Saturday, February 26, 2011

Before and After: My Living Room

So first, I must apologize for my month long hiatus.  I wish I had some fabulous story to share, something involving cocktails on the beach, but alas, I've just been busy being a wife, mom, and worker bee.  Over the past month, we have had 2 bouts of pink eye to deal with (Heidi and Robb, not me luckily!), 3 bouts of the stomach flu (yep, it got all of us), one ear infection, and a toddler who has recently discovered the effectiveness of temper tantrums - the throwyourselfonthefloorkickingandscreaming kind of tantrums.  Needless to say, I haven't really had the energy for blogging, but have found time for a couple of projects, which I will share in the coming days.  Let's start with the first one. 

My focus lately, after my successful curtain cheat here, has been on our front living room.  Ever since we had a family room addition built (which was competed this past October), I've been struggling with creating a new identity for our former family room, which we've renamed the living room.  This is the room that you walk into upon coming in our front door, so I was eager for it to make some sort of "wow" statement.  After revamping some old brass lamps (see how I did it here), adding the curtains I talked about above, refinishing and re purposing a sewing table into a sofa/entry table), purchasing a pair of matching dining chairs via Craigslist (which I plan to reupholster once I find a fabric I like that works in the room) as well as a side table for the other side of the sofa, and purchasing a new floor lamp from HomeGoods with birthday money, I'm happy to say that the room went from this:

To this:

Hopefully you will agree that picture #2 is preferable to #1!  You may notice that there's one item in the above pic that I neglected to talk about above, and that's precisely the subject of this post. As I was collecting and assembling accessories and decor items for this room, I became consistently frustrated with the space on either side of the fireplace under the windows.  It looked too "bare" to me.  Now, if I had an unlimited budget, my preferred fix would have been to hire a carpenter to build some amazing built-in half bookshelves on either side of the sofa, but alas, the word of the day year has been "budget".  So, I opted for a much more affordable solution.  For a mere $20 apiece, I purchased three floating ledges from Home Depot, and hung them under one of the windows, roughly centered under the window and equidistant from each other.  I then used these ledges to display some items from our home which we had previously kept tucked away in boxes and cabinets.  I ended up with a sort of "silver" theme, mostly due to the fact that I needed to find items which weren't fragile or breakable to display on the ledges, thanks to Heidi's never ending curiosity!  Here's a closeup of the ledges with the items:

What I love about this display is that all of the items have special meaning to us - the clock is engraved with Robb's initials - he received it as a gift from a friend for serving as a groomsman in his wedding, the plate I received as a gift from my sorority initiation, the silver sugar and creamer set are engraved with "W" (for "Weidemann" and they were my maternal grandmother's.  The picture frame on the middle ledge was a wedding gift (if you look closely, you will see that I have yet to add a picture into it - I'll get there!), the bud vase (minus the bud - my cat eats all flowers!) has my college's seal on it, and the bottom picture is from a friend's wedding that I was in (thanks Carolyn!).  The middle bottom two items are Robb's - one is is mouthpiece from when he played the tuba in the marching band at Virginia Tech, and the other is an engraved pewter cup he received when he served on the Honor Court at Tech.  The last item is a thrift store find galvanized mini bucket, but it worked with the color scheme (could be a good place to hide anything from lip gloss to hair ties - two items which seem to float all over our house thanks to me!).

You'll notice I still have to hang ledges on the other side of the fireplace (the blue painter's tape is not a permanent addition to the room, it was just there to help me visualize what the ledges would look like once I hung them) - I plan to get to that this month hopefully!

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