Third Time is the Charm

I have exciting news: after what felt like years of casual searching, we've finally settled on a new (to us) rug for our living room. Ok, maybe it's only exciting to me…but I'll carry on. You see, two years ago when we first moved into our Charlotte home, we made use of a lot of our things from Chicago - one of them being a boring old neutral sisal, that really worked best for layering. It was huge and boring. Oh, did I already say that? Sorry, but it was. I immediately started looking for a replacement, but with our heavily patterned chairs, odd assortment of colors and bold foyer paper - I was pretty much stumped.

Then, in an unexpected whirlwind of activity, two rugs came within grasp. We wavered only momentarily and then made the plunge on a blue persian style, hand knotted 9x12 beauty. Unfortunately, it was a mistake. 

A mistake that I knew the moment we unrolled the rug. Which, incidentally, was like 2 days after it was delivered. Surely, I already knew something was amuck - when have I ever waited 2 days to open anything home related?
It's a beautiful rug, there's no denying that, but it just doesn't work with the chairs in particular nor with the whole look and feel of the room. 

Fortunately, the other contender was still available and we were able to scoop it up as well. 
Obviously, it's not ideal to purchase two rugs in one go, but the blue beauty has found a temporary home in another room while we decide if we should sell her on. 

I guess what they say is true, third time is the charm because we're head over heels for this rug. It offers color and pattern without overpowering our other fabrics, it's smaller size shows off the lovely hardwoods, and it plays so nicely with our console, too. Yes, I'm a happy girl. And so is my wallet because I got this butte for a steal at $200. Thank you very much, Move Loot.

until next time,

Chinoiserie Style in the Living Room

Introducing my own little bit of Chinoiserie style. Yes, I know I've started a collection of blue and white and have the odd Chinoiserie throw pillow, but this is my first true (large) commitment to mixing my fresh traditional style with Chinoiserie.

And I am loving it! 
Like all good things, it seems, this piece came across my path when I was least expecting it…i.e. not looking for it and definitely not sitting on a pile of cash to make it happen. I knew I loved it right away, but let a couple of days pass until I made my first enquiry.

I'm sure you would do the same thing after a look at that amazing brass hardware. So, I did what any self respecting bargain hunter would do and negotiated a better deal that was more in our price range, braved a crazy storm, and brought our new console home.  Then proceeded to sell half of my attic stash to make it work.              

The proportions of this console work much better than the previous drop leaf table we were using as a TV stand. And it's so much more interesting to look at it that it helps distract from the big black hole of a TV.

Not to mention that it's a wonderful showcase for my favorite threesome of brass animals. 

Sometimes you just have to jump on something that inspires you - even when the timing isn't quite right. I'm so happy we could make this work in our space. 

until next time, 

A Living Room Corner, Updated

One of the biggest take-a-ways I gathered from the book, Absolutely Beautiful Things, was the affirmation of the round side table. I've always loved the look, how it breaks up all the straight lines and the added height to the room -  and now I'm happy to know I'm not alone. 

Our off-white drop-leaf table was an eBay score back in Chicago and has been sitting pretty in this corner since we moved into the Charlotte house. But, for some reason, I always had one leaf down. Not for any reason in particular, it just was what it was. Until I read her book, got right up mid-chapter and pulled up that second leaf. It seems like a little change, but sometimes that's all it takes to transform a space. With so much extra surface space, it's time to get vignette-makin'.

Switching gears for just a moment, I have to tell you that I grew up in a beautiful home full of blue and white everything. Everywhere. And for that reason, I never wanted blue and white in any of my homes. Guess what? I was wrong. Blue and white isn't stuffy, boring, or too traditional. If the book doesn't show you that, I have no idea what would! Truth is, I've been coming around for awhile now, but after reading her book I am officially onboard. 

And so my little blue and white collection was born. Well, truthfully, it started when my world travelin' husband brought back the Korean, hand painted, blue and white bowl. Details, details :)

To keep my collection from looking too traditional, I've opted to mix and match a variety of patterns, shapes and sizes. Seeing this little trio is making me excited to grow our collection...

To offset the traditional lamp and classic blue and white, I added something with a bit of quirk - the horse head. I like how the color brings in a touch of rosy glow and plays well with the lamp and couch. Having the colors link from the tabletop to the upholstery and fabrics helps to achieve a cohesive look.

Speaking of fabrics, I took another cue from the book by mixing patterns and ensuring they link to other elements in the room. The big change here is the blue animal print pillow, that I love and really offsets the orange and yellow in the ikat pillow. And who doesn't love a little faux fur pompom on their throw? No one.

Amazing how a couple of small changes all spurned on by one book has transformed the feel of one corner of our living room. 

until next time,

Fresh Traditional Built-in Styling

In case you aren't already sick of this room, I still have more to share. The built-ins at the far end of the living room are a project that I've been working on since we moved into this house in September. Lately, I've been trying to interject a bit more of my fresh traditional style and I'm finally liking what I see. 

Besides, if I waited to share these when they were perfect, I'd probably never share them…
When is anything ever perfect anyway? 

I know a lot of people literally shy away from styling shelves, but I really enjoy it. Today, I thought I'd share some of the ideas I've used to style the built-ins with my new signature style, fresh traditional. 

1. Symmetry. 
Symmetry is super traditional, but I love it. I wanted to play on the idea of symmetry by mimicking shapes and patterns, but not necessarily using the same items in each built-in. This keeps the overall scheme traditional but with a fresh twist.

2. Cohesive color scheme.
To keep the built-ins from looking too hodgepodge I kept to a cohesive color scheme. In this case, I choose green, metallics, and a touch of black.
All green would seem too traditional, the black keeps it fresh, and well, the metallics are just something I can't get away from. I love to mix my metals!

3. Pairing traditional with modern.
Fresh traditional is all about pairing traditional items with more modern items to create a fresh look. In our built-ins I incorporated a lot of our existing items like books, vases, urns, finials, and architectural details - all of which are fairly traditional. Then, I peppered the shelves with more modern accents like the capiz spheres, the black and white vases and the brass urchins. Together they work to create the fresh traditional look.

I'm planning on leaving the built-ins for awhile. 
How can you really tell how you feel about something unless you let it percolate?
Plus, John told me this room is risking over decoration. 
Ah, the horror! 
I have been concentrating the most on the living room,
(only need a piece for under the wall mounted TV)
a little break from this space will do us all some good. 

until next time, 

Leaps and Bounds

As most of you noticed from my fresh traditional tabletop transformation (here) post, there have been a lot of changes in our living room since I last shared this space with you.
I wouldn't want you to think I was holding out on you, honestly, the room has just come leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks. Here are the details.

No. 1: Rug
Sometime in November, I stumbled across a 70% off sale on and promptly settled into an impromptu 3 hour rug search. 

Seriously, these guys have so many choices and run amazing sales. In fact, right now, they are running a 50% off sale with free shipping, so if you are in the market definitely check them out.

I finally settled on a wool moroccan shag rug, which I think is the perfect addition to our mostly traditional living room. I love it layered over our existing sisal, adding so much texture and interest  while still remaining neutral enough to allow the other accents in the room to really shine.  

No. 2: Accent Chair

Way back in October, I shared our new living room chair (here) and wondered if there could be room for two. Most of you urged me to double down and get the second chair, but it wasn't until we had a series of guests and not enough chairs that I finally did it. 
I was really worried about the floral fabric and having a matching set - hoping it wouldn't be too boring, traditional and stuffy. 
I'm pleased to report it's non of the above!

No. 3: The pillows

I've been looking for pillows for this space for quite sometime. Not seriously looking, mind you, but a passing stroll through the shops, a casual glance online - you know what I'm talking about. Needless to say, I was shocked to stumble across these big beauties at Marshall's last week.

 I know I shouldn't even say this, but they were on clearance! What? No one wants two shades of orange in their ikat pillows? How interesting.

Truth be told, I brought these homes and left the tags on for a couple of days. I just wasn't sure. They didn't coordinate with the chairs at all, but then I decided to take a bit of my own advice and not make everything be so matchy-matchy. I love the pillows. They are staying.

By adding only a handful of fresh accessories, I think the vibe of the room has completely changed and I'm really happy with how the room is finally coming together. 
Next up: The shelves. I've been working on them for a couple of weeks now, hoping for a reveal next week. 

linking in with: 

until next time,