Tag: family room

Simplifying Mantel

I’ve been busy doing a big January purge this last week, as I’m sure many of you are. I actually cleaned out my fridge for the first time in…well, let’s just say, WAY too long. I purged a bunch of clothes (mine and the baby’s), cleaned out one of the master bedroom closets (and we built shelves for it, which has given us a LOT more storage), cleaned out my pantry, and started clearing out space in the “attic/loft” storage area.

As part of this purging process, I’ve started to crave simpler decor. I mean, having lots of knick-knacks is nice but sometimes the best-looking house is just a minimal, neat one. So for example, in the family room I changed up the decor on the fireplace mantel to make it a bit more monochromatic and simple. This is how it looks now.

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Whereas this is how it looked before:

roman shades

It’s quite a bit less busy now and more restful to the eyes.

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I pared down my milk glass collection to just a few favorites.

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I’m not a fan of fake flowers in general but these gold eucalyptus branches don’t even look like they’re TRYING to be real, so they’re ok (plus they were $1 a stem on clearance at Michaels).

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As some of you may have noticed, we got a new chair. The “modern” wingback is from the IKEA as-is section marked down from $300 to $150. It was in great condition and we wanted a chair for that corner so we got it. After several parties where we had people sitting on the FLOOR in that corner we realized we needed to get a chair there.

It is definitely quite a bit darker than I would like, but with a toddler using this room as her playroom, it’s just safer and more practical. Crayon, pen and food stains practically disappear into the dark fabric. The family room is our “comfortable” room, not our “showcase” room haha. Plus I can always sew a slipcover for it someday if I decide I want to brave such a big project =). It is actually a really sturdy and comfy chair.

Chris is totally going to roll his eyes at me, but I’m thinking of switching up the pillow covers to keep them a little more consistent with each other in color. I might head over to Home Fabrics this afternoon to see what they have.

Do you feel an urge to purge in January? What have you been doing?

Sharing at Remodelaholic!

Toy Organization in the Family Room

The other day I had a little mom date with a friend after the babies were asleep (the dads stayed with the kids) and we went shopping at Daiso, a Japanese discount store that’s pretty common in Orange County (there are 3 that I know of). Yes, because that’s where we go for fun now. To a Japanese dollar store! I picked up these three cute little bins for $1.50 each.

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I don’t know if Daiso stores are common in the rest of the country, but I love them! They have so many cute items, many of them are much nicer than what you would get at a regular dollar store, and everything is $1.50 unless otherwise indicated. Cute little food containers, Japanese-style bowls and plates, adorable stationery, and pretty much every functional molded plastic item you could imagine. I also got a pair of baby chopsticks for Baby Brownie, a pinwheel, and a few Japanese drinks (cans of green tea were $1)…

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I had kind of been wondering for a while about what to do with the short cubbies in the Expedit media unit in the family room. We don’t have a whole lot of electronic components, just a blue-ray player, so I wanted to fill up the rest of the space with toy storage so Baby Brownie could reach. These bins were perfect for storing small toys and balls that would otherwise get lost in her big toy bins.

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In the left bin, I store a few diapers and a small package of wipes for when I need to change the baby on the go. Like when she’s playing and she’s got a full diaper and she refuses to have her diaper changed in her room because she doesn’t want to stop playing. She will literally run away and hide! At least now I don’t have to drag her kicking and screaming back to her room.

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In the tray on the right I have her peg puzzles stored as well as her magnetic drawing board and some sticker books. It helps to have them right there at eye level. Baby Brownie can see them and get them out herself and play independently. The baskets also hide the unsightly cords from the TV. I’m still figuring out what to do on the top shelf to hide the cords. The blue-ray player does get quite hot so I don’t want to put anything on top of it.

So now the family room is a little bit more organized. This room is pretty much Baby Brownie’s playroom so it’s nice to have it be a bit easier for her to access her toys.

Quick Update with IKEA Cushions

I’m fortunate to live close enough to an IKEA that the words “IKEA run” are in my vocabulary. Although the giant home furnishings retailer is notorious for gobbling up entire Saturday afternoons (and destroying relationships, Re: 30 Rock), I’ve perfected the art of going straight to what I need, grabbing it, and little else. This time, the baby and I were in and out in less than 45 minutes!

I had been wanting to add more color to the family room couch and I thought some cushions would let me do so quickly and affordably:

Update sofa with IKEA cushions

I ended up going with the Sanela turquoise cotton velvet pillow covers at $7 and the Fjadrar feather-stuffed inner cushions at $6.99 each. So that comes to about $14 a pillow, which is pretty reasonable, especially for velvet. And since the inner cushion can be easily removed, I can switch the cushion covers easily without having to buy a whole new cushion!

family room sofa front 2

sofa with blue cushions

I really think those blue cushions add a certain je ne sais quoi to the room, don’t you? Hee hee. They give it a more coastal and relaxed vibe and actually help the red/brown design on the cream cushions to pop more (the cream cushions are made from World Market napkins). And I love how they pick up the shades of blue in the painting on the left.

I also grabbed the Emmie Kvist long pillow:

Guest bed

I was originally going to put it on the sofa but it didn’t work. It was too big and the pattern was too dark. So I threw it on the guest bed and liked it.

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It’s a lot of pattern but this room kind of needs it. Those walls really need some art. And I’m kind of over the orangey-red nightstands. They’re fun but they’re starting to look a bit juvenile. I’ve been considering painting them a glossy smoke gray to make them look a bit more sophisticated.

Ok! Well, that’s just a quick little update with IKEA pillows. What great deals have you found at IKEA lately?

Peek Inside the Family Room

Well, this post has been a long time coming. I’ve shared how we gutted the family room, painted the walls, spray painted the spiral staircase, and refaced the fireplace, but I haven’t shown pictures of the actual room yet. Mostly because…well, to be honest, most of the time, that room is a mess. It’s covered in toys and random bits of laundry, and the odd Cheerio here or there. But yesterday I went into a mini frenzy of tidying up and I got a few photos to show for it!

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That sofa is a hand-me-down from family. It’s still in good shape so we’re not planning to buy a new one anytime soon. So I need to make the dark color work for us. I’m hoping to add in some more bright and light cushions (hmm…Chris won’t be too happy about that). Maybe in light blues?

family room sofa front

This offset window is very frustrating. It was added to the room before the corner fireplace was installed, so it’s totally off-center. I thought about hanging curtains on either side to help visually center it more, but I can’t because the curtains’ proximity to the fireplace would be a fire hazard. So I’m planning to install a roman shade, and create a grouping of paintings/pictures to the left of the window to help balance it out.

Those awesome midcentury oak Parsons tables are also hand-me-downs. They look a little less orange in person and I love them. The top of the table has a beautiful herringbone pattern.

loveseat and spiral staircase

The loveseat butts up against the spiral staircase that we repainted. Wow, it’s amazing how when you take a picture of a space you really get a different perspective of things. I never realized how weird those yellow and blue cushions look against the loveseat…very 80s’.

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The oil painting that we bought in Hong Kong and stretched on a frame ourselves. Antique glasses I found thrifting (very Mad Men; just need a bottle of brandy to go with it), and a photo of my baby girl. The little table it sits on is an antique passed down from Chris’ grandmother. We refinished the top which had seen some wear.

expedit media unit

Across from the sofa sits the IKEA Expedit media unit. This model is discontinued, I think, because TVs are getting too big to fit. Ours is a smaller TV so it fit perfectly. We finally got around to anchoring it to the wall and I breathed a big sigh of relief. The baby plays under this thing daily and I did NOT want it falling down on her in an earthquake.

I’m still working on a solution for camouflaging all those cords. Maybe something like this knotted lamp cord.

This room still needs a lot of work but it’s definitely a lot better than before!

family room before

 

family room with corner fireplace

Check out the other projects we did in this room:

Refacing Corner Fireplace
Happy Green Paint on the Walls
Spray Painting Spiral Staircase

It’s almost Friday yippee! Today I’m planning to shop for Mother’s Day. I already sent my mom a lovely pearl necklace and I’m looking for something for my MIL and Gracie’s great-grandma!

Sharing over at The36thAvenue.com, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello, SuburbsMama and TheShabbyNest!

The Fireplace is Done!

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The reason we called this blog “Something Is Done” is partly an inside joke and partly because nothing ever seems done in this giant project we call our house. So when little projects get finished, we encourage ourselves by saying, “something is done”, even though the larger project isn’t finished yet. Baby steps. Slowly but surely.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to have the fireplace in the family room really DONE, done. After we refaced the fireplace with quartz ledgestone, we added base molding around the bottom and carpeted the room. For the longest time this corner fireplace felt like an afterthought and now, with the new paint, stone facing, hearth tile, and accessories, it really makes the room.

It used to look dated and depressing, like a black hole sucking the life out of the room.

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And now it’s bright, cheery, and cozy!

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The sunburst convex mirror is from Home Depot’s Martha Stewart collection and was a mere $35! So affordable. Gotta love Martha. I bought the huge blue vase from West Elm (on the left of the mantel) a couple months ago, hated it, and was going to return it, only I found that the large size helped to ground the empty space on top of the fireplace, so I guess I might keep it.

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The rest of the accessories are from Ikea, West Elm, Marshalls and thrifted.

I really need to put a shade on the little window on the right. I love roman blinds but they’re so expensive, so I may need to get my DIY on sometime!

Update!  Budget Roman Blinds are in!

Read more about Refacing a Fireplace with Stone Tiles.

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