Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Living Room Updates


I can't believe I'm able to even write those words as it seems like progress has been slooooooow around here lately. I guess this fact shouldn't come as such a shock to me seeing as how we welcomed a new tiny member to our family not even a month ago, but you know, I had big plans for my maternity leave. In addition to loving on my new baby I planned to tackle tons of house projects, do a lot of writing for my About.com Kitchens page, catch up on my DVR, finish my thank you notes and maybe bank a completed post or two for the ol' blog. BIG PLANS, y'all. In my mind it was going to be my time to get my life organized and get ahead of the ball for once, but alas we plan and in this case I think God must of been doing great big belly laughs up there as pretty much none of the above has happened. Apparently newborns are pretty needy...who knew? :)

Somewhere along the way we have made some progress on the house front. We have kind of bounced around and tackled random things here and there in various rooms, but at this point we have made the most progress in the living room. 

We began scheming for this room before we even moved in, not because we were playing favorites but because we knew the living room furniture we had would not work scale wise in this gigantic room. Here is a shot of the house from the real estate listing to jog your memory:

The overall scale of just about every room in our new house is much bigger than that of our old house. So, the plan from the beginning has been to incorporate as many of our existing pieces as possible and then integrate new pieces along the way. We both knew this would mean some rooms may be empty for awhile while we figure out/save up for what we want, but we were OK with that. The living room was moved up to the top of the priority list as we knew this would be a space we would utilize often, especially because we were hosting Christmas at our house + I would be home with a baby right after the new year. 

The first item on our list was a couch because no living room is complete without a nice comfy place to sit and relax. At first we were thinking of orienting the room with two couches facing each other. However, after we measured and played with the layout we quickly realized the best solution for this space was a sectional. The sectional gives us the most seating capacity, plus it sets the perimeters for the actual living area of the living room. The sectional we chose is 10' x 10', so it's big, but it fits the room nicely and really helped make the room feel less giant and more cozy. 

Speaking of cozy we also added a giant LoveSac to the mix. This giant bean bag is SO comfortable and soft (the name of the cover is Eskimo Fur). It's super versatile in that it can be moved around the space easily, plus it can comfortably sit two people, but over the holidays it was holding as many as 4 at a time!     

The space is full of can lights in addition to the ceiling fan, so we decided to switch out the can lights directly over the built-ins on either side of the fireplace for some fun pendant lights. We found these wooden geometric pendant lights in Chattanooga and couldn't wait to get them hung after the holidays. 

In order for the pendant lights to hang from the existing can light spot in the ceiling we had to buy these converter kits from Home Depot. 
With the kit the light fixture switch was pretty easy and the new look makes me soooooooooo happy. 

And finally the rug is the newest addition. I love that the rug has interest with the antelope pattern but with soft and understated colors. We were thiiis close to pulling the trigger on the Stark Antilocarpa rug when I randomly came across this rug from Ballards. It looks almost identical and was a fraction of the cost. WOO!!  This side of the room still has a ways to go as we need window treatments, art, styling a coffee table, etc, etc... In addition there is a large area of "dead space" behind the couch that we have to figure out, but overall we feel good about the general direction of the room and I for one am happy with progress, even if it does come slowly and in small doses!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

About.com - December Recap

Well hello January. Hi 2016! Sorry it has been a minute since I posted, but things have been pretty busy around here. Two days after Christmas, Baby Shearer made HIS big debut (introductory post coming soon!) so needless to say our world as we knew it has been turned completely upside down. Who knew a 7lb 10oz little person could have such an affect? ;) It has taken a second to figure out our new routine, but I'm slowly but surely trying to find my new normal, and I thought a little recap on my December About.com articles was a good place to start.

I really like the two-toned kitchen cabinet concept. It's fresh and happy and makes a statement without being too radical or in your face. 

2. Put a Wreath On It

Just talking here about how a simple wreath (or 3) can add instant holiday cheer in and around your kitchen. This article might be a little late seeing as how most of us already have our holiday decor packed up and back in the attic ,but if this concept is one you want to incorporate into your home in the coming years, go out and get a great deal on some wreaths at the after Christmas sales still going on now. 

3. Chalkboard Integration in the Kitchen

I LOVE the idea of a chalkboard in the kitchen. Remember the little chalkboard project Brent and I did to our pantry door at our old house? After we finally got it figured out we really enjoyed having the chalkboard in our space.

There was so much pretty on Pinterest over the holidays I decided to dedicate an entire post to pretty pictures and cool ideas to incorporate into your kitchen or your home around the holidays. Again, I know this is a little late here on December 13th, but maybe stash a few of these thoughts away in your memory bank for next season.

And last but not least, my updated articles are below. 
I hope 2016 is treating you well so far!  

1. Plants: A Cheap & Easy Way to Add Pizazz to Your Kitchen
2. Red, White & Blue in the Kitchen
3. Making a Place for Pets in Your Kitchen
4. Highs & Lows of Dish Storage
5. Lucite in the Kitchen