Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Styling our Bookshelves

We have a built in bookshelves in our living room.
It started out as the place where I stashed all the accessories that I didn't have a place for, Yikes.
Then I read a post from Nest Egg and learned a few things about how to style bookshelves.
There are lots of great tips in that post, but the a few points I really took to heart were...
Bookshelves should have...BOOKS!
Pull everything to the front, don't push to the back.
Organize your books in all different directions.
Be conscious of the colors you're putting together.

So I scoured our house for some pretty books.  Only to find, we DONT HAVE ANY!
Exhibit A (the bookcase in our office)...
Books yes, pretty no.

I've never understood why people spend the extra money on hardback books, until now.  Our paperback books aren't pretty enough to display!

So, I went to my parents house with a purpose...STEAL SOME BOOKS.  You see my parents are a little bit pack-rat-ish.  So they have lots of they usually don't even notice if I "borrow" a few things.

In the entryway to their house, I had walked by them a million times and NEVER even noticed an amazing collection of old hardback books.

So, I filled up a box full of a few of my favorites.  They have the most beautiful covers and wacky titles.

It seemed like plenty at the time, but here's where one box got me...
Not too far. 
So I went back and got three more boxes, and here are the results...
Aaaaah, much better.  

Now, I have to show some close ups of these amazing books!  The covers are so cool and I love all the titles.  If you love old things, this will be some major eye candy.  
If you don't...consider this post over NOW.    

I'm obsessed.  I'm going to keep rotating which books face out so I can display all these gorgeous covers!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How I made the antler mobile...

It all started when I asked my mother in law to bring us some antlers.  I was thinking like...a pair of antlers.  I was going to mount them over the archway in our living room.   

Well she sent over a box full of antlers...(these are just the few that were left over)... 
None of the antlers had mountings so I decided not to hang them over the archway, because it would take quite a lot of rigging to get them to hang straight.
I started brainstorming another way to incorporate them into the room.  
It always bothered me how the screen behind this chair really leads the eye up to.....nothing.
I started arranging them in different ways until I came up with the idea to make a mobile, a perfect solution to go over the chair in our living room.
I started tieing the antlers together with twine.  I tied two smaller sets of antlers together first, then two larger sets, the stacked the larger sets over the smaller ones and tied them all together.
 But this wasn't really stablizing the antlers to stay in "formation".  
I remembered some extra burlap I had and cut a strip of that.  (Burlap comes in so handy for so many different projects!)
First Chris tied some big twine rope around the antlers for me.  I can't tell you what type of knot he did...just call your local boyscout.  Then I tied the strip of burlap around that.  I tied it like you would the ribbon on a present (making a cross at the bottom), then tucked in the loose ends at the top.   
Then the tricky part came along...hanging it.
First I tried just a regular screw hook.  It immediately pulled right out of the sheet rock.  The antlers are much too heavy for that.  So Chris went to Lowe's and investigated and bought this screw that has some sort of built in anchoring system.  Chris tied another some sort of cowboy knot for the screw to hook through.  
The hook is quite shiny and white, so I've been meaning to go back and paint it the flat ceiling color.  It's too bad we couldn't use a cooler, more rustic hook...but I'm not too crazy about the idea of our ceiling caving in...or the antler mobile crashing down on someone's head!  

So here's how it turned out...

Thanks for reading!  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making it feel like HOME: Our Living Room

It's time to get into the fun stuff...decorating.

Our living room went from this...
Wall color is Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog 976, Trim is Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray HC 108, Ceiling is Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige OC-32.  
To this...(refinished floors)
Floors are high gloss Dark Walnut.
To this... (first night in house)
To this...
And finally, to this...
(*Please disregard hideous TV jumbled wire situation.  We are waiting to get a new TV and then mount it and wire it through the wall)

Here are the details...
Our living room, and entire house, is all about coordinating hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, discount & sale items, wedding gifts, and a few nice things (gifted to us by our parents), to create an eclectic rustic feel that we happen to LOVE.  
We also planned our living room around entertaining and providing plenty of places to sit.  It may be a little crowded in this tiny space, but making people feel at home in our home is our primary goal.  

My curtains are Lenda from IKEA.  There are hung on bamboo poles, which I had to cut and join together to make them extra long.  I hung them at ceiling height to accent our 9 ft ceilings.  I hung them using walnut stained wooden brackets from Lowe's which I distressed.  (More on the details & how-to's in a future post.)
The lamp in the left corner is from IKEA, and I got the shade for it at Target.  All throw pillows, except the white fuzzy ones are from Target a couple of years ago.
I have a box full of antlers (killed by my husband's family) and I wanted to incorporate them somehow.  I always felt like the screen was really drawing your eye up, and it bothered me that there was nothing there to see, so I created this mobile to give visual interest and a rustic feel (details in a future post).
I found these vintage board games and game pieces at my parents house and incorporated them into our coffee table setting for a "family" feel.  Our coffee table is "very old" (not sure exactly) and it belonged to my grandmother on my dad's side.  Most of our antiques were hers.  
View from the dining room...
I styled our book shelf with odds and ends and then filled in with these gorgeous old books I found at my parents house.  They have the most beautiful covers!  I need just a few more to really fill in that bottom shelf.  (More details in a future post).
Another view from the dining room...
I painted this "starry sky" while hanging out with my sisters one night.  I love that the lamp looks like the moon and the painting is of a starry sky.  I have another of the same lamp on order to mirror this one on the table.  
I turned this basket into a side table and placed a tray on top to finish it off.  I LOVE this little paint color dish that we got as a wedding gift!
After I hung the curtains, they were really framing the center panel of the window...but there was nothing of interest there, so I hung these three pictures.  The top is my grandmother with my dad as a little boy, the middle is an angel painting my sister Liz did over her paint palette, and the bottom is a picture of my dad as a teenager.  (Although I love him, this is not intentionally a tribute to my father, ha, but it's just the extra pictures I had laying around.)
This may be my favorite corner.  I LOVE the mirror that my Mom got for us at a consignment store!  It is amazing how much this mirror lightens up the room!  I LOVE the cow painting that I asked my sister, Liz, to paint for me!  I love the IKEA lamp!  Ratty old chair is no visual highlight...but I keep it covered with throw blankets and it is DANG comfortable.  (This is where I sit to write my blog posts.)
During our trip to Austin, TX I saw these stars everywhere on the outside of people's houses.  I love the little western touch it brings to the room.  I know it's a little weird that I put that basket in the fireplace.  But the fireplace doesn't work (it's coal burning) and I use this basket to store things and I wanted it out of the there ya go!  I know I should probably put some candles, or logs or something in there that's fire themed.  But for's the spot for the basket that holds the stuff.  
Our rug was loaned and then given to us by my sister, Liz.  She and her husband bought it when they got married, it is a vegetable dyed oriental rug.  Their dogs wouldn't stop peeing on it and so they finally decided they had to remove it from the house and they gave it to us.  

My sister, Liz Landgren's artwork found in our living room (and ALL OVER our house)...

Thanks for reading.


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