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.
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!
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.