Category Archives: Living Room

Changing it up. Again. And again.

I don’t know how many more times I can post about changes in the living room before you guys gather your pitchforks and torches and chase me from the interwebs but here goes nothing.

We’ve been living with a chair party since the couch left.

0_CHAIR PARTY

(Mostly all of) the chairs I’ve hoarded came out to play.  It was making me feel old though because JT would end up in the “man chair” (the Baumritter lounger with the “Cover Your Lover” blanket on it currently) and I would end up on the Kroehler white vinyl swivel chair, side-by-side like we had suddenly turned into our grandparents in “their chairs”.  I mean everyone’s grandparents did that right — there was a “his” and “hers” chair and don’t you dare sit in it if Grandma or Grandpa were around.  Our original plan was to clear out the old tan sofa to make room for the Danish Daybeds but . . . . after getting some prices to have the foam redone and cushion covers made  it was a jaw-dropping, I-better-learn-how-to-sew-right-now kind of price.  (In reality, the quotes weren’t bad, they’re just out of our budget right now.)

So, what’s in our budget that would allow me to occaisonally sit next to my husband? This little gem from Craigslist.

0_CRAIGSLIST AD copy

I had scouted the “list” and found a few options that could work for us, including a Karlstad (Ikea) sofa that looked almost brand new but this guy just tugged at my retro/vintage heartstrings.

I mean, look at it!

0_CRAIGSLIST AD ENLARGED IMAGE

It turned out to be in a third floor apartment (no elevator) near Wash U.  The scale was such that JT and I could easily heft it down the stairs and it fit into the Saturn with the back door all the way closed.  So it’s not nearly as big/long as our outgoing sofa but it will nicely fill a void until I get some courage and tackle those daybeds.  Now JT and I can morph back into 32 (and 33 – happy early birthday honey!) year-olds rather than the old people we had become.

Here it is at home and cleaned up a little (good old Howard’s Feed and Wax on the legs and some vinyl cleaner on the seat).

0_IN SITU

There’s a few tears and age spots here and there but overall I really like it.  It’s a little less white than the ad pictures showed — it is more of a subtle yellow with avocado undertones and almost matches our Eames rocker perfectly.  I’ll be back with another (!) post on how we rearranged the living room a few times to get “Newbie” (as I have named the sofa) to fit into our life and home.

Here are some outtakes of what happens when I try to take furniture photos.  Dogs.  Everywhere.  Cameron is apparently not camera-shy at all, but very interested in being front and center in all photos.  That dog is funny weird (in a good way).

0_DOGS IN A PICTURE

It may sound weird . . . but I kind of miss our couch. Sniff.

COUCH GO BYE BYE

The couch left us on Saturday, on to a new life in the “mixing lounge”.

LAZY LUMPS

We had this big leather baby for at least seven years — right when we bought the house, we quickly realized the sectional sofa we had in our apartment wasn’t going to fit (the chaise sat on the wrong side and couldn’t be reconfigured).  So we marched on out to Value Village Furniture on Chippewa and found this thing for only $700.  It was fate — that was just the amount we had squeezed out of the sectional during a Craigslist sale and we were b.r.o.k.e. having just bought our first home.

GUARD DOG

We did a lot of living on that sofa and I was a little sad to see it go even though I have a new one (sort of) waiting in the wings.  It was time though.  The monkeys (and JT and I) had worn the seats down a little (it was probably bonded leather) and there is a ring on one of the arms from a too hot coffee mug.

Up next is the Danish Daybeds but . . . I still don’t have the upholstery fabric picked out!  Trouble.

SOPHIE DOUBTS ME

Once the sofa left, the room was looking a little bare and the floors were looking really dirty.  I threw all the small items in the kitchen and herded the dogs into the hallway and decided to try out the Bona floorcare system from Home Depot. (Cameron is hiding in the bedroom because he isn’t as accustomed to large furniture rearranging as Sophie and Shenanigan).

JUMBLED MESSES

I had another wood floor cleaner I was using but the floor never really looked shiny clean.  It turns out what I was probably missing was some wax or polish.

MORE MESS

Here’s another view of the living room/dining room while it was emptied out.  The Bona system worked well but I think I almost need to do a few more coats of the polish to build up and fill in more of the cracks and crevasses in the floor.

I looked through the post I did back in December of 2011 when we got the Danish Daybeds and here was the floor plan I had posted:

E:CT HOUSE3341 JAN 2011 Model (1)

Everything has changed!  Back to the drawing board!!

Another one about homemade art

One more post about artist canvases.  I’m not a painter.  I never had any formal training in painting.  I did have to take one drawing class in college and it was miserable.  I hated the critique days and having to put my deformed and pathetic sketches up next to my classmates beautifully rendered images.  But sometimes you need artwork for your house and you’re cash-strapped and you resort to painting it yourself.

Let me rewind for a minute.  A few months back I picked up a little canvas at the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop.  I searched high and low for the original images but to no avail — when I bought it, the canvas had a lavender background with white flowers painted on it.  It looked like something I would have presented in college had I been required to take a painting class (a little amateur-ish to say the least).  I felt a little bad when I jesso-ed over the canvas until I remembered it had been consigned over to St. Vincent de Paul.

Part two of this long-winded and potentially underwhelming story has to do with the brassy arc lamp I picked up at the auction at Vandeventer Vintage.  I was considering giving it a new coat of (spray) paint, maybe in black to help it fit in with the living room a little better.  (Read more of my angst here when we brought home a second lamp).  I decided instead of painting this great vintage gem, I would bring in more brassy/gold goodness to make it feel at home.

Back to the painting.  First I jesso-ed it, then I applied a few coats of a gold spray paint I had on hand.  I found a cool example image on Pinterest that had large blocks of color and used that as my starting point.  At first I had taped the canvas off with some 1″ painters tape we had around the house but the proportions felt weird so I “had to” order some washi tape from Etsy.

IN PROGRESS

The washi tape didn’t perfectly keep the paint inside its boundaries so I had to do a little touch-up once I removed it.   I took over the tulip table and spent a couple of days mixing up paint colors like a mad scientist.  I used the kitchen blue color, the living room accent wall (SW Urbane Bronze) in its full hue and also lightened a few shades with white and a few new colors.  JT requested “light red” and I told him he just asked for pink.  However I was able to mix up a nice red-orange that seemed to satisfy his request.

WHITE CANDLES

The brassy/gold undercoat plus the paint colors from around the house really work to tie things all together in the living room.

WHITE NAILS

Also, white fingernails!  Because Easter was last Sunday, I  feel like we’re in the clear  for white shoe season and I celebrated by putting one of my favorite colors on my nails.  Yesterday (Friday) was one of the first days it really, really felt like spring around here and everyone fled the office for City Garden at lunch.  I had lunch at Lulu’s, an all-vegan food truck (so good!) and took in the sights.  I know I talk about the Flaming Lips a lot, but this sculpture struck me as being very Wayne Coyne-esque.

PINK SUIT

On to the weekend everyone!  I’m taking Cameron to an adoption event today at the Kirkwood Wal-Mart from 11am to 1pm.  Stop by and say hi to the old guy!  Cheers – CT

Rearranging is my middle name.

I don’t know if I was born this way or if it something I developed, but I have a real and abiding affection for rearranging our house all the time.  Like last Friday at 9:00 at night.  JT is trying to watch a music documentary and I’m buzzing around the house, looking for something to tinker with.  Sometimes I just can’t stop!

Since Cameron joined the household, we needed a lot of clear floor space in the bedroom for dog lounging (the sleep in there in dog beds on the floor).  Well, I still hadn’t gotten around to putting together that art wall and the large canvas was leaning against the wall . . . . until one night when (we think) Sophie knocked into it and toppled the whole thing over.  Being the neurotic dog that she is, she was TERRIFIED.  That canvas tried to eat her and she had to sleep on top of me that night to make sure it wouldn’t come back for her later.

So I found a place for it in the living room!  Yep, the before I’m about to show you I had labeled as an “after” all of two weeks ago.  Hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

NOW A BEFORE

There already was a substantially hung nail there from before (still hadn’t gotten around to removing/spackling/sanding/painting) and so I thought I would try the big canvas there.

AFTER FOR NOW

I think it’s working.  At least I like it and so does Husband.  Although I need to get another indoor tree since I shuffled this one over here and now the other corner where it was living looks sad.  Fiddle leaf fig for the win this time?

CLOSE UP

The great thing about this arrangement is how great this works as a “landing strip” (Apartment Therapy’s words, not mine) or stuff containment zone.  When we come in the front door (right there to the right), we can put down our work bags, slide our shoes under the tables, drop our keys on Paul.  It’s all working out great.  The modem is also under the tables as well — they had to drill through the wood floor (so horrible, but before the days of wireless stuff and we used to have our TV there back forever ago when we had cable).  It’s hiding in the turned over basket.  The basket is pretty open weave and a lot bigger than the stuff under there so it seems to be “breathing” all right.

DETAILS

Anyone else keep an extra house-worth of furniture in their basement so rooms upstairs can be rearranged at a moment’s notice?  There are some advantages to hoarding!  Cheers – CT

Where did Paul go?

The new music station caused me to once again shuffle everything around in the Living Room but have no fear, folks, Paul is staying.

J:HOME Model (1)

(An updated furniture floor plan.  I don’t know what happened to those poche walls but it looks kind of cool.)

There are some pieces in the house that I really want to hold on to, others I keep around because they fit in for now or I’m still hunting down that amazingly-perfect-but-so-cheap-from-a-thrift find.  “Paul”, as I call my McCobb Planner Group secretary is a keeper.  He was holding up the ledges wall but has now moved over here to greet visitors at the front door.

ENTRY WALL BEFORE AND AFTER

This wall is looking a little bare but I’m slowly moving in artwork as the furniture continues to shuffle around.  What’s great about this setup is it gives us the “landing strip” they’re always pushing for over at Apartment Therapy.  The salon-style vinyl chair is a great place to drop my purse or my work bag and Paul gladly holds the day’s mail and the contents of JT’s pockets.

AFTER AT ENTRY #2.

(View from the front door above.  That’s my Martin Sigma that I still don’t know how to play yet.)  Ironically the salon style vinyl chair and the four wood chairs we have around the tulip table were the things I thought for sure would sell at the Green Shag sale last year but didn’t.  Then I had each posted on Craigslist  and now I’m pretty glad they’re still here.  Go figure.

In the (much larger) world outside our living room, Google decided to close down its Reader.  I liked Reader so much that I even blogged about it (almost two years ago!  yikes!)  So what is a blog-addicted girl to do?  I tried out Feedly and liked the iPhone app but it wouldn’t work on the required Internet Explorer browser we have at work.  No blog reading all day long?  Not happening.  So I switched over to Bloglovin.  (Kind of wish they had a better name, makes me think of McLovin from Superbad).  It has a much more image-oriented format, which I am enjoying so far.

BLOGLOVIN

(Yep, that’s a screenshot from my Bloglovin account and I am a major blog addict!!!)

In the blog world, I’m afraid we may have lost JT from this site forever.  He set up a great new site for his band, Grand Beauty, here.  We haven’t all the way decided on things but I think he may start posting his guitar raids and fixes on the band website.  We’ll see.

recording-2013-001

At any rate, you should check it out.  He’s uploaded a bunch of their recordings.  That’s my husband singing “Beast of Burden” and if it doesn’t make you want to take your clothes off and dance around, you may need to have your head examined.  Cheers – CT

PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER!

Ledges: Painted & Hung

Projects move in fits and starts over here at Living Analog and nothing ever stays in the same place for more than two months.  That’s the peril of living with an interior designer.  One of our friends at our Sweetheart Dinner commented that our house is like a kit of Legos — we always take it apart and rearrange it.  I’ll take that as a compliment (albeit a nerdy one!) — we love to reimagine our space and have chosen flexible furniture pieces to accommodate my need for change.

So, change.  Here’s one wall of the dining room over the last few months:

TWO BEFORES

And then, I drug home a bunch of lumber, convinced JT to hammer it all together for me and  — voila! — an art wall!

MUSIC SPOT #1

The real impetus for change here came from my New Year’s resolution to make it easier to listen to music in our house.  I knew I wanted to move the record player, tuner and speakers to a more central location.    So while I was at it, I thought why not add some storage and display space above.  At first I was going to use our Ikea floating shelves but those got repurposed for the Wall of Wine.

IN PROGRESS

That left me scrambling for a new plan and I decided on these ledges from Ana White.  They were affordable and easy to customize — we have about 5′-3″ of wall there so we made the ledges 5′ long to max out the space.  And by going with these ledges rather than just hanging our picture frames right to the wall, it gives us flexibility to change things us as the mood strikes (which, as you know, with me is often!)

MUSIC SPOT #2

Right now I’m displaying some of JT’s record collection along with some art pieces we’ve collected or been gifted over the years.  I still need to get some things all the way into their frames and finalize that mysterious blank canvas.  I’ll be back with more as I tweak it along the way.  This wall has been surprisingly difficult for me to photograph (wah wah) so I’ll try to get some better pictures for the ol’ blog too.

MUSIC SPOT #3

I’m off to spin some more vinyl and dance around in my sock feet with the dogs. What have you been changing up around the house lately?  I find that all home renovation projects go better with some loud tunes, especially of the Rolling Stones variety and now we finally have a spot to really “tune in”!

Cheers – CT

Super Bowling.

What did you during the “Big Game”?  Watch the commercials and cheer for the Murder Birds?  JT and I decided to build some shelves! (This is the normal activity during sporting events, right?)  I set the plan in motion by picking out a bunch of lumber and once we dragged it home, it seemed best to just go ahead and put it together right away since otherwise it would be still junking up the music room.

HUSBAND BUILDS SHELVES

We got the plans/idea from Ana White (originally found via Young House Love), carpenter extraordinaire and we used the living room as our workshop.

WE SAWED IN THE LIVING ROOM

The dogs cowered in front of the TV while we worked.

DOGS ARE TERRIFIED

We’re not really a sports house, so we sawed and glued, clamped and drilled during the game and paused for the commercials.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the familiar curly grey locks of Wayne Coyne early on in the broadcast.  See the commercial on YouTube here. 

1682311-inline-inline-2-hyundai-epic-play-date

{Image via Google Images from here}

I immediately imagined the hipster revolt to follow.  “The Flaming Lips sold out!” they will cry.  Here’s my take: with the sad state of current music being marketed like lunch lady slop to the masses, if the Flaming Lips go quote unquote “mainstream”, isn’t that a good thing?  Wouldn’t this signal a return to good taste – to true artistic expression and not contrived trite designed to sell records?  And while, by definition, the Lips did “sell out” by allowing their song to be used in a commercial that is selling a car, this clip is pure Flaming Lips.  Robots, confetti, inflatable hamster-wheel balls, galactic travelers . . . methinks the Lips had complete artistic control if not a huge say in this video.

I listen to Pandora at work occasionally and they have a really well-written bio of the Flaming Lips — my favorite part is the beginning: “Even within the eclectic world of alternative rock, few bands were so brave, so frequently brilliant, and so deliciously weird as the Flaming Lips.”  {Jason Ankeny, Rovi}  So even though we didn’t have a team in the “Big Game” race, I still feel like we won.

(And more pictures when we get these shelves sanded, primed, painted and hung.   We originally got enough lumber to make three but one of the 1x4s was  so warped that we didn’t end up fabricating the third shelf.  These ledges are destined for the new music “listening station” I’m creating in the living room.

Cheers – CT