Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Living Room in Progress...

My living room-- the most used room of the house.  It's where we watch TV, relax, entertain, it's where Caleb spends most of his time playing... a lot goes on in here.

And this is what I had to work with.  
I like yellow, but this was a bit too much for me.
(look at how cute and little Caleb was back then :)

I definitely don't like yellow when it is paired with green as seen in the picture below (and maybe I should mention that the next room was orange).  Anyhow, it needed a change!

These pictures were taken the day we moved in.  Notice all those paint cans?  After an entire week of painting, we were able to successfully cover these crazy walls!

In case you're wondering, we used Dulux Lifemaster paint in this house.  I LOVE it.  Easy to apply, great coverage, no funky odors, and really durable/washable.  I love Benjamin Moore colors, but not the price.  Our local ICI paint store gave me a smoking deal (just over $30 a gallon) and they did a great job color matching all of the Benjamin Moore colors I brought to them.

As you may have noticed in the previous photos, we left the existing carpet when we first moved in (hence the sheets taped to the floors).  They were in terrible condition, but after all that painting we needed a few months off-- so we pulled out the steam cleaner and left them as is for a few months.  Thank goodness it was summer-- we didn't spend a whole lot of time indoors.

Then we ripped them out!  And slowly put the house back together.  Emphasis on SLOWLY.  Doug and I did a lot of the work ourselves during evenings and weekends as we both had busy day jobs :)  We were a good team-- he did the work in the top half of the room (easy to reach) and I focus on the bottom half-- about all my shoulder can manage these days :)

So we lived in this crazy mess for about two and a half months.

Finally the floors were in.   What a difference it made!  Crown and baseboards were next.

And finally the room was liveable again.

I haven't done too much "decorating" in this room yet so I'm going to say that it's still a room in progress.  It still feels a bit too empty for me.  We used to have a coffee table up here, but left it downstairs for the time being so that Caleb could have room to play.  Eventually, when we get around to it, Doug and I would like to put some built in cabinets along the main wall.  There isn't a fire place or any other major focal point in the room, so we'd like to add something a little more interesting.  Built in's would also add a lot of much needed toy storage.  But here's what the room looks like now...

This room holds two of my all time favorite finds-- let me rephrase-- two of my CHEAPEST finds.
Can you guess which ones they are?

Number 1...

This cabinet was found at MCC for 15 bucks.  I can still remember the day I discovered it-- I called Doug and had him rush over to the store to pick it up.  We were still living in our condo at the time so we had to paint and fix it up on our deck!  After a coat of primer and some white oil paint it looks awesome.  Whenever I paint furniture I usually use Kilz primer first (it's the best out there) and an oil based paint-- I'm kind of old school with this one.  Some people think there are latex paints out there that are durable enough for furniture, but I'm still a fan of using an oil based paint since I know from experience that the finish will last.  I've had this cabinet for several years now and it's withstood much abuse in our household.

It not only looks pretty, it's also practical!  I use it to hold our upstairs toys.  The big annoying ones have to stay in the basement.  That's my rule.  Just say no to annoying toys!

The cabinet also holds a little inspiration for moi...

Number 2 favorite/cheap find...
This awesome chair.
Also an MCC find... for 15 bucks.  What is it with the 15 dollar price tag?

I like the way it looks as is, so I haven't felt the need to recover it.
We gave it a good steam cleaning when we brought it home and it was ready for action.

The baseboards, crown, and flooring match the other rooms in the house.

Now I know you're all thinking... she has two young kids and light colored couches/area rug.  I'm not going to lie to you-- keeping them clean takes work!  But I like the way light furniture looks and really, I'd rather know when my furniture is dirty so that I can clean it!  I've never had a stain that I couldn't remove.  Doug and I bought these couches 5 years ago and they have withstood a TON of abuse-- full cups of coffee spilled, food spills, Caleb "accidents"... and the worst one of all-- blue pen-- not just a little pen... A LOT of blue pen scribbles.

The area rug also has encountered much abuse-- mainly from Caleb and all the three-year old spills/accidents you can imagine.  But more recently, an entire glass of orange pop hit the floor-- not Caleb, not me... someone else in this house :)  Definitely the most persistent stain I've ever encountered-- but still conquered! 

This area rug is one of my favorites-- it's a good living room size (8x10), it's a great neutral color, I can't complain about the quality since it's held up well-- and it's cheap-- $149 at Home Depot!

Well... there's another room in my house-- still in progress, but it works!
Now, time to bring out those Christmas decorations :)


kelly ens said...

umm...GORGEOUS transformation!

Bonnie said...

Having worked at Benjamin Moore for a few years (pre-interior design firm), I am intrigued to know what colors you used. I have my guesses (as I learned BenM's fan deck like the back of my hand) but I'd love to hear what colors you chose.
Also.... again, having worked with paint and selling it, I am TOTALLY with you on the oil base for furniture. Its true that latex has come a long way, but it will never be as good as oil when it comes to durability. Nice choice.

Your living room is beautiful. As is the rest of your house. Idyllic.

Carol said...

Great job on the living room - I always enjoy your room transformation posts!

Melissa said...

Beautiful! You have a knack for decorating - and on a budget! Love the white look.

GSFALK said...

I have a feeling you would walk into our house and have ALL KINDS of ideas. You've done beautiful work.

Your last post with all the shots of Emerson were so cute. Babies are SO cute. They grow fast... love them to bits.
A. Shirley

Melissa said...

What is the brand or type of your area rug? and also where did your big black square mirror come from? (over the white console table) Your house is beautiful! :0)


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