Monday, March 1, 2010

Living Room: Starting from Scratch

I can't seem to find any before pictures of the living room but it looked a lot like the dining room. It had the same flesh colored wallpaper and ceiling fan.
After going through three different paint colors that just didn't work, I cleaned out the room except for the couch and repainted the walls in Ben Moore White River, flat. White River isn't a glaring white white, it's kind of a "dusty" white that I think works well in an old house. It's not far in the BM fan deck from the Simply White that I've seen used recently in A Country Farmhouse and The Gardener's Cottage.
The light is a little lantern I bought when I moved in to replace the old ceiling fan. Because the ceilings are so low, I thought I needed to keep everything tiny but wished I had gone a little bigger.

I also painted the trim White River, semi-gloss. In an old house when the edges aren't very crisp and things tend to be a little crooked, I like to paint the walls and trim the same color or just one shade away. It minimizes all of the defects.
All of the rooms in the house are pretty small--the living room is 11'6" square--and now that I've cleaned it out, I want to be very careful about what comes back in. I've decided the TV won't come back into the room. I'm going to turn the dining room into something more like a study and the TV will live there.
This is the other side of the room where the TV was. The door to the right goes into the dining room.

The ivory switch plates are bugging me a little bit but I don't think they'll show as I put more things in the room. I can always replace them.
Turning around a little more, this is the same door that goes into the dining room. You can also see back into the front hallway where the door to the basement is. To the right you get just a peek of the front stairs.
And this is the door into the living room from the front door and hallway. There was an old hollow-core door on this door when I moved in. I thought I would leave the hinges "for now" in case I was doing renovations somewhere and wanted to have a room I could close off but I'm taking these off now and I'm patching up where the hinges were.
So here I am back at Square 1. I've ordered a mountain grass rug for the floor (to match the one I have in the dining room) and I'm considering what to do for window treatments. Now that the old drapes are down, I like seeing the trim so I'm thinking I'd like to have a simple roman shade, maybe in something like a grain sack with a neutral, gray or black stripe...or a silver dupioni silk...or maybe a bamboo blind...or maybe shutters on the bottom. There's too many choices.

What would Kelly McGuill do?


  1. Wow! I love the moulding around the windows! You picked the perfect color for the walls - it's not so bright white. I think shutters might be too cottagey but bamboo shades would be very sexy with the couch and the tone of the wood. Few things with lots of texture that make a big impact - I think that's what Kelly would say! :)

  2. Hi Steve,

    What a difference white makes. I adore it. I get all giddy when I see empty rooms. I get all nervous when they start to fill up too much. I love the idea of roman shades with a contrasting band. Also, I love bamboo shades. Joan, at For the Love of a House recommended to me to get wood switchplate and receptacle covers and paint them the same color of the walls. It's a great idea but I have not gotten around to doing it yet. Very low on the to do list.

    It's so exciting watching the choices you make.


    ps - Thanks for the shout out.

  3. Hi Steve
    I really like the white on white! It makes the room calm. I'm curious to see what you bring back into the room. I didn't realize that room was that size. Very cozy!The window molding makes a nice statement, I would go with a window treatment mounted inside the window. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I really like your couch. I am looking for one like it can you tell me about it?
    Your finished space is beautiful! Thank you!

  5. Evelyn,
    The couch is from Mitchell Gold. It's called the Alex or Alexa, I can't remember which. The slipcover is a heavy cotton material and the color is called chargray.