Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One Room Challenge, Week 3 and 4: a new sofa

For week three of the One Room Challenge my kids were on spring break and I thought I'd be able to link up to the ORC a few days late, but alas, apparently not.  For week four I have some sofa updates.

I have wanted a blue velvet sofa for a long time.  I looked around for various ready-made blue velvet sofas, which there are legion, but I had some specific requirements.  It is a small room, so the sofa could not be more than 80 inches long in order to fit between the two end tables.  I wanted a three cushion sofa, which is difficult to find in a smaller apartment size sofa.  I also did not want a lumpy, bad quality sofa.  I am old and need soft cushy sofas for taking naps.

None of the sofas from big box stores fit my requirements.  I could have gone up to 82 inches, but all of the blue velvet sofas I found either did not have three cushions, or were like sitting on cement. 

Instead I decided to recover our Room and Board sofa, which fit all our requirements...but was looking a wee bit worse for wear.

Then one Saturday afternoon I was strolling downtown past a design firm when I happened upon this amazing blue velvet sofa being unloaded into the store.  It was beautiful! It was amazing! It fit all of my requirements! It was $4400!


I kept on strolling down the street to my favorite consignment store.  They did not have any blue velvet sofas.  They did, however, have a service where you can order custom sofas, and one of them was a 78 inch english roll arm sofa, and as long as I got a navy blue cotton instead of a blue velvet, it was substantially cheaper than $4400.

That sofa allowed me to pick out fabric for coordinating throw pillows, so I played around with that for quite a while. I ended up picking a navy blue cotton with a greek key design for the sofa, and emerald green throw pillows with welting that matched the sofa.

In the above picture I brought two of my pillows from home...the chiang mai dragon in alabaster (left), and the chiang mai dragon in aquamarine (right).  Although I originally planned the room around the alabaster, I am actually thinking that perhaps the aquamarine might be the direction I'd like to go.  I should probably decide soon considering its Week 4 already.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

One Room Challenge, week 2: Painting

For week two of the One Room Challenge I have some painting progress for you. 

Since this is no longer a dining room, as it was when the house was originally built, we ripped down the chair molding and painted the room white.  For months we had a bracket in the wall that we couldn't remove (see it above the window in the upper left?), but luckily the painter was able to get it out and patch the hole it left behind.

When we moved in last summer, the entire house was painted Navajo White with miles upon miles of pine trim and honey oak cabinets and badly stained mahogany closet doors, and every room in the house had a country plaid or country floral or country something.   Some people like that look.  I....don't.  

For new readers, last summer we moved from California to New Jersey two weeks after I had a spine fusion surgery.  I was not/am still not allowed to paint anything.  I can't get my arms over my head much, so I don't know how I would paint anything anyhow.  This has been incredibly frustrating, because Old Uninjured Me would have had this entire house painted from top to bottom in a few weeks.  New Weak Me has been spent a lot of time on the sofa.  

Thus, we decided to hire out having the house painted.  Since paying someone else to do stuff you can do yourself for free costs $$$$$$, we decided to start with only painting the first floor walls, baseboards, and door casings.  To save money, we decided not to have the windows or doors painted yet.  

I wanted to paint the whole interior of the house the same color, and I wanted to have very very very light gray walls with bright white trim.  

Did you know that Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint samples costs $8?  My plan was to go to Home Depot, have them color match the BM and SW paint samples in their $4 samples, then narrow it down to the ones I really liked and get those in the actual BM and SW paint samples to be sure it was the right color, so that I wasn't spending gazillions of dollars on paint samples. 

I went through 52 gray paint samples.  Every single one of them was WRONG WRONG WRONG.  

Apparently I don't like gray.  

I gave up on gray and went with a very light creamy white for the walls (Sherwin Williams Westhighland White) and Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace for the trim.  

But you already had a yellowy white in the original paint, you are thinking.  


Or as my children said "....it looks exactly the same."  

The Mister noted that the new bright white looked SO FABULOUS on the door casings, that clearly, we should go ahead and paint the windows.

 Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I booked that immediately.  Luckily no one from Apartment Therapy will be reading about this wood desecration. 

I feel perhaps my pictures would be more majestic had I actually taken some with the intent to publish them on the blog....except I took zero before pictures, the ORC wasn't even on my radar last month when all this painting was going on, and all the before/during pictures I have were progress pictures that I took on my phone to text to my husband.  Hence the boxes of girl scout cookies front and center.  I suppose I could move all the new furniture out and take some posed progress pictures, but that requires a level of commitment I do not currently possess.  Let me know if you want to buy some girl scout cookies.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One Room Challenge: Front parlor

I originally published this post in January, with a plan for redoing our front parlor, but since I made very little progress on it, I'm finally getting started, and I want to participate in the One Room Challenge--I'm republishing it, slightly edited.  As with every other ORC I have participated in, I'm skating into this one slightly late and somewhat disheveled.

We've been in our new house a few months now, and as expected, how we use our house is slightly different than our original set up when we moved in.

Our house has an addition that was put on in 1994.  The original house was about 1800 sq feet, and the addition added about 600 sq ft with a new living room and master bedroom. The front door opens onto the stairwell, with what would have been the original dining room on the right (the current parlor), the original living room on the left (now the dining room), and kitchen in the back, as per this very-very-not-to-scale floor plan (take the wall lines with a grain of salt):

Since there is now a living room in the back of the house, we have our 10 seat dining table in the original living room.  The parlor became a "what do we do with  this space right off the front door?"  When we first moved in, we plopped a round dining table and a dresser in the space and called it the homework room.  It was really more of a "here's a flat surface where everyone drops their junk when they walk in the door" space. Sadly, I have no pictures of the original set up, but it looked like this the day we moved in:

During the day, when I am at home by myself, I spend time in the dining room and front parlor.  At first, I brought a club chair in to the homework room.  After a few weeks I decided that the homework room would be better served as a sitting room or parlor.

For a long time, the room looked like this:

I pulled together a mood board of how I'd like to decorate it.

The chiang mai dragon fabric in alabaster is the jumping off point for the design, although I'm not sure if I will simply get pillows in that fabric, or try and finagle a window treatment out of it.  There will be lots of white paint and I'll be removing the chair railing and light fixture.

 I've wanted a blue velvet sofa forever. The one in the mood board is a Crate and Barrel Lounge II Petite sofa, but that sofa is a bit large for the space, and the "velvet" option at Crate and Barrel really looks more like a microfiber.  I planned to reupholster our Room and Board Murray sofa, as it has held up great even after a child poured a can of anchovy oil all over it, but that plan may change. 

rug / sofa / lamp / coffee table / basket / end table

Red chair we already own, it is the discontinued Odeon chair from Crate and Barrel.  Peacock mirror from Pier 1, discontinued.