All posts in living room

opinions please: new curtains!

I’m 99% sold on these new curtains for my living room … what do you think?

Official deets: Ivory/white, semi-sheer, with jute stripes that look like gold from afar. $20/panel from Cost Plus World Market.

Replacing: the ivory floral sheer curtains that came with the house.

I love the idea of stripes in that room, as well as how the curtains fit the white and gold theme in a more neutral way. I’m less than enthused about the mismatching stripes when the curtains are closed (for me, that’s 50-75% of the time). But is that enough of a dealbreaker? I haven’t found anything else I really love.

find your prize

Fellow home blogger and college friend Meredith and I visited Hunt & Gather (famous for “find your prize”) yesterday … to celebrate her new house!

I found a new (old) crystal drawer pull for the desk in my dining room, some Valentines’s Day cards, and about a hundred other things I sadly couldn’t bring home.

I also picked up some pillow forms at JoAnn’s for my other new favorite things … Pillow cases from Zara Home. I found them when I was in Paris for work last November and they’ve been mocking me from their folded perch on my bedroom chair ever since. It was time to put them to good use, brightening up my living room couch on this icy, snowy weekend.

Prizes found.

decorating: summer into fall

Chilly weather is here, and I’ve slowly been replacing summer/neutral decor around the house with fall and Halloween pieces.
I keep the same pieces on-hand from year to year (most came from my mom and our collective PartyLite stash) but I try to do different arrangements each time. Here’s this year’s versions!
Dining room table: silver bowl and hurricane shade –> wire apothecary vase with fall leaves and pumpkins
Dining room window nook: dried hydrangeas –> rosemary plant (has been outside all summer), red candlesticks & fall flower arrangement
Desk: mish-mash of summer wedding invites –> two of my favorite leaf-shaped candle holders
Kitchen corner shelves: Twins baseball memorabilia –> white and orange ceramic pumpkins
Front porch: blue jars and swirls –> pumpkins and jar candles
Living room: added leaf tealight holders to existing tablescape, and a big bowl and leaf coasters to the coffee table

two-year anniversary: the house now

Two years into living in the little farmhouse, a lot has changed. You can see the whole transformation here… but for those of you who have been following the transformation all along, here is an up-to-date tour of the house, top to bottom!

Dining Room

Living Room


Yellow Bedroom

Blue Bedroom
Master Bedroom



Front Porch

gold, silver and peacock feathers

I’ve found some amazing treasures at some antique and vintage stores in South Minneapolis and Uptown this summer.

First, a 30-piece set of silver to add to my collection of various silverware patterns (and, altogether, I only paid $1.73 because of a 20% off sale at Hunt and Gather and a gift certificate from some dear friends who know me very, very well).

Peacock feathers for just three bucks a pop, which you’ve already seen in the living room (a now-closed antique store on Hennepin and 27th).

And a fantastic gold key that is also destined for the living room (from Rewind Vintage at 48th and Chicago).

Aren’t old things just so much prettier than new ones?

sconces + mirrors

When dad was here last weekend, he helped me hang some things in the yellow bedroom and the living room.

First, the massive frame of painted tiles that mom found in California and that we thought would be perfect for their room. First we tried the wall between the windows:

But it was a little too big. So we tried it on the wall on the other side of the bed.


Then it was on to the mirror, to fill some space on the wall above the dresser.

It was just the thing the room needed — it fits perfectly between the dresser and the ceiling, and it’s great for making the room feel more open.

With the new side tables that mom found, the yellow bedroom is feeling a lot more complete.
Then dad helped me hang some sconces in the living room:

And I rearranged the table in the corner, just for fun. Because you know me … I can’t help it. A disease, I swear 🙂

picking pillows

The living room got lots of use last week with all the visitors … but one thing was missing: couch pillows! The new West Elm catalog came recently, and I fell in love with their new colors and patterns. So I stopped by today, and grabbed a selection to try out.

Here’s what I landed on:

And here’s what didn’t quite make the cut:
What do you think? Am I crazy for loving the brown and cream zebra print? Does the slightly-off turquoise pillow look chic and mismatched, or just awkward? Can I really get away with two patterns next to each other? Share your thoughts, stylish friends 🙂

a more lived-in living room

I pulled the tables and lamps that used to be in the living room back in with the new couch. The basic set-up might look familiar, but I think you’ll all agree the room as a whole looks dramatically different than the old red and white version!

I think this room might be my favorite project so far because it’s the first chance I’ve had to really create a space entirely from scratch. For most of the other rooms in the house, I’ve had existing furniture or colors to work around. But this room was a blank slate once I knew I wasn’t going to stick with the red couches.
I’m also really excited about the accessory colors and pieces that I’ll be able to pull in to accent the teal and brown. Here’s what I have so far, on the table in the corner. This will likely change when I get shelves and artwork up in the room, and I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to keep the white table and wicker coffee table/blanket basket. Lots to figure out, yet.

Decor details, for those who are interested:
The peacock feathers were only $3 apiece at a local antique store, and they’re one of the design elements I’ve had in my head all along for the room. The lantern, 3-wick pillar and candle tray are all by PartyLite. The peacock accent plate was something I found on clearance last Christmas at Anthropologie, and I’ve been saving it for this room ever since. The pashmina throw across the back of the couch was a birthday present from my mom, and she found it at Midtown Global Market here in the neighborhood. The lamps in the room are hand-me-downs — the big one is from my parents (they’ve had it since their wedding 31 years ago) and the smaller lamp came from a swap meet a few months ago. The instruments are all mine, and yes I play them 🙂
Next up: hanging shelves and other things the walls. I might be calling on some extra hands to help with that …

new couch!

It arrived this morning … here is a photo play-by-play:

Now, back to the home office for the afternoon:
But I can hardly wait to get all the furniture moved back in! Decorating is the best part.

a grecian sea in the living room

I watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader while I was painting. I blame that for the oh-so-brilliant title you just read.

And speaking of painting… guess what I’m done with now? Yep! No more painting for the foreseeable future.
Yes, Apples, I’m getting to the pictures. (Another slightly obscure reference, but Netflix won’t help you this time. Sorry.)
So. Two weekends ago, after the first coat:

Last weekend, after the second coat:

And this week, after Keith and Julia helped me re-hang the curtain rods:

The paint color is Grecian Sea, from Dutch Boy, although I used two coats of a paint/primer from Pittsburgh Paints. And I love love love it. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well with the sofa that is set to arrive in the next few days!