Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Evolution of Our Home: Living Room Edition

The living room is one of my favorite spaces in our home.  It is my quiet sanctuary where I can read, drink coffee, or watch a storm as it rolls through (often all at the same time).  It was one of the last rooms we turned our attention to, so this room sat empty for the first few years that we lived here.  Here's the journey to this point (because, like every other room in this place, it's a continuing work in progress)!!

While we were unpacking from the move, the living room was our dumping ground for everything we had yet to put away.

But we hate having a bunch of random stuff sitting around, so pretty soon, it became a ghost town. We had no furniture in here for the first three years that we lived here!! We had moved out of an apartment, so we didn't have a ton of furniture. Our living room furniture ended up in the family room, so we had a large, empty room for years.  And since it has a whole wall of windows, our neighbors probably thought we were minimalists or something.

That's Mo sitting in the doorway on the right side of the picture.  We lost him suddenly to saddle thrombus on the day before Thanksgiving 2010.  We still miss him.

During The Time of No Furniture, we did manage to remove the yellow window valance and vertical blinds, as well as the flowered wallpaper.  This wallpaper was crazy easy to remove.  I literally peeled it off with my hands.  No scraper, no fabric softener, nothing.  If only all wallpaper were so easy.....

And once the wallpaper was off, we got right down to painting.  I had a vision for this room: an eggplant accent wall with a bright white sofa popping right off that purple wall.  Well, buying furniture was nowhere in sight, but I could (and did) paint that accent wall.  To this day, I can't believe that I convinced Mr. M. to let me paint this room purple.  I mean, he usually leaves the decorating ideas up to me, but this OUR home.  So he likes to have some input on the big decisions, and anything remotely feminine usually gets the kibosh.  But he said OK, so I ran with it.  Only.....

While I loved the eggplant accent wall, I HATED the beige color I painted the other three walls.  I used the same color that we had in the hallway, but in here it was just.....gross.  So, I re-painted those walls a pale gray.  And somewhere along the line, we decided to extend the Pergo that we had used in the living room, dining room, and hallway in here.  BEST DECISION EVER.  It makes the house seem so much bigger.

Which got me thinking about furniture.  I still had dreams of that gorgeous white sofa (preferably with nailhead trim), but I had done some thinking about what it would take to keep that sofa clean with two pets (and kids down the line), and was starting to re-consider it.  We weren't ready to buy furniture just yet, but my husband and I did some window shopping and found this beauty.  It was love at first sight.

I have always had a thing for sectionals, and the fabric was this gorgeous, gray tweed.  I envisioned some fun, bright pillows, and a patterned throw.  Love.  It was expensive, way more than we had planned to spend on a couch.  But I vowed to save up and buy that baby ASAP.  But as often happens, life just got in the way.  There were things we needed more immediately than a second set of living room furniture, and life threw us some curveballs that made it harder and harder to justify dropping a few G's on a couch.  Especially since we already had a fully furnished family room. 

So when a family member bought new furniture and offered us their well-taken-care-of living room furniture, we jumped on it!  Remember, a large part of our style is Castoff Chic, and I'm all about using what is available to us to make our home stylish without pouring out tons of cash.  I've ended up really loving this furniture for its comfort and neutrality.

The rest of the room is a study in bargain shopping.  The rug is from RugsUSA (it's 50% off right now), the floor lamp was a clearance find from Pier One.  I actually really hate the lampshade, and plan to replace it, but the price was amazing AND I had a coupon so I bought it anyway. The occasional chair is from Homegoods, and the silver stool-turned-side-table was a clearance find at Target. 

Putting this room (the whole house, in fact) together has also been a study in patience. This is the reason that sometimes my tables and shelves are not styled the way I would ultimately like them to be. I'm waiting until I find the perfect items, because I tend to buy things slowly and over a long period of time, usually waiting until I find items that fit my vision and my budget.   For example, the purple and turquoise pillows that look as if they have petals are from Costco(!) and were a birthday gift WAY back when this room was in the vision stage.  I knew they fit where I wanted to go, so I stored them for a few years until I had furniture to put them on.  I do that a lot, in fact I have a whole cabinet of home décor items stashed away that I have big plans for!

As always, I have a whole list of things I'm planning to "finish" this room.  Here's the list, as it stands now:

  • Replace or recover the lampshade
  • Get some artwork on that purple wall, and possibly above the TV
  • Style the entertainment center
  • Hang some sort of pendant lighting over the chair/ottoman
  • Consider window treatments (or maybe not, sometimes I kind of like the simplicity of naked windows)
  • Move the big feathers on the console table to the bedroom, and replace with something large. Possibly a white ceramic elephant, if I can find one in my budget. (I'm not kidding, I've fallen in love with TWO, but couldn't bring myself to pay for them).

But for now, I'll just enjoy the luxury of having furniture and a space to watch the world pass by while I enjoy my coffee and books.

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  1. I love your sense of style. I want a purple bedroom. Most of our room is white built ins but there are two outside walls that would be awesome that color. Hmmmmm.... Wonder if I can convince the hubs????

    1. Thank you! I think it would look amazing with white built ins! Perhaps if you refer to the color as 'eggplant' it won't sound so feminine to your husband?! Truth be told, the dark purple really isn't all that feminine, at least to me. That's probably why I could get my husband to agree to it, he would never have gone for lavender!

  2. Girlfriend I am in a very similar boat. Half the rooms in my house are a ghost town because we simply didn't have the furniture when we moved in. I am loving the changes you've made. Even if it means taking the time to find the right piece in the right budget, it's worth it when you get results like this!

    1. I know...it's such a process. Luckily I enjoy the hunt! Thanks for your kind comments!