Carm’s office

Carm's office

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How a navy blue sofa turned into a whole house.

I’m so over my sofa. Like really over it. I want a re-do. It’s a chocolate brown sectional, and while it’s not butt-ugly, I’m just ready to move on. It didn’t wear very nice and the middle cushion has become quite thin-so when you sit on it and you expect to sit down on pillowy softness, you actually sink into this uncomfortable pit. It sucks. We’re not actually in the market for a new one right this minute, but I’ve definitely started thinking about it. And what I want-what I’m a little bit obsessed with-is navy blue. I think I just might trade my dog for the perfect one. (Ok, not really, but he’s still having accidents so I have moments of weakness when I just might…) I’ve been searching the internet/blogs/Pinterest for awhile looking for the right one, and hadn’t quite found it. Then today, I was checking out West Elm, and voila!! There it was. Navy Blue. Velvet. Chesterfield. Have lovelier words ever been put together? It’s perfection. And here it is:

Isn’t it lovely? I’ve been building rooms around it so much that my head is spinning. And the price point, just like everything at West Elm, is great. It’s Chesterfield (which can be very formal), yet it’s casual, and the color just gives it so much character. I gotta have it and I can’t wait to give my lumpy ol’ P.O.S. the heave ho.

While I was online, I found a bunch of other great stuff (as I usually do), and I thought how I could really build an entire room right from the same place. And then it went on like that. I pretty much planned out almost an entire house from West Elm (so much fun), and then collected it all and put it here. And no, my kids were not being neglected while this was going on. They watched a 30 minute show about some bear detective (totally educational, though, I’m sure), and mommy got a little inspirational break. Here’s what I do in my (very sparse) spare time: (Don’t judge.)

West Elm living room

Sloan Upholstered Chair / Souk Wool Rug / West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover– Pebble (24″ Sq.) / West Elm Stackable Chair / West Elm Diamond Dot Crewel Pillow Cover – Slate / Andalusia Dhurrie Pouf / West Elm Parsons End Table – Natural Grass Cloth / West Elm Origami Coffee Table / West Elm Agate Bookend / Chester Tufted Upholstered Sofa / Abacus Table Lamp Mercury

So here’s where it started. The navy blue sofa was the jumping off point for the room. The rug is something I’ve been lusting after for as long as the sofa, and it must be mine at some point. I love the cool lines of the coffee table and also love that the upholstered chairs bring such a great pattern to the room. I also threw in another wooden chair, because I love having an odd chair in the room. I just do. Throw in a pouf for extra seating, a couple of Parsons side tables and lamps, some textured pillows and some agate (love natural elements in every room) and you’ve got yourself a pretty fine living room.

Moving on…

West Elm dining room

West Elm Mobile Chandelier / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Dumont Buffet – White / Cast Metal Table w/ Patched Metal Top / Kasbah Wool Rug Steel / Scoop-Back Chair White

Here’s the dining room. The table top is hard to see, but it’s metal. Love the wood/metal combination. And that chandelier is beyond.

West Elm bar cart/gallery wall

West Elm Woven Wall Art / West Elm Framed Bird Wall Art – Flamingo / West Elm Mirror Trays / West Elm Papier-Mâché Animal Sculptures / Gallery Frames White / West Elm Framed Print – When Crystals Form

To me, a house wouldn’t be a home without art. And booze. So here’s both-the bar cart/gallery wall area. You’re welcome.

West Elm office

Industrial Task Table Lamps / West Elm Zigzag Wool Rug – Iron / Swivel Desk Chair / West Elm Framed Print – Polyglot II / West Elm Parsons Desk with Drawers – White

Step into my office. I didn’t really plan on it being all black and white, but I like it. I have seen that exact Parsons desk in a gazillion spaces, and it looks good in every single one.

West Elm entryway

West Elm Scribble Wallpaper / West Elm Umbrella Stand – Umbrella / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Multi-Panel Foxed Mirror / West Elm Sculpted Geo Console – Parchment / West Elm Martini Side Table – Antique Brass / West Elm Indigo Geo Cotton Dhurrie / Spindle Back Armchair | west elm

Here’s the entryway, which I probably should have started with, but whatevs.  Can we take a moment and discuss the console table? Oh. My. And I would totally wallpaper my next entry-and I would go for something bold and graphic, like the gray one here. A few accessories, a runner and chair and boom. Cool, modern entryway.

Every interior designer alive would probably lose their lunch at the thought of decorating an entire house from a catalog, (gasp!) but I happen to think it can come out great. And if West Elm would like to send me any of the above items, I would graciously accept.

All items be found here: http://www.westelm.com

gallery walls

I hope you all had a great weekend. We did, for sure. It started with my daughter’s first ever dance recital on Saturday. It was easliy one of the longest days I can remember, as my daughter and I were backstage for at least 4 hours before her 2 minute routine went on, which was followed by about another hour of routines/award ceremonies. But as much as I complained about how long the day was, it was so worth it. Watching my daughter get up on stage (she refused to during her dress rehearsal the day before), made me so happy. I found myself getting emotional. Emotional because I was so proud of her, because she was having so much fun and it was so cute to see, and because I realized just how fast she’s growing up. It feels like just yesterday she was learning how to walk. Sigh. Then on Sunday, we spent the whole day pool side, and as a result I look like I’m covered in a nasty red rash. I am horrible at applying sunscreen evenly (same goes for self-tanner), so my sunburn is in bits and pieces. I look awesome and feel even better.

The other thing we did this weekend was to create a gallery wall of sorts in our living room. I have long been an admirer of cool, funky art. And an even bigger admirer of grouping cool, funky art together. I’ve been collecting pieces here and there, but didn’t have enough to put together the look I wanted. Until this weekend. I had ordered three pieces from Made by Girl (http://www.madebygirl.com), a site that has great art and accessories. With those last few pieces, I had enough to make a cool grouping. After getting frames, I was ready to hang everything up. I already had some art on the wall I wanted to use, so I took everything down to start on a clean slate. I laid out all the art on the floor to get an idea of how they should hang. I played around with it a bit, and then put the hubby to work. Here’s how we roll on a Friday night:

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And here is the finished product:

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I’m so happy with the way it turned out. The photographs on the end (with the gray frames) were an afterthought-I wanted the art to take up a bigger space, so I took the photographs off of another wall and included them in the grouping. I actually rather like the variation that the gray wood frames add. I had been wanting to do something like this for awhile and have been collecting Pinterest images of different art groupings. It’s interesting to see how other people achieve a similar look. Some people use frames that are all the same color to give the art a very cohesive look. Some use art all in the same color palette. And some groupings have no rhyme or reason to be together other than they all just look great together. Whichever method you use, it has to appeal to you. If you like the way it looks, then you’re doing it right.

Here’s just a few of the looks that I have been using as inspiration:

love

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love-banquette

love-all white frames

red frames

Aren’t these great? That last image is actually kids’ art. What an amazing way to make the (tons of) stuff your kids bring home look cute and sophisticated! I may have to steal that idea at some point. My refrigerator is running out of available art space.

Try grouping your art together in a fun way. It doesn’t have to “match” or be art from the same period or style. It just has to make you happy.

Above images from my Pinterest.