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A Vintage Wooden Coffee Table

We’d had our old coffee table for six or seven years. It was part of the Thomas O’Brien line for Target, and I still really liked it. Brandon had actually been the one who was interested in us having a new coffee table, because the old one (as cute as it is) was starting to concern him with its wobbliness. I think it’s still got some life in it yet, but I agreed we should probably look for something new.

Making it Lovely's Living Room

See ya, old chum! (Actually, it will probably be useful in the basement, if I ever get around to setting up the playroom area.)

This one below is my ideal coffee table, but I’ve been looking for one for over a year and a half with no luck.

Vintage Wood and Travertine Coffee Table

But then I found this one at the Renegade Craft Fair the weekend before last. I prefer a round table in our living room, but I had to give this one a try.

Vintage Wooden Coffee Table in Making it Lovely's Living Room

Not bad.

Vintage Wooden Coffee Table

I think there’s too much wood in the room now though. I’m thinking of getting a travertine top cut for the table to replace the wood, but I’m not sure if the legs could support the weight. I could paint the top, but I don’t think it would hold up as well with the kids, and I’m not into the distressed look. My other thought was to get a laminate top made for it because that’s what the old one was, and it held up to a lot of abuse. I’ll get a quote on the stone top first, and go from there.

Making it Lovely's Living Room

Update: I played around with it in Photoshop. I’m even more convinced now that the table needs a lighter top.

See how awesome a stone top would be?

A Guide to Mixing Patterns in Your Home

Mixing patterns in fashion happens all the time (I’m always a fan of stripes and florals), but people seem to shy away from doing it in their homes. I mean, other people tend to shy away — not me. I’m a pattern mixing fool, so today I put together a guide to doing just that. Huzzah!

I think of Photoshop as a decorating tool, just as you would consider a designer’s measuring tape or sketchbook. Seeing how everything comes together digitally has been the best way for me to get a good idea of what will work in a space, and I love putting together layouts for you. Below is the guide I’ve created, with 27 patterns matched to perfection.

A Guide to Mixing Patterns in the Home, from Making it Lovely

• You can find the links to all of the patterned chairs and pillows used in the graphic above on my Pinterest board.

The trick to mixing patterns is to start with a bold scale. I like accent chairs in oversized prints, so I begin there. Pick something like this one in pinstripes, or maybe something a little crazy like this one in raspberry ikat or my floral grandma chair. It will be easier than you think to make it work! For example, my chair may seem limiting at first, but there are so many colors in it that it’s easy to find a match. (In my home, that match is of course pink. And now coral too.) Next you add a contrasting pattern. In my case, the next thing would be my pink zigzag rug.

You can stop at two patterns, but you don’t have to. I certainly don’t! Vary the scales enough (something large, something significantly smaller, and then maybe a teensy ditsy pattern), and everything will look fine. This corner of my living room, below, has a whole lotta pattern going on. Bold floral fabric on the chair, a zigzag rug beneath, wallpaper in the room beyond, a textured (read: patterned) side table, art above, a patterned throw, and a patterned pillow. But it all works.

A Guide to Mixing Patterns in the Home, from Making it Lovely

 

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Scientific Botanical Prints

Would it really be surprising that someone as fond of pink as I am would also be fond of flowers? Even the less girly among us can appreciate a good bloom, no?

A few people, in writing about my keynote at BlogPodium, noted that I had dressed to match my blog. My branding. The truth is that I’m just consistent in what I like. My blog matches my clothes, my home… even down to some of the book on my shelves. For example, here are two of my favorites.

The Rose: An Illustrated History, and more recently, The Art of Instruction. My dog rose print is the same one featured on the latter’s cover.

I designed two themes for Making it Lovely, and if you’re on the default “Lovely” theme, you’ll see an abundance of flowers in the background. Even if you choose to view the blog in “Minimal” mode, you’ll still see my custom floral illustrations in the header. As much as I love a good, clean site with a true minimal aesthetic, it’s just not me. The flowers (and colors and patterns) I use aren’t part of a larger, calculated move on my part to reflect my branding (though it works as one), I just like them. Simple as that.

I saw that a flash shopping site was selling framed botanical prints a few weeks ago. I had enough credits to cover the cost, so I bought one. They’re no longer available on that site, but they can be found (unframed) at The Evolution Store.

I would have loved to hang two prints over the sofa (like this), but the picture rail in my living room doesn’t leave enough clearance.

These prints are huge. I love the scale of mine, but I don’t know if that corner of my living room is interesting enough to warrant art of that size. Something feels a bit off too, between the print, the plant, and the vase on the other side of the TV. I’m going to leave things as they are for a while to see if I get used to the print’s (rather commanding) presence, but I may play around with the placement. It’s beautiful though; I’m glad to have it.

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