Thursday, November 20, 2014

Laura's Living Room: Addressing the Form and the Function

The first two questions I like to consider when decorating a space are "what do we have to work with?" and  "how does/should the space function?"  Laura's living room is really long and narrow, which can be a bit more difficult, but I knew the confines of the space could be a shining point.  And how does the space need to function?  Along with the typical needs of a family with young kids, Laura and Craig planted a church last fall and their house is hustling and bustling with gatherings several nights a week.  While design is important to them, they need the space to function for everything from adult meetings of 5 to small groups of 20, with gangs of children running around too.

My approach to any big space is to think in terms of smaller areas but keeping things consistent throughout the room with color.  We decided on 3 distinct spaces: the main living area - specifically for TV watching and entertaining, a place for built-ins and reading, and a smaller conversational area. 

We started with the main living area and the biggest piece of furniture: the couch.  Laura fell in love with Room and Board's, Hutton, but when she found a similar shape and size on craigslist, we decided to order the fabric she was going to have the Hutton made in and have the craigslist couch reupholstered.  It ended up costing almost half of what the Hutton would have been and the uniqueness of a vintage piece is always a plus in my book.

Since we saved with the couch, we decided to splurge on the ottoman.  It's a custom order from Nell Hills, and it's like butter.  It's comfortable to put your feet up on, loads of extra seating and something that looks better with age (the kids eat breakfast on it daily, and Laura hasn't had any issues).  

The rug is another craigslist score and has to be the silkiest Persian I've ever stepped foot on.  I love the pattern it brings to the space, yet the colors are neutral enough to work with almost anything. We wanted to bring in something conversational to this space, so we purchased the womb chair (and that beautiful marble tulip table) from Overstock.  

We got that far and weren't 100% sure what to put on the other side of the sofa.  While we wanted to designate spaces, the idea of them working together when need be was ideal.  That's when I stumbled upon the Clancy daybed from Arhaus, and I think it really makes the space.

Not only does it allow your eye to flow through the room, it acts as seating for either area.
Arhaus' upholstered furniture is available in an incredible amount of fabrics - this piece could be ordered in over 500 - and many of them at no additional charge.  We went with View Grey, which is a beautiful, velvety material that has held up wonderfully to kids thus far.

Have you had to work with a long and narrow space before?  What did you do to break it up a bit?


*This post is in partnership with Arhaus.  Thank you for supporting those who make The Makerista possible.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Laura's Living Room Reveal

Several months ago my friend, Laura, asked if I would be willing to help her makeover her living room. I was so excited to help tackle this space in her home, and the process has been a blast. Laura has an incredible eye for design and is quite the bargain hunter.  We have very similar styles, and that made the search for treasures really fun.

Laura and I both leans towards a traditional foundation with modern touches.  For main living areas we prefer big neutrals that allow us to have fun with color in smaller doses.  Laura's living room was in great shape and the bones of her historical home can't be beat, but her style had evolved, and she was ready for the space to reflect that.  There is literally not a single item left from before, yet the space feels collected over time.

I'm proud to say that this room is not only a mix of styles, it's also a mix of price points and DIY vs. store bought.  I'll be sharing our approach to this long and narrow living room that needs to function in several different ways, along with lots of details in the next coming weeks.

Is there anything specific you're curious about?


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bringing on the Holidays Without the Tree

I always have mixed feelings when it comes to early Christmas decorating.  On the one hand, I like to put quite a bit of time and energy into holiday decor, so I hate for that to only lasts a few weeks.  But on the other hand, I don't like to begin so early that I'm over it by the time Christmas arrives.  I actually prefer to leave my tree up well into January, because it's those dreary winter evenings that need a bit of sparkle.  Did you know the twelve days of Christmas technically start on Christmas day?   

But there is still that itch to start getting festive before Thanksgiving.  Instead of pulling out the tree and tinsel, I've found a better way to feed my holiday spirit and that's with scent.

The older I get, the more I realize how important smell is.  Smells are more memorable than any other sense, and the holidays are filled with memories one hopes to remember.  My favorite smell this time of year is pine.  It evokes thoughts of tree-trimming, cookie-decorating, and family from afar gathering for fun and food.

Living in the cabin this year doesn't allow much space for holiday decor, but I have room for a few wintery touches and some everyday items in a special scent.  Thymes graciously sent me their collection of Frasier Fir products, and I have to say - I am impressed.  The containers are beautiful and the scent is like a glimpse of fresh-cut Christmas with every hand washed and candle lit.

Dish Soap - anything to make hand-washing dishes more pleasant.

As I begin to consider holiday gifts, their candles would make the perfect something for a hostess or that woman in your life who already has everything.  And the packaging doesn't require any gift wrap.  Simply lovely.  

Is there a scent that evokes holiday memories for you?  What are those memories?  

You can shop all of Thymes wonderful scents here.  


*This post is in partnership with Thymes.  Thank you for supporting the companies that make The Makerista possible.  Enjoa free Fragrance Studio Sample Kit (includes 18 fragrances) with any purchase of $25 or more.