Monday, November 5, 2012

Front Room Makeover

We bought our house almost exactly three years ago. We had some hand me down couches, an awkward wooden thing Marcelo stole from his roommates as a coffee table and nothing really went together. Decorating an entire home is something I have never done before and it's a bit intimidating. But I thought, hey if I take it room by room maybe it will be a tad more manageable. Starting as small as possible, I did the half bath downstairs and moved on to the next tiniest room: the front room. Hopefully in such a small space, my mistakes would be easier to fix.

Here it is in it's naked state:
Cozy right? Makes you just want to go in there and snuggle on that yucky 80's corporate foyer couch and hope a spider comes from out of that pile of crap in the corner to read with you. Something desperately needed to happen in here.

I started by drawing a diagram of what I basically wanted to look like in there and chose some colors. We got some little flower paintings from my friend Sarah when we got married and the flowers were bright orange. I love turquoise and I thought it would be pretty with the orange. I was afraid that these colors together would end up looking like a pair of board shorts but I went ahead anyway.

With these things in mind I began to prepare the frames for the flowers, paint some accessories and collect furniture. It was a bunch of fun getting it ready.

I saw these chairs at Ikea that I wanted badly. Yet, I never seemed to be able to save my monthly allowance to get them. When my husb got home from his two week (read two years) trip from Brazil, the next day he informed me that he may be headed to Europe on business. Instead of lashing out in lonely-inspired violence, I told him that if he was to indeed leave me so soon, I would be buying the furniture I needed and retain my sanity. He thought that was a good deal.

So his trip arrived and I went to Ikea with bright, bountiful hopes. I bought the chairs and who would a thunk it? They were too big for my car! What?! It was one of those frigid days to make matters worse and there was no way I was going to return my beloved chairs. So I did what any desperate house wife does, I called my wonderful friend Jane. She galloped into the parking lot in her shining SUV and rescued me and my wicker friends, saving us from the rain and the returns desk.

That night I put my baby to sleep (probably earlier than was necessary) and set to work. I kid you not I hammered and cursed until 1:30 am but after a year of planning, preparing and dreaming that room was done! It felt so good.

So here is the process for your viewing pleasure:

Emptied out the whole room into the hall. No visitors today!

I kid you not, it took seven times to nail that picture up. Sorry about the holes in the wall honey!

And finally....

Finished product!
This being my first venture into the mysterious world of room decor and design, this room will probably be changed and updated in a few years but you have to start somewhere right? I mean I can't believe that Miz Martha Stewart was Martha Stewart when she first started out either. From what I learn from HGTV, design is about trying new things, having fun and mistakes happen so learning can take place. So have fun!


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  1. Maren, it looks amazing! I especially love the rug. And now that you have it done, you'd better make sure Marcelo gives you some quiet nights off for reading and enjoying it!

  2. Thanks Michelle! I'm glad you like the rug since I did steal it from Caroline's room. She doesn't seem to mind.

  3. Nice job Maren! I love those chairs too. I may have to swindle my husband into getting them for me too, great scheme to get what you want!

  4. i love the rug too. Maren thanks for the reminder that "design is about trying new things, having fun and mistakes happen so learning can take place. So have fun!" I like that it doesn't have to be expensive either. Great post.

  5. P.S. I love ikea too...Our new office is mostly done with products from ikea.

  6. Maren is that just a blanket that you put over your couch? Thanks for that idea! I picked up a couch off the side of the road (free is my favorite), scrubbed it down, and now have a decent looking couch, but I've been trying to figure out a way to make it look better by not spending too much money. This is perfect!

    1. Ha ha ha it looks like a blanket but it's a slip cover from walmart. I know my fault for going the cheap route! Nice job repurposing the free couch. I bet it looks terrif.


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