Spring Projects: Indoor Projects/Retirement Remedies Decor

I worked hard and steadily in the yard this spring, but that wasn't all my work.  I did a few things in the house as well.  During a visit, Bess sort of inadvertently started things indoors when she had cuddled under the quilt one evening and folded it to put it back.  I'd always had it turned  to the cream backing fabric.  I was smitten with the colors of the quilt against the slipcover.  And since I'd purchased that bright old fashioned floral picture for the living room walls, the quilt was a nice balance on the other side of the room.  I'd bought inexpensive pillows from an online source in the winter, but the quality was lacking and I wasn't happy.  I found these brighter pillow covers for less than the two pillows cost, but they are so much nicer quality.  (see opening photo and the one just below).


The old fashioned floral picture that started the color wave in the living room

John swears that the pillow covers make the pillows feel more substantial.  I think it's just such an upgrade in the quality overall that it feels better.  As you can see, I went with brighter colors for the pillow covers.  And that led me to think about what I wanted to use on my gallery wall in the living room which has been a work in progress for some time.  I stumbled upon a printable of antique seed packets that I loved for the vibrant colors.  The  long frame was in the shed.

Aren't they pretty?  I am very happy with this project!  I also printed off two which need larger frames.  I've got the 8X11 frames on my shopping list.  I bought another frame at a yard sale last weekend and I worked on another set of framed prints. 

Yes, I'm changing my mind about the look of my gallery wall.  It's still very much a work in progress.  I have this American Limoges bowl that I mean to hang in that space too.

Then there's this cross stitched, apparently handmade napkin I found at an estate sale...I haven't decided how to frame/hang it just yet.  I'm thinking perhaps in an embroidery hoop but not quite sure yet.

Then there is a sunburst clock I purchased at Hobby Lobby for $10 back in the early part of Spring.  I'm not thrilled with the bronze color of it and think I'd like to do something to it, so no pictures just yet, but it's fitting I think to have a sun when you have flowers every where don't you?

I think it will all look pretty but I've not quite enough items just yet to make the wall complete.  It is, as I said, still very much a work in progress, but I went a long way this spring towards bringing in more of the pieces I'd like to hang there.

Then I accidentally started a dining room project...

Out of the blue one morning, I was trying to clean the dining area and got frustrated.  It was so tight and cramped.  Here I was with 6 feet of dining space filled with four chairs, a table, a buffet and a file cabinet and I had a 10 foot wide pathway to the two back bedrooms.  It seemed silly to me to be that cramped in that space and to have such a wide division between living room and dining area when I was needing space so badly. 

The trouble was my desire for symmetry.  There's a 6 foot wall between the dining area and kitchen. The windows are not centered on the outside wall of the area, either.  I was trying to place the table so it was centered on the windows and the kitchen wall but that just put me in a very tight space.  I had to let go of the idea of symmetry in that case and simply work with the wide open space, ignoring placements of both wall and window.

I pulled the table out so that it faced end to end into the room instead of across that small dividing wall section.  John said we needed a rug and he especially wanted an oval one.  He had determined he wanted a braided rug, as well.  We started looking at rugs online.  I discovered that my husband's memory of a braided rug was a fond one but his tastes actually ran to more traditional Oriental rugs.  We finally settled on a rug that suited us both.  It's oval and we love the colors which are a good balance to the jade green of our carpet.  I liked that it had a more contemporary pattern but enough of the traditional formal style he liked. It helped tremendously in our decision making that the rug was less than $100 at Overstock.  We sat down and ordered it on a Sunday.  It arrived on the Tuesday following.  It's even nicer than it looked in the photos online or in the photos above.

You can see my dining chairs (in the above photo and below) and how badly they need paint and work.  I have one freshly painted.  I decided since the weather wasn't being conducive to finishing up the paint I could at least upholster them.

This is not the fabric I intended to use.  I had purchased some vinyl in a deep olive green shade a couple of years ago and had it cut for cushion covers, but I simply couldn't bring myself to use the fabric.  It was so dark and heavy and I really am hoping to have a lighter look in that space as well, despite those dark chairs.  I upholstered the cushions with some fabric I was given a few years ago.  The colors are very compatible with colors in the rug though they look far off in the photo.  They are a pale gray with a pale green (which is showing up yellow in the photo and a soft golden yellow (coming out as tan in the photo), both colors in the rug.  This project literally is costing me about $5 per chair (for paint) and nothing for the fabric.  A friend of mine found these chairs at a yard sale about five years ago for me.  She paid $7 for them and I was more than happy to give her that price for them.  I think it's a pretty good investment to have solid good chairs for only $27 (cost of paint and chairs themselves) total all these years.  They've lasted far longer than other chairs we've had that cost four times that amount each and lasted a whole two years.

My next planned project is to use chalk paint on the table apron and legs and to sand and stain the top.  I'll also chalk paint the buffet. 

An old photo from an autumn past.  The wall has looked pretty much the same for about 6 years now, so it was time for a change.

I decided that new artwork was in order.  I loved the high quality framed rooster prints I have had in the space but they read dark and heavy and with the blues, greens, white and grays going into the room they felt even heavier.  The prints I ordered are unframed canvases which have a more casual feel and which look really well with the other colors in the room.  As with every change though, there were adjustments to be made.  The mirror is too ornate and formal looking in the gold color...changes seem to manifest still more changes.

After I hung the canvases Bess and I stood back and looked at the wall with the mirror in place.  It was she who suggested toning down the mirror by using a silver colored paint.  I thought it a good suggestion and thought perhaps a dry brush technique would work, letting some of the gold show through but not be so dominant.  I've got silver paint on my shopping list.

And there you have my Spring 2016 indoor projects, or what I've accomplished of them thus far.  Again, I've spent very little money overall, probably less than $40 (not including cost of the rug, but less than $125 including it).  I doubt I get to do much more this spring (since summer is very nearly here!) but I think I accomplished a good bit, even if I couldn't quite finish things off.


Anne in the kitchen said...

I am enjoying your post. I am exactly the opposite and hate symmetry. It makes me nervous to have anything matching and symmetrical, which is insane since the structure of my home is perfectly symmetrical. I spend all my time trying to make the front of the house off balanced and make sure every single thing I buy for a grouping is in odd numbers so nothing will "match". Imagine what this does to my accountant husband who would love to have 2 of everything. Sadly I understand each of us have our own sensibilities and neither is right nor wrong, but since I am the one at home most and do the painting, refinishing, and decorating, in our house, I win.

shortybear said...

nice blog

Rhonda said...

Hi Terri,
I think your home spruce ups look so nice - pretty and still comfy.
The new bird prints are sweet and I'm guessing that the more you look at them, the more details you see.
Good job

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri, what fantastic projects you have going on.. Everything looks great.
I love the rug/ the chair upholstery and know when you finish the table ,it is really going to be pretty.
I love the seed packets framed. This is so pretty.. Where did you find the prints of the seed packets?
Thank you for sharing your beautiful home. Really enjoyed the tour..

Lana said...

I really like your new rug and the sock monkey in the chair. :) This kind of work around the home is so enjoyable. I get to decorate the bathroom as soon as hubby is finished with paint and installing the new towel ring. I am looking through our old photos because I want to do a black and white wall with photos from our childhood. I will ask our oldest daughter if she still has her mat cutter from her college art school days.

Lana said...

Reminder on the 40% off code for BCOutlet good today 6/15 only. BC25430

I got 7 shirts and 2 pants for $56 shipped!!!

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