LIVING ROOM: We have curtains, people!

It only took a year and a half.  We lived with the “half” curtains and then naked rods for a loooong time.  But then village security reported some unsavory dudes lurking around our neighborhood – and our curtainless living room provided for a clear, unobstructed view of the house.  I got so paranoid, I ran out and (finally) got curtains.

They’re the same sheer “Chloe” curtains from Arq Living that we have for the dining room.  These are wider than the lanai curtains, are 96″ in length, and, I confirm, are Php 899.75 per panel.  Since the “Chloe” curtains are wide, I only needed 5 panels in total for our itty bitty living room.   (I discovered that I need additional panels for the lanai curtains, which are narrower).   
The grey fuzzy thing at the bottom of the photo is the wool blanket thrown over my couch – yes, I moved it again.  I’m enjoying the puddle effect of the curtains right now, so I pulled all the furniture away from the windows.  Amazing how it makes our simple space look so light and, dare I say it, dreamy.

I still plan to change the curtains rods – those are my mom’s wooden ones.  They’re so thick, the rings get caught, and we have a harder time pulling back the curtains.  Also have a lot of “feels” for my Vigan tiles right now (I love how the deep red warms up my otherwise sterile white and black home), so our area rug won’t be back anytime soon.

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LIVING ROOM: A Couch and a Coffee Table – TAKE 2! 

I can’t believe it’s been over a year and I’m back to this – the living room couch and the coffee table!  

Well, it’s the same coffee table, and I still love it even though I almost wrecked it for good.  But see how pretty it is again with the duco finish? 

And that’s the new cushions for the couch. I love the foam, it’s thick and firm, but not too firm, and just darn more comfortable. Uratex’s foam covers are terrible though, all ill-fitting and wrinkly because of the bad fit.  Just terrible. 

I am going to get custom seat covers made elsewhere anyway, but now I’m thinking I should get leather or leatherette covers instead of that dinky little number from Uratex. (It’s so thin, you can almost see through it).  

It’s a little crazy, this whole couch and coffee table business, because last year, the loveseat I used as a sofa AND the coffee table were both new.  Oh, and we splurged on a lovely area rug, too, but as you can see, I’ve removed it as well.  Eh.  But needs change, and nothing about interiors is permanent it seems.  I even went so far as deciding to get a bigger coffee table, because I had this one made to match the loveseat. But I figured I better work with what I have!  Enough gastos na!  I plan to put a kiddie stool there at one point and maybe put a Montessori activity there for the kiddos.

So, the couch saga is not quite over. 

(I should probably quit sharing so many icky progress pictures. I notice the design bloggers just post a before pic and then really gorgeous after photos. But noooo, Ms. Yak-a-minute just has to share each painful step in the process!!!) 

LANAI-PLAYROOM: We went with CURTAINS!

We finally got ’em and they’re finally UP! 

Ever so slowly taking shape

Yesss, curtains! And while I also still have to raise the curtain rods (and get new ones), I couldn’t wait to hang up the first curtains I bought for the lanai – since we moved here last March!  

Despite the lengthy post about deciding to get curtains over blinds, and choosing curtains, I thought I’d end up with blinds! Uratex did not have 96″ long curtains from that brand Pauline’s! Actually, no 96″ curtains, period. 

I was disheartened for a minute, but decided to bite the bullet and go back to Showcase to order blinds.  BUT! On our way there we passed by SM and I figured, why not give it a shot? Last year when I tried SM, I couldn’t find 96″ long curtains.  THIS year I got lucky.  The department store carries this local brand Interior Choice and lo and behold! They had white linen curtains, 96″ long! AND they were Php 499.75 per panel.  I scooped up 6 panels (with much glee). 

I seem to always take my photos at night – why?!

The SM curtains are a bit more expensive than Uratex’s (Php 399) but still cheaper than the Arq Living curtains I got for the dining room – and still inexpensive, overall, especially since I so did not want to bother having curtains sewn or custom made.  I am willing to spend for more expensive curtains in the dining and living room, sure, but for the lanai-playroom? Not as much! So, yay, SM!

And just because I am giddy about making progress in the lanai, I am sharing a photo of our TV/toy cabinet, looking nice and neat, heehee:

There’s my baligtad fan! And I have since updated our lightbox hahaha

LIVING ROOM: Finally – FOAM!

Like a fool, I’ve been sharing photos of our ugly couch.  I know I’ve been complaining about it too for the longest time.

I mentioned it here, but I’m going to go over it again because this is the great big “BEFORE” post.   The red striped fabric is what’s keeping the foam or stuffing together.   It’s ill fitting, I know, and the back cushions are too short and always end up getting wedged in the wood.   The cushions are simultaneously too thin and too lumpy.   There’s a missing slat on the seat, hidden under those cushions.

We started out with this couch for the living room.  It’s a hand-me-down from my parents, and we used it in our previous home, too, along with the hand-me-down upholstery from my mom.  Not my style, the seat covers, but at least at that time we actually had seat covers for this thing.  Then when we moved to this Little House, I swapped it out for a love seat.  And I was happy with it for a while, but realized we needed more seating in there and the small couch in the already small room made everything just look smaller.  So I borrowed the narra couch again, and put the love seat in the Lanai-Playroom (after returning the dark wood daybed likewise on loan from my mother).  But then the old seat covers, easily 10 years old come to think of it, started to tear and look dingy.  So we stripped the poor, sad, old couch.

I’ve been meaning to replace the foam for this couch for years.  I’ve actually inquired at Uratex months and months ago and was overjoyed to find that it would only cost me around Php 2,000.00 for the back rest and the seat.  But of course I never got around to actually ordering the new foam – until last Saturday!  HA!

See how cheap it is?  I measured the couch and the old cushions, and had one big piece cut for the back and for the seat, just to keep it simple.  You can order seat covers from Uratex, too, although the fabric is not so nice.   I ordered plain white ones for the time being, and will trek to Kamuning for tela so I can have thicker covers made.  I’m sticking to white, grey, and royal or navy blue for my seat covers.  No beige – the old covers were beige, and I’m sick of beige.

It’s such a simple thing and I am GIDDY about this for finally just getting it done.  As always, I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner.  So easy and so inexpensive with Uratex, and the foam we picked out is much thicker, obviously, than the ones we are using now.   (You can wait for an hour for the foam and pick up the covers separately.  The covers will take 7 to 10 days to finish.   But we decided to just pick up everything together).   Like I’ve shared, I love that this couch belonged to my grandmother, and it’s made of narra and has such a simple, classic frame.  I just need to roll up my sleeves and give it some actual TLC.

LANAI-PLAYROOM: Costs for Blinds and Deciding on Curtains (Plus More Purging) 

We measured our lanai doors today and ran to Showcase Carpet to get a quote on roller blinds.  I measured the doorways for inside mount, with 2 panels per doorway.  For inside mount, both doorways measure 98″ width, 8.25″ length.  Each panel is thus 49″ width.  I was confident about an inside mount because my walls are 3.5″ thick. 

Grace from Showcase gave me quotations for 2 kinds of shades: 

  1. Block out: Php 6,700.00 for 2 panels, or 1 doorway. 
  2. Dim out: Php 5,500.00 for 2 panels, or 1 doorway. 

Since there are 2 doorways in the lanai, I need to get 4 blinds, for a total of 11k or 13,400.

I would have preferred just sunscreens out instead of block out shades, since it’s going to be for the lanai, not a bedroom – it’s basically a sun porch, hello.  But they weren’t offering white “dim out” (Showcase’s term) blinds, just this beige-y cream color that looked too office-y for me. I wanted them white so they’d blend with the walls.

I was this close to paying the downpayment for the block out shades.  Showcase seems to work fast, too; if I pay a downpayment before Saturday, they can install the blinds next Thursday. 

But I rushed over to Wilcon as well to check prices. I was hoping I could get something ready made. But the ready made selections are vastly limited in terns of size. For our measurements, we really had to go custom.  I got a quotation for three (3) different brands available in Wilcon.  The cheapest is Php 4,700 per panel. 

Clearly, Showcase is the better option, since for 5k ++ or 6k ++ I’ll be getting 2 sets of roller blinds, instead of 1.  But Showcase closes at 5pm, so I headed home.  I liked Showcase’s pricing and customer service so far, but I wasn’t feeling great about a complete black out in there and I wasn’t excited about the beige shades too.

I went home and finished cleaning and sorting the kids’ toys in the lanai.  I had taken advantage of their being at their grandparents’ house visiting (labor strike, no school again).  Otherwise, Alo will just end up unpacking all the toys I put in our donation boxes (like he did here). 

Well, I was so happy with how clean the lanai turned out that I felt inspired.  The hand-me-down curtains from my mother were dirty and didn’t suit the room at all.  So, on a whim, I measured and noticed that the lanai ceiling was lower than the adjacent dining area.  (The lanai was an add on).  So maybe I didn’t need to get the 96″ curtains I used for the dining room – this has been the reason why I first decided on blinds over curtains.  The cost! Getting curtains (proper long ones!) and the curtain rods combined would leave me spending at least 7k per doorway.

But since the lanai was apparentlty not as high ceiling as the dining room, I realized I may be able to get away with shorter, or regular length, curtains. I pulled out my too-short-for-the-dining room curtains and tried them out in the lanai:

Now try to imagine this room with matching white curtains all across the doorways, no bookcase in the corner, and a darker (reupholstered) loveseat, and an area rug, hehe

I LOVED it.  I was shocked.  Haha.  I need 4 panels per doorway (testing out how it looks with just 2 panels in that photo).  If I can get those same curtains for those doors, then it will come out cheaper than blinds.  Those curtains are from this brand, Pauline’s, available in Uratex, and they sell them per pair for around 300 or 400 something.  As opposed to my Arq Living curtains – sold per panel, ack, for more than double, even triple the price, depending on the design.

I am now so on board with doing curtains.  BUT! (There’s always a but).  I still intend to replace the chunky curtain rods with the same slim black rod I used in the dining room, and I want the new rods in the lanai to be placed higher too.   This means longer curtains – the ones in this photo are only around 87″ length.  Elbe and I measure above the current rods, and I figured I’ll survive with 91-93″ length for curtains.  And I somehow recall being at Uratex and having one of the sales clerks tell me their other set of those Pauline’s curtains measure 95″ length.

Except I’m not entirely sure if that was in Uratex because I’ve been canvassing a lot recently.  Argh.  Well, I am going to skedaddle there tomorrow.  If they have the length I need, then done and DONE.  Curtains it is.  (The H prefers curtains actually, and wasn’t really sold on blinds for the playroom).   

Good things come to those who clean

P.S.  That’s the fan I had repaired.   The 2nd repair person put the blades on backwards like the 1st repair person from West.  Inis!  Back to the shop.  I am so not getting Asahi anything anymore.  Anyhoo, it was supposed to go in the living room, but it works better for the lanai, because the kids like to play on the floor, so the bottom barrel is really useful.  It’s still a big improvement from this electric fan, isn’t it? #lifeinthetropics hay.  (I wonder if the white folk have to worry this much about electric fans in their homes?)