Sprucing Things Up

Summer time is a great time to add a little lightness and color to your living space. The rusts and dark grays that said cozy this winter were looking dark and heavy.

So a few weeks ago when we were getting ready for Baby Girl’s graduation open house, I went shopping. I’d tried using some things we already had, but tan, on cream, on beige, on more tan wasn’t working for me.

beige chair 2

This little reading area needed some color. A throw from Pottery Barn and a pillow from Crate & Barrel came to the rescue.

beige chair with new throw

Then I moved over to the leather chair. The rust, textured pillows were fine, if a little scratchy, but just didn’t read summer, and lightness, and fun.

leather chair with rustSo I chose a floral, embroidered pillow that picked up the same tone as the leather chair. I was happy to see Room & Board featured this chair with a similar pillow in their latest catalog; we are on the same wave-length.

leather chair with newNow what about the chaise? It had the matching rust pillow and a green pillow that sprouts feathers all the time. I could swap the furry, gray throw for the beige, crochet blanket, but my family would revolt. They really like wrapping up in the furry throw, so it’s staying for the moment.

chaise with rust

This Pottery Barn pillow adds some brightness to what could be a dark spot.

chaise with new 2

I wound up keeping the feather-sprouting pillow because it was too big for the other spot I tried it. Size and scale can be tricky. Something that looks great at the store can be all wrong when you get it home.

Oh and if you were wondering, the window guys were back last Thursday to replace the window decorated with a spider web of duct tape plus a few more—in plenty of time for the big party.

Me and the MR spend a lot of time on the deck. We start on the shady side when it’s hot and move around to the west side to watch the sun set as it cools off. Last spring I recovered the seat cushions for our arm chairs. I reused the old cushions, so while they were colorful, they were lacking in the “cush” department.

outdoor seating

With Baby Girl working two to four evenings a week, we spend many evenings on the deck, and I figured we could splurge on some fluffier seats. Apple green seems to be the color for our summer pillows.

outdoor seating lime

We’ve definitely noticed a boost in comfort.

Finally, I turned to the fireplace seating area. It’s really quite sterile without any added softness.

fireplace chairs


A knitted green pillow backed with gray fleece felt too heavy for summer, so I sewed up a geometric pillow.

geometric pillow 2

For the other chair, I found a striped orange throw at Crate and Barrel.

fireplace chairs with new throw 2

That was better, but I decided it needed a little more. I’d picked up some interesting yarn in Lynden while I was on the local yarn shop tour, and I have a seed stitch pattern that crochets up really quickly.

seed stitch and yarn

Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn way too soon and didn’t want to make the two-hour drive to the border. I decided a two-tone taupe and white would be the perfect mix. I finished the front, sewed on the back, and sighed. It looked awful, the sides were warped, this was never going to work. Designing your own pillow can be a lot of trial and error.

I pulled out everything and started over again. Crocheting uses a lot more yarn than knitting, so I pulled out my Vogue Knitting Book (I have the 1989 edition, but I’m sure this book would be similar) that features page after page of interesting stitch patterns.

I settled on the brick stitch, grabbed a pair of size 10.5 kneedles and got busy. Ariana yarn showed the pattern beautifully.

white and beige pillow up close

I really love the little raised bumps switching from taupe to white leaves.



This time I wound up with enough yarn for taupe on one side and white on the other. Here’s the finished product.

new throw and pillow


I’m not 100% satisfied with the color mix and scale; but a couple years ago, when I was looking for the perfect gray coverlet for our bedroom and had bought and returned three of them, BG told me I was being ridiculous. That’s the nice thing about pillows, they’re easy to move around and less confronting.

For now, it’s found it’s home. Maybe it’ll make it’s way to the chairs by the TV, and I’ll buy the perfect pillow to go with the striped throw… It’s summer, my house was all spruced up for the party, maybe I’ll just relax and let it be for awhile.

How do you get ready for summer?

If you want to try your hand at the brick stitch, you can find the pattern here. Happy knitting!





4 thoughts on “Sprucing Things Up

  1. I love that you have switched things out for summer. You have inspired me. I think I will give it a go in our family room.

  2. Pingback: June ’15 | big white house on the hill

  3. Pingback: Striping It Orange | big white house on the hill

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