Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cooling off the living room

With the help of my trusty assistant, I'm brightening the browns and terra cotta of my living room.

Connie's painting dared me to dip my toes in atmosphere blue and aqua.

It would be too easy to run to TJ Maxx for new pillows, wouldn't it?

Whenever I shopped, I kept my eyes peeled for anything cool and summery...

...like this aqua-fringed pillow ($1.98) and a roll of striped fabric (.99), both from the thrift store.


The cool tones pick up the water and sky in the bird print (from a local consignment store).

The Nester taught me one of my favorite free decorating tricks: stacking books for a punch of color.

30 comments:

Connie said...

Meredith, I'm so pleased my painting helped inspire your color. Quite strange, I use no blue in my decorating (I'm a green girl), but I love to paint with blue, ditto for orange. I neither wear orange or use it in my house, but it just livens up a painting. I love your new pillows and material. You are an exceptional thrift store shopped. Connie

TJ said...

Turquoise and tans are my favorite colors together!

I have turquoise retro cookbooks in my kitchen next to the retro scale to really add the colors I want (and don't yet have).

Good luck with moderation!

Kelly said...

Hi there. I hadn't thought about updating my colors for the season. Perhaps I'll do that. Good idea!

Anonymous said...

I also use stacks of books here and there for interest. The lamp on my nightstand sits on a stack of books (that just happen to have jackets that match my decor!) to make it the right height for reading in bed.

The cool blues are nice for summer! P

Christi said...

Love the new color scheme. It will look so fresh!

Anonymous said...

I just have to say that you are amazing...what you can do with thrift store finds astounds me! I love thrifting...and do my best...but you are the queen of something for nothing. I've been reading your blog for a few months and love it. I think of you when I see silver serving pieces at my favorite thrift store...I'm tempted to buy them but I wouldn't use them like you do!

And by the way...you are a beautiful pregnant woman!

Michelle in CA

gracemercyandpeace said...

How pretty and summery! Elise enhances the fabrics, too.

As set designer for our school's play (and having the teeniest budget), I asked for people's junk and throw-away fabrics with which to construct the set. In the junk piles? A complete set of vintage cream and aqua lined cotton drapes. They didn't work for the play but sure look great in my kitchen-LRoom!

carocoknits said...

I love how you show that a home is constantly fluid and in motion. Seasons changing, children growing, new babies (congratulations!), and even just finding better items at the thrift store all affect a home. You show that this change is not a bad thing, but something that to be embraced.

Tara said...

Hi, I've enjoyed your blog for a few weeks now! (came from Nesting Place - don't ya just love her!)

I love that color of blue - I have it in one of our bathrooms & think it's very calming. Very ocean-y...

I love stacking books, too. My mom finds wonderful antique books for me at junk stores. A great, inexpensive way to decorate (and even READ - some of them are great reads, I've discovered!)

Love these frugal tips - keep em comin'!

Anonymous said...

Ah, this is the kind of post I enjoy so much. Thank you for making me take a fresh look at my home! I, too, like tan and aqua, but I did that combination a few years ago. I'll have to keep looking for a "new" favorite.

The Nester said...

OH Yippie! You did great, as usual! I love that you call it atmosphere blue. Robin's egg blue is so hard to type, azure blue sounds fancy and tiffany blue, well, where I'm from most people don't know what color tiffany is.

atmosphere, yes, that's got a nice ring to it.

Mod Girl said...

I dig the aqua! Good work.

Anonymous said...

Meredith, might I add that your every move inspires me each day -
My heart is with my home while I'm ripping away at my demanding job of being a speech writer for mucky mucks and VIPs- I can tune in to your blog each morning and expect a blessing and reinforcement to my spirit... I feel that you are a true inspiration to women like me, who would rather be home, rearranging, decorating, cooking from an old recipe book and planning for the next vacation, or shopping for thrift store awesome bargains during the week to enhance the home and care for our children more closely - the guilt vs. the great income... weighs heavy each day.
I often tell people I leave work and go to work at home, my real job. While I'm the sole bread winner for my family and my husband has endured job loss for over 2 years now, there's just so much on my shoulders - Your blog assures me that I'm still a good mom, serving in other ways to mind my home and dote on my kids everytime I get the fine chance - My coffee breaks and catching my breath pauses are filled with smiles when I log on to visit -
Thank you, my sister, God will continue to bless you for blessing other moms who try so very hard to make it all work...
Be ye blessed!
Working mama in NW

martha said...

You are a real INSPIRATION. I remember a stunning armoire....is it still in the dining room? Looking forward to updates!

remodelingthislife said...

Beautiful!! With the terracotta and aqua blue in my living room, I am inspired to try some of these ideas to coordinate!

Anonymous said...

I would love to have your "trusty assistant" come over any time to help me. It is a 'grandma' thing. She is beautiful. I am sure that some day she will be a chip off the block. Can you just see her painting her room over and over to get it just right?
I too like to change the way my home looks. It keeps it exciting. Thanks one more time for the blog. As always it is a breath of fresh air. Roxie

Anonymous said...

What are your plans for the fabric? Pillows? Curtains? Just wondering how you are going to tie it all together.

Amy said...

Oh, I just love that color. Painting our kitchen blue soothed me to no end and we have it in our office too. It makes me happy and more serene just having that color in my house.

I am a book stacker too and love those colors you found! Lovely!

Meredith said...

Yeah, aqua and brown are passe by color trend standards. That's probably why I am seeing them in the thrift stores.

But the look is new to me, and definitely a cooler change for warm weather! (The Oriental rug has notes of Persian blue and aqua, too.)

I plan to recover the terra cotta/gold pillows with the striped fabric.

Stacy said...

Very nice! That looks so pretty =D

Martha A. said...

Do you have any ideas on a nice looking idea for a frugal shade that would cover a very big window? I have nice curtains that I like up, but they are on the top and the sides, but do not cover the window really and it looks out on a street so I would like it covered at night for privacy. Any ideas?

Tubo Family said...

Looks very pretty! And your assistant is adorable, can't believe she is "so big" already. I love my "coffee" walls and red accents but something lighter would be nice...looking around the room I realize that I could do it if I found some curtains & pillows, or fabric to work with...hmmmm, you've got me thinking.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call your colors passe, it's just that I've already done the. I really like that combination, and my daughter is enjoying my "hand me downs" now. In fact, had I not moved into an old, old house (without much charm, except for the living room, which is an 1800's log cabin), I would sprobably still be using that color. It just wasn't right for THIS house. I just know your room will be lovely!

Marcy said...

How pretty! I love those colors together! :)

Jane said...

What I love about thrifting for decorations is that it slows me down. Oh sure, I could walk into BB$B and buy all the stuff for a great room. It would feel slightly generic and would be done and over with. With thrifting my hobby is affordable and always an on going project. Your assistant even color coordinated today! Too fun!

Anonymous said...

Little color-coordinated Elise looks adorable in the picture also! I love her sweet little dresses. Do you have trouble finding diaper covers since she wears dresses so much? I think they are hard to find unless you go to an upscale boutique for kids. Does she ever wear shorts & t-shirts? Just wondering since we get a little peek into your life each day. Thanks for sharing. Caroline

Meredith said...

Unintentional color coordination--I promise!

Though my kids and I both look best in blues and greens, so we often end up "matching" by accident.

It really cuts down on the time to find clothes in thrift stores if you routinely zero in on a few choice colors; at least, if you're in a hurry!

Elise wears mostly dresses because they are easy and comfortable. One piece on, one piece off!

She does have a couple of pants outfits and short sets for play, but mostly, I let her wear and play everyday dresses.

I have a few "bloomers" to cover a diaper in shorter dresses or for special occasions.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Great finds! I am so jealous of your thrift shops-ours aren't quite as good.

I've been toying with the idea of changing up my living room color scheme a bit for summer. The biggest things would be some sort of cover for the couch (red, green and brown plaid-not as homely as it sounds) and possibly changing out my red drapes. . . . hmmmm. . .

How do the blues fit in with your "whole house color scheme"?

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Very pretty! I'm loving the turquoise/aqua right now, too.

Gini (Hallquist) Young said...

Fabulous! love fabric and you got a good one it looks like! Not to mention the colors are a fantastic breath of cool! awesome!