10.13.2011 / Evolution of a Room

Let me start by saying- my living room still needs lots of love and accessorizing….  BUT I think it’s on its way.  I would love to be able to wait and just show the finished product years months from now, but lets face it, I’m too impatient.

Over the past week, our living room has undergone a few major transformations.

Transformation #1: Stripes!

It took me a full weekend and week of evenings to get the stripes measured and taped off, then only 1 weekend to paint.  Phew!

I was first thinking 1 foot stripes would work.  That was until I taped out 2 partial stripes- WAY too wide.  So then I debated- 9″ (on the right) or 6″ (on the left).

In the photo, 9″ looks a bit better, but in person, the 6″ won hands down.  So the tedium began.

My tools for this process were a level, tape measure and pencil.  I started at the ceiling moulding at the corner and started marking out 6″ segments.  After I did a few lines with multiple pieces of tape per line, I realized it got wavy, so I resolved to have 1 continuous piece of tape down the wall- which actually ended up being easier anyway.  Once I had the 6″ segments measured at the top, I took my trusty purple level (I wish they made more tools in fun colors) and measured down the wall, leaving pencil marks down the path.  Once I had a few of those lines pencilled out, they got taped.  In case you didn’t guess, the ‘dots’ of tape are to illustrate where NOT to paint.  There were a few spots that I had to thumb my nose at my level and just make the line LOOK right instead of be level.  Afterall, this house is over 110 years old, and level is not a word I would use to describe anything in my house.

So at long last, I had stripes.  But they were only temporary tape.  I’ve always been a blue painters tape kinda gal, but I decided to be a rebel and try Frog tape this time.  I was quite happy with it in the end- as long as I made sure the tape was fully secured at the edges (by running my finger along it right before I painted) I ended up with very few spots that I need to touch up.

In this pic, you can also see Transformation #2: the chair.

This awesome chair has been hanging out in our office upstairs and I asked hubby and his brother to muscle the large club chair upstairs and bring this one down to see how it worked.  The living room looked about 5 times larger with this minor change, it was kind of remarkable.  After a few days of contemplating it, I know this chair is too small for the space, but worlds better than the oversized one it replaced.  I need to find a cool chair that’s mid scale and then I can send this beauty back up to the office where it belongs.  The club chair pretty much takes up the ENTIRE office, so that needs to go anyway (can I interest you in buying a chair?).

Anywho, back to the stripes.  I used paints that I already had to mix the perfect concoction.  I mixed a semi-gloss clear glaze, the blue wall paint, and a semi-gloss white paint until I got the right balance.  I had painted a piece of foam core board with the wall color, then tested my color mixes on it and held the board in different lights until I mixed a color that was exactly what I was looking for: visible in all lights, but was still subtle.

This picture is the perfect segue into Transformation #3: coffee table(s).

Say buhbye to the wood hunk of a coffee table dragging the room down, and welcome its much more svelte counterpart(s).

I found these guys on overstock and ended up paying $97 a piece including shipping.

Are you ready to see it all together??  Let me first remind you what the living room looked like not too long ago.

This is what my living room looks like today.

Here’s what’s still on my list for the room:

  • Change out the ceiling light (not sure what yet, so it’s waiting for the perfect thing).
  • I need to get my hands on some more graphic pillows (Mom made me some of them for my bridal shower 2 years ago, but I need to introduce others and start rotating what ones get used)
  • Accessories!!!  I want to find some awesome boxes to hide stuff and cool pottery for color pops.  I’m also picturing a super oversized square boho-chic basket to hold blankets and pillows.
  • Artwork- something needs to be on the wall.  Hubby just picked up a painting in France, so I need to find a place for that.
  • Chair- as I mentioned already, I need a mid scale chair.  I need to go Goldilocks on this- I found one that’s too big, and one that’s too small- I need one that’s juuuuuuust right.
  • Rug…. maybe something Persian- inspired to make Hubby happy?  For some strange reason, the shag just ain’t cuttin’ it with 2 kitties. We got this rug before they were part of our family.

Hmm, is that it?  I’m sure other things in the room will evolve too as I work things out.  I’m just pleased that the room no longer feels like its closing in on you, and it no longer looks like it’s straight out of a discount furniture showroom.  Huzzah!

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