Posts Tagged "Living Room"

Window woes (someone needs new curtains) (me!) (and new baseboards) (but that’s another story)

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Living Room | 2 comments

You know how when you move into a new house, and the previous owners have left the existing curtains, and they’re ok for the time being (because, really, who has the time or money to buy all new curtains immediately upon moving into a new house), and you say “oh, I’ll change them soon”, but then three months later you’re still living with the same bright white tacky-silver-swirl-adorned too short too ugly gross sheer curtains and it suddenly dawns on you that you should really swap those things out asap?

Yeah.  That’s me.

And when I say that our curtains are too short, I’m not exaggerating:

Curtains that are way too short

Yep.  We have flood-ready curtains.  And no baseboards in our dining room (for some unknown reason.)  (But that’s a completely different story for a completely different day.)  And this picture is obviously from the day we moved in (I promise!  Our house is now fully furnished.  We’re not extreme minimalists!)  But just look.  Look at those curtains!  I’m not an interior decorator, but I’m pretty sure I speak somewhat accurately and knowledgeably when I say: that’s not how you hang curtains.


In our little 1940s home (oh, how I miss our little 1940s home!) we hung Ikea’s Ritva curtains in the front window.  And they looked lovely (and apparently lulled a very cute orange cat – who we miss very much – to sleep on our sofa the day I took this picture.)

Ikea Ritva curtains in my BM Edgecomb Gray living room

My only criticism of those Ritva curtains?  They were wrinkly.  Like, mucho messy wrinkly.  They were definitely not wash-and-wear sorta curtains.  Nope!  A whole lot of ironing went into making sure that anxiety-inducing wrinkly-frumpiness was kept at bay.

So is pulling out my iron each time I wash my Ritvas a deal breaker?  I really really do hate ironing.  A lot.  A whole lot.  But, as much as I hate ironing, I do truly love Ritva.  The curtains have a linen-y texture that makes them seem far more expensive than they really are (since Ikea drapes are as delightfully cheap as they are cheerful.)  And Ikea’s long-length curtain panels will definitely be appreciated in this old mauve house, since our dining room ceiling height is quite high (Sweetie says 9-ish feet, but it seems way higher to me.)

Oh Ritva, you sneaky devil.  You really do have a hold on me.  You may be once again forcing me to dust off my iron.  But you’re worth it.

Queue forthcoming curtain-collecting Ikea trip.  Woo!  I heart Ikea.  :)


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Flying saucers, mushroom caps, a flowery bonanza and stars (the search for noggin-safe illumination)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Living Room | 0 comments

So I’ve officially decided that the awful too-low-to-be-noggin-safe and generally far-too-heavy-and-awkward-looking living room light has to go.  Soon.  Really really soon.  Just to give you a quick reminder, here’s the beast I’m referring to…

Green living room with faux fireplace and chandelier

I know: it’s not terrible.  And, truth be told, it’d likely look absolutely lovely in somebody else’s home!  But it’s just not me.  And Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of it (which probably means it’s definitely just not him, either.)

I’ve been struggling for the past couple of weeks with what to put in its place.  Its replacement can’t be a flush mount fixture – there’s a really pretty ceiling medallion that surrounds the light, so something flush would look sorta silly.  But I also haven’t yet found a semi-flush mount light that I love.

Which means I’ve been looking at pendant lights.

Sounds counter-intuitive, I know.  Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of our living room light, so I’m considering purchasing a pendant?  What?  But many pendants can be pretty easily shortened to create semi-flush mount fixtures.  Which is what I did in our bedroom at our little 1940s house.  And that’s likely what I’ll do here!

Here are the lights that I’m considering so far…

This one (from Uberhaus at Rona) is sorta flying saucer shaped, but in a rather lovely, rustic kind of way.  (Can a flying saucer be rustic?  I say yes!)  And it’s the least expensive of the bunch (only $44!)  And I think it’s pretty.  :)

Rustic brown jute or wicker round pendant light

And then there’s the similarly natural-looking (but way less alien vessel-shaped) Boja pendant from Ikea

Boja beachy-looking ratan pendant from IKEA

At $79, she’s a bit more pricey than the Uberhaus option, but I rather like her mushroom-cap shape (despite that I hate mushrooms) (mushrooms are squishy) (although I rather doubt that this pendant is squishy.)

Winning the “Prettiest pendant in consideration” award (if I was having a pretty-pendant competition) is this one from Home Depot

Pretty feminine white flowered drum shade pendant light from Home Depot

Oh swoon…  How pretty!  How sweet!  How… um, feminine…  Yeah, I don’t know if Sweetie will go for it.  But I love this light nonetheless.  (Although it’s on the high end of our budget at $149.98.)  (Plus tax.)  (Of course.)

The winner, however, might be this one (from Hampton Bay’s Moravian Star Collection)…

Glass star pendant light moravian star

Yes, it’s predictable – stars.  I love stars.  At least this means I’m consistent?  And I couldn’t help but be inspired by Young House Love’s entryway pendant

Young House Love's amazing teal doorway and star pendant

Lovely!  And I think a star pendant could look equally amazing in our little living room.

Yep, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making the trek out to our nearest Home Depot store to take a closer look at (and maybe even – gasp! – purchase!) that super starry light this week.

Because Sweetie’s head can’t take too many more bruises.

And because I’m a bit of a sucker for a pretty little star light.  :)


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Faux fireplace fanaticism (four fabulous faux fireplaces to fluff)

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Living Room | 2 comments

At our next house (only FOUR MORE DAYS to go before it’s all ours btw!) (insert happy squeal HERE) we’ll have not one, not two, not even three, but four (yes, FOUR) faux fireplaces to style.  Yep.  That’s right.  The nutcases nice folk who currently live in this house really really like their fireplaces.  To an excess, some (including myself) might say.  There’s one in the living room.  There’s another in the (adjoining) dining room.  There’s a fireplace in the sunroom out back.  And yep – for faux curling up on blustery winter’s nights, there’s even a faux fireplace in what will likely be our guestroom.

It’s a little (er, a lot) much.

There’s a pretty good chance that at least one of the fireplaces will eventually be moving out of our old mauve house.  Hell, we may even get rid of two.  Because, really, who needs SEVERAL (non-functioning) fireplaces in a (well-heated via furnace) home?  Not us, says I!

The big problem with having so many fireplaces?  Having to decorate so many fireplaces.  Mantel primping is an artform.  An artform that one can either excel at, or go mad attempting to perfect.  There’s the necessary accumulation of decorative items needed to adorn the mantels – decorating four mantels will indeed require a lot of stuff.  Then there’s the seasonal-decorating dilemma (fantastically fall-er-izing four faux fireplaces could be a rather time consuming project.)  And, most importantly, there’s the fireplace overkill factor.  One faux fireplace in a rather small little three-bedroom home?  Awesome!  Two fireplaces?  Wow – lucky me!  But four fireplaces?  Four?  Really?  That’s a little much methinks.

Yep.  One or two must go.

However, all four fireplaces will likely stay firmly in place until we’ve lived in the house for a little bit, at least.  Which means I’ve gone on a Pinterest expedition to find inspiration for fireplace dressing (since the acquisition of four fireplaces obviously requires a whole lot of inspiration.)  My favourites?

This chalkboard-adorned mantel idea from Mom4Real is pretty fantastic, and could easily be switched up for the seasons.

Chalkboard fireplace mantel with banner

I’m thinking it could be a lot of fun for the guestroom fireplace.  If the guestroom fireplace makes the final faux fireplace cut, that is.  :)

And how fun is this mantel from Wit and Whistle

Red brick fireplace with garland and zombie warning sign

The Danger Zombies sign?  That’s a whole lot of awesomeness.

And globes, maps and galoshes?  I love globes and maps and galoshes!

Maps and globes and galoshes fireplace mantel

This map-a-licious mantel is courtesy of the lovely folk over at Gather and Build.

However this one, from Style at Home, is my absolute fave.  Not necessarily because I like the fireplace (although I do!)  But because I’m obsessed with everything about this living room.  Love love love!

Gray white red teal living room with fireplace Style at Home

But, I’m guessing (just call it a hunch) that at least one of my four (FOUR!) fireplaces will end up looking a little like this…

White faux fireplace in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray living room with basket inside

Yup.  Like our old faux fireplace.  Because I loved it.  And because I miss it.  LOTS.

So there you have it.  My Pinterest-derived fireplace mantel inspiration.  Because I need lots of inspiration.  Because I’ll be the proud owner of a lot of faux fireplaces very very shortly.  In a mere four days, in fact.

Can’t wait.  :)


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Feeling all floral (my new want: a big pink flowery sofa)

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Living Room | 3 comments

Call me crazy, but I sorta want a pretty floral sofa.  I’m blaming it on spring.

Ikea Byvik floral pretty sofa

More precisely, I’d like a shiny new cover for our (currently white) Ikea Ektorp sofa.  The Byvik Multicolour cover would be lovely please.

Red and pink flowered Byvik Multicolour cover for my Ikea Ektorp sofa

The same Byvik Multicolour cover that Ikea no longer offers.  Of course.  At least here in Canada, and maybe in the U.S. too.  Although (after a quick consultation with my friends over at Google) it appears that they might still sell it overseas.  Am I the only person in North America who craves a little pink patterned prettiness?  It’s possible.

That said, Sweetie would likely disapprove of all this.  He has patiently accepted all of the pretty things I’ve brought (subtly) into our house to date.  A feminine print here.  An embroidered throw cushion there.  My tactic is to slowly introduce items – blend them in with the existing pieces, if you will – until they look natural and he slowly adapts and begins to believe that they’ve always been part of our decor.

It’s the interior design equivalent of the frog-in-the-hot-water-versus-the-frog-in-the-slowly-heated-water experiment, really.  Too much all at once and Sweetie would likely flee and run away to live in our garage.  But discreetly introduce all the prettiness over time and he’ll settle right in like a happy little floral-loving amphibian.

Sneaky, eh?

But a big pink flowery couch might be tricky to discreetly introduce.  Sweetie isn’t always particularly observant, but a brightly patterned sofa is kind of hard to ignore.

Then again, there’s always the “but patterns stay clean looking longer” justification, and he can’t deny me that.  Sweetie is a construction electrician, which means he comes home from work exceedingly dirty almost every night.  A patterned sofa cover would make any dirt far less noticeable.  And dirt is a topic that Sweetie can appreciate and understand (and it’s far more convincing than the “but it’s pretty and I like it” argument.)

Yeah.  Maybe I’ll lead with that.  :)


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The living room revisited (my plan of attack for creating a cozier, less anemic space)

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Living Room | 0 comments

Ok, I’m just going to come right out and say it…

There’s too much white going on in our living room.

There.  It’s out.  I’ve said it and I feel much better now.  Thank you!

Please don’t get me wrong – I adore my white Ektorp sofa.  It’s been insanely easy to keep clean given that I have an electrician hubby who comes home rather dirty from construction-ish job sites each day.  And it’s valiantly held its own against our fur family of three who shed uncontrollably and occasionally decide that the sofa is an appropriate place to drop the odd hairball (despite that I’ve asked them several times to head toward the ugly kitchen linoleum whenever they feel queasy.)  (Unfortunately cats don’t seem to understand the washability factor of solid surfaces vs fabric.)

But yes, my living room needs a little ooomph.  A little less shabby, a little less chic, if you will, with a little more cozy and a lot more colour blended in.  Because right now we’re hanging out in blahs-ville.  And we’re looking a little anemic.  And I’m in need of a big ol’ change.

I should have seen this coming.  My absolute favourite Ikea living room set up is this one (which doesn’t have a source attached to it, but given that absolutely EVERYTHING in this room appears to be from Ikea, I’m pretty sure this is an image courtesy of the good folk under the big blue and yellow sign…)

Ikea image with white Ektorp sofas and black gray and yellow accents

There’s still a lot of white happening in that room, but the white is so nicely balanced by the darker elements (the black and white cushions, darker drapes, the black side table and bookcase) plus a little colour too.  :)

Contrast all that with my current living room…

Edgecomb Gray living room with white Ektorp furniture

(Insert sad muted trombone womp-womp here.)  White sofa, white chairs, white fireplace, white drapes, white coffeetable, greige walls, beige lamps, light-coloured cushions…  Yawn.  I’m bored.  You?

So, with our Ikea trip for bedroom textiles still looming, here’s what I have planned….

1.  We’re going to swap out the curtains.  I need new curtains for the bedroom, so the white curtains currently decorating our living room will be heading upstairs to their new bedroom-y home and I’m hoping to find nice gray replacement curtains for down here.  Maybe even another pair of Ikea Ritva curtains (but this time in gray):

2.  I may do the unthinkable and get black slipcovers for our two white Ikea Tullsta chairs.  Maybe.  I’m not 100% sold on this idea yet (black seems so… dark), but those two little Tullsta chairs seem to get furrier and dirtier than our couch (despite that we sit on them far less) and I’ve never been a huge fan of white on those two chairs anyway.  They look… cheap or something to me.  (I’m not sure why.)  And plus, I found this image of a sweet little black Tullsta chair from site House to Home and realized that black might be a nice change…

Ikea black Tullsta Ektorp chair with colourful cushion

Truth be told, I’d rather slipcover them in gray than black, but the Tullsta slipcover options are a wee bit limited (so black it might be!)

3.  Last, but not least, I’d really like new pillows and throws in various grays to match our area rug, since nothing actually matches our area rug right now – a fact that I didn’t realize until I read this rather brilliant post about choosing cushions for your sofa from Centsational Girl (thank you Centsational Girl!)  Here’s an example I found from Varrell Home Designs that demonstrates CG’s theory that your cushions should match your rug to some extent – they have a navy rug, and they’ve incorporated navy and blue in some of the cushions.  And, as a result, it all looks rather lovely together!

Pretty navy blue and white living room with Ektorp and ikea furniture

So those are my goals for now.  New drapes, possibly new Tullsta slipcovers, and definitely a few new cushions.  It’s my plan of attack.  And I’m quite excited to start attacking.

And, afterwards, I’m pretty sure I’ll wonder why I didn’t think of this earlier.


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