Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Living Room

So, I thought I would walk through our living room with you a little bit.  This is the room that we spend most of our time in and I realized that this room has changed the least since we moved in (except of course for the pillow covers).  I think that is because we thought about the layout of this room A LOT when we moved in.  With the front door leading right into the room and there not being a ton of wall space, we must have moved furniture around in this room dozens of time to see what works best.  In fact, I have to admit, once in a while we get something into our head and try to rearrange the furniture again but it never works and we always go back to how it is.  

One of the biggest things that made the furniture placement work is this shelving.  We had a tv stand from IKEA in our apartment that we really liked, but we couldn't make it work in this room.   I had seen similar shelving like this in a domino magazine and found these units at IKEA for only $70 each.  So, we pushed 2 of them together.  An added plus is it offers great storage.  In the middle of each unit we took out one of the shelves so we could fit the tivo/dvd player and the record player.  

The "art" hanging above the unit on the wall we got on clearance at this great store near my parents house when they were going out of business, right before we moved in.  We were just commenting the other night how much we love this piece and are so glad we got it.   It adds great texture and looks so great on that wall.  I have to tell you that Rob picked it out.  He has such great taste, don't you think?

One thing we quickly realized about this room was that bulky furniture wouldn't work.  Rob really liked Danish Modern chairs and he found this original on ebay.  I loved it and thought it would be great in between the windows.  

The stool next to the chair we got at my favorite store in downtown Phoenixville, Hipster Home.  It seems like now you can find these stools everywhere, but supporting local business is always a plus!  And it is a solid piece of furniture- I even sit on it some times.   I used to always have a vase on it, but now that Aiden is active it is bare and acts more like a side table when using the chair.  

So, these side tables are what I am excited to brag about.  Once we got all the other furniture in the room, I was dying for end tables for the sides of the sofa.  I was browsing Craigslist one day while at work and found these tables for $20- FOR BOTH!!  The people were moving and were just trying to get rid of everything as quickly as possible.  In fact, when we got to the house to pick them up there about 5 other people picking up stuff.  They are basically in perfect condition, fit my mid-century modern decor and to this day we still love them.  The lamps atop them are from West Elm.  

You already know our sofa is from Crate and Barrel and I have a love-hate relationship with it.  I would never recommend buying it, but I love the look and recently have not been too frustrated with it.  Although I will probably get it cleaned this winter some time.  You also know about the ottoman which has really been the only major change in this room over the past 2 years.  It is from Urban Outfitters and it is great.  

A couple other small things I thought I would explain....

The frames above the sofa were put up shortly after moving in as well and have not changed.  I love how they look and have gotten many compliments about them.  Rob laid them all out on the floor before putting them on the wall to see what arrangement would work best.  

And lastly, I got this West Elm clock at the Pottery Barn Outlet and I am pretty sure it was no more that $5, if that.  Sure, it has no numbers and people often say "I can't read that clock", but it looks good.  As long as you have an idea about what hour it is, you can usually tell the minutes.  

To conclude, I just want to mention that I think the reason this room is pretty much the same since moving in is because we really put a lot of thought into the pieces of furniture and were able to mix investment pieces with some less expensive things.  

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our living room and that you feel inspired!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Living with Kids

Children bring a lot of change with them when they come into your home.  It is somewhat gradual, since at first all they do is sleep.   But, eventually you can't help but change things because they start crawling, walking, running, climbing, etc.  I expect things to change in our home even more so as Aiden gets bigger, however, I do refuse to give up good design because of it.  I don't feel that just because I have a child I need to sacrifice good design.  

So, I put together some photos of real homes with real children living in them...just to prove that it can be done, and it makes me realize that perhaps children encourage more creative design. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

A space of my own

I don't consider myself a crafty person, but I do desire to have a little space of my own where I can sew, or wrap a gift.  Of course I will never have a whole room devoted to only that...

But, perhaps some day I will have a small corner...

or a closet...

The one thing I know is that it will need to be organized with lots of labeled boxes and containers.  I love these numbered jars from Anthropolgie.  

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Forever Home

I've been thinking a lot recently about our home.   Rob and I have been talking about living in this house forever and ways that we can make that a reality down the road with more children.  We love this house for many reasons, but most of all, it has become our home.  

When I think about moving, it makes my stomach turn-the packing, leaving this place where we brought Aiden home to, leaving Rob's garden.  The potential of moving in 5, 10, or however many years, determines my decisions on a project.  For example, changing the light fixtures in the hallway.  It puts a voice in the back of my head that says- "you are just going to move eventually, so why put the time, money, and energy into that?".  

Making this our forever home, kills that voice in the back of my head and takes away the guilty feeling that maybe someday I will paint the shutters and trim on the outside of the house black instead of the brick red they are now because, ultimately, that is what I want.  

Of course, most of the bigger renovation-type plans- an addition onto the second floor, making the 3rd floor into a master suite, adding a mudroom and half bath on the first floor, are all things that wouldn't happen for a long time. But, having a "forever home" mindset has changed the way I look at our home and taken away my guilty feelings on making some smaller changes around here.   

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just a little excited....

Guess what I just found out?  Amy Butler now makes rugs!!  As you know, I am a huge fan of Amy's fabric, and now she is taking some of her popular prints and making them into rugs.  I find this  VERY exciting!  Here is a preview....

I think this one would look lovely in a little girl's nursery

I have always loved this print from Amy's "August Fields" collection

I love the colors in this one and think it would look fabulous in a dining room

This is one of my favorite Amy prints of all time.  In fact, I just finished a little project in our bedroom with this print which I will tell you about later.  

If you are as excited about this as I am, you can check out the whole collection right here.

Right now they are for sale on Amy's website, but I am sure other websites will buy them wholesale and we'll be able to find them cheaper eventually.  

Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get Organized!

I have been a bit obsessed recently with getting organized.  Last weekend Rob and I cleaned out the basement which we've been talking about doing since we moved in...2 years ago.  It felt SO good to just throw stuff out and take a whole carload of stuff to Goodwill.  Now that we cleaned out the basement, we want to organize it by getting some shelves, plastic bins to store off season things, etc.  It has also urged me to try and get a little more organized in the rest of our house with the day to day things.  Getting organized is something that people make a profession doing, so, there are lots of great things out there that help us.  My favorite place to acquire organization paraphernalia is IKEA.  I decided to take a trip to IKEA last week with Aiden just for something to do.  He is always happy at IKEA in his stroller surrounded by all the stimulation of home decor.   Here's some IKEA organization at its best....inspiring eh?

I picked up a pair of the ever-so-popular KASSETT boxes.  And, here is some exciting news- this year they dropped the price from $9.99 for 2 to $5.99 for 2!!!  These boxes are so great- we have them in every room of the house.  They are sturdy and last a long time.  We have some from when we got married 4 years ago and they are still going strong.  I think they look best in white.  

I was perusing the bathroom section when I found this set of little baskets for only $4.99.  I thought the big one would be perfect for holding my make-up and I decided to use the middle one for holding my hand lotion and lip salve on my nightstand, and the smallest one to hold boxes of matches on the back of the toilet.  I think they would also look cute all lined up next to each other.  


My favorite place to find big baskets and bins is TJ Maxx or Marshalls.  They always have great baskets and they are always so cheap.  We use a lot of baskets and bins for organizing all of Aiden's things.  We shove all his toys in those 2 bins that fit perfectly in the shelves in our living room.  I found this neat little box in the last picture on clearance a couple years ago for $5 because the handles fell off, but I think it makes it look like an antique without them.  


Do you like to be organized and find pretty ways to do so?  My next thing to tackle on organization is our utensil drawer in the kitchen- it's a bit scary looking so don't expect any pictures of that.