Living Room Redo

January 9, 2013

Here’s the Before:

The After:

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.

Project Details: 

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!

More Pictures:

(In use, with family, on Christmas Day, top photo courtesy my brother-in-law, Josh.)

looking down from above

while still in progress


You Might Also Like

  • Johanna Hanson January 10, 2013 at 6:55 am

    LOVE it! So, so beautiful! I especially love the rug. So classy! How did you do the canvas (?) pictures on the wall?

    • Keren January 10, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Thanks! I was so excited to find the rug at Garden Ridge. It’s what pulls the room together, I think.

      The wall pictures aren’t canvas–just engineer prints from Staples glued to wooden boards. I’m planning to do a post on those, though, so I’ll explain more about it later. 🙂

  • Chelo January 10, 2013 at 7:04 am

    What a beautiful home. I love everything about it. I love the “(in use” picture: the neutral and clean colors allows for the people to “pop” out of the picture… You guys did a great job. I look forward to reading the DIY for the picture hangings. It’s like an Instagram gallery 🙂

    • Keren January 10, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Thanks, Chelo. I’ve thought about adding more color to the room, but for now I think I’m going to keep it as is.

      Well, actually all of those pictures ARE from my Instagram photos. 🙂

  • Susanna January 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Beautiful! I shall invite myself over sometime for a closer inspection 😉

    • Keren January 10, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Please do! 🙂

  • Danielle January 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Love the room–very pretty and well thought out. I also struggle with the idea of spending money on decorating. I do like things to look comfortable, inviting and pretty, but also don’t want to be frivolous. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’ve learned. I haven’t had a house to really decorate yet since we haven’t settled for good yet, but we hope to later in the year. I’ll need to work this out in my own mind before we do!

    • Keren January 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks, Danielle. Well, I don’t know that it all could go in a comment (or even a blog post), but I’ve done a lot of thinking along the lines of Shelley mentioned, as well as trying to make sure what I do spend is appropriate for our season of life and within our means. (Also, thinking about making sure I don’t buy products from unethical manufacturers, though I didn’t really do much local purchasing this time. Still lots of thinking going on, obviously. :))

  • Shelley January 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Love the room Keren! I too struggle with spending money on “frivolous” things but we need to remind ourselves that our Creator created beautiful things so He wants us to enjoy beauty. Your living room looks so inviting now! Have you thought about possibly putting a big plant where the Christmas tree had been?

    • Keren January 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you, Shelley.

      I have thought about using a plant. We are in this room a lot, and if I do add a (large) plant, I think I would want to wait at least a few months until my 7-month-old can understand the houseplants-are-not-for-eating concept a little better. 😉 We have a palm in another room, and he does fairly well with it, but it’s our dining room that he isn’t in much. The basil in the kitchen, however, is a little more tempting. 🙂

  • Sharon W. January 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Oh, wow! Stunning and elegant!! I notice your inspiration board has a chandelier. Are you going to put one in the room?

    • Keren January 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Sharon. No, I don’t plan to do so now. That was a thought, since the room was so dark with the previous paint color. And there is only one overhead light in the ceiling fan; but we changed it to a higher wattage bulb while we had the scaffolding. (Hopefully it won’t burn out now! :))

  • Rebecca Goernandt January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Wow Keren! This is just downright inspiring!!! LOVE what you guys did – and in two weeks!?!? Looks like something out of a magazine – truly. And I HEAR YA about that flat paint! We are bit by bit doing the same to our house. It took me too long to figure out the glossy solution. Duh. 😉 Really love this look – might steal your color ideas one of these days – so crisp and yet peaceful!

    • Keren January 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca! Yes, it was a little “squeezed.” And in the 3(?) weeks since, I still haven’t put pictures in some entry frames I hung elsewhere. 😉

      Yes, crazy things occur when you have flat paint. I wouldn’t want it even if I had no kids in the house. We still have several more rooms to paint, but this was the “big” painting project. (Other than the one we did a few weeks before Justus was born. ;))

      It is a peaceful color, and we are please with the calm, crisp look it brings. I never thought I’d be a fan of gray!

  • Mom January 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I like that although there is more furniture than before, the room actually feels bigger. I too struggle with spending money on decorating–you probably didn’t know that :). But I have tried to make wise choices and plan to live with them for a long time! Your room is classy, clean, and beautiful!

    • Keren January 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks, Mom. 🙂

  • Hannah Rice January 11, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Ah! That’s how you did white couches! Slipcovers!! Such a good idea 🙂 it is simply GORGEOUS. I’m so glad you were able to redo your family room! 🙂

    • Keren January 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Yes, and we’ve already washed a couple of covers. (Another great thing is that they are individual slipcovers, so we can wash just the one(s) with whatever got on them.)

  • Judy January 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Your room came out beautiful. I will be featuring it tonight at my Winter Blues Wednesday party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I’ve Been Featured button. Thanks.

  • Kristin@FavoritePaintColors January 31, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    What a beautiful and inviting room Keren! I love the rug, the pictures of your kids, furniture, and I especially love the color you chose. I featured your room and Revere Pewter on my blog Favorite Paint Colors today. Thanks for the great inspiration and have a wonderful day!

    • Keren January 31, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks, Kristin!

  • Jenni February 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Love the room! I am dying over this rug. Is there any way you can provide the manufacturer information? I don’t live anywhere near a Garden Ridge and would love to be able to find out the product details. You really did a beautiful job with such a tricky, wide open space. Looks very cozy. I love the paint color you chose as well. Did you do an eggshell finish, glossy, matte? Are you happy with that color? Beautiful job!

    • Keren February 6, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Thank you, Jenni! I checked the rug, and the only label says “manufactured for Garden Ridge,” and “Made in Turkey.” I have seen a few similar rugs on Overstock.com (search using “trellis” or “Moroccan tile”).

      We did an eggshell finish. 🙂

      • Keren February 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm

        Oh, and yes, I am happy with this color. The pictures makes the green undertone stand out more than it does in real life. It is a very calming color, and we are quite happy with it!

  • Amanda March 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Love the room! What color are the hardwood floors and who made them? We’re looking to paint our family room this color and I’m struggling on what color/type of hardwood floors I should put in. Thanks!

  • Top 10 Posts and Paint Colors of 2013 | Test site for favoritepaintcolorsblog.mystagingwebsite.com March 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    […] for Believable Buff and ideas to paint your powder room. Number 6 Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore Keren Threlfall Number 7 My Top 5 Paint Colors for Every Room in Your Home Number 8 Senora Gray by Benjamin Moore […]

  • Top 10 Paint Colors of 2014 | Favorite Paint Colors Blog December 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    […] #5 Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore: Keren Threlfall […]