Friday, November 22, 2013

Dog-friendly packing peanut DIY

Today, I'm going to show you a quick and easy DIY that can be finished by your pup!
hahah just kidding.
We went to the store to pick up a couple things, and since a) it was raining and b) we were only going to be gone a few minutes, we opted to leave her inside while we were gone. How much damage could she really do in a few minutes???! Well, Daisy managed to eat an entire shipping box, took a bunch of stuff from the kitchen and threw it about, tossed all the pillows off the couch, pulled her bed AND blanket out of the kennel, tossed stuff ON THE COFFEE TABLE, etc, etc, etc. Also, half the packing peanuts "disappeared", aka SHE ATE THEM ALL.
She was so proud of her work. Tim and I had to stop and laugh for like a half hour, took pictures of the damage, and then got to work cleaning it up. 
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

the living room list

Hey guys; what's crackin'? Thank you so much for the response to Monday's little transformation in the living room. We couldn't be more happy with the changes!
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there are still a few things we'd like to do in our living room. Most of these changes are relatively low-cost and will tie in the cozy-but-industrial vibe we want to foster in that room. Check them out!
I want a knobby jute/chenille rug to replace the lattice-print one we have down there. I still love the graphic rug and would love to keep it down there, but we bought it before we had our pup, and it's been a huge pain to keep the white parts white!

I fell in love with this one from World Market (pictured above), in either 6'x9' or 8'x10'. Believe it or not, WM has the best price I've found for the size and feel we've been looking for (which is this one from Pottery Barn; it's so soft!)! I've got a gift card that will offset some of the cost, and I'll probably pick it up after the holidays are over. Can't wait!

One characteristic of Jute is that it eats dirt and cleans really easily, which is a HUGE bonus for us. Plus, it's more durable than the rug we have now, and will better travel with us when we purchase a home. I'll admit it won't look great against our rental carpet, and that we're buying it in anticipation of how it will look against wood someday :)

Ikea FOTO // Ikea RANARP  // Ikea HEKTAR
 The lamps we have in the living room are the ones we've had since our college dorm room days (plastic and bendy!), and while they've been really useful, I'd like to ditch em for something a little more grown up. I'd love to go a little more industrial with our lighting this time around, and have had my eye on either a steel pendant or a pharmacy lamp like the ones above! I've already thrifted a perfect glass-base lamp, so I need to find one that will work with it for the other side of the room.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Wall
ABM photo wall
Our gallery wall was one of my favorite features of the living room, and I was devastated when Spock the cockatiel started scaling the wall and knocking the frames down.  
I've missed having photos up, and that wall looks so naked now, so we've been brainstorming ways to display some, lots of 'em. We've settled on something like the photo "wallpaper" in the Beautiful Mess studio (shown above). It's a small enough corner so it wouldn't feel overwhelming in the space, and Tim took one look at it and said "that's it". So, on to picking photos!!!

I could fill a whole post with stuff we'd like to do to the place if we owned it, but since we don't and it's not really an option right now, that list will have to stay in our heads :)

What do you think??? Any other ideas??

Monday, November 18, 2013

love note to a sectional

Our living room has a new resident--the sectional has been moved into its new home downstairs!!!

A little backstory to this beautiful (and labor-intensive) transformation. Before all of this furniture-shuffling occurred, we had two "sets" of couches: A pillowback loveseat and couch that lived downstairs in the living room...
Photo from this post
...and a mini Ikea sectional (Manstad, no longer available) that we picked up in San Diego on my birthday last year
Manstad Ikea upstairs bedroom
Photo from this post
We've had this couch for more than a year and a half, and couldn't be more pleased with it. I'm so bummed they don't sell it at Ikea anymore, because I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! It was the best choice we could have made for our tv room slash guest room, because with a simple pull on a little tab in the middle of the couch, it does this: 
Ikea Manstad pull-out bed
It pulls out into a pretty comfortable (for a pull-out) queen-sized bed!!! Forgive the color scheme; that comforter was borrowed from the lake cabin for the duration of Amy's stay with us this summer. The normal comforter we use for there was just too dang hot that time of year! The other thing we LOVE about it is that the "L" part opens up for storage. HELLO perfect couch for an apartment and/or tiny multifunctional room!!!!!

Well, we'd been wanting to make that second bedroom an office/project space for my shop, and a couple months ago we started that process by moving our dining room table upstairs. The part you DIDN'T see was that the sectional couch was still up there, so it was a pretty tight fit. It was time to move it downstairs, which meant it was time to say goodbye to my beloved (if somewhat ancient) set
We posted them to Craigslist and sold them in a couple days. All of this has been covered. What you don't know is the intermediary steps between the previous photo and the first photo in this post. Lots. Of. Work.
 Want to see the GROSSEST PICTURES IN THE WORLD??!??!?!

Shudder. I'm more than a little DISGUSTED by that line of dirt, as well as the stains everywhere. The worst part? I vacuumed at least three times a week and we still got that line. Rental carpet sucks, if you'll pardon the vacuuming pun. We had to rent a carpet shampooer from the grocery store. Major props to my handsome and hardworking husband for picking it up on his way home from work, and for doing a large chunk of our square footage while I was out for drinks with friends (You're the best, Tim!!!!!!!!!!!)
That Rug Doctor did make a huge difference, and it was absolutely disgusting how dirty the water got after each pass. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do with polyester carpets that have clearly never been cleaned after they were installed (despite what my landlady told me when I moved in, it is very clear they'd never been shampooed, and I'm reasonably sure the previous tenant didn't own a vacuum judging by the state of the apartment when he showed it to us). If we owned this place, the carpets would be OUTTA HERE and replaced with wood or something similar, and we'd just use area rugs to tone down the chill (which we already do). But that's neither here nor there. When the carpets were as clean as they were going to get, and sufficiently dried, we started moving furniture back in.
Photo from this post
We waited for the weekend for the big stuff :) Aaaaaaand there's where it got complicated. 
Ikea's penchant for at-home-assembly may keep costs down, but they can be a huge pain to decode. Just take it from me: they're an even bigger pain to decode backwards.

Since the couch was an awkward shape and size already, we needed to partially disassemble it (PAIN) to get it down our L-shaped stairs (MORE PAIN), and then reassemble it in its new home (you guessed it, PAIN).  It would be the understatement of the year to say that we were glad when we were finished. 
Daisy is NOT allowed on the furniture and she knows it--the ottoman is the only place she's ever allowed to go and she is so afraid she'll get in trouble that she never goes up there ;)

And of course the obligatory Before//After shot that I love so very very much:
TADAAAAAAAAA!!! As you can see, it's not a whole lot different. Same curtains, same dog crate partially hidden behind the couch, same coffee table and accessories, even the same rug, just turned horizontally instead of vertically. Only the couch is totally new down there (and the thrifted Threshold lamp that you can barely see on the left-hand side).
The other thing a side-by-side comparison shows? The "before" really wasn't all that bad! The couches fit our space and had that fun cozy beach house feel we loved so much. We just knew it was time to sell--they were still in good enough shape that we could get some good money out of them, and we knew the sectional would work in there too without having to change very much. PLUS now with the sectional out of the spare bedroom, we finally have enough space to implement the workspace we've wanted for so long. Eventually, we can convert it back to a guest room (or nursery, even further down the line!), but for now, it's just the blank space that we need :)

But back to the living room. It has such a fresh modern feel in there that we totally dig, which has giving us ideas on a couple other little things we could change easily to fit that vibe. Want to know what they are? YOU'LL HAVE TO COME BACK TOMORROW!

What do you think of the change? 
Can you guess what other little changes we're planning to make?

Friday, November 15, 2013

five things

Pretty business cards to get ready for the Christmas rush at Brittany's Joy Shop. (get your order in soon to avoid the rush!)

The current status of our living room, due to the sale of our couches on CraigsList. We sold them in a day or so (yay!!!), cleared out everything to shampoo the gross nasty rental carpets, and are (hopefully) moving our sectional downstairs this weekend. (Also notice the lack of a gallery wall, which began falling during the summer and was retired for safety reasons).

Spare prints of our wedding day and first year of marriage that never made it up to our gallery wall, found tucked behind the couch. Such a fun surprise!

Our house's current signature scent. I've rediscovered my love for all things gardenia (a love instilled in me during childhood by my grandmother). I picked up this little candle at World Market and it is delightful. 

Exploring a favorite beach at a new time: low low tide. Daisy kept trying to chase birds across the beach and fell into really deep tide pools, hysterical to watch since she is not the biggest fan of water if she can avoid it. She would have to kind of leap-frog back to shore on rocks within reach, and definitely became fully submerged a few times.


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