Pale’s in Comparison

Our new house is pretty open concept. Much more so than past houses in the sense that one wall color, more or less, covers most of the downstairs area. I had my heart set on going really dark in the dining room this time,  but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that would clash with the Living Room wall it connects to a bit too much. Likewise, when thinking about the Living Room color, we had to pick something that would work nicely with the Dining Room.

We landed on Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore).

Open Concept Living Room

We used this color in our bathroom remodel in the last house and I knew I wanted to also use it in our next house. It’s a great color with a slight gray undertone.

You’re probably noticing some other changes in the room as well… Y’all – craigslist is my bff as of late. You’re looking at a Pottery Barn Sectional that I snagged for $450 right there. It’s in immaculate condition – like brand new. This thing retails for $3,500. SCORE.

Open Concept Living Room

It’s super comfortable and fit our room just right. I also splurged (for me) on a quality chair that was recovered in a restoration hardware velvet upholstery for $300 on craigslist.

Restoration Hardware Upholstered Chair

This guy is so comfortable! The cat I’m afraid loves it, so it’s normally covered in cat hair (hence the blanket, ha ha!)

It’s the perfect addition to this corner, since it helps us hide H’s toys a bit!

Restoration Hardware Club Chair

And the final new addition to this space, are some sweet pillows I scored on clearance at Target. I’d been eyeing these beauts for 6+ months, but couldn’t justify spending $25 each. Well low and behold, I found them on clearance last week and along with a cartwheel promotion, I got them for $5 each!

Threshold Throw Pillows

Here is one final view of the room – first a before shot:

Family Room off of the Kitchen

And … progress!

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Walk All Over Me

Mmmm – is there anything nicer than having something soft and cushy underfoot? I knew our Living Room was missing an area rug, I just didn’t know how much of a difference it would make with this room. Everything feels so much more put together and cozy now.

Last week, I told y’all that we got all twitchy and decided to start moving furniture around. Ok, yes, I was the only one that developed a twitch, but my sweet husband offered to help me maneuver furniture around this joint since my knocked up condition limits my hee-man lifting capabilities. As of last week, our Living Room looked like this:

Olive Sofa with IKAT Pillows

Rug … give me a ruuuugggg. Can’t you just hear those floors calling out for mercy. They knew it, I knew it – so I gulped and clicked buy for our new Flor tiles. Added bonus, we waited to pounce until we had a 25% off coupon in hand, which helped ease the pain a bit.

After we added some soft cush underfoot, things looked like this!

A Tisket a Tasket Flor

I LOVE this carpet you guys! As much as I will always have a soft spot in my heart for natural fiber rugs, I’m loving that we decided to switch it up in here this time around.

A Tisket a Tasket Oatmeal

In the end, we decided to go with the style – a Tisket, a Tasket, in Oatmeal. It’s neutral and goes perfectly with our existing furniture.

Custom Size Carpet Squares

In some spots, you can see the square edges more than I’d like, but overall, I figure that’s a small price to pay to have a rug that’s more washable, and swapable, in the event we have an accident on it down the road. I by we, I mean Jay – he’s prone to accidents, poor guy… 😉 Oh and the cat, and the future little human – I guess they might fall into that category, too. Accident prone.

Flor Review

Our ottoman was scooting all over the place pre-rug, so it’s nice to have everything a bit more stable, and stuck in place, now that we’ve installed the rug.

Tufted Linen Ottoman

One thing I did notice on the rug, is that the edges looked a bit frayed when we first installed everything. I came back through with a pair of scissors to trim along the edges, and we haven’t had any issues with additional pilling.

FLOR Carpet Review

We also noticed after assembling the rug, and adding our furniture back in, that we were actually a row short of ideal.

In the name of symmetry and more cushiness – I ordered a final row to finish off the room.

Custom Sized Flor Carpet

Has any one else ordered FLOR tiles before? What do y’all think of them?

What Bored Pregnant People Do

When we started our Living Room journey, the room looked like this. I liked it, because it felt cozy and all fireplace-y.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

We had some extra space behind the sofa, which would have made a nice locale for a console table and some artwork.

Couch Location in Living Room

Let’s call this my second favorite arrangement. I like it, but it had a few dings in my mind as well.

So in the name of opening up the room a little bit, we then experimented with this (highly unfinished layout). I hated it.

Large Open Living Room

Well last week we started doing some final measurements for our FLOR rug, and this crazed pregnant lady got to thinking. Let’s try furniture configuration 3.0, shall we?

Olive Sofa with IKAT Pillows

This option still focuses on the fireplace, but created more of a conversation area.

My favorite feature, is that the sofa peaks into the view of the dining/kitchen area now, so I feel more connected with my husband the chef when he’s cooking dinner.

Here’s a vantage from the newly finished Dining Room. The rooms just all feel much more connected now, which will be nice for baby watching down the road.

IKAT Throw Pillows

I’m so glad we grabbed these tufted arm chairs from TJ Maxx this summer. They were less than $250 each, and they really help to fill out the space! (For TJ Maxx shoppers, you know what a miracle it is to find TWO matching items in one trip!)

Tufted Linen Chairs

As much as I’ve toyed around with the idea of replacing our current ottoman with an actual coffee table – now that we have a mini Sell on the way from Babyland, I’m thinking this upholstered number may stick around a bit longer so we don’t have any sharp corners.

Ottoman Tufted Linen

And although I have lots of love in my heart for our tufted highback linen chairs – I’m even more excited about my latest thrift find that cost me a whopping $8 😀

Bamboo Side Chair

It’s the perfect addition to our empty little nook to the right of the armoire. Love, love, love it 😀

Oh, and we’ve officially got our FLOR tiles in da house now! I’m so excited to show y’all a final shot of how the space is looking with the new carpet in next week!

Lamp Looker

If I had to break down the numbers on the doors we use most often in this abode it would be:

Front Door: 3%
Kitchen Door: 12%
Side Door: Whatevers left percent, aka A LOT.

We’ve been working to trouble shoot that little area of ours, things like adding our armoire for storage and, well I guess that’s pretty much all we’ve done to date 😀 He he, got over ambitious there for a second thinking we were all speedy Gonzales round here.

Coat Storage At Door

Another thing we’ve been wanting to update around our entry, is our lighting situation.

Which currently looks like, this:

Lamp on Floor

See our Living Room is sans overhead light. Being that the house is circa 1939, I guess we should be pretty happy this is the only room that is missing this crucial detail.

I’ve been wanting to get our Living Room more livable, so I’m currently sleuthing around for a nice, tall, floor lamp to position right behind the chair as you walk in (since that’s the switch we reach for when you walk in the door).

Here’s my shopping list, so far!

Adesso Floor Lamp

Adesso Floor Lamp

Stella Floor Lamp

Stella Floor Lamp

Grayson Floor Lamp

Grayson Floor Lamp

Now, in my heart of hearts, I’m just dying to find something similar on my good friend the list. I mean – srrriously, who wants to drop $200 on a lamp? Not this lady.

But if there is one thing I’m realizing about pregnant Mary, it’s that she likes to knock out the list even more than non-pregnant Mary. Truth be told, didn’t know that was possible. This women wants things done, and she wants them down now. #BlessingandaCurse

For now, we’ve decided to at least move a foot in the right direction, by popping in the lamps in a new home.

Olive Green Sofa

Better, right?

My next game plan is to add in some artwork, above the sofa. Perhaps build a sofa table for behind the couch as well (eventually) and get rid of the side tables? They’re feeling a smidge too traditional for me these days.

Artwork Behind Sofa

We also added in our friend Helmut (Jay’s brain child there), who faithfully watches over our door. Good egg. Along with Bully Bull to hold onto our keys.

Artwork By Door

Flor Me

Perhaps it’s the fact that there is finally a fall chill in the air down in the land of the pines, but I’m craving cozy these days. A blanket, some tea, a crackling fireplace. Ahhh, yes. Fall.

So every time I walk through our living room, with my visions of sugar plums above said fall like items dancing through my head, I kinda have a whomp whomp moment because cozy just ain’t whats going on in that room.

Large Open Living Room

Our Living Room needs a rug, it needs one badly. Turns out, massive sized rugs that fill up an entire Living Room, are sorta pricey though. Figures.

But since I’m getting stir crazy for this space to feel a bit more done, when I spotted a special through FLOR for free samples, I figured that was at least a good place to start.

Free Flor Samples

We got (3) samples, listed from top to bottom, we got:

  1. A Tisket, A Tasket | Oatmeal
  2. Suit Yourself | Flax
  3. Suite Yourself | Linen

Now initially I had spotted Suit Yourself in Flax on the Lettered Cottage and loved it. Almost enough that I nearly purchased the linen color sight unseen, right off the interwebs. Well thank goodness I kept that finger from clicking, because in all honesty, once it got here I felt like the linen color had too much color variation and kinda looked too berbery to me.

Flor Samples

Right now, Jay and I are leaning toward the middle option (A Tisket, A Tasket, in Oatmeal). We’ll be needing a 10×14 rug, so it’ll be around $700 to purchase this hunka chunka carpet goodness, so we definitely want to make sure we’re picking one that works just right with our space.

One of the reasons we’re loving the FLOR concept right now is this little bugger.

Cat and the Faucet

Since whenever he does hack up kitty vomit, he seems to aim right for our carpet, we thought that a rug that allows you to switch out each square, would pretty much be perfect for our biggest (and most expensive) rug. If you’re not familiar with the FLOR concept, it’s essentially a bunch of tiles, that you group together, to make one big (or small!) rug!

Here are some close up photos of Layla’s gorgeous home, and the Flax Suit Yourself option, that she went with.

Flor Carpet Squares

And another, closer shot. You can see when all the tiles are assembled together, they definitely look like one large rug, and not like a bunch of tiles thrown together. I was worried the seems would be really visible, but overall, I think they blend nicely.

Flor Carpet Squares

Decisions, decisions! Tell me, have you done a FLOR rug before? Like it, love it, need some more of it?


Jay and I went for an evening walk the other night and we were chatting about where the house is, and where we’d like it to be. Being the planner I am, this naturally led me to start thinking that we have 29 weeks to go until our little monkey is here, as well. I know the house doesn’t have to be perfect by then, but I do want it to feel like home. I want it to feel homey and like home and be cozy and comfy and ready for a miniature human.

Our Living Room, for instance – it feels like a pass through room right now. Not cozy and not homey.

For a quick second it looked nice and cozy, but then I started making executive decisions like getting rid of rugs and selling chairs. Once we get a rug back in here, I do like the idea of going back to something cozy, like this.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

So in the name of getting this room back in action, I made a little bucket list of things I’d like to see.

  • Window Treatments (bamboo blinds and curtains)
  • Rug (large, at least 10×14)
  • Artwork
  • Additional seating to fill in side of room
  • New coffee table option(s)

Since I love me some JCPenney roman shades, and I found a stellar steal of a deal, I decided to jump on the first part, of the first bullet. Window treatments.

Bamboo Roman Shades

They’re cordless, just like the one’s we popped in our bedroom, but bamboo instead of linen. I wanted to add some texture to the room and later, once I pinch a few more pennies, we’ll add in some drapes, too. Swanky.

Just like our lest roman shade extravaganza, we had to retrofit the windows a wee bit to make the shades fit. Old house problems.

Modifying Window for Shades

We just notched out the sides of the windows (since you can’t see it at all, once the window treatments are in). Ugly before you get the shades in for sure though!

Removing Part of Window Sill

Here is a side profile of the shade, so you can see how the panel was able to just slide in to the little divet that Jay made. Perfect fit.

Installing Bamboo Blinds

All the windows in our living room are pretty large, this was the smallest side window. It ate up Jay there pretty quick. 😉

The blinds are a bit lighter than we thought they’d be and I’m not crazy sauce about the wood bar along the bottom (which is what you pull to adjust them, since they’re cordless), but overall, I do like them for the price!

JCPenney Bamboo Blind

Here are a few shots of the shades after they’re up and installed. It’s nice to have something in the windows (finally). This is a side angle shot of the smaller window.

JCPenney Roman Shade

For the two larger flanking windows, we’ll eventually pop in some pinch pleat drapes to swank things up a bit and soften the walls some more.

Cordless Roman Shade

In the name of adding a bit of character to our walls, we also picked up this beastly dude at HomeGoods. We do live in Bull City, after all! Since I’m a serial key loser, it helps to have a designated spot where we pop these.

Bull Key Holder

Oh, and so y’all can see the travesty that is our fiddle leaf fig plant, this is all that remains. I think it might be dead. 😉

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Amore for our Amoire

Ahhh, to have a mud room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m counting my lucky stars that we’ve got a laundry room these days but thing is, it’s on the second floor, so it’s definitely not functioning as a space to schlep our goods. Just a washing locale, which I’m well and good with, but ya know, I’ve definitely been starting to notice that the side of our Living Room has morphed into a legit dumping ground for all our junk these days.

Since it’s closest to the driveway, we tend to come in the side door, which has been lending this location to being the spot where we kick off our shoes and stash our backpacks.


Shoe Storage at Back Door

We have an amply sized side porch off of this door, which Jay and I have toyed around with converting to a screened in porch years down the road. A bit torn on that one, since it’s our only outdoor space where we can hollar a hello to our neighbor’s passing, that’s totally open. This is what it looks like now.

Side Porch

Now all these shoes and crap everywhere was starting to drive me absolutely bonkers, so I started my normal craigslist prowl, in search of the next accessory to outfit our space and stash our stuff. I actually landed up spying lots of contenders, but we had one limitation, the size of our little Prius that could. In the name of not wanting to go out and rent a truck from Home Depot or the U-haul location, I wanted to find a piece of furniture that could actually fit in our car, to avoid that extra cost.

And ladies and gentlemen, we found ourselves a winner that just fit.

Coat Storage At Door Nice, right? I mean seriously, this thing is definitely my new best friend 😀

One thing we noticed off the bat was that we needed some reinforcing in the toddling department though. Since we knew we’d be opening and shutting the doors on this often, we wanted to make sure it had sufficient weight to it. So although it made me a wee sad at the thought of putting holes in the wall, when Jay suggested screwing it right into the wall, I was game.

We found a scrap piece of wood from the garage,

Attaching Furniture to Wall

Measured the distance we’d need, and attached that baby right to a stud in the wall.

Measuring Back of Furniture

Before we (quasi) permanently affixed it, I made sure that the armoire was centered on the wall. We had about 5 inches on either side, so the armoire takes up most of the wall to the left of the window.

Mounting Furniture To Wall

Now that we’ve added some storage to the room, this side of our living room currently looks like this. We’re looking to add a large 12×15 rug in the next few months that will come out to 3 feet, or so, in front of the armoire. Looking at this vantage point also reminds me of how much I want to add window treatments to this space – but window treatments are expensive yo, so I’m just going to have to sit on my hands and wait for that.

Armoire for Coat Storage

In the other corner of the living room, we have a little antique plant stand that we nabbed for $5 on craigslist (it was in rough shape), and refinished. I plan to sell it to make generate some dough to pay for the window treatments (waste not, want not), but for now, it’s a fancy plant stand. 😀

Barley Twist Table

Everyone in the house loves the new armoire we’ve added for storage, but there is definitely an orange member of the household that is particularly partial. 😉 It’s like one big box – he can’t even handle himself around it.

Cat Getting Into Furniture

Next up, a little switcheroo is in order for these plain jane knobs. I’ve got my heart set on these guys. Or maybe these guys.

Adding Hardware to Furniture

Anyone else living in a tiny little house and have to get creative with storage? I can’t tell you how much of a difference this little guy is already making for us to keep this part of the house organized. In love. 🙂

Arranging Our Life

Now, even though we’ve officially been living in the fine state of North Carolina for 3+ months now, in all honesty, in our tiny little one bedroom apartment, we really weren’t able to unpack much at all. From silverware to underwear, you name it, we most likely have been living without it or with a greatly reduced supply of it. Like rotating 4 pairs of underwear short supply. mmmyeah. Let’s just say I was missing my undies.

Since our apartment pretty much prohibited any type of furniture arrangement, I’ve been having lots of fun as we unpack trying all sorts of new configurations in our living spaces. It definitely takes a while to get things just right, but I’m enjoying experimenting over here with new layouts. In the name of having at least one room that was not full of boxes, I decided to start in on the Living Room first.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

So nice. So cozy! Almost makes me wish for a cold winter night and a roaring fire. Almost. 😉

Now, truth be told, I’ve got a few instant mental objections to my first shot at living room arranging. In my mind, the photo has a bit too much tufting action happening – plus, it really bugs me that the ottoman and chairs are almost matching (tufting) but different colors. It just looks a little off in my noggin.

Here is a shot from the side, so you can see how it flows from this angle.

Living Room Layout Around Fireplace

Again, one of my favorite things is the cozy factor from this view. It just feels like a perfect little conversation area, and not like a walk-through room.

There’s a lot of space behind the couch right now, and that wall definitely needs a buffet of some sort, and some artwork up above.

Couch Location in Living Room

One of the first things that became obvious was that our 9×12 rug was just not going to cut it any longer in our new and larger living room. Secretly, this makes me happy, since buying rugs is my elixir in life. 😀 Jay thinks the 4 foot gap is hunky doorey, so I’ll have to work on my powers of persuasion on this one. (wish me luck…)

Right now, I have each of the Pottery Barn chairs nestled along the fireplace. For me, it’s also helpful that the chairs cover up the awkward gap you get with the rug and the wood floor as a result of the fireplace bump out. My dream for this room would be to get a custom natural fiber rug that wraps around the fireplace, but that is anything but cheap, so I’m just going to have to sit tight and camouflage with furniture a bit longer.

Tufted Living Room Chair

It made me so happy to rescue my first thrift find ever, and still one of my favorites, from the doom and gloom of our basement.

Carved Wood Mirror

Although this mirror has been placed above dressers in the past, we took a cue from our last house and popped that bad boy up above the fireplace and I’m totally loving it.

Here is a close up shot of the carved wood details on this mirror.

Carved Wood Antique Mirror

The last part of the room to get decorated was our front facing wall. It’s definitely not finished – but I’m going to put it in the “good enough for now” category. I feel like the table is too small for the lamps, so I might need to upgrade for something larger under this window. Long term, I’d love to add some custom built-ins over this entire wall. A girl can dream, right?

Bamboo Living Room Chair

Along with my craigslist chairs, I found some small Restoration Hardware style lamps at HomeGoods the other night. I love the lines, and at $25 a piece, the price was right, too.

Restoration Hardware Style Lamp

Moving cross country, there sadly were some casualties in the furniture department. In all honesty, more than I’d care to mention (sad face). One of the smaller little blemishes was this scratch that the front of our couch is now sporting. It’s a chenille sofa, so overall the scratch blends in pretty easily, but still it’s a bummer to have the furniture get nicked up for sure.

Damaged Furniture From Moving

Overall, we’re all settling in nicely though. Malcolm especially, is loving his new home! He’s not camera shy, that’s fo shizzle.

Malcolm the Cat

New to the journey? Read all about our new house, here!

Living La Vida Loca

So now that I’ve officially got that big bad list up of all the things we hope to accomplish with this house, I wanted to hone in on each room in a bit more detail, to kind of show you what I hope each space will look and feel like. Putting together a room you love is a super iterative process, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from creating boards for all of my design clients, is that it’s definitely helpful to get everything down in one space so you can develop a clear picture of how you want the room turn out in the end.

Right now, this is my inspiration picture for the new living room space.

Living Room Inspiration

Found it on pinterest, and I’m pretty sure it’s pulled right out of a magazine (old school, right?). Look at all that yumminess – what’s not to love! 😀

My favorite rooms are soft and neutral, and I really want this next home to have rooms that feel comfortable and lived in, as well as stylish. We’ve got a few staple pieces that we intend to incorporate, namely our big old olive colored velvet sofa. As far as comfort goes, this guy takes the cake. 😀

Deep Velvet Sofa

As I mentioned in the post yesterday, the room is pretty large, so there is a lot of space to get creative. I plan on making a few distinct sitting areas in this room to give us space to spread out a bit. All and all, this is what I think I’d like the room to flow like (at least for it’s first design iteration).

Living Room Layout Since we don’t have a separate TV room, I’m thinking that the TV will have to be directly above the fireplace. Not perfect, but at least that allows for lots of different angels for TV watching! 😀

Here is the mood board I’ve got started for the space, too. I know this will continue to evolve and change, but for now, I feel like it gives me a good starting place to help direct the types of items I’m looking for.

Living Room Mood Board

Much to Jay’s chagrin (since we have NO space in our apartment), I’ve been loading up on items I see on craigslist … when I see a good deal, it’s just so darn hard to pass it up! 😀

This is what the view from my “office desk” looks like right now. In the event of a fire, we’ve got a few obstacles in our path these days.

Moving From House to Apartment

Other than the $12 chairs that the orange tabby is peacefully slumbering away on (!), I also scored some beautiful vintage rattan chairs that I’m super pumped about adding into the mix in the new living room. I found a set of these that I plan to use to flank the back wall for additional seating. They’re pretty small, but very sturdy, so I think they’ll hold up well for the long haul.

Vintage Rattan Chairs

I’ve also got a HomeGoods induced heartbreaker on my hands. See this jewel?

Slipcovered Dining Chair

I found it on clearance for $185 – I know, right!? Considering I’ve been eyeing a nearly identical one at Ballard Designs for $699, I was pretty excited about that price. The only trouble is that I really want two chairs, one to go on either side of the couch. Well, I definitely called the 40+ HomeGoods, TJMaxx and Marshall’s locations in our area and I came up completely empty handed. (Weeping in corner)

Here’s a side shot of this lovely little looker.

Slipcovered Dining Chair

Although it’s possible that they’ll bring in more inventory, I guessing that’s unlikely since it had a red tag on it :'( I’m going to hold onto it for at least a few weeks and see if I’m not able to find me another one (which would be the best luck EVER). #WishfulThinking

I know many of us, myself included, aren’t always able to just snap their fingers and have a room come into place. Although it would be nice to drive on over to Ethan Allen and go on a shopping spree – let’s face it – purchasing all new furniture for a room can be super expensive! With this house, I’m trying my darndest to get as much furniture as possible used (craigslist, thrift store, etc), but it can be pretty tricky to find just what you’re looking for. I guess all that extra work is worth it’s weight in gold when you pay pennies on the dollar for all your new duds, right?

And in closing, I couldn’t resist a cute little photo of the orange boy. 😀

Cute Orange Tabby


Take me Away Tuesday

Since I come across so many lovely images that inspire my home decorating, I decided to start a new series on the blog, Take Me Away Tuesday. Cause let’s be honest, who couldn’t use a Tuesday pick-me up every once and a while chock-full of lovely photos and ideas. I won’t post every Tuesday, just when I have a collection of photos and rooms that are so lovely, that I’m bursting at the seams to share all of them with you! Like today!

Barley Twist Table

Best Entry (Designer David Mitchell)

Unlacquered Brass Faucet

Best Faucet

Bed in Nook

Best Built-in Bed (John B. Murray)

Study Nook

Best Cozy Reading Nook (Highland Showhouse)

Screened in porch with fireplace

Best Screened in Porch

Dry Good Storage

Best Kitchen Organization

Traditional Living Room Fireplace

Best Fireplace

Where have you been finding inspiration these days? Magazines, pinterest, homes of friends and family? I could seriously handle a glass of wine, a fire and a good book next to that fireplace, above! 🙂