Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our Living Room...Mostly Complete

Hello! It has been so long since I last opened blogger to start a post. I contemplated packing it up and riding quietly into the blogging sunset; but just like a magnet, something about blogging has pulled me back in and won't let me go, at least not yet.

Frankly, I missed our interactions! I really, truly did. If I could invite each and everyone of you over to my house, we'd probably sit in the living room and spend the day gabbing away about our favorite fabrics, what auctions we've been to lately and our best thrifting discovery of all time. The best rooms are the ones that spark these kinds of engrossing conversations, and that's just what I set out to do in our living room

In the past year (yes, year...we've been working on it for the past 12 months), I've tried to cultivate a warm, cozy, curated room that welcomes to any visitor and demonstrates a little bit about Adam and I. I'm happy to report that we're 99% of the way towards that goal, save for finalized curtains in the room's large bay window.

This space has undergone lots of changes--both big and small. Carpentry, painting, upholstery, new furniture...you get the idea. I love this room. I always feel a little uneasy sharing such personal rooms but I hope it's the kind of room that seems inviting to you, even across the computer screen.

Without further ado...here's our "mostly complete" living room!
(all images via Meet Me in Philadelphia)

In case you wanted to walk down memory lane, here are some of the projects that brought this living room to life:

Thank you all for sticking with me during my frequent blogging breaks (and following me on Instagram in the interim)--I hope we can pick up where we've left off. I've saved up so many projects to share here on the blog, and I'm looking forward to catching up with each of you!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pre-holiday Spruce-Up: The Vintage Blue Tile Bathroom

Vintage blue tile bathroom via Meet Me in Philadelphia
This week marks the official start of the holiday season (though, according to malls and big box stores, it's perfectly appropriate to start celebrating and shopping in September!). As such, I had the itch to get a jumpstart prepping for holiday guests; the first place I wanted to start: our vintage blue bathroom. 

I shared the photo above on Instagram one morning last week, as I could hardly wait to show off this work-with-what-you've-got spruce-up, which required little more than incorporating items I already had into an otherwise-ignored space. In the spirit of Thanksgiving gratitude and contentment, I challenged myself to work within the limits of what I had rather than undertaking a full (and completely unnecessary) renovation and, in doing so, I proved to myself that the smallest changes could turn one of my least favorite spaces into one of my favorites.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Antoinette Poisson Printed Pillow + Vintage Bamboo Armchairs

Antoinette Poisson printed pillow via Meet Me in Philadelphia
There's been a flurry of activity around these parts since I last posted. I could spend the next week or so recounting all of the activity that's been stealing my attention from this blog, but instead of wasting too much time looking backward I figured I'd choose the most "blogworthy" happenings to share...like this pillow.

Back in early October, Adam and I spent a whirlwind weekend in Brooklyn with two of our dearest friends. Though the real purpose of the trip was to celebrate our friend's thirtieth birthday, I certainly couldn't miss the opportunity to do a little shopping. Adam was a great sport, and hardly seemed bothered when I dragged him into John Derian's trio of stores is in the East Village.

I was on a mission, and one of my objectives was to check out the printed pillows from Antoinette Poisson, a Paris-based design firm specializing in textiles and hand-painted papers based on 19th century French patterns. The company had recently been written up in Architectural Digest, and its offerings are not widely available in the U.S. except for Derian's shop so I had to take advantage of being in the city to look at them up close.

Aren't the prints lovely?
Antoinette Poisson printed papers via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Antoinette Poisson printed papers via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Antoinette Poisson printed papers via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Antoinette Poisson printed fabrics via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Back to the pillow. I couldn't resist when I spotted it at one of Derian's East Second Street shops--the only trouble was selecting only one pattern. I hardly settled, though, as the pattern I picked suits the existing colors of our den nicely, don't you think?
Antoinette Poisson printed pillow via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Antoinette Poisson printed pillow via Meet Me in Philadelphia
 In other acquisition news, this set of 4 vintage bamboo arm chairs came home with us from an estate sale this weekend. They're sturdy, they're navy and I couldn't bear to leave the sale without them. I just have to find the perfect spot for them...
Vintage blue bamboo arm chairs via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Vintage blue bamboo arm chairs via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Vintage blue bamboo arm chairs via Meet Me in Philadelphia
(all via Meet Me in Philadelphia unless otherwise noted)

Have the shopping gods shined down on you lately the way they have for me?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cafe Curtains are Having a Moment

I decided to pull myself from my sort of impromptu blogging hiatus (again) to tell you all that I think cafe curtains are having a moment. For those of you who shudder at the phrase 'cafe curtain' and swear that I've jumped the shark, let me show you what I mean when I think of 'cafe curtains'.

Easy, breezy...the perfect balance of privacy and exposure. A nod to days gone by.
(via Two Ellie)
Whether printed or sheer, in a bathroom, kitchen or living room, a modern application of the cafe curtain is unfussy, relaxed and affordable. I have cafe curtains, sheer gauzy white cotton options, in a few of our bathrooms and love how they filter light while also providing privacy. 

I recently made a few pairs for my home (more on that soon), but they're also incredibly easy to make by repurposing antique dishtowels or other linens. No sewing involved, either!

Do you have any cafe curtains in your home? Would you consider it?

Monday, September 15, 2014

J.Crew Indigo Top becomes Footstool Upholstery

Footstool upholstered with JCrew top via Meet Me in Philadelphia
Maybe it was the sudden early-fall chill in the air this weekend, but it was the perfect few days to take on a few projects around our house. Aside from today's project, we got busy tackling bathroom tile demolition that I'll share more about soon!

Today, I wanted to share my first DIY in a very long time--an antique footstool brought back to life with, of all things, a J.Crew cotton top.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spotlight: Designer Lee Ann Thornton

Do you ever encounter an interior designer that, somehow, just sort of speaks to your present style and captures the lifestyle you wish you had? For me, that designer is Lee Ann Thornton.

Recently, I was perusing the latest issue of House Beautiful. Focusing first on the captivating images, I spent more time that usual studying each aspect, every fabric choice and furniture arrangement. Something about the designer's aesthetic felt homey and cozy. Frankly, just perfect.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello, It's Me (and a Bit More of Our Living Room)

Hello, it's me. It's been an awfully long time, hasn't it? A whole summer, in fact, which was never my intention.

In the three months since my last blog post, I've vacillated a lot between recommitting myself to regular posting and quietly receding into the blogging sunset. Life's been hectic at best and, in particular, the job that I started in the spring turned into an intellectually-challenging role that often zapped me of my energy and creativity. I wondered often if I should just pack it up and close this chapter of my life as a blogger. 

In recent weeks, though, something changed. On my way to and from work, I started making lists of the next project I wanted to undertake around the house. My mind started configuring new plans and considering the details of things outside of my job, which hadn't happened for months. I would come home and, instead of nodding off halfway through dinner, I would walk around the house and scan each space for inspiration with what felt like a new set of eyes. That new perspective--and perhaps also a new appreciation--makes me feel fresh and new and ready to return to writing here.

When I was unemployed, I felt a constant joy and resentment for our home. I loved it and was tremendously grateful for it, but I also felt physically and mentally trapped by its walls and what it represented financially. Overwhelmed by the burden to "do this and do that" around the house while Adam worked, I needed to legitimize every hour, every minute.

Well, now that I don't have nearly as many hours or minutes, I think I love my house even more. It's true--absence does make the heart grow fonder, which is why I wanted to invite you all to see the changes that have been made to our living room in the last few months.  
You may remember that I wrote about my quest to find the perfect slate for our fireplace surround back in May. When that search stalled, I opted to paint the brick.

I didn't expect to like it nearly as much as I do, but I do.
I found the antique bench, now placed in front of the hearth, sometime last winter for $30 and had it reupholstered recently in Tilton Fenwick's charming "Gideon" stripe in mint/red.
 It took me awhile to decide how to approach our living room built-ins. I slowly relocated books from elsewhere in the house to the shelves here, now giving the space purpose, color and literary clout.
The seat of my favorite antique side chair, an auction find from Connecticut, has been reupholstered in sumptuous coral velvet too, accenting the color elsewhere in the room. 
Now, you're probably wondering where the sofa shot is...

The sofa is in process, as a matter of fact. It took me months and months (far too long, really) to decide which directly I wanted to go in, but I opted for a stain- and fade-resistant Sunbrella solid that I'm excited to see soon. 

I'm still working out the rug situation. We perused the natural rug options at a local carpet store but were mortified at the prices for the custom-sized and bound pattern we liked. Back to the drawing board, I suppose!
(all via Meet Me in Philadelphia)

Bit by bit, inch by inch, the living room (and life in general) is coming together.

P.S. An extra-special thank you to those who emailed and checked in after me in the last few months. 
I sure have missed you all. 
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