some of my favorite fabrics, arranged a la Soulemama
retro filing box which now holds some of my favorite music
the one item that I painted (from brown to white) in the room - our entertainment cabinet/tv stand which just has to last through the next year or so because I am sure it will not survive another move!
and I'm so happy that I found a spot for my favorite thrifted painting
I think I've been teasing you long enough. For a recap, here is the before: and the after... Before... and what do we do with a wall that we don't like? Fill it with maps, of course! Also, there's a good view of the rug that gave me such a headache. It took even more work than what I shared here as it got bigger and I'll have to tell you how I finally got it to stay flat when I'm done being mad at it for being such a hassle! The couch, all cleaned up. You also get a view of how this area transitions into the play area. More living room details in the next post...stay tuned.
I promise I had good intentions to blog a little more often this week - remember how I said Peter was starting summer school this week? I thought I might have a few more quiet moments at home, just Ned and me. Well, really I've had a lot more moments sitting on the floor with Ned in Peter's classroom reassuring him that he is fine. The first day was pretty awful, for both of us. The second day was better. Hopefully we'll be on our way next week.
Last Saturday, I woke up at about six in the morning and decided I couldn't take the ugliness of the kitchen curtains anymore (see ugliness above in the "Before" shot). Seriously, these things are paper thin, 85% polyester scratchy fabric and stained with greasy dust because no one had bothered to wash them. So, I dragged my feet out of bed and started sewing. I had my new curtains almost finished by the time the boys woke up at 9 am! It is so unlike them to sleep this late and it was so nice!
I got the great fabric from Randi'sshop - not a great picture here, but this is the only window in that room, so it made getting the lighting right sort of impossible for me, the amateur photographer. The walls in the kitchen are covered with the ugliest contact paper and there was no way I was going to go the trouble of removing that when we're only living here for a year, so I was trying to work with that color (sort of a beige-salmon). This fabric did the trick! I am loving those curtain rings too - they are from IKEA and I've used them on all of the curtains in the house. I love just making a straight panel and hooking it on the rings - so easy!
The curtains are finished and the maps are up - yes, I used vintage road maps to cover up what one commenter aptly referred to as "puke on walls." If the house were mine, I probably would've done something more permanent, but I think this really works for a rental.
The idea came after I saw a vintage map tablecloth on a wall. It made me think of the cupboard full of road maps that my grandparents had in a cupboard in the house I grew up in. My grandparents have driven their car to a lot of places. My grandpa worked for IBM and was sent to school in New York once. The whole family drove the car across the nation and spent a few months there. My mother always talks about how much that experience opened the eyes of a born and raised in Utah girl. Unfortunately, I encouraged my Grandma to get rid of most of those maps a couple of years ago when I was helping her purge, so I bought a couple of lots of maps from eBay.
There are a few other walls in the house that have been or will be covered with these maps. We all enjoy looking at them, especially Ryan. And Peter brought one of the leftover maps to the table today and said, "Where do you want to go, Mommy?" so we're all getting from these maps what I hoped they would accomplish - a sense of adventure and a feeling of wanting to hit the road. At some point in my life, I want to take a cross-country road trip, so I'm fueling the desire in those who will hopefully join me on that journey.
I think the entry is going to look even better after I re-do the two pieces of furniture I picked up a couple of weeks ago at the thrift store. Along with this chair, I've got three other wood chairs with upholstered seats now that will all be painted white and have various homes throughout the house, but I haven't decided how to do the re-upholstering. And I'm thinking about a nice golden yellow for the side table - it is actually painted in some sort of faux wood finish right now and I'm trying to decide if I need to strip it or not.
I finally have one area of the house ready to show - our little play area. The living room is short and wide and naturally separated into two spaces by the front door (which you can't see from the road because of all of the pine trees so everyone comes in the back door anyway, but that's another chapter in the book of this quirky house), so we decided to make half of it into a play area for the kids.
This is the best before picture I have of the area, taken when we looked at the place the second time.
And the afters....
The Entire Area - the rug was a clearance deal from Target. I almost paid as much to ship it as I paid for the rug, but still a great deal and covering up as much of the nasty carpet as possible is a must!
The bookshelves - both were pieces we had before. The white one is actually one from Ryan's childhood and I painted it white. It was a dark blue, about the same color as the corner chair in the overview pic above. I considered keeping it the same color, but after we put up our white bookcase in the living room, we liked the white so much that we decided everything that could possibly be turned white should be painted.
My one splurge for the room was a set of Trofast toy storage units from Ikea. I knew that if I were going to have most of the toys that close to the living room and dining area that I would need them to be easy to put away and then not seen when they are put away. My favorite drawer is full of a set of vintage wood blocks I found a couple of months ago.
My wonderful Mom came two weeks before we moved and helped make the curtains. I was lucky enough to have that ribbon in my stash - a roll I bough when our local Hancock's went out of business. The top is just white muslin and the bottom is Alexander Henry's Traffic Jam. The chair is another great thrift find, bought for a whopping $2.25. I had planned to put it in the bathroom to sit on when bathing the boys, but it didn't fit, so I thought it added a little something here. I will probably make a cushion for it, but there are so many sewing projects right now that it's on the backburner.
The top shelf of the bookcase is a mini-office space - a vintage aluminum pan I picked up a while back and filled with envelopes, staples, tape, and all those things that the boys love to play with but we can never find if we let them. The two bread pans are for mail and bills.
And a bit of decor...the top print is from Candace at Sparkle Power and the bottom is from John W. Golden and both were hanging in other areas of our previous place. The globe is thrifted - does it count as vintage becuase it still has the USSR on it? We bought it as a family a week or two before we moved. You'll see as I show you more of the house that there is a bit of a geography/map theme.
I'm quite pleased with it. I'll probably add a few more things - maybe some pennant banners over the windows and possibly more artwork, but overall I'm liking the looks and it seems to be functioning well for the boys and for me.