Living Room Transformation


The living room is undergoing a transformation.

This is how it looked when I moved in.

This is what I’m doing to it now.

I’m taking a soft neutral color (“sandbar” on the paint chip card–Walmart, for those of you interested in the color) throughout the first floor and up the stairway into the hall.

I liked the accent wall around the fireplace, but the green there was too light to provide contrast against the neutral sandbar, so I’m redoing it with a richer, deeper green (color card name: “cool tropical reign”) that really stands out and makes the mantel pop. I’m going to be doing something special in the dining room, too, and I’ll show you that when I get to it.

My color inspiration for the living room comes from this throw that I love.

It has blues, greens, cranberries, golds, and tans. I just love that combination. It’s interesting, but relaxing. Dramatic, but cozy. (If you find yourself really attracted to something in your house with a certain color combination, think about building a room around it. You’re sure to love it!) I have all of those colors in the room with my furniture and the walls, and I have a few more touches coming up with some projects.

One project is to build floor-to-ceiling open shelving on either side of the fireplace. I want the shelving open, revealing the rich green behind it, but the shelving will also allow me to hide cords using decor on the shelves as well as provide a lot of storage and display space for my favorite things.

I browsed around trying to find help with figuring out how to build the shelving in my imagination and found these shelves. They aren’t exactly what I want to build, but bear enough similarities in the expression to help me think better about what I want to create. I love the welded steel supports for the shelves, and the reclaimed wood shelving. I’m not sure I can come up with the reclaimed wood, but I’ve got the word out. Meanwhile, I’m also thinking of other ways to do the shelves using new wood. I want to bring in the “blue” from my inspiration throw here with a grayish-blue stain or whitewash on the wood, and if I end up using new wood, I can always distress it.

For the wall to the left of the fireplace wall, I have another project.

This is a window that came out of an old school. I used it at one point as part of a homemade cold frame. At this point, this vintage wooden window frame is so naturally distressed that I’m going to have to add some white paint, then sand some off to create a weathered look. I’m going to hang the window frame on the wall and add a beady or vine-y something to it, not much. I’ll be going for a minimal, simple look. I’ve always wanted to use an old window as wall art, and now’s the time. Here’s a link that shows some neat ways to use old windows.

I’ll show you more photos as I work on the projects in this room, and when it’s all finished and put together. I’m having so much fun with my cute little old house!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 5, 2011  

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19 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-5

    Me likes what your’re doing… the yellow was garishly bright. It’s going to look beautiful with the Christmas Tree set up in that room.

  2. 12-5

    Lovely soothing colours, just right for your wonderful home, no wonder you’re having such fun decorating :happyflower:

  3. 12-5

    Green is my fav color. I have a blank wall going into my kitchen from the foyer and I have this idea of using old windows for the doors and some sort of shelving. Now getting it done will be the thing!I like glass door cabinets. Your living room is looking very good! :happyflower:

  4. 12-5

    Suzenne, it looks beautiful! Follow this link I found on Pinterest… how to age new wood using steel wool and cider vinegar. The blogger is also using an old window to create art for her wall…

  5. 12-5

    Thank you, Cathy! Love that process for weathering the wood!

  6. 12-5

    Don’t foget Suzanne to get rid of those “wires” on the wall, paint them the same color as the wall. :D

  7. 12-5

    Suzanne, something you may want to look into to hide the wires is electrical wire “raceway”. Lowes and Home Depot both carry it. It makes a very neat surface wire installation and it is paintable. It comes in PVC or metal and is fairly inexpensive.

  8. 12-5

    The wires will be hidden after I finish decorating and get the shelves up.

  9. 12-5

    I’m loving the new decor & colors Suzanne!! Great choices. I have to toss my bit of advice in here with everyone else’s ; )) Here’s a site to check out, the lady specializes in building plans for diy-anything: She has quite alot of farmhouse, cottage-y style stuff. There are even plans submitted by readers where they’ve changed up & tweaked her plans and the best part is the plans are free! I’m sure you could find something there to help with those shelves beside the fireplace.

  10. 12-5

    Suzanne, have you thought about signing up for pinterest? I have an account there and I love love LOVE it – allows me to save all the interesting decorating ideas I have in one space, and if my hard drive crashes, I won’t lose the info.

  11. 12-5

    Suzanne – I don’t know if you can find this in your part of the country. My hubby works in a sawmill in the black hills and they do what’s called “blue stain” wood. It’s wood that has been harvested due to the pine beetle infestation we’re fighting right now. When it’s milled, it has this bluish hue to it. I have a spice rack that he built for me made out of it. It’s very pretty and just needs to be sealed. I think you might be able to find some. Just a thought. FYI – the bug is dead in the tree so there’s no problem and the wood is just as strong as “regular” wood – just has the blue color.

  12. 12-5

    The house is taking shape, but you must be getting tired. Please take care of yourself.

  13. 12-5

    I am vicariously having fun watching you decorate your cute little old house!

    I love reclaimed wood(used it for my kitchen island, entertainment center, and some picture frames, and have a bunch stashed for a new dining room table). In our case, the interior of our barn needed a lot of work when we bought it, so we gutted it, started over, and saved all the beautiful old lumber. Salvaged shelves would look great in your living room! Somebody out there has some old lumber that you could recycle, I’m sure.

    Speaking of living room decorating, I still want your couch. (Or rather, I want its twin–wouldn’t want to deprive you of your seating in the gorgeous new room!)

  14. 12-5

    I’m fascinated…
    I’m addicted…
    I’m loving it…
    I’m living on this web site…
    My family is starving…
    I’ll point them in direction of the kitchen.
    They are on their own.

    Each day is a new exciting adventure!

    How do you come up with all of
    these great plans? I love the shelving idea.

    Do you ever sleep, or maybe just rest a little?

    Now I just can’t wait to see the
    completed living room, bedroom,
    and also the cellar. And BP and GB!

    I’m probably about to break out in HIVES !!!

    And LOVING it. Did I say I’m addicted ???

    Thanks again for sharing with us Suzanne.

  15. 12-5

    I’m with you Dottie, and the addiction only gets worse… :D

    Suzanne, I have to say, the first time I looked at this post, I kept wondering who the man was who was peering through your window. Then I realized that that was your TV. What!? When do you have time to watch TV? You truly are a wonderwoman! And good choice on the colors. Those are nearly the same colors as I chose for my living room, sans fireplace and hardwood floors. Someday…

    Thanks for sharing as you decorate!

  16. 12-5

    It is looking good!

  17. 12-5

    Every thing is looking great, but I really need an animal fix..BP and GB, Clover and Nutmeg and Cookie Dough…Anna Belle and Mini Belle…how are they? I’m sure they are ok, just miss seeing them! :moo: :chicken: :sheep: :sheepjump: :cowsleep: :heart:

  18. 12-5

    Suzanne, I just love what you’re doing with your’re adorable little house. You’re so very creative and have wonderful ideas not to mention loads of energy. I, too, am addicted to this site and make a point of reading each daily blog (even if it means logging on after midnight!). I’m so excited and happy for you, wish I lived nearby to help (I’m in NY). I know you want to get as much done as quickly as possible but you should also try to relax and get some much needed rest. Looking forward to your next “redo”.

  19. 12-5

    You have been busy! Well done.
    Your fireplace wall is a lot like the rich green we have in our front parlor-love it.
    You used your afghan to pull colors. We used a large old print of a milkmaid in the pasture with a Jersey to get our colors when we remodeled this old farmhouse. It is a pretty foolproof way to get colors that work together.
    Thanks for sharing your progress.

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