Works in Progress

Placeholder art at its finest:

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Our living room has huge walls which is both amazing, and a bit of a challenge to fill. After a few months I finally landed on the perfect arrangement, with the help of my husband. I knew I wanted to do a photo collage with photos taken by Joey’s grandmother who is a professional photographer. Since I was trying to use both vertical and horizontal photos and I wanted the end result to be orderly and a grid if possible it took a while to find an arrangement that looked right and filled the space nicely. I played around with the templates on the wall, but then my husband had the bright idea to use regular sheets of paper so we could arrange them more efficiently on the floor. Once we landed on the right layout then we fixed our templates on the wall so that we can easily see where each photo is going. So far we only have two up because the frames are not on sale and add up quickly. (The Oslo collection from Michael’s, if anyone is wondering. Full price is $12.99/each for a 16 x 20 which is what I’m using.) I have been buying one at a time and using a 40-50% off coupon each time. If they go on sale I’ll buy ’em all at once, but for now this is the cheapest solution! The painting on the adjacent wall was a $10 thrift store find that will be turned into a chalkboard (I’ll be spray painting the frame gold) once it warms up enough for me to go outside and spray paint!

Another quick update was replacing my desk knobs with these clearance finds from Anthropologie (no longer available; clearance items go quickly!).

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I forgot to take a before photo and I don’t really have a true after because my desk is a long way from being “design-worthy” (though I love the bones and quality of it! It’s an Ethan Allen desk, gifted by my parents when I had just begun college). Here is a somewhat before photo, where I didn’t even bother to try to declutter before taking the picture:

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This desk has so much potential; I can’t wait to really bring it out. I’ve got a couple ideas of what to do with it. At first, I thought paint it all white or gray or a bold color. That would be a lot of work, though, and I just can’t see that happening any time soon especially since my husband is the painter in the family, and currently a first-year teacher. Summer time, maybe? So in the meantime, or maybe instead, I’m think any of these ideas would give me an aesthetic I’m happy with, for a fraction of the time:

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(source: Decor Pad)

1. Paint the back of the hutch (including the cubby areas), just like painting the back of a bookshelf

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(source: Miss Mustard Seed)

2. Paint the drawer fronts (and back of hutch?) in a single color. Leave desk in natural color.

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(source: BHG)

3. Paint the drawer fronts in an ombre design. (Side note: I’m encouraged that the rest of the desk is not painted and still looks nice, since that is what I will most likely end up doing. :))

What do you think? Which look is your favorite?

Before and After: TV Console

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When Joey and I got married, we definitely had to discuss what stayed and what went (furniture, junk, etc.) We kept this cabinet out of necessity, but I always knew it was going to go out the door once we found something better (especially since Joey got it for free -dumpster diving, in essence- during his college days). I did eventually find a replacement TV console at Goodwill (which we made a few tweaks to; that’ll be another post), but instead of tossing this cabinet we decided to give it a paint job and use it for storage. We also switched out the knobs, which made a huge difference, and I have to say this simple piece of furniture is currently one of my favorites in our space.

I don’t have a true “before” picture, but you can see it in this photo from back when Joey & I first got married, and tried to mesh our furniture together in our townhouse (and yes, that is *a lot* of brown… a design choice that I have been trying to compensate for over the last few years!):

Here it is, after a coat of paint and new knobs (purchased off of ebay) in our apartment that we just moved into:

It feels like a brand new piece of furniture, and is great for storing our collection of $1 Goodwill VHS tapes (yes, we still own and use VHS!) and for providing some extra storage/display space on top. I still want to do something to it, though, to really finish it off and give it some *oomph*. I haven’t figured it yet, but I’m thinking one of two things:

(1) finishing it off with nailhead trim, either working alongside the grooves of the console, or doing some sort of design on the cabinet faces, similar to this:

or (2) using paint to create a two-tone effect, similar to this dresser:

Thoughts?