Monday, February 25, 2013

A Couple of Home Decor Updates

Other than briefly sharing a snapshot of my kitchen just days after we moved into our house, I really haven't shared any photos of our home here on the blog.  We bought our house in August of 2010 and, aside from purchasing a sectional for our living room, we didn't make any real furniture or decor purchases until this past summer.  I've slowly been making a few changes here and there over the past few months.  Working on a small monthly budget and starting off with next to nothing has meant a very slow process of decorating our home.

After Christmas last year hubby and I made a couple of trips to IKEA to get a few furniture pieces and some various decor items for our home.  Among our purchases were an assortment of RIBBA frames.  Back in January, after a marathon week of painting our entry, living room, and kitchen, I planned out and hung a casual gallery wall behind the sectional in our living room.

When arranging the wall, I really didn't have any plans as to what would actually end up in each frame. I had a limited number of frames on hand and made due to figure out what looked to be the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement possible.  After getting the placement planned out, I then set out to find various photos and art to fill the frames.  Honestly, most of what you see in the frames in these photos are filler items until we figure out exactly what we'd like to display.  I personally prefer an eclectic gallery with an assortment of photos, art, and other keepsakes.  Ours is filled with tender memories as well as plenty of humor.

On a side note, how gorgeous are these Dutch tulips from Trader Joe's?  I've seen them popping up on various blogs lately and couldn't resist picking up a bouquet while I was at Trader Joe's recently shopping for a few natural skincare items.

I had to use our point-and-shoot camera to get a better overall photo of our living room.  Unfortunately I only own a 50mm fixed lens for my DSLR and I couldn't back up far enough out of the room to actually get much in the photos.  In the left of this photo you'll notice there is another fairly long wall in our living room that remains unadorned.  I have plans for this wall, including an oversized pin your travels map inspired by this photo.  In an effort to keep things from getting busy, I thought a larger piece of art along the left wall would help balance out the gallery arrangement without being too much.

I am desperate to replace our side tables and coffee table in this room.  Our current tables were purchased by hubby from Goodwill long before we even met.  I absolutely despise them, but they're functional and we've had much more pressing things to purchase/replace first.  I'm hoping in the spring I can get hubby to help me build new side tables like these.  Something like this with lots of storage would probably be my ideal coffee table.  I also have plans to sew pillow covers to replace the now sad looking pillows that came with our sectional.  I bought some lovely down inserts during our IKEA shopping spree and plan to cover them in a mix of vibrant colors and patterns to liven up our neutral space.  A pillow arrangement like this is my dream.

Now for a little kitchen update.  I found this gorgeous dining table on sale at HomeGoods last July while casually shopping with a friend.  Up to that point, Hubby and I were using a rather worn oak table from the early '90s that his parents had been kindly letting us borrow since we got married.  The table wobbled and we had a mismatch of three different types of chairs (not the cute kind of mismatch, mind you).  It was time we got around to getting a real grownup table.  When I saw this beauty for a steal at HomeGoods I immediately freaked out and texted hubby a pic.  I went back later that same day and basically had to fight off another lady who was interested in the table as well.  Long story short, she became mine and I love her.  What can I say, she's got great legs.

The table itself didn't come with any chairs, which I honestly was fine with as I'm not usually a fan of matching dining sets.  We had our lovely new table but were still stuck with our mismatched chairs until a close friend offered to hand down a set of vintage chairs to us.  When I saw them, I thought they were perfect!  They had a beautiful detail but were still simple and streamline and they would compliment our table nicely without looking too expected.  Best of all, they were free.  The photo above is how the chairs looked when we inherited them.

I decided to give the chairs an update with fresh upholstery foam and some gorgeous new fabric (it's Dwell Studio's Bella Porte in Brindle).  I've been planning to also paint the chairs a glossy white in the spring.  I'm a big fan of the look of white chairs against a dark table.  However, the look of the chairs as is with the table has certainly grown on me.  The wood on the chairs is a little worse for wear in some areas and they could certainly use a freshening up whether it be from paint or stain.  At this point I'm kind of torn on what I'd like to do with them.  What do you think: should I keep them dark or paint them white?

I turned to the point-and-shoot again to give you a better view of the eat-in side of our kitchen.  Right now it's pretty darn bare.  Unfortunately the space is too narrow to add any sort of hutch or shelving along the long wall behind the table.  I'd like to add some art there in the future (probably a simple grid arrangement of square frames similar to this).  I would love to add a rug with a pop of color (I'm thinking navy) under the table.  I'd also like to upgrade our bar cart for something a little bigger and rectangular with some simple shelving above with storage for wine glasses, etc.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the changes I've been making, even if the process has been a slow one!  My office is coming along nicely and I've got a few updates to share in our master bedroom soon as well.


  1. We've been in our house over 10 years and we are still working on decorating it. We have stuff up in the living room-finally, but the kitchen is bare as bones. We'll get it done...just in time to move, lol.

    I LOVE that Nate Berkus spikey piece, I've been eyeing it at Target. Also, LOVE the chair, especially for free!

  2. Nice pieces. Good start. Now add some rich color on the walls to absorb some of the glare of the sun. Try Benjamin Moore Classic Caramel 1118.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I actually prefer very bright and airy spaces, so the "glare of the sun" doesn't bother me. (It's also really not apparent in real life.) Additionally, we couldn't go too dark with the paint color for these spaces because the living room gets very little light and can feel downright dungeon dark at night. I just recently painted these spaces using Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan.

  3. Great post! A great way to decorate, and CHEAPLY! Seriously, in it that a great big painting or something.

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  5. Loved reading your blog! My interior design taste keeps changing, one minute I love modern, next minute I've purchased traditional pine wardrobes! I'm not sure I'll ever make my mind up!

  6. Great idea, Ana! I am looking for simple ceramic ones too for my windowsill.. :-)

  7. Great features. I am enjoying all of these spring posts! i am so looking forward to spring! Thank you for hosting and for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  8. Thanks for sharing such post...........
    keep sharing..........

  9. I agree that I turned to the point-and-shoot again to give you a better view of the eat-in side of our kitchen. Right now it's pretty darn bare.


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