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 etsy.com 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 (overstock.com) 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 :)