Friday, May 27

The Power of "The Pop"

In yesterday's post, I told you how we are moving a lot of things around here as our basement is nearly complete.

It all started with re-styling 'Room B' - a small main floor den - with furniture from a different room.  Nothing seemed to go as I had planned.  In yesterday's post, I explained how I ended up having to move my beloved armoire out of the room (boooo) to make it work.

Well, I'm happy to report that something did go right in the colour department!

If you don't want to draw too much attention to furniture that you don't love (for example, an older set like mine),a great decorating strategy is to paint the walls a nearly identical colour.

Luckily, my room and sofa are a soft neutral; not sure if I would recommend doing this if your older set is emerald green or peachy-pink, lol. (In that case, I'd start with a neutral slip cover!)  This helps to "quiet" the furniture, allowing your accent colour to 'pop'. This draws attention to artwork and accessories instead. 

For example, here's where I started.  Drab, yes, but a perfect palette to allow accessories to pop.

Here's a shot where I layered on a few toss cushions with bright reds, oranges and yellows.  These actually came with my new furniture in the other room.  I knew when I purchased the new set that they wouldn't work in that room, but I thought they *might* work here!  I have deep red custom-made roman blinds that had to stay, and these are a great match. They are not what I would have picked if I had them made, but I knew I could live with them.

I was liking the fabric, but I'm really not a huge fan of the matchy-matchy pillow look. So I threw in one of my older cushions too, to break up the uniformity.

My next issue was what to hang on the wall behind the couch.  I love to 'shop' my own house when re-styling a room (i.e., steal from another room), but I literally had nothing that would possibly work with the pattern and colour in the pillows.  So I headed to HomeSense to see what I could find.  Those kind of stores are hit or miss, so I wasn't holding my breath.

Imagine my luck when I found this piece of canvas art with a huge red, happy poppy.  It was more expensive than I hoped, but it is really great quality.  I find that canvas art can look cheap, but this one is a giclee print. (In giclee printing, there is no visible dot screen pattern; the image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting). It was exactly what I was looking for.

And here's what the wall looks like now:

I love how I hardly even notice the furniture anymore.  That's the power of 'the pop', people.

The room still needs some more finessing, but I'm happy that it's finally coming together.  I need to move on to the other rooms that need fixing, as this furniture train keeps rolling.


Stay tuned for more room updates over the coming weeks, including my living room and basement.


Thursday, May 26

Slaying a Sacred Decorating Cow

Step 1: Move furniture from Room A to Room B.
Step 2: Re-position furniture in Room B. 
Step 3: Curse on furniture in Room B.
Step 4: Wish you had never moved furniture from Room A to Room B.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2 through 4. Frown.
Step 6: Repeat steps 2 through 4. Have a drink.
Step 7:  Repeat steps 2 through 4.  Frown some more.

You get the picture, lol.

Have you been there, done that?

Well, that's been the scene in our small main floor tv room/den over the past 36 hours.

If you've been following along here, you might remember that we've been finishing off our basement which means that a lot of furniture is getting moved around here. 
  • Room A (the "Living Room") is getting new furniture which is being delivered today!
  • Room B (a small main floor TV room/den) is getting Room A's hand me down furniture.  
  • Room C (the new large TV room in the basement) is getting Room B's.  Have I thoroughly confused you yet?  Sorry. Now you are just as confused as me!

    First off, you need to know that Room B is pretty small.  It has two-story cathedral ceilings which makes it feel a little larger, but dimension-wise, it's pretty teeny weeny at about 12x14.  Despite that obstacle, I was stubbornly convinced that I could stuff an over-sized couch, two beastly chairs, and large media armoire in there.  No sweat.

    By my rough measurements visual estimations (my bad), I was pretty sure it was going to work in there.  If not I was sure I could make it work.  Wrong. Turns out, I didn't account for the over-sized arms on the sofa and two chairs. 

    The worst design dilemma in the history of design dilemmas. I could make it look pretty, but it wasn't functional.  I could make it functional, but then it wasn't pretty. 

    No matter what arrangement I tried, the open doors of my armoire hit a chair.  The only place you could actually view the TV was from the sofa.  I don't know about you, but five of us huddled on a sofa watching a movie doesn't sound like it'd be much fun after 5 minutes.

    Exhausted and peeved, I sat in one of the beastly chairs to collect my thoughts.
    • Option A: Buy new furniture for Room B.  No, hubby would never go for it.
    • Option B: Use new furniture intended for Room A in here.  Forget it; not at all what I'd envisioned for either space.
    • Pic taken last Christmas.
    • Option C came from a little voice in my head that I was trying to drown out.  It whispered, "Mooooove the armoire out of this room.  Mooooove the armoire out of this room.  Mooooove the armoire out of this room." :-)
    Nooooooooo!  Not the armoire!

    I love my armoire, and it's the newest piece of furniture in the room, purchased at Pier One 2 years ago.  I am not a fan of seeing TV equipment when you don't have to, so I love having the option of closing the doors.

    As I'm arguing with myself, I had a perfect sight-line to the front porch where a new console table purchased at Christmas-time (also from Pier One) was sitting.  It caught my attention.  Hmmmmm.  Maybe.  Just maybe that might work.  Well, I thought, I guess I can try it just to rule it out.

    So after some pushing and pulling and carrying and grunting, I managed to move the big armoire out of the den by myself, and bring in the console table from the porch. I disconnected all that electrical "stuff", and then plugged it all back in again.  (She pats own shoulder).  All the while, I was hoping it wouldn't fit properly.

    I couldn't believe my eyes, it actually looked OK.  Not "armoire OK", but OK. I actually was starting to like it.  The best part: being able to see the TV from any angle, and any seat in the room.

    What I learned from this (exhausting) experience is that sometimes you have to be able to slay some sacred cows in order to create a great space.  My sacred 'decorating' cow in this case was my stubborn belief that TV equipment should be behind closed doors.  But once I let go of that, and tried something new, I ended up creating a space that was not only pretty, but functional too. 

    After all, what kind of room is it, if it doesn't 'work'?

    Until next time, happy decorating.


    Saturday, May 21

    The Truth About Dogs & Decorating

    I've talked a bit around here about my crazy life with 3 kids, including 19-month old twin boys and a soon-to-be 7 year old daughter.

    But before there were ever human babies around here, there were two big fur babies, our pure bred black lab, and our SPCA collie-mix.

    For the past 12 years, I have struggled to strike a balance between living with our dogs and having a pretty home.

    As you might have gleaned by now, I am a bit obsessive about my home, but it's a battle that can't be won when you live with two beasts.

    Let's face it, dogs and decorating don't mix well.  For me, a nice home starts with a clean home, and well, dogs are messy. REALLY messy. Sigh.

    I've often thought how sparkling clean my home would be without dogs.  Let's see...

    Well, for starters, without dogs, I wouldn't have to vacuum daily.

    Without dogs, our hardwood floors would be perpetually shiny and scratch-free.

    Without dogs, I wouldn't have to buy air fresheners, or swiffers, or sticky lint rollers.

    And, I wouldn't have to replace my rugs annually.

    Without dogs, guests could sit on our couch without needing a full body check with a lint brush.

    I would never have to worry about stepping in a puddle of warm pee in the middle of the night while fumbling to make the babies' bottles.
    Without dogs, you wouldn't find me in PJs and rainboots on any random night at 2am, gently nudging an 80-lb arthritic beast up the back steps in a rainstorm (or blizzard).

    I wouldn't have to clean up snowballs throughout the house in winter. And in summer, our grass would be luscious and green, and free of  pee burns.

    Without dogs, I wouldn't constantly have slobber-marks all over my new windows.

    Yes, come to think of it, without dogs, life sure would be a whole lot cleaner and easier around here.  And my home would be a whole lot prettier.

    But, I wouldn't have it any other way!  Despite all this work, they still are adored beyond words after all these years.

    They are getting older now, evidenced by the requirement of insulin shots and other meds daily, and it's becoming clearer that we won't have them forever. It breaks my heart to think about life without them.

    When that day comes, I know my home will finally be fresh and shiny and lint-free. But the biggest part of what makes our house a home will be missing.  There will be an emptiness that will be hard to fill with 'nice things'.

    A dog's love could never be replaced with a pretty new rug or a shiny windows or a fur-free sofa.

    For there is no love like a dog's love.


    I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands.  
    When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; 
    then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat.  
    For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that. 

    ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth

    Funky Junk's Saturday Nite SpecialI'm linking this up at one of my favorite landing spots, Funky Junk Interiors, where Donna is honouring her beloved cat who went to kitty heaven last week.

    Until next time, enjoy your dogs and cats, and ignore the pet hair :-).


    Thursday, May 19

    Smitten: My New Turquoise Door

    Have you ever thought about painting a door in your home a favorite colour?

    We just replaced the entrance to our now-nearly-complete basement with a new frosted glass door; and instead of painting it white like all the colonial-style doors in my home, I decided to give this one a little personality of its own!

    I chose a shade of turquoise (of course!).  This door is in our open-concept kitchen/living room area, so it matches all my turquoise-inspired accents - like my drapery and backsplash. 

    I am totally smitten.  The colour is Benjamin Moore Arctic Blue (2050-60).  LOVE it. I considered a whole range of colours in this family before settling on this one.  It's a really soft shade of robin's egg blue that is easy on the eyes and very soothing.  It makes me smile.

    Here's how it looks in the context of some accessories:

    So, if you've been considering painting a door in your home a great colour, my advice would be don't hesitate another second!

    Until next time, happy decorating!

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    Wednesday, May 18

    Check me out today at Knock Off Decor!

    If you didn't catch my post last week, you can check out my Pottery Barn Kids 'Surf Plaque' knock offs today because they're being featured at Knock Off Decor!

    My Knock Off Decor is a site created by Beckie of Infarrantly Creative. She features knock off crafting projects that are inspired by some of the best home decor retailers out there like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Williams Sonoma.

    In her words, "I hope to showcase the amazing work of some seriously talented designers while giving those with less of a budget a chance to mimic them. Because after all “imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

    Until next time, happy crafting!

    KL :-)


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    Sunday, May 15

    The Basement: Final Countdown!

    It's paint week!

    I'm FINALLY going to see some colour on the basement walls over the next few days!

    The flooring will be installed by the end of the month. So I'm finally seeing an end in sight to this basement development project which we started last November. I can't wait to move all the kiddie stuff down there and give us some breathing room on our main floor. Not to mention that I'll have 5 new rooms to decorate! So exciting.

    There was a bit of a delay in the painting over the past few weeks (partly because of some extra trim work I requested  - don't tell my husband!), which allowed me some more time to (re)consider my colour choices.  Not sure if that's a good or bad thing!  Those colour chips were just about everywhere with me last week!

    Here's what I'm going with:
    • Benjamin Moore "Ashley Gray" above white beadboard
    • Benjamin Moore "Rapture" (a deep red) on a feature wall that runs through the entire space
    • Benjamin Moore "Blue Bonnet" (a really whispy shade of light turquoise)

    Here are a few shots of our progress over the past couple of weeks!

    Beadboard installed on the staircase.  Love it.

    Can't wait to paint that frosted door a shade of turquoise!

    Fireplace and flat screen to be installed here :-)

    Be sure to come back again soon to see how it comes together!



    Saturday, May 14

    My "Waiting for Summer" Mantel :-)

    I did a little mantel finessing again today. I won't call it a "spring" mantel. Instead, it's my "waiting for summer" mantel!

    Where I live, spring comes late. A local Facebook friend wrote on FB awhile back that here we have 3 seasons: Summer, Fall, and "Misery" which was kinda funny because it is soooo true! "Misery" is basically a 4 month stretch (from January to late April) of cold, damp weather which varies daily from snow to rain to ice pellets.

    Here, Winter and Spring have little distinction. Our grass turns green in early May, and we have the typical spring flowers that begin to peek. But our trees don't begin to bloom until June.

    So I basically live for summer to arrive! That's why you'll notice a few little summery touches on my mantel - like the starfish and the sea urchin. Just my little reminder that summer is coming :-).

    I've also included my recently created 'number art' on my mantel, a combination of special numbers. It was so easy to make! Perhaps I'll post a little tutorial on that soon.

     Until next time, happy summer decorating!

    I'm sharing this at
    The Lettered Cottage

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    Post-script (May 14th):  I'm so happy to tell you that this mantel was featured over at the CSI Project!

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