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Living It Up

Jennifer —  May 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Five Years Ago we loved into our house and this is what the living room looked like:

I loved the large bay windows and how the room was open to the kitchen. Last Wednesday I shared you the Google Image of our house before we bought it.  It had a massive tree in front.  You can see a winterized version of the tree here.

Living Room

This was how the room looked for a little while.

Living Room

Our living room was the last on the lis to rehab.  Mostly because I just couldn’t decide how I wanted it to look.  Here is the transitional stage.  (Sorry for the bad picture)

Living Room transition

The fireplace was what was throwing me off.  It was very red and I don’t love the color red as the main focal point in the room.  I do love read accents but this red was defining this room. It took a little patience to get Lee on board with painting the fireplace but when I finally did, the room just came together naturally.

Living Room Final

We built the bookcases to flank each side of the fireplace and I covered the Ikea Lack floating shelves with fabric. I was nervous to do it, but I am so thankful I painted the fireplace, and Lee is too.  We use it every winter so painting it did hinder its purpose.  I never could decide what to put on the mantle.  I tried different things but everything I could find was too big or too small.  To be honest, I kind of liked the minimal look.

Living Room Final 2

This is my favorite little nook with my rock star chair that I found on Craigslist for $50.    I read my bible here every morning.  I blog here.  Its my favorite spot.

Living Room Final 3

Here is an up close shot. I made the bible poster and the book cover art here.  I also have a stack of all my favorite design books.

Living Room Final4

The other side has our television and all of our electronics.  We don’t have cable but we do have an antenna.  See how we installed that here.  Read here and here on how we watch television without cable.  I also found this chair on the side of the road and recovered it.  This chair is my husband’s favorite chair.  He usually pulls this back to the couch and watches t.v. in this chair.

Living Room Final 5

Here is the view of the living room from the kitchen.  I bought a carpet remnant and cut it to fit the room perfectly.

Living Room Final 6

I built this ottoman/coffee table from an Ikea Lack Coffee table.

Living Room Final 7

I made a tray from an old cabinet door and it is the perfect place for coffee and drinks.  That is Lee’s car that he made to race when he was little.  Are you impressed?  I am.

Living Room Final 8

I needed extra seating but I did not want to block the window.  We bought a love seat originally but I returned it.  The hubs built me a bench and I made a cushion.  Its extra cushy and I love laying on this bench and taking a nap.  The bench is as big and as deep as a love seat.

Living Room Final 9

I also made these curtains out of fabric scraps I had on hand.  They are all different weights of fabric.  The trick was to make sure the heaviest weighted fabric was at the top and bottom.  I had to calculate my stripes based on how much I had while still making the two panels identical.  I didn’t have enough blue and white for the curtains to be long enough…so I added black.  Random, but I love them.

Living Room Final 10

Here is the view of the room from the fireplace.  You can see how our hallway goes back to our bedrooms.  I found my couch at a local store called Brashears.  Around here, leather and tan couches are king so I was thankful to find a grey couch with modern lines.  The pillows are from target and Ikea.

Living Room 11

In this picture you can see how the living room flows into the kitchen.  I love how open and cozy it all is.

Living Room Final 12

If you have followed this blog long you know I have a love for all things Danish Modern.  I had no intention of getting a new entry way dresser until I found this dresser for $50.  I made the chalk board quote wall out of framed drywall.

Living Room Final 13

I style this area often, but this is how it has been for a while.  I found the F sign for $1 at a flea market, I love vintage books and the jar is full of the Christmas cards we received this year.  I like to pull one out every once in a while and pray for that family.

Living Room Final 14

Speaking of drywall, I used fabric covered pieces of clearance drywall and ikea frames to create this gallery wall.  You can see here what all the art is on the wall.

Living Room 15

The frames go all the way into the hallway.  I love how it turned out and I ofter catch my self looking at them all and smiling.

Living Room 16

Its been a progress and I have loved this room, especially on a cold winter night with a fire.  It looks much different today because we have started packing it all up.  I wish I could put it all back.

Have a Great Weekend,


First of all, thanks for all your comments and emails from Wednesday’s post.  I feel so blessed to have a roof over my head.  It has been a crazy couple of days here in my hometown, but we are starting to put it all back together.  Tourist season starts in a couple of weeks and they are moving and bustling to get the town ready whether it be fixing the damage or finding temporary locations to do business.  Most importantly, its been fun to see our little community help the people whose homes were severely damaged.  Friends and community members opened their homes, and hotels opened their rooms. For the most part, power is restored. I went back to work and the internet is faster than 20 minutes to upload a picture. (It took me FOREVER to load those pictures on Wednesday)

My best friend Ashley and her family were without power so we got to have her family over for some pizza.  Hanging out with friends was fun too!

Okay, onto normal posting.  I have been slowly rehabbing my living room. I got side tracked by a few projects like my bicycles but I am committed to finishing this room out.   I have done a few projects before this year like building a bench and finding furniture, but the action didn’t start happening until I finally convinced The hubs that our fireplace need to be painted white.  (I didn’t have to twist his arm.  I was just patient and he saw my vision) The the DIY just unfolded:


I am close to finishing this room but there are a few odds and ends such as:

  • New coffee table  (I have the Ikea Lack coffee table that cost me $19.00.  It serves its purpose well but its a little out of proportion.
  • Jazz up my side table
  • New lamp for side table
  • New shade for lamp
  • Maybe jazz up the existing shades in my living room.
  • Sew some more pillows
  • Hang something over the mantle (not sure what but I am thinking of DIYing this)
  • Add a little more artwork
  • Find a side table for my chair
  • Spice up the back of my roman shades.  Why?  Well, I lined them myself and while it doesn’t look bad, it looks like any liner, I have decided that I don’t like the look from the front of my house.  We are going to be working on curb appeal this spring so this project is not really for my living room but for curb appeal.

Hows that for a list?  Come back on Monday and I will show you how I turned my plain jane Lack coffee table from this:


To this:


This picture isn’t the finished product.  I have to add a base.

See ya monday,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Master Bath Rehab

Guest Bedroom Rehab

Bedsheets to Curtains

No Shame in Dumpster Diving

Jennifer —  February 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

iloverehabs was featured over on wherelovemeetslife.  She found me somehow and wanted to show her readers my stuff.  Go over there and check her blog out…not to see my stuff but to see hers!  She is a full-time employee, mom, wife and DIY/Life blogger.  (plus I think she and I both have a love for chevron…kindred spirits, I just know it)  I think I am going to have to try her mustache glasses.  Mustaches are the rage and I think need to be added to my kitchen.  Thanks a ton for the love!

Raise your hands if you have done any dumpster diving. I am totally unashamed of taking one man’s trash (left on the curb) and making  it my treasure. I have never actually pulled anything out of a literal dumpster but I am not opposed either.  In fact, I have some friends (you know who you are) that would be the ones to help me in the dumpster…and not leave me there…hopefully.  This is a common practice in this part of America.  Maybe it’s because I live in the hills of the Ozarks, but people will even post on Craigslist what they are putting out on their curb with the trash. I found my garage cabinets on a Craigslist Curbside posting.

I saved a family in the middle of a renovation a trip to the county transfer station which probably would have cost them about $20 to dispose of these cabinets.  I must also mention the physical stress I saved them from having to get them there.  Here is a story for you.  (You might think less of me after this but oh well, just puttin it all out there.)  The Hubs and I were hanging out watching football one Sunday night with our good friends. We realized that the next morning was “large item trash day” in our city so at about 10pm (maybe later) we got in our car and went to the nicer neighborhoods to see what was left out to go to the county landfill. We didn’t find anything that night but the thrill of it made us feel like spontaneous teenagers. The funny thing is that my friend, the wife, was about 5 days away from the due date of her first child.  Shameful?  Maybe.  Responsible?  Probably not.  Memory?  Absolutely!

The Hubs and I have done our fair share of curbside sharing. I will literally put something out on the curb with a free sign. These are usually things that are not worth the time to sell. If it goes then I have saved myself some serious hassle. If it doesn’t…to the thrift store or transfer station it goes. Here is the crazy thing everything I have put out on my curb has been taken.   That tells me there are tons of dumpster divers like me. Here is what I have put out on my curb:

  • Fridge that was in the house when we bought it  (really old, really dirty. )
  • Stove that was in the house when we bought (too old with no knowledge of reliability to sell)
  • Coffee Table
  • Old Double door we took out of our kitchen.  (It was rusted and old)
  • Old Bike Rack
  • Outdoor table that was leftover from the old owner
  • Lawn chairs leftover from the old owner
  • Doors that we replaced

This chair was in storage for years at the camp that I work at.    It was headed for the trash pile during our cleaning week last spring.   I decided to salvage it and took it home one day after work.

It had a pair but its partner was broken and as much as I tried, couldn’t fix it.  When I brought it home I didn’t know where I would use it, but as I started working on my living room again I realized it could be extra seating there.   So, I turned it into this:

I found a clearance fabric shower curtain walking thru the clearance section at Wal-mart.  It was priced at $7.00 and the fabric kind of reminded me of ikat.  It had all the colors I wanted to use in my living room.  It had the blue from my new curtains and the turquoise from the pillow on my couch.

I didn’t even bother to take the leather off the original chair.  I just grabbed my pneumatic staple gun and recovered the seat.  I used some remnant white fabric I had from my new curtains project to clean up the bottom of the seat.

To cover the back of the back rest I cut a piece the shape of the back, yet bigger.  I folded and hot-glued it into place using spray adhesive for the middle part.


I screwed the pieces back into the chair and voila…for $7.00 I had a new addition to my living room.

Here is how it fits in the layout.

I decided to move it to the left of the bookcase so it doesn’t block my t.v. gear.  I am looking for a small side table.  I will probably DIY something or look for something inexpensive.  Here is the look I am going for so if you see anything out there let me know.  I like this one from west elm:

I am not cure ceramic fits my lifestyle so maybe a painted white version of this?  This is DIYable too.


Anyway, I love my chair’s Danish Modern lines and I love the extra seating it provides my living room space.

Do any of you have a dumpster dive you want to share?  Comment below with a link to your blog.  If you don’t have a blog, just tell us about it or link a flickr pic.

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Milk Crate Ottoman

Rocking Chair Rehab

Slip Cover A Chair

Less is More

Jennifer —  November 16, 2011

My good friend is about to have her baby.  We are waiting any day now and we are so excited for little Avery to come into this world.  Avery is Asa’s sister.  Mom wanted to get Avery’s room as ready as possible and I helped her a little bit.

Avery’s mom was describing the colors that she wanted in the room and I brought her this Amy Butler Lotus  fabric remnant I had.

source here

She loved it and wanted to use it in the room.  So we pulled out my Benjamin Moore Paint colors and found a grey close to the one in the flower.  We took it to Home Depot and matched it to their Behr paint.  We didn’t have a lot of the fabric.  So we had to be strategic how we used it.  It wasn’t enough for curtains or crib bedding, but there was enough to make a statement somewhere.  The question was where.  Avery’s mom reminded me about the rocking chair they had.  Since we placed a new chair in Asa’s room we moved the rocking chair into Avery’s room next door.  Here is a reminder of what it looked like.  (Sorry I didn’t have a better pic.  They had a friend paint it so it was being painted by the time I got involved)

My friend painted the rocking chair base white.  It was more of a creme color.  My job was to recover the cushions.  I didn’t have enough fabric so my friend bought a queen sheet set at target.  In upcoming posts I will share all the things we did with this queen sheet set.  Back to the point of this post.  Here is how I recovered the chair:

    1. I took off the cushion and traced it onto the backside of the fabric.  I simply laid the cushion (with its cover still on) on the fabric and made sure my pencil was touching the edge of the cushion as I traced it.
    2. I took a sewing tape measure and measure 1-inch from the traced line all the way around.  I connected the measurement marks (grown up connect the dots really) and made a 1-inch border around my traced line.  This would be the line I would sew on.  (Note:  When you trace the cover like I did above you are tracing the shape of the cushion.  The 1 inch border will help you cover the thickness of the cushion.)
    3. I placed the back fabric right side up on the floor.  I placed the traced fabric right side down on top of the back fabric.  (Right sides should be facing each other).  Pin the fabric together and cut about a ½ inch around the outside border.
    4. Sew your fabric around the outer line that you drew.
    5. Leave the bottom open so that you can turn it inside out and insert the cushion.
    6. Turn the sewn fabric inside out and iron if you need to.
    7. Measure on the back of the original cushion where the ties are sewn on.  Cut off the ties on the original cushion.  Take the above measurements and mark where the cushion ties should be sewn.

  • I cut some grosgrain ribbon and hand sewed it onto the places where the ties should be.
  • Insert the cushion into the new cover.  Since my cushion was bigger on top than on bottom I folded it to get it through the bottom opening.
  • Fold and pin the bottom seam together.
  • There are many ways to do this.  Since I was using invisible thread I sewed the bottom seam shut with the cushion in it.
  • Repeat all the steps for the seat cushion.  This time, fold some grosgrain ribbon in half.  Insert the ribbon into the pinned fabric at the back corners where the ties are in between the fabric.  Since the back is where I insert the cushion, I just rounded the corners as I was sewing a bit and kept the back open so I could turn it inside out and insert the cushion.


The ottoman:

You could take the ottoman apart and cover the top. I just covered it and stapled it.  You could even tack it if you wanted to.  This took me 10 minutes.

The total process took me all of about 1.5 hours.  Here is the dramatic transformation:

What a fun transformation and it was so fun to see it “pop” in the room.  I think that a little of this fabric goes a long way in Avery’s room.  It served its purpose in doing the following things:

  1. It determined the wall color.
  2. It became the foundation for  the color palate.

Here is the color palate we chose for her room.  The fabric comes from my fabric remnant, a queen sheet set, and two pillow cases.

Picture source , here and here.

I added a few tissue pom poms above the rocking chair to make it even more fun.  You can buy them at hobby lobby for about $5, but your color choice is limited.  I bought three packs of .99¢ tissue paper and made them myself.  You get the colors you want that way.  Martha Stewart gives a great “how to” or…they are all over the internet.  I hung them by twisting a hook in the ceiling.

Stay tuned.  The back of this rocker is from a queen sized sheet set.  It comes with a sheet, fitted sheet and two pillow cases.  My friend bought it at Target for $43.00.  For $43 of fabric we were able to make a closet curtain, window curtain, crib bumper, pillows, and line the back of the rocking chair.

Thanks for reading!


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