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Monday, January 6, 2014

living room january style

 Ah, the starkness and wonder of a clean palette once all the Christmas
decorations are taken down. I think I finally have my living room back to the
way I want it. You might recall that I had a long, rectangular wooden coffee
table in front of the sofa before. I love it - it's a gorgeous table that belonged
to my grandma - but it's too bulky for this small living room. I replaced it
with two round leather ottomans. The oriental rug you see under the ottomans
is actually a long hallway runner. It belonged to my grandma, too. I am
going to use it in my hallway, but I need to buy a couple of those sticky
rug pads to put underneath the rug. In the meantime, I folded the rug in half
and placed it where you see it now.

I like aqua chair where I have it now because it brings more seating 
by the couch. This is such a small, awkward space that it's hard to
set up a conversation area. I would love to flank the outside corners of the
rug with two chairs, but the chairs would stick out into the main walkway
of the living room.


The little black chair by the fireplace took the place of the aqua chair, but this
 black chair is much too small for the space. That black table calls for a bulkier
 chair. Oh well, it's called making do with what you have, right? I think I've also
mentioned before that I do not like those pictures above my fireplace.
I wasn't the one who picked them out in the first place - it was my cousin.
Bless his heart, he is a fantastic designer and perhaps these pictures
would sit well with someone else, but they're just not my style. The fireplace
is stark enough as it is and I think these pictures only make the area
more so. I need more warmth and color. In the meantime, I am keeping
my eyes open for a good deal on a large, gold mirror. I think that will look
a lot better on the fireplace wall.


I used touches of blue, gold, and a little bit of green for the ladder
bookcase and side table. I'm really liking the gold flower bookends that
I got at Goodwill (originally from Target) last week.


I kept the top of the buffet area simple and neutral except for the 
splash of blue in the little picture and the blue-gray of the wooden
houses (marked The Countryside Collection, Bucks County, PA
 -found at Goodwill last year).


 I hope everyone is staying warm ~ the temperature here today in northern
Illinois has been unbelievably frigid. It got down to -47F with the wind chill factor.
Even with the heat in my house at its regular setting, I am sitting here in two
layers of clothes, there's a fire going in the fireplace, and I have a space
heater here in the living room, too! Tomorrow's high will be zero, so I guess 
you could call that a warm-up. ;-) I am off now to fix dinner. I'm warming up
some leftover split pea soup and a vegan carrot-fennel soup and am going
to put some garlic naan bread sprinkled with mozzarella cheese in the oven.
 

30 comments:

  1. Sometime would you take a picture of that buffet. I think that it is the same as one that I had before I married Joe.
    Love all your little touches.
    Balisha

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    1. I will gladly send you a picture of the buffet, Balisha. This buffet belonged to my parents. It had been passed down to them by someone from church, so it's been around a long time! If I was good at painting furniture, I would re-do this piece.

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  2. You really are on the ball! Today was so cold I laid down in bed to read with 3 quilts! It was so cold I couldn't stand the thought of going into the kitchen to start dinner. I bit the bullet and have a pot of stew going. Our heat is set at 73 and it's only 68. Space heaters scare me to death and we have a few of the newer, safer ones. We did not load up on firewood and no one wants to go out. Agrrrrr...

    Your living room looks nice. I agree with the pictures above the fireplace. Home Depot has a nice selection of mirrors as well as Homegoods, at good prices. I like the ottomans, too.

    Still working on the decorations, then I'll see where the living room goes.

    XO,
    Jane

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    1. I only have my heat set at the normal 68. It's actually fine in here with wearing a hoodie over a long-sleeved shirt. The space heater is a brand-new one - a gift from my cousin. He gave it to us when our furnace went out at Thanksgiving. The new ones are safe, so they don't scare me. HomeGoods is the first place I'm going to look for a mirror - maybe I'll even get lucky and find one in their clearance aisle! The ottomans are from Overstock...ordered them several years ago.

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  3. I sure wish I had you here cooking some meals for me! Your meals always sound so good. I like where you're going here. I like the things your cousin picked out. I just don't think they look good there. Too many angles... Needs some curves.
    Brenda

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    1. If you lived close to me, I'd love to bring you some of my home-cooked food! I agree with you about too many angles...I think a big, round, gold mirror would balance out the hard lines of the fireplace and bring some warmth to that area.

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  4. It al looks nice. Those pictures would look nice in a city apartment. You will find something perfect for that spot. Probably something you already have somewhere.
    I still have Christmas up. My family company just left yesterday. Now I need to take things down. It is freezing here and snowing. I want some split pea soup esp. since I saved the Honey Baked Ham bone for it. Stay warm and cozy.

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    1. You are right - those pictures would be perfect in a modern loft apartment in a city! I am hoping once they come down (when I get a mirror), that I'll be able to re-sell them at the local consignment shop. I used the leftover ham and ham bone from Christmas to make the split pea soup - so good!

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  5. I'm sure you will find something that is more to your liking over the fireplace, Melanie. The hunt for just the right piece can be fun. Sounds like a wonderful dinner...you sure are more industrious in this cold weather than I am!

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    1. Well, thank you, but I like to keep busy! I enjoy cooking, especially in the colder months when I don't mind heating up the kitchen.

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  6. So pretty. I love the touches of blue around the room. I also liked seeing your cats! They look comfy in the Comfy House. :) I think a mirror will look beautiful over the fireplace. If you find one you like, maybe you could even paint it. I've been thinking about painting a mirror frame I have lately.

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    1. My cats love to photobomb pictures, lol. That's a good idea about painting a mirror frame if I find one I like and it's not gold.

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  7. Everything looks fresh and clean and lovely and yes...it's nice having things back to normal after Christmas. I see that the cats think this new arrangement is for them :)

    -8 here with a -30 wind chill this morning. Been a long time since it's been that cold!
    Stay warm and comfy! :)

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    1. The cats think the whole house is for them! ;-) So far, so good on staying warm...I haven't ventured out!

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  8. I love your header - am I clueless and just noticed it or is it new?

    I too love those bookends, the colorful pillows, the "window" shelf and all your little touches.

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    1. Thanks, Carol! Yes, the header is new but I want to re-do it (it's time-consuming and I don't enjoy doing it)...I dunno, I wasn't too happy with it. I think it's a little too busy and I don't like how I went with kind of a distressed look.

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  9. I put my Christmas decoration away a little early this year, I usually wait till the seventh, but like you said it great to have things back to normal. Everything look nice, bright and new again. It's been bitter this winter especially the last few days. They are calling for 35 on Saturday. Wow that sounds like a heat wave. Enjoy you dinner! See ya soon!

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    1. Even today at zero seems a lot warmer, doesn't it?! Can't wait until it's in the 30's again. We'll probably all be out with just jackets, lol

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  10. Your living-room looks very inviting. I actually like the black chair next to the firplace and your sideboard is gorgeous. I love the window above it as well. Enjoy your balmy 0°F today!

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    1. Thanks for the sweet compliments, Magali!

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  11. Happy New Year, Melanie! I like your new header. I see that you aren't too sure about it by the comments above. Ironically, when I first came here and saw the new look, I thought, whose blog is this? I thought I had gone to another one by accident. HA! Everything looks nice and fresh. I've got so much cleaning and organizing to do. Time consuming. Sure hope things warm up for you. I'm in layers over here and it's only in the 40's/50's but feels so much colder inside. Concrete buildings get cold, that's for sure. Take care, Tammy

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    1. My previous blog header was Christmas-themed, so that's why I changed it. I really need to have it professionally done and just keep it the same. We're warming up a bit...supposedly up into the 30's this weekend. It'll feel like spring to us! ;-)

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  12. Nice touches, I too pulled down the fussiness of Christmas and have streamlined my decor too.
    Jemma

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  13. Such a cozy post, Melanie...your food sounds delicious, and your room is lovely and welcoming! I've been pretty much hibernating here...

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    1. Hibernating sounds mighty good right now...

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  14. It sounds like the same weather we've been experiencing and I've been dressing in layers inside, too. With an old house, there are so many drafty areas that it's hard to stay warm! I've got the same problem as you in our living room. It's long and narrow and it's hard to create a nice arrangement that feels cozy. I think your room looks very inviting, especially with the fireplace going. I've hung mirrors everywhere in our house to reflect more light. I think a big mirror over your fireplace would be pretty and I know you'll find one that's just right!

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    1. Our house is only 25 years old but some of the windows are drafty. We could only afford to replace several of them a few years ago. Windows are expensive! I love mirrors...not only how they reflect light, but for their decorative qualities as well.

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  15. Melanie, your home has such a cozy vibe, no matter the season or holiday and today's pics are further evidence of this. I especially like your sideboard and the shelf display, very pretty!

    Stay warm, my friend!

    Poppy
    PS: I don't go ANYWHERE in this house without my space heater!;-)

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    1. Thank you so much for your awesome compliments, Poppy!

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