Help me chose a sofa color! #stanley90sreno week 19

2.21.2017

I did a few things for the house in the past week but we spent the weekend at a fabulous beach house with 10 friends and a 3,000 piece puzzle. It was fabulous and more on that later. But one thing that's really been on my mind for the house this week is choosing the color and weave of a custom slipcover for our IKEA Karlstad sofa!

I think we'll be getting a Karlstad cover from Comfort Works along with some medium wood tone midcentury feet. We've had our basic grey Karlstad sofa for several years and while it's very comfy, the cat has used it as a scratching post and it's definitely seen its share of red wine and little bits of chocolate. Plus, we have our grey West Elm Henry sofa in the family room, so we don't really need another grey one. Comfort Works slipcovers for the Karlstad come in soooo many fabrics, and nothing else in the living room is set in stone!! So there are SO many options for what this couch and sofa could be! I am having a really hard time deciding, so thought I'd share a few options.

We have 1) brown wool blend 2) blue velvet 3) emerald velvet 4) navy basic woven upholstery and 5) tan basic woven upholstery.

Here's what the living room looks like now. Remember all of this can change! I was originally going for a neutral look in here, black and white plus natural elements like the jute rug, but the grey couch is just too boring and I know it needs to change, so not sure the existing pieces will work with whatever we choose.

Widest room shot I could find, though this is before we got the big jute rug.

Things styled a little bit... I played with some art above the sofa but still not sure what to put there.

So pretend it's mostly a blank slate!

One of my first thoughts was deep blue velvet. I know that could sound really fancy French apartment-ey, but check out these inspirations--it actually can look really boho and cool. Looks great with leather, tan, brushed brass.
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But in looking at colorful couches I also saw some dark green velvet ones that are really special and different!
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Of course, I think what I'd really like if I was to buy a new couch would be a soft, warm leather, like one of these. This color of leather or fake leather isn't an option for the cover, but I could do a warm tan wool blend that might sort of get the look. Although, it could blend into the jute rug and get a little lost--maybe unless I did a ton of colorful pillows and artwork?
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I do notice now that none of these rooms have jute rugs--all fluffy white, which I'm not into for this room which gets a lot of traffic, or a beautiful oriental rug which I guess is an option if I could find the right one. But we do like the jute rug. Would blue or green velvet be weird with jute??

I think I've pretty much narrowed it down to 1) brown wool blend 2) blue velvet or 3) emerald velvet but I'm torn about the rug situation for all of those, and of course what art and pillows. Would love to hear your suggestions!

The most amazing fabric for DIY boho pillows in the new house!

2.17.2017

It's the first sewing I've done since before we moved in October, and it was a total success!

I have a thing for pillows right now. I noticed a while back that so many of my home decor pins involved really fabulous pillows. Lots of "global" boho prints, shibori dyed ones, variations in texture and wear, mix and match rather than symmetrical... and lots of blues! Here are a few inspirations:
Sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

So many fabulous blues!!

I'm a DIYer. You know this. When I can, I like to make things myself! But I don't have access to all these imported and vintage fabrics... but I still wanted to make my own. I wasn't sure I could find commercially available fabrics to get this look at all! But Fabric.com has tons of interesting home decor prints, and they sent me some to try out!

(If you want to make your own pillow covers, you can check out this pillow tutorial I did ages ago (after the appliqué steps). I've found a super simple, quick method for making basic square pillows and I made all five of these in just a couple hours! I put all the zippers in first, then sewed all the right-sides-together seams. So fast.)

First I tested out my pillow forms to see how many pillows and of what sizes would fit. I decided these five were good!

I played with the fabric, folding it around the pillow forms to see which patterns worked best where. I learned this trick from a friend long ago who would buy new fabric for pillows every season or two. She took her pillows seriously! It really does help when doing more than one DIY pillow cover at once!

So I sewed them up, and voilà! I added in a woven pillow from HomeGoods which mixes up the textures and scale of the patterns.

They pair fabulously with the vintage rug I recently found on Craigslist. Even though I picked out these fabrics months ago!

And they work well with the natural elements of our DIY leather ottoman, this basket, and our bamboo blinds.

After months of storing boxes and extra flooring, being largely ignored and in the way, our family room is finally becoming really cozy and pretty! We've started actually spending some time in here with the new rug and inviting, pillowed couch!

The fabrics I used from Fabric.com are:


And you can shop the other items in our family room (or similar ones) here!


Thanks to Fabric.com for sponsoring this post!

Super simple, $20 update: New matching hall flush mount lights

2.15.2017

I'm sure I've said it before, and I'll say it again--lighting is one of the easiest, most budget-friendly updates you can do in a home!

Our home was built in 1992 and had builder basic lighting throughout. It wasn't the worst thing there was (except the brass chandelier and kitchen fluorescent); mostly white mushroom style. But they were old and dirty with layers of paint and ancient masking tape from old paint jobs on them. And were the bug trapper style.

Having cohesive lighting throughout our home was important to me since I want it to look pulled together and intentional, and like it was designed by the same person at once! I guess it will probably look that way for the most part anyway, but I have been making a lot of decisions and making lighting consistent was an easy way to tie things together without too much hard work and planning!

Hall lighting isn't always noticeable, but is another opportunity for showing off a home's style and design elements. Like in this photo--those lights really make it special!
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I had a hard time justifying replacing the bug trapper white globes we had, since they were functional and not hideous, but this lighting update came right around when I picked out our kitchen pendant light and I thought it would be a good opportunity to find hall lights that matched. I shopped around lots but found these simple flush mount lights for about $20 each that match the kitchen pendant! And the Edison bulbs make the look.

You may remember from our "before" tour... here's what this hall looked like before!!

I love how simple these little fixtures are! I installed them myself one Saturday morning!

I also installed one in the downstairs hall outside the laundry room (which has had no work done to it so please disregard that dirty door, dryer that doesn't fit right now, and subfloor!). (Also, what am I going to do with that yellowed doorbell?!)

I really feel good having all three match!

If your home needs a little update, I highly recommend you consider swapping out light fixtures and going for a matching look! Here are the ones I chose, plus the kitchen pendant which is a different brand but is very close to matching, and the bulbs we went with.


Moulding and the nail gun, estate sales, and the SWEETEST rug. #stanley90sreno week 18 progress

2.13.2017

We are getting geared up for installing baseboards soon, but started out with some trim updates this weekend! And I went to 6 estate sales (we had 8 on the list but you know how it goes) and got the most fabulous vintage rug. OMG.

First a sneak peek of the rug. I cannot believe I own something this cool.

Okay, the trim project. So we need to install baseboards throughout the house now that the flooring is mostly in, but haven't bought it yet and am definitely dreading that project a little bit. I did want to get my feet wet a little though and we had a few pieces of trim that we had to remove to fix some drywall so we started out with the nail gun on those. My dad came over Saturday with his compressor and nail gun. We put the pieces back so now our sliding glass door and family room window finished (minus baseboards!).

I do need to fill and paint the nail gun holes, but... that is a pretty darn low priority compared with all of the other work we have to do around here. Womp womp.

Also, I NEED TO WASH THESE WINDOWS. WOW. SORRY.

We also made some big progress on our master bath--we are moving the functioning door from the toilet room (we will be tearing out that wall soon) to the entrance to the vanity room which leads into the closet and toilet room. It was formerly just a doorway with no door, so whoever's sleeping gets light shown into their eyes when the other person uses it. Not a great design.

So we removed the door opening trim...

And installed it in the main bathroom entry opening!

Now I need to fill those holes and prime and paint the whole frame--then we can install the door!!

Meanwhile, I'm still shopping. Everywhere. Online, on Craiglist, Facebook, and at 6 estate sales and a couple quick Goodwill stops this weekend! But my biggest purchase was this antique rug from someone on Craigslist. It was definitely more than I was hoping to spend for the family room rug, and we weren't sure if we might want a larger one, but the colors were SO perfect and it is absolutely insanely cool.

It's a nonstandard size, about 6'x10' I think, so we ran it the long way of the room and are still not sure where the couch is going to go so it may be perfect for how we use it. I finished up the throw pillows for this couch last night as well and they have blues and reds that will tie in nicely.

After online window shopping for SO MANY rugs I still can't quite believe I took the plunge and bought this one, and it was a lot of money (though still a good deal compared to other vintage rugs I've seen online)... but already we've enjoyed this room more with this cool item in here and I hope it kicks off some decorating ideas for the family room. There has been talk of hanging our guitars on the wall, getting a cool vintage media console for the grandparents' record player, and some art ideas. It has been too much of a blank slate for those ideas to materialize just yet but I think the rug helps!

How to convert a can light to a pendant light! Non-electrical tutorial

2.10.2017

We are making progress on the kitchen and one more exciting recent updates is making the old can light over the sink into a really pretty pendant light!

I don't mind can lights for general kitchen lighting and spreading out light over big areas, but above the sink is an opportunity to highlight a really cool fixture! I thought about having an electrician move the power to the wall above the window so I could do a cute brushed brass sconce... but, that costs money, of course, and then we would have more drywall repair to do which I am soooo over after our big drywall patching project when we moved into our fixer upper!

So I started getting into really beautiful pendant lights! See all my kitchen inspirations here--there are SO many cool options that really add to kitchen design!! I started to really lean toward the midcentury mod-inspired clear glass globe look. Some inspirations, plus the one we picked...
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I knew I could switch out the can light for a pendant since I'd done it at our townhouse over that kitchen sink. We had pretty high ceilings in that kitchen and it really made it more interesting to bring a fixture lower! I had pretty much no memory of the process of the can light converter switch, though, so I had to re-learn and I ran into some issues this time that I must not have had last time! So I wanted to put together this tutorial to walk you through what worked for us.

Of course I am not an electrician and only know enough to replace and wire fixtures safely in our home. We've done it many times but that's the extent of my knowledge. These instructions are meant to supplement the electrical instructions in the kit and your light fixture!

We did it with this pretty pendant light, but you could use this kit before installing a flush mount or chandelier, too!

How to Convert a Recessed Light to a Pendant or Flush Mount


You will need:




Instructions:


1. Turn off the power to the light.

2. Remove the old can light and bulb. Mine hadn't worked since we moved in, I realized because it had a broken light bulb stuck in it! So charming. I removed it very carefully.

3. Mark the holes for the brace by stretching it inside the opening and tightening the middle screw to make it the right size. Sorry, no pics of this part, but you can see a black permanent marker mark inside the opening.

4. Drill the holes. The video I watched didn't use this step; the guy in the video just used a very powerful driver and these "self-driving screws" that come with the kit. My drill did nothing with these screws and I couldn't make holes in the two layers of metal with anything I had on hand. I tried nails, other screws, several sizes of drill bits... barely a dent. So I went to the hardware store and they suggested this hard metal drill bit, which worked.

5. Screw the screws into the bracket and opening.

6. Install the power cord mount into the light bulb opening and attach the rest of the bracket. At this point you also attach the green ground wire to the side of the opening.

7. Install the metal plate from the kit and the mounting hardware from the light fixture. Put the cords through the opening.

8. With the white decorative plate in between, wire the light fixture to the cords in the converter kit and install the rest of the light fixture.

Done!!!

What a satisfying DIY project and incredible difference in a kitchen!

P.S.--I will definitely take some more photos once we get the tile backsplash installed and show you the rest of the kitchen!

Below I linked the converter kit, pendant light, and light bulb we used, plus the cute flush mounts that we used in our hall!


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