After Christmas, I decided to return the black & white pillows we originally had on the sofa.
I loved them, but they cost a pretty penny, and I couldn't stand having spent that much on pillows when I knew I could (eventually) make my own for so much less. So, here is a closer view of my second attempt at sewing pillows! (just click the pic. to make it larger)
The fabric is a black & white vertical ticking stripe with a ruffle sewn down the middle (the stripes on the ruffle are horizontal). Due to some trial & error cutting and sewing, I didn't have enough fabric for the back of the pillows, so I just used some plain black material I had on my scrap shelf. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, although I am in NO hurry to ever use any stretchy or jersey fabric ever again. What a pain!
You can also see the art we hung over the sofa. The two photos were taken by my mom on our trip to Italy (I was a teenager at the time & didn't yet care enough about photography... thank goodness she was there, too!) The frame in the middle was on clearance at Kohl's with a weird metallic flower print in it, but I changed it out and framed a piece of scrapbook paper that matches our yellow accent color. Easy, squeezy!
The chair got a new pillow from my second home, HomeGoods, and we also got two new lamps to flank the sofa that fit the scale of the room much better than the old ones (which I still love, but will hopefully have a better home in the dining room). The lamps were a grrrreatttt deal (I'd been stalking identical lamps at the Shades of Light Decorating Outlet for months, and they never dropped below $80). I also LOVE the shades that came with them. I knew immediately that I wanted to cover the shades with fabric, and thanks to the metallic silver lining of the lamp shades, I could cover them without darkening the light at all.
Here is another view of one of the lamps, where you can also see the art that we hung behind the chair. You can't see them too well, but they are signed Beverly Purdue prints of two elephants from behind, and two zebras resting their heads on each other. They remind us of our Africa trip, especially since we snapped our own photo of zebras doing the same thing while on our safari.
Oops, sorry for the tangent! The next area of the living room that we (okay, I) spent a TON of time on is the mantel/fireplace. We still haven't painted the fireplace, but we love the way it looks for now... until we decide whether or not to paint it/what color to paint it. Here it is this past winter (so long ago, I know):
The best thing we did was to cover up the nasty, sooty (is that even a word?) blocks inside of the fireplace. Stephen still has dreams of building fires in the winter, so we didn't want to do anything too permanent (high temperature paint was an option, but we could only find it locally in a spray... not too great for indoors). I had quite a bit of the black & white fabric (which is the same one we used to cover the lampshade), so I decided just to buy some cheap foamboard, cover it, and stick it in there to disguise the nastiness. It worked! For a couple extra dollars, I was able to buy black foamboard for the sides, which was easier than covering white foamboard with more fabric.
It took an embarrassingly long time for me to decide on all the accessories, but I really do love how it all turned out. It's a good thing too, since many evenings are spent on the couch, therefore staring right at the fireplace. It's so nice to like what we see! The photos are two of my favorites- one of us walking along the beach in Nantucket, and the other of a deserted beach in Hawaii. It seems that a "theme" of beachy and/or avian accents are abundant in our house... is that a weird combination? Oh well, it works for us!
So just to make this post even longer, here is the last corner of the living room, which is also the most unfinished area.
The dresser was Stephen's as a child, and we painted it black and added new hardware when it lived in our previous house/apt. Now, our plan is to somewhat alter the top drawer area to make a shelf for the cable box & DVD player, while also leaving part of the drawer functional. We'll see how that project turns out in the (hopefully very near) future.
We also have this little guy that we plan to hang above the TV. I don't have a finished picture, but here it is before its coat of white (along with a "during" shot of a little visitor on the freshly painted piece).
Well, I think I've sufficiently ignored the rest of my to-do list enough for today... ciao!