Living Room in Progress

When I started this blog, it was all about our home and garden renovation. It has definitely evolved to encompass my other interests–so much that the original home project posts are few and far between. Honestly, our home projects have been put on the back burner in the last few years. We don’t have the same energy for it that we did in our twenties. Harper works almost every Saturday, so weekends don’t last long. And, of course, adding parenting to the mix made extensive DIY projects even less appealing.

But our poor living room has long been in need of an update. Since we did the hard part of knocking out walls, sanding and removing old cheese cloth wall paper, installing ceilings and molding years ago (you can see before pics here), I really just needed to re-paint and accessorize. Easy, right? It should be! I don’t know why it’s so hard to get it done. I have lots of ideas, but committing and actually DOing aren’t as much fun as coming up with the ideas.

I loved my SW Papaya walls, but it was starting to look dated paired with my green couch and red curtains. I wanted to go light and neutral so I could bring in color with my accessories.

Living room & kitchen in 2012. SW Papaya on the walls

(January 2011) You can see some of the green couch here. The red curtains and pillows are pretty, but they make the room darker. Time to update.

The first step of choosing a paint color was anything but painless.  If I hadn’t already painted samples all over the walls, I think I would have just given up. Finding the right gray was so much more difficult than choosing a real color. The grays can look drastically different on the wall than they do on the swatch at the paint store. After countless swatches, many trips to the paint stores, and six sample containers, I ended up with Sherwin Williams Modern Gray at 50%, which looks much warmer on the swatch than it does on my walls.

Again, it was the darn green couch that made things difficult. Since buying a new couch or re-upholstering this one are no where near the top of my list of things to spend money on, I had to work with (around?) the green. I’m trusting that I’ll be able to tie in the green  with the other colors by using a few accessories and fabric. The real colors that I love and want to highlight with are yellow, aqua, and a touch of red.

I picked up this still life oil painting at an estate sale last year, and I love how the greens, aquas, and reds work together.

I’m choosing fabric for spring/summer pillows. All the red pillows will have to go, for now. I’m loving the black/white/yellow ikat print. It’s trendy, but it also ties in with my little Texas and African treasures. The fabric is less than $10/yard, so it’s not a big investment in case I get tired of it.

I thought about using the gray and yellow diamond pattern for curtains, but I’ve decided to go with a solid light neutral instead. Since the curtains are over 10 feet tall, I’d rather not have to buy fabric for more than one set. (Right now the sheers are the only thing that’s hanging.) I am, however, going to use the diamond print on cafe curtains in the kitchen. It’s a perfect little pop of color and pattern for that window.

The room is far from complete, but I like where it’s going.

Next up, I need to decide what to do with the wall on the right. The skis were fine for winter, but now it’s time for spring. I’m thinking maybe a picture collage using some of the antique and vintage frames I’ve collected.

Oh, and I left the toys in the picture for a touch of reality. We really do live in this room, so there are always toys in here.  I keep telling myself that some day I’ll miss all the toys. I know it’s true, so now I live with them.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

–Natalie

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