Here’s the Before:
How It Came Together
When we moved into this house, all the wall paint was flat paint. There were lots of stains and marks on the wall, and wiping them off didn’t help much. Since the house has an open floor plan, we’ve gradually been painting rooms over the past few months. Our living room, however, was two stories high, and had a lot of area to cover. We’d already chosen Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter as our main paint color, so I needed to come up with a way to tie the room together with that.
I’ve always felt it was wrong for me to spend money to decorate my home with, and still wrestle with that. (Though I realize that some part of that is a conscience that has been bound by confusing teaching.) This is our first house (over the course of 6.5 years), where I’ve really been able to make planned purchases for decorating. We also hope to sell our house soon, so I wanted to essentially “stage” the room, while at the same time creating a space that would work well for our family for the time being. This room functions as both our family room, and since my husband has his home-office in the space where the formal living room would be, it’s also the area where we have guests sit and relax.
The “before” pictures shows our previous furniture–a couch and loveseat I got at a yard sale for $25 and some lamps my husband was given when he worked for a professional moving company. They were great, and particularly fun for my girls to build forts from, but they really clashed with the previous and new wall color. And the rug…looks much cleaner in the above picture than it did in real life.
I started out by making a design inspiration board. I had seen Pottery Barn’s scroll tile rug in some pictures, and that was my center point since it tied in well with the paint color. (However, at around $800 for the size I’d need, it was out of the budget for this particular project!) I’d also seen the black sofas in a newspaper flyer that came from Badcock Furniture. I figured with black would be a good color with 3 little kids in the house, and a backyard garden out the door the next room over.
My husband did an amazing job doing the painting, and since our living room is two-stories, we rented scaffolding, and he made it a weekend project. (He can do just about anything 2-3x faster than the average time, I think!!)
After he finished the painting, I went to peruse the furniture selection at Badcock. Sadly, it wasn’t the lower price I’d seen advertised, and it also wasn’t looking like the floor model was holding up very well to wear–and that was just the wear and tear of a display model! I wondered if maybe doing the entire room in the Ikea furniture I’d chosen for the accent chairs might be a better idea. After getting some reassurance via FB that I wasn’t crazy to choose white slipcovered furniture (the opposite, I’m told, since you can wash slipcovers), I decided to make a quick trip up to Ikea to get some furniture. Since my baby is still breastfeeding (and only breastfeeding), I had to time it just right–I fed him and had Daniel put him to bed, and then hurried up the road the 70-ish miles to Ikea.
I was still thinking we’d get the Ektorp sofa and loveseat and maybe two chairs, but decided to check the as-is section upon my arrival. Well, I was grateful to find that there were 2 Ektorp chairs and then a 2+2 sectional. They were marked down substantially, and that sort of made the decision for me. (I prayed about it, called Daniel to do measurements, and then checked and found out they were out of love seats anyway, so that helped give me some reassurance.) By the time I purchased the furniture, I never even had time to make it into the rest of the store. Then came the fun part–getting it into the van! Unfortunately, I didn’t get much help from the guys who were supposed to help with loading, but managed to convince one teen guy to help me and we wrestled the sectional into our van. (This was good that we were buying preassembled–I don’t think the boxed version would have fit.) But…alas, the chairs did not fit, and so Daniel and the girls went up the next evening after work and picked those up.
For the next two weeks, I scouted out rugs, pillows, and lamps to match. The nice thing about redoing the room around the holidays is that the stores had late evening hours, and so many a trip and return trip to exchange and try out various designs were made. I made the giant picture hangings and the frame with clothes-pinned pictures, as well.
My goal for this year was to have all our Christmas presents purchased and wrapped by the time we began Advent. I finished a couple of days into December, but my beautiful mental picture of a peaceful, laid back December wasn’t quite as restful with redoing an entire room in just two weeks! But it was fun, and we did finish within our timeline and under our budget. And we still celebrated Advent every night with our children.
I still have a couple of things I’d like to do–particularly paint some horizontally striped gray and white curtains, and maybe add a little more on some of the walls. The TV alcove (with no TV) will eventually painted glossy white (matching the other trim) inside, as well. Now that our Christmas tree is gone, there is a huge gaping area. We like the open space, but may end up getting a third Ektorp chair for that corner…not sure. I’ve never had a coffee table, so probably won’t go for one for now, either.
The area rug is actually two area rugs–I found them at Garden Ridge, and was quite excited since they really tie the room together. (Another time consuming decision–I came quite close to having carpeted installed for the entire room.) I’d plan to cut off the seams of both of them and align them and tape down the seam, but they actually are a little different from each other and wouldn’t match up quite well enough.
Paint: Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter
Area Rugs: Garden Ridge
Sofa: Ikea’s 2+2 Ektorp Corner with Blekinge White slipcover
Chairs: Ikea’s Ektorp Jennylund with Blekinge White slipcover
Table Lamps: Home Goods
Pillows: Home Goods and Ebay
Floor Lamps: Ikea
Black Table: Home Goods
White Table: Side of the road, repainted white (previously)
Wall Art: made from a yard sale frame, and pictures from wood from Lowe’s and prints from Staples (DIY tutorials coming!)
Silver Garden Stool: Badcock Furniture clearance
Moroccan Ottoman: eBay…but it didn’t come prestuffed–I have tons of towels and old fabric in there, and it’s still not enough!
(In use, with family, on Christmas Day, top photo courtesy my brother-in-law, Josh.)
looking down from above
while still in progress