Evolution of a Living Room

Like many projects in this house, our living room is a work in progress.  This is our living room in our last house, which had somehow evolved into a very traditional space that I had grown tired of.

In particular the silk flowers and ficus had to go.  I still love those sconces though.

In this house we're going for a lighter, brighter space.  This is how our new living room started out (this photo was taken at our inspection before we bought the house):

This room holds my little office, hidden away in our old TV armoire.
You can read more about my armoire home office here.

I've spent the better half of 8 months painting my way through every nook and cranny of this house, and one of the most gratifying things I tackled was the natural woodwork that I primed and painted (all the while, a cute little redhead napped on the couch). 

One of my favorite elements of this space is the huge window that overlooks a perennial garden. 
Lace hydrangea that blooms from August until October is right outside this window, and beyond that you can see the Rose of Sharon bushes all in bloom last August. 
The window sill was tiled to match the original rosy wall color (mmmmm, gorgeous right?).

Midway through this painting project, after the walls were ensconced in the lovely, warm off white of Ben Moore's Feather Down but the trim was yet to be finishined, we had a family party, so I put away the paint cans and the next thing you know,
2 months had gone by with the room half-painted. 
That's how things work around here. 

At long last I got the painting finished, but the hard part remained:  pulling it all together.
Let's distract the eye with pretty flowers, shall we?
The whole "pulling it together" part had me feeling like this every time I walked in the room:

The challenge was to use the furnishings we already had.  We really wanted a more neutral space than our old living room, so I used our seagrass rug from our former dining room instead of the oriental we'd used before and I love it in this space!  My husband's only request was "heavy curtains like we had in our old dining room".  I brought home about 10 sets of curtains that he vetoed (and he doesn't usually care one way or the other, so the fact that he took such a keen interest in this topic kind of amused me!)

Here it is today, all painted up shiny and new, curtains hung, but still in need of much tweaking.
Those crazy chairs are calling out for slipcovers but that'll have to wait for another year.
Even the rosy window sills didn't escape a makevoer!  {More on the crazy notion of painting over tile to come.}

From my favorite spot on the couch I can see through the Frech doors (that need to lose those brass knobs) into the foyer (calling out for the staircase to be finished) and beyond that, the family room (in desperate need of new end tables). 
While I have so much tweaking ahead of me (Robert Frost's "and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep" comes to mind), I can't tell you how much I adore sitting here, listening to my kiddos happily playing outside with the neighbors, thinking about how this house is truly becoming

our home.

What do you think of the living room so far?
Come on in, sit down and let's chat about it over a glass of wine. 
I always love visiting with you!

Linking up - thanks so much for hosting, ladies!

Beneath My Heart's Best DIY Projects of March

Domestically Speaking



Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Oh MA Gosh Lisa! I am in love (and a little jealous) of your living room! Those windows all trimmed in. . . the french doors. . .the window seat. Swoon! It's so beautiful with the new colors!!

Rene said...

You have done a wonderful job so far Lisa. Your room is warm, fresh, and chic. I even think the chairs are nice because they add pattern and contrast. Beautiful!

Kristin said...

so.much.better than the peach! :D

i love that houses just feel more & more like home the more you do in them.

Michelle said...

Love it Lisa! Beautiful job!

Christina said...

Gorgeous! I love the white trim, it completely changes the space!

Connie said...

You've brought it to life. It's fabulous! I especially love the large floral print on the chairs.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Love the white trim too! What a change paint can make! Visiting from Pink Postcard!


Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

What a difference the paint makes! It's amazing. The room looks wonderful. I have those same chairs in a brown velvet and would love slipcovers too. But your fabric is lovely until you get yours.

natasha {schue love} said...

WOW! This transformation looks amazing Lisa! So impressed with the natural lighting and that bay window is just beautiful! Great job! :)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Love the fresh new look. I am so glad you painted all the trim. Much better looking. I have two chairs I want slipcovered, too. I don't know how though so they sit. Looking forward to what you did with the tiled window seat. You could cut foam and cover it and add a bunch of pillows. Just a though. Thanks for joining WUW this week.

Kristine: Lakeshore Cottage Living said...

It looks beautiful. You know what...I really like your chairs. I wouldn't slip cover them (well you can if you want to..lol). I would just put some neutral pillows on them and maybe a throw. They add a splash of color and pattern to the room. They are REALLY pretty. The couch is really pretty too. I love all the painting you did...I know that is a lot of work especially with a child at home...trust me on that one. The bay window is going to be incredible...I am going to follow so that I don't miss out!

Have a wonderful day.


Sarah, Three Boys said...

Oh my goodness, it is GORGEOUS!!! Isn't it amazing what a little white paint can do?? Thank you for this motivation, I have been stalling on the trim in my library, gotta get r done!

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

Lisa . . this rocks. What a huge transformation. I am so impressed. Paint really changes a space. I LOVE the rug and everything you have done so far. I am headed over for a glass of wine! Be there in ten!

~Lisa said...

It looks beautiful!!! :) I love the windows and the light, it's just super nice.

Ches said...

Wow thats what I call a transformation. It looks super. I dont know if you sew at all but the blog pink and polka dot have a e-book for only 10 dollars that teaches you how to slipcover on your own. In the meantime the chairs really look great in the room.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a fabulous transformation. It looks so pretty. I really like the chairs and the pattern on them. I think they bring a ton of interest to the room. Well done. Hugs, Marty

A Vintage Vine said...

WOW....I love it, you did so much work!!! I say keep the chairs.....they really give it some pop..and can you please tell me about that coffee table....it is perfect!! Where did you get it, is it antique!

Cyndi@Walking in His Grace said...

Wow! No question the after looks amazing!!

for the love of a house said...

Your living room looks wonderful! Love all the changes you have made. That coffee table is wonderful and I love the chairs that you want to slip. So cute that you husband took such a great interest in the curtains!

Oh, and I'd love a glass of wine, thank you;)

Denise at PinkPostcard. said...

such a great room makeover!! I love what paint can do :) It looks wonderful, and I love those retro napkins (?) too funny! Thanks for sharing this at Transformations and Treasures!

Anonymous said...

HI Lisa!

I say keep the chairs and perhaps add a splash of that reddish in the print of the fabric with a reddish throw on the couch and/or a reddish throw pillow.


Michelle @ Ten June said...

It is amazing what a little white paint can do! It completely transformed the room!! Man, I should have put this in my "Power of Paint" post last week!! :) Great job!!

PS. I have to speedily scroll through your Monday posts because I am at work and they make me STARVINGGG!! That pasta looks incredible :)

Vanessa said...

Wow! What a difference! So light and fresh!

Melissa at HOUSEography said...

Why oh why do people stain trim? Your new room looks amazing!!! Thanks for linking up on HOUSEography's Home Tour!

Decorating the Ville said...

Oh Lisa, I am your souls sister with painting endless amounts of trim. I have been working my way through my new house since August and it feels like I have only made a small dent. I love the more neutral room - it looks lovely! I am changing my style in our new house too. In the old house everything was red, chocolate, orange earthly colors. Here I am going for a more calm and soothing cool color palate. I'm here from Houseography, and I think I will be a follower now too!

Kim said...

Love your style! You have a great blog - I'm so glad I found it. I'm your newest follower. Stop by for a visit sometime! Oh and for the record, I LOVE those crazy chairs! They are gorgeous as is!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

LOVE that coffee table! The whole room is just beautiful!

Christina said...

There is paint that you can use to cover those door knobs without having to buy new ones. Thought I would plant that bug in your ear. :o)