Category Archives: Living Space

Christmas Tour

We ordered a pair of new loveseats as our anniversary gift this year.  These finally replace a sofa and loveseat set we got as hand-me-downs years ago.  I was very grateful to have them for free for many years, but ultimately they were oversized for our room and the wrong color.  I wanted something more petite, not deep and more tailored looking.  I also did not want oversized or tall arms.  Bradley liked this loveseat with it’s touch of mid-century style.  I liked that it was shallow and not oversized.  We were able to pick out the fabric and have them made by Craftmaster. I thought the button-tufting on these were less formal than deep tufts and complimented the button tufts on the chairs that I had recovered earlier this year as well.  I did not like the 7″ tapered round legs that came on the loveseats, so I found some 5″ tapered square legs online that better matched the style of the chairs.  At only 5’3″, it is so hard to find furniture that allows my feet to sit on the floor without having to slouch or perch on the edge.

We had an issue getting the correct loveseats in, so after ordering them in September and expecting them around our anniversary at the end of October, we finally got the right ones in time for Christmas decorating.  I also picked up a new pair of mid-century-inspired side tables at Target for one of the loveseats.  I really like the marble tops to kind of shake up all the wood pieces in the room.

On to the dining room.  I finally bit the bullet and got all of the curtain panels in here and the living room hemmed.  I also added simple roman shades to both rooms for added privacy and light control when needed.  My Christmas decorations are minimal this year – table runner, a poinsettia from my neighbor, and some vintage ornaments in a lantern.

On the mantle, I didn’t feel like pulling out the Willow Tree nativity from Bradley’s grandparents, so a simple garland, banner and metallic trees with deer are it.

The red and black buffalo check monogram letter is new this year, but otherwise, just my normal nativity set ups.

The bulldog treat jar always gets dressed up this time of year and of course I have out the light bulb ornament I made years ago.

We have a couple of new travel ornaments this year on the tree.  We went to Nashville for a weekend to see Our Lady Peace in concert.  We also visited Bradley’s brother and his family in Portland this fall.

I will end the post with our early Christmas gift from mother nature – 6-8″ of snow!  We survived without losing power, but the Japanese maple tree in front of our garage couldn’t handle it and we had two very large limbs come down.  Luckily, I hadn’t gotten around to wrapping it in Christmas lights yet, and it might not be salvageable so it may never get decorated again.

Cane Chairs


I finally found two great little petite chairs for the front of our living room.  I’ve been searching for a pair of Lewittes caned wingback chairs for over a year, but not having much luck.  I had a saved Craigslist search and these popped up in the next town over, so I decided to go for it.


The burgundy fabric was not going to work for me and the padding was a little flat, so I decided to try having something reupholstered for the first time.  The recovering of the chairs cost seven times what the chairs themselves cost, but I am so pleased with how they turned out.  The upholsterer added padding to the seat and back cushions, and even made the back of the seat cushions follow the curve of the back of the chairs.

I chose a fabric by Richloom – Olson Cement.  It is a nice putty color in a subtle herringbone pattern.

I love the caning, and with a little Restor-A-Finish on the wood, I think they will clean up really nicely.  The size is perfect for under the front windows in the living room and they don’t block traffic in and out of the room.  The best thing about them is they are good short-people chairs.  I (at 5’3″) can sit all the way back in the chair and the front of the seat hits the back of my knees with my feet flat on the floor.

Living Room Updates

Living 05.05b

I’ve made some big decor change-ups in the living room.  And it all started with our bathroom renovation.

I was on the hunt for some art to break up the large blue wall in the bathroom when I came across this print at Pier1.  I brought it home, but it was way too large for the bathroom.  So we gave it a trial run over the couch.  I decided I liked it there, but it didn’t go with the green accents I had going on in the room – curtain panels I had from when we moved into our first house nine years ago that looked a little washed out in the space and throw pillows in a green houndstooth and chocolate and green floral patterns.

Living 05.05c My next step was finding new curtain panels for not a lot of money.  I found these turquoise panels at Tuesday Morning for $20 per pair.  They are a little long and grommet-top is not my first choice, but they do look nice in the room.

Living 05.05dAfter finding the curtain panels, I knew I needed to find a way to bridge the gap between my houndstooth pillows that I love and am not ready to give up and the turquoise art and curtains.  I found this fun ikat chevron print fabric at Forsyth Fabrics here in Atlanta.  It has turquoise, the same green as the houndstooth, and a lime color on a cream backdrop.  It was on sale, so I bought three yards and had four pillow covers made for the inserts I removed from the old throw pillows.
Pillow 05.05Living 05.05aBefore:

Living Room 0615b

It feels like the room is so much more full now even though I didn’t add any furniture.  I guess that is what happens when you bring in big art and rich colors.  All this and I still haven’t found a piece of art for the bathroom.

Progress Report: Year 2 in Review

We started out year two in what we call our forever home by having four large pine trees and four large Sweet Gum trees cut down.  The pine trees were buckling the driveway and the sweet gum trees, in addition to their annoying gumballs all over the yard, were in decline and needed to go.  That project took two days and the cost came in at $2300.

Sweet Gum Trees

Pine Trees (1)

We also checked off a couple of boxes from our home inspection.  There were two vent boots on the roof that were cracked, so we had those replaced at a cost of $200.  Also, our electrical panel was an electrical hazard, so we had a new one installed.  At the same time, they added an outlet to our foyer and were able to get the stairwell light to work using the switch at the top of the stairs.  The electrical work came in at $1848.

Cracked Vent Boots(Cracked Vent Boots – No after pictures)

Electrical Panel

As our anniversary gift, we had sun tunnels installed in the den to allow more natural light into the room.  That upgrade came in at $1470.

Sun Tunnels

We had a few minor plumbing and HVAC repairs that came up – the repair costs came in around $550.  This included repairing a leaky drain in the guest bathroom tub, replacing a leaky faucet in the main floor bathroom, and replacing the contactor in the upstairs HVAC.


Smaller projects around the house included adding curtains to the master bedroom and Bradley’s office.  I added chairs and tables to our front porch to make it feel more inviting.  Bradley changed out the fluorescent light in the kitchen for a new polished nickel track light.

Master Bedroom2

Office 0715b

Porch Chairs1

Kitchen Light1

We also moved the full-size bed into the spare front bedroom and put a queen-size bed in the guest bedroom.

Third BR 0715a

Guest BR 0715a

We continue to make progress pulling out unwanted overgrowth in the yard.  I was able to add more Daphnes behind the Drift Roses to the right side of the front porch shrubbery bed.  In front of the garage, I added two Miss Scarlett Illiciums on either side of the Gardenias.  My mom planted daffodil and tulip bulbs along the driveway as well.  Before we know it, we will have flowers popping up throughout the year.


Looking forward into 2016, our big to-do list item is a master bathroom remodel.  We discovered a leak coming through the kitchen ceiling back in October.  It turned out to be our master shower pan leaking.  We have had several contractors out to get quotes on a small remodel, and we will begin moving forward shortly.  That renovation will probably exclude any other major projects around the house this year, barring any unexpected repairs.

I hope to finish pulling out the azaleas that are floating in the middle of the front yard without anything to anchor them.  And since I didn’t get to it last year, I hope to paint the shutters navy – December’s Eve by Sherwin Williams to be exact.

Sun Tunnels

Our den, where we spend a lot of time when we are home, stays pretty dark during the day.  It is flanked by the garage on one side, a covered screened porch on the opposite side, and a fireplace wall with no windows.  I have always thought that I would love to add small, high windows on either side of the fireplace and have built-ins installed below them.  I’m sure that will be a pretty good sized budget project, so in the short-term (and as our gift to each other for our 10th anniversary) we decided to add two sun tunnels to the room to add a little natural light.  They go through the attic and roof to let sunlight into the room.  From inside they look like very large recessed light fixtures.

Here is the room with the new sun tunnels installed:
Den 11.11.15

Here is the room before:
Den 10.13.15

Both pictures were taken on sunny afternoons, with the same camera setting and neither were altered in post-processing.  It isn’t a glaring difference, but the extra bit of light really brings the room alive.

Here are the installed sun tunnels.  Each is about 14″ across.Sun Tunnels

The tunnels without the cover:2015-10-29 11.56.21 HDR-2

During installation:2015-10-29 12.06.26