Weekend Update: Living Room Changes

It started out innocently enough on Saturday morning..picking up an antique coffee table I won from a local ebay seller for $10 back when I hated the way the dark coffee table/ottoman looked in the living room:

ebay coffee table

Ebay $10 Coffee Table

And because Ikea was on the way home from picking up the table, we had to stop in. And because I’ve been struggling so much with the curtain thing, I picked up a pair of Lenda white curtains just to *see* what they might look like in the living room.. and because I wanted some texture in the room I picked up some little wicker doo dads for the mantel.. and before I knew it, we had painted the coffee table seafoam green, hung the white curtains (and raised the hardware so that it wasn’t on the trim) put the ottoman out on the porch and had transformed the living room into something distinctly more “beachy” for better or for worse.

Here are the results:

new living room

Just incase you forgot what it looked like before, here is the before with the dark leather ottoman and the after with the new coffee table

Dark Ottoman

New Coffee Table

And here’s what it looked like with the blue curtains (installed too low) and now after with the white curtains:

Before with Blue Curtains

After with White Curtains

Even the fireplace got a little burst of beach thanks to the little wicker knick-knacks and blue, green and white vases we arranged there:

fireplace with beachy stuff

Fireplace with stuff on it.

Speaking of the fireplace, thanks for all of your suggestions (and your sometimes brutal honesty!). I think the solution seems to be to paint it white and get rid of or at least white out the appliqués. In addition, I would like to add a nice mantel shelf to it – the one that’s there is so thin and narrow. I’d rather it looked something like this:

new fireplace

Fireplace white with a big mantel shelf and white (photoshopped)

The leather ottoman found itself a new home on our porch/lounge (which now has much more expensive furniture than our actual living room!)

porch lounge

The Leather Ottoman in its new home on the Porch

Miraculously, we (and by “we”, I mean Jeff) even got around to straightening up the office! Check out the totally adorable and crazy cheap red office chair I got from Ikea, goes nicely with the rug and my guitar dontcha think?

new office chair

Office with New Ikea “Love” Chair.

Now if I could only figure out what to do about the huge bundle of wires..

So anyway, the beachy turn took us by surprise a little bit.. had I really thought about it in advance, I may have picked out curtains that were more of a natural white rather than a pure white. And now I’m questioning the wisdom of the Pottery Barn Baloon shades as under treatments in this room.. maybe instead I should go like natural bamboo shade or something to add more texture and play off the beach theme? Something like this:

target bamboo roman shades

Bamboo Roman Shade from Target

Or would that just be overkill? And should I just forget about the brocade curtains behind the couch (no matter how much I like the print) and use the same Ikea white ones instead to make everything more cohesive? What do you think?

22 Responses to “Weekend Update: Living Room Changes”

  1. wow!!! love the new table!!! so airy and breezy!!!

    i do think bamboo shades would be overkill… and no!!! don’t get rid of the brocade curtain! it’s gorgeous and looks great with that new table in there!!!

    oh! nice photoshop revamp of the fireplace… i like it!!!

  2. Everything looks wonderful, I love the new table. I had all white curtains in my living room and put bamboo blinds behind them (granted they are supposed to be used on a porch and are pretty see-though). I really liked the effect, but your living room does look great the way it is now.

  3. Ariana,

    I just hung some bamboo shades from Ikea this past weekend. Like the others have said, I think your living room looks just delightful without them, but if you are interested, the ones at Ikea are super duper cheap…so if you change your mind, it’s not that big of a deal ($4.99 or $6.99 each I think).

  4. Hi there…I’ve been reading for a little while now and I love the blog, it’s giving me so much inspiration as my husband and I are moving soon!

    Just wanted to say that I think the living room looks great with the new table and I love the white curtains as well. Personally I think it would look better if you replaced that curtain behind the couch with white as well and I would not put in the bamboo shades. I don’t think it would look bad, I just think it looks very breezy and airy the way it is and the bamboo shades might make it all look a bit darker and heavy (though you may want that for the cooler months anyway).

    I also love the fireplace as you have it photoshopped with the wider shelf, I think that would look much more modern and would let your artwork/pottery pop a bit more.

  5. Ok, thanks Antibride, I’ll try to make that brocade work!

    Liz, do you have a pic of your old living room (I’m assuming its no longer that way because you said “had”)

    Kimberly, were these the ones you got? http://www.ikea.com/us/en/cata.....s/50100403

    If so, they don’t have the size I need :(
    In fact target doesn’t either. I need 26″ and they have 23 and 27. Drat!

  6. WOW!!!!!
    Love all you have done to all the roomS.

    The newly painted coffee table is perfect.

    I too love the damask fabric on the curtains but it just doesn’t seem to be working. While I absolutely LOVE natural bamboo shades, I’m not sure how they would work. If you add them in back you should also add them to the BIG window so the room is united.
    Perhaps the white sheers would be better.
    Since you probably cannot return the damask curtains, you can always make pillows from the damask fabric then you’d have a piece of it still with you!!! (I’m not sure if you sew but it will probably be another skill you will be adding to your growing list of discovered talents!!)

    Love the Photoshoped mantel and the accessories are perfect.

    The ottoman on the porch with the bright pillows, works!

    The red office chair is so much fun. One of the HGTV design shows had a solution for desk/computer cord clutter.
    Anyone remember which show or the solution?

    Your house is nicely becoming a wonderful home.

  7. Heartartz,

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I meant the bamboo shades for the big window, not the little one behind the couch, though having them on both might be a good way to tie the two together more. I think the white sheers would be nice, but I’m also worried about the colors not matching since I have to order them online (PB doesn’t have them in stores) and can’t see for myself.

    Pillows from the brocade curtains is a great last-resort solution. I say last resort because I’m not a great sewer.. As my grade-school handwork teacher never fails to point out to me when I see her, I never finished my eight grade shirt project! I’m good at starting the projects – but finishing is another story :)

  8. 8th Grade teacher…what did she know!
    You have finished MANY things that you have begun in your home. Look at all you have accomplished.
    Pillows are easy… 4 straight sides and if you do not want to put in a zipper, hand or machine stitch closed the open edge! If I lived close to you I’d stitch them up for you!
    You have accomplished so much already if you have to resort to sewing I am confident you can do it!!
    “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Henry ford
    I know YOU CAN!
    good luck and keep us all posted!

  9. Nice coffee table! It works so much better in there.

    You can buy the cheap bamboo shades and cut them down to size. That’s what I had to do in our old apartment. (picture) If you get them, you need to get them for all of the windows though, not just the big one. It seems odd to have different window treatments on each window of the same room (sorry).

    Have you seen these: ? I think they’d look perfect in your living room! They’re prettier in person than they are in the online photo.

  10. Oops, by “these”, I meant these: FREJA TAPET curtains.

  11. I think the lighter look in the living room works and keeps your couch from looking heavy. The damask curtain would benefit from the same adjustment as the other window – bring the rod hardware out to the sides and above the window frame. I also agree that a mantle with more heft would help the fireplace, but don’t make the miter angle so deep – it looks ready-made and is out of balance with the narrow side supports.

  12. Nicole, I LOVE that picture, thanks for sharing. Do you remember where you got them? I agree, the different treatments are starting to really bother me too.

    The Ikea curtains you sent me a link to are wonderful, thank you! I think its worth giving them try (can always return them right?), the accent colors are perfect. Hopefully they don’t appear too dark though, the Lenda curtains in the natural linen color looked way too drab in that room (which doesn’t really get a lot of natural light.)

    Ryan, i totally agree that the other hardware must be treated the same way. Now if we can just get my husband to agree :) No, he said he would do it, we just haven’t gotten there yet. And good point with the mitre angle, I thought something looked off but couldn’t put my finger on what. Will definitely keep that in mind, thanks!

  13. […] all your advice into account from my last post on the living room redux, here’s what photoshop and I came up […]

  14. The bamboo shades I had were the same cheapies from IKEA that you linked to. You can cut them with strong scissors ,it takes a while. And you’d need a little hand saw to cut the very top and bottom pieces. Or just one chop with a circular saw!

  15. YUP! Those are the ones! Yeah, I ended up getting the too small size for my windows. They seem to work. I only thought of buying larger ones and cutting them AFTER I hung the too small ones. oh well.

    Good luck with West Elm or whichever you go with!

  16. Cool, thanks Nicole. I never would have thought of cutting them! Kim, I want to see a pic of yours!

    PS, did you get the 2008 Ikea catalog? It’s so little!

  17. Wow, you have really done a lot! The fireplace looks great and you haven’t even painted it yet (I agree it should be white) and added the larger mantel—good idea.

    I think the curtain behind the couch needs to be white and the hardware needs to be raised. Right now that window looks “squished.” I know you want to use the brocade somehow. A look that I love is when you put hardware over an open doorway—say leading from the living room to kitchen or dining room, and hang a single decorative panel (your brocade) there. (Not covering the opening, just hanging straight down on the wall next to it.) That panel does not have to match the curtains on the window, although it would be nice if the colors in it were picked up in the room (like in the vases on your mantel). I’ve seen it where the pattern and color were then picked up in a wallpaper going down the hallway nearby, but I imagine that is more than you plan to do right now (!)—very pretty though. :) My two cents anyway. I love the beachy feel—very warm!

  18. Thanks Jane!
    Yes, I agree, the window hardware needs to go up and I’m going to use the white curtains there.. you gave me an idea though, we have a closet in the living room that we want to replace the bifold door with a french door, maybe we could use the brocade there..

  19. Oh, I’m glad you like that idea! Then, if you felt comfortable cutting the other panel, you could make that into pillows for the couch. I’ve also seen a throw folded, and tucked very tightly down the front of a wing chair—not sure what chairs are in the room—but why not a brocade panel (then you don’t have to cut it and it might someday be used as a curtain again…)?
    I’m not sure if you have Lowe’s in your area, I’ve found less expensive bamboo blinds there, and in many sizes. (Although, I like you windows with just the airy white…) (Sorry, I missed the comment earlier where you were trying to convince your hubby to raise the hardware—I was reading too fast!) Good luck! I’m so impressed with all you’ve accomplished.

  20. […] was with this in mind that I started searching for something to go in my new beach inspired living room (in the back corner to the right of the sofa) and came across Nettleton Hollow, who seem to have a […]

  21. The table is GREAT! It definitely makes the space feel more open and airy and … yes, beachy.

    I have the white Ikea curtains all over my house – they’re quite possibly my favorite decor item right now.

  22. becky, that’s why I’m so reluctant to change them despite the tab tops! I love the naturalness of the linen, plus I like the fine vertical lines they have in them.. adds a little something you know? I’m learning that a good curtain is VERY hard to find.

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