My life has been super crazy for the past couple of months and while I am trying to find time to get my kitchen redo completed (may take a while if I end up redoing the floor) a few new things have happened in other spaces. Nothing major but getting anything done around here is a miracle and I need to celebrate it. For starters, I bought a light fixture 2 months ago and it was finally hung up in my living room (that is a dig at the husband who has no excuses). I say hung instead of installed but it literally is just hung on the ceiling. Judging by the mark in the centre of the ceiling when we bought this house, it seems that in another life, there may have been a light fixture. The ceilings and walls in here are plaster, not drywall so I refuse to go tearing holes anywhere for no good reason. I don’t really need a working light in the ceiling as I already have 8 lights in the room but the large expanse of ceiling looked a little bare despite me having put up a ceiling medallion when I painted the room. It was a good start but it was missing something. It was missing THIS GORGEOUS LIGHT.
I found it at my favourite vintage lighting shop – Architectural Antiques. I am so freaking happy with this light fixture. It brings some sparkle into the room, and who doesn’t like sparkle?!
It is killing me that I don’t have art hanging above the sofa yet. UGH!
At the same lighting store I also found this simple amber glass shade fixture for the foyer.
(I tone down the yellow and orange in my photos before posting them, that is how much I detest these floors)
My husband has gotten into woodworking so when I realized he had accumulated a decent stash of really nice wood, I asked him to replace the boring teak (?) wood top to my bench I use as a plant stand in the living room. He used a gorgeous piece of butternut.
When I painted my living room last month I had decided to fill the shelves at the back of the room with plants. I quickly realized what a dumb idea that was given the lack of decent sunlight. So the other day I grabbed all of the knick-knacks (and some others) I had previously displayed on my mantel and swapped them with the plants. I then piled the plants on the bench I had in front of the window. I am much happier with this arrangement and so seem my plants (except one but I don’t want to talk about it – it was my favourite).
Vintage radio converted into Bluetooth speaker = my husband’s shop Daff Design. Lamp & tall brown vase = Almonte flea market. 2 smaller brown/beige vases = The White Monkey. Spool with scissors = Style Labo. Silver egg from Puerto Vallarta.
I have been dying to get a new rug for the dining room to replace my cowhide that was just not doing it for me. I came across this rug at Homesense last weekend and while it is not super exciting, it is EXACTLY what I needed. It needed to be rather large – about 7’x10′ to fit the new table we will eventually have = CHECK!, have a really short pile because my cats always head right for the rugs when they barf = CHECK!, and be super easy to clean = CHECK! And it was only $300. 🙂
So here is part 2 of my living room paint makeover. I think I should begin with a before photo. 🙂
And by the miracle of paint, Farrow and Ball‘s downpipe and plummett in this case, VOILA!
And here is the rest of my living room. It is truly amazing how cozy dark walls like this can be.
A side note: there are 9 light sources in this room. And it is still fairly dark at night when they are all on. I LOVE IT!
Here is a mid-paint shot of what was happening on either side of the window. If you look closely in the first photo you’ll see there were mirrors inset into these nooks, with little curved glass shelves. GROSS. My husband took out the mirrors and patched the crap out of the remaining gap, and built floating shelves across. I used to hate these columns but now I think they look pretty sweet.
I bought a bunch of plants to fill the shelves in the hopes they would distract from the columns when they grow big and beautiful. Now I don’t really care if they distract or not.
Pillows: Ikea and Homesense Staghorn fern: Sparrow Floral Design
Blanket under Lucky: an antique shop in Prince Edward Island
Flos Aim light, and Oaxacan pottery I picked up on a few trips to Puerto Vallarta, on top of an old marble tulip table I think an Italian relative made back in the day.
Vintage West German vases filled with dried flowers from around the house (and the coolest Tillandsia from blumenstudio), furry stool I picked up at Homesense Saturday, J104 chair By Hay Denmark via The Modern Shop, rug from Third World Bazaar, goose decoy was a wedding gift from my inlaws, antlers from the wilds of Alberta.
And yaaasssssss, my Jieldé wall sconces on either side of the fireplace. The only gift I have ever received (from hubby) where I was so shocked and delighted that I burst into tears. And now I finally get to put them to use.
When the painting was done I thought the ceiling looked a little too plain so I picked up a ceiling medallion from Rona for $50
The point of this photo was an attempt to get a decent photo of all of the paint colours/finishes in one shot. Success. 🙂
It is finally time to reveal my now very dark living room. This freaking room took me FOUR weekends to complete. What a pain in the arse. And I didn’t even sand the trim like I should have. The result is pretty dramatic and I absolutely 100% love it. Farrow and Ball‘s downpipe is the most beautiful colour I have ever used and it exceeded my expectations. I used it in estate emulsion (flat) on the walls, full gloss for all of the trim and I used plummett in estate emulsion on the ceiling. I wanted to go with downpipe on the ceiling too but my husband was already losing it over the choice of such a dark wall colour so I caved. They are the perfect combination though as both have hints of green.
I took tons of photos so I thought I would split this post into 2. This post focuses on one side of the rather long space, where my workspace is located. And I should point out that aside from buying a new desk (my previous one was rickety and too small) everything in this room is from my previous home, so it’s a bit of a work in progress although all the major pieces are staying. (And note that I have alot to learn on photographing such a dark space. It’s so tricky!!!)
The photo above is the view from the foyer. TV watching/hangout area is to the left of the fireplace (the next post).
I have rugs all over the floor because the terrible orange/yellow stain on the hardwood makes me pukey. The cowhide needs to be replaced with something darker.
Oh – how about a before shot for impact…
Better now? I would say so!
Conveniently, the curtains I bought at Ikea when we first moved in turned out to be almost identical to the wall colour. I came across the desk on my last trip to Ikea (it’s the Alex) – I wasn’t really looking to buy a desk there but it was too perfect in style and size and there’s that same grey again! I liked the idea of going monochromatic in the space. The table in the corner was found at an antique shop in Almonte a few weeks ago. I haven’t figured out what colour to paint it yet. I think it needs a touch of fluro pink.
Opposite my desk was supposed to be a cat corner but I decided to hell with that, my Panton chairs needed a new home (the chairs always have faux sheepskins on them and as I look behind me right now, both chairs are kitty-occupied so it’s the cat corner after all!). I’m not happy with this corner so I will be giving it more thought. It is a great place for one of my husband’s revamped vintage radios – gutted with new speakers and bluetooth so I connect to it from my PC to play music. (Hubby is leaving his job after the holidays and doing this and other projects full time *GASP* so do have a gander at his shop – Daff Design)
Blanc de chine lamp from eBay I just unearthed from the basement (glad I never had any takers when I was selling this pair) and a doily bowl I made that stored my phone cable and lip gloss.
My beloved 2 arm Jielde lights up the corner beautifully.
Having just ended a four day weekend, I managed to get some photos taken around my house and get them organized for a couple of posts. This first post is to show you the new dining chairs I purchased, along with a few rugs to help hide my hideous floors. As I hinted a couple of weeks ago, I got my hands on a set of eight vintage reproduction tulip chairs, from Benjamin Curran in Montreal. Yes, EIGHT. GIDDY UP! They are fantastic for repros – the bases are steel and the seats are fibreglass. They are upholstered in a chocolate brown velvet which I am slowly learning to love – especially the velvet part. When it comes time to vacuum up the cat fur it’s a breeze, so I think the velvet will stick around a while. Or I need to find some other colour of velvet to reupholster them with. Please keep in mind with these photos that I have done nothing with this room except purchase the light fixture and credenza. I need a new larger dining table, paint, new curtains, a new rug (this one makes the chairs look really beige which is driving me nuts – I’m on the hunt for a replacement to the cowhide) and whatever else I can come up with.
A couple of weekends ago my husband and I took a drive out to check out the Third World Bazaar in Manotick. They are open 6 weekends a year around Thanksgiving, and carry beautiful products sourced from around the world – Bangladesh, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Guatemala, Indonesia etc. I try to go every year (my sister’s godmother Brenda Cavaciutti helps run it – it’s one of the only times I get to see her) and always come home with a car full of goodies. This year it was all about rugs, required to help hide my yellow/orange stained hardwood floors. I found 3 small rugs – wool kilims from Morocco, Pakistan and India. I have 2 in the living room and 1 in the foyer. The cats freaking LOVE them. Which is great seeing how easy it is to get cat fur off of wool (that was a totally sarcastic remark). They’re doing the trick though so I can’t complain. P.S. This weekend is the last chance to hit the bazaar this year so GO!!!