Friday, November 30, 2012

Living Room Update - Gray Sectional

A few months ago, I mentioned in this post that I was deciding whether or not to buy a white slipcovered sectional from Pottery Barn.  I think white sofas look absolutely beautiful and it's nearly impossible to mess up a room design-wise when you have a white sofa. Okay, that may be a lie, but flip through a home decor catalog or peruse Pinterest and tell me how many white sofas you see.

I was this close to whipping out the Amex and entering my 4 digit code online when I stopped and looked at Baxter sprawled out on the soon-to-be-replaced couch.  Ball and all. No regard for the poor scrunched up pillows beneath him.  Sigh.  He does look pretty cute though, right?

I knew that if I bought that white sofa, every day would be a battle with the dog.  And I would lose.  And I would end up doing umpteen loads of slipcover laundry every week.  And I don't do laundry well.  Clothes have been sitting in the dryer for 3 days.  True story.

So I decided to go with something more Baxter-friendly and on a random trip to Boston Interiors, I stumbled upon a charcoal gray sectional with the right dimensions.  This I could live with, so I brought it home.

The trellis-patterned pillows are also from Boston Interiors, the ivory pillows and rug are from Crate&Barrel, and the storage ottoman is from Ballard Designs.  Oh yea, and those are our new windows in the background.  They're a little naked right now since I haven't had the time mustered the energy to hang the curtains back up.   I really love the turned leg casters on the ottoman.  Oh, and don't worry, it's already been Scotchgarded and Baxter-proofed.

Here's a view of how the living and dining rooms are open to each other.  I've kept the color pallet pretty neutral (grays, whites, ivories, metallics, and natural fibers). I plan to add some pops of color with mustards and maybe corals.

I'm getting closer to finished with these two rooms, but I still haven't touched the other half of the living room.  Here's photographic evidence:

There's our sleeper sofa that's been Craigslisted, a new console table, a graveyard for lamps, random flowers and vases, a piano that was gifted to us by the previous homeowners, and a beautiful Cape Cod photo that my husband's cousin took for us.   I'm thinking about moving the piano to the console wall, and then adding floor to ceiling bookshelves were the piano is now.  Not sure where the console table will end up.  I have two new armless chairs arriving any day.

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So that my friends is progress at a snail's pace, but I'm feeling more confident things will be finished sooner rather than later.  I'm also working on the home office and should have some updates to share with you next week.   Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Front Door Christmas Decorating

The window installers will finish today and then I can begin decorating the outside of our house for Christmas.  Last year was our first Christmas in the house and I spent most of December traveling, adjusting to being unemployed, and catching up on things my full-time job didn't allow me to do.  Needless to say, our Christmas display was poor at best. A single wreath on the front door and one lonesome spotlight.  I really want to put a little more effort into decorating this year.  I always admire the homes that are so beautifully put together.  While pulling off something as gorgeous as these inspiration photos would be a big challenge, I love looking at them.  Beautiful red doors, snowy landing, garland, and lights.  Yes, please!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

New Windows

Hello!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Jake and I returned from our trip in Europe just in time to get our house ready for Thanksgiving.  We hosted the holiday for the first time this year which was a real treat.  Family flew in from around the country and we got to spend a few days with them. The last of our house guests flew out this morning.  :( Preparing a meal for 16 people for the first time was a little overwhelming, but all in all everything came out great!  I meant to snap a photo of my Thanksgiving table to share with you, but in the midst of the craziness, I forgot.  Bad blogger.

Things are starting to return to normal today, but as soon as family left, these guys showed up:

Our window installers!  Brand new windows for the entire house make this girl really happy.  Like Christmas morning kind of happy.  They mean I don't have to look at disgusting bugs stuck between the windows anymore.  They mean the house will be a lot warmer and brighter.  They mean I can open them and let a summer breeze in. Yayyy!

The window installation will take 3 days and after that I'm ready to get my Christmas decorating on!  Did anyone get in the Christmas spirit this past weekend and start decorating already?

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I don't have home updates or projects to share with you this week because I'm traveling in Europe! I've mentioned before that Jake travels a lot for work and on occasion I get to go with him (woo hoo!).  This week he's in London so I decided to take a train from there to visit a friend in Amsterdam for a couple of days.  Now I'm back in London and have today and tomorrow to do some sightseeing.  This afternoon I checked out the Natural History Museum.  It was so cool (and free!).


Inside Natural History Museum

Entrance to Natural History Museum 

You can see more of my photos if you follow me on Instagram (username jlplattner).  Have a great week!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Third Time's A Charm

If you've been following this blog since its beginning you know that I purchased a sideboard for our dining room from Ikea and painted it.....bright....yellow. #DIYFAIL.

Not one to easily accept failure, I painted it again, and it looked a whole lot better.

But then I repainted my dining room and got some new furniture, and the sideboard no longer matched.

So I moved it into our unfinished living room, and let it sit there for a while.  I knew I'd find another place for it at some point.   I've been working on our home office makeover and knew that I would need an organized place to store all my craft materials, fabrics, etc. since the small closet I have is already overflowing.  Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

Jake and I muscled up and moved the sideboard up to the office (thank the lord I didn't have to take it apart and reassemble it again!) and I gave it a coat (or 3) of fresh paint.  I chose a great deep blue called  Adriatic Sea by Ace paint.

The printer fits *almost* perfectly in the middle and we cut out a hole in the back for the cords.  I swapped out the brushed nickel knobs for some shiny white knobs I already had. On each of the drawers,  I used Martha Stewart Avery labels for easy organization.  I have drawers for fabric, paints, paint chips, writing utensils, and samples (tile, finishes, etc.).

Above the sideboard, I mounted two Ikea Ribba Picture Ledges.  It's a great spot for me to display design boards and other projects I'm working on.  I bought a few clear plastic display frames (still need to buy a few more) so I can easily swap the design boards out.

Notice that little guy sitting pretty?  It's my new Silhouette Cameo!  I can't wait to get started on some fun projects! Have a great rest of the weekend!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Personalized State Art

First off, I saw this picture on The Little Hen House blog and I had to share it. LOL. But seriously, get out and vote!

I've been on the lookout for some more personalized art for my house.  I can't tell you how many pieces of mass-produced art I've bought from HomeGoods and later returned because they didn't "mean anything" to me. I got an early Christmas present yesterday when I ordered the Silhouette Cameo.  I CAN'T WAIT to get it!! I have so many fun projects planned.  In the meantime, I've been scoping out Etsy for some inspiration.  I'm in love with these personalized state maps from WORLDofMAPS. You can place a heart on the town of your choice and they come in a variety of colors.  I'm thinking about buying 3 "M" states. Maine (my home state), Maryland (my husband's home state), and Massachusetts (our new together home state).

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Friday, November 02, 2012

Fabric Covered Cork Board (Home Office Progress)

I was able to make some progress on my home office makeover this week.  Due to numerous transportation issues up and down the East Coast, the new desk will be arriving Sunday instead of yesterday, but I cannot complain!  I decided to focus on a couple projects that were on my list.  One project was to make a custom cork board to pin fabric swatches and paint chips.

I started with a basic framed cork board from Target.  Practical, but not very pretty.

I ordered this beautiful Ikat print linen fabric from Ballard Designs.  Not super cheap, but I didn't need very much.

I laid the fabric pattern-side down on a table and ironed out a few wrinkles.  Next I placed the cork board face down on the fabric and centered my pattern.  I folded the fabric over the edge of the cork board and used a staple gun to hold it in place.

I worked my way around the board, doing the top and bottom first, then the sides, alternating staples on each side.  Lastly, I folded the corners and stapled those in place.

My little protector helper always at my feet.

This project took me all of 30 minutes and that counts the 29 minutes, 10 minutes it took me to figure out how to load more staples into the staple gun.  

'll be hanging this above my desk once it arrives.

Have a great weekend!

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