Tag Archives | living room

Living room mood board – I wish!

Spring (aka it’s all of a sudden 85 degrees down in Texas) has us imagining changes around here! Full room makeovers may not be in the cards for us right now, but I recently started helping a friend put together a mood board for her living room (hi Lisa!) and it made me think – what would our dream living room look like? It’s been so long since we did ours, how has our style changed? *dives deeply into the Pinterest rabbit hole*

I’ve actually only put together a legit mood board ONCE (and I don’t even think we shared it on the blog). Ironically, I’m prettttyyy sure it was for our living room haha. (Which I’m realizing now I really need to share again because the post I linked to up there is years old. Wow.) Anyway, I’m excited today to share what our ideal space would look like! Who knows, maybe this will spur a few changes around here :) Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

My overall thoughts

So I’ll walk ya through why I chose what I chose in the hopes that maybe it’ll get your brains turning too. Overall, I wanted to go for something that had modern vibes and clean lines (the couch, coffee table, lamp, art) but with lots of natural materials/textures (woven rug and baskets, leather couch, plants) to warm it up and a little whimsy thrown in (marquee letters, fun pillows).

Art ledge

I’ll start at the top. I’ve been wanting to do an art ledge for-like-ever. I’m obsessed with the one made by Chris and Julia. You can buy these, but check out their tutorial for a super easy DIY walk through. I’m thinking a dark walnut one would be gorgeous. Speaking of C & T, also fell in love with the large tree rings print from Minted they hung on their dark shiplap wall. That piece because the starting point for the art ledge. I went with black and white to give the space contrast but also be a neutral backdrop for the color I wanted to bring in elsewhere. Our current living room art is super colorful, which I loved for a long time, but I’m craving more neutral pieces up on my walls now.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com
01. Visionary print

02. Sum Total print

03. Tree Rings print

04. Staredown print

05. News Flash print

06. Art ledge – tutorial here

Couch, furniture, plants

I wanted to go neutral and natural with the furniture pieces. We LOVE our Lounge sectional, which is an L shape, but something U shaped is oh so appealing (PS this one is from Arhaus and I’m kinda loving how sizable and sturdy their living room furniture looks. Like it’s not gonna blow away and you could probably jump on it without worry haha). I wanted other furniture pieces that were a little more delicate (but also sizable!) to balance the big sectional, so I went with the gold coffee table and gold standing lamp, which tie into each other. Plus I wanted a glass coffee table so you could see the pretty rug underneath. I also had to throw in a couple plants… both faux because I have a black thumb, but of course if you can keep a plant alive go for something living! I also loved the tiny wood vase on the coffee table plant, and the big basket is one I already own and luh-uh-uhv.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

 

07. Faux fiddle leaf fig

08. Dune three-piece sectional

09. Gold tripod floor lamp

10. Large curved basket

11. Gold and glass coffee table

12. Faux eucalyptus plant

Pillows, marquee letters, chair

This… is my favorite little section of the mood board. I wanted some fun and whimsy in the pillows. That winking one had me at hello ;) (Bonus- it’s embroidered, not printed, which gives it a little extra texture!). I also love how the boho style pink and red pillow ties into the rug without being too matchy matchy, and the gold spotted pillow ties in with the coffee table and lamp (it’s embroidered too!). The marquee letters we made for our wedding… those are part of our ideal living room no matter what. They were our first big DIY project and we’re still obsessed with them. And that handsome leather chair is pretty much the best of all worlds – modern, warm, and some masculinity to balance the pillows.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

13. Agda printed yarn pillow

14. Dot embroidered throw pillow

15. Winky embroidered throw pillow

16. Marquee letters – check out our tutorial here

17. Axel leather armchair

Rugs

I love the layered rug look. Love. I’ve had googly eyes for Persian rugs ever since we got a few little ones for the house. This big one has my name all over it. It’s a bit more expensive than I would normally pay… but this is a dream moodboard right? Plus to balance it, the jute rug underneath is super reasonably priced (and huge!). So it all evens out right? Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

18. Hand-woven natural area rug (11×15)

19. Persian rug (9’9″ x 13)

Hope you guys found this mood board helpful! Any other styles or rooms you’d be interested in seeing? Let us know below or on Insta (@evanandkatelyn)

Not gonna lie – a) had a ton of fun making this, b) I want to immediately buy everything in this room now, and c) was kinda hesitant to publish because now I know somebody else is gonna snag that rug.

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Doing a mix-matched gallery wall

We have a lotttt of art. Evan and I both paint/draw, we have artists in the family so we collect art from them, and I have a tendency to save things that I think might make good art someday (a pretty page from a magazine or calendar for example). So yeah, we are overflowing.

Therefore, we’re no strangers to gallery walls. In fact, we have a 23 foot gallery that takes up an entire wall in our living room! But we’ve always played it safe in one regard – when we do frames our frames match, and when we do canvases we do alllll canvases. The living room wall has been 100% wrapped canvases until very recently. Here is a pic of how it looked when we first put it up, and it stayed that way for a couple years.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

A few months ago we decided to start mixing things up and we added some black framed art to our canvas-dominated wall.

The other gallery walls in our house were all black frames – and not even different black frames, all the EXACT same black frame in different sizes. In our dining room I just recently added, prepare yourself, art with slightly different black frames. (those three with the mats…. yes, so different)

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

So after dipping my toes into the mix-and-match-frame pool, I decided it was time to actually jump in. The plan was to fill another wall and not be so matchy matchy about the frames, type of art, etc. The wall we chose for the job: our empty hallway.

You may have guessed that already if you remember seeing a few frames peeking out in our post about painting your yellowy fixtures white. That was somewhere in the middle of operation mix-match, but it’s evolved quite a bit since then. I’m going to show you how it turned out, and walk you through our method.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

So there are two ways you can go about starting a gallery wall:

  1. You can look at the art/photos you already have and then go buy frames for whatever needs frames. Or,
  2. You go buy frames you think will make a nice arrangement, then buy/make/print things to go into said frames.

Because we wanted to get some photos printed and we had enough extra art laying around that we could fill various frame sizes, we went with option 2. If you have one or more specific pieces, option 1 might be a better bet for you.

We’ve tried a lot of different methods when it comes to putting up gallery walls, but in our experience the fastest/simplest route is to lay everything out on the floor in front of the wall, eyeball where the middle piece should go, and work your way out from the middle. Some people will recommend getting butcher paper, cutting out pieces that match your frame size, and arranging those on the wall with tape first, but I think that takes wayyyyy too long. I figure with our method, worst case scenario is that we have to move our art around and fill a few nail holes (or just cover the holes with more art, am-I-right?).

We already had extra black frames, and I wanted to incorporate some white frames, so I decided to get a mix of black and white, some thick, some thin, some with mats, and some without. I laid these out, along with some existing canvases.  The lower left and upper right canvases were just spare ones that I planned to paint over.

So here it is up on the wall. Meh. Something just felt kinda off and not cohesive (and I promise I was trying as hard as I could to use my imagination and see past the frame “filler images” and the smoke alarm with no face).

So I rearranged it to the version you saw from the vent posts. I painted the fern art, the cross-hatch piece in the middle of the bottom row, and the mountain piece in that’s cut off on the bottom left.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

This was definitely better and we kept it like this for a long time. Then I saw the gold Target frames. I immediately bought three in all different sizes and knew I had to make them work somehow. But with our mix of unframed pieces (canvas), white framed pieces, and black framed pieces, I wasn’t crazy enough to add another variable. So I moved a few of these guys to the living room gallery, and painted any black frames that remained with a semi-gloss white spray paint.

After much rearranging, and finally getting off my butt to get some wedding and vacation photos printed, I landed on this layout and I love it!

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Being in a long skinny hallway, it’s not the easiest to take pictures of, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how it turned out.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

It was definitely worth the wait because we love the balance of art and photos, the various sizes and how they all play together, and the color scheme that ended up kinda materializing on it’s own (blues, greens, and golds).

Hope this shows that it’s ok for your walls to be continually evolving. It’s worth a few extra nail holes to just start somewhere, even if you don’t quite know where you’re going yet. After seeing how this hallway turned out, now I’m wanting to make even more changes in our living room and dining room – so expect more art wall updates to come!

2

Living room fan swap

Hey guys! So I’m continually realizing that there are projects we’ve completed that never got shared on the blog. Until some recent changes at Evan’s job, he would frequently have to work 11-12 hour days, and therefore I’d take on all the home/life-related responsibilities when I’d get home from work, so basically we had like zero time. We were honestly lucky to get any projects done, we just didn’t have time to blog about everything. So I’m here to gradually get you guys up to speed with the changes we’ve made.

First off is something we thought would be minor but ended up being a big upgrade in our eyes: swapping out our old living room fan.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

We’ve done a few fan swaps in our time, like the one in our office and the extra-difficult one in our bedroom, so we’re no strangers to the process.

It’s always good to start by turning off the power, you know, so you don’t get electrocuted. Then we laid down a drop cloth to catch any ceiling dust or screws that fell onto the couch. Caught a cat instead.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Next we unscrewed the glass globes and lightbulbs since they’re the most breakable. Then we started removing the fan blades (you just unscrew them).

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

After the blades were off, we went to work on the drop rod and base of the fan. There aren’t tons of pictures of this because we needed two pairs of hands (that’s where the motor is, so it’s heavy!).

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

We disconnected the wires and reconnected them to the base of the new fan (you can see a great step by step of this here).

Then it was time to put the new fan together. First off, this is the one we got. We did a lot of research about what size fan we needed in order to get air circulation and light in such a big room, and this one fit the bill and our style. We’ve had it for over two years now and we still love it! I guess you could say we’re big fans…

To install it, we first added the drop rod and base of the new fan. The bulbs and glass light coverings were part of the main body of the fan so they were up at this point as well.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Then we screwed the blades into place. It’s a pretty simple process.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Last but not least, we swapped out our ugly 70’s dimmer, which we couldn’t even use because the old fan bulbs buzzed but were too high for us to bother swapping them out. We replaced it with a crisp white switch.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Here’s the new fan!

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

So remember earlier when I said this swap ended up making a bigger difference than expected? It’s because our new fan has down lights AND up lights – and that is amazing! See, 90% of the time we only have the uplight on. Unlike our old fan (and most fans) that only shine down and cause harsh shadows on everything, the up light shins up on the ceiling and the light is diffused indirectly throughout the room.

And if we need bonus light (like when I’m making ornaments at the coffee table watching Gilmore Girls), we can turn on the down light and gain some bonus brightness.

Living Room Fan Swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Updating fans and light fixtures may seem like minor projects, but that kind of stuff has a huge bang-for-your-buck (and effort) effect on making your home feel fresh and updated. What do you guys like to do to your house that feels like a nice update, but really isn’t that hard?

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One man’s trash is another man’s new faux plant

Ever have those mornings where you’re already kinda late but as you’re pulling out of your driveway you see your neighbor has put a perfectly good indoor plant out by the curb and it’s starting to rain so you know you have to rescue it? Yeah neither do I. Which is why when it DID happen I immediately ran back inside and recruited Evan to help me drag it into the garage, where it would be safe for now and we could tend to it later.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

I didn’t get a photo of it out by the street or in the garage (you know, the whole already-late-for-work thing) but here it is once we brought it in later that day. Upon closer inspection, we realized what I thought was a real tree was a faux tree; it’s actually a natural wood trunk with faux leaves attached to it. Which made me even more excited because me + indoor plants = dead plants.

We did need to address that basket though. Even though we had turned a fan on it in the garage to help it dry out, it was still a little damp and gross (hence the clear mat under it in the photo above to protect our floors). Plus it was flimsy and starting to fall apart. I actually had a nightmare that night that the whole thing tipped over because the basket gave out.

So the next day, to target I went. And I found this steal:

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

I got it for even cheaper than it’s listed online, so I feel like I’m doing ok in life.

It’s a really nice sturdy basket. Sturdy was key if I wanted to stop my nightmares of plants toppling over. I swapped the baskets out and ta da! Instantly gives this guy new life (new faux life?):

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

When comparing them side by side, the new one looks especially solid and the old one looks especially sad. Sorry old planter.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

However, I still waned to make extra extra sure that this thing was not going to tip. There was some extra space at the base of the basket because it’s wider there. So I grabbed some Amazon boxes (which we allllllways have plenty of haha), folded them up, and stuffed them around the outside edges of the basket. Then I covered all the cardboard with some leaves that had fallen and called it good.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

I’m still trying to figure out how he’s going to live in relation to our chair and blanket basket (do I have too many large baskets? CAN you have too many large baskets?), but for now we are liking him.

One man's trash is another man's new faux plant - evanandkatelyn.com

2

Caster Coffee Table

As y’all know, we recently turned our former workout room into Evan’s new office. Which is great for Evan’s goal of having a functional workshop, but not so great for our goal of working out on a semi-regular basis.

As much as part of us would like to say “oh no, guess we can’t work out so we’ve gotta binge watch Steven Universe instead,” we know we’ve gotta have a space to work out in. And I work out to YouTube videos, so it needed to be a space with a TV. Our living room was the logical answer. We’ve got a nice big space in front of our TV on the rug, but unfortunately a super heavy storage coffee table sits in the middle of that. So we decided to make that super heavy storage coffee table mobile.

Adding casters to our coffee table - evanandkatelyn.com

We looked at different types of casters we could add, but because the base our table sits on is smaller that the size of the top, we didn’t want something that would raise it up and potentially make it topple over easily. Plus we didn’t feel like the look of traditional casters would look great with the style of this table. So we opted for roller ball transfer bearings that would sit as flush as possible to the underside of the table.

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And wow… it was so easy. We just removed the storage drawers, turned the table upside down…

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screwed the four casters into the four corners through the holes in their plates…

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flip and mess around with it (not necessary, but recommended)…

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and re-assemble!

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It’s super functional and easy to roll out of the way when we need to workout, yet it still feels really sturdy and it didn’t change the look of our table. Now we want to add casters to ALL THE THINGS. Bench in our entry way? Casters. How about our desks? Casters. Mochi’s litter box? Casters.

Adding casters to our coffee table - evanandkatelyn.com

Cheers to a quick, easy, and super functional project.

8

DIY Simple Side Table

Evan here again! So for a while, I hate to admit it, we were using my old TV tray as a side table. Hey. It fit. But it was not a good long term solution for two picky DIY artists. By this time (back in 2013 actually, sorry for such a late update!), I had gotten my woodworking confidence up, but I had not done any major projects with woodworking yet. So let me share my first one with you:

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

Muuuch better, right? This journey was not the smoothest… At first I was inspired by this pallet I found:

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It seems like they are all the rage in the DIY community. I must have had really bad luck. This was some super heavy duty super nailed together super pallet. But not super good for getting good wood from. I really did try. Then I put it in the scrap pile and went to Home Depot.

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Got some nice real wood (no plywood for my first big project!) All the same width. All I needed to do was cut them to length and start joining!

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This was before I had more toys tools in my arsenal garage, so I made do with some scrap wood to help me cut. Prooobably not recommended. A table saw would have been muuuuch better. Now that I have one (a shoutout of thanks to my brother and sister in law here for hooking me up for our wedding (yes, this project was that long ago)) I know how awesome it is.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

Once cut to size (measure, measure, measure, cut) I did a test fit! Looks good so far. I went with a nice basic shape (a blocky A?). To join them I drilled holes and glued in dowels! If I were to do this again, I would have used screws and counter-bores then capped them with tiny lengths of dowels on top (picture below sums it up better). I used dowels instead of just screws so that the entire outside of the side table would be wood (say that 5 times fast… wait, I just did it too and it’s not that hard, please ignore).

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But this was my first project so I just went for it.

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Not the prettiest work but that is why I bought wood filler.

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Katelyn helped me out with joining them all together with the dowels and glue (and therefore we didn’t get too many pictures of the process). But I did get this gem:

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Once everything was joined it was time to liberally apply wood filler.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

When it all started to look awesome is actually when I took the sander to the side table. It started to feel like a finished product. All the rough edges or mismatches were worn away and it came together into one piece.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

And if sanding is when it started to look finished, staining is when it really DID look finished. This might be the most satisfying step because there is such a large change for fairly low effort. I’ve adopted the wipe on, wipe off method. Get the stain on the wood and wipe it off right away.

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Since this was going to be a piece of furniture we would use regularly and possibly with drinks/spills/condensation, I went ahead and sealed it too.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

Hope this post helps people at the beginning of their DIY adventure like I was to jump in and try their hand at something new, or get a more experienced hand out into their workshop again :)

2

Branching Out

As you guys know, we had a lot of leftover branches after our tree trimming and we decided to hold onto them for a while in case we came up with any cool house/wedding decor we could use them for.

Well, we came up with something. We’ve been brainstorming ideas of something to hang over our fireplace. Of course the first thought was art, but with all the art on our gallery wall it almost seemed weird to have a single canvas off on its own. We are also thinking about some sort of white porcelain deer head thing, but that’s gonna take time to save up money for that or figure out how to make something similar (though plans for that are in the works…)

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So we thought in the meantime, it could be cool to take one of our big branches, spray paint it, and hang it up over our mantel!

While Evan worked on sawing himself off a walking stick wizard’s staff, I measured one of our large branches that was hanging out in the garage. It was almost 170 inches y’all! That’s like 14 feet!

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We cut off a couple feet on the top and a couple on the bottom so that it would fit vertically on our mantel with a little breathing room on either end. Then we laid our a plastic drop cloth and painted away, using silver Krylon spray paint that we already had on hand.

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We sprayed some parts with more shear coverage and others with more full, glossy coverage. We wanted some “natural” looking variances in the finish to mimic wood texture. See how some parts look glossy and some parts look rough?

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To hang it, we decided to use two heavy duty bolts that were already in the wooden part of our mantel as anchors.

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We grabbed some twine we had on hand to wrap around the bolts and around our branch. But it wasn’t super sturdy, so Evan sawed two notches into the bottom of the branch for us to run the twine through.

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Here’s how the twine fit in:

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I held it up while Evan wrapped the twine around (although in this picture he’s doing both since I was holding the camera). And Mochi just watched, she is useless I tell ya *sigh*

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You can sort of see in the picture how we wrapped it. We knotted one end of the twine on one bolt and wrapped it around the bottom of the branch through our notch and back up the other side, going across a few times while looking around some of the other branches.

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It held up well!

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But the twine was a little too visible for us. Something like fishing line may have worked better if it was strong enough since it would be harder to see. But we don’t have fishing line and I didn’t want to undo all our knots, so I came up with another solution.

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If you can’t beat em, paint em? I mixed up some brown paint that seemed to match the wood on our mantel pretty well (aka a rich poopy hue!) and I started to paint the twine.

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Twine is not the easiest thing to paint, and I didn’t want to get brown paint on our branch so that parts that wrapped around the branch I just left alone. Here it is half done- it definitely helps the twine fade away!

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And here it is all done!

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It’s definitely a statement! I am still getting used to it though haha. What do you guys think, is it weird in a good way or weird in a bad way? Considering it cost us just a little spray paint, we are pretty pleased with it, but we don’t think it will be a permanent solution.

6

Evolution of a Living Room

Happy Monday! Does anyone say that? Well it’s Monday and I’m happy so Happy Monday! Today’s post is going to be a bit fluffy, as in no super ground-breaking content (unlike all of our other posts which are of course super ground-breaking), but after seeing the before and after pics in Friday’s post about our art gallery wall I thought it would be fun. See, our living room hasn’t really had just a before and after. It’s had it’s shiny and new baby days, it’s will-not-cooperate toddler moments, it’s awkward tween years, it’s “finding itself” twenties, and a whole lot of in between phases. Check it out!

Here’s the living room again when we first bought it. Weeeeeeeiirrrrrrrrrrrd. On one hand it seems like yesterday, but on the other hand I can barely remember walking around on carpet in there!

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Then we gave carpet the boot and our house was a dust palace for a very long week.

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Once those floors were laid it made the space feel SOOOOO much more like ours.We ran around in our socks and did hardwood snow angels for days.

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Annnnnnnd then we moved in. And sh*t got cray. Because we had a preplanned 7 day vacation just a week after moving in, all our efforts had to be put toward things like getting our electrical work done, getting our roof repair in order, doing some high-priority plumbing, stuff like that. We certainly did not have time to move any furniture into its proper place. So we slept in the living room for a week. Kinda felt like camping in your own home. Well, actually, felt more like camping in somebody else’s empty home with all your stuff. It was a weird period of limbo.

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After our vacation, we got things a little more in order by basically setting up the exact same furniture and layout we had going on in the apartment.

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Then we bought our first new piece of furniture for the house- our new rug! Well, not furniture. A rug’s not furniture. Not really an accessory either though. A… textile? Eh, anyways, we bought our first new thing and it was a cheap $200 10×12 and we LOVE it. So big!

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Then we sold our old brown couches and had an awkward week with no couch. Not that we have much time for TV or video games anyway but still, it felt weird!

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Then our super comfy and giant Crate & Barrel couch finally arrived!

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Adding curtains was a huuuuuuge step in starting to make the place feel like ours. Before it was all hard and cold, but curtains started to give it a bit of softness.

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Then our media center overhaul made us feel like we were finally fitting into our huge room the way we should. But it needed something more…

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And that something more was art! Lots and lots of art! Plus a few decor items here and there. Oh and we also removed that arched Ikea floor lamp you see a few pictures up. We LOVE that lamp but it felt out of place in this space. So for now it’s back in a box til we figure out what to do with it.

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Well there you have it! It’s quite satisfying and motivating so see how a room has progressed from day one. Gettin’ me all pumped

8

We Have An Art Gallery!

Last time we updated y’all on the living room progress, we had put up our curtains and built a new media center that left our walls begging for some art. Good thing we have a TON.

We decided to do a big gallery wall using all of our printed canvases. But we are planners so we didn’t just start hammering away. We tried a few different layouts first until we found something that made our inner arteests happy.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

The art is a mix of large photographs (we use free desktop backgrounds we find online, heyo!) and some of my digital paintings (every now and then between website and logo designs, I find some time for art too!)

When it comes to hanging a gallery wall, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (sorry Mochi). You can lay out parchment paper or butcher paper and trace your pieces, then tape that to the wall and make your nail marks accordingly. You can guess and check until your wall has so many holes it looks like one of those closeups of the pores on your face. Or if you have a fiance with access to a digital printer who likes any excuse to use it (love you!) then you can print up one of these contraptions:

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Evan of course had to make a gif of its creation:

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Yep, I’m marrying a brilliant inventor! *swoon* Basically, he printed the red parts you see above so that we could screw them onto a threaded rod we got at home depot. They can be set to adjustable widths for different sized canvases, which we hang from the little arms coming down. We hold it against the wall with the canvas on it at the spot we want, remove the canvas while still holding it in place, and pop a couple nails through a hole on each of the arms. And of course it has a spot that our level pops into also.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

We taped our laser level to the wall to use as a guideline for the top of our gallery. The photo of this step below is evidence that if you hang photos in your boxers, you WILL get funny pants photoshopped onto your bum. Ha!

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Evan’s response to seeing the ‘shopped picture above? “I mean you got the butt size right but I would never wear white for house work.” Bahahahahaha LOVE HIM!!

After the laser was secure and the pants were donned, we started hanging using Evans contraption! We used it for the whole top row. Once you have your first canvas up at the right level, it goes pretty fast.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

We spaced out our canvases 2 inches on the left and right, so when it came time to do the lower row we just measured 2 inches down from the bottom of the top canvases and hung them like so. Mochi noticed I was hanging one crooked so she helped.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

With the right side complete, things were already coming together quite nicely!

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

We did the same thing the next day on the left side. We used the laser level and Evan’s hanging contraption for the top row, and measured down and hung by hand for the bottom row.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

We originally planned to mount the TV and put our DIY West Elm “S” shelf above it, so we didn’t budget any art for the middle of the wall. But the more we looked at it, the more it started to bother us. We worried that having the art in two halves would make the room feel choppy, which is part of the reason why we changed our media center in the first place.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

So we decided to have the art meet in the middle. We didn’t have enough canvases to do the job so we jumped on the opportunity to buy some more. We always use Winkflash, which often has 60% off canvas prints and is the cheapest we’ve found. After finishing up some digital art and picking out some more photographs, we put in our order and the prints arrived just a few days later. BEHOLD!

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Boom.

Now, the obligatory detail shots.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

We love it soooooooo much! Finally feels like this room belongs to us! And now our neutral couch, rug, and curtains all make sense. We needed a toned down canvas before we could add our colorful… canvases!

Of course, I also took this opportunity to fill those empty cabinets (and add the extra doors we got for it). Most of the stuff I used we already owned or was on sale, because I am le cheap.

And shout out to Sherry and John at Young House Love (aka the best blog EVAR), I’m glad my signed copy of their book now has a pretty place to sit where I can pick it up and browse for more home ideas any time I need some inspiration.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Well there you have it! We have a full blown art gallery in our living room!

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

It was a risky change since we haven’t really seen many homes with this sort of low and wide full-wall set up, but we are really glad we went for it! It’s come such a long way in the past week or so! Check out the before and afters:

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

I think we’re gonna call the living room temporarily done while we turn our attention to other projects. Eventually we’d like to replace the dated fan, give the fireplace a modern makeover, and paint the walls, but there are a few other parts of the house that need some love first. In the meantime, it’s nice to be able to sit back on our big comfy couch and enjoy the view.

Art Gallery Wall - evanandkatelyn.com

 

7

Our Besta-est Friend!

We heart the Ikea Besta. Yesterday we showed you a preview of a stack of Ikea boxes and you can bet they were stuffed full of Besta goodness!

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

But let me backtrack a bit. We’ve been struggling with our media center layout lately (#firstworldproblems am I right?). You may have noticed our tall Besta cabinets hopping around to different spots in our house over the last few posts. They were here when we revealed our new couch.

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Over here for our latest house tour:

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

And over here when we finally put up curtains:

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

The layout that worked so awesomely in our apartment was just not fitting right in our giant living room against that 27 foot wall. We felt like it was too choppy, it looked odd with the sloped ceiling, and it brought attention to the two AC vents above it. Plus I’ve been wanting to move away from having all black furniture, and that behemoth just felt too dark and oppressive.

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

So we thought maybe removing one of the tall cabinets would lighten things up and give us more room for art on the walls. We removed the left one and kept the right one in place to balance the side of the room that the chaise lounge is on. But that ended up looking just plain awkward. And still too dark and oppressive for the rest of the room. It’s like a black hole that your eyes get sucked to.

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

So we decided to scrap the black Bestas entirely. Well not entirely. They were broken up *sniffle* and found spots elsewhere (the two tall cabinets landed in our office, and the horizontal unit is now giving our junk room future workout room TV a place to sit).

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Oh future workout room. we’ll get to you one day.

Anyhoo, back to the drawing board we were. Literally. We started sketching different options for media centers, and Evan suggested doing something low and wide (since our problems with the current arrangement were that its height chopped the space in half and it wasn’t wide enough to fill the huge wall).

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

I suggested maybe doing white instead of black this time so that we could gradually start phasing out our all-black look. We photoshopped up our brain baby and both loved the results, so off to Ikea we were (picture us skipping down the aisles with cinnamon rolls in hand, we love Ikea!)

Five hours and a couple hot dogs later (seriously, we could hang out there all day), we made it back home with a buttload of boxes and couldn’t wait to get started!

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

We have a lot of fun building Ikea furniture, it’s like Legos for big kids!

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Plus Evan got a power screwdriver (not to be confused with a power drill- it’s more chill, not quite as VROOM VROOM) and that made the process go by a lot faster.

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Of course, Mochi helped too. Step one, lay out your materials:

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Step two, read instructions:

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Step three, roll around on instructions and look cute:

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Teheheheheehe!! Our little soot sprite is such a fluffy puff!!! Kk sorry, got distracted by cute cat pictures (story of my life), back to business!

By the time it was dark, we had put together almost 22 feet of cabinets!

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Eeeeeeeeep!!!! We love it!!!!! Sorry the lighting isn’t great, I was too excited to wait til morning to take the pics! We were originally going to go with white doors but we saw the new birch ones and thought it might add some interest and warmth. We have a couple more doors that we still need to put on, and of course we need to fill the open cabinets with decor-type-stuff, but I couldn’t help sharing now!

You can’t tell in the pics but we got the glass top that goes over the units and makes them look a lot more polished (and it will protect our white from getting dirty). We also bought the faux sheepskin throw Mochi is lounging on in the first picture, and the lamp on the left end of the Besta.

Doesn’t it fit the space so much better than the old arrangement did? It feels like it was made for this room instead of forcing itself to awkwardly hang out there. Plus it fills up that empty space in the room near the windows that we didn’t know what to do with. The old set up kinda felt like we were on “living room island” in the middle of a sea of hardwood.

Our Besta-est Friend! - evanandkatelyn.com

Next on the agenda… add all our art! That big wall is begging for it! Also we need to add the other doors, organize the crazy spaghetti of cables this is hiding, add more decor to the barren shelves, and screw the units together so that they are more seamless.

Super Wide IKEA mediai console - evanandkatelyn.com

5