Posts tagged ‘Furniture’

June 21, 2015

All Grown Up

Our living room is looking all grown up lately. You may remember how excited I was to share the updated Mood Board I created back in September. Well, we received the new sectional in February and I am still so very excited. But before I share the most beautiful After pictures you have ever seen in your life, let’s take a look at how the living room looked Before.

Not too shabby, right? I was really happy with this space aside from the too small sofa that started to seem like it could only seat one person comfortably. And if I’m being honest, the rug was too small, as well. Ready for the After?

Oh yes.

The new sectional is from the Rowe Dorset collection. I replaced the too small area rug with carpet tiles, which increased the coverage area from 8’x10′ to 10’x14′. Similarly, our sofa size increased from 87″ to 104″. This really makes us feel like we’re actually using the whole living room, and not just a corner of it. Of course, it looks better, too.

Rowe Dorset Chaise Sectional

That chaise lounge? That’s my spot. Well, my spot that I share with the kitties.

The best picture of all.

September 19, 2014

Exciting Things

There’s something very exciting coming up for the House on Penny Lane. Are you excited? No? Not yet? Well, I can be excited for the rest of us.

At the end of this year, we’re getting a new sofa! A sectional to be exact…

Our IKEA sofa has served us well during the last seven years. It was our first big purchase together and, for each of us, our first real grown up sofa. But lately, we have begun to outgrow it. We’re hosting more and more get-togethers at our house while also spending more and more time stretched out/cuddled up just the two of us. And we just need more room.

And lucky for us, our living room can handle it. It’s kind of huge. Check out my sweet rendering. It’s like looking at my house through a Simpson’s episode.


And I never miss a chance for a mood board. This thing makes me giddy. Especially because the majority of the items pictured are ones I already own. This, by the way, is an update to a mood board from way back in 2010. We were just young chicks then, so it’s interesting to see how our tastes have grown in the last few years.



1.     Our wonderful wood floors. I still dig the high contrast between them and our walls.

2.     With the addition of a larger sofa, we will also need a larger area rug. Our current rug is a $170 8’x10′ shag rug we found at Home Depot. Such a steal and hides stains amazingly well. The new rug is actually made up of carpet tiles, so if one gets stained, I can just remove and replace it with a fresh tile. I’ve also heard the tiles are way easier to clean than a regular rug, so let’s hope any stains that do pop up can be taken care of quickly.

3.     My $30 a piece Craigslist chairs. I recovered them just last year, so they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

4.     Our 70s coffee table. Another awesome Craigslist find.

5.     THE SOFA. I am so excited by this. Pretend this picture is of a sectional with a chaise instead of an ‘L’ shaped sofa. I chose a fitted back to avoid the inevitable slouchy back cushions. The fabric will be a microfiber velvet in a very dark, almost black, charcoal.

6.     Our sofa table. It came from CB2, but is unfortunately no longer available.

7.     Our favorite IKEA Besta media cabinet.

8.     Our vintage walnut lamps. I am so glad these are not glass or ceramic. They would have been broken a long time ago. *Cough* cats *cough*

9.    My Valentine’s Day Fiddle Leaf Fig.

10.   Our current accent pillows, throw, and our Franco Albini Ottoman.

11.    With the new sofa, I should be receiving some throw pillows in the fabric of my choosing. So here’s my choosing! Kind of an Ikat print with cream, charcoal, linen, plum, and cranberry colors. It’s super pretty and this pic doesn’t do it justice.

12.   Think I can talk Rob into some light colored faux fur throw pillows? I hope so. We’ve got a lot of sofa to cover.

13.   I think a nicely colored Persian style rug would be beautiful layered over our future area rug. This will take some obsessing, hunting, and deliberation, so don’t expect to see this placeholder filled for some time.


So what’s been a recent exciting addition to your home? Tell me about it in the comments below!

March 30, 2013

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

With all the commotion over the slab leak, I completely forgot to share the result of my yellow chair redo. Here’s a reminder of the Before.

I bought the chairs back in 2010 from Craigslist. The yellow upholstery was existing, but the frame was some strange faux wood finish. You can read about that initial transformation here.

The repaint got me by for a good time, but I ultimately wanted something that would blend a bit more with its surroundings. I decided to paint the frame a dark brown, Sherwin Williams Black Bean. The chairs had already been claimed by Jin as a scratching post and I knew that wasn’t going to change once they were remade pretty. The texture of the yellow fabric hid the scratches well, so I stuck with a velvet and found a raw linen colored fabric to reupholster with.

You may be asking why I’ve put a ginormous pillow on my newly made-over chairs. Well. Something about the seat back didn’t quite do it for me. These pillows may be oversized, but I think they look pretty neat as they are.

To top it off, I had the very back of the chairs upholstered with an accent fabric.

I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.

February 2, 2013

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 2

I promised a full post wrapping up my first baby step to improving the kitchen, so here goes. Let’s start with the Befores.

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

These pictures were taken in 2011, but not all that much had changed before this past November, including my choice of pajamas. At this point, I was unhappy with practically every surface in the kitchen, but I knew I couldn’t afford any upgrades anytime soon… if ever. So, instead, I started thinking about ways I could improve the feel of the space without putting too much money into it. I came up with a plan, starting with addressing the items I disliked the most about the space.

1. The upper cabinets above the peninsula. I despised them. They got in the way of many conversations being had. I wanted to tear them down, but that meant patching the surfaces beyond. I had to be prepared for whatever state they may be in. I’ve had experience patching gypsum and texturing walls, so I felt confident I could fix whatever happened to the ceiling in the process. The wall, not so much. The backsplash tiles were cut around the upper cabinet, so if I took the cabinet off, the raw edges of the tile would be exposed. I do not have experience in tiling, so I did not feel good about that. Luckily, I had an idea. I designed a wood trim piece to cover the cut tiles and had a friend build it for me. I then painted it and liquid nailed it to the wall. You can see the down and dirty pictures here at my previous post on this subject.

Kitchen Progress

2. The dark and creepy window nook. I loved this window space when we first looked at the house. I thought it could be a cheerful space to grow herbs and other plants. Instead, it became a black hole that constantly felt empty, yet overcrowded. After staring at pretty kitchen windows on blogs, then at mine, I realized a curtain was the first step, and I could make it myself. But first, I painted the window frame to match my tile trim. Painting the trim white helped to brighten up the area and made it feel much cleaner than the old, worn stained frame did. I then got to constructing my curtain. I found a pretty simple tutorial here that is so easy I was able to start and finish the project in an evening. I then took the “less is more” approach to accessorizing the nook by removing everything I didn’t love. I was left with a knife block, a couple plants, three glass canisters (which each hold flour sack towels, dish detergent and fresh light bulbs) and a frosted mustard bowl to tie in my accent color.

Kitchen Curtain

3. Lack of interesting and cohesive accessories. What accessories I had were merely parts that did not add up to a cohesive look. Accessorizing is not my strong point, so I experimented with my accent color in various patterns. I mixed the geometric curtain with striped tea towels and a southwest style rug. Mustard colored bowls, a print with bits of yellow and produce helped add fresh color to the space.

Kitchen Accessories

4. The furniture in the space doesn’t accomodate the activities that take place there. Sure, a dinette table belongs in a dinette, but what if the dinette table only gets used as a mail sorter and a coat rack? The table just took up space and made it difficult to vacuum. What I noticed most was that guests preferred to stand close to the peninsula to watch whatever activities were happening in the kitchen. So how about some stools?

Kitchen Stools

Ok, enough ‘splainin’. Let’s get to the Afters!

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Baby step one is done. My plan, now, is to live with this progress a while and decide if anymore steps should be taken. At this point, those steps are painting the upper cabinets or painting all of the cabinets. We’ll see!

January 24, 2013


This blog may not have been bustling lately, but I sure have!

I’ve been working on lots of small projects, but nothing that seemed complete enough to warrant a blog post. Which is really just unfair. So I’ll compromise. Instead of a full-blown post about this and that, I’ll share little sneak peeks and give you the whole lengthy spiel when things are more complete. Deal? Ok, here goes…

Kitchen Window

Yellow Chairs


Elephant Ear


Yellow Chairs


February 25, 2012

Nate & Aurelio

Way back in September, I blogged about doing some pro bono (ish) design work for my friends Nate and Aurelio (you can go back to read about the inspiration for the design here). I’m happy to announce that a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today in celebration of the completion of the project. Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely complete without my blogging about the process. Grab yourself a snack and find a comfortable chair because I’ve got tons of before and afters to share.


Please excuse the poor phone picture quality befores as well as any not-so-kind criticisms. They asked for my help for a reason, right?


Note the dark wallcovering that creates a cavernous entry.

Living Room:

Note the white walls, saggy futon, feminine drapes, pillows and artwork, and more tables than anyone could possibly need.

Dining Room Before:

Note again the dark wallcovering and just large amounts of stuff.

Of course there was also a lot of good stuff to be found. I had the foresight to take some pictures of items that stood out to me.

I knew this console table would make a good grounding piece for the entry way.


The carved detail on these nesting tables definitely made my socks go up and down.


A pair of leather-look side chairs intrigued me as well as an oddly placed stack of gentleman’s hats.

I proposed to Nate and Aurelio a more masculine feeling interior using the majority of their existing furniture with an emphasis on neutral colors. I put together this mood board to help visualize my idea.

The hard part was going to be implementing my idea on Nate and Aurelio’s budget. Over the course of the next several months, we removed wallcovering, painted (Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki), cleared out and purchased furniture, and hung drapes and art.

Enough already. Here are your Afters.

Items purchased:

Paint & Supplies – $136

Mid Century Modern Sofa – $235

IKEA Minut Wall Lamps – $20 ea.

Plaid Pillows – $11 ea.

IKEA Vilmie Figur Cushions – $13 ea.

Faux Fur Pillows – $50

Rugs – $55

IKEA Ritva Drapes & Hardware – $40 ea. window

Wall Art – $25

Lamp Shades – $15 ea.

Total: just about $700.


If you ask me, the best money was spent on paint and drapes.

It’s amazing what you can do with your own stuff and a few extra bucks, huh?


November 17, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good.

The 70s bed and 70s mattress have been reunited in the house on Penny Lane.


I’ve been working this week to make the space a bit more livable. Look for more pictures this weekend.

November 6, 2011

Bedroom Shakeup

We’re about to trade up our 2005 IKEA Malm bed for a 1970s Danish. And I’m excited.

Many of you may know that Rob and I currently sleep on a 1970s foam mattress complete with brown plaid lining. Next week, our mattress is going to enjoy a long awaited reunion with its 1970s teak platform bed. The bed has been passed around the family quite a bit during its life and now it’s my turn.

The Bed

Our current IKEA Malm bed has been good to us; surviving 4 moves, 6 disassembles and 2 cats, but it was time to move on. Among other wear and tear, screw holes have been stripped for some time causing creaking with the slightest of movement, the most annoying of its weaknesses. So when my mom notified my brother and me that they were switching to a King sized bed and the teak platform bed was free for the taking, I knew I couldn’t say no.

And such a large shakeup calls for contemplation on other changes.

Many of you may also know the story of our bedroom paint mishap. I selected a wonderful sandy gray paint color for our guest bathroom, Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray. Since the bathroom was on the same side of the house as the master bedroom, thus lighting conditions would be very similar, I thought it was a brilliant idea to paint the bedroom the same color. I was wrong. In our bedroom, that sandy gray color turned steel blue and I have regretted it ever since.

So what better time to repaint than when the largest piece of furniture in the room will be removed?

This weekend, I swatched a few Sherwin Williams paint samples: Balanced Beige, Relaxed Khaki and Universal Khaki. I found a winner in Balanced Beige and am thrilled to start working on this new project.

Balanced Beige:

Check back for my progress!

August 9, 2011

Squeaky New

The chairs are in.

To recap, we used an embossed vinyl. We needed something wipeable (the previous fabric held on to cat hair for dear life), but also wanted something textural for interest (thanks to Mark for helping me figure that one out). I looked at countless samples, but one fabric stood out among the others. Unfortunately, it was expensive, so I became depressed and obsessive. Thanks to that obsession, I hunted down a similar fabric (I am still convinced it’s the same one) online at half price. As soon as I saw a sample in person, we purchased it.

Of course, I was still unsure about how the fabric would look on the chairs, but seeing them now, I am very pleased. The texture is very subtle from far away and though it has a bit of a striping effect due to repeat in the fabric, it’s not as noticible as I worried it would be.

We are so ready to host our next dinner guests and game night!

Thanks to all who gave me their opinion on fabric samples. I asked anyone who would give me a moment to pull them about of my purse (yes, I carried them with me). And thanks to Gavin who so graciously offered to pick the chairs up with me even though he could have been home playing with his new gadgets.

August 6, 2011

A Chairless Dining Room

Uncontainable excitement. The newly upholstered chairs should be back in place in a couple weeks.