Obviously this pregnancy has me nesting like crazy because we've accomplished 3 big home projects during the course of the last 6 months and although I am thrilled with all of them, the living room might just be my favorite because it took the most planning, time, and forethought. The above picture is the "after."
Here is our living room before. As you can tell the space is not large and the oversized tv was perched on top of our old dining room buffet. The buffet was too deep and took up much of the small room so before we moved in I began devising a plan to find some antique pocket doors that we could hang on a track in front of a slender bookcase to conceal Cannon's xl manly tv when we weren't watching it. One of my pet peeves is when a tv is the focal point of the room. I realize it wouldn't be a functional living room without one, but I love finding creative ways to conceal them when they're not in use.
Here is the living room project in progress. Our ultra talented friend and carpenter David (comment if you want his contact info!) met with us about this project several times and I know spent many hours exercising his brain drafting on paper how all of the moving parts were going to come together to function properly. It was a brain teaser for us all, but the end result was worth it.
One of my favorite features is that one side of the bookcase now acts as my china cabinet. Most houses in our neighborhood are big on charm, small on space, so our great room consists of an open concept living room, dining room and kitchen all in one long room. I love how this floor plan lives, but there is not much room in the dining area for a traditional china cabinet without shrinking the space. This solution is perfect because it is directly adjacent to the dining room. I store china on top and my silver chest and family photo books on the lower shelves where I don't risk little hands getting into china that can break and hurt them.
I had books covering the bookshelves in our old house and loved being surrounded by them, but when we moved I reached that point where I was sick of packing and wanted to donate everything that wasn't completely necessary. Unfortunately a lot of those books went into the donate pile because we didn't have any bookshelves in our new house. I was missing all of those books as I decorated our new bookshelves, so I had to get creative and use my cookbooks instead. Turns out I love the colors of the books and their proximity to the kitchen for ease of access.
I found the framed lettera at Tracery Interiors in Rosemary Beach and got one for each member of the family.
The small antlers are left over from Parrish's room decor at the old house, the frame with a picture of our sweet Olivia is from our Olivia Charles Antiques line and can currently be purchased in our etsy store (see "frame" link above), and the bronzed boots are Parrish's camo boots from Wal Mart that he LIVED in as teetering toddler.
If you look closely you can see that we used our left over grasscloth wallpaper from the 1/2 bath and sunroom to cover the back of the bookcase behind the tv. After hanging it ourselves (which took 2 hours with 2 people!) I now understand that wallpaper professionals are worth their price in gold. I found myself glad that we didn't have enough wallpaper to cover the remaining bookcase backs, as I had originally hoped!
The vintage blue locker bins were also purchased at Tracery when we were on vacation and will store dvd's, Wii games, etc. The new space is everyone in our family's favorite place to relax.
After I posted that I am starting a paint selecting and decorating business a few weeks ago I got some calls from friends and blog readers wanting me to help them with their spaces (if you're also interested in this service, just comment on this blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details)
Above are the before and after of one of my very first paint selection clients. (Excuse the grainy cell phone photos - I failed to bring my camera over so the homeowner had to snap a few on her phone) Before her walls were BM Wheeling Neutral with white trim. She wanted to keep the light, open and neutral feeling she already had while giving it an updated, personal touch. So we selected BM Tapestry Beige for the walls and BM Coastal Fog for the trim, fireplace mantle, and bookcase backs. I love the depth the mantle now gives the room. Painting a mantle a coordinating color to a room off your living room, or as in this case the same color as the trim (since it wasn't your basic white anymore) gives added interest and depth to your room and ties it all together with a designer look. It would be an easy DIY project for a weekend.
Stay tuned for more pictures of this beautiful home...we also selected colors for her playroom turned shared boys room and are currently working on selections for her kitchen renovation. It is going to be amazing!