Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our Cozy Living Room

So I just realized the other day that our ever-evolving living room has gone unseen to our readers for quite some time.  In fact, the last time we shared pictures with you was when it looked like this: 
What our living room looked like when we first moved in...not so cozy.

Some renovation progress on the fireplace.
Pretty much where we left ya 'hangin'.  A very bland, undefined space (though festively decorated for the joyous holiday season), and a baby Roon on his chaise.
So lately our living room has been looking like this:
Much, much cozier.

For now, try to ignore the glass dining table and chairs; these will eventually be used in our new kitchen but for now are hanging out in here.  Let's update you on the current state of the living room by breaking it down feature by feature, starting with the bookshelf.

We last discussed our living room when we posted about the addition of our new living room shelf, which I got for a great price and found that it offered both handsome and useful storage space.  Our shelf is now fully decorated and fits right in with the rest of the living room.
The clutter catcher in all of its glory.

Some books.

A wise 'lil owlette.

No, I did not embroider that -- I found it for $0.50 at a local discount store!

An antique owl bell from an old Baltimore hotel, a tea leaf print, and a Jelly Belly candle that smells like Pear (yup).

But the shelf isn't the only thing that has changed in the living room.  Since I last shared living room progress with you, I decided on a decor theme and pretty much decorated the crap out of the space.  

Let's start with the theme.  I started off with a rust-orange sofa and light green walls (both Chris' desires) and was feeling a little lost on the direction of which to take the theme.  For some odd reason I was feeling a Hemingway vibe; something crisp, antique, and adventurous.  Much like the Ernest Hemingway house in Key West, Florida.  Here are some pictures from our vacation to Key West last year that helped to inspire my vision:

Ernest Hemingway home in Key West, Florida (the guy on the left reminds me of a curious ostrich).

I love the greens and dark accents.

This is where Mr. Hemingway typed away -- I love the "explorer" feel that's emanated with the accessories & trinkets.

Dark wood, lots of books, animal accessories.

And kitties.  I'll have to hang a cat print or two in honor of the 6-toed gatos.

And brick!  Like our fireplace.
So I took the Hemingway theme and ran with it.  For the stairway I wanted to feature lots of old family photos in crisp black frames.  When I say "lots", I mean it.  "Lots" like a sickening amount of black frames.  Chris thought I was crazy, but I think he appreciates the outcome.  I'm only about halfway up the stairs, but I'm super happy with my vintage-y collage so far.
That's actually just some bird fabric I got from Ikea a couple years ago that I framed (in an Ikea frame).

My handsome family makes my wall look good.
The curtains.  The living room curtains are something that I've spent a ridiculous number of hours pondering over.  I purchased some plain tan curtains from Ikea to hold us over for a while.  The issue with them was that they weren't wide enough; if you pulled them shut they were pulled completely taught and just looked lame.  Our front window is over 100" wide, which has made curtain hunting very difficult since most panels come in approximately 50" widths.  I'm not one to shell out hundreds of dollars for custom curtains, so I began looking into making my own custom curtains.  But alas, I couldn't even find any fabrics that tickled my fancy.  Just when I started inching towards paying too much money for curtains, I made a discovery.  Shower curtains.  Shower curtains are 72" by 72" -- the perfect width for our widow and the perfect height to accommodate the air vents that sit underneath the window.  Call me crazy, but I began my hunt for some shower curtain-curtains.

After a mental battle over green vs. neutral, I decided that neutral curtains would probably be the better route as I didn't want to overwhelm the space with green (I already had a lot of other green accents).  I discovered a tan floral print shower curtain at and decided it was worth a try.  Awesomely enough, once I got to the store I discovered that the shower curtain I was interested in was on clearance for $13.  Kewl beans, baby.  So I bought two.  I also picked up some shower curtain rings on clearance for $6 -- Christopher actually discovered them.  I was originally thinking I'd go with clip on curtain rings, fearing that shower curtain rings would make the shower curtain look like, well,  a shower curtain in my windows.  But honestly, these rings are really cool and look very much so like curtain rings.  They sort of have this semi-industrial old world look to them.

Shower curtain-curtain rings.
I was unsure about the shower curtain-curtains, but once they were hung I was super pleased.  Not only do they look fabulous, but they only cost me about $32!  Can't beat that.
Moving onto the rug.  I was perusing some green rugs online and by pure happenstance came across one at a crazy-good price.  And I mean crazy-insane-wacko-good price.  There were other rugs that I had my eye on that I loved, but for the price I figured this rug was worth a shot.  Rugs can definitely cost a pretty penny, so in this case I decided that a fantastic deal should override my picky taste.  I ordered an 8' by 10' rug, which is the ideal size for our living room.  Since the addition of our new rug, I've found our living room is a lot cozier and a lot quieter as it stifles those little Roon paws from clicking all over the hardwood floor.
Our Selection: Safavieh Contemporary Soho Brown/Green Rug (SOH732B-8)
Hand-tufted wool.  We fancy.

Love it.
Our coffee table is a work in progress.  We purchased this mammoth and its matching side table friend for only $50 from Chris' coworker.  

I really like the wood legs and feel like it's sort of Hemingway-ish in some way (I think it's the thick, dark wood).  The only issue is its size -- the glass top makes it too big for our living room.  But of course, we have a solution.  Chris is going to make a new wood top that will fit the frame of the table which will make the coffee table take up less space.  In my many hours of scouring the internet for ideas and inspiration I came across a coffee table that is essentially identical to what ours will look like once Chris gets his handy hands on it.
A gander into our coffee table's future.  You can find this particular table here.
In order to tie in our sweet black bookshelf with the rest of the space, I was thinking it would be neat to stain the new coffee table top black.  Sounds weird, but I think the combo is actually quite snazzy.  I pinned this pin of pinsperation to help convey my vision to Chris:

In our case, this would be reversed -- black top, dark wood bottom -- but you get the idea.

For me it's the accessories and extra detailing that really make a room.  With that said, here are some of awesome items I accessorized our living room with:
Our sweet mantle looking dapper for spring.

I have never loved a lamp more than this one.  $35 at HomeGoods!!

I get a little too happy for seeded glass.

Some lovely green accessories.

The pillows were purchased from HomeGoods, Target, and

Chevron.  'nough said.

This is our lovely deer friend.  He'll eventually hang out over top of the bookshelf.
The owl daddy (HomeGoods, $8) and a basket that used to be beautiful before Rooney's teeth found it.

Our adorable 'lil coat rack (TJ-Maxx, $12).

Though it's not literal or blatantly obvious, I really feel the Hemingway house vibe in our living room.  It's got this very outdoorsy/adventurous/antique feel to it, and I absolutely love it.  It's the perfect space to curl up in after a long day slaving away on renovations.  If you don't already follow me on Pinterest, here's my Cozy Living Room board -- it'll keep you posted on anything new or exciting that I might add to the living room.

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