Monday, October 19, 2009

Works in Progress

The last time I mentioned the formal living room and dining room was almost a year ago. Jeez. Now I feel guilty.

Anyway, to help alleviate all this blog guilt, I thought I'd share some current pics of the formal living/dining area to keep you updated. Sorry these pics are so dark, I'm not sure why they came out like that...

One of my favorite things about the living room is my little craigslist-dresser-that-could. I talked about it when I bought it, here. So what if I started this project in '07? Heh heh. I finally got the dresser painted (BM Monterey White) and added the new hardware from Quality Bath.

After lusting over the botanical prints from Restoration Hardware, which are like, $2700 apiece (okay, I'm exaggerating), I decided to make my own - and so I did. I picked the ferns myself during one of our impromptu family hikes and bought some nice, coordinating card stock at Michael's. The little decorative labels came from Michael's as well. I looked up the names of the different ferns online. Some of them might even be correctly identified! The frames came from Christmas Tree Shop - I swear the have the cheapest frames anywhere! Their frames are all over my house. The total cost of the project was about $45 for all nine botanicals. Not bad, eh? Much better than that $1800 it would've cost at RH, anyway.

We also (finally!) hung the window treatments. These are some of the very first items I bought for the house back in '06. We stored them for years until we were ready for them. I fell in love with the drapes the moment I laid eyes on them in the Pottery Barn catalog. I patiently (or not so patiently, depending on who you ask) waited for them to go on sale, and the rest is history. And you know what? I still love them. Every day I look at them and think, "I love these drapes! I love these shades!" I do have to admit that I was a little worried about becoming yet another PB carbon-copy-house. But they ARE only window treatments and I DID see the roman shades in the Kate Townsend-Simpson house on (which, in my mind, gives them serious street cred). Moving on...

When the island became usable, we were finally able to move the round table from the kitchen into the dining room. We bought this table specifically for the dining room, and I think it looks really great in there. The table came with four leaves that extend the table to a huge 81" diameter - all while remaining round in shape. The pictures show the table with the leaves on. If you look closely, you can see the seam where the leaves meet the actual table. For the record, all those extra chairs in the room were placed there for a party and aren't normally there...

I love love LOVE the idea of having a fireplace in the dining room. I picture everyone gathered around the table at a big Christmas Eve party, with a fire warming the room while it snows outside. Hopefully, this will come true and I'll have the pics to prove it!

The only snag we hit with the fireplace was that we had to place the table so as to ensure that even at 81", somebody's seat (literal and figurative) wouldn't end up getting scorched. So, we had to set the table slightly off center. For a while, I had a hard time getting past it, but as the room gets filled in, it looks better and less noticeable.

Mike and I recently found some chandeliers that we actually agreed on (oh happy day!) online at Golden Lighting. I bought the rugs for these rooms online at Typically, I don't like buying certain things sight unseen, but I was getting desperate. At the time, I was dying for seagrass, but we were on a strict budget, and these 8x 10 rugs were something like $140 a piece, with free shipping. Hello! Mike HATES them - but I love them and he loves me. So for now, they stay. Still, I'd love to have seagrass someday...

The living room still needs lots of work and lots of new furniture, as discussed in my recent sofa post. Almost everything in these rooms came from craigslist. Literally. Some of it will stay, but some of it has got. to. go.

So, I guess that's it for now. Hopefully the rooms will be a bit more pulled together at the next update. Maybe I'll even have a new sofa!

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