Elephants, Trees, Fabric, Oh my!

I have lived in my house for almost four years now and during this time I haven’t had ANY artwork on the walls in my whole house! Not because I don’t want anything on the walls or couldn’t figure out what I wanted to put on them, but because everything has felt in flux and “under construction” since I moved in. I think as a result it has taken a really long time for my house to feel like my home. Things have finally calmed down a lot (not completely, but enough to feel more settled) so I decided its high time I get some stuff up on the walls! I put “Hang up art in my house” on my 30×30 list to help motivate me to get that done! I have lots of ideas about what I want to do in the various rooms and have already started to hang up some art, so let’s have a look around. Living room art In the living room I have Eyan, my Cardboard Safari elephant, and a shadow box with a cloth and white birch tree bark picture that my parents got in Alaska. Close up of Eyan and Birchwood frame I love them both and think they add a lot of character and texture. I’m still looking for/thinking of something else to go in that grouping but haven’t fully decided what I want yet. Three picture frame on distressed wood On the wall next to those two I’m planning to hang up the frame that my sister got me as a graduation present. I was really stuck about what I wanted on this wall for a long time. I didn’t want a grouping or loud image that would compete with the wall next to it. Originally I was thinking of taking down the built-ins because I didn’t know what to do with them or how to style/use them. During that phase I was sold on putting up postcard shelves à la Young House Love. But after playing around with things on the shelves of the built-ins, I realized I love them. Now that they’re staying, postcard shelves seem like too much. Then my sister sent me a beautiful frame with three places for pictures on distressed wood from Etsy when I graduated from grad school. I had put it on the oversized chair in the living room for safe keeping, and after seeing it against that wall, instantly realized I LOVED it there. I haven’t hung it up yet, but think it’ll look great once I do. I also have added some artwork on the wall in the dining room. I have some additional plans for this room as well but the frames that are up now are a great start. Dining Room Art These frames date back to when I lived in my apartment right after college. I didn’t have a lot of discretionary income and my mom mentioned seeing something on an HGTV show (I believe it was Design on a Dime) about taking cool fabric and putting it in a frame. Well I love fabric and it was an inexpensive way to decorate and add some color to my beige walls so I jumped on it! I still had those frames when I moved into my house and they lived in a box until about a month ago. The colors work perfectly with the paint in the dining room and I like how the staggered hanging of the frames gives the wall some visual interest. I still have some other things I want to put up in there like the scratch-off map my friend got me for Christmas, and some candle holders I’ve had for ages, so I’ll be sure to update you when that happens. Scratch Map What kinds of art do you like in your living or dining rooms? I think what I have so far is more quirky/eclectic but I like it that way. Do you prefer more traditional art? Store bought? From a gallery? Homemade?

Living Room Brainstorming

When I was home last weekend, I ran to Ikea to exchange some doors for the kitchen. While I was there, I wanted to check out a couple of things.

Once the kitchen is all set, I want to repaint the living and dining rooms gray (the same color as the downstairs bathroom actually). Silver Screen by Behr.

Silver ScreenI also have wanted more seating in the living room since I moved in but haven’t figured out a good configuration yet. I want to move a few things around to make room for more chairs or something. I saw these chairs that I liked and they were SO comfortable! I can’t figure out if I like them in black or white better, but I think I’ll have more of a preference after the room is painted. tullsta chair black tullsta chair whiteI also want to move around some furniture I already have between rooms and see if I can use what I have. We’ll see how that goes. I also saw the Storsele chair and it was comfortable but not as comfy as the Tullsta chair above.

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While I was there, I also checked out the white shag rug. If it was really soft and plush I thought it would look nice against the gray walls. Unfortunately it wasn’t really what I wanted but I’m happy I got to see it in person.

hampen-rug-high-pileI haven’t fully solidified what I want the room to look like, but I think it’ll come together a little more over time. I hit up Pinterest to get a little Pinspiration and found a couple of things I really like:

Tidy-and-Cozy-Small-Living-Room-Designs

I love everything about this room. It’s so bright and cozy and airy. My living room is pretty tiny so I want to keep this room in mind when I rearrange mine.

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Another small and cozy room.

living-room-window-seat-cozy-reading-spot-nook-storage-for-books-shelves-idea-design-idea-for-teen-bedroom

Love the window ledge reading bench thing. I’ve always loved window seats.

LivingRoomBuiltInBookcases

I like the built-ins on both sides of the fireplace; it adds nice balance

This room just looks so comfortable and inviting

This room just looks so comfortable and inviting

So that’s a little bit of what I’ve been thinking about for the living room.

Unexpected Delay(s)

I had every intention to post on Friday but the evening got away from me. I headed home to Connecticut this past weekend to visit my family for St Patrick’s Day and make a run down to IKEA to exchange some cabinet doors and end pieces for the kitchen, so I really wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. Then on Sunday night a horrible thing happened when I got back to New York – my computer wouldn’t turn on. It just refused to acknowledge that I was pressing the power button feverishly praying that I would see some kind of activity. After about ten minutes of doing everything I could think of to get it to turn on (plug it in, take out the battery, but the battery back in, and pressing the power button over and over and over again), I decided it was a lost cause and emailed my professor from my old laptop. There was no way I would be able to submit a paper by midnight if my computer that had my readings, notes, and draft was for all intensive purposes dead. So not only did I not submit my paper, but I wasn’t able to draft a post for Monday. Boo. I ran to Office Max (where I bought my computer) the first chance I got on Monday and they were able to fix it although they’re not really sure what happened. I don’t really care – just as long as it’s OK and doesn’t happen again! One BIG lesson learned from this whole experience – I need to store my documents for grad school on something other than my computer’s hard drive! I’m going to look into Google Drive for my PC this weekend, and will keep things on a flash drive as well.

In all the hub-bub I not only missed the post I was planning to write on Friday, but also Monday’s, so there’s a bit of stuff I planned on chatting about over the next few days! First off – Happy Belated Pi Day (3.14). In celebration, I made a pie….in my Pi plate.

Pi PlateYup. I’m that much of a geek. I got this for Christmas a few years ago and was giddy when I opened it. Science humor like that totally cracks me up. Anyway, after much debate and finally coin-flipping, I decided to make an apple pie. I had never made an apple pie before, and since Spring refuses to arrive, I decided that a ‘comfort food’ apple pie was the way to go. I followed this recipe from Pillsbury with the exceptions of: I didn’t add nutmeg because I didn’t have any, and I added a splash of vanilla. As for the type of apples – it took me a while to decide on the kind I wanted to use but wound up with Granny Smith and they were perfect! I like tart apples to begin with, and I think they made the pie taste so much better because I could actually taste the apples. Yum.

Apple Pie FixinsI ‘cheated’ and used frozen crust, but I have a bunch in my freezer (I like to keep a few packages to make chicken pot pies and such) and I was pressed for time – it was a work and school night after all! Another thing I was totally psyched to use was this pie top cutter. I always make single crust pies (pumpkin) so I haven’t had a chance to take the cutter for a spin. Well! Let me tell you – it was awesome! It really added a lot to the appearance of the pie, and since it was so ‘vented’ the pie wasn’t soupy at all!

Uncooked Apple Pie with Fancy CrustHow pretty is that?! I forgot to take an after picture with  my camera (I took one with my phone and instagramed it) but it looked basically the same, but browner and crispier. I was pretty impressed overall! Everyone that had some said it was delicious so I think it’s safe to say I can now add apple pie to my repertoire.

I still have a lot to chat about (my IKEA trip in particular) so I’ll be back Friday with that -barring any computer malfunctions, but I’m crossing my fingers that Sunday’s adventure was just a one-time random fluke type thing.

Do any of you celebrate Pi day…or any other random holidays? I recently found out that National Grilled Cheese Sandwich day is April 12, so you can bet your socks I’ll be honoring that day to the fullest! I’m already thinking about potential grilled cheese varieties to make (aside from traditional, of course).