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Ok, so that statement isn’t entirely true. I still love yellow and want to wear yellow sweaters while I carry my yellow purse and although I’m still searching for yellow shoes, I will find them, and wear them with all my other yellow things while wearing my yellow necklace. BUT…my yellow lamps are not bringing the sunshine into my living room like I had hoped. I don’t know if it was the shade of yellow or perhaps the finish but they were lack luster to say the least. So I made an executive decision to sand them and go white. Bright glossy white. I know it seems boring but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m kind of boring. I like the neutral wall color in our living room and kitchen, the earth tones of the rug and curtain, the white trim, and dark woods. Boring, yes…makes me happy…YES! So I’m embracing my boring and going white. You also know that I change my mind on a daily basis when it comes to design decisions so if my darling thrift store lamps are neutral then they will always coordinate with the rest of the room or any room if I choose to move them around. I need that sort of flexibility in life desperately because let me tell you, sanding these suckers has been a nightmare.

First off, let me just air my dirty laundry. I primed these brass beauties before applying the yellow paint and for some reason the primer left a sort of rough texture. Did I do anything about it? No. So I ended up with sandpapery yellow lamps and I just chose to live with it. Poor decision. Now that I want a smooth glossy white finish, I have to sand the lamp down to be super super smooth. This is annoying and makes me cranky. Husband laughs at me because he sands on a daily basis and he has to be much more tedious and detail oriented and on a much larger scale. He is quite the one-upper sometimes (love you babe!). Ok, I can’t beat him when it comes to complaining but thats not going to stop me. Sanding lamps with bumpy primer texture stinks and it almost makes me just want to have one lamp in the living room and just trash the other because I don’t want to sand it.

Ok, Well I sucked it up and did both because I just couldn’t bare to fail again!

After getting my lamps sanded down, I taped up the electrical portions and got my glossy white spray paint ready go. Thats how we ended up with this!

I love them and they make me happy. However, as you very well know, I reserve the right to change my mind at any point. 🙂

I officially have an obsession with yellow. It all started when I was on the hunt for a pair of yellow shoes to spice up my wardrobe. Unfortunately I have yet to find that perfect pair of yellow flats, wedges, or heels but along the way I started to notice all the other yellow goodies in the world. Since then, I have collected yellow shirts, yellow jewelry, and an amazing yellow purse. As I was saying….I’m obsessed.

After the revamp of the living room, it seemed only natural for me to find a way to sneak in some yellow for a little pizzazz in the room. Right now the room is quite calm and soothing with our color choices but it is screaming for a little more personality and if yellow doesn’t say personality then I don’t know what does! The hard part was determining where to bring in the yellow and that’s when I had a light bulb moment…lamps (pun most definitely intended)! Yellow lamps on each side of the sofa would be perfect since (1) we currently only have one lamp and it makes the side tables completely unbalanced and (2) I love having different lighting levels in the room for different occassions or at least I think I would like having different light levels because currently I only have two: on or off. Unfortunately once I started the hunt for yellow lamps, I quickly came up empty-handed. That’s when I had another bright (he he) idea. The lamp doesn’t have to start out yellow. I can totally DIY that! That’s when I headed to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and came home with these beauties for a total of $10!

Aside from the mismatched harps (yep, that’s what the metal things on top that hold the shade are called, who knew?!), they were in perfect condition. The ReStore has a surge protector and light bulbs on site so you can test the lamps before you buy. Also you can return them within 30 days if something doesn’t work so I had no qualms about bringing these babies home! I first started researching lamp harps to make sure that I could replace the existing ones. I was in luck! Just about everyone sells them, from Wal-mart to Target to Amazon.com. I purchased mine from Target for $6 a pop.

The next step was to get these babies ready for a beautiful coat of yellow paint. I started by collecting all my supplies: Cleaning solution, Oil based primer spray paint, sand paper, painters tape, plastic bags and a clean rag.

You always want to clean your item thoroughly before applying primer. If I’ve learned nothing else from my woodworker husband, this is the one thing that I will always remember! If you don’t clean it properly then you have no chance of any new finish “sticking”. Your new finish will simply wear off if there is dirt between it and your precious decor.  

After cleaning my brass beauty, I took two plastic bags (you can use any leftover from your recent grocery expedition) and stuffed the socket and wrapped the cord. That way when I started spraying, I didn’t have to worry about getting paint on anything that shouldn’t have paint. I can be very dangerous with a can of spray paint!

With everything wrapped and clean as a whistle, I primed. I used an oil based primer by Kilz since it needed to adhere to metal. I find that oil will stick to anything while water based can be a little less cooperative.

Don’t they look even better just in the primed phase! I instantly got excited. Which doesn’t say a lot since I get excited over new dish towels but all the same, I was stoked for the next step! Bring on the yellow! I decided to go with a ready made spray paint instead of having some custom mixed and asking my poor husband to spray it with his industrial paint sprayer which he uses for all his custom cabinetry and millwork. The last thing he needs is another thing on his honey-do list. Aren’t I sweet?! I will tell you that yellow spray paint must not be in very high demand because I only had about (3) options. I finally settled on Krylon Bright Idea in Gloss.

I took the time to sand a little before applying my glossy Bright Idea (another tip from the woodworker). Then it was (2) thin coats of my sunny yellow and we had this!

Hello good lookin’! I just love how they turned out. I will gradually add some more yellow in the room so that it seems a bit more cohesive. For example, I just added some lemons on our dining table (in the picture above) and yellow dish towels in the kitchen! At least (3) items in the same color help an accent seem more intentional in a room.

My biggest dilemma now is a shade. I definitely want a drum shade but can’t quite decide what color. I found thisa creamy linen option at my local target store similar to the one below and instantly fell in love with the texture. However there is always the opportunity to keep it simple with a crisp white drum shade which was my initial instinct. And of course we can’t forget about the classic yellow and gray combo! Any suggestions out there?

Hardback Drum Cream Linen Lamp Shade 15x16x11 (Spider)

White Horizontal Pleat Drum Lamp Shade 11x11x7.5 (Spider)Platinum Grey Dupioni Lamp Shade 15x16x11x11 (Spider)

As you recently read here, Wes and I revamped the living room with a fresh coat of paint, a new rug and a pair of new curtains. With those key pieces in place, I started to reevaluate the other elements in the room. Specifically our coffee table choice. We currently have this cherry & maple table that Wes handcrafted.

 

Now this is a beautiful table but the cherry wood tone doesn’t quite jive with the other darker wood tones in the room. As I’m gradually defining the look and style of the room, I’m starting to consider more non-traditional options.

I saw this concept while doing some aimless googling one day.

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I was instantly in love! In an 800 SF bungalow, you are constantly on the look out for storage and OH the storage this beauty would provide. The clincher is that it really needs to be a vintage piece to really achieve the right look. A brand new flat file won’t quite do the job. You have to have the chipped paint and rust to give it character and a few original label holders on the drawers wouldn’t hurt either. I’ve been on the look out for quite some time and haven’t found one yet. I’m sure if I wasn’t looking for one, I would find a whole store devoted to vintage flat files. I’m considering getting a brand new one (free from work) and making it look old myself. Thoughts on that? Not quite sure how to do that but I’m sure a little Google search couldn’t hurt.

My other consideration is a vintage trunk. I know, I know. This has been done to death but there is something so intriguing about a gently worn trunk with a story. No trunk is the same and I love that! Again, the additional storage wouldn’t hurt either. These are a few different takes (not the standard leather with brass hardware) on the vintage trunk that could be interesting.

TRUNK/TABLE MADE FROM RECLAIMED WOOD
 
vintage up cycle ww2 wooden army trunk coffee table with legsThen there is the pallet. Unconventional, yes, but the options are limitless.  I stumbled upon this idea after seeing this high price beauty in a pottery barn catalog.

Wheel Coffee Table

I love the vintagey feel and those wheels! I immediately thought…”Wes can build that!” So I started my internet search and found images of all these amazing interpretations of the pallet coffee table.

So there are my thoughts. I can’t quite decide which is my favorite. Feel free to chime in with your opinion!

If my three avid readers have learned anything over the past month or so, it is that I change my mind. A lot. And I change it quicker than a celebrity can say I do and then sign the divorce papers. This being said, I can certainly defend my constant indecisiveness. It’s because I like too many things, too many styles, and too many ideas. As soon as I feel satisfied with one plan, I see a picture in magazine or a new product online and the day dreaming starts all over again. Our living room is a perfect example of this.

Remember this plan?

I loved it and I thought it was the one! Well I still love it but something else caught my eye along the way. I started having visions. Visions of gray walls, warm woods, and graphic patterned curtains. I have always had my eye on these curtains at IKEA.

So I revisited the idea of these curtains again and decided to bite the bullet. Thats right, I bought them! Now if you know me then you know that this rarely ever happens because I assume I will grow tired of the idea before the cashier can hand me the receipt. This time was different though. I have loved these curtains for months and months and  they seemed like the perfect place to kick off the design. They provided a beautiful palette of army greens, rich browns, and gray blues. Also this palette would work with some existing pieces. We certainly plan on replacing our sofa in the near future but the green in the curtains actually coordinates perfectly with our existing hand me down.

With the curtains in hand, the next step was the paint color. We made our traditional trip to Home Depot one Saturday and pulled samples of every warm gray we could find. We finally settled on Glidden Wood Smoke which a co-worker of mine also happened to use in a recent commercial project and highly recommended it. Sold!

Last but not least came the rug. Since the curtains were bold and the focal point of the room, I wanted to tone down the rug. I started doing my research and developed a new infatuation with natural fiber rugs. They are super durable and just require a little vacuuming to keep them looking sharp. With two large dogs and a small living room, durability is key. With that idea in my pocket, I visited my local West Elm. Thats where the clouds parted and the angels started singing. I found this beauty and let me tell you, the website photograph does not do it justice.

Jute Diamond Rug

The large overscale diamond pattern in the deep charcoal gray is breathtaking and really adds something special to a traditional braided jute rug. I really wanted the rug to have personality of its own so that the curtains didn’t overshadow it but instead they worked together for a more layered look.

Now that I have broken down the pieces of the room, lets get to the big picture…literally.

Obviously some accessorizing stil needs to take place but Wes and I are both in love with the new look. And Bailey too. Can’t you tell she is just overwhelmed with excitement about the new rug she gets to lay on?!

It doesn’t stop there though. I haven’t properly introduced the blog world to the other corners of the living room so now seems like the perfect time. Readers, meet the living room. Living room, meet the readers.

*Yes that is Gilmore Girls on the television.* This is the awkward wall that you walk right into as you enter the front door. We had the hardest time trying to figure out what to put here. Art never seemed quite right jammed up against the television and then a lovely friend of mine suggested shelving. Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of that?! Luckily I have brilliant and create friends. So after a quick sketch in my sketchbook, the hubs whipped these shelves up one Saturday afternoon and began the daunting task of accessorizing. Side note: The hubby also built the TV unit.

This is our lovely little hallway leading to the bookcase you saw here. We try our best to really personalize the art in our house. The best way we have found to do this is to incorporate vacation photographs. We don’t care to have our faces plastered all over the house but take a few architectural photographs or landscapes, have then printed in a sepia tone, and BAM! you have art. I love grouping smaller photographs together for bigger impact so thats what I did here. These are all photographs from our trip to Portland, Oregon last year. We have beach, mountain, and city all in one.

I also had a bunch of frames leftover from our wedding photo gallery so I just spray painted them all white for a more cohesive look. I love that they look so professional but have special meaning for our family.

And here is our dining corner. Talk about a multi-tasking room! This table and chairs set was a lovely wedding gift as well as the threesome of mirrors on the wall. This corner might be my favorite in the whole house. The artsy light fixture over the table and the quaint table for four that actually unfolds and can seat up to 8!

Hello?! Are you still there?! Sorry for the long post but I am loving my living room right now and wanted to share the goods. I’m also excited that I finally committed to a design and stuck with it. This might be a first. The next project is to interject some pops of yellow for a little surprise and fun. Stay tuned for more details on my DIY ideas for that!

While Wes and I are in the process of tying all the loose ends in the bathroom, I thought I would interject with a post about ME! 

I have a problem. A design problem none-the-less- but still a problem. I can’t focus and this is a focus that can’t be solved with a little ridilin. I have Design A.D.D. I define Design ADD as an inability to decide on one particular style for your home and commit to it. I have been battling this problem since Day 1 in our lovely little bungalow. The main source of confusion for me…the living room. The living room is such an important part of a home. Its where most families (ok, well at least ours) spends most of their time. Thats where we brainstorm DIY projects, watch movies (lots of movies!) and spend time with our pups. If the living room doesn’t feel like home then no where does.

I tend to think that the main source of inspiration in the living room is the rug. My problem is…I can’t decide on one. I have gone back and forth and back and forth. Finally I have found what I call…”The One”. “The One” works with my current curtains (which I love) and the current paint color (which I love).

I put together this inspiration board (which I love). Sensing a theme?

Wes and I are still working on our dream couch but essentially the items on the board are either soon to be purchased or already in our possession. I love how the cool blues play with the rich, warm copper in the rug and curtains. Then with all the neutrals to calm the room, it’s just perfect for our eclectic and, often times, too dramatic family. I kept trying to incorporate too much color into our living room. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a little color but a lot of color can be just too overwhelming, especially in a small home like ours. Thats why this scheme works so well for us. The rug and curtains provide just enough power for the room and then everything else remains soothing and neutral.

So tell me…what floats your boat when it comes to living room decor? Are you bold and colorful or serene and neutral?

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