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

More bathroom plans

Ok, seriously: we are getting closer to making a decision on our bathroom reno. After 11+ SketchUp plans, I feel as if we are narrowing in on our dream bathroom. If you didn’t catch my last post on our plans, we have about 75 sq ft to work with and a want list of: separate shower enclosure and tub, double vanity, and storage space (thinking the toilet goes without saying).

My husband had found an idea a while back to fit both a tub and separate shower enclosure in a smaller bathroom, but I was having a hard time imagining how it would work in our space. Basically instead of having them separate with the usual amount of space between them (24-30″ is the guideline I’ve found), you could have them as one entity, making sure to tile around the tub so that the water splashing from the shower wouldn’t be an issue. I had a pretty hard time visualizing this, since the one example we found was of a long and narrow room. The shower enclosure took up the entire width of the room, and you walked through it to get to the tub, which also took up the width of the room. There was a glass half-wall between the shower and the vanity to enclose the shower area and the rest was open. We lost the link to the image, of course, but here is a rough idea of how that layout looked.

sketch up long narrow bathroom layout

As I said, that wouldn’t work in our bathroom because it is not long and narrow. But we found another example online with the same idea, except with the shower and bath perpendicular to each other, like this:

joint shower and bath enclosure

joint shower and bath enclosure 2

I have a really hard time visualizing spatial orientations of things so having this photo helped me see how this could look in real life, and I quite like it! We really like the glass enclosure, which will keep everything looking open in the small space we’re working with. We also like the gentle slope for drainage from the floor to the shower- no curb to trip over or stub your toe on! Finding this photo got the old cogs turning again and I came up with a new layout.

sketchup layout 11

It ticks all the boxes on our list, but without the compromises that some of our previous layouts had; the biggest in my mind being a double vanity so small that two people couldn’t use it simultaneously, only 40″ wide. I found a slightly larger vanity from Home Depot online that is 17.75″ deep by 48″, which I’m not completely sold on, but it gives us a starting point. We could even get away with one a bit larger!

Virtu USA Model # UM-3067-C-ES Opal 48 in vanity

Virtu USA Model # UM-3067-C-ES Opal 48 in vanity

Virtu USA Model # UM-3067-C-ES Opal 48 in vanity

I love that this layout gives us space on the wall between the vanity and shower enclosure for towel racks, and space for a small storage cupboard to house stuff that doesn’t fit in the vanity drawers. It affords us a bit of flexibility too; once the tub and shower enclosure are built, if we decide it’s too tight for both the cupboard and the toilet beside the bath, we could move the toilet over and have a cupboard mounted above the toilet for more storage space.

What do you think, are we ready to start knocking down walls? Any last advice before we start putting the wheels in motion?

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Bathroom plans

We are at a bit of a standstill at the moment. The next big thing on our list is tackling our bathroom reno, but we haven’t decided how to do it yet- and quite honestly, I’m a little scared to take the plunge! What if it’s awful? Bathrooms are expensive, it’s not like we can try again. And it’s hard to move a tub once you’ve installed it but discover you should have put it a little more to the left. This will definitely be the most ambitious project we have attempted so we are thinking long and hard about how to make it happen!

Currently our bathroom layout leaves a lot to be desired. The vanity is huge but only has one sink, so there is a lot of wasted space there. The back hall closet and our hall linen closet cut into the footprint, so if we knock down some walls we could steal a bit of extra room. The available floor space is white in the picture below.

Google sketch up current bathroom layout

If we knock out both the back hall closet and the linen closet, we will have about 75 square feet to work with. Not exactly massive, and on our wish list is a double vanity (me), a separate shower stall (my husband), and some sort of storage space (me again). While it is theoretically possible to cram all of this stuff in, we’re not sure it will be worth the trade-off on clear floor space. Plus the “double vanity” that we found that is small enough to fit is a double vanity in name only: there is actually not enough room for two normal-sized adults to stand beside each other and comfortably use both sinks at the same time.

Ikea hemnes odensvik vanity

Ikea Hemnes/Odensvik vanity

Here are the viable options we have so far:

  1. Free standing tub against one wall; toilet, shower enclosure, and vanity against the other; door opens outwards or install pocket door.bathroom layout 1
  2. Switch the shower and vanity, move the tub against the back wall; door can open inside the room or may install a pocket door to save space.
    Google sketch up bathroom layout 2
  3. Move the toilet where the linen closet is currently; build a knee wall for a modicum of privacy should someone barge in on you; move the vanity beside the bath; shower enclosure where the back hall closet is currently; door swings out or install pocket door.Google sketch up bathroom layout 3
  4. Move the tub parallel to the back wall, vanity and toilet on opposite sides; move the shower to wear the storage cupboard is currently and move the door to wear the linen closet is currently.

bathroom layout 4

Soooo…. now we have to decide I guess? We have cleared a space in our living room to mark down possible layouts with painters tape, so we can get a feel for how much room will actually be between everything. We did this with option number 3 above, which seems to have the most open floor space available… and it still felt pretty cramped. I’m starting to lean towards keeping the current layout and just tearing out the old stuff and replacing with a new shower/tub combo and new vanity. Luckily we have already replaced the toilet so at least that’s one bathroom fixture down *nervous laugh*. Ack! At least one thing I’ve gained so far is learning how to use Google Sketch Up. Apparently it’s great when you know what you’re doing, but sadly I am still in the swearing-at-the-computer-stage.

Any advice or opinions? Should we go for it and knock down the walls, or leave the layout as is and just replace everything?

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