Chelsea's Updated Main Floor

Back again! Since I've got about 10 minutes to whip this last minute post up I'll spare you all the dialogue that turned my bedroom update into a novel. At least that's the plan, but sometimes I find a lot more to talk about than you care to hear, (just ask my husband and kids). I apologize in advance!

I mentioned in the last post that through a lot of little changes here and there, there is a different vibe in our main living areas. No 'one thing' by itself seemed interesting enough to share here, but after a long period of time with lots of 'one thing's, it seems time for an updated tour. As a reader I love other people's home tours. As a home owner with a blog, I enjoy having a way to document how my style has evolved. We've lived in this house for almost 6 years and I finally feel like it's 100% us.

I know Mandi from Vintage Revivals has coined the term 'fearless style', but I can really identify with that. For better and worse, (and much, much worse), I can tell you I absolutely love trying new things and heading into uncharted territory. Trends make me weary and always have. Even when I was young, I wanted to do the opposite of what was popular, (which explains the Doc Martins, fishnet tights, the original 'emo' music from the Cranberries, and self-cut hair styles). And I was an all-state athlete! Sure, I was an absolute mess. But there wasn't a box that I fit in completely, so I was as pleased with myself as any confused 16 year old could be.

These days I am more able to appreciate trends, but still have that urge to be a little weird, if that makes any sense.

One of the little updates in this space is the long body pillow on the couch. I wanted a more streamline look on our frumpy but oh-so-cozy sofa, (Ektorp from Ikea, bought used and still in great shape). Plus, I was tired of changing out pillows every season - pillows that were always thrown on the floor anyways because a couch with so many pillows just isn't that comfortable when you need to fit 4 bodies on for bedtime stories. So I bought some gray denim fabric, stuffing, and took it to my girl Katie who has made pillows for us before. She's the preteen daughter of a friend and has mega sewing skills. How lucky for me! (Oh! And the blue waves print is Urban Outfitters)

These unaligned white shelves here used to be my weathered wood bakers rack - we took it to the garage to make room for Paul Pfeiffer, our Christmas tree this past year. I hesitated to bring it back in, almost donating it to a local thrift store because it just wasn't the right proportion for our space. Rather than a taller, skinny shelf, I imagined something lower and longer for that large wall. On a whim, I sawed that bakers rack right in half, expecting to have to dump it afterwards, but it worked out great! After a coat of paint and some styling play, it's been a fun piece for our living room once again.

Moving on, here's a peek around the dining room!

I wanted to freshen things up in here after the holidays and hung these airy indigo dyed curtains from Urban Outfitters, (currently 25% off a pair). I love the contrast of something breezy-bohemian with the 'hard' industrial shelves. Maybe an unlikely pair, I don't know, but here they are, working together!

**Oh yes! And here's a fun hanging tip for curtains: If you paint the curtain rod the same color as the wall, it almost disappears! I wanted a really fresh, clean feel here and didn't like the distraction of the metallic rod, so I just painted it with some leftover wall paint.

Oh Ross, you're trouble. I went in there to look for a child's birthday gift and came out with a child's birthday gift and this mirror. I just found out Ross and TJ Maxx have home sections. Why didn't you guys tell me?! They're tiny and will never have what you're actually looking for, but if you breeze through you may stumble upon a cheap pleasant surprise!

I'm so sorry, I've run WAY longer than I said so I'll just breeze through the kitchen quick! Nothing new here since we made it over, (again), last Spring, except a blue dishtowel since I added blue throughout the rest of the floor. Funny though how a new dish towel can be exciting, (obviously I use that word loosely). This was from Target. Or Walmart. I can't remember.

I outsource the artwork cheap and have a fast rotation of new original pieces coming in at least a hundred times a week. Don't worry, I can afford it.

The one spot that hasn't changed is our trusty makeshift entry. The old thrifted spoon coatrack was one of our first DIYs in our home 6 years ago and has seen tiny 3 month old fuzzy jackets with bear ears, to now 6 year old coats with pockets full of 'special' rocks and other odd finds.

Well there I went and talked your ear off just like I said I wouldn't. But it's Friday, so it's not like you're actually being productive today, right?

Thank you guys so much for coming by and have a wonderful weekend!

Reader Design: Cate's Color-Clad Loft

I'm doing my Friday dance extra hard today because I get to share an extra special Reader Design - Cate's!!! Cate is actually moving today out of her and my brother's first apartment together. They moved in over a year ago after their wedding, and while it's on the small side, I absolutely adored everything they, (Cate), turned it into. 

It seems that it's a right of passage for your first place to be sub par, am I right? Do you remember your first place when you were just starting out and were supposed to have the world at your fingertips? Was it tiny and infested with vermin? Did you have to drag your groceries up three floors of stairs? Does anyone actually remember their first place and miss it?! And yet, that first place will always hold a sentimental place in your heart.

In honor of that sentimental place, I asked Cate if she'd mind me featuring their first apartment, (a studio loft), as our Reader Design today. It hasn't been the easiest place for them to live, but I know you all will be absolutely amazed at what she did with it!

Living Room

From Cate:

"We are very proud of our newlywed nest;  I'm proud that I managed to make my extensive collection of roadside rescue furniture and DIY decor work for a small space.  And Caleb is proud that he found us an apartment that, although minuscule, still has more than one bathroom {1.5 to be exact} and a flight of stairs.

We have our extra storage in this faux-front apothecary chest from Kirklands.  Above it hangs another engineer print that was converted to a faux pull-down chart, (tutorial here)."

"On our walls hang some original artwork - two acrylic paintings and one art piece made using a photo-to-canvas transfer method from A Beautiful Mess. Suitcases on the wall provide extra hidden storage."

"Extra credit if you spotted the roadside rescue from Chelsea's suitcase table post!"

Yes, we often want eachothers' flips. :)

"Behind the floating sofa is an old metal file cabinet that I spray painted aqua.  It provides a great place to hold all my tools since we don't have a garage. Head up the stairs and you'll find the remnants of an old church pew from my childhood church in DC."

Not a typical first place, is it?! With singing colors at every angle and clever ideas from floor to ceiling, this is one of my favorite inspirational spaces. Just wait until you see the upstairs...


"Our bedroom is small and comes with some {BRIGHT} skylights.  After extensively researching my options for how to keep such strong sun out so that Caleb could sleep in, I decided on building a ceiling canopy around our bed.  The curtains are hung from a rectangular frame made from copper pipe and pipe fittings from Home Depot.  There are two curtain panels for the "headboard", one for the top canopy, and 3 pairs {6 total} for the remaining 3 sides."

I know. It's so gorgeous I can't get over it.

Hello, sun!! No wonder Cate had to come up with a solution to block those skylights!

Check this post for more of Cate's creative ideas for organizing and displaying jewelry!

Let's see one more of that stunning living room:

Consider my inspiration tank FULL! Cate, thank you so much for letting me share this today. It's such a treat to get to work along side of you and be inspired by your passion for creating. You are such a blessing to me! Definitely looking forward to where God takes you and what you make of it in your next place! You can follow Cate's adventures on Instagram @cate_stylemutthome

Don't forget to submit your own spaces so we can share your work and creativity here! You can post right to our Facebook page, or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram. Every Friday we share one new Reader Design - there's no requirement to be a professional decorator or even a fellow blogger. The whole point is to share inspiration with one another and keep it all in one handy spot; our SPACES page, (I could seriously kill a whole afternoon thumbing through the gorgeous tours we've got stashed in there). 

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter, everyone! He is risen!