Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Evolution of Our Living Room

Ever since I added the new woven bench and pet silhouette art to the living room, it has felt almost complete.  Of course there are a few small project ideas still tumbling around in my head that may get tackled one day, but I would estimate that the room is 90% done.  In honor of its near-completeness I decided to take you on a journey through its evolution (and remind myself of how far it's come).

We'll start at the very beginning.  Here is how she looked on move-in day:

Ahhh...a hideous ceiling fan and TONS of cream.  Our first project was painting the cream colored brick fireplace.  We chose a bright white.  We also painted the walls (for the first time) - light gray with a darker gray accent wall (ignore the light blue rectangles in the photos below - I had already nixed the gray).  

I wasn't loving the gray so we repainted the walls a nice classic light blue (Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue).

We sold our brown microfiber sofa on Craigslist and purchased our first grown up one.

We then moved the television and installed a gallery wall around it.  (This is also one of the last pics of our garage sale floral chair that served us well for over three years.  See it there on the right?  I know you're jealous.)

We switched out the ugly brown ceiling fan (see the third pic in this post) for the chandelier that we had removed from the dining room and spray painted white.  

But then we found this larger chandelier at a local antique store for $8.  I can't say I've ever seen another one like it.

We then tackled the built-ins and my wonderful parents hired painters to paint all of our crown molding, baseboards, window molding, and interior doors bright white.  (SOOOOO grateful and glad that Seth and I didn't have to do this.)  The bright white trim completely elevated the look and feel of the entire house!  The cream colored doors and trim looked so dingy.

We purchased a couple new chairs, two dark orange poufs, and a new fireplace screen.  We also nailed down the best layout for the room and moved the TV back to its original location (it was causing too much neck strain).

We built a floating fireplace mantel just in time for the holidays.

Next, we made a wooden "topper" to extend the length of our console table, made some art to hang behind the sofa, and purchased some new pillow covers.

I made over an Ikea Vittsjo coffee table with gold spray paint and a piece of corrugated tin (still one of my favorite projects to date).

I also took some time to "neutralize" the built-ins by turning almost all of the books around and removing some of the more colorful accessories so they wouldn't compete with the mantel decor.

I found a new television stand at TJ Maxx that worked better in the space (note the mess of cords underneath it).

And hung another gallery wall around the television.

But it was too busy and detracted from the fireplace and mantel decor (I was trying very hard to keep the fireplace/mantel the main focal point of the room) so it had to go.  In its place, I hung Fred the cardboard moose and added our West Elm floor lamp to the corner.  Much better.

Recently, I cleaned up our mess of TV cables and cords using a cord cover (later painted to match the wall), zip ties, and industrial strength velcro.

We also flip flopped the living room and master bedroom rugs which helped break up the sea of blue and gray.

Lastly (as I mentioned at the beginning of this mile long post), I figured out a solution for the remaining blank wall.

Projects that I'd still love to tackle include artwork for the blank space on the built-in wall,

and a DIY wooden kennel for Amos.

Now for a few before and afters...

Thanks for sticking with me through this lengthy post.  I'm so happy with how far this room has come!

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