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!!!
I have been trying to enjoy summer, especially since it is winding down and frigid temperatures are right around the corner (it makes me nauseous typing that). Funny, my younger sister and her family, my husband and I and our parents were hanging out in my parents pool on the weekend talking about maybe going to Hawaii, and our typical trip to Puerto Vallarta in February…and we started laughing because it was 35 C out and we are already talking about what we plan to do to survive another Ottawa winter. Anyway, I have been spending time at their pool instead of getting much done around the house but given how much we love this place, I think we will be here a while and will have tons of time. We did venture to Montreal one day a couple of weeks ago and managed to score the coolest credenza/sideboard and light fixture for our dining room. Gawd I love them both!
The night before we went to Montreal I mentioned on Instagram that if anyone had any tips for Mtrl shopping to shoot them my way. Jennifer, my saviour, suggested checking out Benjamin Curran‘s wares. Am I ever glad I gave him a call to check out his storage space! We scored this amazing vintage walnut credenza with a Brutalist pattern for an awesome price, along with a matching highboy for my husband’s dressing room. Good bye craptastic metro shelving! I am so excited to finally have a dining room again with proper storage for dishes and whatever else I don’t want in the kitchen.
I pimped out the top of the credenza in a white and black colour scheme…for now. I always change things up.
Vintage West German vases, Green Light District Wonki Ware dessert bowls, platter and pasta bowls (my favourite dishes of all time), small bowl bowl by Don Cormier from General Fine Craft, Catherine Holm bowl from Samantha Howard Vintage, Tillandsia plant from blumenstudio, short candleholder by Normann Copenhagen from The Modern Shop, tall candleholder by John Ward from General Fine Craft
More vintage West German vases, Menu salt and pepper grinders from Greyhorne Interiors (highly recommend these grinders!!!), more Wonki Ware, pot by Hay from The Modern Shop, vintage hand-forged metal rose from the Gore St. flea market in Perth
Say hello to our new funky light fixture! Damn I love this thing! We found it at Phil’z 20th Century Furniture. We had to fold it all up to get it in our car, so when we went to install it, it took us about 20 minutes of fiddling to figure out how all the lights should be aligned.
It’s so hot. I even went and stood out on the sidewalk the night we installed it to see how it looks to passerby. *dork*
We need a bar cart. I’m over the crate filled with booze. And jeezus this room needs paint desperately. I still don’t know what colour…..
Before heading into Montreal we stopped at the flea market in LaChute. It was pretty much a waste of time – which is a disappointment because there are NO decent flea markets within several hours of Ottawa. WTF?!?! We did find a few measly items. Like this fireplace screen for $30. We haven’t had a fireplace in 7.5 years so I am determined to use this one every now and then this winter. (Gawd that brown tiles is GROSS)
A few small things – a glass serving bowl, a preserved butterfly/moth/whatever it is, a shaving brush (says GERMANY on the end of the handle) and an iron bug that I figured might be meant as a door stopper.
Bug in action under my bedroom door.
New dish for the cats’ water.
Found this super cute hanging pot at Galerie CO. What a fabulous store. I was drooling over the NLXL wallpaper sample books.
My birthday was Sunday, and my husband took me to The White Monkey, one of my favourite retro furniture stores around. Sadly, all I picked up was this mirror.
This vintage wooden toolbox from Highjinx has been on my dining table for some time, but now with a busy credenza I thought it needed a new home in my kitchen. I love it here. I just need to get some scrap wood from the hubs to line the bottom so the contents are raised up a bit.