May 7, 2012

✥ Reader Feature: Chic Anthro-esque Living Room ✥

Hey guys! I am off taking a mini vacation- and loving every minute of it! Z and I bought a new Jeep Wrangler, so we knew we needed to break it in properly- with some camping, fishing, boating and 4x4ing! A MUCH needed break, believe me!
 But even though I am off having fun- that doesn't mean I have forgotten you all! Abbie from 5 Days 5 Ways agreed to share her cool space with you all today! 
Abbie's blog is unique and fun- just like her. She has a theme for each day and I love the games she plays, like Thrifted or Grifted on Wardrobe Wednesdays. If you don't know what that is, then stop over and check it out. I look forward to each and every one- no lie! Another highlight- she has a party for Free-for-All Fridays. There's always a ton of great talent- so go link up your latest and greatest!

OK- now for the raddest living room. I think you guys will like this one... I know I do!

Hey From Gardners 2 Bergers Readers! My husband and I built this home and Becca asked me to share our living room with you! Let’s start with a few before shots, shall we?
The reason there are no “workers” in these shots is that we were the workers! We built our entire house from the ground up (and by “we,” I mostly mean my amazing husband).
This is a shot from right before we moved in…or maybe we already had. Either way, finishing up a house (ha! as if it’s finished now) with two (at that time) toddlers running around was quite the pain in the tushy adventure!
I nabbed these pics from a before/after email I sent someone, so you can just ignore the text (or, if you want, you can make a game out of trying to decipher it by holding your hands around your eyes like binoculars and squinting…maybe a magnifying glass will work…just don’t burn a hole in your screen).
The last shot is the closest to what our living room looked like for about a year out of the two that we’ve lived in our house. The one difference (and it’s big) is that, right before I took these shots, we had two full-sized couches—one where the loveseat is and one where the open space in the foreground is—in the living room. But we sold them on craigslist within 6 hours of posting them (they were either really great couches or I priced them too low…oh well), and I was in such a tizzy that I forgot to take pictures of the before (the color on the walls was Benjamin Moore’s Sunrise, in case you were wondering).
And now for the after:
The paint color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. I made the tufted ottoman from a $40 craigslist coffee table (tutorial included in that link). The TV console is a vintage find from a local barn sale.
I’ll also go ahead and answer the most commonly asked question I’ve gotten since first posting any pics of my living room before you even get it out of your fingers and into the comment box: I got the rug two years ago on Ebay. It’s the Pottery Barn Moorish Tile rug (color: Clementine), and it was pretty much sold out when I bought it.
Yeah, I know. It doesn’t do much good for me to tell you where I got something if they don’t have it anymore. I did find this alternative, though. Not exactly the same, but similar. And I’m pretty sure Overstock has some similar options as well.
This is a view from the opposite direction. I got that bench at Hobby Lobby a couple of years back because I loved it with a passion true and deep and it was 66% off. I remember that I brought it home on the same day as all our carpet (we don’t have much carpet in our house, so it all fit in the back of my dad’s big truck).
The day started out sunny and fine, but pretty much as soon as I got the carpet/bench loaded, a torrential downpour started and lasted the en-tire 45 minute, gear-stick grinding drive home. At the time, it was miserable. After months of hardly a drop of rain, I’d do the whole white-knuckled ordeal all over again if it would guarantee another gully-washer like that. Too bad we don’t need any more carpet.
I found the mirror at Goodwill for $10, then primed and painted it black.
I cut and stacked 2” foam to make the bench cushion and then covered it with some polka-dot fabric I found at Walmart. The pillows are from Walmart (they still have the gathered button pillow) and Target (the cream pom-pom pillow, which they currently carry).
I’m a huge fan of Moravian star pendants but I just about choke on my own saliva every time I look up the prices. So when I found that Pier 1 alternative on sale for $10, I did a happy dance all the way to store (which burned a lot of calories considering that the closest Pier 1 is 30 miles away—see? Move-it Monday references all over the place, I tell ya) and waltzed away with my very own knockoff star…tealight holder (there’s a reason it’s 1/17 of the cost, folks).
It’s really pretty at night.
I got the Mitchell chairs from Target for $99 on sale (it’s still on) + free shipping—not too shabby considering that they are well-made, comfy, and cute as a polka-dotted baby bug’s ear.
Oh! And meet Geoffrey, the giraffe. My mom bought him for me, and I love him!
In case you didn’t read Friday’s wall feature, the chubby bird is from Hobby Lobby (4 months ago or so), and the teensy birdcage which only wishes it could house a bird that substantial was free from Goodwill (the lady held it up and said, “I’ll just throw it in with the rest since you’re such a good customer.” : )).
This is a view of the shelf that wraps around from our kitchen cabinets (which are the same deep teal color). The books are from Barnes and Noble’s leather-bound classics collection, and I bought all ten of them together (including the complete works of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, and The Chronicles of Narnia, among others) here. Almost everything else, including the Van Gogh print, is from Goodwill.
The sofa table vignette, complete with yet another Jones Design print.
The sofa table holds some of my favorite pictures of Shaun and me. That’s a picture of our first kiss (which took place at our wedding…no, I’m not making that up…have I mentioned he’s ah-mazing?).

This one is at my 22nd birthday party, a few days after Shaun proposed (on my actual birthday…I’ll have to tell that story someday. He did gooooooood). It was a swing-dance complete with lessons, dancing, and costumes!
A funky little storage box from Goodwill ($2) with some snapshots of Simon, my easygoing, snuggly middle child. He has dimples so deep you could happily get lost in them (and I have a feeling many girls will someday…oh dear).
The lamp is another vintage Goodwill find ($7). It’s ginormous (at least three feet tall)! The shade is from Target from a couple of months back.

I saw a room once on Houzz (if you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you do!) that had a built-in shelf on the wall much like this one, and Shaun replicated it for me.
I love this little chair from Goodwill. Fortunately, none of my children has tried to sit on it yet.
More Goodwill (Amazing Grace letters), some Walmart (the silver mirror), and the star mirror is a find from the same barn sale I mentioned earlier.

I bought these beautiful books for a $1 each at a garage sale. I tried to get the lady to come down on the price, but she almost cried, and I felt terrible for asking. : \ I also covered some paperbacks with pretty scrapbook paper.

More Goodwill (goose, candle), Marshall’s (vase, which isn’t actually pink but turned that way from the fuchsia flowers…weird). The black and glass hurricane vase is a gift, and I think I stole the lantern from my mom (Hi, Mom!).
A view of the “other couch” (which is how I actually think of it since it doesn’t have the pretty Target flower pillow or the sofa table). The pillows are a collection of ones that came with the couches (the brand is Corinthian), Marhall’s, Goodwill, and made-by-moi.
I spent about 8 hours painting my French doors using Jones Design’s painted wallpaper method. I just shrank my template to scale for a door instead of an entire wall (the color on the door is Sherwin Williams Quietude, and the stenciling is done in blend of white/ivory craft paints that I mixed up).
The dish is a Goodwill find that you can see up close on last weeks 5 Things Thursday. The bowl is from Anthro, and I bought the side table from my bestie and then added a Hobby Lobby flower knob. The mat is from Hobby Lobby.
Another shot toward the backyard (sorry about the low light, it was getting late).
Finally, I have a question for you. It’s super-important. Are you ready?
If you read about my undecoratable wall (and elves!), you know that I had a Dickens of a time figuring out what to do with the space behind the TV (options considered included an eclectic gallery wall, my Love Letters banner, which, as you can see, did get incorporated when I decided to frame the letters instead, and anything else involving art, picture frames, and other decorative doodads that possibly could be considered in an 8 hour time-frame). I finally had a brainstorm when I dug those matching white shelves out of a forgotten pile in a closet, but what I really want to know is…
Do you prefer this version:
or this one:
And did you even notice the difference (other than picture quality; I know, the first one’s better)?
Here’s a close-up of what I added:
So…whaddya think?
Okay, I’m starving, my children are really tired of Mama being on the computer (they need me to build a hill in their car-track), and the baby has discovered the stairs in a major way, so I’d better head back to real life now.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my home.I hope you'll stop by sometime!

Isn't Abbie's home just loaded with detail and charm?  I love the mixture of patterns and colors, some unexpected combos that just work. That's something that can be hard to pull off.
Did you love her DIYed ottoman? Remind you of anyone else's ottoman makeover? {ahem? me, me ,me?!} That's when Abbie and I officially became kindred spirits- Anne Shirley anyone?
Abbie {and hubs} actually built her home- like as in did not hire contractors but rather DIYed a HOUSE!! Um yeah. She's talented. She says she did about 95% of it herself! Say what?!
And just one more space- how about this loaded-with-color master closet reveal!! It is crazy sick how awesome this closet is! You guys would not believe how far my own closets are from this masterpiece. It's actually a bit depressing to think about...darn condo living Agh. For now- I live vicariously through Abbie!

Thanks Abbie- for sharing your wonderful spaces and awesome talents!! Thanks to YOU guys for reading!

[PS] I feature YOU GUYS  {my readers} every Monday! Do you have a room makeover- or maybe have a home tour you'd like to share? 
Drop me a email or shoot me a link. Let's see if we can work it out!!  xoxo