Sunday, December 19, 2010

How I Spent My Sunday...

Yes, I know that we're less than a week away from Christmas. And no, I haven't finished all my holiday shopping, but I've been staring at this fan in my living room for the last three years and realized today was the day.

JP and I have been meaning to do something about it since the day we moved in, as we're pretty sure this fan is original to the house.

This second photo is when I had second thoughts about just calling a handyman just after I emptied the box and spread everything out. [Gulp.]

Things moved at a snail's pace for most of the day, because I am a fastidious double-checker (and maybe also because I made a few time-consuming mistakes, like screwing in all the fan blades before realizing that all the screws needed washers).

But in the end, I have to admit that it was really rewarding to have done it on my own (with some advice from my dad and the Lowe's fan expert). My last two pictures are of the defeated 1970s fan and my new (and may I add, working) fan.

How long did it take me? Embarrassed to admit it, but from start to finish, it was six hours of my time. But I'll definitely be a pro for whenever the next fan installation happens!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sofa Tables: Separation of Wall & Couch

Lots of design books will tell you not to have your furniture up against the walls. Even interior decorators have told me that there should be at least six inches of breathing room between the wall and a sofa, bed, or chair.

This is really tough to accomplish with a young kid and two rambunctious dogs. There is a lot of activity in our living room and the furniture never seems to stay put. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled out the couch before breakfast, only to find it right back against the wall by evening.

But at last! A solution! A narrow sofa table behind the couch! A perfect place for a vase, a small book collection, or other fun decorative items! Not only will I finally get my space behind the couch, but it can actually be put to good use! I'm sold!

Photo Credit:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Layout and Thoughts on Fabric

Welcome to the slightly new and improved floor plan!

JP had some concerns about having such a large sectional, especially against the wall on the right.

After taping the living room floor with the proposed furniture sizes, it turns out we do need a little more space -- it would have been awkwardly close between the tv console and the sectional with the old layout. Amazing what a little planning will teach you!

And below are some fabric swatches I'm considering. As you probably know (but was new to me), the top swatches are called ikat (ee-cat) fabrics. I'm thinking of using the grey ikat on the coffee table and the yellow to reupholster some chairs we've had for a few years. Details on that project to follow!

And I'd love to use a darker solid grey on the couch. The bottom swatch is a velvet called "otter," but my Uncle Al (who co-owns a furniture store) says that velvet doesn't really wear the best, especially with kids and pets. So that rules out that. Any chance there will be a pretty grey leather sectional out there?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting Frisky with Photoshop

I have been working on a new layout for the living room and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Hopefully, a sectional will not only add more seating, but will make the space feel full, not crowded.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inspiration: Living Room

As promised, here are some photos I've been gathering as inspiration for the living room.

I didn't even realize that I was drawn to the yellow/orange color palette until I put these pictures all next to each other.

I should also note that my favorite pictures are the bottom two. The rooms feel warm, airy, and welcoming. They're full, but not cluttered and they have a nice mix of modern and traditional.

But more importantly, I think it's important to work with what you have. I don't want to impose a style on the house or for the decorating to feel forced.

Wish me luck!

Meet My Living Room

I'm back! You were worried this would be a one-post blog, but never fear, the Austin decorator is here!

...And, she could use your advice.

The thorn in my side has been my living room. We spend so much time in this room, yet it's the room that puzzles me most when it comes to decorating. It's small, an odd shape, and the front door opens right into it. Don't get me wrong, I love this little room, but it needs serious help.

Below, I've got a nearly-to-scale drawing of the living room as it currently stands. To start with, I imagine us purchasing a coffee table, a chair, a tv console, and maybe even a sofa table, if we could actually get it to fit in the room.

So let's talk about furniture placement! Please send me any ideas you have for the space, because I'm in need of some good advice. In my next post, I'm hoping to put up some inspirational pictures from other websites I've been enjoying.

Happy Decorating!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hello World!

If you're interested in reading about the adventures of a novice decorator, this is the blog for you.

I have many past design mishaps to atone for, including, painting my kitchen robin's egg with chocolate accents, buying all my furniture at once to fill the space, and, well, not really putting much thought or effort into the design at all.

So, here we are, barely past square one. Join me as I figure out what to do with my tiny 920 sq. foot South Austin home.

The picture to the right is the kitchen table we just purchased. We also purchased two of the benches pictured here, because they tuck completely under the table, making the most of the limited space in our galley-style kitchen.

Thanks for reading!