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Living Room Updates: Sneak Peek

This past weekend was a productive one.  Thanks to my parents-in-law, who are very generous with their time, my husband and I were able to make a dent in a few projects while they kept an eye on the little guy.  One thing that's been on my to-do list for over a month is getting grasscloth wallpaper on the backs of two new shelves for either side of my fireplace.  I purchased these units from IKEA at the beginning of June, and they've been randomly sitting at the end of the living room since then:

I'm actually pretty pleased with how these look.  They are solid wood construction (surprising for IKEA), the ends are paneled, and they sit nicely on simple square legs.  The finish is kind of a white "wash", which I wasn't sure about at first, but it reads as a solid color in my space, so I'm happy.  Plus, they were on sale (also surprising for IKEA), so I feel like I got a deal.  In a perfect world, I would have an entirely custom built in fireplace surround like what I design for my clients, but that's not always "in the budget" :)  More on that in a future post!

After our grasscloth disaster got resolved I had a few feet of leftover material--just enough to cover the backs of my new shelving units.  The result is exactly what I was looking for, and gives them a more custom, 'expensive' look.  Here's a little peek:

It was easy to style these shelves, since I've had all of these treasured little items stored away just waiting to get out and on display.  I like to take the jackets off of all my hardcover books anyways, but feel like they look even more uniform and pretty when turned around so the pages show.  My plan is to have both shelving units accented with hits of turquoise and chartreuse--the colors really pop against the gray-toned grasscloth back, and tie in with the rest of my living room.

This die-cast, Franklin Mint car is a recent acquisition, and a most treasured possession.  My dad has collected these for years, and has a beautiful collection of classic cars that spans many decades.  This 1958 Chevrolet is one of his favorites, but he parted with it so I could have a little "piece of home" in my living room.  I chose it, of course, for its shape and color, and love how it looks.  Thanks dad, for sharing your toys!

After we got married, my husband would say to me almost daily "I love my life with you".  I loved hearing those words, and was so excited when I came across this graphic card that said the same thing!  I framed it in a simple IKEA frame, but wrapped the mat with natural linen to make the words stand out even more.  Its been sitting like this under my bed for almost a year--I'm glad I finally have a place to display it!

Let me tell you about this little piece.  For all of you Canadians out there, lucky you.  You likely have a Winners/HomeSense right out your back door.  Being in the USA now, I miss this store terribly because others like it--TJMaxx/HomeGoods just aren't cutting it for me.  The two retail chains are similar in concept, but I would say that the US version (HomeGoods) is like HomeSense but without all the stuff :)  Take this amazing find, which I spotted for $29.99.  Initially I thought it was a bit pricey, since small little objects like this are usually under $20.00.  Upon closer inspection though, I realized that it was a Jonathan Adler piece, normally selling for $110.00!  You bet I snapped it up.  I usually walk out of HomeSense with a handful of treasures, and this trip was no different.  More on that in a future post.

I have stacks of Canadian House & Home Magazine--I think I've had a subscription for over ten years now. I can't seem to part with any of the issues, largely because the content is so good, but also because the spines are so pretty and I've always wanted to display them like this.  I grouped like colors in a few colorways, and plan to fill the top row if each shelving unit with them.  Cheap, easy, and a great way to store and display my over-abundance of design magazines!

That's as far as I've gotten so far, but I'm having fun styling and playing around with this little decorating project.  Again, I'm so pleased with the way the grasscloth elevates the style of these units, and recommend it if you're looking for an inexpensive and easy way to add some style!


Stephanie said...

I bet you are so darn happy those are finally done! They look beautiful and the accessories are perfect. I am in love with the car. Now you got me wanting to go to Canada to see what HomeSense is all about. All I know is HomeGoods, and I thought that was a great place.

Seema Persaud said...

Wonderful transformation!

Great use of the magazines, too.

H&H Web Promotions Editor

nealy said...

Oh my goodness, SO glad I saw this post! I'm TOTALLY going to get those shelves...our fireplace is also on a flat wall, and it drives me NUTS because I feel like there should be built-ins!

Super cute, Kristen! You are so talented! Hope all is well w/ you guys! :)

Holly Gruszka said...

Your updates look fantastic Kristen. The shelves look so nice with the grasscloth and I love all of the items that you have displayed. The car is so cool and I'm so glad you still hoard your magazines like I do. I can't get rid of them. I also like your allusion to more posts with more project info ;) Hope you had a great weekend!