Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beni in the Living Room

Do you ever look at a room and think that there's something off with it but you can't quite put your finger on it?  Do you then proceed to try to remedy the unfathomable situation by changing absolutely everything in it, one piece at a time?  Yep, happening with me right now. And looking at blogs and Pinterest does not help one bit.

Case in point, my living room which has been a work in progress for 16 years.  The trouble is I bought all of the pieces at different times, without a plan.  So nothing really goes. Yes, I love the eclectic look but even good eclecticism is designed and deliberate.  Often a good room design starts with a rug.  I think I've been through 5 different rugs in my living room alone.  I always think that the next rug is going to be the savior of the room; the one that pulls it all together.  I'm usually satisfied for a short while but then a new trend comes along and I fall for it.  My latest obsession (among millions of other bloggers and pinners out there), the Beni Ourain rug.

I love the look of these rugs in pictures.  They look both stylish and laid back at the same time.  They can make a traditional formal room look less stuffy and a bohemian eclectic room look more grounded.  My favourites are of course the original ones from Morocco, but these come at a huge price tag.  We're talking thousands of dollars.  They're perfect because they look handmade with lots of variations in the patterns.  Us average folk have to make do with the mass produced unfortunately.  West Elm have their version called the Souk Rug.  Pottery Barn did one a few years ago which I love the look of.  And Anthropologie have one called the Flotaki Diamonds Rug.  This is the one that I bought.  And I bought it at a heavy discount, of course.  I paid $350 plus shipping and tax for an 8 x 10 that originally retailed for $2000.  Now for $2000 you'd think you're getting a gorgeous rug that will be the envy of all of your friends!  Well, can I tell you, I'm mighty disappointed.  It just doesn't do it.  So I think it's going back, unless anyone out there in Salt Lake would like to buy it from me.

Here's a picture of my living room with the old rug which is the Brandon Rug from Pottery Barn.

It's not so bad.  Actually, it's a really nice rug.  Oh, and I got a new pendant light, which I think is really boring but it was cheap and does the job.  What I really wanted was something fabulous and unique, but c'est la vie.

See!  Now everything else looks crap.  Especially my sofa and chairs.  And the table and those silly side tables.  Aghh!

Umm, now looking at this photo I might convince myself to keep it.  But if I don't love it, am I just fooling myself?

Yes, that is a huge armoire in the living room.  It houses a TV, XBox, speakers, record player, stereo, a gazillion remote controls and quite a few dust bunnies.

Who has a blooming drum set in their front room/parlour?!  Not many design-minded people I know.  Mary McDonald (famous LA designer on the show Million Dollar Decorators) didn't even let her client have a grand piano in the living room.  But unfortunately, space is tight and there is nowhere else to put it.  Plus it is kinda cool looking.

And look, I got a new plant.  Yep, another design cliche.  But it is awfully pretty.  Let's see how long it lasts.

Here are some inspiration photos of Beni's that I think look great.  It's funny, when I look at my pictures I'm almost convinced to keep it.  But in real life, it is really shaggy, hairy, woolly.  And sheds like a motha (that was a quote from a review on Anthropologie's website, not my words. I should have heeded their warning).

Sources here

Why can't my room look those rooms above?  Not fair!  What do you think?  Keep it or ditch it?

Friday, January 11, 2013

My first instagram follower!

I have a follower!  And not just any follower, but the authors of this great book that I have leafed through many a time at Barnes & Noble.

My follower/s is Suzanne & Lauren McGrath authors of Good Bones Great Pieces! I have no idea how they found my pictures but I am truly humbled. Makes me almost want to get off my arse and start on the banquette project in the kitchen. I said almost. You know how slow I am at starting and completing projects. Anyway, just love social media and how it can give you a little ego boost once in a while. Thanks Instagram! If you'd like to follow me also, head over to Instagram and type in suzannedingley.

Update. Unfortunately it was all a dream. No not really, but for some reason they're not following me any more :( I feel like I've been broken up with. Oh well, I've still got 2 other loyal followers!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Instagram - life through a filter

Yes, I am really late to this little party.  I honestly thought that you had to have an i-phone to take Instagram photos.  Silly me.  Anyway, I noticed that a lot of bloggers are now posting pictures that they've taken with this app.  It really can make a little vignette look more interesting.  You can use it to turn regular photos into Instagram pics or you can use the camera on your i-pad and use the app directly.  In someways it does a better job with the i-pad camera than photos from my SLR camera.  I think it's because the app crops the photo to a square which changes the look of the pictures already taken.

So I decided to Instagram a few old pictures from the blog.  There are a bunch of different filters and effects you can use.  I haven't decided which is my favourite yet.

Ok, so a little bit of research on the internet just led me to another photo editing app, snapseed, which I think I actually like better than instagram. They have a lot more editing options and you don't have to crop your photos to a square! Check out these pictures below.