Living Room MCM-Inspired Style Board

Mid-century modern (MCM) style is definitely having a moment right now, and Chairish is curating style boards from bloggers featuring items from their MCM collection. I stumbled on the Chairish site a while back and thought it looked really cool- kind of like a cross between my favourite second-hand shops, Home Sense, and Etsy all in one.

Since I’m thinking of tackling my living room next, I thought I’d put a style board together for what I’d like the room to look like. I built it around a few central pieces: our sofa, a cowhide rug that I’ve been wanting for ages, and a pair of truly awesome blue velvet chairs (that I definitely do not have the budget for, but a girl can dream, right?).

Ikea KIVIK loveseat and chaisecowhide blue velvet armchairs

After that, I looked out for fun accent pieces by pulling colours from the artwork we have in our living room: a photo print by Greg Taylor that my sister bought us, which was taken in the park we got engaged in, and a limited edition print of Tom Thomson’s Silver Birches.

Greg Taylor Photography Bell Park Photograph

Here is how I combined those items for my MCM-inspired living room style board:

layout

The great thing about MCM style is that it lends itself really well to mixing and matching different styles, finishes, textures, and colours, which is something I’ve always done. I remember once in university I was wearing brown shoes with a black belt and one of my friends tentatively asked, “Um, can you do that?” and I responded that clearly I could, because I was!

As you can tell by this layout, I think it’s perfectly OK to mix black, brown, and grey. Here, I mixed black pieces (the floor lamp, chevron pillow, accent rug, and bone box) and a warm medium brown (the cowhide, storage unit, and bar cart/side table) with our grey sofa thrown in the middle. To add in some colour and textural interest, I chose blue velvet arm chairs and colourful throw pillows in different patterns. The teal patchwork pillow is also cowhide; repeating textures is another trick to keep the overall design cohesive.

Here’s another look, this time with a numbered source guide included.

layout_numbered

  1. Chrome lamp / Chairish
  2. Bar cart / Chairish
  3. Sofa / IKEA
  4. Throw pillows / Pier 1 and Etsy
  5. Art work / IKEA
  6. Throw pillow / Pier 1
  7. Floor lamp / Canada Lighting Experts
  8. Entertainment console / Chairish
  9. Rug / IKEA
  10. Bone accent box / Chairish
  11. Brown cowhide rug / Pure Rugs
  12. Blue velvet armchairs / Chairish
  13. Accent pillow / Pier 1

Creating style boards is a great way to plan out your vision for a space, and it was a fun exercise to browse Chairish with an imaginary budget! Their services are not yet available in Canada, but if you’re lucky enough to live close to the border, there are ways around that. Now I have a great starting point and I know what to look out for to complete our living room- if only it was as easy to actually make it a reality!

Note: this post is not sponsored. I’m not affiliated with Chairish or any of the companies featured in this post. Links to sources are current as of the post date, but may no longer be available.

-C

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One Room Challenge: Kitchen Reveal (ish)

Well well well, time has flown! Thanks to Calling it Home for hosting this super fun linking event for bloggers, not to mention the serious design awesomeness coming from the designers. I’ve been so inspired! And jealous. But mostly inspired. I had a bit of a breakdown last night when I realized I wasn’t going to be completely finished, but such is life. I had to stay late at work a few times this week and I seem to have come down with a cold to boot. Excuses, excuses right?

To get caught up, make sure you check out my previous posts from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 5 (I was in Mexico for Week 4 so I didn’t post). The Cole’s notes: I didn’t like my kitchen and I wanted to stop not liking it. It’s come a LONG way since we moved in, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up; most notably the flooring, which did not come in on time (Home Depot, I’m looking at you). We also have one more light fixture to install. Enough of my drivel though, here it is!

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIYOne Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

I love the new colour scheme in here! It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the walls are a light celery green, and it looks great with the bold black of the frames and valence, as well as the turquoise accents, like my new favourite linen tea towel. I discovered that Fabricland sells “tea toweling” by the yard/metre so that was pretty life-altering. I have also been looking for the perfect wooden serving tray for ages so I am super excited about that in particular! The patterned bowls, hand soap (on clearance!) and bread basket from Home Sense were also lucky finds, and who doesn’t love fresh basil?

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

One Room Challenge 2015 Kitchen

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

For the time being, I have made my peace with the faux bois counters. I would still really like a new range hood and a new fridge (you’ll notice I strategically took the photos to avoid it), but I am flat broke after my trip and paying taxes! I think once the floors are done, I can totally live with this kitchen until we renovate it in a few years time.

I’m really happy with how the prints that I made turned out, too. I wasn’t sure what I wanted on the walls here and I like the simple square frames.

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

I’m also SO happy to have the mini shelves gone off the island! It seems like such a small thing but it really makes a huge difference, in the overall aesthetic and making the passage to the dining room feel and look more open.

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

The valence was a massive pain but I’m happy with how it looks. I unpicked it 3 times and it still isn’t perfect but I’m filing it under “learning experiences”. It was definitely tough making it symmetrical, even, straight, and fit in the window with that bold pattern and the knife pleats. On the bright side, it felt really good to get my sewing machine back out, and I sewed this entire thing on one bobbin, about which I kept yelling to my husband “It’s still going! How has it not run out yet?! It’s the Little Bobbin That Could!” It symbolically gave out just as I finished the last hem.

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

Thanks for reading, and to everyone else who has commented, liked, or otherwise supported me here and on Instagram @cathyatdeardiy. Definitely check out the other linking participants and the designers for some serious eye candy!

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[Side note- sorry for all the theme changes recently. I can’t seem to decide on one. I just installed the Genesis framework and I’m determined to learn more about CSS, coding, and other fun web design stuff. So please bear with me!]

-C

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One Room Challenge: Week 5

Eep! Only one week left for the One Room Challenge and I still have so much to do on my kitchen! Totally worth it to have a week off in Mexico, though.

mexico

I wish I could say that I’ve made lots of progress since I got back on Sunday, but that would be a lie. While I was gone we got new carpet installed in our bedrooms so we decided it would be worthwhile to install the quarter round in those rooms before doing anything more in the kitchen. I’m glad we did because it really looks fantastic! I never thought I’d be so excited about carpet, but I’ve been living with crappy vinyl tile and subfloor in places for the past 6 months, so it makes a HUGE difference.

carpet before after2

What we have accomplished since my last post is painting where the mini shelves on the island used to be and installing our new ceiling light: the Ampere Moonraker LED flush mount from Costco. My husband installed one at a job he was doing and said it was really good quality and value, plus I liked the look of it- score! It’s not often we tick all of those boxes!

light

[bonus points if you can spot our friendly kitchen spider. Easily identified by the white and green specks. Serves him right for hanging out in the corner where I was trying to paint!]

Painting the spot where the mini shelves used to be was a big job too, and it’s looking like it will take many coats to cover it- I’m at 4 and counting right now!

shelves before after2

I’m hoping that I’ll get a ton of work done this weekend. If not, oh well… the whole point of participating in the ORC was to give myself a kick in the pants to get started, so I’m not going to stress out too much if it’s not 100% done. We also just found out that the flooring we ordered won’t be in until May 16 so that for sure won’t be done in time, which is too bad since it will have the most impact.

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The major thing I want to get done next is the window valence, which I am shamelessly copying from Little & Lovely.

black and white valence

I hope I can find a pattern similar to this, it’s perfect! I think the black will tie in with the random black appliances we have, as well as these prints I made.

i'm sorry but first coffee

Hopefully I will have a lot more significant progress to share next time! Shout out to everyone who posted on my sad whiny Instagram post for motivation, it definitely helped kick me back into gear!

-C

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One Room Challenge: Week 3

Stuff is happening in the kitchen! I’m a little behind on the One Room Challenge schedule- week 1 was supposed to be the plan, week 2 was supposed to be progress, etc. But I had my certification exam for work right around the time I decided to be a linking participant so that kind of delayed me. I’m happy to report that I am now a Certified Cytometrist, so my weeknights and weekends are no longer taken up by studying!

Deciding to participate in the ORC has really made me take a hard look at our kitchen. We are planning a full renovation in a few years time, so when we moved into the house our goal for the kitchen was to make it bearable until then. Painting the cabinets white and updating the hardware made a huge difference, but there’s no getting around the non-standard height and overall aesthetic of the angled design. I’m still not sure if I will be able to do the Ardex overlay on the counters… I think it will look really great and make a huge difference, but not having a kitchen for the few days it will take to do it is a big deal. Looking at pictures like this from Little Green Notebook make me think it would be worth it though!

LGN Ardex counters

I’m hesitating because I don’t want to do something just for the sake of having a great “After” shot, and I need to decide if it’s really necessary as a stop-gap until we renovate it. Participating in the ORC has given me a great kick to get started on a project that I have been putting off for months, but it’s also made me a little self conscious about other people looking at my house, and I feel a bit of pressure to make it look as good as possible. We have a ton of stuff on our to-do list over the next few months, like installing carpet in the bedrooms, starting our bathroom reno, and working on the basement, so I have to think carefully about the cost:benefit of refinishing the counter tops before I dive in!

Apart from all this introspection, we have actually gotten some work done. The holes have been patched, including a rather tricky one in the bulkhead above the sink. I also got the ceiling, trim, and 3/4 of the walls painted since my last post, and it’s looking great! I had a last minute change of heart with the wall colour and took it back to HD to get adjusted, and I’m glad I did. Truth be told I wish it was darker still but this was as dark as I could get it without buying a new can. Here’s a sample kitchen from Behr painted with the colour I chose, Pale Celery.

kitchen pale celery

We also ordered in our floor tiles, and I think they are going to make a HUGE difference. Like I said, down the line we will plan a major kitchen reno, so for now we just want a more attractive alternative to the beige and rust linoleum. Peel and stick tiles fit this bill nicely and the ones we ordered are pictured below.

ceramica coastal grey vinyl tile

They are TrafficMaster Ceramica in Coastal Grey and can be used with or without grout. Now that the walls are mostly painted, I’m starting to visualize how it will look and I’m pretty excited to have it come together! If you missed out, check out my Week 1 post to see what our kitchen used to look like, and my Week 2 post for the general plan. You can also follow along in real-time(ish) for my Instagram updates @cathyatdeardiy. Be sure to check out the other week 3 posts too.

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I won’t be posting next week because I’ll be in Mexico with some of my favourite ladies. So I’ll catch up with you on Week 5!

-C

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One Room Challenge: Week 2

As I mentioned in my last post, I am a linking participant in Calling it Home’s One Room Challenge, and for my room I chose to focus on our kitchen. You can check out the Week 1 post for the photos of our kitchen from the real estate listing- it has come a long way!

Today I’m going to share some photos of how our kitchen looks now and my plan for the ORC. Our kitchen is not huge and it’s hard to take good photos from all the angles, but here is my best attempt.

The view from the dining room:

Kitchen makeover before

Kitchen makeover before

Kitchen makeover before

Kitchen makeover before

And the view from the hallway on the opposite side:

Kitchen makeover before

Kitchen makeover before

Because I am a list-lover, here is the breakdown of my plan:

  1. What I’m definitely doing:
    – Painting the trim, ceiling, and walls
    – Changing out the light fixture
    – Pulling up that awful lino and putting down peel-and-stick tile
    – Hanging a curtain
    – Fixing the cabinet doors that don’t close properly
    – Organizing our sink with a soap dispenser and a holder for cleaning supplies
  2. What I might do, time/patience permitting:
    – Paint my fridge?!?! (Sadly, replacing it is not an option- ditto the old-school portable dishwasher)
    – Use Ardex to turn the faux-bois counters into faux-concrete counters (you didn’t think that was real butcher block, did you? Noooo, my friend)
  3. What I would love to do but am having a hard time convincing my husband probably won’t:
    – Replace the sink
    – Replace the faucet (complicated by the fact that it is super old and it will be hard to retro-fit without having a hole somewhere- one of the cold taps is hooked up to the softened water and the other isn’t. #hardwaterprobs #ruralprobs)

Note that #2) and #3) are interchangeable. Also, I am buggering off to Mexico in the middle of this so that might throw a margarita-drenched curveball at my plan!

You can also check out my Pinterest board to get a more visual representation of what I’m scheming:
Follow Cathy @ Dear DIY’s board One Room Challenge: My Kitchen on Pinterest.

Be sure to check out all the other Week 2 posts from ORC participants, as well as the featured designers!

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Chat to you in a week,

-C

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