Yes… it might be a little early to be thinking about Spring, but our living room was feeling a bit down and I’ve been itching at the bit to infuse a little color.
Actually, bright and cheery color might be a theme here this week now that I think about the DIY projects I’ve recently been working on and the awesome styleboards Maryam put together (her post soon to come).
Here’s our living room with its ‘Spring Infusion’ in full swing. It might not look that different from our previous set up but it’s four DIY pillows (+ two store bought versions), a new striped throw, a new addition to the wall collage, bookshelf revamp and mantle update away from how it used to be.
Go ahead and ignore that giant hole in the wall in our dining room (it’s the old door to the new bathroom that is getting plastered up soon). But! Check out the new pillows.
Let’s start with the pop of raspberry red. I found the beautiful velvet at our local discount fabric shop and made two easy pillow covers out of it for less than $12. The color is actually very similar to the coral West Elm versions I had there previously, but those guys were showing major sun wear-and-tear and were beginning to look tired and haggered (is that a word? spellcheck says no). These ones are more pink than they are coral and I love how they look with the other green accents in the room.
The brown and white trellis print is a new addition too. He’s from three cloth napkins from Target (bought them as part of my stenciled Christmas present kit and ended up not using them). Love the modern print!
Next to the velvet and trellis print pillows is another cloth napkin number. I’ve had this solo floral napkin in my collection for some time (why just one? not sure… maybe I thought it would work for a bread basket or something ), but it’s getting much more use now as a horizontal pillow on the sofa! The backing is a tan linen from my remnant pile and the stuffing is just an everyday standard bed pillow (perfect length horizontally and a bit ‘stuffed’ vertically, but that lends itself to a nice soft ‘pouf’).
On the other side of the sofa is my World Market cow hide find (but a much softer version than a hide material) and my invisible zipper tan pillow from this tutorial. The green velvet version (love that texture! and mixing textures in pillows in general) is a C&B addition from a while back.
That new striped throw was from my holiday gift guide list (the rusty pink, green and brown versions are on sale for $13 right now in store!) from West Elm – it is sooo soft and the pop of blue balances out the pinks and greens and browns.
Other new room changes include moving a floral print (recognize one of my favorite artists from this post?) from the bookshelf to the wall collage along the back wall. (Looking at this photo I’m now thinking that the wall collage is way off center–note to self that I need to bump the bookshelves over about 6 inches).
A close up of the addition–I moved a few pieces around to create a new layout, too. Love the silver frame and how it breaks up my traditional (and favorite) warm brown frames. Here’s another example of how linen mattes have become my second go-to after white! This frame/matte combo is actually from West Elm (I’m beginning to sound like an advertisement for them but we have one locally here in San Diego so I stop in periodically to check out the sale racks), but I’ve also had linen mattes made (like this set from the office) at Michaels, too.
Speaking of bookshelves, I like to use frames in bookshelves to help break up the solid brown backing (or whatever backing color is in the bookshelf I’m working with), so I replaced the silver frame with a framed piece of bright green handmade paper from Paper-Source (you might recognize it as my ‘pop’ of green on the mantle at Christmas).
I also added a white ceramic bird (the one with long tail feathers on the second shelf down on the right–found him at a second hand shop in Iowa) and a white bird candle to my accessories. I find that a commonality (i.e. the white color) amongst a handful of accessories brings unity to a shelf that could otherwise be too messy. Despite a consideration towards design with these shelves, this bookshelf is still functional for us with all of the books that we actually want to access on a regular basis stored in various baskets or by color (like those on the top shelf).
Moving further down the wall from the bookshelves, our rustic leather smoking chair (he’s been in the family for over 4o years) received a new silk green pillow that I found on sale.
Last but not least, the mantel received a little makeover post-Christmas. Instead of redressing it with my usual look, I took the opportunity to find new pieces to feature (plus, over the holidays I found better homes for most of the other photos that were up there originally).
My favorite new piece is the beautifully (and simply) embroidered print by Etsy artist Avery of Dear Night. It’s inspired by this print from Secrets from a Stylist (my favorite HDTV show) and despite my best efforts to track down the actual artist and to purchase a similar piece of embroidered art (which included unanswered emails and lots of tracking), I worked with Avery (who is Awesome! And so talented–I’m so lucky to have found her randomly on Etsy while searching) to create our own version on a linen fabric based around one of my favorite ‘home’ quotes that was unique enough as not to be a replica. I LOVE it. So much.
It was sort of a Christmas present for Kevin. But mostly one for me.
On the other side of the mantel are two branches of giant green billy balls! Yes, I believe that’s what they’re called, though Crate & Barrel calls them ‘Chestnut Branches‘ (which is admittedly a little more attractive). I began regretting my decision when the lady at check out referred to them as ‘very Dr. Seuss-ish’ but immediately retracted on that when I saw them in the house replacing the branches on the mantel. I think they look so cool!
I was ready for a change from the birch branches that originally filled this vase. I love the branches and I’m still looking for a new location for them, but they didn’t always look super on the mantel (they’d slip out of their arrangement and would poke out in random directions) and these guys are a bit more mold-able without looking and feeling like fake wire flowers (because they’re not really flowers). Plus, any opportunity to add a little green life to a room is one I’m happy to take.
A few more shots of the mantel:
The last update is moving our big brown ottoman from the dining room (used as extra seating as a bench) into the living room as an alternative to a coffee table. I loved the free space of not having anything in front of the fireplace and plenty of room for Liv to play, but it wasn’t realistic for hosting people, eating chips and guac in front of the football game, or for holding glasses of wine after a long day. This ottoman is sort of the best of both worlds, it has soft edges for Liv to bounce around, it’s light weight and can easily be pushed out of the way (under the front window behind me in the below shot) and it’s sturdy enough to hold plates of food or a wooden tray for glasses. I’m thinking I might reupholster it in something more creative than the store-bought faux brown leather though… we’ll see.
In every attempt to keep a somewhat normal living room set up, I try to limit Liv’s toys to just a single basket in each room she plays in outside of her room. You can see my World Market basket (which I snagged for $10-ish with a coupon) in the corner next to the fireplace.
And there you have it! My infusion of Spring into our neutral living room space. I’ll post more on those really simple envelope pillows I made (all four in just a couple of hours–no zippers required) later this week. Happy Monday!
More posts on our living room can be found right here.
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Blue, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Green, Home, Living Room, Patterns & Color, Pink, Raspberry, Red
Posted in DIY, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
We had such a wonderful time celebrating Liv’s first birthday. You only get to do a first birthday once (and I suspect future birthdays will be dictated by the little one) so I took advantage and had a lot fun planning out and preparing for a big day.
I’m not sure how the theme initially came about, but a striped, circus-y party slowly developed as we planned. (Okay… get ready for way too many pictures.)
We’ve had record breaking warm weather (think low 80′s) here this January so we planned for a beautiful day at the park (that and our house has a bit of open construction going on right now). Oh we were biting our nails though… 5 days till the party and the weatherman promised 10% chance of rain, 2 days until the big day and my iPhone notified me we were up to a 60% chance of rain! and that morning we woke to a forecast of 20% chance of precipitation. Thankfully we had a quick sprinkle when setting up but other than that a dry – albeit a bit chilly – day. But no matter, we had a great time anyway.
After deciding on the carnival/circus theme, I came across this party and was immediately inspired to create a similar tablecloth for our food/dessert table. I purchased 10 yards of Ikea striped fabric and used Stitch Witchery to hem a skirt and a top piece. I included elastic in the top hem of the skirt to create the ruching effect and kept the skirt and top pieces separate so that if I ever wanted to cover a different sized table it would be easy to adjust (these two 6′ foot banquet tables are covered on three sides, but my skirt would easily wrap around an entire 8′ table, for example). I think I may go back and sew my hems into place now that the rush of getting ready for the party is over…
We dined on Kevin’s smoked pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad, and washed it all down with homemade pink lavender lemonade (Kev’s new recipe that he coaxed out of one of our favorite local restaurants).
Friends and family helped pull the little dessert bar together (my Grandma made her famous wedding cookies, peanut butter cookies and adorable iced ’1′ cookies) and a big thanks to friends Liz and Stephanie for adding cookies and the awesome cake pops to the mix!
I made Liv’s first birthday cake from a box mix and covered it whipped cream icing and handmade pink fondant polka dots.
There were just a few yards of fabric leftover from the tablecloth and so I covered a few pillows from the house for the picnic area. All of these red fleece blankets were scooped up on sale at Ikea for $2.50 a piece – much cheaper than renting chairs!
And added a string of matted black and white photos from Liv’s first year.
Luckily I had family in town for the weekend so that our little army could assemble the entire party Sunday morning (Mom, you are the best!). I was so nervous that our spot at the park would be taken (it was a holiday weekend, after all) that I asked my dad and all of the brothers to take shifts ‘guarding’ it from 7:30am on. But in the end we were the only party on this cloudy day!
Liv was quite unsure about her birthday cake. It could have been the 30ish people standing around and watching her but she was verrry hesitant before finally tasting and diving right in. I did attempt to light the candles but the breeze wasn’t having it .
We offered forks to any other kids that wanted to help her with her birthday cake – I feared a sore tummy was inevitable!
Finally, we played and played. I found pink bouncy balls at Toy’s R Us for $1.99 and bought a dozen animal beach balls as prizes for the little relay we set up.
One of Liv’s birthday presents was an adorable peach tutu from her buddy Gigi. That inspired some serious running with balloons during clean up after everyone had left.
Yes, that is her dress awkwardly tucked into her tutu.
You know how I’m always talking about all of those uncles? Here’s a visual.
Too bad this one is just a little out of focus… but it’s adorable! Dad and Grandpa are in the mix too, but she has seven of these wonderful guys (two are missing) as uncles looking out for her!
And there it is, Liv’s first birthday celebration .
Tags: Birthday, Blue, Decorating, DIY, Green, Kids Party, Liv's 1st Birthday, Parties & Entertaining, Patterns & Color, Pink, Red, Yellow
Posted in Family & Friends, Parties & Entertaining | 10 Comments »
Tis’ the season for giving and I have a really great giveaway for everyone today. Petite Lemon recently asked if they could partner with me to share their line of kid’s personalized growth charts, alphabet posters and photo posters.
Today they’re offering a $50 gift certificate towards any of these, and they were kind enough to send one personalized product my way to check out:
I love their contemporary style and I was immediately smitten with several of their personalized alphabet prints:
But because we have an adorable vintage-esq alphabet poster (which actually served as the inspiration for our nursery), I checked out their growth charts as well.
So cute! This Color Me chart below was my favorite and I thought it would fit right into the colors of the nursery:
It’s as adorable in person as it is online!
While I had ‘Spenla Family’ printed at the top, what I really mean is ‘Spenla Kids’ (since Kevin and I long ago passed up that 60″ mark – wait, does it say 60″? Actually I might still be able to put myself just above that mark on this chart at 5′ 3″…) anyhow, we wanted one chart that would serve the purpose of all Spenla Kids rather than just Liv (so we don’t one day have 2, 3 or even 4 charts up) but I chose Spenla Family because, well, if we are blessed with just Liv then that’s okay too :0).
The canvas growth chart is great on its own, but I wanted to really fill in this corner (between the door to the new bathroom and her dresser) and so I mounted the chart on a handmade fabric lined frame:
And hung the chart with a mustard yellow ribbon from the two top grommets.
I made the fabric frame from molding I had lying around the garage (leftover pieces that I didn’t use in this project), pretty primary colored fabric I found marked down to $4.99/yard, a couple of nails and a staple gun.
The process was fairly easy – similar to stretching a canvas for art. First, cut molding to the desired rectangle sizes (I wanted about a foot on top and bottom of the chart plus 8 or so inches on each side) and secure the pieces of wood together with a nail and hammer (you could do a fancy version of this with a pilot hole but I was going basic here and just tapped the nail right through one end of the molding and into the other).
Next, cut fabric to the same size + 5″ or so on each edge for folding over the back. Lay the frame upside down on your fabric and ‘stretch the fabric up and over each edge, securing the fabric to the frame on the back side with a staple gun (I went a little crazy with the staples for this example but you get the idea ).
The chart and fabric tie in really well with the rest of the primary colors in the nursery:
In fact, it almost pulls all of the colors together!
Back to that giveaway… Petite Lemon is giving away a $50 credit to their entire store! Find fun and contemporary ideas for a kids or teen room. Makes a great gift.
To Enter: Leave a comment here with your plans for giving this season! (Could be a gift, time, resources, charity…)
Giveaway ends Friday, December 23 at midnight PST, winner will be chosen randomly and announced the following Monday. Good luck!
In other news, I’m honored that Goo Gone has made me the Gooru of the week! Come check it out over here. Goo Gone is one of those must-haves for messy projects and I’m a huge fan.
Tags: Accessories, Blue, By Color, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Green, Home, Nursery, Patterns & Color, Red, Tutorial, Yellow
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 27 Comments »