It's taken months, and to be honest, it's not 100 percent finished -- there are still a few details to complete but I'm going to reveal my living room re-do anyway because I'm getting ready to decorate for fall. I wanted to at least show you the "normal" decor before fall and the holiday season begins.
Even without the final details I love this room! For the first time ever this room reflects my personality and style.
Here is the living room today:
It's hard to gain a true appreciation of this makeover without knowing where I started.
This story really began with the paint color a year ago covering a decorating disaster from a year or two before that so it has been a very long process. I'll show you what I can, and I'm going to have to close my eyes because I truly am embarassed by the before pictures!
The following pictures are from a few years after we moved in to the house. The walls are the standard builder paint and the fireplace and built-in are stained oak. (The pictures aren't great, the house is a mess and I have the room in some crazy arrangement! I guess this was one of my many attempts to like this space. I can't remember but I think I took these pictures for some homeowners insurance thing.)
The pictures really show you the size of this ceiling. It's huge. The grand scale dwarfs the furniture and the decor. In addition, the room always felt cold and uninviting. My husband used to say it was like being in a museum.
Early on in our marriage I tried to accommodate my husband's taste to a fault. All of that brown cowboy stuff just didn't reflect my personality. As I've mentioned before, I really struggled with how to combine my taste with my husband's so I was constantly changing things and never satisfied.
Which semi-explains the next change that took place.
My sister-in-law hired a woman who did faux finishing and she did the neatest stuff in my SIL's house. My SIL also loves all the ranchy stuff that my husband likes but she has been able to combine it beautifully with more feminine decor. That said, I convinced my husband to let me hire the same woman to make some changes in our house. She came in with all these ideas and painted little samples and I really liked her samples and creativity. She asked if she could do the work while we were on vacation so we could come home surprised. And, boy were we! Not pleasantly, I might add. I absolutely hated what she did to our home. It didn't look like any of her samples or what we talked about and she had definitely taken a few liberties. But we had PAID her so I felt like I needed to give it a chance. Needless to say, it never grew on me. My husband didn't like it either. We felt like she had ruined our house.
I only have a picture from Christmas so you can only see a part of her transformation, but believe me, it was hard on the eyes! Imagine 20 feet of this gold, splotchy, wall!
Here's a better look at the fireplace and built-in in the next phase of the re-do:
This picture was taken after I had the walls repainted a year ago. Because of the 20-foot ceilings I couldn't repaint right after the faux finishing disaster. I'm terrified of heights and my husband doesn't paint (not unless he absolutely has to!) so this job had to be hired out. The hubs didn't want to pay for it to be fixed right away but finally agreed to let me hire someone after a year or so and off I went! Except I had paint paralysis. I was terrified of choosing the wrong color in light of my previous disaster. And, I knew I didn't want to go back to the old builder color because it was just so cold and "non-cozy" in the large space.
Then I saw this picture in the Pottery Barn catalog:
Source: Pottery Barn
I liked this color and I knew my husband would like it. It was warm and cozy feeling to me. Maybe it would warm up our space?
I phoned a friend. My friend, Jean, is a graphic designer and really knows color. She came over and went through the paint chip deck. Within a minute she had three colors for us to look at. None of which I would have ever chosen myself. To me, they looked all wrong...too green, too grey, etc. But, I trusted her and figured she probably knew what she was talking about.
We went to Home Depot, got three sample pots and started painting them on the walls. I still wasn't sure. Over the next week I lived with the samples and finally decided to go bold and use this blue color (which actually is a slate or a grey but appears blue on the walls -- weird, huh?!). The color is Valley Hills by Behr. I really, really like it.
Source: Home Depot
I knew that with this paint I would have to lighten up the furniture. Our leather furniture was looking very warn and had some stains and tears. The hubs really wanted to keep leather in the room and I wanted to add fabric. So I decided we would keep a leather couch (because I cannot deny the practicality of it with children) and we would go with fabric for the chairs.
I knew I wanted extra seating in the room but I still wanted it to be kid-friendly. I had a lot of ideas but I was getting decorating paralysis. I was so afraid of making a mistake because I knew I would have to live with my decisions for awhile!
Again, I used a life line. I e-mailed Holly Mathis.
God love her she did not ridicule my disaster. She just got to work and created a brainstorm board that pointed us in the right direction.
There is a lot to talk about regarding this re-do so I'm going to finish up tomorrow in another post. Until then, here are a few more pictures of my new space.
Can't wait to tell you more about the makeover and what changes are still ahead!
Update: Read about the changes in Part 2 of this post.
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