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Always Tweaking (aka We’re Nuts)

Last weekend started like most. We went on our SociaBulls walk with Jackson, filled up at Bang Bang (we’re officially obsessed) and ran our errands. When we returned home that Saturday, I reminded Scott that we still had to hash out our annual summer yard sale date, and while doing so, I thought, you know, I could sell our ottoman. I’m sort of over it.

After that, it was a bit of a blur.

A recent poll of our condo building firmed up an August 4th sale date (more on that as we near in on the day!), which really isn’t that far from now. A few weeks ago, we had started a list of “to sell” on our chalkboard back splash, and so I added Otto. From there, I asked Scott if there were any items I could gather up, bag, and get out of the way until the sale. And before you knew it, we had added curtains, blinds, an end table, a bench, frames and shelving – to name a few. All of these things, however, came from our living room.

Before that started, you might remember our living room to look like this:

This is before we broke out the screwdrivers and spackle, of course. Scott took down our curtains, I wrestled up light weight furniture, and suddenly, our living room was looking, um, sparse. Of course I didn’t remember to snap a photo (because sheesh, the whole thing was unplanned), but here’s how our room looks after we rearranged what was left (when shot in direct sunlight – our curtain-less windows don’t help, either!):

It’s not terribly drastic, although in a room so small, every move seems to make a large impact. You’re probably wondering, what changed? Some things are impossible to tell from a photograph, so here’s the rundown:

  1. We picked up a $2 chair from a neighborhood yard sale (a few weeks ago) and added it to the room.
  2. No more curtains.
  3. No more end table.
  4. We centered our sofa under the window. How novel! Our media wall is tall, but it’s certainly not wide. For years, we’ve fought that by cheating the center of the window with curtains and pushing our couch to align with the short media wall. Our couch is now a good 3 feet off the art-shelving-wall (trust, it’s hard to to tell in the photo), and as a result, everything in the room shifted, too. Aah, breathing space.
  5. We swapped our Jubilee lamp (currently sitting on our sub woofer) and the red floor lamp – for now.
  6. Our lovely chair moved to the opposite side of the room. Before we centered our sofa, this arrangement would have been impossible.

But the best part, I think, is what can now be tweaked:

  1. We love the clean lines of this chair; we think it’s why it works on this side of the room. The room feels more open, even though there’s more furniture. Unfortunately, the upholstery is beat, and the seat isn’t fully attached. It needs a makeover.
  2. We got rid of the end table I painted (and then stained the top to match our blinds; oh, Kim!). We might add another table?
  3. Those blinds have got to go. This time around, we’re thinking light and airy – potentially white rollers or white honeycombs. We’ll also add back thin curtain panels to hide those speakers that have been exposed.
  4. We love this rug, but Jack has beat. It. To. Death. It was a steal on Overstock, but the 7′ square no longer makes sense with the sofa purposely off-centered. The only furniture legs that touch it is our arm chair and coffee table. We know this can be a spendy purchase, so we’ll be on the hunt for a deal (or a DIY, maybe).
  5. I’m not loving the sub woofer turned end table – perhaps we can encase it to look like an actual table.
  6. We’ve talked about reupholstering this chair since the day we got it. It’s a nubby, neutral fabric, but the felines in this house love the texture. This could happen a ways down the road, as we’d likely have to save up for the job.
  7. (Below) Our staggered shelves of art are competing with our media wall, and we decided something had to give – and it wouldn’t be the wall! It’s still important for us to have art, but we’d like to reassess what we have, rid what we have no sentimental attachment to, and clean up the frames so they’re all the same color. We’d rather the art stand out, and not the frames themselves.

Phew, there it is.

We like change; it’s good for you! For us! And while I had a bit of guilt over things like the curtains and blinds we bought almost 5 years ago, Scott asked me this: If we were to buy curtains right now, would we get those? No. If we were to buy new blinds right now, would we want red toned Venetians? Hell, no. Our tastes have changed, and they’re constantly evolving. As we live with certain items, we find what may work for us, and what might not. We scoop inexpensive finds, fix them up, and in some cases they eventually move on. Hey, remember when we had that massive fish tank? Aw, bittersweet.

Nothing is ever permanent, and isn’t that the fun part of loving your home?

Of course the challenge now is tweaking slowly, one step at a time, and within reason. In other words, what can we DIY? What do we have to replace? What do we want to replace? Where’s the best place to start? And can we do this on a minimal budget, please?

Oh, my. Do looming yard sales have you purging and re-imagining, too?

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - July 12, 2012 - 8:08 AM

    I agree – Lack of permanence IS the fun art of loving a home! It’s the journey that counts right??? Cheesy but true =) Not to mention the excitement of searching for and finding new things to bring in – It’s sort of addicting…Best of luck with your little tweaks!!ReplyCancel

  • Holyoke Home - July 12, 2012 - 8:10 AM

    We JUST went through the basement and put everything for a to be determined tag sale in one place. Still have to decide on a date and make it happen! Living looks greatReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - July 12, 2012 - 9:24 AM

    Our upcoming move (September) has got purging on my brain, too! The nice thing is that most of our stuff was free/thrifted so many items aren’t too hard to let go of. It’s nice to freshen up once in a while!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - July 12, 2012 - 10:55 AM

    I think one large piece of art (print or a mirror) would look sweet on the wall opposite the media wall. I saw this mirror at the store where we bought our couch, and I’m kind of obsessed: http://www.uttermost.com/p-2618-cyrus.aspx?EID=140&EN=Category
    It looks really pretty in person!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - July 12, 2012 - 10:57 AM

    My only beef w/ that mirror is the faux crackled look of the goldish circle. If it were plain gold, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat (it was on sale)….ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 12, 2012 - 12:28 PM

      Jillian, I actually really like that mirror! And I do like the idea of putting a mirror on that wall, but our only concern is that’s the largest wall in our whole home. (Not counting the hallways!) It might actually be too small for the space, but you’re definitely on to something. Thanks for the idea!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - July 12, 2012 - 1:21 PM

    How rejuvenating! I love your thought, “if we were to buy _____ right now, would we get those?” Gah! So liberating! I am the queen of tweaks, but this has given me a whole new outlook…and a reason to have a yard sale. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - July 12, 2012 - 1:36 PM

    Now that you mention the wall being too large for just a mirror, i see that. Hmmmm. And now that yoh like that mirror, i’m wanting it all over again (to go on the wall behind our new couch). Eeeeeek!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 12, 2012 - 1:40 PM

    Jill, are you changing your living room layout? I thought you had a giant window behind your couch! Are you reversing the room?

    But yes, that mirror is awesome. I can see it fitting right into your home!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - July 13, 2012 - 10:09 AM

    We’ll change up the layout a little from the sectional. Since the sectional was so huge, it had to be against the wall. But since the couch is smaller, we’ll maybe be able to have it come out from the wall more (we’ll just have to work w/ things when it comes, you know, you know). Behind where the sectional was is a giant window and a wall, but they share the space equally, with the window in the far corner and the wall meeting the front door. So the wall space for art or a mirror wouldn’t be centered over the couch.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 13, 2012 - 10:17 AM

    Ooookay, gotcha. I can’t WAIT to see how it all transforms. How fun! We’ll have to catch up at your place next time we’re in town. Love you!ReplyCancel

  • finley @ place i love - July 17, 2012 - 4:44 AM

    I think it’s a good thing to be ‘always tweaking’ and making changes otherwise a room can become dull and over crowded with junk that you never move or throw away. I like what you’ve done, good inspiration to us all to keep tweaking :)ReplyCancel

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