makeover: sunny days

It’s been awhile.  But for good reason.  Just last weekend I wrapped up a makeover project with a great friend.  I am excited to share the results today.  I can pretty much guarantee fewer posts in 2016 but when I do post, I hope to knock your socks off with reveals like this one.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Let’s start from the beginning.  The beige, boring before. This room wasn’t given much attention nor was it used frequently.  It was where all of the random pieces of furniture ended up.  Some with great bones, others not so great and a few left behind by previous owners.  The one thing all of these pieces seemed to have in common was that they were a shade of brown.  The walls too!  Beige and brown are almost always the default “safety” color when arranging a room.  Am I right?  We needed to inject color and personality into this space immediately!

Living Room before

When consulting with the couple, we discussed how they wanted to use the room and the feeling they wanted it to evoke.  This space is going to be used, as intended, as a living room for hosting friends and family.  No television, just conversation.  We also determined that the adjacent space beyond the pocket doors needed to be defined.  This would become the library anchored by wall-to-wall built in bookcases.

Library Built In Bookcase

In our initial consultation the couple described their style as “minimalist modern” although I might argue that it’s “contemporary traditional” but who’s keeping track.  In fact, let’s go with “organic modern”.  I think that sums up the outcome.  The project was a healthy dose of DIY, vintage, home store finds and shopping the house, my favorite.  A full source list can be found at the end.

Organic Modern Living Room

One specific influence kept surfacing when flushing out their style and it was Kimpton Hotels which is known for bold interiors.  Specifically their use of contemporary patterns, intense color and often natural elements juxtaposed with metallic & reflective finishes.  The most important element being “pops of color” as described by my friend.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield, vintage botanicals

 

We started with a relatively neutral color scheme by painting the walls a soft gray and then worked in the “pops of color” and texture.  The sofa is gorgeous and so comfortable.  It is a classic gray velvet Chesterfield accessorized with bold throw pillows that can always be changed out down the road or seasonally for a new look.  Crown molding and windows were updated before we got to the fun stuff.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Nature is an important element to the couple since they are avid gardeners and Renee is a floral designer.  The vintage botanical print above the sofa was a find that I’d been hoarding for just the right project.  The set of wing chairs initially started out as a bird motif but after that pattern was discontinued we came across these butterflies which were a great consolation. The birds landed on the twiggy side table.

Organic Modern Living Room - butterfly chairs

It was a no-brainer that the rug needed to be yellow, Renee’s favorite color.  We cycled through a few choices, even sending one back, until we found this one with a simple over-sized pattern.  I stumbled upon the perfect mirrored, coffee table with geometric cut outs mimicking the pattern on the area rug.  We debated over pattern vs. solid panels for the windows but ultimately settled on navy and pulled that deep color onto the walls in the library.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Can we talk about the lamps and end tables?  Two of my favorite elements in this room perhaps because each set is totally unique – a vintage treasure and a DIY.  Would you believe those end tables were sourced on Craigslist in mint condition?  When first reviewing the listing, we anticipated painting them white but lucked out.  The natural wood is very pretty and didn’t need any updating.  Check out the lattice-work on the bottom.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow ginger jar lamp

The lamps were hideously dated but the perfect shape, scale and a matching pair.  At 5 bucks they were a steal.  They even came complete with pleated shades which we ditched for ruched drum shades.  A simple DIY with high gloss spray paint gave us the ginger jar shape lamps we were looking for and a fun pop of color.

DIY ginger jar lamp before & after

Library

Turn your attention to the newly minted library.  The couple took the momentum from the living room and ran with it in a series of DIY projects in the library.  We flipped the color scheme just a bit with navy taking center stage on the walls and gray taking a backseat.

DIY Ikea hack - Billy Built In Bookcases

Bye bye beige!  The bookcase is an Ikea hack.  A set of five Billy bookcases were framed and painted to create a wall-to-wall bookcase.  Signature pops of color, of course, are found stenciled across the back.  The displaced books and mementos from the living room all found a new home organized on the shelves.

DIY Built In Bookcase Library - Ikea Hack

Vintage and contemporary pieces are right at home in this new space.  The fantastic natural light doesn’t hurt to showcase all of their finds. Navy & Yellow Home Library

Dining Room

It wouldn’t be a home project without a little project creep, naturally.  In this case the dining room is adjacent to the living room which means the crown molding needed continuity as well as gray owl paint on the walls.

Updated Gray Dining Room Before & After

Changes in the dining room included updating the light fixture to reflect the organic modern direction as well as the bird art.  I convinced them to anchor the dining table and chairs with an area rug which Renee did a great job of selecting.  I enjoy the quiet simplicity of the dark stained Windsor chairs, trestle table and humble bench but I do think the room feels a bit warmer with the bold rug.  Do I dare say that it adds a “pop of color”?

Simple Organic Gray Dining Room

Well that sums up the entire makeover which is Olive approved…

Butterfly Wing Chair

Source List

Living Room

  • Sofa – Macy’s Saybridge
  • Paint – Behr Dolphin Fin
  • End Tables – Vintage Craigslist
  • Lamps – DIY via Craigslist
  • Lamp Shades – Target
  • Throw Pillows – Homegoods (patterned) & Vintage (solid)
  • Area Rug – Wayfair
  • Coffee Table – Homegoods
  • Wing Chairs – Macy’s
  • Pouf – Wayfair
  • Twig Side Table – Pier 1
  • Mirror – Vintage
  • Botanical Print – Vintage
  • Curtains – Boscov’s
  • Top Down Cellular Window Shades – JCPenney
  • Magazine Rack – Vintage

Library

  • Bookcase – Ikea Billy Hack
  • Paint – Behr Very Navy
  • Chair – Ikea Poang
  • Throw Pillows – Ikea (patterned) & Vintage (solid)
  • Rocking Chair – Vintage
  • Curtains – Wayfair

Dining Room

  • Furniture – Vintage
  • Rug – Ikea Vidstrup
  • Bird Print – Ikea
  • Light Fixture – Overstock

Organic Modern Living Room no wm

 

library nerd

Often I’m asked, “Where did you find that?” in regards to my latest vintage score.  Serious pickers rarely give up their sources.  Just know that we’re always on the hunt.  However, today is your lucky day because I am going to reveal where I found these vintage library chairs.  You’ll never believe it.  Ready for my big source for these truly fabulous mid-century vintage library chairs?

library chairs + table-059

The library.

You never know when inspiration will strike.  Or when the coolest find will present itself.  You could be minding your own business and returning a library book when out of the corner of your eye, you see the ‘for sale sign’ and your chairs in a dim corner next to a box of $.50 books.  Suddenly you’re short of breath.  Palms are sweating.  You’re tearing down the ‘for sale’ sign and scrambling for cash while nearly shouting to the elderly librarian, “I’ll take them!” as if you’re at an estate sale and everyone is aware of the treasure around you and not just minding their business reading their periodical.

Or something like that.

After forking over the money and sprinting home for the truck with fear that the librarian would somehow resell the chairs out from under me because I outed their fabulousness, I tucked them into storage for safekeeping.  Very safekeeping.  I’ve been hoarding them ever since allowing only a few cameos.

I imagined that the set of four would make the perfect kitschy kitchen chairs.  And they do.  I just don’t have a place for them nor can I keep them all.  Its time to reintroduce them to the world and find them a home.

library chairs + table-072

I’ve paired the birch & vinyl chairs with a wood dining table from a similar era.  The table, which is sold separately, was updated with milk paint.  First, stained dark with curio and then dry brushed with grainsack and marzipan.

But those chairs…aren’t they fantastic?  They are now up for grabs at The West End Garage.

library chairs + table-060

 

they found me

Sometimes when I’m simply minding my own business, not hunting for vintage or even thinking about it – ok that part’s not true. I’m always thinking about vintage.  But minding my biz and just running errands, non-vintage ones.  The weirdest thing happens.  Treasures find me!

vintage library chairs

They really do and that’s exactly what happened with these chairs.  They pretty much tapped me on the shoulder and asked to come home.  How could I say no to this cheery aqua fabric?

vintage library chairs

vintage library chairs

Perfect nailhead trim.

vintage library chairs

Birch construction. Mid-century capped feet. Oh and that library book rack!

vintage library chairs

This set of vintage library chairs is looking for a contrasting table to pair with such as a white Saarinen tulip table.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

vintage library chairs

Sometimes they just find me.

vintage library chairs

Happy weekend friends and happy hunting!  Don’t forget the last Clover Market of the season is on Sunday.

cards

Let me tell you guys up front that I really think the lack of picking this past weekend has put me into a funk…a junk funk.  Yesterday’s post displayed that and I still haven’t recovered.  So consider yourself warned.  This one is a rambler…

I had planned to feature our Christmas cards today.  That got me thinking about cards in general.  We’ve received a few handmade ones this year.  Either I’ve got some pretty creative friends or the handmade movement has really infiltrated individual households.  Either way I like it and so does Ryan Gosling.  (Seriously click there.  It is funny.)  It reminds me of exchanging Valentine’s Day cards in grade school.  They were handmade or maybe just your favorite cartoon character.  Perhaps you gave them to just the girls.  Or maybe you gave one to everyone.  Did you sign “your friend” or “love”?  Scandalous if you signed “love” in 4th grade.

Anyway, we were talking about Christmas cards weren’t we?  Here are some of the lovelies that arrived in our mailbox so far from my creative friends.  And yes, they signed “love”.  Don’t be jealous.

Keeping with our overall Christmas decor this year, our cards were red and made of vintage sheet music.  Very simple since I made like a zillion of them.  If you want to see some of my more complex work, check out the invitations.

The inside sentiment followed the musical theme of the card with a Christmas song lyric.

Talking about grade school also reminds me of the library.  Today I got my first library card since about 6th grade.  I went to the library during college but I can’t remember ever actually checking out a book. 

The experience was much different today.  No card catalogs of course since we all know this is an antique concept these days.  In fact I was thrilled to pick up a beautiful oak one not too long ago. 

But still, I was a little sad to see that they’re really not there anymore.  Instead there was a friendly computer where I typed my book title into the search box and, just like google does, it brought back results in seconds.  Nice but not the same as the Dewey Decimal System cataloged in rows and rows of tangible cards filed away right in front of you. 

The librarian scanned the bar code on my book like I was in the grocery store check out.  The laser and beep were both exhilarating and ultra depressing.  It was so easy and it even printed out a tidy receipt with the due date.  I was really, really hoping there would be a little card tucked in a pocket in the front of the book with the due date.  She could just stamp the card with the rotating date stamp that never lined up quite right and left ink smudges.  No such luck today.  That old card also told you a little history about the book like how 12 other people took it home before you.  Eww.  Or how no one checked the book out in like a decade because it wasn’t popular.  I always liked to check out the unpopular books.  Poor things.

On the upside, a few things haven’t changed a bit.  First, the musty book smell that I pretty much love still remains.  You know what I am talking about.  The librarians are exactly how I remember them too.  Elderly women with orthopaedic shoes and chains to hold their eyeglasses around their neck who converse at a high decibel although it is the library where you are supposed to whisper.  But the most stunning revelation that I made was the fact that overdue book fees have not been inflated.  I was sure that in nearly 20 years the fee would have definitely increased.  Nope.  Just 20 cents per book per day.  I can certainly swing that.  Not that I plan on being late returning books.  Why haven’t I been going to the library all these years?  I’m smitten with it! 

So tell me…do you have a library card?  Do you hand make your holiday cards?  Did you sign love on your elementary school Valentine cards?  Geez, I’m nosey today.

And a word from our sponsor…Wilson.