There are rooms in this house where we went in with a vision, and we worked on it until completion. Some were painless, quick and easy projects (the guest room!) and some were seemingly never ending, as we hit every road block possible (the kitchen!). Still, these rooms started at point A and, eventually, they found their way to point B.
Our funny little nook, though? We went from A to B, then C and D, and by now, we’ve worked our way through the whole alphabet, really! Although our intentions felt pretty clear in the beginning – just a cozy room that you’d want to curl up in – I think the problem was that, when it came down to it, we didn’t know what that really meant. In the very early days of demolition, we did widen the doorway and swap the closet to face the entryway (this used to be a very, very small bedroom). We painted the walls green, picked up a bookcase, found a pint-sized console for the record player, and then we promptly proceeded to swap in countless chairs and rugs, never quite hitting the mark.
And then we took a nice, long break, and we came back feeling refreshed. Like, crazy, excited, can we just get going already? refreshed! (Time away from home = good for the DIY soul.) We had ideas running through our heads so fast, we couldn’t wait to dive in and tackle them, and so, we kicked out our funny little nook once and for all! We re-painted the room a deeper, darker blue-green, Narragansett Green by Ben Moore (which really leans way more blue than green). We laid down a rug with no regrets. We hung a sconce that had been waiting for The Day.
Well, the day is here!
It’s a really simple room, needing only a few things to make it that place we’d want to curl up in. After surprising ourselves by choosing a dusty lilac velvet for our Milo chair, we agreed that the she should remain the star of the show. Milo is highlighted only by a brassy Cedar & Moss sconce, an oversized art print and a small chrome table. We added an ottoman, too, which was thrifted a million moons ago, and I recovered it with leftover upholstery.
The opposite side of the room, aside from the paint color, has stayed largely the same. Our IKEA Vittsjo hack holds all of our records, and I spent a few minutes re-organizing the upper shelves to display a few things we love, from framed photos to old letters – and our smudge stick, of course!
At one point, we had convinced ourselves that the nook wasn’t worth repainting, but man, we are both thrilled that we did! Narragansett Green is a color that has our hearts; it’s sometimes navy, sometimes a deep forest.In the evenings, the corners look almost black, but as the natural light bounces around midday, it can read as a vibrant teal. The view in and out of the room connects so well to the other parts of our home, and so we remind ourselves once again – it’s just paint! Painting again might not be the most exciting way to spend a day, but it is always worth it when you feel like you’ve nailed it.
We’re happy to call this room ‘done!’, and while we hang out between bigger projects, we’ve been brainstorming like crazy for the bathroom… and the bedroom and the laundry room! We’re riding the inspiration high, apparently!
PS… You might notice we also picked up a new-to-us vintage rug for the living room. It’s larger and fills the space a bit more, and we moved the other one upstairs!
NOOK SOURCES: Wall color: Narragansett Green by Benjamin Moore, color matched to Valspar Optimus // Chair: Milo Baughman, thrifted // Ottoman: thrifted and recovered // Rug: bound carpet remnant // End table: thrifted //Bookcase: Vittsjo with DIY added shelves, IKEA // Record console: vintage // Ceiling pendant light: DIY //Sconce: Ridge, Cedar & Moss // Record catch-all: thrifted // Throw blanket: Crate & Barrel // White ceramic planter: CB2 // Candle: West Elm (heaven!) // Large art: Mexico #3, DIY Frame // Piglet art: Sharon Montrose // Pink horse: thrifted and painted // Subversive cross stitch: gifted // Gold owl: thrifted and painted // bunny: gifted
This seemingly simple story has been a long time in the making – 2 years, but who’s counting? – and we’ve just now finally nailed our living and dining room lighting. Well, not the fixtures (we’ve been content with those for a while!), but the actual bulbs!
If you’ve been with us since we bought our home in 2013, you might remember that the first thing we did was tear down the ceiling to install a proper support beam. While we were at it, we centered the overhead lights in both the living and dining rooms, and at the suggestion of our contractor, we decided to add 4 recessed lights per room (so 8 in all) and install a dimmer switch for extra ambient lighting. I remember the day that Scott and I went to the store to purchase bulbs and being completely overwhelmed. Thinking we were being very smart, we left the store with 8 CFL floods at a color temperature of 5000K, also labeled as ‘daylight’. We thought, well, we want the colors to feel very natural! Daylight it is.
As soon as they were in, we hated them. They were very, very blue, and so we did what any person would do who doesn’t want to go back to the store, and we never turned them on. Like, ever. We finally unloaded them at a yard sale, went back to the store and picked up 8 more CFLs at a color temperature of 2700K, which was not only much more pleasant, but it had us turning on the lights for the first time since they were installed!
It wasn’t long until we decided, we hate these too! CFL bulbs have a longer warm up time, so once we flipped the switch, the room would get brighter and brighter to the point that we’d say, did you turn up the dimmer? One of us would attempt to turn them down, but if we got too low, they’d switch off completely and/or create an irritating humming noise. Not good. Again, we stopped using the recessed lighting altogether.
Luckily, we have a happy ending! This month, we’re working with the Ace Hardware team to completely transform a room by using nothing but LED light bulbs, and we could not be more happy! The second time we purchased CFL bulbs, LEDs were hovering around a price point that was still too high for our liking, but they’ve since come down to a place that makes them a tough contender against CFLs. Not to mention, they’re really the biggest money saver in the long run; this article really digs deep, and it’s good to know that the best bulbs out there are also the best for our wallets.
We decided on a 6 pack of these Feit LED bulbs that boasted the ability to dim and light up instantly. Yes and yes! As soon as we took them out of the box, we loved that the frosted glass was already much more attractive than our old CFs. Below, the LED is on the left, and the CFL is on the right:
We swapped out every last CFL for the Feit LED bulbs (our dining room, kitchen and nook lights were all also upgraded to this 60 watt equivalent), and we were thrilled to see that with a flick of a switch, they really did turn on right away! They even dimmed down to the lowest setting without a hint of a flicker, and at 2700K, it feels soft but not overly yellow. It’s just a clean, inviting light, much more white than an incandescent bulb with the same color temperature.
The lighting aisle can be tricky – it’s no joke! – but we are 100% satisfied now that we’re on the LED train and we’ve found the color temperature that we find the most pleasing in our home. As we continue to update fixtures around the house (upstairs, you’ve been so neglected!), we’ll be nixing every last incandescent and CFL in our home.
If you’re looking to transition towards LED lighting (hello, money savings), visit your participating neighborhood Ace Hardware this weekend, October 16-18, and take advantage of the Buy 2 Get 1 Free LED light bulb sale! Buy two select FEIT LED bulbs and get one of equal or lesser value free. There’s no limit, so you can mix and match to get the bulbs you need to re-light your entire house!*
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. See all the blogger projects on the Ace Pinterest page.
*While supplies last. Store stock only. See store for details.
Our funny little nook off of the living room has been in constant transition since the day we chose a paint color. Every now and then, we’d swap in a different chair, stack (and re-stack) the books, fuss with plants on the window sill and, as it would seem, rotate rugs in and out that we were never fully happy with – until now! Hooray!
The room is an odd size with nooks within the nook, and our whole goal has always been to make this space feel like a mini escape from the rest of the home. It has so many names – the music room, the sun room, the reading room, and of course, The Nook. The hope was to keep it slightly masculine – with its matte black Vittsjo, and why yes, we did repaint it a darker color! – but with softness underfoot and a cozy chair to curl up in.
With the chair finally checked off, we’d been struggling with a rug that would fit the room’s odd shape. A 4×6 was too small; a 5×8 was too large. Square shaped rugs in 6×6 would have been fine, albeit a bit undersized, but stepping up to a 7×7 would have been oversized. We considered these FLOR tiles for the freedom they give in shape, but I was determined to find something extra, extra soft. We’ve learned from experience that inexpensive shags aren’t exactly pet friendly, but more money doesn’t necessarily mean less shedding, either. I mean, I’m driving myself crazy with how ridiculous this must read, am I right? (Ha!)
But as you know, there’s a happy ending! For years, we’d been driving past an old warehouse with a crumbling sign that read: Olympia Carpets. The warehouse has since been torn down, but a quick Google search showed multiple locations not too far away, and Yelp reviews boasted their ability to turn carpet remnants into perfectly sized area rugs. We actually popped in much earlier this year, but we only recently went back in to make a decision, finally landing on a super thick, super plush soft gray remnant for $100! Note to Chicago locals: The Pulaski location is closed, so go to Diversey. It. Is. Massive!
While we always knew this could be an option, I suppose we always had this thought that carpet remnants would look like that – a carpet remnant. What we really received, however, was a ridiculously durable 6′ x 7.5′ rug that fits the nook perfectly! With binding and tax, we were out the door for $160. Additionally, we layered the rug with this carpet pad, giving it a ridiculous amount of softness that is so good.
We couldn’t be happier with this simple (affordable!) solution. We’ve had it in our home for a couple of weeks, and it hasn’t shed at all – which makes sense, considering you wouldn’t want your carpet to shed all over, you know? Because it’s original intent is for carpeting your home, it’s also stain resistant (time will tell!) and easy to vacuum and maintain. More importantly, the pets love it, as they’ve shown by never, ever leaving the room.
There are a couple of things to add before we can call the nook done, but this time, (I think) we really mean it.
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