Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Living Room: Before and After

Just to review...this is how we found it.

The single-paned window, and perhaps even the deck, were most likely added sometime in the 80's. When the contractors put in the new Marvin window, they had to tear down the deck in order to put in both the headers and footers. We'll rebuild something more period looking to the house - a balcony with a wide center staircase going down the middle and into the back yard.

This is the opposite wall. See all that brown trim? That's all covered in faux wood tack paper to assimilate wood trim. It was horrible to remove.

This room has evolved over the three years we've owned our house (we once had our bed in here). It was the very first room we tackled when we bought the place (the picture of Hubby was within hours of taking ownership) and so it was the first room we finished in terms of the bare bones part. The actual decorating would come much later, as in now...and it's quite serendipitous as again, we're 'moving' into this room just before Christmas.

Here's sort of another 'before' picture that shows our previous color scheme, dictated primarily by the furniture and rug we had on hand at the time.

And here are the 'afters.' I took these pictures on the darkest days of the year as we're having lots of fog and rain - hope they turned out alright!

As you can see, I painted the room white. It's Simply White by Benjamin Moore (Eco-Spec line), which is the same color we've used on all of our house trim and many of our walls. The old color just felt too ruddy looking and I realized (no agonized over) that I'm most drawn to that classic white wall farmhouse look where the color of the walls isn't what the room is about.

I wanted the room to be more about the fireplace, the windows, the view, the light coming in, the furniture, and the artwork. And I just thought that white allowed these things to shine more than any other color. Also, Janet (hi Janet!) over at The Gardener's Cottage just painted her living room Simply White and it completely inspired me!

The mirror over the mantle is such a better fit than our other one. I found this several weeks ago at an antique store for $120.

I picked up the brass sconces at an antique store for $20 each. I had been looking for some sconces online but found them to be very expensive. So these were in our price range and I've always loved the look of a pair of sconces over a mantle.

The seagrass rug is a 9x12 (it hasn't quite flattened out yet after being rolled) and will be relocated to the dining room once I decide what size seagrass rug I want for this room. I know it will be several feet bigger but still trying to figure out exact dimensions before I order it (the first one I ordered had a mid-January delivery date so I cancelled it).

The furniture is by a company called Rowe Furniture. We knew we'd choose something from their line because they are committed to natural fiber fabrics, eco cushion cores and wood from replenished forests. They are also members of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC).

This was all very important to us as we have made great efforts to make our home as green and healthy as possible. We also liked the price - due to a special sale that they were having at the time, the couch was just $1,099 and the chairs were $599 each (and we chose the highest grade fabrics).

The velvet couch is extremely luxurious. We love the high curved arms (much like a sleigh bed) as it provides the perfect support for reading a book, sipping a cup of tea or snuggling up next to the warm fire - especially on days like today.

I picked up the brass easel a few years ago for $40 - a price I just couldn't pass up. The antique frame was my Great Great Grandfather's and I'm in the process of ordering a beautiful print for it. I can't wait as I've always loved the artist and will be absolutely delighted to have a piece of hers in our home.

The cabinet used to be in the dining room. It got bumped from there because there will be two new windows going in this spring/summer leaving no room for it. It's sad but I absolutely love it in the living room. It's gone from dining cabinet to secretary, a look I have always loved.

I also like the height it provides and think it really adds a nice finishing touch to the room. We found this piece at a local antique store that used to get antique furniture shipments in from England. During my semester abroad in college, I lived in England and would spend hours going through all of the gorgeous antique stores looking at beautiful cabinets very similar to ours. So it's sort of serendipitous that this piece found me after all of these years.

The cabinet came with black oriental pulls on the drawers, which I don't believe were original due to the lovely brass button knobs on all of the cabinet doors. So I switched them out for Eastlake pulls which offer it more of a country look (and of course, I absolutely love all things Eastlake).

So there it is! I'm sure it will continue to evolve as all rooms do! I hope you like it! We just got our Christmas tree today so we'll be putting that up tomorrow more photos to follow!


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