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The Living Room We Were Hoping For

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This living room has slowly been getting transformed into what feels like our true living space. First, we gave it a radical color change by brightening it up with paint. Then we started putting up a few of the items we had had in our Brooklyn apartment, such as the concert and horror movie posters. But it feels like in the past two days, this room became almost complete. After our annual Valentine’s Day pizza date, we were walking through the East Village when we saw a thrift shop. Daniel knew what this meant for him and he begrudgingly entered. Within a half hour, we (i.e. him) were walking out of there carrying a vintage mid-century modern end table. Then we got a lamp from Target with a bright sky blue lampshade that we thought fit the feeling of the room. Then we mounted the watercolor painting of an elephant family that Daniel gave to me for our first wedding anniversary since the colors fit in the room. We got an industrial modern lamp from West Elm that we really like but were surprised at how underwhelming it seemed in the room. Slowly, the living room was coming together but felt like it was missing some oomph (brightly colored fireplace and all).

After debating for months what to do for window treatments – I was thinking I would order fabric with a bright pattern inspired by an Henri Matisse painting and DIY Roman shades – I decided I would go the easy route out of laziness and just buy curtains. But then I couldn’t find anything I liked. Until I decided to just find fabric that would fit the aesthetic we were looking for and make curtains.

I found this sky blue, orange, gray and white Ikat print and knew it was perfect for the room. Yesterday and today, I measured, cut and sewed the fabric into curtains. I bought modern curtain rods from Target and we mounted them this morning. And then finally, the room seemed to come together.

On the blank wall above the West Elm floor lamp, I hung an orange painting of Maasai warriors that I bought on a trip to Kenya, a fabric hanging that is placed in a home for good luck from Senegal that friends brought back for us and an Indonesian mask that a friend brought me from Malaysia. The three are all oranges and reds, adding more brightness and color to this room.

Like everything else in this house, there are a few more things I’m looking for. The coffee table is too tall and large for the couch, the rug could be a different color and we want a long bench to place plants. But now this space feels like the living room that we were hoping for.

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