Kelly's Korner hosts a weekly Show Us Your Life series and this week's topic is Living Rooms. I love seeing how regular people live and finding ideas to make daily life a bit easier. We've been having some internet connectivity issues all weekend so I'm joining the party late. Better late than never, right? Now there are over 200 hundred living rooms linked up and ready for me to explore! After I write about our own living room and share lots of photos...
If you've read our blog before, you may know that our house was built in 1892. We don't have a formal living room and family room like so many Americans do today. Our living room isn't a show piece and is really a room we use daily. When we moved in five years ago the living room was one of the first rooms we updated. I don't have any before photos from 2005. Sorry! We removed the previous owner's disgusting blue carpet that had suffered ten years of abuse from chain smoking renters (we met them when we toured our diamond in the rough) and an absentee landlord. Apparently, they never vacuumed or had given up years before because Jake and my father in law, Pete, found a quarter inch of dirt accumulated under the carpet padding. Yuck! After all the nasty carpet was removed, we speed painted the walls and had new berber carpet installed.
Our living room in 2008
It was looking pretty boring in 2008, huh? Last summer Jake and I removed all the berber carpet on our first floor and installed a quality laminate flooring ourselves. It's held up wonderfully to the pups. I'd recommend it for any one with dogs because it still looks brand new one year later. The Shark steam mop works wonders too. We have 'real' hardwood floors on the second floor and wide pumpkin pine floors on our third floor. Of course, we'd never remove the real hardwood flooring that is in great shape but I love that I don't have to worry about any scratches or damage downstairs.
Our living room this week!
It's a little more lively now! Kelly's house tour party starting with living rooms is well timed for me because I had just given our living room a very thorough cleaning before we left for our Cape Cod vacation last week. We're lucky that many original features like the molding are still here. We've had this couch since 2003 and it's still in pretty good shape. Each end has a recliner so this beast is heavy. It was a housewarming gift for our previous house...Thank you, Dad! :) We picked the chaise up from Bob's (discount furniture store) for $100 a few years ago. The coffee table is on wheels so it's easy to slide around the corner into the foyer for some puppy play time. The big table top is perfect for crafting in front of the tv.
FYI, for anyone that is paint color obsessed like me, this is Georgian Green from Benjamin Moore's Historic Color collection. Our dining room is the same color and it has been surprisingly versatile. We didn't need to repaint when we changed the flooring. Yay!
We got the coffee table and two end tables as a closeout deal from Bob's for $100 in January. The top of the coffee table lifts up and has tons of storage available. It's completely empty right now though. We keep an apple basket of dog toys under the end table. Here's what's in the end table's little drawer: remotes, mini flashlight, pens, my favorite lip balm (Burt's Bees), and the 2010 MLB schedule. The flashlight is a must have item for searching out all dog toys that they manage to wedge under the couch, chaise, and coffee table. Here's a close up of the end table that provides a better look at the floor. What do you think of our flooring choice?
The rocking chair is a new addition from Ikea. Jake and I went there for the first time last week and this was his big ticket pick ($150). You'll see some of my Ikea picks in next week's tour. I covered the red Ikea cushion with a $3 throw blanket (Big Lot's last year) to help keep Bru's slobber off it. Each window has a set of simple crushed voile sheers ($10 pair) and casual white cotton ($20 pair) from Target.
The pressed tin ceilings downstairs are one of my favorite things in this old house.
I love the fireplace and mantle. I decided to go with mantle decor that is light and airy for fall. This is a working wood burning fireplace but Jake and I have never used it. I love all the carvings but the grooves and details are tricky to keep clean. Do you have any tips?
The flowers on the mantle are all from one $3.99 Whole Foods bouquet. I like to keep some Smiling Hill Farm milk bottles to use as vases instead of returning them for the $1 deposit. The single daisy is in a vintage shot glass. We got a bunch of glassware when Jake's grandma relocated to SC a few years ago. Since we have no alcohol in our house except some cheap wine bought three years ago for our island's wine rack, flowers are the best use I've found for them. :)
The bottle of sand and shell are from a Jordan family trip to the Outer Banks, NC in 2003. The green vase was a couple bucks at Ikea and the white frame was from TJ Maxx years ago.
I really like the chandeliers that came with this house too. Didn't Jake do a nice job taking this photo? I like that they add a little sparkle but aren't over the top. They were covered in smokers grime when we bought the house but I cleaned them up with Simple Green. Once a year I take all the crystals off and clean them with Simple Green again. I took the photo hanging over the mantle at Pine Point Beach in March.
The pups love to hang out in the living room. Brewster the Super Drooler is getting pretty small, eh?
Speaking of the pups hanging out in the living room, the throw pillows have removable covers that we picked up on clearance at Target for $3 each. We have four more exactly like these ones that are turquoise and green instead red and orange. I can make pillow covers but I can't make durable zippered covers for $3 each. These certainly aren't 'designer' but being able to remove them and toss them in the wash frequently makes them priceless to me. :) We also have a rotation of six queen sized fleece blankets (2 khaki, 2 dark brown, 1 orange, 1 lime) that serve as couch and chaise covers year round. They were all discounted or clearance finds at Walmart/Target, are durable, and stay in place well. It's super easy to quickly switch from pops of color to neutrals or mix and match.
Yes, we allow them on the furniture. :)
Stay tuned next week's topic is Master Bedrooms!