DIY Ombre Rain Chain - When I visit other countries, I’m always fascinated by some of the simplest differences in even the most mundane things. A perfect example: rain chains. My...
28 September 2011
With our new house, we have whole rooms neither of us has ever had before: a laundry room, a loft, an attic, and -- more excitingly -- a family room. We're so un-used to having a family room that we keep calling it the wrong thing. Many of our conversations start something like this:
Me: So I was thinking for the living room...
Mark: Wait, do you mean the living room or the family room?
Me: Oops, you're right. The family room. So I was thinking...
The distinction is all semantic, of course, but since we technically have a small living room space in the great room, the living room part of which we have taken to calling either the "parlor" or the "hearth area," that makes the big upstairs room the family room. And that means we can go for comfy lounginess all the way, since this room is totally out-of-sight from downstairs. If I want a more formal room with no TV, I can get that in the parlor.
Our original vision for the family room looked something like this:
That brown leather chair is a stand-in for our actual chairs, which you can see in the first pic at the top of the post. And the sofa is the Lounge Sectional by Crate and Barrel (currently 15 percent off as a part of the upholstery sale). We still luuuuuv that couch, but we decided (actually, Mark smartly persuaded me) that a darker color would be more practical for a room where we want people to feel totally at ease, and where I don't want my pulse to quicken if someone puts their feet on the couch. Another bonus: by going with a darker brown, we can get a sofa that's actually in stock, instead of having to wait for a "stock plus" sofa to be made for us. We got a stock plus sofa from C&B in LA, and it took about 10 weeks to arrive, during which time we lounged on an aerobed. Not awesome. (Though definitely worth it in the end.)
And so, introducing the Lounge Sectional in "walnut":
Would a lighter-toned sofa be more design-y? Yes. But will this darker sofa let me relax completely? You betcha. We've gotta be able to relax in our own home, so comfort and peace-of-mind win out. This guy will be ours in a couple weeks (rural furniture delivery is slooooooow).
So, that now means that both the sofa and the chairs will be dark brown. That makes the accent colors more important than ever, to keep it from feeling too dark. Thankfully the walls and carpet are light (and we'll keep them that way), but that pretty hand-carved-looking coffee table in the original mood board no longer makes the cut. Too dark and heavy. So the search is on for light-toned (but not glossy white) coffee and accent tables. You know I love my glossy white pieces, but they just don't feel right in the new house. In a perfect world, I'll find some amazing, yet miraculously bargain-priced travertine-topped coffee table.
As for right now, it's a game of musical chairs in the family room, as we await our more permanent furniture. First, we brought the brown leather chairs up to the family room, along the Poang chair from Ikea (which very well may end up back at the condo in LA, since it won't have a good place to live in the new house once the sofa arrives):
That looked decent, but we really like to be able to lay down on the sofa, and so the chairs weren't cutting it all by themselves.
Also not cutting it? That mess of wires, representing Mark's "office" until we figure out where in the house he'll be working more permanently. Yep, Mark's clients, when you talk to him, he's hanging out in this room in his PJs.
So out went the chairs (and the wires), and in came the click-clack sofa we bought for Mark's office/back-up guest room, back when we were sure he'd be working from the third bedroom. (More on this to come. Stay tuned.)
Notice some mega cuteness in the lower left corner of that pic? Ikea makes an awesome little bed for dolls, which I knew we had to get for the dogs. But the cushion and "blanket" that came with it were not thick enough for actual living things. So I found some flannel that goes with our color scheme, sewed it together with a little batting, and voila. Happy chillaxing spot for the Chelsea and Bella. Best of all: it gets them up off the floor, which keeps them much toastier.
There's still lots more to do in the room, including find a cabinet or credenza that can hold the TV and not look so bizarrely out of balance on that big wall (and under the big TV itself).
But we already love how comfy the room feels. And because it has that amazing vaulted ceiling, it feels a little bit grand, even.
And those hexagons? If I were a betting woman, I'd say they're here to stay.
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