Compared to many other living rooms around town, mine would most likely be considered rather small. But don’t tell it I said that. I can tell that it has a little bit of a complex about it and I wouldn’t want to hurt its feelings. The style of my house is actually called “Cottage” if that tells you anything. In the wintertime when I have my fire crackling I am happy for the coziness of the little space. But lately I have been feeling a little closed in. Part of the problem is that when I first started buying things for my house almost 4 years ago when I bought it, I for some reason and without realizing it bought lots of brown items. Brown sofa, brown rug, and dark wood media console. The fact that my wood floors are also dark brown didn’t help the problem. But then I also had a hand me down wooden coffee table. I have known that I wanted to replace it but never really found anything that rung my bell. At least nothing that was within my budget. Then, in the winter, West Elm had a sale and I found a table that I thought just might be the ticket. Unfortunately it was backordered and backordered and backordered until I finally received it about 2 days before I left for Europe.
Sorry for how dark some of these pictures are. Had to take them early in the morning and that is not a good time of day for my living room.
Here is the before…
The old hand me down (but in great condition because I refinished it before I moved in my house) coffee table.
Here is the after…
My shiny, light and airy coffee table from West Elm. It is smaller which gives me more room to walk around in here. This combined with the fact that it takes up much less visual space in the room and bounces light around makes it just what I was looking for. The mirror top is “flocked” (whatever that means). That makes it look a little antiqued which I like to think hides spots somewhat. But I could also just be telling myself that.
This is my unstyled and jumbled media console so that you can have a better idea of all of the dark brown I have been working with. I would paint this but it is such a nice piece I have some guilt when I consider it.
Kitties’ reaction when I was trying to open up the box that it came in to get out the glass. ”You didn’t need this, right mom?”
That’s all. Just a quick little update. I am still working on Ireland pictures. Fingers crossed I finish editing them this century.
P.S. When I bought this coffee table, it was $15o cheaper than it is now. Maybe if you are gonna buy it wait till it goes on sale again cause that is just silly.
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Our dining table has been in my family since I was little. There is even proof in the form of lovely Megan and Colleen drawings underneath the table from when we thought it was cute to draw on furniture (definitely no longer cute). I was using it in my old apartment as a small kitchen table that I painted black right before grad school and was planning on getting a new dining table sometime soon, but when I realized that we still had the leaf, it seemed like a good idea to prolong its life for just a bit longer. And also, mostly, to save me money. Since I have been spending money like it is my job, saving money where I can is necessary. Jenny from Little Green Notebook has been professing her love for oil-based paints recently for their ability to make things nice and shiny and lacquery. Specifically these which come pre-mixed for like $10 bucks a can. I figured this was the perfect time to try them out.
Below is the lovely before form. Note that the leaf was not painted the same as the other pieces. Keeping it classy around here. I decided to go white, although I was thisclose to the green color. White seemed nice and crisp. Beware though – white oil-based paints can often turn out yellowy over time. Since this was so cheap and easy I figured it didn’t really matter if I had to repaint before we replaced it. Basically I just sanded the table really well, wiped down, and then painted. Oil-based paints kind of go on like nail polish, so be careful to not overwork it. If you are planning to use oil-based paint, read Jenny’s post for expert advice as I am no expert. While I was painting, these little bubbles kept showing up. Even though I wasn’t supposed to overbrush the paint, I kind of lightly brushed over the bubbles to get rid of them. Not sure if this is typical or not, but they did show up after the first coat dried when I didn’t get them out. The second coat dried nice and even, after I got rid of the bubbles. Sorry about all the talk about bubbles. Let dry for about 24 hours between coats, and I just used a relatively crappy brush that I could throw away afterwards because apparently the paint is really hard to clean off. You need mineral spirits and jazz.
I think it looks pretty fantastic, particularly with our new rug that is still on sale and these super comfy World Market chairs. Pica is not quite as impressed, although she does like the rug.
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For months, I have been wanting to order one of these gold leafing pens that Jenny from Little Green Notebook is always talking about. Since I have lots of old frames that need updating, I decided that there was no time like the present, especially since they are so cheap. I first experimented with some old mirrors that are cute but not my favorite, just in case I didn’t like the effect. The idea is to basically paint the surface of whatever you would like to golden like a marker. What Jenny didn’t mention is that it’s actually kind of difficult to keep the strokes even and not jacked up looking, particularly if you don’t have a steady hand (like me). I only went over them twice and kind of think they need a third coat in order to get the shiny look that I’m going for. To be honest, they may have been better in black. That’s what experimenting is for though, right? I’m gonna try a third coat to see if it ups the shininess factor and makes me a little happier with them.
What do you guys think, better in gold or black?
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