Well, I promised to keep the Project Elephant updates coming…
And then I had a weeklong relaunch celebration (which I totally should have put on my Project Elephant list so I could have crossed that off). And that threw me off my groove (again).
I’m so glad our Project Elephant motto is: it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.
Because progress I have made, even if it wasn’t exactly the progress that I had in mind.
Here’s what my updated list looks like now:
To be completely honest, the “gallery wall” that I finished wasn’t the one that I mentioned in that list. But I’ve been wanting to do it forever, so it will suffice. Want a look-see?
Okay, but let’s look at what this space looked like before:
I like it, minus the really bad lighting (hooray for better pictures now).
But it was time for something different, so I printed out some 11X14 black and white shots of our family, framed them in Dollar Store frames that I spray-painted white, and hung them in the place of the “love” letters (which I have a plan for).
Of course, those pictures aren’t the only changes. If you recall from this living room tweaking session, I also changed out the curtains and rug and, many moons ago, kicked poor old Emmeline to the curb in favor of Frenchie, the yellow linen store-bought ottoman (oh, the shame).
What’s that you say? I missed a little detail?
OH! You must mean those gorgeous wingback chairs against the wall. Silly me. How could I forget?
The story: I’ve been hunting for cheap, good-sized wingback chairs in decent condition for reupholstering for…ages. But every time I would find something that looked like it would work in my price range on craigslist, it either sold immediately or was so far away that the cost of gas would negate the good deal.
Thank goodness for Mandy, who is the kind of friend who keeps an eye out for the things she knows you’re looking for. I had all but given up the hunt until one day, she emailed me a pic of two wingback chairs and asked if I’d found any yet.
They were in perfect condition and half-off at a local consignment sale, bringing them down to $40 each. STEAL!
I asked her to get them for me (she even hauled them to her house and didn’t say a word when I forgot to pay her for, oh, a good month at least).
I thought long and hard about recovering them myself, but I decided that, instead, I would cook for my family, do the laundry, and—oh yeah—keep my sanity. So, I took them to a great, super reasonably priced reupholsterer instead, knowing that the finished product would be more than I normally (read: ever) pay for chairs but still much much cheaper than anything I could hope to find in a store or even a consignment shop. Plus, I got to pick the colors/fabric myself. (In addition to a wannabe stylist, I think I’m also a wannabe furniture designer; remember Della’s chair? The same lady redid it).
I ordered this yellow outdoor/indoor Volary fabric and then chose a contrasting aqua linen (which I already had), and I absolutely adore the bright cheeriness of the color combo with the big graphic floral blooms and birds.
It’s hard to believe they’re the same chairs, isn’t it?
Be still my fluttering heart.
Oh, and here’s a panned out shot of the wall with the bench included.
I went more neutral with the wall decorations because of the bright pops from the chairs and ottoman, but the honest-to-goodness truth is that the chairs won’t be staying here, even as great as they look in this space. I always had them in mind for upstairs in our “big room,” and as much as I’d like to keep them here and design something else for upstairs, custom furniture—even when you score awesome deals on the chairs—ain’t exactly cheap.
I eventually want to replace the frames for the black and white family photos with some thicker/prettier versions, but I couldn’t find anything I liked in the 11X14 size for less than $20 each. And I couldn’t exactly justify $80 worth of frames, when I could spend $4 and be happy enough until I find something perfect and budget-friendly.
Any suggestions for places to buy nice, big frames at a decent price?
Oh, and a thrifty tip for you: if you, like me have been known to stack frames in a closet, only to come back one day and discover the glass cracked (or maybe you find one at Goodwill without glass), there’s a quick/cheap fix. Head to your local dollar store (the kind where everything really is one dollar) and pick up a frame in the size that you need. You’ll have replacement glass for one measly buck. Holla!
I smile every time I look at this wall now. Speaking of things that make me smile…
Remember this $7 8-foot-tall (slight exaggeration) Goodwill lamp? I’m still loving it with its black and white, floral Target shade, although I did banish it to the corner when I added my glass, bubble lamps to the sofa table.
Just in case you were wondering (because I get asked this every time I do a living room post), the color on the walls is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. It may be my favorite gray/blue/green neutral.
And because I haven’t bombarded you with enough pictures yet:
I found spot for my painted pumpculents, and I’m still more than a little enamored with Geoffrey, the giraffe.
But it’s the bottom left picture that I really want to talk about. Here’s the deal: the chair legs are a bit beaten up, but I really don’t mind too much and would totally keep them this color if these chairs were to stay downstairs, since the color matches the floors, and the nicks can definitely be passed off as “character.”
However, the wood will clash with something I have in mind when they migrate upstairs, so I want to change them. And I’d love it if you’d help me decide.
So, here’s a little poll for you. What color do you think I should paint the chair legs?
C’mon! Help a sister out!
Oh! And don’t forget to brag about your own Project Elephant updates here in the comments (you can attach pictures or leave me links to blog posts) or on social media with the hashtag #projectelephant