I am so, so happy to report that the living room redo is finished! Well, almost. There is a bit of minor accessorizing to be done yet, but that will happen as I find things I like.
I approached this project like a house flipper would, which is difficult because we live here, and I was so pleased that the hours and hours I have invested in HGTV and TLC shows have finally paid off. I know they always advise to have a budget and stick to it. However, there was no budget for this room because it was an unplanned makeover, so I really tried hard to keep the expenditures to a bare minimum. And in the end, all I bought was 2 curtain rods, 3 curtain panels, and all the paint we needed. No new mantle, even though that was the original plan for where money would be spent.
I started by painting the fireplace wall a dark taupe, and I really like the color. The remaining three walls are a lighter taupe (two notches down on the color card). I first painted the mantle the lighter of the two colors, and while I honestly liked the look of a light mantle against the dark wall, the light paint did not do our ugly mantle any favors. The mantle is distressed (on purpose, from 1979) and the light paint really highlighted all of its faults. So instead, I painted the mantle the darker of the two colors, which Matt’s mom originally suggested! It looks so much better. What I really want is a mantle that gets your attention in a good way, and frankly, this one is never going to do that. So making it blend in is a much better choice.
I decided that spending some money on window treatments, which were also ugly in the old room, would be a good idea. The one window in the room had old mini-blinds on it, and I pretty much just tried to ignore it. But the sliding door was the worst…the actual door is pretty new and looks nice, but there were hideous vertical blinds on it. They had to go. I’m really happy with what I found for pretty cheap; I did tone-on-tone to just make them more appealing to more people as far as putting this house on the market is concerned (though I found lots in just three stores that I liked even more, they were more expensive and more just my taste, and I really was looking for broad appeal here).
And I almost forgot! We removed the old wrought iron railing that separated the kitchen from the living room. There was one like this in our entryway into the playroom, too, and we took that one out years ago (why we didn’t do both at once, I don’t know). With our furniture we still have to block that opening, but I think it gives the appearance of a larger room.
That means that the only totally nasty thing (besides the mantle) left in this room is the 1987 brass and oak ceiling fan! We’re getting close to removing all of the dated stuff.
Here are the after pictures.