Monday, April 21, 2014

Adding electrical stuff: let there be light

Last summer I had an electrician come out to give us an estimate on a large list of items. Most of the items were putting in overhead lights (we have none), fans, and sockets.  Last week (ten months later) I finally called him back to get started on a few things.  

We had fans installed in the master bedroom, dining room, and family room.  Not the sexiest decor choice, but it gets warm here.  

It turned into a goat rodeo.

But after six trips to Home Depot, it was all good. 

One thing that I am really happy with is the hallway can lights.  Previously the dark hallway was lit by one enormous sized can light that held a twenty-watt bulb.  I didn't take a before picture, but in the below picture you can see the new can light and the size of the hole that was left by the old fixture. 

We switched out the large can light for a regular one that could hold a higher wattage bulb, and added a can light on either end of the hallway.  


I am super in love with ALL THE LIGHT.  Woot woot.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Room Challenge, Week Three: new chairs and pillows

This room is never going to be finished in three more weeks, yo.

This week I bought two chairs for the living room.

I have been searching for either one interesting chair or a pair of matching chairs for under $200 that do not need to be reupholstered on craigslist for a year.  I search every. single. day. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
So I gave up on craigslist.

My sister bought some slipper chairs from Target, and suggested these blue and off-white ikat chairs on clearance at Target for $107 each.  (They are no longer available online.) I hesitated, even though the price was right.  In the past decade I have bought four pieces of real furniture at Target (a bookshelf, a cube unit, a leather bench, and a table) and have returned them all for being terrible,  un-build-able pieces of crap.  Also, I dislike slipper chairs.  I like to curl up in chairs with a good book, and that is impossible in a slipper chair.

However! They were pretty, I love the pattern, they were the right price, and they provided seating for guests.  More importantly, I see them as a temporary fix for the living room.  When I can afford to buy real chairs with arms, I will move these chairs into my bedroom.

When they showed up at my house, I got to building them.  And failed.  I could not get the screws to line up at all. I tried for two hours.  I cursed Target and their crappy furniture.  I called my sister to complain. She told me that her three year old daughter built her chairs without any help.  The Mister came home and built them in twenty minutes.  ANNOYED.

End result: new chairs that look nice.

I also switched out our old pillows for blue and red and black ones.

Almost all of the pillows are previously owned; the only new one is the black and white one from Ikea.  The small red one with blue trim is a $5 pillow from Target my mom sewed some trim on, the red and white lumbar pillow is from this etsy store four years ago, the large blue/black/red one is Ikea a few years ago, and the large red/white/blue is a John Robshaw from four years ago.

Next week: art!

Check out the linky party playing along at home here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Room Challenge, Week 2

Week two of the One Room Challenge and whoa, the designers are bringing it something fierce. (As are all the others linking up on Thursdays; I am feeling outgunned and outclassed.)  Go check them all out.  

You can see my Week One post here

A wee bit of progress--I switched out the floral curtains for white ones, and switched out the orange lamps for white ones with navy shades. Also, a few months ago I put up some picture ledges in the corner of the living room.

This may have been a mistake.

I enjoy having the pictures out and collected in one spot.  However, I put up the ledges before we figured out the current furniture arrangement, and now I am second-guessing myself.

The problem is the corner on the other side.

What do I put there?

No, the dinosaur isn't going to stay there.  

My sense is that something symmetrical on either side of the window would be nice.  However, like every other single thing in this house, the window is off center.  The far corner with the dinosaur is 26 inches wide, while the side with the picture ledges is 38 inches.  (The curtains are hung high and wide to camouflage this.) 

I could take down the shelves and put a narrow Vittsjo shelf on either side:

Alternatively I could leave the picture ledges where they are and do something completely different on the other side.  Different like what I have no idea.

Update:  I should have said that I have a few tchotchkes (not many since taking everything out a few months ago, but five or six)  that I would like to display, which is why I am attempting to shoehorn a shelf unit in that corner.  

Do I look for symmetry for behind the sofa?  Or consider the view from entering the front door (which is of course also off-center)?  

(No, the dinosaur isn't staying over the fireplace either.) 

I am at a loss on that corner.  Orient for symmetry on either side of the window? No symmetry and put something on the wall where the federal mirror is?  Put something on the longer wall where the bookcase is facing the door?  I CANNOT DECIDE.  Halp.   

Check out everyone playing along at home here

Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Room Challenge: My Living Room, week 1

I'm super excited to join the linky party for Linda at Calling It Home's One Room Challenge! On Wednesdays nineteen designers are taking on a room to redecorate in six weeks, and on Thursdays everyone at home can play along by linking up.

I am going to be refreshing my living room and a bit of my dining room.  Since we moved in, our living room has been the room where our old furniture goes to die.  It will be starting off like this:

Everything in here is from our previous house. It is perfectly adequate, but it doesn't really fit this house.  I'd like to make it a bit quieter, and more centered around blues and reds instead of the rainbow.

I've made up a mood board for the new room.

My plans for the room include:

-new curtains
-two new chairs
-new art over the fireplace
-new art in the dining room
-a coffee table
-shelves for picture display
-do something in the far right corner

Here's hoping I can do it in six weeks!