It occurred to me that I’ve yet to cover our progress in many of the rooms in our house, one of those being the living room. After a rousing furniture rearranging session last weekend (we’re currently in phase three), I’ve decided now is the time to share. Let me manage your expectations by saying we haven’t done anything major yet (though we’ve got big plans!) but even the small stuff like painting, hanging curtains, and a little decorating has gone a long way to making this space feel like a comfy, cozy room where we can actually do some livin’. Here’s how our blank slate of a living room looked when we moved in last summer:

This room is located on the main level, at the top of the steps to the left of our split foyer entry. The windows in here face the front yard and because our house faces due south, this space gets loads of sunlight which is freakin’ fantastic. Yeah, sunlight’s my favorite. Before I get to the “how things look now” pics, here are a few progress shots:

We began by painting the walls a light golden color — Pear from the Eddie Bauer Home collection of Valspar Signature paint. This shade of yellow is nice + light to keep the space feeling open but also warm with a hint of gold and a touch of orangey-ness. Basically like being encased in honey. Mmm, delicious.

A not-so-small project in this space involved removing this ghastly vinyl wallpaper from the large wall in our foyer, which I discussed at length here. (That’s right, I said ghastly…so I may or may not be watching too much Downton Abbey. That’s totally in Cousin Violet’s vocab.) This huge wall is part of the living space thanks to the open foyer so after the old paper came down, it was primed and painted Pear as well. I toyed with the idea of making this a different-colored accent wall here, but later decided against it. It was a good call.

Throw in our furniture, curtains, and an area rug, and things are now looking like this:

I’m a big ol’ fan of the cheerful color scheme we’ve got going on in here. I pulled it from this patterned wing chair we got at Pier 1. The golden yellow, subdued green, and bold red-orange combo is warm, welcoming, and comfortable.

Not gonna lie, I was pretty terrified of mixing the bold patterns of the wing chair and the area rug, but somehow they work together nicely. The rest of the furniture is fairly neutral but textured so there’s some interest there. And that rug, by the way, is the one I found on clearance for $199 at Crate + Barrel after Christmas. Also a good call.

Here’s the his-and-hers chairs we picked out not long after we got married. Jamie just had to have that red, ruffley pillow to go with his chair. Only kidding, of course — the manly high-leg recliner belongs to Jamie, but I love it too because it doesn’t look like a recliner. You’ll notice I transplanted the crocheted scarf-turned-lumbar-pillow here — it’s just too cute to remain in Jamie’s lair forever.

Behind the chairs, you can see a project waiting to happen: the railing. We plan to replace all of the white, metal railings with a beautiful, wooden banister — a very classic one with white spindles and an oak railing on top to match the floors. But that’s a project for another day!

The empty wall behind our sofa will be getting some love in the form of a symmetrical frame gallery. On our next trip to Ikea, we’ll be snagging several of these frames in the walnut finish and then going to town devising a unique arrangement. Can’t you just see it now? It will be glorious.

I know it seems as if our beloved TV is the focal point in the room (which um, it totally is) but it won’t be that way forever. We’re keeping our big TV in here for the time being until we’ve gotten a few things done in the lower level den, like painting, recarpeting, and moving in a sectional sofa. Until then, this set-up works for now.

We’ve got a few changes in store for the window treatments as well. Initially we thought we could get away with just two panels (these from Pier 1) swagged to each side, held back by some cool, antique knobs as tie-backs or something. Well, I find that home decorating is a lot of guess-and-check work, and now that we’ve lived with just two panels for a couple of months, I’ve changed my mind. We bought two more matching panels last weekend (on sale this time, woohoo!) so we’ll be adjusting the curtain rods and adding those as soon as I’ve ironed out the wrinkles.

Here’s a shot of the doorway between the living room and dining room so you can see how the different wall colors look side by side. We carried the same color scheme into the dining room by painting it a subdued green similar to the accents in the living room. Methinks it flows together pretty well but it’s still different enough to define the dining space. Another future project: we’re going to be framing out that doorway with some white trim.

Other plans for the living room include installing crown molding and buying new end tables, a coffee table, a console, and a couple of lamps. Nothing we (and a decent amount of cash) can’t handle! As for the railing (and installing hardwood on the foyer stairs + landing) we’re going to leave that project to a professional. It’s gonna take patience and time to do it right! In the meantime, Manzie is enjoying himself in here.

He’s not a dog model…but he could be.

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  • Isabel says:

    Living room looks great, Katie! And I agree that IKEA frames would look great on the walls. We need to make a trip back to IKEA soon to get some shelves…wish we lived closer! Anyways, great job with the house. It’s lookin’ amazing!

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