Sunday, 3 November 2013

New Living Room! Plus mini product reviews/updates

Ironically, right when I say that I'm in a decorating slump, my wonderful boyfriend gets the very rare itch to implement some long-overdue updates to our living room. Late last week I got a text, "I'm rearranging the living room! :)" So I was very pleased when I came home to the TV sitting over the fireplace rather than in the corner on a nasty entertainment stand leftover from my boyfriend's less savory college days.  (I know some people are heavily anti-TV-over-the-fireplace, but unfortunately this is the best setup for our space, so I'm not letting it bother me.)

Serendipitously, I also recently acquired a camera upgrade--the Canon Rebel XT, retailing for $780 on Amazon...for the low, low price of $85 from a pawn shop! So yesterday morning, I started playing around with the various features and captured a few shots of the living room updates:

Another angle...the light is so much brighter now!

I had fun playing around with some styling over the weekend :)

My favorite 'box' of the bookshelf, containing several canyoneering and hiking books we use frequently, a framed artwork ripped from a magazine, a wooden box full of change that I thrifted because my mom has the same one, and a white container with dog treats.

Wouldn't these candleholders from the Nate Berkus line at Target look nice flanking the TV? May be too small though...and we need to figure out a less-junky solution to our need for tinder for the fireplace (see left of the fireplace screen...)

This our tiny entryway that sits behind our futon, right by the door. We need to hang the Snowbird print still and clear out some of our magazine stash, but otherwise the only update I'm planning for this area is to put some black ribbon lining the top and bottom of that white lampshade.

So, what's all different from this time last year? This:


A couple notes on the improvements:

  • The majority of our pieces are obviously very dark and monotone currently. My mom is going to be whipping up some pillows for me with some fun, colorful fabrics as shared here, which will go a long way in brightening things up.  I'm also planning on recovering the black ottoman and am currently pondering fabric options.
  • The Lack table is a temporary solution to our need to house the TV electronics. Eventually the electronics will go on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. 
  • We've talked about getting another bookcase to put on the other side of the curtains, which would double as a bookcase and end table for the sofa. We would add a lamp to one of the shelves to brighten up that corner of the room. 
  • I'd love to get rid of the Ikea Hemnes nightstand and replace it with this end table from Target--I think it would lighten up that area of the room, and the Hemnes is too tall for our sofa anyway.
  • What should we do with the TV area? It's so blah right now...

    Initial/updated thoughts on products in the room: 
    • The Ikea Ritva curtains were a major score--$25/pair for the 98" ones. The curtains block people from seeing in when drawn, but they still let in some filtered light so the room doesn't get too dark, and the fabric is nicer than I would've expected for $25. I'm planning on hemming ours and adding white ribbon strips on the bottom like so
    • The Ikea Vittsjo bookcase put together easily and is surprisingly sturdy, especially for the $40 price tag. We may switch out the bases of the top and bottom shelves to lighten things up a bit (the middle shelves are nice heavy glass, but the top and bottom are dark faux wood). 
    • We bought the infamous $8 Ikea Lack table to temporarily house our entertainment necessities, but it's a huge eyesore. I will say it functions perfectly well for an $8 table. We actually have the coffee table version too, and after 3 years of pretty heavy use it's definitely starting to show its wear. Not a bad investment for $20, though. 
    • Our World Market dhurrie continues to be a star in the room. It's holding up well and although it does show little pieces of dirt/debris more frequently than I would like, it vacuums up well and I'm still pleased with the purchase. I'd recommend a good rug pad to go underneath it though. 
    • I still love our custom slipcover and the $45 custom-built sofa underneath it. Best money I spent in that room!
    What do you think of our updates? Not bad for $98 at Ikea and the cost of some plants, I'd say. Where should we go from here?

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