Ever since the baby bumper post, I have had questions about my living room, specifically the totally awesome orange chairs. So I thought I would tell their story, because, yes, they are as awesome as they look. And then I realized that pretty much every single thing in my living room is second hand – mainly from family – with the exception of the throw pillows which are new from Target and TJ Maxx.
My parents bought that couch around 1983 and it used to be dark green. (It ebbed really well into the early 90’s forest green era.) The couch lasted in my parents’ living room for about 25 years, when my mom decided she was officially done with dark green and it was time to replace it. But the couch had great structure so she held onto it. When we moved last fall, we had it recovered in dark chocolate brown. The best part was (and I didn’t even plan this) was the upholsterer left off the flap that went to the floor covering the couch legs. Now the legs are exposed and I love that it changes the whole look of the sofa – making it much more modern.
The chairs are my favorite. The pair belonged to my grandparents. My mom remembers them in her house as a little girl in Berkeley, California in the 1950’s. They were covered in rose velvet. Sometime in the 70’s my Grandma had them recovered in the nubby orange stuff. All through the 90’s I loved those chairs, but thought if they were ever mine I would totally recover them. (Orange wasn’t so hot in the 90’s. Think mauve and forest green.) When my grandparents downsized for the last time, my grandma gave me the chairs. I was so excited, but didn’t have the budget to recover them properly at the time. I felt a little avant garde with orange chairs in my living room until a Crate & Barrel catalog arrived at my house with a similar orange chair on the cover. And then I knew I was totally hip. (I guess I needed some external confirmation.) And thus began my love affair with orange.
I love those chairs. Not just because they are so dang fun to look at – and sit in = they’re totally comfortable – but especially because of the sentimental value. I am also totally lucky to have my grandparents’ piano in that room. I value it all even more now that my grandparents are gone. My grandparents always took good care of what they had, plus they were always generous and happy to share, so I think they’re happy knowing how much I enjoy having parts of their home in my home.
Second-hand thing #4. This lovely brass lamp. The shape and size are beautiful, but the shade was broken and the brass looked pretty dated.
So last week I bought myself my first ever can of spray paint. (Some of you are wondering what took me so long.) And here are the results. Oh my gosh, I still can’t get over how easy it was and how well it worked. I am officially hooked. I’m not totally sure about the nickel color though. It matches the light fixture in the next room, but it’s a little too light next to the mirror. I may go darker. But it’s still a huge improvement. The lamp shade came from Target. Repainting stuff is fun! (Remember the china cabinet?)
Finally – here is the color inspiration for this room – besides the orange chairs. I made this quilt last year from Moda’s Arcadia collection.
You can read more about the Arcadia quit here. Gosh, I loved that collection. I think, next to anything American Jane, that is my favorite Moda line over the past couple of years.
So I was recently thrilled when I found a few Arcadia pieces at different online retailers. First I found the honeybun at Burgundy Buttons for really cheap! Then I randomly found a little bit of yardage at Crafty Girls Workhshop. They have honeybuns as well. I have a blank wall over by the piano, so I’m thinking I’ll make a wall hanging, but I haven’t decided what I want to do yet. And frankly, I have so much on my To Do list right now, I probably won’t even get to it until winter. But, oh the possibilities.
And, there you go. More that you ever really wanted to know about my living room.
PS Someone asked how I keep it clean with kids:
a) we have another room where we keep the TV, toys and other junk. Most of the time.
b) I picked-up a lot of stuff before I shot pictures
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