New living room

After lots of Photoshop mocks-up, tons of advice from friends (Stacy, Lauren, and Joe especially-thank you!), hours of searching online for the perfect pillow or the right shade, and working my tail off every weekend for about a month and a half, the living room is finally done. What used to be a room I felt "eh" about is now my favorite room in the house!

The wall color is Amazon Stone from Behr, and it did what I was hoping it would do - make an oversized living room feel cozy. Its just amazing the difference color can make! It took me 3 years, but I'm so glad it finally occurred to me that blue recedes and its probably not the best color to have on the walls of a giant living room. Besides the wall color and the white painted trim, the left side of the room got a few other changes. I hung a large mirror that my interior designer aunt gave me on the far wall by the front door. She gave this to us over a year ago and I'm so glad to finally find a place for it. It wasn't popping off the wall quite as much as I wanted, so I just touched it up with a little liquid gold to brighten it up and it was good to go.

I painted the back wall of the built-in bookshelves orange (which didn't work), then a really bright red (also didn't work), and then finally settled on a tomato-y, coral-y, orange-y red (Fiery Red by Behr). Even though I spent a lot of time painting those shelves 3 times, it ended up being a super cheap project. The orange was leftover from the hallway and I bought Behr paint samples for 2 different reds, and didn't end up needing to buy anymore to cover the shelves. And because its not a straight-up red, it helps to tie in all the different color accents around the room that are in the red family (the orangey-red pillow, the fuchsia in the vintage lady pic on the opposite wall, etc.) I also pared down what I had sitting on the shelves so it looks less cluttered.

I also got a new print from Australian artists I found on called inaluxe. I've wanted this print for months and months, and once I started redoing the room I realized that this could really tie in some of the colors. The frame used to have a vintage rose in it and I reused it to display my new print (just had to get a mat cut to fit the print). This little switcheroo is sort of indicative of what I was trying to do in the whole room...go from a totally 50's looking space to one that is a more updated "vintage modern" as a friend put it.

Another major change that took away the stuck-in-time feel was getting rid of the 60 year old valances, sheers and traverse-hung drapes and replacing them with bamboo roman shades ( and the same drapes hung on a simple black rod with rings (JC Penney).

Of all the changes in the room, I think updating the window treatments made the biggest difference. The room feels so much more current without those dusty valances (or skirts as Seth calls them, hehe), and I love how the warmth and texture of the bamboo plays off the contrasty grey walls and white trim. I almost got white fabric roman shades for the windows and I'm so I went the bamboo.

And that's it! It really was so fun to have a project to work on, and for now I'm just enjoying it. I know its just a matter of time before I get the itch to make another big change soon, so stay tuned :)


This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time...the colors are absolutely mesmerizing!

Found here

Yesterday was...

International Women's Day

...and my birthday! I turned 32 and I gotta say...I genuinely love getting older. Of course I don't really enjoy the slowing metabolism, wrinkles around the eyes, and the special pillow and firm mattress I require not to throw my back/neck out, but mentally I'm loving it. As time starts going by faster and faster (another aspect I don't especially like), I'm starting to sweat the littl
e stuff less and less. Its liberating!

The way I spent my birthday was a little odd for me. Even though I didn't go to work (I never work on my bday if I can help it, and neither should you), I woke up at 7:30. I made some oatmeal, opened a few cards, then did a workout with Seth. That's right - I finally tried Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! And let me tell is tough but it is awesome. Its only 20 minutes long, but the way she can promise the results she does with such a short workout is because it is so intense. I really liked that aspect, though. The less time I have to realize my body is hurting, the better. Plus she's just a good motivator.

After the shredding (haha) I cleaned the whole house and did some laundry. Again, probably not most people's first choice of activities on their birthday, but its what I wanted to do so I did it! After that I ran a few errands, made dinner, and then played a little Wii Pictionary (my present from Seth and its SO fun). It really was a great day, and thanks to all the cards, calls, and FB well wishes I felt very loved all day long. 32 is gonna be a good one, I can feel it!

Best present ever! Thanks again, Seth! :)

Unpaid product endorsement

This stuff is so awesome! I'm not a lipstick person but sometimes I feel like I just need a tiny bit of color...apparently as you get older you start losing the natural pigment in your lips. Yipee. Anyway, I've been a loyal Burt's Bees lip balm user for years and I'm so happy to find something that will give my lips a little color that's not sticky/sparkly/shiny, it won't chap my lips, and of course its all natural.


Today I'm working on a very un-glamorous part of the living room makeover - TRIM PAINTING. This isn't my first day working on it, either. The baseboards took a weekend, the built-in bookshelf trim and the doors took a weekend, and this weekend I'm tackling the trim around the windows and the crown molding trim. Most of the trim in the room was a cream color, so those parts are sorta fun to paint because I can see an instant improvement with the bright white popping off the dark grey walls. The baseboards were especially satisfying because the inch at the bottom was stained green from previous carpet.

Such a difference! And don't day I'll get quarter round on the baseboards to finish things off and cover up the dried glue marks around the bottom.

But today...not such a big transition. The crown molding is already white, so I doubt anyone will notice a difference after I'm finished. So why paint it at all, right?! Well, the white isn't as bright as the other white trim in the room, but the biggest reason is because its painted with flat paint and just looks dull now that all the other trim is all bright and shiny with the semi-gloss white paint on it. Plus you can't wipe anything off flat paint so there are tons of blotches of the old blue paint and now the new grey paint on the crown molding that I have no way to get off.

So here I am painting trim that's already white with more white paint. I tried to talk myself out of it but I've put so much work into the room that I didn't want to sell it short by being lazy about this one thing. And honestly, its not taking *that* just kills my neck and arm painting above my head so much. I've been wanting to be a better blogger lately which is partially why I'm writing now, but mostly my neck just needed a break from looking up.

That's all for now. There are just a few other small things that need to happen in the room and then it will be DONE! And I'll be on here sharing all sorts of pictures once that happens.

Happy weekend everyone!!