Let’s transition from something that bums me out to something that makes me REALLY happy, shall we?
So last August, Ryan and I celebrated our 15th anniversary and, for my gift, he gave me a living room makeover! Perfect present, huh?
It turned out exactly like I wanted, which hasn’t always been the case when I’ve decorated areas in the past. This is why I think I got it right this time:
1. Learning from past mistakes: after doing this for 15 years, I’ve learned things. Less is more for me on walls and shelves. Go 2 shades lighter on the paint strip after you’ve picked a color. Let the paint dry ALL THE WAY.
2. Using my super talented interior design friends, Adrianne and Melissa, and listening when they tell me I can’t have my sectional block my fireplace and stuff like that. Melissa lives here and so she was always coming shopping with me and looking at color swatches. Adrianne lives in Arizona but she SO SWEETLY let me fly her up for 5 days while we got the room together. I have a decent eye for style and home design, but I need their superior talent to get it perfect.
3. Taking my time. The couch (to get the one that didn’t block the fireplace) took 4 months to order from China so I was forced to make this a 6 month process. I think it made all the difference because I had time to order swatches, take stuff back, look around for a while, etc. I tend to just buy whatever if it kind of works and then I get a result I’m less than thrilled with.
4. The internet/technology. Pinterest made it possible for me to find ideas and hold onto them and have them with me wherever I went (via the iphone) and Houzz.com was so great for just giving me TONS of pictures of all things Mid-Century Modern, so I knew the types of colors, shapes, etc. I wanted to create my look. Plus, Skype/picture texting made it possible to show Adrianne exactly what I was looking at, so I could get good feedback from her.
5. Identifying the main “problems” with the room. I figured out that I wanted more seating and more lighting. That helped guide the budget and other decisions.
So here we go. (this should be probably more than one post, but that’s too much work.)
Here’s some Before pictures (the first one is after we’d started a little bit, just so you know it didn’t look quite that bad. There was another chair and a lamp).
We’d had all of this stuff for 8-10 years and it was used and stained and I was done with it.
I knew I wanted calm colors, and I am drawn towards Mid-Century modern things. Ryan just wanted a darker rug and a darker couch (kids, you know) and I wanted the room to feel light and airy. I found this picture on Pinterest that seemed to fit the bill:
and we used it for inspiration all the way through.
Here are some After Pictures:
We did a pretty good job on all counts, right? Light and airy, check. More lighting, check. More seating, check. Dark rug, check. Dark couch, um…we tried, but it got here lighter than we thought. Calm colors, check.
Here are some things I love:
The curtain height and width. They put those curtain up (18 inches ABOVE the window frame) and that room just opened up. It was crazy.
The carpet pattern. I didn’t know that pattern was that big and it couldn’t be more perfect. I think it also makes the room look bigger.
This side cabinet thing. We saw it at Marshalls and thought it was perfect but too big. When we realized that the smaller side table we bought was too small, we sped back over there to get that silver, mirrored beauty and it looks so great.
The piano. Ah, that piano. Don’t look too closely. If you look too closely, it won’t look as good, I promise. But the color is great, and it looks WAY better than it did before. It was my first foray into the world of chalk paint and it has its pros and cons, but I liked it. The lamps are covered with curtain fabric and that little metryoshka is Ryan’s only mission souvenir. It think the unexpected color there is so fun.
The ampersand. This was a tricky one. We saw it at World Market covered in a map. Adrianne had a vision and we decided to take it home, and recover it in paint samples and then modge podge it. (Also, don’t look too close.) Everyone asks what it means…and it doesn’t have a meaning except that there is always MORE here at our house: more kids, more to say, more to do, more time to be a family. & & &
The mantle arrangement. That’s a printed picture of the Oakland temple (where we got married) and the books are neat because that Jesus the Christ is my grandma Paula’s. Love having it on display.
The couch. It’s from Dania and, honestly, it’s so comfortable and big and we just love it.
The chairs. From Urban outfitters, they are tiny but they work so well in this room.
The white side table. So modern and 60s, I just bought it and was glad I could find a use for it.
My family pictures. I wanted something funky and not traditional. This shadow shot looks so cool with the gray asphalt and the silhouettes. I love the jumping picture, too. (bad lighting, sorry)
This lamp. Total splurge from Pier 1, but could it be more perfect??
So there you go. Thanks for indulging me. The process and result has been so satisfying and the whole family really loves to be in that area. Thanks for the perfect anniversary gift, honey!