Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Don't We Start in the Living Room?

I promised to start with photos of my own condo, any today I will start with my Living Room. I don't want to put it all out there on day one, that would ruin the suspense, so I decided the best course of action would be to show you one room at a time. Besides, considering my condo is made up of only four rooms, you'll see everything within the week.

Here's the Living Room:

Before anyone comments, I would like to point out that no, I do not have proper coverings on my floor to ceiling windows. My friend Jackie and I are planning to sew draperies ourselves, and I purchased the fabric last spring, but we just haven't gotten around to sewing them yet. In the meantime, the paper blinds adhered to the glass are doing the job, but the room will definitely look more finished when the silk drapes are installed.

The upholstered furniture I have chosen is modern and comfortable. The tuxedo style couch is "Dior" by Stylus and it was purchased through Urban Barn for about $1200 (they have a great selection at reasonable prices). I chose the slipper chairs because visually they take up less space than chairs with arms, so they work really well in a small space (the same concept applies to the glass top coffee table). I found these "Drake" chairs at Pavilion on Queen Street West and they were about $700 each. These three items are my investment pieces, which is why I chose to have them upholstered in neutral tones. By changing just the wall colour and the fabric on the cushions I can easily change the look and feel of the room without the expense of reupholstering.

The artwork on the wall above the sofa is a Jackson Pollock print (Number 8, 1949). I purchased it as a poster, you know the kind with the big white border around it. I took it to the Magni Frame in Scarborough Town Center to have it framed, and we decided to cut off the border and coat the print with a linen texture finish which gives it the appearance of original artwork. It was a bit of a splurge, but well worth it!

Highlight of the shelving unit:
Yes, this is the Ikea $99 Expedit bookcase found in every home across North America (and possibly Europe as well), but it just works!! The price is right, the size is right, and let's face it, no two ever look the same once they've been filled with personal treasures and knick-knacks. When styling your bookcase, try to mirror your treasures on both sides so that it looks balanced. The starburst mirror on the wall above was purchased at Knock on Wood on George Street in Peterborough, which is a great place to check out if you're in the Kawarthas. I've seen this mirror in several stores, but the price was right in Peterborough, so I snapped it up while I was there. Just be prepared to bring home a BIG box!!

The end table:
I need to point out a few things in this photo:
Point 1: Some people are satisfied with just an overhead light in their space to provide overall lighting for the room. I love my arc lamp, but it isn't always enough, particularly if I want to read in the evening. A lamp on the end table is a great way to introduce more lighting into the space and provide warmth on a chilly night. I found this glass lamp on sale at Pavilion on Queen Street West.
Point 2: If you want to be able to put the dent in your throw cushions, you MUST use down or feather filled pillow inserts. I used to have polyester inserts, but I recently purchased new 14"x14" inserts for only $8 each (on sale) at Dreams on Spadina Avenue and I love the way they look and feel.
Point 3: My Dad made the amazing vintage walnut end table many years ago. Which makes it even more special.

This is the opposite wall where the TV lives:Many designers don't like to include a television in the living space since it becomes a focal point, and they'd prefer that we focus on the artwork or on the view outside. I can appreciate that, but in my world, I NEED a television in the living room!! The piece I am using as an entertainment unit is actually a Bjursta sideboard from Ikea which only cost me $279. The only drawback to using a sideboard is that it's difficult to hide all of the electrical wires since the base doesn't come all the way down to the floor. The boxes in front serve as camouflage.

I found this Buddha statue in a shop on Spadina Avenue while wandering home one day last fall, and it's possible that he brings me luck, but mostly he's just cute. He presides over my collection of favourite home decor "bibles".

Hope you've enjoyed this little tour of my Living Room.
Coming Next Time: The Kitchen

The What & The Where:

Couch: Urban Barn ("Dior" by Stylus) $1200 (
Slipper Chairs: Pavilion on Queen Street West ("Drake") $700 ea
Glass Table Lamp: Pavilion $110 (sale!)
Glass Coffee Table: Kinetic Home $150 (sample sale - the base was originally bright red) (
Bjursta Sideboard: Ikea $279
Expedit Bookcase: Ikea $99
Starburst Mirror: Knock on Wood $249
Throw on Chair: Knock on Wood (
Ceramic Urn: Pottery Barn $40 (sale!)
Wicker Baskets: Pottery Barn $20 ea (sale!)
Arc Lamp: Urban Essential on King Street East $400
Throw on Couch: North 44 $15 (sample sale)
Pillow Inserts for Floral Toss Cushions on Couch: Dreams on Spadina $8 ea
Pillow Inserts for Floral Toss Cushions on Chairs: Eversoft $15 ea
Fabric for all Toss Cushions: Designer Fabric Outlet Queen Street West (
Bronze Bowl on Bookcase: Wal-Mart $15
Round Storage Bag used as Magazine Holder: Jenna Rose $50 (

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