A few weeks ago, we decided to make our living room a priority as it basically sat empty for about 6 months. There was a mid century couch I bought a couple of days before we moved here (my friends Mid&Mod believe it was a Florence Knoll sofa, but it was reupholstered thirty-ish years ago, so any maker’s mark was long gone).
And there was/is my Plycraft chair – that’s not going anywhere, and that beautiful jewel toned Kerman rug that I bought/cleaned/sold – and it’s possible that I might regret selling the rug….but I haven’t decided yet. I’m still looking for a perfect new rug for this room, and I have a few on my short list, but I am not committed to anything and I don’t have the money anyway.
With couch/rug/chair, the room was plain and relatively unwelcoming and we never spent any time in the space. With summer in full swing and winter just a few more sleeps away, I told Ryan about 6 weeks ago that our living room was my number one priority for directing energy/money, and so we got to work creating the space our family will enjoy, especially during the indoor months.
We debated reupholstering the mid century sofa, but ultimately decided that its 10-ft length was limiting because it only allowed for one room arrangement, and I know my fellow furniture and decor addicts understand that committing to one room arrangement is simply not possible. We sold that and bought one of very few brand new things that we own: the Brooklyn Sofa from Pottery Barn.
I pretty much hate Pottery Barn. I used to love it, but I walk in there now and it bores me to death. BUT, they do have good quality furniture, and in this case they had the perfect sofa for our room. I actually saw this sofa on the Miss Mustard Seed blog a couple of years ago and have liked it ever since. And then a year or so later, she wrote about it again saying it passed the test of time with two busy boys … and I was sold. We waited for a sale (25% off) and pulled the trigger on buying the sofa. I felt so grown up buying a brand, spanking new sofa – and I LOVE IT. I love how its traditional lines contrast with some of my harder-lined vintage furniture. And while I would love a white upholstered sofa, the leather is so practical for kids and quite beautiful.
Once we knew the sofa was coming, I started to pull the rest of the space together.
I repainted blush colored wall that paired well with the old rug, but not so much with the new color scheme. I had already painted my planked wall (the window wall) in Hale Navy as a solution to a bleeding of tannins through the white paint, so I just continued that around the room, with the exception of the built-in. Ryan was skeptical of a dark color, but I think we both agree it brings a cozy feel to the space that it previously lacked. In addition to paint, Ryan worked on installing base and trim that was never installed by the previous owners. There are still unfinished details around the door, but we’re holding off on that because the slider is installed backward and it gets off the track all the time, which is an annoyance and a security issue. We’re going to eventually have our contractor frame in french doors and clean up the missing trim.
When it comes to designing a space, I have a really hard time not falling for everything I see; I love every style, color, textile and want to incorporate ALL of it in my home. Can you relate? One thing I’ve learned through many trial and error mistakes is: less is more. Mixing styles is totally workable, and I encourage it, in order to avoid that matchy-matchy horrible Pottery Barn style. But overall, keep things simple and make a statement with one or two pieces and some subtle accents.
For me, drapery is my favorite thing ever. I love the layered texture it brings to a room. Even if a window doesn’t technically need coverage, I vote for dressing it up anyway, even if it’s just for form. In our case, we need the drapes for form + filtering of the intense western rays as the sun sets.
If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you’ve already read about the DIY Lucite + Brass Drapery Rods in my old house
and new house.
Or maybe you read about the Lucite Stair Handrail.
As much as I love my lucite rods, with the dark navy wall, I felt this was my opportunity to bring a subtle yet dramatic statement to room comprised mainly of navy, ivory, and camel. This was my opportunity to glam it up, perhaps in a way that only I will appreciate, but that’s what matters since I live here. And what pairs better than navy + gold?
I seriously considered Restoration Hardware’s Estate Metal Collection – the same collection I used for my lucite drapery rod brackets. Unfortunately, the rods only come in 1.25″ and 1.75″ diameter, and not in the perfect 1.5″ size I was hoping for. AND, based on what I’ve read, I believe these are brass coated, but NOT solid brass. BOO. Oh, and then RH recently started this dumb “member only” pricing where they don’t have sales anymore – just member pricing. I am not an RH customer, other than brackets, so this would be a total waste for me to enroll in membership.
So, I decided to take some of what I’ve already learned about building hardware and I built my own brass drapery rods that are SOLID brass (yes, the tube is hollow, but it’s not just a plating).
I was committed to the 1.5″ size that I used in my other projects, so I went ahead and ordered mounting brackets originally sourced by Kristen at The Hunted Interior.
I decided to have open ends for the rod to pass through beyond the edge of the bracket (still debating whether or not to cap the ends), so I purchased 5 of the center posts; 3 for one large window and 2 for a smaller window (photo above is from stair handrail post).
I also used Kristen’s idea of using plastic shower rings for a faux lucite look.
To make the drapes work with shower rings, I used washers to create an eyelet for the drapery hooks (like Kristen):
For the brass tubes, I went local. I noticed that Buy Railings also sells brass tubing, but theirs wasn’t as thick as what I bought, it had a bright polished finish that looked “cheap” in the photos, and most importantly, they sell tubing by the linear foot and I needed very specific measurements for my tubes that did not match their available sizes. I purchased mine through Metal Supermarkets in Everett. The turn around time was about 1.5 days and I was able to pick up locally (no shipping, yay!). They have various diameters and can custom cut to any size. The company is a franchise so there are locations nationwide, but if you want, just call Allison at 425.265.1830 and she will ship it right to you!
I went back to my favorite AINA linens curtains used in all of my projects. I again went with “White” which is actually a beautiful ivory. Again, as much I adore patterned drapes, I keep telling myself “less is more” and hoping I won’t want to change it all out after a week.
Here’s the before: blah
And now (so hard to properly shoot a backlit scene :/)
The brass has a beautiful patina to it. It has a bit of shine, but that will age over time, or will easily polish if desired. The color is right on!
Would love to hear from any of you that plan to use this in your home.