Jun 11, 2014

guess who's back? (with my new zebra ottomans and a side of ranting and raving)

ah, well.
as i have stated before, it is good for my soul to disconnect from the cyber world every once in a while. sometimes these breaks are planned, and sometimes (like the last two + weeks), the break is just a result of a busier than normal time in my life.



as you know, i have three kids, and if you have kids, you know that the end of the school year can get CRAZY! like, "the-week-before-christmas" type of crazy. parties, library books to hunt for, graduations, gifts to buy teachers, notes to write, field trips to attend, concerts, recitals...throw in a few lacrosse tournaments, orientations, terrible internet connection, plenty of e-design work, the stomach flu, a broken arm, a road trip, and family in town from tennessee, and the result is...well, a neglected blog.



but i don't feel guilty. 
is that bad? 
i don't blog for a living. i write this blog because i WANT to. because i LIKE sharing what i have learned, as well as tips that i feel can help you make your home a place you LOVE. sure, because of the blog, i have a small and thriving design business, and there are a few occasional perks that i get to enjoy (giveaways, sponsored posts), but overall, i am NOT a professional blogger. and honestly, i have no desire to make bajillions of dollars selling you stuff and bloggingposting/tweeting/instagramming about the free crap i am getting and how you should go and buy it even though i am getting it for nothing.
whew! was that too harsh?!
frankly, i am thrilled that some people can make a living blogging. i actually think it is fantastic!  but i appreciate those blogs that have meaningful and personal content. and yes, there are some "professional" bloggers who do a tremendous job at this, and i LOVE their blogs. but there are a whole lot of others who seem to be like yapping dogs, vying for my attention, always tweeting and posting and instgramming about....nothing
it's just noise.
visual and verbal noise. 
i have slowly stopped looking at blogs that i feel are  there for pure commercial profit. that care more about 'getting a post up' and selling me stuff than in a personal connection with their readers and in creating content that is relevant and original and inspiring.  (am i alone in feeling this way? are there blogs out there that you just tune out because they are too commercial?)


ANYWAY, i suppose that is enough of the philosophical mumbo jumbo.


lets talk zebra, shall we?
as you may know, i like animal prints. a lot.
(check out an older post about zebra print here. it has some killer picture that i scanned from old-ish magazines. other posts that show some zebra love are here, here and here.)

but, i like my animal prints them in controlled and sophisticated doses. i know, i know. some of you might be thinking "oh--so slathering leopard wallpaper all over your girls bathroom is CONTROLLED?" well, in a way, yes.
the print is small and rather monochromatic.


if the wallpaper had been strictly black and white it might have been overwhelming, but it has a softness to it and contains several taupe and gray tones that mute the pattern and make it read as a neutral.

NOW, that being said. (holy cow, i am really ON ONE today, aren't i??)
let me tell you about my transformed ottomans!

i bought these ottomans from jc penney about 4 years ago. i am so glad that i snagged them when i did, as they are no longer available.


they came with a beige micofiber top, which i recovered in  houndstooth shortly after i purchased them.



i have always dreamed of having some hide on hair ottomans in my house, but they are SO expensive! i knew that i could come up with a more affordable way to get that high-end look i was after.
enter....EBAY.
after a couple months of hunting, i was able to find a new zebra printed cowhide from safavieh that had a small imperfection for $160. that isn't SUPER cheap, i realize, but if you have ever priced cow hide rugs (especially zebra ones) then you know that this is less than half of what they normally retail for.


(as you can see, the houndstooth top was showing some signs of wear and tear...)


ahhh, yeah! something good is about to happen!


because the cow hide is so thick, there is no way i would attempt this as a diy project! the cow hide would never run through my sewing machine. (plus, who am i kidding? i HATE sewing.) i took the tops and the rug to my upholstery shop and had them redo them and replace the foam with much thicker foam. each cushion with all the labor and the new foam cost about $45 each.
so, aside from the original cost of the ottomans, this redo cost me about $130 per ottoman. not too bad!


 i painted the frames with gold spray paint, which really brightened them up!



here is the finished product, which i am thrilled with!






the thicker foam makes the cushions look much more expensive...little changes like this can yield BIG results!





my living room refresh is almost complete!
you can see where i started here, and read about my progress here.
(hopefully in the next year i can replace this sofa. i am SO ready for something a little more streamlined and simple!)





anyway, it is good to be back!
i will be posting about a local nursery project soon, and give weekly updates on our progress, and i have some fun and easy projects to share in the coming weeks...so, stay tuned.

24 comments:

  1. Autumn, I am right there with you in your thinking about blogs and blogging! I blog for the same reasons you do and feel blogs + social media can be overwhelming "noise" so I too have stopped reading some and have stopped following a few. I recently read somewhere that on instagram if you unfollow everyone and slowly add back only the accounts that provide you with things you find inspiring and interesting, you will get more out of it. We'll see! Your zebra ottomans are spectacular, a brilliant way to up the ante on the look!

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    1. agreed! i love the idea of unfollowing people and then only adding beck those that you feel are inspiring. i think we are sometimes so quick to "like" something, without even giving it a second glance. its like we feel like we have to. this whole social media thing is not my forte. i like my blog, i like instragram, but i am not sure i can commit to anything else!

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  2. So refreshing to hear. :) I am feel that a lot of bloggers think that they have to post 5 days a week to be successful. I really don't think so…but I am not a blogger so what do I know? The little ottomans are great. We have built a house recently and want you to know you have given me some great ideas! Thanks! :)

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    1. i agree! i really don't think that bloggers need to be posting 5 days a week. when i first started, i blogged a lot more often, but i think at the time, that i HAD to in order for anyone to read. i remember when many bloggers would even have other bloggers "babysit" their blogs when they were on vacation!
      anyway, thanks so much for your comment, and i am SO glad that i have given you some great ideas through your building process!

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  3. Autumn,

    I love your little rant about blogging and could not agree more! I am right there with you - I blog because I like to and when I am too busy to blog, that is a-ok.
    The zebra ottomans are awesome!
    xo~Jill

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    1. amen! it shows when people blog because they like to, and aren't part of a money making machine that they have to update.
      thanks for the compliment on the ottomans! i am really happy with them. :)

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  4. That's why you're one of my favorites! But still I'm glad you're back. Welcome back! I've been following you on Instagram while you've been away....

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    1. awww, thank you!! i really appreciate that. glad you found me on instragram and know that when i take a break from my blog, i usually can't resist posting something there. :)

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  5. Welcome back :) Superb job on the ottomans - those pretty little legs look great with the zebra top.

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    1. thank you! and thank you! glad to be back. :)

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  6. Completely agree with you about the noise. I paired down the blogs I subscribe to from 150 down to 55 for that exact reason. There are still about 5-10 of those that are on "probation" because I am so sick of the give-aways and annoying sponsored posts. When I went through them to decide which ones to ax, I was amazed at home many of them had not had any good content for well over a year. I felt the same way I feel when I go to the mailbox and all I find is piles and piles of direct marketing crap and nothing meaningful. Your blog is one of the handful I always get happy to see coming up on my blog feed because I know it will be something good. Thank you for keeping it real.

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    1. wow! that is a lot of blogs that you edited. glad i made the cut! :) i love that there are some on "probation"! what a great idea! love the correlation between junk mail and...junk blogs. sometimes, you just gotta throw that stuff right in the recycling bin without even looking at it! thanks for following along with me!!

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  7. I'm a huge fan of yours and have followed you for years! I wish I lived in UT so we could hang -out! I love your blog--please don't change a thing! The zebra ottomans are fantastic! Way to go!

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    1. thank you!! we could totally go to lunch together if you lived in utah...or you could come and be my BACK UP!! you know....do things like remind me when i am painting that i have a cup full of paint on top of the ladder so that when i move it, it won't spill on my head and get all over my new slate floor!

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  8. I cannot believe you got those at JC Penney. Great job. I don't accept sponsored posts and only post about every four days. My blog gave me exposure so that when I moved from southern to northern California...I already had some business and now it's growing. I could have NEVER done that without my blog. Anyway...love to see what you are up to over here.

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    1. that is why people love your blog! there isn't any "filler"! its all original content, with great pictures, and a fabulous designer at the helm. :)

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    2. I just have to come back and tell you that you are right and I am sick and tired of happily clicking over to to what I think will be a fun post and it's just SELL SELL SELL. Exhausting. I admire you, Autumn!

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  9. I really love the graphic pattern the zebra gives to the ottomans. And I love that they are from JCP. So glad you are back and I totally agree about taking a break. All of this chatter can get overwhelming and make me forget what I really love and what brought me here in the first place!

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    1. thank you! i love my little ottomans too. now i just need to "educate" my family on how to treat them. they can be rough on furniture!

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  10. glad you're back :) love your "rant". amen and hallelujah!

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  11. Blogging is a strange "business". You're flung into this huge (and growing every day) pool of people all saying something and all having ideas and pictures and you have to decide just what is worth your while. And, it has certainly changed in the five years that I've been blogging! It used to be sort of a small, closed world, no? Now, well …it's enormous! I have maybe 200 blogs on my Feedly feed on the iPad, but no, I rarely get to any of them. I follow, faithfully, the ones I have listed on my Blogroll. I am a big believer in Blogrolls!
    Anyway, I do agree that I simply don't have time for the commercial blogs. I want to get to know the person, just as I hope my followers really have a connection to me.
    Enough! Love love your ottomans and that hide and gold: fabulous!!!

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  12. love this post, and your blog. welcome back. also, totally love the makeover! love versatile pieces that are well made and can be updated to reflect your decor every few years.

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  13. You really put into words what I have been feeling about blogs. I understand that some what to make money, but i clouds their message and then I can't stand to read them anymore. So glad that is not the case for your site. I love your style and the relaxed vibe of your site. Well done.

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