Our living room has been the room I have been most excited to work on since moving in. It is where we spend most of our time, where we entertain, and where I watch every Real Housewives show ever produced. That said, the room needed to be bright and cozy all at the same time. A fresh coat of paint, a crisp black chandelier, a different mantel and fireplace surround, new curtain rods and drapes, came together to create our new living space.
As always, we started with paint. When we were choosing our paint color, we really weren’t sure the direction the room was going to take. We knew we wanted a new rug, but weren’t sure what colors it would be. We new we wanted new drapes but weren’t sure what those would be. We knew the sofa took far too much effort to move into the room, so that wasn’t going to be changing anytime soon. When there are that many factors up in the air, it is best to pick a neutral. We chose Edgecomb Gray by Benjamine Moore. Color and style can be changed with the accessories (pillows, drapes, throws, etc.). Our living room opens up into our dining room so I wanted to make sure it was a color that worked well against the other paint color. It is important to me that when all the colors used throughout the house are laid out together they make sense and tell one story. By painting the coved ceilings a bright white to brings some much needed light to the space and painting all the trim in a bright white semi-gloss, the incredible details of our turn of the century home pop.
The main change we made to this room was to redo the fireplace. My husband really wanted a large TV, and I really didn’t want a television that we would have to angle out of the alcove making the room feel smaller. By changing the fireplace we gained the space on top to mount a television as well ridding the room of a detail that just wasn’t doing us any favors. A darker mantel(found on Etsy and custom sized to the space we had to work with) along with new Moroccan tile allowed the room to have a more cohesive look. I chose a darker grout color for two reasons; the contrast makes the design of the tile stand out more, and having white grout near soot is just asking for trouble.
Building out the new fireplace also gave us the opportunity to work out the wiring situation. The last thing we wanted was a bunch of cables propped on top of our new mantel. Before finishing the drywall we made sure to leave a hole for all the cabling to go through. We found this great bookcase at Restoration Hardware, which not only houses our books and knickknacks, but all of our electronics as well. We have everything we need in accessible locations, with no wires hanging all over the place!
Finding the right art for you home can be a challenge. Luckily for us, my sister gifted my husband and I two beautiful paintings a couple of years ago. Though the prints themselves are not huge, we still wanted them to be prominently featured on the main wall in the living room. We had them matted in oversized frames to really showcase them. I measured the wall I was working with and based on that decided how large the frames should be and had them made to my specifications.
Making coasters is an easy DIY project anyone can do to personalize their space. I found these tiles in Spain over 10 years ago. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them when I bought them and so they have been sitting in a drawer since 2002! Finally, when I moved in, I added some rubber feet to the bottoms and made them into coasters. They remind me of my first trip to Europe and add some fun color to the room!
No room is complete without live plants! They make the space feel calm and settled. We have added greenery to the space in a few different areas. I wanted something really large and lush for the room like a 7 ft Ficus, or a Palm….but I drive a Mini Cooper, live up a steep flight of stairs, and am pretty lazy, SO we got a coffee plant instead and are patiently waiting for it to grow. We also have an orchid. Orchids are great! They are low maintenance and even if you do nothing, they will still last you a couple of months. Our coffee table features little succulents in mason jars (curtesy of a Houzz). Again, this is easy to maintain and gives us the perfect centerpiece for the table.