Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DECORATING WOES & A BLOG CRAWL

The weather is getting warmer and soon we will be spending weekends at the lake. This is the time of year that we decide on what sort of projects we want to get done so that when summer is in full swing, we can just sit back and relax. Fixing up the loft is one of our projects.

Once you come up the stairs to the 2nd floor of our house, you are in the loft. The master bedroom, a bathroom and the 2 guest rooms open up off of the loft. The main thing we want to do is paint and reupholster the sofa. I already know that I am going to paint the space in a shade of cream. The only natural light comes from the bedrooms, so I need something that will open everything up. Plus, I love a neutral background. I am sharing with you some of the fabric samples I received from the company that makes the sofa, This End Up.
If you are familiar with This End Up, you know their furniture is very casual and lasts a long time. The cushions on the sofas and chairs are all zip on slipcovers. Very simple an easy. We are ordering new cushions as well, as this couch is 20 years old.

Above are some samples that I thought had a bit of a beachy look. I thought that would be kind of fun. The loft is basically used to watch TV and just chill after a day of being on the water and in the sun. This fabric is durable and looks like it could stand up to a wet bathing suit. I am sort of leaning toward the large stripe.
These are more neutral colors. A little more simple. I like the yellow and white swatch, which is called Vanilla Cord. It has a formal look to it and can be jazzed up with some pale blue accessories. This would make the space pretty as opposed to fun.

Oh...decisions. I love both looks and I just can't decide which way to go. You can look into our master bedroom from the loft. It is done in blue and white with a pretty, coastal feel to it. So, what do you think? Which swatch do you like and if it were your loft, what sort of look would you want?
The weather here has taken a change for the better...today it is supposed to get up to 60 degrees. Definitely a day for a walk. Or a trip to the park on bikes.

I have started some serious planning for my garden and I get my seeds and plants from a variety of places. These seeds just came and they make me feel like spring is just around the corner.
And finally, I thought I should do my little bit about the greening of the Chicago River which takes place every St. Patrick's Day. I am joining Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for the Third Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl.
Every year, 40 pounds of green vegetable dye are dumped into the Chicago River. It's quite a spectacle. See the people lined up on the bridge? And of course there is the big parade. I love living here! Pop over to Kathleen's to see everyone joining in. She has written another one of her fun poems! :-)

85 comments:

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Bet that new sofa slipcover will really jazz up the space - can't wait to see what you'll end up doing Jane - it will be fabulous we're sure (thinking of how great your bathroom turned out last year!!)
Turning the river green...that is something that we've always wanted to come see....someday - we'll get to it someday :)
Have a great day!!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Good Morning Jane, Great fabric choies I really love blue demin it' so easy to take care of..I have a sofa years ago when I was into the all country to look and it stood up kids, dogs plus food ha ha!! I would love to see your lake girl..
Well the last of our snow melted off on Monday and it has rained now since..but I see my Daffs are popping up YIPPEE!! We planted over 1000 bulbs so it should be pretty this year if we don't get anymore snow and freeze them..
Love the green river I remember you showning that last year..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Susan said...

Ooh, such fun looking at swatches. I'm partial to the neutral one with the rope-like pattern, as you can always change out pillows for 'pop'. But they're all great, Jane! I like hearing the excitement for spring in your post.
What a cool green river!
- Susan

Jody Blue said...

The Vanilla cord is nice, what fun to freshen up your look! Around here we just make an Irish meal at home. I've added country rhubarb cake to the menu and am excited to make and enjoy it!

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Well, great fabrics to choose from. I would probably go with the larger stripe, as it seems most practical, & I personally Love denim blue, but really liked the lighter tan rope like stripe. I have recovered many cushions from This End Up. As I do work weeks at camps & that is a lot of what they use. Maybe you could do a mix & match.
Love the pics of the River. We were there just once on the 17th & it was so fun.
Chicago is SUCH A GREAT TOWN!!!!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Great idea to plan your projects now, Jane, so that you can enjoy your visits to the lake during the Summer. I like the ropey striped fabric with the solid you show right underneath. I think this would allow you to bring in other colors as an accent {such as the blue you mentioned}.

Olive Cooper said...

Jane, I like the large stripe. The green water looks so fun! Savannah, Georgia is our fun place for the holiday but not this year. ♥O

Kim said...

Hi Jane, I love the fabric swatches - such soothing and calm colors. I've always loved blue and yellow together. Enjoy the nice weather. It's going to be 70 here on Friday.
xoxo,
Kim

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

All fun fabrics Jane, bet you're really looking forward to the warmer weather! How cool that they die the river green every year-I'd have to take the day off for that:@)

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Love those samples...like that stripe one too. How cool is that...turning the river green!

Blessings,
Linda

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Hi Jane! I love the Vanilla Cord...I think that would really be light and bright! I wish I had someone to make my slipcovers but I think I am going to try it myself and see how it goes. I might get it all done this century. I seen on the news the greening of the river...that would be a sight to see in person. Happy St. Pat's Day!~Hugs, Patti

Denise said...

Would you sit on the sofa in a wet bathing suit? I love the idea of a beachy theme, so I'd go with the first swatches that have the stripey blues in them ;)
What a spectacle that river must be, how fun to see it too.

Designs on 47th Street said...

Looks like you are involved in some fun projects. I love blue and yellow but for some reason i am leaning towards the second with the more neutral look and then bringing blue into the room. Either one will be great. What brand are those seeds? I don't recognize the packaging. Looks cute! My Chicago daughter always talks about the green river. She is in Australia now and will miss it this year.
Donna

Marlis said...

Hard choices for sure on the couch cover.. I can't wait to see what you choose.. I am delighted that you showed the greening of the river! I worked for Bernina for years and their home office is in Aurora.. so I've actually gotten to see this spectacle once. Thanks for awakening those memories.. Happy St. pat's and thanks so much for dropping in with your very kind comments.

Linda Chapman said...

My daughter, Amber, and her husband visited there on St. Patrick's day a couple of years ago. They had a ball and took lots of pics....but I remember them saying it was COLD!

Whatever you choose for your sofa will be lovely! Have fun decorating!

Theresa said...

WOW, all beautiful! I love the vanilla cord but the blues are so pretty!

Can't wait to see what you choose and the finished product! Fun picking out a new look! I know you all enjoy your time at the lake!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, HUGS!

Suzann said...

I ADORE blue and yellow and white. Love your fabrics!!

Can you believe I've lived in Chicagoland my entire life (and I'm Irish) and I've never ever been to the parade or seen the river green!?

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Great fabrics, my favorite is the Vanilla Cord...I had never heard of the sofa company! I am going to check them out.
Hugs,
Penny

Pat said...

Sounds like a plan, Jane. I love all your fabric samples. Can't wait to see what you decide.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Karen said...

You can't go wrong with any of those sampes against a neutral background... what grabs you the strongest?

Love the green river idea, very cool!

Penny said...

I like the yellow cord, but the blues are nice too. The cord would allow to to go crazy with pillows. Love the green river! I hope we can get together in May. The other Penny told me you would be in Asheville.

Sharing with Sherri said...

Jane, Great fabric! I like the large stripe too, the smaller stripe would make a great accent!

You're so lucky to be enjoying some warmer weather, we seem to have gone back to rainy winter weather here:(

Love that Green River! Happy St. Patricks day!
Sherri:)

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Gee I love it all. No help at all here huh;) I am planning my gardening too. But first we need some sun and warm weather so that I can clean it. Soon I hope:) Have fun:)
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

A Vintage Chic said...

What fun, Jane! SO glad you get to do some re-decorating!

I'm not much help on the swatches--I really like them all! I'm sure you'll choose the perfect one...

We just got a bunch of Renee's seeds this week, too...my favorites!

Hope you're having a beautiful day...glad it's starting to feel like spring for you!

Julie

June said...

Hi Jane,
you really do have some decisions to make. I am always so nervous when I have to make choices on things like this...knowing that I have to live with my decision for a looong time! I really love the yellow and white rope pattern!

I love the picture in your previous post of you and the hubs on the water...so cute!!!
sending hugs

April said...

Hi Jane! I really love the fabric that you've picked out for your cushions...you can't go wrong with those! That is so wonderful that your weather is finally warming up nicely! It's supposed to reach the upper 70's here by week's end! YAY! I think that's so neat how they color the river green for St. Paddy's Day!

GardenofDaisies said...

I love all your fabric choices. Blues, whites, creamy yellows and light greens are my favorite colors to decorate with. Can't wait to see what you decide!

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

I vote for Vanilla Cord. Looks like you could accessorize with any colors on that one. Can't wait to see how it all turns out! Happy St Pat's Day!

Kaye - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

All are lovely but all the stripes would hide a lot of dirt :) Thanks for a fun visit. VERY INTRIGUING to read about the green dye in the water :)

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

I think one can get tired of a loud pattern or color easily. If it were my place I would go with the vanilla cord. It looks like a nautical motif and you could do lots of white painted rustic tables etc and it would look less "pretty" and more casual. I like the idea of bringing in pale blue accents too.

GrandmaK said...

It's always difficult to make the decision for me a I have difficulty visualizing what it might look like when finished...I'm lucky to have a daughter who can and then we shop together! Thank you for your visit and Happy St. Paddy's day to you!! Cathy

Paula said...

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day in Chicago!
The green river is something else!

I like the fabric with the blue in it the best. It looks like it belongs in a lake house.

sissie said...

Hi Jane,
I like the vanilla cord. I would keep the sofa kinda neutral and bring in the other colors with throw pillows, ottomans or chair.

I love the photos of turning the river green. How cool!!!

hugs
Sissie

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Jane,
I love the blue and yellow fabric. I know you at itching to get to the lake house! I loved being in Chicago seeing the green river. So fun!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Love those fabrics! Great choices Blondy...you have a big range of swatches to decide from, I wouldn't know which one to pick! Please show us which you have chosen finally.
I f you have time come over.

God bless.
FABBY

Pamela said...

I love all the colours on these fabric choices Jane! Oh decisions decisions! I too like the vanilla cord. Love that coastal laid back look, really fresh!
Can't wait to see what you decide!

Pamela xo

La said...

I would go with fun for the loft since it is a lake cottage and it sounds like the space is used for casual living.

We're supposed to hit 70 next week. YAHOO! I survived another Ohio winter. :o)

I HAVE to see this river on St. Patrick's Day. I may have to make plans for next March.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Jane!

Ashley said...

I'd have a hard time picking from those too. They are all lovely! I can't wait to see what you do with your loft :)

Honey at 2805 said...

The fabric choices are really nice. Can't wait to see the finished project. I'll bet it's fun to see the river "green"!

Aunt Snow said...

Oh, the greening of the river!! How fun!! Happy St. Pat's day.

Vicki said...

I like all the fabrics but think I would lean towards denim or the vanilla rope. Those would be easy to paint and swap pillows for a new look. So glad the weather has warmed up for you.

Gypsy Heart said...

Gorgeous colors! I love the many stripes w/blue,yellow, cream, etc. and the cord one especially. You could make some pillows from the blue w/the little stripe as well as bring in the others. I know it will be beautiful!

Fun in Chicago, huh? I like that!
xoxo
Pat

Lisa said...

Love your swatches. I was immediately drawn to the wide stripe, and thought of it teamed up with a throw cushion in the smaller stripe. The denim would also look good, with throw cushions from the wide and thin stripe. Aaagh, just had another thought - I don't know if you would do this, but the wide stripe on the seat cushions, with the thin stripe on the back sofa cushions, and a denim throw cushion. Yes, I love that idea.

Sorry, I'm probably being confusing.

Hugs,
Lisa x

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, I have really missed you! Thanks so much for dropping by to see me tonight. I am hoping to be blogging more regularly again after next week. I am up to my eyeballs in painters. It seems endless, but this, too, shall pass. LOL!

Loved seeing what you are doing. I just looked at a blog post somewhere (maybe on the House Beautiful site) where they had blue rooms, and I saw several I liked a lot. Blue is a great color because it's so soothing. I never tire of my pieces in blue. If the sofa is going to get a lot of wear and tear, I might opt for the dark denim blue, and you could add throw pillows in an ikat design or stripe and maybe do some cabana striped chairs. It could also be fun for the Fourth if you bought some American flag pillows. Just thinking. I will see if I can find the pics I saved and send them to you.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Pondside said...

I love all the swatches, but really like the two stripes together with a neutral for the third pattern.

Laura said...

Hi Jane-
my comment is late and it sounds like you've gotten lots of great suggestions.

Anything you decide will be wonderful.

Spring is here!
Woo hoo!

Laura
White spray Paint

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Can't help you with the decorating, because I don't resonate with your colors. :-) Which is fine. We are all different.

"May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door."

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Jane said...

Hi Jane,
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I love where you're going with the feel of your loft. My personal choice would be the vanilla cord and then adding pillows with color...they are easy to change out when you want a different look. Keep us posted on the changes, would love to see the reveal!
Jane

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Jane...

Ohhh...I bet Chicago is a blast on St. Pat's Day! I would love to be there for the parade and the "greening" of the river! Sooo much fun!

Jane, your spring projects for the lake house sounds like great fun! You know...I loved all of the fabric samples that you have gathered! All have that coastal beach look...and would be sooo perfect for your loft landing! I really like the vanilla ? (shoot, forgot the name of of it already) It was the one you liked out of the neutral swatches. I think it really has a nautical feel to it but is neutral enough that you could pair any color with it for different looks and seasons, etc.! Girlfriend, you know that you'll probably get a hundred different "favs"...asking all of us! Hehe! They were all very pretty so you really couldn't go wrong with any of them! Best wishes in your design decisions, dear friend...and have fun!!!

So glad that you stopped by for a visit yesterday! I always enjoy our chats!!!

Have a great day, Darlin'!
Love ya,
Chari

My Vintage Blankie said...

I love bold stripes. That's what I would go with. It's great you're getting the room redecorated before the summer season so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor! Happy St. Patrick's day!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Dear One, you asked: "What would be your choice for a loft area? Just curious!"

You asked.. :-) I don't care for blue or for beige, and so that's why I said what I did.

See my blog background now? Soft greens, soft pinks, whites. I think that is a good illustration of what I resonate with. Just me! No need for you to do so, too!

But.... I understand that this is at the lake, and you want more water-colors. For me, guess I'd choose pale aqua. Instead of blue. [Silly hu?] And I'd add some white, and a little yellow perhaps. Yellow, because of summer.

I'm really NO good at this! I don't "see" decor, like many can. So pay no attention the "The Auntie Behind The Curtain." :-)))))))))

Sarah said...

Jane, I like the blues you've selected. They all look good together. I'd go with the denim and add in pillows of the others or the blue with stripe and add in pillows of other pieces. I know you'll have a gorgeous look when finished.
I think the green river is amazing. Now that would be fun to see.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~ Sarah

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane, Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!... Jack is Irish so we celebrate BIG too!... would love to see the green river!... I also LOVE your seed packets!... You know, you're going to have alot of sweet peas there, love them!... sounds like perfect weather you are having... it is warming up some here, still not my idea of Spring yet... do you fix a St. Patrick's Day feast? We have ours simmering in the crockpot, corned beef, new potatoes and cabbage and the smell is driving Tessy (and me!) crazy!... xoxo Julie Marie

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

Ooooh, such pretty choices for your sofa. Lucky you! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
I so love the colors you have in mind! My fave is the striped one on top and the yellow one with the nubby's! It's been warmer here this week too but there is still a lot of snow in our yard. I think it may take until July to melt!
I bet Chicago would be so much fun on St.Patty's day!
That green river looks sooo cool!
Come by and say hi sometime girlfriend, I miss hearing from you!
Big Hugs,
Cindy

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Jane
I had a wonderfully comfortable sofa which I gave away as I wasn't thrilled with the colour... I now regret it.. it is still in perfect condition.. 4 kids jumping on it and all... [friend's kids]... I think I would have been better off paying to get slip covers...

I say stay neutral with the sofa covers too.. you can then change the scatter cushions to jazz it up or have a change of scenery..... Did you ever get the ikea sofa? or is this one replacing that idea?

Have a great weekend.. just a tad jealous spring is on it's way over there... hehe.. ciao xxxx Julie

Donna said...

Your choices for the sofa are all great...you can't go wrong!! It'll be interesting to see how it turns out!
I love the green Chicago river! We went for many years to see it...my parents lived there for 30 years...it was sooo much fun!! It looks even better this year since it's a little warmer. Bet you are having a ball!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Decorating can bring on so mnay decisions but I'm sure you'll come up with a favorite after you mull on it awhile.

Love the green river in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day! We paint the traffci line down 5th Ave green for the parade!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Brenda Kula said...

That Vanilla Cord is priceless, Jane!
Brenda

Stacey@A Sort Of Fairytale said...

hasn't this warmer weather just been great in chicago! i am sure the city is jumpin' with st patty's day revelers...me not so much, an 8 month old baby will do that to you ;)
your seed packets look like they will bring some beautiful plants and flowers...can't wait to garden again!

Chatelaine said...

I really like the blue swatch with the yellow stripe but I am partial to blue.

I always get a kick out of the green water in Chicago. That is so cool!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Wow! That green river is really neat!

Love the fabric!

Katherine

Tricia - A Rosy Note said...

Hi Jane! I would go with a solid color or the vanilla cord...then maybe you could get some jazzy pillows. Pillows are easier to swap out if you want to change the look of things.

Can't wait to see how it all turns out :)

Kathleen said...

I wonder if the fish turn green from all that dye, LOL!
Thanks for linking up! Have a grand weekend!

Shelia said...

Hi Jane! How exciting! I love the swatches you have! Nothing is prettier than blue and yellow! Isn't it funny a town would go to all of that trouble to turn the waters green for a while! Makes me laugh.
Now you get your act together and come to my party! :)
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Melanie said...

I like the vanilla cord...then how about denim-covered pillows? Great choices on the fabric; I'm sure whatever you choose will be light and cheery.

Privet and Holly said...

I remember the
green river from
our Chicago days,
but hadn't thought
of it in a long time : )
Your new palette for
the loft looks so
soft and fresh. What
a fun project!
Happy Weekend, Jane!
xx Suzanne

xinex said...

How exciting to be working on new slipcovers, Janie. I really like the first one but either one will look very pretty for sure. I am so glad to see that spring is finally almost there. We went swimming yesterday and had so much fun...Christine

My Crafty Little Page said...

Love the first set - the second would probably be more "in" 10 yrs from now. Can't wait to see what you decide!
xoxo Nancy

Honey at 2805 said...

Hi Jane! Stopped back by to say Happy Weekends and (at your convenience) Please stop by for my Giveaway!!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Jane! Well, you know I love the blue and yellow fabric...so pretty! Can't wait to see how the loft turns out! Here in Georgia, we dye the Savannah River green for st pat's Day! lol Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Even though Nate Berkus says, "never use a pattern on a sofa", I would still choose the stripes. Love it.

Thanks for the info on the dye in the river. You answered the questions I was wondering all week.

Fondly,
Glenda

bj said...

How fun to be working on your lakehouse. Oh, I love the first batch best, I think. Any of them would be fabulous.
Our weather is a lot warmer but our winds have started, too. bummer...they will last all spring.
Pretty sure I remember the green river from your last years post...it is sooo cool.

Divine Theatre said...

How did I ever miss your blog?! We are practically neighbors! I am your newest follower!

The Moerks said...

Love your blog revamp. The green river is a bit freaky. Great fabric choices.

Marydon said...

Love the fabric swatches, Jane. Will blove viewing the changes. So love the 'green' ... we do that to the fountains at the White House in D.C. also.

Have a beautiful week ~
TTFN ~
Marydon

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

How fun to get a new look for your sofa! You know, I LOVE the look of Renee's seed packets too! I don't see them around here. But I know you can get them online. Planting will come soon now!

Deanna said...

Hi dear,
I love the blue the the stripe..it reminds me of Lacoste. I think it does go really well with the swatch that has the white braid like twist.

I've picked out some seeds as well and I do hope they grow.

I missed our river getting dyed this year. We just forgot about it and didn't make it downtown..drats!

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Deanna :D

Shirl said...

Hi Blondie, thank you for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment. Love your post, your choice of fabrics are beautiful! Enjoy your creating with them.
Blessings, Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

Daydream Living said...

Hi Jane!
Well, don't feel any envy for all the moving that we do, every side of the story has another side right? I for one would love to go back to the USA, so you see, perhaps we can swap lives for a while? hahaha! Anyhoo, I found a blog, she found me, I thought you might want to read, she lives on a island, go and read, I find her live so different than mine, and interesting, grass looks always greener doesn't it? Big hugs honey, and yes I consider you my friend, would be a blast to see each other in real life, sweetheart and your husband would be rolling their eyes and go have a drink, cause we would be talking and snacking forever! See, I already smile thinging about it...
Ok, have a good Sunday!
Maureen
(oh yes, the link, almost forgot it...http://ultimateseachange.blogspot.com/)
xx

Daydream Living said...

Oh, and the blue with stripes fabric is a good one, I think...or if everything else is very blue, than I would choose the vanilla cord. Good luck and look forward to see photo's when it's done.
M x

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh, really great choices, my favorite is the neutral one with the rope-like pattern. You can't go wrong, you've got great taste!

Enjoy!

Nancy

podso said...

Gee I've heard about the Chicago River but never actually saw it green. We have some special memories of that river! (But not when it was green!) I like your fabrics-- all of them. A hard choice!

Zuzu said...

I was just at the Renee's Garden website yesterday looking at seeds! :)
Love your fabric choices, Jane!!!
Happy Spring to you & yours,
Zuzu

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

I really love the choices you have. I am a sucker for blue stripe.