Archive for the ‘Living Room’ Category

Okay, I’m back with more on the living room makeover… for a refresher, this is what we were dealing with…

We ditched the couch set on Craig’s List for way less than what they’re worth. There are a surplus of couches on Craig’s List. We had to keep lowering the price until we got some bites. That hurt a little, but we were beyond ready to part with these out-of-date hand-me-downs.

Once they were gone, we brought in the couch and bar we had in our family room:

The ottoman stayed and gets to hang with our new couch that I’ll reveal in a later post… but here she is in progress:

And here’s a sneak peek… and a gratuitous Bulldog shot (love getting those in when I can!)…

Anywho, back to the living room. With re-arranged furniture, the other – most OBVIOUS – thing we desperately needed to do was paint… which we did and I already described in great detail – so I’ll save you that story again.

Looking down on the living room from the stairs… here’s a brief description of what we currently have…

  • Bar – from Crate & Barrel, but we scored for 60% off retail on Craig’s List
  • Bench – saved from our neighbor’s curb on bulk trash day and DIY-reupholstered. (We’ve had it forever and I blogged about years ago – literally.)
  • Couch – already had – it was another hand-me-down. (We reap the benefit of my parents upgrading their furniture every few years!)
  • End table – I hate and will be getting rid of… but we found it at a consignment store.
  • Rocking horse – Jason’s dad made it for him when he was a baby and brought it out for Kenton. I don’t want it to get destroyed, so it sits in the living room.
  • Blue chairs – from West Elm. We scored an incredible deal on those babies the day after Christmas.
  • Coffee table – we’ve had it for a while, but I don’t think I ever blogged about it. It was a floor sample at Pottery Barn, which retailed for $599, but we scored for $159. Nice, huh?!
  • The rug – the circle rug, also from West Elm. We snagged it for cheap on eBay though.

Here are some close-ups….

The giraffe on the bar was a treat my parents brought back from a recent trip to Kenya. The wine corks in the jars are something we’ve been collecting for YEARS. (Or they’re from last weekend??? You decide.)

Why, yes, that is temporary wine storage under the bench! Nice eye.

There’s the dining room. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you may remember that table in the kitchen. I wanted a more eclectic dining room set, but we already had this one – so it’s sits there for now.

Nestled on this little wall between the family room and the stairs is our buffet – and an original painting by my mom. It’s of the Tour de France and was  a gift for Jason – who is a cycling enthusiast. The buffet used to sit in the dining room, but doesn’t quite fit with the current table – so now it’s here, which actually works.

The buffet is the Kipling from Crate & Barrel. It retails for $699, but we paid $75 at a charity auction. I KNOW.

So, there she is… a bit more about what’s in our living room…

We still need to do a few things…

  • Popcorn ceilings. UGH.
  • Replace the Eiffel Tower photo with an original painting, which my mom will do.
  • Find something for the entry wall.
  • Area rugs in both rooms
  • Better pillows
  • Window coverings! (That will be next…)

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Living Room STRIPES

Oh my goodness, you guys. I can’t even tell you how happy I am with how this project turned out. And I was worried. Seriously WORRIED… at several pivotal moments.

Aren’t those stripes GORGEOUS? Okay, that’s some serious patting myself on the back, but I can’t help it. I’m so proud of them!

Maybe you’ll understand too when you see what we were working with:

Why, yes! That is, in fact, the most boring living room in America. Bowdoin the Bulldog even mocked it in a video we made pleading for a makeover from West Elm last year:

We didn’t win. (Can you believe that? Even with a talking dog! Psssh.)

So, we were on our own. On Thursday, I’ll share more about how we styled the room. For now, allow me to brag about my beloved STRIPES.

For three years, that room was a boring white. I’m really embarrassed now that we let it go that long. But… no longer!

And by “we” painting, I mean Jason, of course. I am still pregnant, after all. (However, I did cheat and did some painting myself… read on…)

This was a 100% DIY paint job. From the easy stuff… to the make your knees weak vaulted ceiling…

I’m afraid of heights, so it was traumatic for me to be in the same room as Jason and take this picture of him. YIKES! At one point, he actually sat on top of this ladder to stretch and reach one tough-to-paint spot. I’m SO GLAD that part is over.

We followed this tutorial for painting stripes on textured walls. Worked like a charm!

So, we started by painting the two striped walls the lighter of the two shades – Sherwin Williams’ Colony Buff.

Next, we needed to tape off the stripes. DRAMA. This was not nearly as simple as I thought it would be. Not even close.

My first thought was to use a similar method to how we arranged the polka-dots in the nursery. That would entail stringing off sections and taping between them. However, I could not get a straight line to save my life. I even blogged about how frustrated I was and made a plea for help. You see, the wall is about 30 feet long and neither the ceiling nor the floor is 100% straight. So, those were not good bases from which to set a level starting point.  Several people offered some awesome suggestions – which I ended up using a combo of to get those darn lines straight.

 We started by using this $15 laser level from Home Depot for one of the lines. The laser didn’t always go as far as we needed it too – hence the tape pushing it into place.

Once that line was straight and taped off, we used a plumb line to measure the other lines off that one. Since we weren’t sure it was going to work, we didn’t think to take pictures. But basically, a plumb line is a long string that you put two nails on either end of – then snap to reveal a chalk line – which, in theory will be perfect level. We didn’t use chalk though – we just taped along the string and that worked well for us.

I’m certain there are far easier ways to do this – and if you think of any, please add a comment to this post for others who may come along and want to replicate this.

Once our lines were level and taped off, we painted the lighter color on top of the tape where the darker color would eventually go.

We made sure the lighter paint filled in all of the nooks and crannies in the textured wall and sealed that tape in as close as possible – the hope being that we wouldn’t have any bleed over between lines.

Then, Jason started rolling on the darker color… Sherwin Williams Oak Barrel.

He got about 75% of the first coat on this wall – and the accent walls in the dining room done when we ran out of paint. That was a huge bummer because he had to leave the next day on a business trip, and preggo over here wasn’t supposed to be painting. But… I did grab another gallon of the darker color, slapped on a mask and finished the job while he was gone. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I ROLL. Baby in the belly, I hope you still have all of your brain cells.

 Before the second coat of the darker color is dry, you have the moment of truth. The moment of truth involves peeling the tape off and praying that the line didn’t bleed.

I literally leaped with joy when I saw how straight our lines had turned out. They look like decals – so perfect and straight! HAPPINESS.

We painted the long wall that connects the living and dining rooms and the wall that you immediately see when you enter the house…

Those stripes seriously make me smile every time I see them.

Here’s the view from the family room…

(That black table is a leftover ‘stache bash staging area… it’s not there in real life. Okay, it’s still there right now, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s leaving soon. Promise.)

Okay, I’ll be back on Thursday to explain some of the styling in the living room, but for now… here’s one more look…

What do you think? How did we do? Would you do something similar in your house?

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All week, we’ve been (finally) painting our living room and dining room. And by “we” I mean Jason:

Remember, I’m pregnant. FUMES! (Was I supposed to leave the house when he was painting? If so, OOPSIE.

But, seriously, that room needed a serious overhaul. Here’s what it looked like just a few weeks ago:

Am I riiiiiight?

Thankfully, those couches are long gone and we got some cash instead – which paid for another couch. Long story. I’ll fill you in later.

Anywho, the point of this post is to seek some advice. We’re painting the rooms a neutral color, but the plan is to do horizontal stripes on the longest wall… which is about 25 feet long.

They’ll be about 15 inches wide, but I cannot FOR.THE.LIFE.OF.ME. get the first line straight.

I’ve been measuring from the ceiling, but apparently the ceiling isn’t even?! (WTH?)

Any ideas? Tips? Anyone done anything similar and have a suggestion that will work?

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