living room progress

As you may have noticed when I posted the pictures of our kitchen/ dining room, we have also been doing a little updating to the living room. These rooms were an obvious priority given the fact that they are where we spend the most time. Like everything around here, this room isn’t done yet, but that isn’t stopping us from enjoying it!

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As you can see from the pictures, the living room is open to the kitchen and dining room (which is one thing we love about this house), so it was important to me that the rooms relate to one another visually. By using similar colors and textures, we were able to help maintain consistency throughout the space. Hudson is a big fan of the open floorplan  baby marathons crawling from room to room are a regular occurrence around here.

Some of the furniture in this room were things that we had at our previous house, and some of it we switched out to better work with the new layout. Details coming soon!

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curtain call

I shared most of the details of our kitchen/dining room progress in the last post, but today I thought I’d fill you in on one of my favorite parts- our curtains.

One of the biggest challenges that has come with decorating this particular house (which was built in the 40s and was most recently used as a commercial property) has been softening things up a bit to make it feel more like a home and less like a business.

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The giant windows are one of our favorite things about our house (we rarely need to turn the lights on during the day), but they are definitely a focal point of the room. The existing mini-blinds, while functional, weren’t exactly helping the aesthetic, and with this being one of the central rooms of the house, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of dusting miles of blinds for the next several years.

As you can tell from this next picture, changing the paint definitely helped to warm things up, but the space still felt really unfinished.

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Because I knew what an impact curtains would make and these particular curtains are basically the center of our entire house, they were at the top of my priority list and I was willing to spend extra to make sure I really loved them. This wasn’t my philosophy with all of our drapes (I’ll show you an example soon), but it was important to me to get these ones right.

I first spotted our drapery fabric on the High Street Market blog. I loved it, but didn’t have any use for it at the time, so I just mentally filed it away (obviously, this was pre-pinterest :)).When it came time to gather fabric samples, I was excited to add it to the pile. I love the botanical look, as well as all the little details on each leaf.

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Now for a tip:

When buying fabric, do your research. The blog where I originally found the fabric cited it as a Pindler and Pindler fabric (Lynne Cloud). It is also sold by Ballard (Felicity Spa). However, I was ultimately able to find it as a P. Kaufmann fabric (Leaf Sampler/ Cir Cloud) with the same specs (size, material, etc.) for a good  bit less. I have found this “multiple names” practice to be pretty standard among decorator fabrics, so if you’re ordering several yards, it’s definitely worth a Google.

After I chose my fabric, the next step was turning it into curtains. Even though I’ve made my own drapes before and was happy with the result, I decided to hand the job over to a professional this time for several reasons. 1) Tiny baby. 2) Insanely long to-do list for the rest of the house. 3) Pricey fabric. (I didn’t want to waste money messing things up) 4) The central location of the drapes. (I wanted something that would look professional, and even if I managed to do a good job, I know I would have found something to scrutinize.)

I e-mailed and called several local people to get quotes on the labor for the drapes. If you are going this route, I recommend knowing which style you want before you ask for quotes.

drapes types(Image found here.)

I went with pinch pleated drapes because I like their traditional style and they aren’t as common among stock drapes (like grommet and rod pocket), giving them more of a custom look.

I ended up going with a woman named Dorothy after reading great reviews of her work, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Her prices were much more reasonable than other quotes I received, and her work was outstanding. It was so clear that she takes pride in her work. She did a great job of making suggestions (like using blackout liner to help avoid sun damage to the fabric), and making sure everything was just right. So, if you’re looking for a recommendation, her e-mail is itscurtains2000@aol.com. In my opinion, she’s the best seamstress in the Raleigh/Durham area!

123Can I just say that the price of curtain hardware is incredibly annoying to me? Seriously. It’s a metal rod, people! We were able to soften the blow by using the Hugad rods from Ikea with finials from Home Depot. Zach found a lot of vintage curtain rings on Ebay for a great deal. I love the color variation caused by their age, and I’m also a big fan of the warm wood tones.

125Bottom line: I am so happy with how the drapes turned out. I would absolutely make the same decision again. Bottom line #2: this was definitely not a budget buy. The final price per panel was comparable to Pottery Barn (for what it’s worth, I think the final product of custom drapes has a much nicer quality). We made it work (we used the money from the sale of our former dining room cabinet to pay for the drapes), but price was not the deciding factor here. That being said, I do think it was money well spent, particularly since these guys make me smile on a regular basis!

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kitchen/dining room details

Now that you’ve seen the general state of the kitchen/dining room, I thought I’d fill you in on a few of the specifics.

We’ve already covered a few things, but just to get you up to speed:

Paint:

Walls- Benjamin Moore Dove Wing

Cabinets- Sherwin Williams Westhighland White

(See this post for more details.)

Hardware:

Pulls: Anthropologie

Knobs: Lowes

(More info here.)

Counters: Carrara Marble (Details in this post.)

(Side note: Lauren Liess of the beautiful Pure Style Home recently did a post on living with honed marble in the kitchen that is definitely worth a read if you’re considering making this move. I love her fresh perspective on something that can be quite a dilemma for people choosing countertops.)

Ok, now on to things we haven’t covered:

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Faucet: Kraus Single Lever Modern Spiral Chrome Pull-out Kitchen Faucet from Overstock (don’t forget your 10% off coupon!)

This kitchen by Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors is one of my all-time favorites, and that faucet was love at first sight. After living with it for several months, we couldn’t be happier. I love the industrial look, it was pretty easy to install (according to my plumber/husband), and the functionality is awesome. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.

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Stools: Tabouret 24-inch Metal Counter Stools from Overstock

Also inspired by the kitchen I mentioned above. As for my review of these- love them! They are comfortable and lightweight, and the handles in the center make them easy to tote all over the house and do things like change lightbulbs and hang curtain rods. I also like that they add a modern, masculine tone to the room to balance out some of our vintage pieces.

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Cutting boards: Yard Sales

Dutch Oven: Le Creuset outlet

I had wanted one of these for a while, and we found this one for a deep discount at the outlet when we were on vacation (it was apparently discounted because the color is exclusive to Crate and Barrel). We’ve started a tradition where we allot a certain amount of money for each day that we’re on vacation (to give ourselves the freedom to not stress about eating out or doing fun things), but we came in under budget a few days in a row thanks to hiking and lots of Chick Fila coupons. My rockstar husband let me use the excess to bring this little guy home with us. I love using it, and I also love the extra punch it gives the corner of our kitchen- definitely too pretty to hide in a cabinet!

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Table: Craigslist

Slipcovered chairs: Pottery Barn via Craigslist

Slipcovers: JC Penney

Curtains: Custom (I’ll share details in another post)

End Chairs  Ikea Byholma/ Marieberg

Placemats: Target

Rug: Flat Braided Jute Rug via Pottery Barn outlet

104Trashcan: Rubbermaid Commercial Silent Defenders 

Since the current set-up of our kitchen makes the end of the peninsula the best spot for the trashcan, I wanted to upgrade from our flimsy (and ugly) plastic one. I asked for this one for Christmas and my mother-in-law sweetly obliged (even though she thought I was a little crazy :)). Love is probably a strong word to use about a trashcan, but it’s pretty accurate. For something I look at a billion times a day, I love that this one fits right in with the vibe of our house. Also, we have definitely benefited from the sturdiness factor since, unfortunately, a certain tiny man loves it as much as I do:

062The white cabinet was a $20 secondhand find, and I filled it with my mom’s cookbooks, grandma’s china, and flowers from a friend’s wedding.

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Buffet/ sideboard: Craigslist (painted by my dad)

Lamps: Homegoods

Mirror: Brimfield

Toy basket: Smith and Hawken Square Basket with Chalkboard from Target

The toy basket was a baby gift from a sweet friend (thanks, Stacy!), and I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites. I love that it adds a warm, natural element to the room while providing a convenient place to me to store Hudson’s stuff. I also love that it provides lots of entertainment for the little peanut:

003Even though there are still some things on our to-do list for these rooms, we definitely haven’t let that stop us from enjoying them. We love the open floorplan and natural light, and we’ve loved getting to make this space feel more like us!

kitchen/dining room reveal (well, progress)

Happy Saturday from the Angle house!

Zach is in some post-licensing classes for real estate this weekend, which means Little Man and I are home holding down the fort.

Thankfully, he’s napping (let me stress the thankfully– the whole afternoon nap idea has been lost on him as of late), leaving me some time to update you on some of the changes around here. An update on our updates, if you will.

I loved reading Jenny’s recent post about not waiting until things are perfect to share spaces in her home. I’ve been struggling with this same concept lately. I’ve shared that most of our house is in the “middle” stage (which makes no sense) and, as a result, I’ve been a little reluctant to share pictures.

We have a prioritized master list of projects we’d like to complete around here. Basically, Phase 1 is stuff we want to get done right away for health/safety/finance reasons, Phase 2 is stuff that will make things feel more like home, Phase 3 is stuff we’d love to get around to, and Phase 4 is in our dreams. We’re not completely stuck to a timeline (some Phase 2 things are already done because it just made sense to do them now), but there are definitely fun (aka prettifying) projects that are getting put on the back burner in lieu it’s more wise to do first. Ahh, life as an adult.

All this to say, when people come to our house for the first time, we spend a lot of time saying, “Eventually, we’d like to add this here, and change that over there…,”so on, and so forth.So, I loved Jenny’s perspective on embracing the process and the (sometimes slow) journey of building a home. Because this is it! Whether you’re living in new construction or a former youth center you’re trying to convert back into a house (anyone else out there?), the reality is, there will always be things to do, so we might as well keep it real and stop waiting for perfection.

Which leads me to some pictures! (Yes, wordy intro, I know.)

I shared some of our kitchen updates here, here, and here, but most of the pictures were facing into the kitchen. I never got around to showing you what we did from this view:

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Of course, those upper cabinets needed to go. As you can tell from the headless husband standing in the dining room, they were seriously obstructing the view in our otherwise open floorplan. Thankfully, the kitchen has tons of storage (we’re not even using the pantry for food because we have plenty of space for it elsewhere), so taking away a few cabinets wouldn’t detract from the functionality.

There was also the issue of the patchwork quilt that was our flooring:

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Basically, it was a hot mess.

Thankfully, we’ve made some progress! Here is the current state of our kitchen/ dining room:

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We still have plans for several more updates, but for now, we’re really enjoying the changes! Details coming soon!