Living Room Before and After

Alright, I'm callin' it. After several years of trial and error, the living room area is finished! Ready for a little reveal tour?modern eclectic living room makeover
Here's how the living room area looked a few years back when we bought our house. It's a perfectly nice little living room and I'm sure many folks would be happy to have a space like this. But over the years our style, needs, and (let's be honest), budget have grown and this space along with it.

The first big change we made was addressing our need for a TV entertainment center, something that would fill the wall space and provide functional storage. I found a cool pair of vintage shelves on Craigslist and Jesse morphed them into this amazing wall unit.
modern eclectic living room makeover
Last summer, we hit the estate sale Holy Grail when we found an imitation Eames lounge chair and ottoman. I always laugh when a guest sits in that chair for the first time. It's usually something like, "Whoa! This chair is comfortable!" and I can tell by their big eyes and surprised tone they probably want to add "I thought it was just a goofy looking chair!"  It's not in the best shape, so I'd love to have it cleaned up and re-upholstered some day. Or maybe invest in the real deal. Someday. Until the basement rec is finished, this is our main hang out space, so nothing is too expensive or precious for two big dogs and a four year old to enjoy.
modern eclectic living room makeover

modern eclectic living room makeover
After we added the lounge chair and ottoman, I struggled with what to do for a coffee table. Oh man, I struggled. I tried the black planter (see it in the corner?) turned over as a table, the original upholstered ottoman, a wooden toy chest, and a vintage coffee table we had stored in the basement. Eventually, I decided the vintage table would work but it was too long. So, naturally, I took it apart and Jesse used trimmed it down using a table saw. Unfortunately, cutting it revealed the top to be made of particle board, so instead of messing with new veneer and stain, I slapped a few coats of glossy white spray paint on it and "dipped" the legs with gold acrylic paint. I finished the top with two coats of clear poly-acrylic spray to prevent chips.
modern eclectic living room makeoverThe sofa probably isn't what I'd buy today mainly because I don't like how the cushions are all attached. No flipping them over for even wear. I think my dream sofa would be an impractical teal velvet chesterfield. I made all of the toss pillows, including a couple from an upcycled serape blanket. I think I've made roughly two million toss pillows over the years. 
modern eclectic living room makeover
The rest of the living room additions and changes are really just things we've collected from estate sales and thrift stores. A few of my particular favorites are the brass tension pole lamp that I painted black and the mid-century hobby painting I found a few weeks ago. I'm always drooling over the options on One King's Lane, so I about fell over when I found this one. 
modern eclectic living room makeover

modern eclectic living room makeover

modern eclectic living room makeover
I love this space so, so much. I feel like it really captures our love of old and new finds, creative projects and elbow grease. If home is where the heart is, this is definitely home. 

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The ONE Thing You NEED to Pack for Disney

Travel writing isn't really my niche, but we are heading to Disney World in a few weeks (yaassss, vacation!!!) and since I've been there a bunch of times and basically lived there for six months during an internship, I thought I might have a tip or two worth sharing(?) So, I will get right to my first tip, which is the one thing you need to bring if you visit Disney World and why. Drum roll please....
The One Thing You Need to Pack For Disney
You must bring a RAIN JACKET!!! Yeah, I know, it seems like a silly thing, but hear me out.   
It rains at Disney World. A lot. In my experience, long gloomy days are rare, however, frequent short downpours can happen several times throughout the day. So you and everyone in your party needs to bring a good rain jacket. Now, let's talk about what a "good" rain jacket means, and a couple tips on buying. Brace yourself while I put on my "outdoorsy gal" hat and get a smidge technical. Here is a photo of the Marmot jacket I'm taking to Disney World. 
packing a rain jacket for disney
This rain jacket is made of lightweight, breathable, waterproof material and has taped (waterproof) seams. Breathable means the high tech fabric the jacket is made of keeps water droplets out, but lets water vapor escape. So, during a downpour on a hot day, the jacket sheds rain while allowing your sweat vapor to escape, keeping you comfortable and dry. 

Good Rain Jacket:
- breathable, waterproof fabric
- taped seams for extra waterproof-ness
- lightweight and pack-able.
- zippered, waterproof pockets
- hood
- durable
- reusable
- spendy (there are ways around this, we'll get to that in a minute)

Let's compare these features to the yellow or clear plastic ponchos available everywhere at Disney World.

Park Rain Poncho 
- Non-breathable plastic, which means you'll get all sweaty under there
- Awkward arm flappy things, water still gets in if you lift up your arms.
- no pockets
- hood
- can rip or tear easily
- disposable
- inexpensive

Now, about the budget. Brand new quality jackets are spendy and will set you back about sixty for kids and a hundred plus for adults. Yikes. I know. However, if you plan ahead, used jackets are widely available for both kids and adults. Personally, I plan to wait for a big kids consignment sale that starts next week to look for B's jacket. If I don't find one there, I'll check ebay or poshmark, and as last resort, I'll buy one brand new. Jackets for the whole family will definitely add to the budget but, to me, rain jackets that will keep everyone more comfortable and can also be worn at home, are a worthwhile investment. For sure. 

So, tell me what you think about this post. Good info? Boring? Stick to Home Decor? Or would you be interested in reading more travel related tips once in a while?

UPDATE 3.17.15: I went to the consignment sale last night and hit the jackpot! I found this great Lands End kids rain jacket in B's size for only five bucks! It has taped seams, a hood, pockets, and he'll be able to use it all season, not just for Disney World. Woot!
Why you need a rain jacket for Disney world