Wednesday, June 1, 2016

pink and blue living room

 Since moving all the red stuff upstairs and all the pink stuff downstairs, I've actually been quite happy with the living room and dining room. I seem to be obsessing over pink lately.

I repainted some of the starburst painting with more pink and blues.  I covered over the more jewel-toned reds and oranges.

The pink lamps that were such a failure in the master bedroom go quite nicely with the painting.

I had no idea it would be so hard to find pink pillows and lamps.  Of the eleventy-million pillows I have tried, I've kept only this Remi pillow from Pottery Barn.

In a fortuitous turn of events, I found these gray ottomans in a local consignment shop. I donated the peeling brown ottomans.

I moved some of the art around.  I also moved the living room furniture around for the bazillionth time.  This arrangement doesn't have a tv in front of the window, there is room to walk around the sofa on both sides, the tv is on a wall, and I kinda think maybe this one is not awful?  It even has room for another armchair to the left of the tv.  I just need to remember that in every house we move to it takes me a year to find a decent furniture arrangement.

The one problem is that there is no overhead lighting in the living room.  It would be nice to have a console behind the sofa to put some lamps on, but it just was too much furniture in the foyer area. That one floor lamp in the corner has to light a 15x10 area with vaulted 20 foot ceilings. We  mostly sit in the dark and refer to the living room as "Il Grotto."

Et voila, I managed to take a small pink refresh of an out of sight bedroom and turn it into the Pink That Ate Half The Downstairs.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pink pillows

Since moving all the pink stuff into the living room, I've been window shopping for pink pillows for the sofa.  Sadly, it appears that I like really expensive fabrics.  (Not really a surprise.)(Hence the window part of the shopping.)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

I recently bought a pair of these pillows from Amazon, but I would not recommend them. The ad on Amazon looks like this:

but the actual pillow cover is a garish neon pink, stamped-on, fuzzy polyester-ish material.  It looks cheap and tacky, and I am returning them.

Of the pillows I am considering in the list above, I really like the otomi-inspired pillow from

However, I am afraid that the zazzle pillow will be another stamped on cheap tacky pillow.

My other favorite is the number 14 Manuel Canovas Voyage en Chine:

I really love this fabric, expensive.  Also, expensive comes with a white back and no piping.  I have looked around, but the cost of getting a patterned back and piping really drives the cost of this pillow through the roof.  Sad face.

I have thought of making my own pillows, as I would really like just a plain pink pillow with a ribbon frame, like so (but not coral):

I can make pillows with an envelope closure, but zippers are beyond my skill set (and I don't own a zipper foot).

I have been looking for weeks for a plain pink pillow where I can just add the ribbon frame, but no dice.  Blush pink is very popular this year, as is coral, but a pinky-pink that is not bubble-gum or covered in butterflies is difficult to find.

Here are some possible combination of pillow (that might work with what I already own):

In the top row, I already own a similar pink houndstooth and the navy chevron.  In the bottom row, I also have the Ikea black and white Lappljung.  (The blue pompom pillow is from Target.)

Seen any beautiful inexpensive pink pillows lately?

Friday, April 22, 2016

the pink living room, in progress

I've been playing decor musical chairs lately.  The red in the living room went upstairs to my master bedroom, and all the pink in that room came downstairs to the living room.  I also rearranged the furniture, for the millionth time.

I've admitted before that furniture layout is just not one of my many talents.

Here's how it looked last, with the tv slightly blocking the window. Not the worst thing ever, but not the best, either.  If we were using this as a formal living room without a tv, as it was intended, it would be really easy to just plop a pair of chairs in front of the window and be done with it.

However, we are using the intended family room space as our dining room (see it here as a family room), so this front room is our living space with a tv.

And here it is, pinkish:

I like that the tv is finally out of the window.   I also like that instead of pink/navy dining room and red/navy living room sharing the same open space, I now have two pink/navy spaces.  It feels very open and spacious.

The only real problem with this setup is that there are no overhead lights in this space, and nowhere for lamps.  I tried the Drexel console behind the sofa, but it was too crowded.  I tried some candlestick lamps on the dresser on either side of the tv, but there wasn't enough space.

If I owned this house I'd install can lights and an overhead fan toot sweet, but, not my house.  Inadequate lighting remains.  

I took down the two large paintings that were on the wall behind the tv, because they have a lot of red in them.  I have an idea for some art that I hope to get to soon.  Although perhaps I should install plug-in sconces on either side of the tv instead?

The pink spraypainted lamps have a new life in the foyer with the pink splatter painting.  However, I need to hide the lamp cords, and fix the wonky harps (and take my phone off the table) before I put a full picture up.  

I frequently go to a local consignment store that is in a large, dark warehouse, and for weeks I have been admiring this pink houndstooth pillow.  I thought it had a nice ombre look to it, fading from light pink at the top to dark pink at the bottom.  I bought it for $12, and when I got home I realized that the "ombre" effect was actually sun damage.  Doh.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

the formal dining room

Last I shared the formal dining room on the blog, we were using it as a playroom.

Around New Year's, I think, I got into a rearranging frenzy and put the playroom back in the eat-in kitchen area, and made the formal dining room back into a dining room.

Everything in the room we already owned. I've bought very little for this house; I just keep playing musical decor with stuff we already have.

I won't show you the bookshelves head on, as they are unstyled, working shelves that hold books and board games and legos and a bunch of paperwork.

The dining table from our old house has been sitting out in the garage, as it is too big for the eat-in area. The ikat slipper chairs are not dining chairs, per se, and are a little on the low side for dining, but they are comfy.  I usually have my computer set up in here and paperwork everywhere.  

 You've already seen the art in a previous post.

Next post: the sad pink living room.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Problem solved: no more pink

This pink bedroom idea is just not working out. 

It is not the worst, but nor is it very exciting.  

Awkward segue: last week I recovered a lamp shade for the living room.

Since I have been playing musical lamps, the brass lamps were on my nightstand, and I brought the lamp shade upstairs to try it out on the brass lamp.  I thought it looked fabulous, especially on my blue nightstand. 

Amidst my despair over the sad pink bedroom situation, a wonderful thought occurred to me: why not move all the red stuff from the living room upstairs into my bedroom? 

And I did. Like two seconds after the idea popped into my brain.  

Now my bedroom looks like this: 

Don't ask about my living room.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pink lamps: the Impossible Dream one sells pink lamps.  Like, nowhere. (Except the short pink lamps at Target.) When I started down this path I had no idea the difficulty involved in finding a not-lilliputian and not-covered-in-butterflies pink lamp.  Or I would have come up with a different plan.  Beware, all ye who seek pink lamps.  Behold my sorrow and despair.

I don't want to spray paint lamps.  I have done it before (see here, here, here, here, and here) and it is always a pain. I hate spraypainting lamps.  I prefer to avoid this debacle if possible. Plus, I didn't have any lamps that I wanted to cannibalize.

So, I was going to buy some pink lamps--the only non-miniature pink lamps anywhere on the internet under $299 apiece--from Lamps Plus.  They have multiple shades of pink, and depending on the model lamp, they are about $99 to $150 per lamp.  However, just to be sure of the color, I stopped by a Sherwin Williams to check out the paint chips.  My front runner was Coral Reef, which is a very pretty coral on my computer screen:

and very brownish-orange on the chip (although if you google SW Coral Reef many beautiful bright pink rooms come up):

There are other shades, but most of them are Pantone colors.  Apparently until two weeks ago, you could get Pantone paint chips at your local Lowes. But the day I decided to order a lamp in a Pantone color, Lowes got rid of that display.

I decided to hope for the best and get one of the Pantone color lamps, sight unseen.

Then I took three kids to the dentist and got a bill for 12 teeth with sealants, and decided that I would give spraypainting a go after all.

I used my least favorite lamps--a pair of yellow ginger jar lamps, one of which that has a wonky harp that I'm hoping I can fix. I already had primer and pink spraypaint in the garage.  The pink was a pinky-pink with blue undertones, not like the coral in the rug, but it was in my garage and free.  I put on three coats, it came out nice but sort of flat, even though the paint is gloss.

Everything was going so well I decided I would attempt a clear gloss coat, even though my experiences with that in the past have been bad.

Should have listened to experience.

I sanded it down, even though in my experience, once it wrinkles you can either take ALL the paint off, or just get it flat and live with the crackles.

I started again with the primer. It too wrinkled. Sand down, clean off, prime again, lather, rinse, repeat. Four times.

Cookies were eaten. Curses were muttered.

I'm spending a ton of effort and time on lamps that have a crooked harp and that aren't as tall as I'd like them to be. The pink is wrong; everything in the room is coral-ish and this pink is candy-ish. Good advice: stop with these all-wrong lamps and just wait till I can afford new ones.

Does anyone ever take good advice?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

pink Target lamps

The pink Target lamps arrived today. Here they are in my poorly lit bedroom last night:

Even though I knew they were only 23.75 inches, I was kind of hoping they'd look bigger. (I like big lamps and I cannot lie, you other brothers can't deny...)

There's a line of furniture across the top there. The lamp and the painting are at the same height as the headboard, and it just looks....not right.

I like the lamps.  They are cute and dainty.  The color is perfect, I like the brass and glass, they are fabulous.  But I don't think they are right for this room. Perhaps in Princess's room?  Or back at the store.