We spend a ton of time in this room. It’s right off the kitchen and the home to our television, and let’s face it, we eat and watch tv more than we do most other things in life… I love the way this room turned out, but designing it was challenging. None of the furniture we moved over from our old apartment worked in here because of the awkwardly long and narrow shape of this room. (Luckily, our pre-existing furniture worked perfectly in our living room.)
When we first looked at the house, we could tell that the previous owners didn’t really know what to do with this room either. But we really wanted to really maximize the space, and figured the best way to do that was to optimize our seating options. We searched high and low for the perfect sectional sofa and landed on the configurable Henry sofa from West Elm. The Henry has nice classic lines, and you can choose a custom size and configuration (and fabric) that makes it look specifically designed for the room it’s in. I’ve always wanted a huge cozy sectional sofa, so this piece was perfect.
Another challenge with this room was the lack of lighting. There wasn’t single light built in, so at night this room was pretty much pitch black.
We looked into installing can lights or a chandelier but our electrician said that was going to be a really big deal (expensive) so we decided to go with some decorative sconces instead. I worked with this etsy seller (who was awesome – super responsive and helpful and fast) to customize this listing.
Welcome to our dining room reveal! There’s not a ton to show off in this little area, so I’m including our entryway in this tour as well. (And in case you missed it, I shared a tour of our living room in my last post.)
The dining and living room open up to each other, so we decided to paint the dining room nook a dark charcoal to define the dining space.
This (above) is what you see straight ahead when you walk in our front door. As I mentioned the other day, the first thing we did when we closed on our house was rip up all the carpet and replace it with hardwood. We also replaced the wood railing that came with the house. These rooms look a lot bigger than they actually are in square footage thanks to the high ceilings and tall windows… So we tried to be really strategic with the railing so that it didn’t break up the space too much, and lose the illusion of size. We contemplated installing the original wood railing again and painting it white (which would have been the most cost-effective solution), or doing something in metal. But ultimately we came to the conclusion that a glass railing would be the best way to avoid disrupting the line of sight into the living room and out the windows (while keeping the space open and airy.)
What a difference a little hardwood makes, huh!?
We also painted our front door, which was magenta when we bought the house. (And painted all the walls white or charcoal. You can’t really tell from the before photo, but the house was entirely beige when we bought it.)
And that’s our dining area! I’ll give you a full tour of our family room in my next post, but here is a sneak peak (below)…
Well hello there! Remember me? Probably not, I’ve been terribly neglectful of this blog. I’ll try to do better…
At any rate, I thought it would be fun to share some of the rooms in our new house, as well as our Christmas and Hanukkah decorations with you. We closed on the house in May and although it had “good bones” and the previous owners kept it in immaculate condition, it certainly qualified as a fixer upper. As soon as we took possession, we ripped up all the carpet (in every room) and replaced it with hardwood, removed a wall, painted, installed all new lighting, and installed a railing. And by “we” I mean mostly Carter, with help from contractors. So not really me. But I fancy myself as the brains behind the operation… (And the decorator, obviously.)
And that was phase one: the stuff that needed to get done in order for the house to be presentable / safe to live in. Now we’re working on saving up to do phase two which will include gutting and replacing everything in our master bathroom (WHHHHHHHYYYY did people put carpet in bathrooms in the 80s?!?), the guest bathroom (luckily no carpet in there), and sprucing up the kitchen and our fireplace. In the mean time, I’ve been busy scouring the stores and the interwebs for the best home decor deals and Carter has been busy doing smaller-scale, less expensive projects like replacing the rotting boards in our deck, and completely re-doing our closets (the latter of which he is literally working on right now on as I type this).
I’ve been waiting to share our house until it was “done” but then I kind of came to the realization that it’s never going to feel truly done, so I might as well share our progress. And what better time to take some photos than when it’s decorated for the holidays?
Okay, now that was my long-winded introduction to… Our Living Room!! Yay! Dining room and family room tours will be up later this week.
The high ceilings in the living room are what drew us to this house in the first place, but with high ceilings come massive walls that demand large-scale art, which can be be expensive. When we first moved in, the idea of decorating these walls was really daunting, but we were ultimately able to find some really budget-friendly ways do to it. You may recognize the cactus collage above our living room chairs from our old apartment. It’s a tad small for the space, but it will do, for now.
And for the art above our sofa I decided to embark on a DIY project with a giant canvas I got on sale at Michael’s Craft Store for $30. The whole piece, including paint, cost me less than $50 so I’m pretty proud of it, all things considered!
I get a lot of questions on social media about our sofa so I figured I’d talk about it here. We took a huge gamble and bought it online from Wayfair, without ever getting the chance to see it in person or sit on it. But we got lucky and it ended up working out perfectly. The leather is so incredibly soft (I think you can actually order a fabric sample so you can see the color and texture before you commit to the couch) and it the whole piece is incredibly comfortable. We’ve had it for about three years now and it still looks brand new even though we sit on it every day and our cat and dog both love to sleep on it. I really can’t say enough good things about it! So if you’re in the market for a new sofa and want something with the chesterfield shape, I highly recommend ours because it’s seriously the best you can do for the price. Here is the link to the exact sofa we have, in the color “Steamboat Chestnut”.
A note about our holiday decorations… I mentioned Hanukkah up above but obviously what you’ve seen here is our Christmas tree and snow village. Carter was raised catholic and I was raised partially jewish (with one christian parent and one jewish parent.) I do love Hanukkah and the message behind it, but I think we can all unanimously agree that Christmas is more fun to decorate for. So Christmas dominates our decor, which a few menorahs and dreidels sprinkled here and there (which you’ll see in this Wednesday’s post), and you better believe Carter has Hanukkah Gelt in his stocking!
I’m slightly neurotic and like our gift wrap to have a theme that matches our holiday decor. This year I went pretty traditional “Christmas” themed with red, green and neutrals. I actually snagged all this gift wrap at the end of last season on major sale. I’m already plotting next year’s color scheme, as the end-of-season sales have already started! I think I’m going to go with an all black and white theme next year.
And there you have it – our living room during the month of December! Check back in a few days for our dining room reveal and in the mean time, you can shop our living room by clicking on the products below…
It’s been so fun seeing all the pretty and feminine spring pieces pop up in stores over the past few weeks, especially in contrast to the dreary weather we’ve been having here in Portland. I like to stock up on clothes and accessories at the beginning of each season so I have optimal selection before they’re picked over – and then I do another pass at the end of the season when whatever’s left goes on sale (in preparation for next year.)
This ‘Budding Floral Sheath’ dress from Maggy London is one of the pieces I was most excited to add to my wardrobe. As a LBD, it’s not too far out of my comfort zone and in my usual color pallet (if you can even call it a color pallet) of black. But the gorgeous rosebud details make the dress a little more special than your average LBD. It’s the perfect dress for a day or night event – like champagne brunch, a spring bridal shower or wedding, or just any old cocktail party.
I had some extra fun styling this one because I just happened to already own the most fabulous sparkly pink pumps and red clutch (both gifts from my incredibly stylish mother-in-law) that matched the flowers in this dress perfectly… But if you don’t have matching pieces on hand, the dress would look just as lovely with paired down shoes and accessories in classic black or nude.
Remember when I told you guys about my plans for a wall of books in our house and then never followed up with any pictures of the finished product? Well this post can serve as the part 2 of that series, as the wall has looked like this for a few years now. The bookshelves are filled with random pictures and knick knacks with varying degrees of sentimental value from Carter’s and my childhood and life together (I know you were wondering about the superhero action figures and pug piggy bank!)
And we made a design decision to organize the books by color, but to be honest that made it pretty difficult to find anything when they’re laid out this way so next time I have some free time, I’m thinking I’ll re-organize them by genre… But overall, I think the shelves turned out pretty well and give this awkward space in the back of our living room a purpose.
Disclosures: This post was made in collaboration with Maggy London and the dress was a gift to me from them. As you guys know by now, I ONLY accept partnerships with brands that I love and I feel confident you would love as well. All opinions expressed here are my own.