miami Vice and girly! Perfect to make my pink chairs look like they’re intentional (I’m trying to avoid having the slipcover or reupholster ANYTHING unless necessary until the whole house is ‘done’!!)

This chair is in the corner in the breakfast nook. I had a little pillow made from ticking that I got at an estate sale for a quarter. He looks nice in the corner and brings more of the blue/natural look over by the pink chairs.

Another ‘before’ view…

And the after! I love how much lighter the fabrics are. I also LOVE the larger pillows. They look nice and are super comfy for lounging around on. All of them except for the two matching large square pillows in the natural fabric are down, so they are super comfy! Oh – the Ikea cushion isn’t down either!

And one more ‘before’ with the previous fabrics and furniture placement. I really didn’t hate it that way, but the dark ottoman, pink chairs and mustard fabric weren’t as light as I wanted things…

So much better! I really love being able to see outside. And the back of the Frenchie chair looks nice outlined against the window!

This little duck is on my mantle. I snapped a shot of him – I found him at an antiques shop in Dallas. I think he’s adorable. They eye chart was in the kitchen in Minneapolis. It’s just printed out from an eye chart I found online. I love type based artwork, I mean, I AM a graphic designer after all. Or at least, I impersonate one for my day job!

Like I said, we’re getting the family room/kitchen/breakfast area painted when we get the outside of the house painted. It’s not as obvious in photos, but our room currently has polka dots from paint touchups done with non-matching paint. These are my test swatches – the color on the left (BM Dove Wing) is the winner – a simple, nice white.

Oh! You can also see a teeny glimpse of an awesome find in the bowl of spools! It’s barely visible, but I found a nice, old spool would with a mauve thread almost identical to the upholstery on the pink chairs! I normally don’t go for the spools with thread still on ’em but couldn’t pass this one up – it’s right below the blue and white striped pillow.

St. Francis got moved from the corner to the hearth to make room for that cute little stool I found. I like him better in his new spot and Mr. Bug even commented last night that it was a better spot for him.

Another run at the complete before and after!! Here we start out with the house as it looked when we put in an offer. The seller’s furniture all in place.

Cleared out and ready for our stuff – note the carpet in the sewing room off to the left!

The first iteration. You can see the hardwoods are already in place but I was still trying to make the alcove to the right of the fireplace into a seating area. One reason I liked this furniture placement was I was able to center everything on the fireplace. Once the sofa was moved to the left side, everything shifted towards the windows to allow enough space behind the sofa.

New furniture placement. With the small cabinet in place, it doesn’t bother me as much that the loveseat and coffee table aren’t centered on the fireplace anymore.

As it looked last night – new fabric, cushions, all.

Whew! With this we have the office, sewing room, breakfast nook and living/family room in the ‘done’ column. Still to work on are the poker room, kitchen and four bedrooms upstairs. Slowly and steady wins the race, am I right?


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