The left side of my living room looked like this right after we moved in. This is a very long and narrow space (23’x11′) so while it’s easy to break it up into different zones on each end, it gets a little tough fitting in a really large sofa and TV cabinet and not having everything running along the walls and ending up with a boring layout. And while you may recall I had received a new sofa not that long ago, my choice of wool fabric was really not smart in a house with a bunch of cats so I moved it upstairs to the storage room and may use it when we convert the space into a library. Since then I did however score the rug of my dreams and that caused an entire re-arrangement of the space and I bought a few new pieces to go with it.
This rug is Fool’s Paradise by Marcel Wanders for Moooi Carpets from The Modern Shop. It is soooooo gorgeous, and pretty much ideal in this house of many pets because it is essentially commercial grade and very low pile so it will stand up to wear and tear and fur and constant vacuuming. The flower photo printed on it is SO sharp and the colours are incredible. I opted for round instead of rectangular (and the smaller of the 2 sizes) because I didn’t want to emphasize the long and narrow shape to the room. Even though my sofa is rather big and bulky, by placing it on an angle in the corner it makes it look SO much smaller and really opens up the space.
I had to find a new chair to work with the rug, and came across this Victorian grandfather chair at Yardley’s Antiques. I love the competing florals together. The glass sculpture on the pile of books and glass vase on a stand are from West Elm. The gold with marble top table is from Homesense. The star light under the table is from Gaslight Electric Sign Co.. The antique fireplace screen turned artwork is from Highjinx. The light is the Flos Aim pendant designed by the Bouroullec brothers.
This is a REALLY old chair, and I need to find some trim to cover those staples.
The vase and lidded bowl are vintage. That’s a watermelon peperomia plant. The leaves are adorable.
The art is this photo by Amanda Sebayang from Bali. I purchased a digital copy and had it printed on photoboard 40’x40′ by Posterjack, with a simple frame made by my husband. The fleece blanket is by David Fussenegger and plastic watering can by Qui est Paul? from Alteriors. Pillow from Homesense.
This rug also called for a new coffee table, and I wanted something small so I splurged and purchased an Eero Saarinen for Knoll black marble top side table from Alteriors. Kin tealight holders by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Skultuna from The Modern Shop. Bud vase from General Fine Craft.
More pillows from Homesense.
Vintage media cabinet. Lamp from Homesense. Table base by Pretty Pegs. Vintage wire sculpture from a shop in Montreal and Jieldé light from eBay.
These alcoves were awful. They had a piece of mirror down the center, and curved glass shelves on one side. That had to go. Husband patched the holes and built floating shelves. They are now filled with random trinkets – my cabinets of curiosities.
Last week I shared my dining room makeover here and here, and today I wanted to share my now dark and dramatic living room. I have featured little bits and pieces of it over the past year or so but I never had all the finishing touches done (like trim, and painting out the fireplace tile) until recently. It was finally time to snap some photos and do a little feature on the blog. This is now my favourite room in the house and I am really stoked at the result, even if it will never REALLY be finished because as I mentioned last week, I’m always on the hunt for that “perfect” item. Ok, so here is a before shot:
This photo was taken right after we moved in. Gross taupe walls, even grosser yellow/orange oak floors, mahogany varnished trim and terracotta coloured dirty fireplace tiles.
Everything has been replaced, re-painted or re-stained. The floors, like in the dining room, were stripped and re-stained with Minwax’s Classic Grey. The walls are Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe with Plummett on the ceiling. These 2 colours are incredible and in my top 5 colours of all time. Especially Downpipe – it can look green, yellow, blue, black depending on the amount of light coming in the room.
Sources: The unit next to my desk is vintage Marc Held for Prisunic, manufactured by Flair. Vintage Panton S chair by Vitra. Ikea Alex desk. Artemide Tizio lamp from GR Shop. Vintage Jieldé wall mount light via eBay. Tall plastic plant stand from Plust Collection by Euro3plast from Alteriors. Console table legs by Pretty Pegs. Table top by Daff Design. Featuring former ferals Bernie and Frankie.
This vase is from a local shop now closed, and used to be a really bad minty green. I spray painted it glossy grey. Funky little dried pineapple flowers from blumenstudio.
Cheap pots from Rona/Home Depot/Lowe’s, small handmade pot by Wolf + Sadie (le lou ula)
I have 4 of these white plastic pots from Ikea from many years ago and a crazy big aloe.
Lounge chair from Green Light District. Pillow by Fotofibre. Original painting from a blog reader named Angela from Singapore. Vintage Jieldé purchased from a blog reader. Hanging pot with a fishbone cactus from a shop in Montreal whose name I can’t recall.
Reproduction tulip table from WISEMAN + CROMWELL. Ferm Living pot from The Modern Shop. Thrifted teal West German vase and Japanese (?) box. Vintage grey vase from a care package sent from Jo. Swirly pot handmade by Jeremy Ford.
Here is a photo of my fireplace taken right after we moved in. Boring. Ugly. Those tiles were so terrible.
When the I had tile work done in the foyer and kitchen I also had the tile guy replace the fireplace tile along the front and I painted the tile inside the fireplace with special heat-resistant spray paint. I even had painters tape on hand that was the size of the grout lines to make the tiles stand out a bit more.
I like this MUCH better 🙂
This tile was pretty costly considering I only needed less than 1 box but I really wanted to do a statement tile and these are really fun (and tile selection in this city sucks and it was pretty much the only thing I even remotely liked for this space). They’re a mix of mirrored and cement and other materials that I found at Euro Tile & Stone.
Stay tuned for the other half of the room.
Happy Thanksgiving fellow Canadians! I am going to use this day off from my day job to tweak some photos of my living room/workspace and share them on the blog tomorrow. Because I am short on pets submissions for today’s post this photo acts as a sneak peek for tomorrow as well as my entry for Monday’s pets on furniture. That’s former feral Frankie in the window (that table was built espeically for the cats to bird watch) and his brother Bernie streaking across the space.
Yesterday I shared my dining room makeover, so today I thought I would show you what happened to my credenza. Some may love, some may hate, but it’s working for now so I am going to enjoy it until I can maybe afford something fancy.
Soon after we moved in I noticed Benjamin Curran was selling a bunch of pieces of this walnut veneer (??) vintage furniture in Montreal so off we went with my mom’s massive SUV and trailer and picked up this credenza, a headboard, 2 side tables and an armoire. All for an awesome price (or free because some of it he just wanted to get rid of). I loved the somewhat brutalist pattern in the doors and still do, and it fits PERFECTLY in this alcove (7′ long). It has SO much storage with pull out drawers behind the doors on the left and right sides and drawers down the centre.
Pre-makeover of the room it was pretty cute. But then we went and refinished the floors grey. Then I had that hemlock dining table made (blonde and grey wood). After that the orange tones of this credenza were just AWFUL. We looked into buying Ikea kitchen cabinets to fit in the alcove and getting a marble top made but the cabinets alone with shelving/drawers inside would have been over a thousand dollars. YEAH. NO. And I could not find anything this long that wasn’t a gazillion dollars.
After much thought, I committed the worst crime of all and painted the credenza. It was a bitch of a job but in the end, saved me a ton of money until I can afford something totally fabulous.
I painted it Black Blue by Farrow & Ball that I used on the alcove windows and doors. I figured this was the safest colour choice, and I wanted the dining table to stand out and this to blend in more. It sat like this with an unfinished top for several months. Why you ask? Because I was determined to purchase a piece of white carrara marble for the top because I am obsessed with white carrara marble. Husband called around and we got several insane quotes for around $3,000. UH NO THANKS. Seriously?! We managed to find one place who offered to cut us the piece we needed for $800. I was game, and we visited their warehouse, then the showroom, then the warehouse, then the showroom (why we had to do this I still don’t know) and several emails in between and I was all CAN YOU JUST CUT ME A DAMN PIECE OF MARBLE ALREADY? So guess what happened? Absolutely nothing. After a few emails asking when our marble would be ready, we never received a response. I was fed up at this point and decided these people could go to hell, and I came up with a PLAN B. I enlisted husband to search online for a really nice looking white marble contact paper. And he found a roll on eBay for a grand total with shipping of $50.77.
I was nervous that I would screw up the measurements and cutting but I managed to do a decent job.
I had curled the ends over the side in this photo and not done the front yet, but I realized this would not fly as this paper was VERY thick so I cut the sides off and re-cut separate side pieces. The beauty of this whole project is that this credenza had this raised part on the top so when covered in the paper it looks like a really thick piece of marble. I think in the end this looks better than if I had of stuck a piece of marble on this already raised top.
I sooo dig the pattern on the front of this beast. Too bad I didn’t shut the middle drawer tight. YEESH!
Here’s a detail shot of the marble pattern. There are some air bubbles that I need to poke out, and I probably should have installed it with one of those squeegee things to really get the air out but I was a contact paper virgin and didn’t know any better.
And voilà! My credenza transformation. 🙂
Progress on my house has been slow, and every room had finishing touches that never seemed to get done, like stupid baseboard trim. Thanks to a photo shoot of my home a couple of weeks ago (so exciting!!!) my husband and I finally completed the majority of the rooms, and I spent last weekend shooting the dining and living rooms. More photographing required, but it is a good start, and today I would like to share my dining room in its current state (I say that because I am always changing things around and on the hunt for decor items that are more fab than what I currently have). So above is what the space looked like right after we moved in. Boring white ceiling that did not showcase the amazing curve, horrible HORRIBLE mahogany coloured stain/varnish/crap on all the window trim, doors and corner built-in. All of the hardwood on the main floor is oak and was stained this hideous yellow/orange. Whoever thought red trim and orange floors was a good idea was a complete moron. The previous owners took the chandelier with them and left us with nothing hence the lack of overhead light. The table was the rather small and narrow one from our last house with some random chairs and a bench. This room needed a COMPLETE overhaul. Note: The photo above was taken with a very wide angle lens – the room is 10’x14′ and the alcove is about 1.75′ deep.
A little peek into the room because I had to show you what the gorgeous curved double doors with stained glass leading into the room from the foyer look like. These doors slay me. They are so freaking fabulous. Especially now that they aren’t mahogany!!! The colour is Black Blue by Farrow & Ball.
And this is the space now. All new everything!
The vintage reproduction tulip chairs and credenza I picked up in Montreal from Benjamin Curran. The paint is Calamine on the walls and baseboards and Dove Tale on the ceiling by Farrow & Ball. I have gone dark with most of this house so I decided to go with light colours in here for something a little unexpected and to make this house not seem so cave-like. And mostly so my family will stop poking fun at me.
The cushions are upholstered in brown velvet which is not my first choice but given I have many cats, velvet is really the way to go. One day I will have new cushions made (the foam is basically disintegrating) and upholster them in something crazy like red or a deep burgundy. The rug I picked up at Homesense, and its super duper low pile makes it the easiest rug to clean I have ever owned. We had the floors refinished and had about 2 colours to choose from in the grey family (annoying) so we went with Minwax’s classic grey. Luckily I love how they turned out.
Rona is my all-time favourite source for plants. Their selection is ridiculous and prices are amazing. This guy was I think $16. The pot is maybe from Rona too. (I could use a newer, better one. Maybe in brass).
To the left of the plant in the corner is my version of a bar cart. I hunted for one for months and could not find anything suitable for the space so I went up to my dressing room, pulled all of my shoes out of these plexi cubes, hauled it downstairs and filled it with booze. It was formerly used at a Club Monaco I worked at years ago as a sweater display and when all the old fixtures were getting tossed, I nabbed this. Total score. I have used this in about 8 different applications over the years.
The grey velvet curtains are soooo soft and I love them. Awesome with cats because you can basically shake the fur off. I paid about $80 or $100 for the set at Homesense. Because they have a pocket at the top and they are thick they don’t stay open enough so I had to go get some tie-backs. I found these at Lowe’s for a few bucks. One day I would like to find some super blingy vintage ones.
On the opposite side of the room is this special little set-up. This is a vintage radio my husband of Daff Design picked up for a song. He re-attached the funky fabric, re-hydrated the wood, tore out the old radio guts and replaced it with a bangin’ speaker, a subwoofer and Bluetooth! WOOT!!! PARTY IN THE DINING ROOM!!! Items on top of the radio are vintage, and the lighting bolt light is from Gaslight Electric Sign Co.
The table was made by my husband out of hemlock that was uncovered about 100 years after being sunk in the Queen’s Wharf in Toronto. The variations of colour in the grain, particularly the grey, is absolutely incredible. My husband had a little help from Matt Wallace at Ottawa City Woodshop, and had the simple raw steel base made by ReVolvd.
We found this light fixture in Montreal at Phil’z. It seems to be a big hit with anyone who comes over.
I adore ceiling medallions and I placed an order a little while ago for a whack of these for just about every ceiling fixture in the house (from Decor Group). This one is gorgeous and is perfect ceiling bling.
I’ll talk more about my credenza in another post. It looked nothing like this when I purchased it. On it are my collection of glass and silver and some antique class portraits.
I found the metal wall sculpture a few weeks ago when I was in Montreal getting my tattoo sleeve completed. It was from the same store I purchased the lucite pedestal below it – Cité Déco Meubles. Plant again from Rona. We replaced all of the noticeable switch plates and outlet covers around the house with antique brass art deco style ones from House of Antique Hardware. And because that damn thermostat is right there on the main dining room wall I splurged on one of those cute Nest thermostats from Home Depot.
This built-in hutch is filled with my favourite dishes EVER – South African Wonki Ware from Green Light District, some West German pots and vases to fill the voids, some treasures from Italy and the best salt & pepper bottle grinders by Menu.
I could not get a decent photo of this swinging door that leads into the kitchen but had to share anyway because swinging doors are so rare these days, and it has this really cool glass panel to push on. (We always leave it open).
I really love this room 🙂