Slinky Inky Blue Walls..The Quiet Room

Finally, we are in the last stages of the living room..
not that any room is ever really finished, is it?
Finished is an awfully strong word. One that leaves me feeling rather penned in.
Lets say we won't be needing anything changed for a while..
except for a wee bit of lighting!

This room was meant as a dining room, and we tried using it as such,
 but our two chocolate brown labs love to sneak up on the sofa, which means it's better off in this space.
Also, now our dining room is right off the eating area for the kitchen, 
which means the kids can have their own dinner party on weekends when we have friends in,
 while we get to visit in relative peace (and still see them flinging peas at their siblings :)

This chandelier is from the previous owners - don't hold it against me!
I have tried to unsuccessfully give it away to several people who need one, to no avail -
not that I'm really surprised..
Haven't found exactly the right light to replace it yet, but I'll show you when I do.

Here's the view from the front hall.

I have always scoffed at people who had formal living rooms, thinking they were wasted, roped-off spaces that simply gathered dust and admired themselves.
Now I have one! Almost twelve years of child-proofing has led me to want a grown up room.
ONE ROOM where it's always clean, and devoid of toys :)

A quiet place to read.

After we reclaimed this space as "adult", a funny thing happened - 
I started finding the kids in here. A lot.
There's no tv, radio, etc.
So what were they doing in here?

Reading, just like I was.

Perhaps there is something to that overstimulation theory :)
The darlings were craving peace and quiet just as much as we were.

The palette came from my vintage leather chairs, my favourite glamour girls, 
which were my first real furniture purchase so many years ago.. 
I considered changing them out for something more practical this spring, but couldn't :)
I bought these when I was still sleeping on a futon.. priorities!

The wall colour is Ralph Lauren's Urban Loft, a deep, inky navy that verges on black.
This room has western exposure, and I snapped these pics in the afternoon,
 so this is the brightest it gets - I love it! 
Don't be afraid to use dark / saturated hues in small spaces.. it enhances the ambiance.
Light tones often accentuate shadows, and highlight the dimensions of the room,
making it actually feel smaller.

You may recognize the bookshelf, I bought it at a garage sale this spring, 
it was previously in our bedroom
and I'd just like to say -  D, you are a prince for moving furniture all over the house, again and again :)
This room had been lacking a focal point. 
Since we aren't putting in a fireplace anytime soon, the bookshelf takes the place of the mantle,
 and provides storage for the heaps of books that are always finding their way in here.

A thrift store landscape and dollar store owl (he followed me home, really) 
live here with a carved wooden screen from a hazy vacation long ago..

Although I prefer quirky art, D. prefers the realism of naturalist Robert Bateman and the like.
This black bear print was an early investment piece for us, a compromise..
I surrounded it with some art cards I have been toting around for quite some time.
I'm sure you recognize these famous Japanese works.
Mounted on hand painted japanese paper, they have found a perfect home.

On the other wall is a couple of old frames from the Sally Ann, painted black and filled with some DIY fern art, more pics at the end of the post on that.
Another print, this one by Paul F Gauthier, who painted alongside the Group of Seven. 
Although his work did not achieve the same noteriety as theirs, I am drawn to it.
My father found this print for me, and so it will always have a special place in our home.

My charming little owl..

Paisley is my favourite motif, it runs through the house, popping up here and there..

Cameron and I have begun playing chess together regularly..
he is eight and I have to really watch him!
A natural strategist.. grinning as he claims my pieces, one by one.

There you have it, guys.. if there is still anyone reading after all that hope you enjoyed!

The fern art you saw is probably a placeholder until we find some other things,
 it was made really simply.
I wanted a botanical influence here, a hit of green with navy always works,
but something unique, a different way of presenting ferns.

I pressed some fern leaves between paper towels and left them under a stack of books to dry.
 Repainted the empty frames black, then rubbed to allow a little of the gold to show through.
Then I cut two pieces of foam board to fit the empty frames,
covered them with some navy linen (leftover from my curtains) which was secured on the back.
I coated them in spray adhesive, gently laid the frens on top, and let dry.
 A generous coat of Modge-Podge sealed the ferns.
I popped them into the frames and voila, art under $10!
I think I may trim them with some black velvet ribbon, just to add a layer,
 but I love the texture they add.

This room has some new, and some old, but it's all the things we love..
and in creating a quiet space for ourselves we spend more time being quiet, together.
It's funny how homes evolve to suit the needs of their occupants..
 sometimes needs you didn't even know you had :)

til next time..

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