Slipcover accomplished

Last week, I told you about my master plan for our front room. We had chosen the slip cover option as a band-aid for our couch necessity for now, but after my Pottery Barn experience, I was really nervous for slip cover 2.0 to arrive in the mail. Let me tell you, I have never been more pleasantly surprised with an outcome. We have now gone from this ~

to this ~

Aside from tracking down a steamer to de-wrinkle the slip cover around the bottom, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The mini-instagram of 1.0 is really kind to the green and “cream” (too many afternoons with Riley on it have died it more of a shade reminiscent of dish water) stripes. So I’m happy with the clean slate grey. I had been convinced I’d stick with mustardy hues to accent with, but I’m thinking the grey on grey is pushing me more in the direction of some serious yellow and maybe even purple color pops. I was ecstatic to find that most of my nosing around blogs and such produced purples paired with lots of grey. So there you have it!

I love the look of these jewel-toned chairs and would love to have something similar to them juxtaposed against a rustic dining table one day. For now, I can settle for pops of yellow laced with purple through couch cushions, vases, etc.

I hadn’t really thought about adding a pop to the floor, but this provides some inspiration to do so. I’ve been spying some spectacular (and affordable!) rugs on Joss & Main recently so that’s an option, as well.

The first thing I did when I moved here was paint the spare room lavender. These pictures reminded me why. It’s so calming!

What are your thoughts on purples? Do you lean more towards muted colors or pops of colors? Or striking a balance?

All images (except the first two which were clearly taken with my cell phone) via one of my favorite Francoholic sites, located here.


Pillowy details

Ok, so if you come to artsdevivre regularly, you know that I am having issues solving our seating dilemma. I desperately want a new couch, but we have decided to pinch pennies just a bit longer before plunging into purchasing our “nice” furniture. Our furniture is mostly worn, and mostly hand me downs, but it works for its collective purposes, so I think it’s important to not over extend ourselves financially when we are not quite ready.

However, that does not solve the conundrum of our, ahem, very tired sofa in the front room. The first slipcover I purchased was a disaster, and in keeping with my current thrifty ideals, I found one more in-line financially (ha! only $43!) and actually I like the color far better. Here she is ~

Now, I know this is not like looking at perfectly zen interiors on Pinterest, but it’s all about the canvas, right? Obviously I am not going to purchase that awkward cube pattern carpet. And obviously I am going to add some super cute decorative pillows to accent my choice of grey. And I figure, since I’ve been *so.responsible* about not over spending on a new sofa, I can at least purchase some great pillows petit à petit. We have these awesome cave painting reproductions in our front room (courtesy of my grandparents’ travels in the 1960s), which I love paired with that geometric lamp from Target (snagged for $50) last spring 🙂 …

We also picked up this amazing ceiling medallion from the Parisian Flea in Hampden. I love everything about it, but most of all that it was saved from a crumbling Hollywood mansion. Just think about the parties it has witnessed!

Once the grey slipcover is applied and the ceiling medallion hung (on the wall, like a 3D painting), I can polish off with the finishing details like pillows. Here are some that I think keep well with the rest of the room’s mustards, gunmetals and muted blues …






And D will tell you I am “obsessed” with being cozy, so I’m thinking this light throw (in mustard) from West Elm will finish everything off. I can’t wait to have it all put it together. It won’t be over night, but definitely by Christmas time. Have you spied any cute pillows or throws recently?

Phew. It has been one of those (couple) days. Every time D and I turn around something else is going awry ~

Don’t these potatoes look pretty? I thought so, too, until I spilled them all over the floor the ninth time I took them out of the oven. The recipe only called for 40 mins but they needed minimum an hour at 425 degrees. Hasselback potatoes are yummy, but not when they are not fully cooked :/

This is how I wanted the sofa in our front room to look like. I was ecstatic, in my quest for affordable and attractive seating, to find reasonably priced slipcovers from Pottery Barn.

Alas, after two hours of fighting with the mushroom version I ordered (it looked far more gray online), I had to accept I had not yet solved our seating conundrum. So we still look like this ~

I’m actually pretty happy with the balance, that ikat pillow on the right and my coffee table setup, but this sofa is definitely a Monet, looking better from far away.

We did accomplish a back yard cleanup on our day off (so relaxing) and I was not at all happy to encounter this guy ~

I’m not kidding, I saw him when I was getting rid of brush from an earlier in the summer project, and then again at the dump where we take all our yard waste to be mulched. A nice older gentleman that fit the bill for “Farmer Joe” promised me it was not a Black widow. I didn’t believe D, but I was happy to oblige Joe.

All of these things, however, paled in comparison to the storm that hit us yesterday evening. I was innocently pinning and enjoying some piece and quiet whilst D was bowling (no thank you for me) when a sea-worthy gale began pounding relentlessly on our not so new row house ~


When D counseled me to take refuge in the basement (tornado warnings), I moseyed downstairs only to find water everywhere, and infiltrating our house  through three different windows. Ix-nay South American vacation 2013 for new windows? Blech.

Now I acknowledge that these problems pale in comparison to many in all corners of the globe. We have a house and the luxury to take days off work to get projects done. Whining about new couches when there are students going back to school without any school supplies is completely bratty, I get it. But sometimes, you just. need. to vent.

At least I’ve learned Hasselback potatoes can definitely not cook all the way through in 40 minutes, Pottery Barn slipcovers take far longer than 20 minutes to style (and run HUGE). As for important housing needs, well, that can’t be solved in a quick blogpost. We’re looking for a solution though 🙂