Our Spring Living Room + An Easier Way to Hang Frames Straight & Level

I don't normally decorate with the seasons (besides Christmas) mainly because I don't want to store seasonal decor nor am I quick enough but I managed to do so in our living room this spring thanks to some springy fabric finds I made pillow covers out of.   Just changing those up made all the difference and was all I needed to do to go spring in here since our furniture can already pass for the season.  I ventured out of our norm and threw in a little bit of blush pink (I made those pillow covers out of this curtain panel* - it's semi-sheer so I layered it over the existing pillow cover) that nods to the abstract painting that's hanging in the breakfast nook.  You can't see it in the photo below but here it is up close and personal.  Just adding that pink really unifies this whole, big space. 


The kitchen in the background will hopefully soon look more like it belongs (paint!) and maybe even the fireplace (mortar!) but even still, I'm liking the fresh new view.

It looks especially fresh when you look back on what it was two years ago:

Half Bath, Half Done

It's the third (and last!) week of the current #letsroomtogether challenge and I've (slowly but surely) made some aesthetic progress on the half bath!  It's probably the room I'm most embarrassed about when we have visitors.  Everything else anyone sees is at least put together even if it is still outdated (I'm looking at you kitchen.)  But this room, it looks like it belongs in a house that's been slated for tear down.

Ok, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration but still, it's pretty bad.  You can't tell in pictures but paint has chipped off the walls in small pieces, leaving small areas of drywall exposed.  Why?  Because when we took the wallpaper off, it took off some of the paint behind it along with some of the walls texture.  I've sent lots of eye rolls back in time to whoever installed the wallpaper, believe me.  I don't know what they didn't do that they should have but something went wrong here.  Along with the chipped paint, there are small pieces of wallpaper still attached to the wall where the blue was painted over it, the cabinet is pretty roughed up, and then there's that awesome linoleum and outdated wood trim.  I bet it was a beaut back in the 80's but those days are long gone.  

But it's ok because we're finally moving past this ugly stage.  The first week, I started filling those places where the paint and texture came off, removed the rest of the wallpaper left near that bottom border where the blue paint starts, and filled the loads of nail and dry wall plug holes.  Then, I primed and painted the window and door trim.  (Oil-based Kilz primer + Valspar paint color-matched to Pure White by SW.) 

Throwing Shade

Or maybe it's Throwing Shades.  Or maybe even Setting Shades.  Yep, that's better.  But, keeping with the shade theme, this isn't about any sort of insult.  It's actually quite the opposite.  Let me explain.

During the breakfast nook weeks of #letsroomtogether, one of the things I really wanted to get done was swap out the chandelier.  It's probably original to the house (built in the 80's) and just isn't quite our style.  The plan always was to move the big drum shade we temporarily hung in the entry way to the breakfast nook but sometimes plans change and this plan did.

Here's the existing, outdated chandelier:

But, this is after I spray painted those socket covers gold to match.  I did what I do lots of times - got an idea, had to execute right away, and forgot to take a bonified "before" picture before I jumped in.  Luckily for you and me, it didn't really look that much different before.  Something had to be done with the socket covers though.  They were really worn, darkened, and warped (why I don't know...maybe the type of light bulbs once used?) at the top.  Not even a good scrub with some soap and a toothbrush made a difference.

Small Cabinet Makeover

Something I've had on my to-do list for a good long while now is to paint a small cabinet that's main function is to hold our Berkey water filter*.  The Berkey is awkwardly large as far as water filters go and if it weren't the best at filtering all the things, we'd probably ditch it for something smaller.  But, here we are with this big, chrome, bullet-looking thing in our kitchen. 

There isn't really a good place for it on our kitchen counter because it's so tall and takes up too much space so we kept hoping to find a small cabinet at just the right height that we could set on this small expanse of wall right beside the kitchen counter and obviously, found one.  

It was for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $10 and not only was it not the prettiest cabinet in the wide world, but the lady who sold it to me used it to store makeup and so it smells...like makeup.  It's a weird smell to have a cabinet giving off.  I knew the smell would eventually go away but that faux wood finish had to be dealt with.  Fast forward months and months when only this #letsroomtogether challenge could provide the motivation I needed to get this thing looking a little more like it fits in with it's surroundings.

DIY Abstract Landscape Art

I did a thing.  YouTube helped me, once again.  Specifically, Petra and her video on how to paint a colorful landscape helped me.  She's awesome, and she's German, and I'm mostly German.  So.  Awesome.  

You see, a while back I spent many moments scheming about what I could fill the blank wall in the breakfast nook with.  (Pssst, it's the #letsroomtogether space, hence why it's on the brain.)  For awhile, I was set on hanging a shelf up high and filling it with cascading plants.  That might still happen in the future but it happened that I had a big 'ole frame we hadn't hung yet and I've really been loving big art lately (a long lately).  So...

Whoop, up it went.  It stands out but it doesn't right?...obviously, because it's solid white.  I call it my "White Rabbit in a Snowstorm".  Ha!  I found the frame at a thrift store a few years ago which was framing a big foam board onto which is professionally glued, a big poster.  I stuck a poster of my own inside the frame but the foam board that came with the frame looked like this: