Posts tagged ‘Living Room’

Quick barstool update

These barstools were given to us by our dear friends G & L. They were too tall for our counters and a little plain for our decor, but fancy barstools can cost anywhere from $40 to $120 a piece. So  I used what I know. L’s dad was kind enough to chop off 5 inches (the man has every tool imaginable), making them the perfect height for our breakfast buffet (I like ample room to cross my legs). Main problem solved. Secondly, I wanted to add a seat cushion to dress them up a tad.

This is a fairly simple project:

First I laid the stools on top of batting and cut around. Make sure to leave enough room to staple.

Staple around perimeter before laying on top of fabric.Repeat stapling on fabric.

The fabric adds just the little bit of pizzazz I was looking for without detracting from the more focal furniture pieces in the room. I used the same blue micro suede on a floor pillow that rests a mere feet away (not pictured here). It ties the pieces together to avoid the random look that few people are fond of.

I love this cherry wood barstool found at CSN Stores for $78. We still have the red oak stain that we used on our coffee table, therefore the stools may get a little more dramatic in the near future.

If you have a bar in your home, you can save money on barstools by purchasing them used on craigslist or at a thrift store. With a little help from a staple gun and a trip to JoAnn’s, they’ll be brand new for much less.

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Hiding cable wires

It has been a busy busy week. We have our long awaited housewarming party tomorrow (we’ve been living here 6 months now) and I had much to get done before showing our new place off to a bevy of friends. Loads of DIY and even more loads of photos.

Among such are:

  • hiding cable wires
  • creating a one-of-a-kind wall art on the cheap
  • upholstering wooden barstools
  • wallpapering furniture

I will also post some beautiful “after” shots of my dining room, living room TV wall (very rare in previous posts), bedroom vanity with improved storage and organization, and our office closet that was once used as what-we-have-yet-to-unpack-because-we-have-nowhere-for-it-to-go storage.

Let’s get started!

Our TV wall with our fancy new fireplace was greatly devalued by this unsightly cable wire. I knew what had to be done, but between all my trips to Home Goods and Boscov’s, Home Depot just wasn’t a priority. With the party quickly approaching, I could put it off no more.

The materials: This 9-piece cable concealer kit came in a pack for $10. The 3 ft. cable extension and connectors were an additional $6.

The tunnels have a tight opening that the wire must be squeezed through. It can be a little difficult initially but with the help of some pliers and maybe a second person, it’s easy enough.

There is a self adhesive strip on the back (which is flat) for easy application to any wall or molding. Just peel and press.

The corners are a little tricky. They don’t have a back because the wire would be very difficult to feed through, and if you were able to feed it through (which I have never tried) I can imagine it would be tough to adjust if need be. Instead, it just snaps on, which maybe look messy at first, but once both straight ends are on, it will look professionally done.

Paint it accordingly and Voila! a wall mounted TV sans wires. I only painted the section that crossed the wall, mostly to avoid using painter’s tape, but the molding conceals the concealer enough for my taste.

 

I may have mentioned before our dilemma with where to place the TV upon move-in. Our breakfast buffet is the only divider between the kitchen and living room. Therefore, we really only have 3 walls in our living room, and 1 of those 3 walls (above) is part of the “hallway” from the front door. But in a small condo, utilizing every inch is necessary. If we used this wall as the said “hallway,” we would cut approximately 64 sq. ft. off of our living room and the TV would have to be watched from an uncomfortable angle. Seeing how it came out makes me wonder how we ever doubted this option.

Can’t wait for wine by the fire!

We mounted our TV months ago, but it took us forever to find a solution for all the wires. My dad installed an outlet behind where the TV would go so the TV and cable box can be plugged in out of sight. But there is a wire connecting the box to the TV that must be hidden. After much research and the decision to not risk cutting into the wall or hire a professional, we decided on a small shelf directly beneath the TV. Unfortunately our cable box was ginormous and we couldn’t find a shelf to accommodate it. So we went to Comcast and put our names on a waiting list for a smaller box. After weeks and weeks we FINALLY got called and traded our box in for something slightly smaller.

So this past weekend, we hung the IKEA shelf right on top of the TV, with only the cable wire still showing…solution for that TBD.We haven’t bothered tucking the above wires in yet because of the nagging white cable wire…but all will be hidden in due time. The Ikea Lack table that is now my vanity used to sit beneath the TV. It clashed with our coffee table and also wasn’t the right shape or height for the space. So now we had to find something to fill in this blank wall. Brainstorm: a small table for our music player, a backless sofa, a storage ottoman, a large chest. I thought of everything! Seats were out because who would want to sit under a TV. It would be nice to pull up to the coffee table while entertaining, but impractical overall. A table or storage trunk seemed like the way to go but they had to be the right height. So while browsing Home Goods with my tape measure and camera out, I stumbled across this…An electric fireplace! I know some people have strong opinions about this because the flame never looks real, but that’s not my main concern. I wanted something that served as a shelf and that was nice to look at. I left the store empty-handed and had to weigh my options. The store only had 1 and I’d never seen 1 so cheap before, $200. I almost turned the car right around to go back, but I thought it better to go back to work and let it settle for the rest of the afternoon. I emailed the man and asked him what he thought. His first reaction: “Is it dangerous?” So I googled and sent him all kinds of links reassuring him that it’s basically a space heater and everyone has one. We returned to Home Goods together after work. I showed him all the other options I had seen before bringing him to the fireplace. He stood in front of it for a half hour while I walked around browsing other ideas.

Finally, I brought a salesman over, showed him the tiny scratch on the bottom left hand corner and asked him what we could do about it. He knocked it down to $150. When we hesitated, he reminded us of the 30 day return policy. Sold.

He wheeled it up to the front for us and at least 3 people stopped on the way out to ask if it was sold. We also left the store with this neat little camera next to the fireplace. We’re planning on a tall vase to the left and maybe a vintage book collection or a candle and a plant on the mantle.If you haven’t figured it out already, we threw the tags and receipt out and won’t be making use of their 30 day policy.

 

Window treatments are such a treat!

I finally finally found affordable drapes!! And what a difference they make in a room. Boscov’s seemingly ongoing curtain sale finally came through for me and my condo. I remember months ago stopping into Boscov’s after seeing a commercial for their amazing kitchen sale. While I drooled over knives and coffee makers, my friend was busy looking at drapes. It was before we moved and I didn’t have measurements nor have I ever had to purchase drapes for previous apartments, so I didn’t give it a second thought. It only took me 5 months to remember how good their prices were. It’s not custom made and you do have to dig through their “self-serve” section to find anything longer than 63″ but it’s oh so worth it. Drapery rods and other accessories are best bought at TJ Maxx for $7-$14, but for the actual curtains…Boscov’s is the place to go.

I started out with Ikea tulle in our bedroom..2 packs for $5 each. But it added no texture, no dimension, no color…it was just boring. Instead of wasting the $10, I added Liquid Gold brand drapes ($10 each) in gold to either side.

My bedroom now feels like a 4-star hotel room (it will get to 5 once we dress the walls up a bit), which is exactly the look I was going for. No dressers or armoires taking up space. All clothes are kept neatly in the closet or in the footboard drawers.These drapes have not yet been steamed 😮

I had no idea my windows were even this large! The living room drapes give off the illusion of a beautiful picture window. I’m still shopping for pillows and also a throw blanket to break up the bland color of our most comfortable couch. The 5 panels above were all $9.99 each. The blue ones are reversible and come in a variety of colors. The ones above are light blue and teal blue, but they also had more contrasting pairs such as cream and amethyst. (Again, these haven’t been steamed).

What a difference!The only undressed windows that remain are in the office, and the color choice for that is proving to be a difficult one.

 

On an unrelated note, my corbels came in the mail Monday for the dining room! I hope to have them painted and hung by this Monday…I’ll remember to take step by step photos.

Just a little rant

I want to take a moment to express the shock I am suffering from the prices of window treatments and decorative accents. I’ve never dressed a window before. Our last place together was a tiny little studio and was very temporary so drapes were not needed. My place before that was college housing…No explanation needed.

So I’ve tossed around the idea of buying fabric and creating my custom window treatments, but after all the “couture” I’ve added to the condo thus far, I thought it would be nice to run out real quick, pick up some curtains, and voila! our living room is dressed. Imagine my surprise when, whilst perusing JCPenney’s home section, I come across this beautiful display that would work in both my bedroom and living room, for upwards of $265, ON SALE.

So fine, this is a Cindy Crawford design and “versatile” per their website: JCPenney “Create your own look”, but I have 3 rooms that need dressing, 2 of much importance (I’m not as invested in the office just yet). But of course, I didn’t just give up. I figured, I’ll find some panels in these colors, and create my own version of the look. Afterall, most of these panels don’t even have pockets for the drapery rod. It is literally a hemmed piece of fabric. A long, beautiful, shiny, hemmed piece of fabric, but fabric nonetheless. In my search, the least expensive I have come across thus far is $10 per panel. Not even Home Goods could help a girl out! This look calls for 5 blue panels, 3 tan panels, and at least 2 sheer panels. That’s still $100. I get that window treatments are important and can make or break a room. But it’s fabric! Why is it this expensive??

I have been experiencing the same problem with throw pillows. I have a large tan couch that needs some pops of color. I plan on at least 4 accent pillows, preferably closer to 6, in addition to a throw blanket. At $20 a pop, this is getting outrageous! Why are small, slightly altered pieces of fabric so inflated in price?!

This is about 3 sq. feet of fabric. 1 yard. for $19.99 at Target. If I bought 1 yard of fabric at Joann’s, put 10 minutes of labor into making this pillow, I would have to charge $20 to turn a profit. But this fabric is being manufactured in bulk and I highly doubt it is being sewn by hand and taking anywhere close to 10 minutes per pillow. Highway robbery!

The Room in which we live

DISCLAIMER: I wanted to wait until I got my new digital camera to post pictures of our most lived in room, the living room, but my impatience would not allow it. The photos here were taken with my cell phone (no flash). I plan on replacing all photos once my camera arrives. Please don’t judge by the seemingly dark room.
 

The before

 

The Present!

This room is still in progress, as is the rest of our condo, but it’s come far since we first moved in to bare walls with no light whatsoever. (I’m very self conscious by the darkness of this photo, but it’s only the cell phone, I swear. We live in an abundance of light).

We waited for this couch for 6 weeks. Our living room is so oddly situated that I had some trouble arranging the furniture. Once I convinced my other half to make use of the “hall” by putting the tv against the far wall, it was decided that the couch must go against the window. I originally wanted a chaise sectional, wall to wall, U-shaped. But in our price range, it was impossible to find. The non-negotiable was that it had to be comfortable. I wanted to be able to lie down together and watch a movie without feeling squished or falling off the couch. This couch accomplishes just that. I take many a catnap here without suffering back problems. It is my favorite place in the condo and for only $600 (JCPenney Memorial Day sale), it really makes the room. The pillows are still TBD. I made the sofa pillows without pillowforms and learned the hard way how lumpy cotton stuffing can get. The large blue pillow on the right was intended to be a floor pillow, but I failed to accommodate for how much the thickness would subtract from the size.

The chairs are from Pier 1, also on sale for $130 each. They’re more about practicality and style than comfort.

The ladder “end tables” I ordered from Amazon for $60 each, and they are worth every penny. We didn’t need true end tables with such a large coffee table, and these add height and dimension to the room without wasting space.

The coffee table is from The Dump (Langhorne, Turnersville, and Oaks) and we stained it from a very light color that was almost identical to the couch, to a deep cherry oak.

The rug I made using 4 layers: Non-slip rubber rug pad, canvas, 2 inch thick batting, and soft, fuzzy fabric, all from Joann Fabric. It was one of the hardest things to date and my blood, sweat, and tears are in it. The seam really shows through the thick layers and it gives it a one-of-a-kind look (which it is).

Still on the to-do list: Drapes, Entertainment shelf under TV (not pictured, on wall opposite couch), Art over chairs

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