Posts tagged ‘living room’

Brighter Shade of Neutral

A few months ago, we decided to give our great room a good scrubbing.  We removed every piece of furniture and washed the floors, baseboards, etc.  To my daughter’s (and cat’s) overwhelming joy, we unearthed a multitude of “treasures,” from bouncy balls, catnip mice and old lucky charms to the random peanut M & M.  We also discovered that we could either spend the next five to seven hours scrubbing the marks of the walls or just repaint them.  We opted for the latter, because, seriously, how is it possible that there are marks on our walls nearly nine feet high?  Its a mystery.  Long story short, we decided on Iced Cube Silver by Benjamin Moore.

That was our living room circa 2007 (it was the best before picture that I could scrounge up.) The paint color was a mushroom beige.  We had moved in approximately two years before, and I had this whole crush-on-Pottery-Barn thing going on.  I still think Pottery Barn is great, but my decorating style has definitely moved beyond it.  So here is what the rest of our great room looked like four years ago…

Don’t lie…I know you cringed when you saw those fake spider lilies!  I’m not sure what I was thinking with those!  Oh, and that 42 inch flatscreen weighs over 100 lbs.  We still have that one hanging over our mantel, but I swear when its quiet and I’m reading on the couch, I can hear it creak.  I’m not sure what I’d do if it came crashing down one day. Yikes!  Oh, and here was our kitchen in 2007…

And, tada! Here is our kitchen in 2011…

Your eyes do not deceive you…there is not much of a difference.  Other than the wall color, bar stools, computer upgrade (and, of course, better lighting & better picture-taking skills) I would say its exactly the same.  But I promise we haven’t been slacking around here.  We did do a little switch-a-roo with the living room furniture. I added some new pillows and plants and rearranged the bookshelves that flank the fireplace.

And the coffee tables…a $35 find on Craigslist.  I’m still looking for pots big enough to fit the two Mother-in-Law’s Tongue plants on either side of the fireplace.  We are in desperate need of a couch upgrade since ours has a history of Elle’s impressionism masterpieces and cuinary artistry mashed into it.  Here’s another view….

and another…

More on those chairs in a later post. And, yep, that’s my gallery wall…but I’m seriously lacking pictures at the moment (and frames.)  I’ve always loved gallery walls, but I got the idea for an all white from one of my favorite blogs, YoungHouseLove.  Its a work in progress….

Here’s another look at the great room from a different view…

That breakfast nook is pretty high on my list of things to updgrade.  That set is actually a million times better than what it was originally–the bamboo chairs and table used to be a pickled finish with pink seats!!  I painted them an espresso brown and reupholstered them in a red ticking stripe (its the last nod in the room to the old beach cottage look I had going on in there)….but I’ve already got my sights set on an circular marble top table and a more modern chair (yes…I read too much Apartment Therapy!)  And if you read too much Apartment Therapy, well, then you probably know what I’m about to mention next!  If you guessed artichoke pendant light….then give yourself a star!  I’ve actually had my Ikea Knappa pendant light ready to hang for the last five months, but I’m having a hard time selling my husband on its good design qualities…  His reaction to me bringing it home from my trip to Orlando was to move a large shelving unit and  a couple hundred pounds of rubbermaid storage boxes in front of the circuit breaker to deter me in my effort to hardwire it to the ceiling!  Its worked for now, but not for much longer! Oh, did I mention that I need to make my kitchen less sterile looking!  Gah! I didn’t realize how, um, white it was until I actually cleaned it up for these photos!  But I definitely have something in the works for that too!


Beautiful Black

This is a follow-up post to the one announcing the winning paint color for our bedroom walls.  I know that the other contestant (Benjamin Moore Gray) may not have been the fan favorite, and I think the reason for that may be because such a dark color (on the blog it appeared black) is a little intimidating for some folks.  So here are a few examples of black walls in almost every room setting.  With just the right amount of contrasting white (or other bright color) in these rooms, the black walls look sophisticated and elegant (as opposed to dreary and cave-like)….

The large white couch and panel help to break up the black walls in this living room

The white backsplash and pendant lights do the same thing for this kitchen

Black also works well in dining rooms…


and even bathrooms.

My favorite thing about black walls is how they seem to make even the most mundane, framed,white, matted print look dramatic and important.  I also love that by adding the tiniest hint of color, it catches your eye instantly (like the green flowers in the living room picture or the red border in the bedding in the bedroom pic above.)

So, have I had any affect on you, anti-dark-paint voters, out there??  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…(you know what they always say!!)



Help Me Decide

Lately, gray has made quite a showing in the world of decorating.  This neutral color is everywhere…from bedrooms….


to living rooms…..


to kitchens….

and dining rooms….

So, I mentioned in the previous post, that I, too, want to jump on the gray bandwagon by painting my bedroom walls the color.  Over the weekend, I narrowed my selection to two.  Today, my daughter and I painted color blocks on the largest wall in the room.  I’m sure my husband will weigh-in with his choice (or non-choice), but I’d also like to hear what color you guys think I should paint our bedroom walls…the warmer Kendall Charcoal or the deeper Gray?  Both are from Benjamin Moore’s historical colors collection.

We will be making our final decision this weekend, so get your votes in!  I would also love to hear your opinions/suggestions in the comments section.  This is the first step in our bedroom “refresh” project.  So stay-tuned for more updates!

Top: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal; Bottom: Benjamin Moore Gray