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living room

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I’m a little behind on the post-Christmas get-things-back-in-order agenda.Taking down the tree and re-storing our minimal decorations (we seem to have fewer each passing year) was the easy part.  The hard part has been disciplining myself to stop painting and focus on putting a few things back out so it doesn’t feel quite so barren.How this translates?  Move all the decor and accessories from our storage closet and place each and every one on the dining room table for consideration.Those accessories have been on the table since last week.  Bless.That’s my new favorite expression by the way.  Bless.  You really don’t need more than that.It suits a variety of situations.  Today I focused on the living room, beginning by simplifying the wooden shelves in the far corner.  You can read about how we made these shelves here.Using the dark wood/creamy combination I love, and the book page wreath I DIY’ed…

You might think that for a paint-lover like myself, there wouldn’t be anything I would hesitate to paint, but this isn’t always true.  These dark shutters are a good example.We purchased these beautiful shutters in Homer, AK, the year after we moved into our house, and for a long time they hung in our entryway.  Rustic, full of texture, and very heavy, these shutters are authentically genuine in every way.  What a shame for ANYONE to cover up all that authenticity with paint!  Just this winter, Fireman hung the gorgeous shutters in the living room for me after I had an epiphany that they would be WONDERFUL on our tall window wall in there.  I hung scroll-work along the side, and stepped back to look.We had one, very big problem.The shutters, lovely as they were, were way too dark up there.  They looked like a big rectangular hole in my…

This home project was amazingly simple.Usually when I have an idea, Fireman tells me to schedule double the time I think it will take.We were both pleasantly surprised when building our Rustic Shelves took less time than we thought.Aren’t they pretty….yet rustic…at the same time?The far corner of our living room has been an enigma to me since day one.  It’s that area above the piano in the far corner; I snapped this golden picture shortly after cleaning up our Christmas decorations in January.  Although I love the DIY mirror-turned-chalkboard that was there, it still wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  This corner receives a lot of sun in the afternoon and evening, so I can’t place artwork or pictures there because of fading.When the idea of open rustic shelving came to me, I knew I’d reached a fun solution I could change out with the seasons…..or as the mood hit…

One of the things I loved about the book “Unbroken” was a relatively insignificant paragraph on page 167 describing Louis Zamperini’s observations while at sea (emphases purely my own):Louie found that the raft offered an unlikely intellectual refuge.  He had never recognized how noisy the civilized world was.  Here, drifting in almost total silence, with no scents other than the singed odor of the raft, no flavors on his tongue, nothing moving but the slow procession of shark fins, every vista empty save water and sky, his time unvaried and unbroken, his mind was freed of an encumbrance that civilization had imposed on it.  In his head, he could roam anywhere, and he found that his mind was quick and clear, his imagination unfettered and supple.  He could stay with a thought for hours, turning it about.I remember reading that passage for the first time, pausing, and reading it through again, more slowly this time.And something…..a longing?….craving?…pulled hard…

I’m so excited to have finished my first slipcovers!  Granted, they weren’t extremely difficult, but their creation is a new chapter for me. Would you like to see?My plan was to paint only the two armed dining chairs at the ends of our table.  Remember how they looked originally?And then how I painted them, much to the shock of friends and family members?  (Painting the other six chairs seems too daunting, but don’t underestimate my intent to tackle the table legs next…)My new slipcovers have ruffles….and pretty grosgrain bows….Just like the ones I’ve admired for years.  I’m very in love with them.  It was late as I worked on these, so I did not take process photos.  If you are interested in sewing similar slipcovers for your own chairs, Miss Mustard Seed has two amazing tutorials here.  I followed her basic concept of pinning the fabric inside out (I used…

I had a few minutes before lunch today to paint a little bamboo table I found at a garage sale.I brought it upstairs into our main living space and painted the whole thing in about twenty minutes.  My son Isaac snapped a few pictures when I remembered I didn’t have any Before shots.As we all know, everyone likes Before shots.  Isaac and I agreed we really liked the original deep green color of the table, but it was chipped and the top was damaged from some type of goo.  I decided to paint it a gray tone to tie in with my recently painted shutters (I used leftover Valspar’s Beige Shadow which is close to ASCP’s French Linen).  Since this is a table I plan to keep, there are no guarantees I won’t change my mind later on the color~The table is still in what Miss Mustard Seed calls the “ugly…

I found this pair of shutters for my living room at a second-hand store in town and knew they were perfect for the living room wall above our fireplace.The fact they started out red didn’t deter me in the least.  Paint: it’s what I do around here :)I decided to paint them a whitewashed gray, but didn’t have a definite plan.  Here’s how I went about it.First, I hosed the shutters off really well in our garage, let them dry (mostly ~ I may have gotten impatient), then painted a solid coat of Behr’s Ashwood which is a very close match to Annie Sloan’s French Linen.  (I mixed 1 1/2 cups Ashwood with 1/2 cup Calcium Carbonate and 1/4 cup water to make my own chalkpaint.)Next, I poured a little bit of Ashwood and a little bit of Sherwin Williams Creamy on two paper plates, and with a VERY dry…

After sitting in our garage now for several weeks, a pair of newly painted shutters have found their rightful home on either side of the large, overpowering, room dominating tv in our living room. Yesterday, using creamy grosgrain ribbon, I hung two boxwood wreaths from our local Fred Meyer  over the tops of the shutters, adding a touch of spring to a very spring-ready Alaskan family.Painting this wall was one of my first projects when we moved into our house almost five years ago.  Although Benjamin Moore’s Bonewhite has stayed the same, I repainted the back of the shelves from the original Farrow and Ball’s Green Blue~Farrow & Ball’s Green Blueto Farrow and Ball’s Light Blue after coming to the conclusion that Green Blue just wasn’t soft enough. (Both colors look darker in this post than the really are.)Farrow & Ball’s Light BlueThe decor on this wall has changed quite…

I couldn’t stand it another minute…I had to share my news with you:Today, I took a picture of a wall of windows.  And it was…… A SUCCESS.For those of you who don’t shoot interior room shots very often, I realize this may be very un-exciting to you.  And I get that, I really do.But for those of you who do: Either you, too, have finally taken the time to learn how to do it, or you simply avoid taking photographs which involve a sun-filled window during daylight hours (like I have done for way too long). This last Christmas, my husband graciously purchased me an online photography course through ShootFlyShoot and I’ve been giddy to work through the video tutorials of this course.  Just last week I finally scheduled an afternoon during which I knew there would still be light outside (our sun still starts to set shortly after 4pm)…

Hello again ~ after a wonderful Labor Day weekend visiting family in Anchorage and Wasilla, it feels good to be back home.  With one child gone moose hunting with Mr. Mimsy this week, homeschooling only two seems like a breeze.  We’re getting so much done!I finished painting this buffet recently and wanted you to see.  I was trying to recreate a color I’d seen in Ballard Designs’ Casa Florentina collection called Distressed Blue Gray.  I think I came pretty close.I used Behr’s Windwood Spring, a fresh, brighter blue than I’ve used before, then warmed it up a little by rubbing/wiping Minwax’s Early American stain over it.The carving on the doors is so intricate and pretty.I love the design and heft of the original hardware.This buffet is currently placed behind the sofa in our living room, a relief after not having anything there all summer.  Although the backs of my sofas are…