Getting Better at Things

Let’s face it: I’m terrible at two things: blogging on a regular basis and finishing projects. And that’s why I’m so happy to actually be taking care of those two items at once.

Here’s a major TA-DA! moment for you:

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Yes, that is my living room. And yes, those are completely painted walls. Sometimes you really need a kick in the ass to get moving, and for me that kick in the ass was the announcement of Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest ’12. It also didn’t hurt that temperatures have finally dropped to the point where I can comfortably paint my apartment without dripping paint AND sweat everywhere.

So because I finally got this room finished, I’m really looking forward to the Room for Color contest this year. Once I get some decent light in the apartment (this weekend was beautiful but it’s nothing but rain for a while now) I’ll be able to take some better pics. This was my first attempt at styling the room and you may notice some items of note.

First, there are pictures on the walls. This was actually the last thing that I did, because I’ve procrastinated over getting molding hooks. The walls in this place are solid as a rock. Seriously, I attempted to hammer a traditional picture hanging hook into the wall and the result was Wall – 1, Hook – 0. This is pretty much the only way I’m going to get pictures on my walls without drilling holes, something I really don’t want to do.

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The pillow covers are also new. They’re simple envelope covers but I think they turned out really well. I went back and forth on what color scheme I wanted for these accents, but I think the deep purple and gold work really well with the walls. The yellow fabric is Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study Coordinates in Saffron. The multi-colored fabric is Summer’s End by Hoffman Fabrics.

Another finished item is my colorbrick quilt which you can just make out on the sofa above. I followed the tutorial from Stitched in Color using a slew of blue and green fabrics including some of my absolute favorites: the Tufted Tweets chairs and sofas and the Grand Tour Bottles. Instead of making a back, I opted to do a binding-less quilt with one of my many fleece blankets. This one is twin sized, so it’s pretty much ideal for laying on the couch and watching football or post-season baseball, or Fall TV. I’ll try to get a better photo updated shortly.

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But most important are the walls, which are, in my opinion, the absolute best color. It’s called Thermal Spring by Behr, which I think is such a great descriptive name. When dealing with teals, you tend to think the color is cool, but there is something about this color that just reads warm and cozy to me. The color really does change quite a bit depending on the light levels, but I think that adds to the charm. I went with bright white for the trim (really, it’s just off-the-shelf White by Glidden). The ceiling was already painted white when I moved in so I just needed to do the picture rail and the window and door casings to tie everything together (and get rid of that horrid beige they had painted everything).

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Happiness is…

…acquiring a pair of vintage dining chairs that are almost exactly what you’ve been coveting without having to pay shipping costs beyond the price of a cab ride home.

I’ve been looking for a mid-century dining table, preferably a gate leg or other drop leaf table, and chairs to go along with it for a while now. On a whim, I decided to spend today hitting the various vintage shops in Chelsea. If I had the luxury of a car, I wouldn’t be beholden to the overpriced sources in Manhattan, but such is life. I hit a few of the bigger shops along West 17th Street with no luck, then decided that rather than going to Container Store for new underbed bins and having to lug them around all day, I should take my chances up on 24th Street, where Olde Good Things and the weekend flea market in the parking garage across the street are located.

Olde Good Things is always good for a laugh at their prices, but sometimes you never know what you’ll find. And I certainly didn’t find these there. But I got to ogle a lot of very nice furniture and salvaged stuff that always makes me wistful that these things don’t get to stay in their original locations.

I wasn’t very optimistic about the flea market, it tends to be primarily lots of ugly paintings and costume jewelery and of course on the weekend of the Mad Men premiere, it’s typically going to be overrun with people looking for vintage outfits. I happened upon this one store in the back corner of the second level after I’d pretty much given up hope of finding anything decent. I’d seen chairs in varying conditions at other vendors (including one pretty beat up Hans Olsen triangle chair), but these were pretty immaculate . There’s a small tear in the vinyl on one seat, and the joinery on the other chair is a bit loose, but they’re both stable with minimal wear and tear. Basically, just what I’ve been looking for and at a reasonable price.

I’ll see what I can do about repairing the tear in the vinyl, but I’ll probably make removable seatcovers to keep them in good shape.