Interior Tuesday: Living Love

Our poor unloved living area is definitely in need of an update. Today, I’m focusing on the “TV Zone”, which contains a sectional couch, TV and console as it’s main components. As I mentioned in our move-in post, the pieces that we moved in with are too big for the space. I love our couch and have taken many many naps on the chaise, but it’s a pain to clean under and the dogs like to hide things there. Additionally, it blocks our sliding door. The TV console also blocks the fireplace which isn’t a big deal right now when it’s 80* every day, but once fall arrives, I’ll want to use it! And from a design perspective, they both crowd the space. There’s no wiggle room and, because of the aforementioned couch blocking issues and just the position of the apartment in the building, it’s dark. It needs more space, more light and more color!




I’ve been building a Pinterest board to help me get an idea of what direction I wanted to go. I’ve always been able to picture how I want it to look in my mind but it’s sometimes more difficult to go from a mental image to the real world! I see a squishy couch and my fireplace again. I’m easily won!

I love the couch I included (the Kensington from Jonathan Adler) but at almost $4k, that’s our entire WDW budget out the window! On something that we let the dogs up on 🙂 I’m actually thinking something insane, something I swore I’d never do again… I’m thinking of just getting a futon! Assuming it had a high enough quality, I like the idea. It’s comfy and more washable than your average couch. This one from Target would fit the bill quite well. It’s a bit trendy with the chevron, but at $200, it’s easily sent along to a college student who would love it or given a slipcover.

Screen Shot 2013 07 08 at 7 15 53 PM

NewImage“But Carolee”, you say, “you mentioned color. I’m seeing a LOT of grey!” That’s true, there is a LOT of grey and white. But that’s what layering’s for, right? There’s tons of great things, like the wall of art I showed in the design board above to the mess of pillows you see to the right. I also have an impressive collection of random art bits that will be a solid start that I can continue to build on.

Finally, there’s the mantel. People laugh at the current state of our mantel. I’m thinking you might be able to guess why:

Watching Fantasista Doll recently

Along with the cute BMO and family picture is… the Velvis. I’m easily the third owner of that velvet painting, though I could easily be the fourth or more! I absolutely love it but some people don’t find it as hilarious as I do. I’m hoping to use it as the large centerpiece for my mantel, but I’m not sure if it’s big enough. It’s only about 25% of the mantel and I feel like a large piece should be 50ish percent. That will definitely be a work in progress, esp. since I’d like to update it from time-to-time with holiday finery!

How about you? What one piece would you love to update in your living room/TV watching area? 

Moving On Up!

I think I’ve mentioned a couple times that April would be a month of big changes for my family. The first of them has happened: we’ve moved! We’re not totally out of the old place yet, but the new place is starting to come together. I thought I’d share a few photos! This space will probably go through a massive transition and I’d like to keep a record.

Common Space – TV Side


This will probably be the first space where we do a lot of changes. Our last space had a very big common area and we bought furniture with that in mind. Now, it’s smaller with that fireplace in it. I love fireplaces but this one has become a bit of liability with all the big pieces of furniture! As you can see in the before picture, there’s a little square of open space to the right of the fireplace. Luckily, it’s just big enough for a corner TV stand!

By the way, someone really needs to go heavily into the corner TV stand market and shake it up! It’s kind of a barren wasteland of office furniture and pretty good pieces. Then again, maybe I’m in the minority and I’m the only one who needs one 🙂 But I need one very badly so that I can get my fireplace back!

After we make that change, we’ll reassess the size of the couch. While I love how comfortable this couch is, it hasn’t stood up well to the wear our tiny family puts on it. The legs are now permanently loose and corgi hair really sticks in the fabric.

Additionally, this is where I want to do a LOT of decorating work. We have a mantel and a big bare wall. On top of that, it’s where most of our entertaining will be done, so it makes sense to make it as fun as possible.

Common Space – Dining Side


I totally got to take a before picture here but here’s what it looks like now. Unless my style changes drastically, there’s little I’m planning to do with this space. I’d like to add some curtains for color and to allow me to open up the blinds on that window without feeling totally exposed to my neighbors. I’d also like to see if I can fit some small storage/serving piece in there since my kitchen is now MUCH smaller which means a lot less storage!

The Office


So, you notice how I keep saying everything from my old apartment is too big for the current space? You’d think we’d moved into a significantly smaller apartment. We have not. It’s only about 100 square feet smaller than our last place. This room, which is probably technically the master bedroom, is easily larger than my first studio apartment. It’s MASSIVE (also my studio was tiny!) My husband only wants a small corner of this room, basically just for his desk and a few things. The rest of it is mine, all mine! Right now, all I have set up is the sewing table, but soon I’ll be adding space for paper crafting and storage for all my crafting stuff. This room also has massive white walls, so I intend to add a lot in here. I might actually put up some temporary wallpaper on one of the walls because it’s something I’ve always wanted to try out.

Additionally, this room has two closets which I intend to use for storing my clothing. I’m hoping to start rebuilding my wardrobe and that will require storage space, which thankfully this room has plenty of!


So, that’s all the interesting stuff for now! Expect to see more updates over the next few months as I add to and change the space! Next weekend is the next big change with Ruby finally coming to join us! Expect loads of pictures when that happens!

Things I Love Thursday!

Today’s post was hard! Why? Well, I’ve been avoiding being online for the last day or two so I didn’t have any links. It’s only up from here!!

Remember the TOMS x Shabby Chic shoes I mentioned last week?
Here they are! They’re my shoes for the summer!

Lawn Fawn 2013 Spring Release: One of my favorite new to me brands. They just released some insanely cute stuff for Spring 2013 and you should go check it out! I’m obsessed with the Pink Lemonade line!

Studio Calico’s Neverland Kits: While on the subject of paper, Studio Calico is showing off it’s March kits and they’re gorgeous! I’m going to be up on time on the 27th so I can grab them all!

Shabby Chic Easter Wreath: One of many from this incredible shop! Go check them out!

Baking Cupboard Labels: I’ll admit to being totally crazy for Torie Jayne’s blog. This week, she shared how she made her adorable labels and how you can make some too!

Spring and Easter Pastel Colours: As you can see, I’ve started to dream of Easter’s pastels, and hearthomemadeuk is totally feeding into that!

atelier lavanda: I just found this blog via hearthomemadeuk and I’m in love! Go check it out for yourself!

My Easter Tea: Loads of fantastic springy stuff on this pinterest board!

Shabby Chic Spring: As advertised, a board full of amazing inspiration from Astrid Carlucci.

Source: via Pink Piccadilly Pastries on Pinterest


Source: via Astrid on Pinterest

Source: via Pink Piccadilly Pastries on Pinterest

Source: via Pink Piccadilly Pastries on Pinterest

Interiors Tuesday: Dainty Dining

Work continues undeterred in the dining area this week. We managed to totally forget to build the table this weekend, but I’m hoping we’ll find the time one night this week. Now that the main furniture’s sorted, it’s time to give it a boost of color.

My love of Cath Kidston is well documented though I’m not too big a fan of what they have available right now. Greengate is another favorite, though they’re difficult to track down here in the US. I recently purchased myself this very cute snack set from Gracie China, though sadly they don’t have much more in the line beyond that and a tea set.

Greengate Ice Cream TruckAn image from the SS13 Greengate Catalogue

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Interior Tuesday: Completing the Set

Our dining set is finally complete! Yay!As I mentioned in my Project Upgrade post, I’ve started work on the common living space area of our home. The table should finally be arriving today, meaning the big new dining furniture upgrade is done! Yahoo! But there is still so much to do… and there’s a distinct urge to do it quickly so that the project is complete and I can move on to something else.

On the left, you can see my original dining room set. It was very cool esp. back when I was very into modern design. On top of that, I tracked down a pretty complete set of Swiss Chalet dinnerware. Everything was very matchy-matchy and complementary and that’s how I liked and wanted it. Modern design looks best in sets. The repetition creates the look your going for: cohesive and slick.

Now that my style has changed quite a bit, the urge is there to continue with the matching. Matching sets are easy! Get X number of things all from the same line and you’re done! But ultimately, interior design is really about curation. Your home should be filled with the things you really love and what if the tea set you love doesn’t match the plates you adore?

One of the very first things I think I pinned was this photo of a “granny chic” dishwasher. There’s something so charming about the warmth and hominess of unmatched pieces that all have similar colors and styles but aren’t exactly the same. It gives you space to find your favorites, “your plate” or “your mug”, and for everyone else in your home to do the same. These rules still exist to a certain extent in my childhood home. I know who’s cup is who’s still!

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Week Three @ finn & roo

Usually I post up my work but since this week has been kind of nuts, it’s time to do a work in progress post! There’s a couple spots where I’ve been making some progress: Project Life and Interiors!

Project Life

I would be showing you my new week two and week three Project Life spreads today but SOMEONE *coughMEcough* forgot to buy printer ink so she couldn’t print out any photos! Oops! I’ll go grab some tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have those up early next week.

Project lifeI ordered myself a Seafoam Project Life kit and didn’t really like it once I looked through it. I think, ultimately, I’m just not a core kit person. I’ve decided to DIY myself a kit. How am I doing this? Lots and lots of digital paper purchases from Etsy! I pretty much went nuts and purchased all the papers I found that I liked. After that, I printed them out on letter sized card stock and cut at least one 4×6 and as many 3x4s as I could. At right, you’ll see some of the 4×6 cards I made from this paper from Graphic Market on Etsy. I also cut some out of a tan gingham paper I had as well as some of my Studio Calico wood patterned card stock.

After the success I had with my first purchase, I went back and purchased quite a few more paper packs, which I’ll show and link to as I use them. I know a lot of people go immediately to scrapbooking stores and websites, but remember, Etsy and your home printer can be your best Project Life friends! At some point, I’ll probably put together a best of post to show you all some of the things I like!

Not having ink also forced me to experiment more with my Cameo. Rather than do hybrid week cards, I just grabbed some complementary papers, cut the information out of one and then created a little paper sandwich. I’m actually really pleased with them. I definitely prefer the scrappier look.



Another project I’m working on is Finn’s “baby book”. Finny’s going to be one year old on Feb 15th, so I thought I’d start on this project now so once it gets to be his birthday, I can finish it up. I don’t think I’m going to end up keeping the book. I may end up sending it to one of my moms since they’re always wanting pictures of the grandkid. This project is a little outside of my usual range because I’m intentionally trying to make it as masculine as I can while still maintaining my cute and sweet style. The chevron cover and the colors in the paper pack I’m using toughen it up a bit, but let’s be fair, it’s still me and this is a baby book, so it’s still going to be pretty twee. Once I get more ink, I’ll be powering through this so expect to see some finished results soon!


Common Area Color SchemeI’ve actually made a ton of progress on this front. Most of the new stuff I ordered arrived. I’m still waiting on the table and I hope it comes before next Saturday. I’m having my big 31st birthday at the house and the extra table space would be appreciated!

The chairs and bench have arrived and I really like them. Nice, stable and super cute! The chairs came pre-built (YAY!) so I only had to put the bench together. Many years of IKEA furniture has made me pretty handy with those tiny little wrenches. If I actually ever start doing interior design work and I have to help build things, I’ll definitely be investing in some better tools. Building that bench took three times as long as it should have because all I had was the silly little wrench they give you.

The image I’ve included with this section is a rough idea of what the color scheme will be for the living area. A friend suggested adding chocolate brown to the mix as well and I couldn’t agree more! In fact, on Friday, I grabbed a few yards of the Tilda Emma fabric in “grey-brown” to use for decorating (and maybe a skirt or dress!) so that will be there too. As the space comes together, I’ll take more photos. The first will probably be the dining area once the table arrives.

After that, I’ll be abusing my Cath Kidston Sew! book. I just flipped through it again and there are so many things I can create for the space with the patterns included. If you’re a fan of her style, you should definitely check it out!

Project Upgrade Begins!

image from When I Grow Up

One of my major goals for 2013 was to start on a total redesign of my apartment. I’m happy to say that has now begun! Actually getting the whole thing started was a bit of an issue but I’ve ordered the first new pieces now so it feels like it’s really happening!

Getting to this was actually a massive spot of growth for me. For the longest time, I’d defaulted to what was good or needed right now. The hubby and I had been having the big adult conversation of “let’s stop living in this upgraded dorm and do something specific and intentional with our interior design” In honor of being two adults in a respectful marriage, we tried to compromise.

In the beginning, I was really concerned that I would just default to Ryan’s ideas as he has a big opinion and I tend to be more giving. Just the thought of that pissed me off but I didn’t know why I was feeling that. Over the last couple of days, I’ve tried to find fun inspiration for our compromise (mid-century modern) and have found myself totally uninspired by the project.

Yesterday morning, I was lying in bed asking myself why. I’ve been given the dream project. Why was I so uninspired? And then it hit me. Our compromise was so far from my desire that it was uninteresting. The fact that I had a clear thing that I desired so much that it was making everything else uninteresting is a totally new experience for me. That’s when I knew I had to fight for my desire, another thing that’s pretty foreign to me!

Thankfully, when I came to Ryan and explained it all to him, he was totally on board with me getting exactly what I wanted. I’m sure this whole thing will seems small and silly to some people, but for me, this was a massive change in my approach to life. I’m really proud of myself!

diningSo expect to see the addition of my work in progress home pictures. Last night, I ordered our new dining room set, which you can see to the left, so our dining nook will be the first area to see a major overhaul. Once all the pieces get here, I’ll be making (or ordering, if I can find ones I like) linens and seat cushions and hanging art to give the space a ton of personality. I also really like my current dinnerware set but it’s starting to show it’s 60-ish year old age after a year and a half of heavy use. I’m thinking it’s time to start the update to the Cath Kidston stuff of my dreams!

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