The Space Between

In our home, the kitchen and living are open to each other. You can stand in the kitchen and see into the living room and vice-versa. The open space great for entertaining, especially for get-togethers focused around sporting events. You can stand in the kitchen enjoying a few delicious treats and still see into the living room to watch the game. It’s a win-win!

A few years ago, we painted the wall that connects the kitchen and living room. But there was a blank space still left between the two rooms. Here is a photo taken right after we painted the wall in between the two rooms. (Check out that crazy couch. 🙂 )

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Earlier this year, we added a functional organizing area between the kitchen and living room to connect the two spaces.

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BJ and I looked at several options for this space before finally deciding on this Ikea Hemnes sofa table. Here are a few of the tables and benches we considered.

 

 

 

Threshold™ X Console Table Threshold™ Fretwork Console Table

Threshold™ Storage Bench with Slatted Doors Unfortunately, with these tables and benches we encountered two deal breakers. First, the tables and benches weren’t wide enough for the space and second, they didn’t offer enough storage. Our goal for this space is to connect the two rooms and still be functional.

We chose the Ikea sofa table because it met our criteria for the space and it also looks great with our Ikea Hemnes coffee table, and our kitchen island. The white really stands out against the blue wall and dark cherry kitchen floor.

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To make our sofa table more functional, I added these large chalkboard crates from Target. We’ve divided the crates into my mail, BJ’s mail, coupons and take out menus. These are items that we traditionally store in the kitchen, or that we inevitably pile up on the kitchen island making it unusable. With the large milk crates, we can store all of our mail, menus and coupons so they are easy to find and tucked out of the way of our daily kitchen use. If you are looking for a DIY alternative to these crates, you could find old milks crates and paint them with chalkboard paint. We decided to go with the option at Target because they were exactly what we were looking for.

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On the top shelves, I added some of our colorful coffee table books, and added a tray on each end for BJ and I to store little odds and ends.

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Our mail bins even have their own bouncer. Don’t mess with Zoey.

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Now this is a fully functional and fun space for us to enjoy. What area of your house to could benefit most from a functional space like this one?

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It’s Rugtastic!

Along with our subtle decor upgrades to the fireplace, we also recently added a decorative rug to the living room.

We shopped a few different stores including Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm, before we settled on a Threshold rug from Target.

What we discovered in our quest to find a suitable rug was that several stores seemed to have very plush, comfy feeling rugs. However, if you lift up their rugs you will uncover a nifty secret: carpet padding. Some stores display their rugs with carpet padding underneath to make the rugs seem more plush. With this tidbit of knowledge, we decided on the Target rug we picked out because it was a nice, yet lesser expensive option that we could simply add a carpet pad to.

We have plenty of leftover carpet padding from when we replaced the carpet in our dining room. If you do not have extra carpet padding lying around, you can check your local carpet or home improvement store for carpet pad remnants.

Once we brought the rug home, we roll it out in the living room and BJ took a few measurements to cut a piece of the carpet padding to fit the rug.

Zoey, aka our “project manager,” also took a few minutes to assess the rug from the couch to make sure it was okay.

Threshold rug

Next, we lined up the carpet padding on the back of the rug. BJ cut the pad about an inch short on all sides so we could tape it in place.

adding carpet pad to rug

We used Gaffer’s tape (which is often used for lighting and film work) to tape the rug to the carpet, but you can also use Duct Tape.

carpet pad/rug

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To ensure that the carpet pad stays in place, we taped it on all four edges.
rug with carpet pad added

Here’s the “before” of our rug installation:
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And here is the “after:”
Living Room/Threshold rug

With the pad underneath the rug, the carpet, and then another pad under that, standing on our new rug feels awesome. It’s super plush and soft. The carpet pad under the rug also adds an extra layer of protection in case we spill something. It keeps the stain from going through to the carpet.

By adding a carpet pad under your rugs you can make a lesser expensive rug feel extra plush!

Enjoy!

Showing Our Home Some Love, Part 2: The Coffee Table Conundrum Solved

After we met John and Sherry from Young House Love on Saturday, and got a copy of their awesome book, we headed to Ikea. I was feeling completely inspired and ready to tackle our challenging rooms. While we were at Ikea, we picked up some items we’ve been talking about for a long time and a few cool items we found while browsing the new displays.

One of our most exciting purchases is a new coffee table for the living room. Right after we bought our current couch, I experienced a coffee table conundrum. After scouring Pinterest and making a few trips to Ikea, we finally brought home this guy:

We decided to go with white coffee table to contrast the dark couch and dark furniture. I’m still working on some of the decorations on top, but you will see our copy of the new Young House Love book found itself a happy home.

Check back later this weekend to see more of our Ikea finds!

Picture Perfect

So what have BJ and I been up to lately? Quite a lot actually.

First, we added some new furniture to our master bedroom.

Then we finally started adding pictures on the wall of our upstairs hallway.

I also bought a few more frames to add more photos to the walls of the upstairs hallway and continue into the loft. BJ and I also started planning out how we would like to design the space in the loft. Right now, it is a mix of furniture and not really usable. We have a projector that we would like to use for movies and we are thinking about turning the loft into a movie/game room. We both went to the same University, so we would like to incorporate our alma mater into the theme in a classy way.

Here’s where we stand now, it’s pretty empty. Just a few piece of furniture and no seating.

One of the challenges of this room is that it is the first thing you see when you come up the stairs. We’ve gone back and forth on the design of the loft. We’ve talked about putting a sectional couch and adding some bookshelves, and we’ve also discussed just putting some  chairs from Ikea with the ottomans and making it more of a place to relax and kick back. If we go with the Poang chairs, then we plan to add a few side tables and skip the coffee table. 

There are many options to choose from and I’m sure we will find something perfect for our space. In the meantime, we’re enjoying coming up with some over the top ideas and then of course, ruling those out. But if money were no object, we would have a pretty cool looking loft already! 🙂

The Coffee Table Quick Fix

If you remember from my post two weeks ago, the search was on for our next coffee table. Since that post, I thought I found the perfect coffee table at Ikea but when we went to pick it up, they were out of stock… wah wah.

The table I found was the Hermes white coffee table. What I love about this table is that it is solid pine, has a bottom shelf, it’s square and it’s white! Perfect!

After checking a few times since last weekend, it’s still out of stock ::sad face:: So in the meantime, BJ and I have been shopping around and looking at our options until either, Ikea gets this table back in stock, or we find something better.

Until we buy our new coffee table, I decided that we needed an interim solution to solve the problem of walking around the couch. While I was cleaning this weekend, I came across two side tables we bought over a year ago to hold various items in our bedroom and my office. I borrowed the side tables from their current homes and moved them into the living room to their new temporary home.

Here is my quick fix our coffee table conundrum:

The side tables are a little higher and they allow you to walk around the couch without stepping over them. Now if only they weren’t so dark. They would be perfect if they were white… and solid pine 🙂

The Coffee Table Conundrum

Now that we have our new couch, I’ve been on the look out for a new coffee table to complete our living room look. Our current coffee table is a very nice wooden table, but it doesn’t fit with our new couch. Its rectangle shape it makes getting around the couch a little snug and it is desperate need of  a good refinishing.

Before we bought our couch, I saw an idea for a pallet coffee table on Pinterest.

Pallet Coffee Table

I really like the bright color and the bottom shelf. I also found a few more ideas for pallet coffee tables on Pinterest.

pallet coffee table

This one does not include a bottom shelf, but I like the white washed look.

pallet coffee table

BJ and I are debating the idea of building our own pallet coffee table. By building the table, we can control the shape and quality of the wood. I also like a few of these tables, which we could build ourselves.

coffee table idea

KITCHEN TABLE: coffee table

coffee table idea

I like the idea of painting the coffee table white to contrast our dark couch but I’m having a hard time deciding on which design I like the best. There are so many options. Currently, I’ve narrowed the search down to include two criteria. The table should be square and have a bottom shelf for coffee table book and magazine storage.

The search is on.