It is a hard thing to look back on your decorating choices. Time marches on, tastes and needs change, new ideas come and old ideas feel stale. All of this is reflected in our spaces.
In 2009, we bought our current house, a 2 story colonial style home. I was so excited to finally have a home that we were going to stay put in, a home that I could really make ours. What I didn't know was I was at a transition period when it came to how I wanted to decorate.
In some ways, I feel that for a time, I lost my true aesthetic, and bought in to the HGTV, mini-Mc Mansion style that was ubiquitous. I thought the way to go was Tuscan or Old World or French Country, however you want to describe it. But you know what I mean; the venetian plaster, the mustard and sage greens, the formal motifs, the granite, the stainless, the mahogany. And truth be told, there is a little of that old world spirit in me, but, I was not expressing it in my authentic style, or really with any style at all. When we purchased this home, I was in my old way of thinking. After about a year -and painting my kitchen cabinets blue- I realized that I wanted our home to be a bit more casual, a bit more loose and a bit more colorful. And here is the journey of our much used living room.
We do most of our living on the main floor, which includes the kitchen, living room and dining room. It is mostly open. The living room is a modest 13'x13' space, defined by 2 exterior walls and one short wall. The room is difficult for furniture layout, as the 2 walls both contain permanent features.
I want to start by sharing the house as we first saw it. Nicely staged; Neutral and inviting, and I remembered it smelled very nice.
It only took me 10 days to get the paint on the wall and some of the furniture in place.
From the time I walked into this house I wanted to paint the walls yellow. I ended up with this more mustardy-gold color. And was satisfied. The living room stayed along these lines for a while.
(Fall 2009)We didn't have the option of purchasing new furniture. And I was using the pieces from our old home, along with the sofa we inherited from the previous owner. I was never fond of the sofa, the green chair or the large armoire sitting next to the fireplace. But, again, I had to work with what we had.
In the spring of 2010, I started thinking the yellow was too dark, and went to lighten it up. I also knew the carpet had to go. I made the decision too that a new couch was something I was going to have to find a solution for.
(Spring 2010)I found a deal on a sofa, but wanted a new slip cover. The armoire is still wrong, and the fireplace really needed some attention, but the carpet was finally removed and the walls started sporting lighter yellow.
By the Fall of 2010, I had realized that I really wanted a lighter, whiter decor and needed to brighten the space.
I bit the bullet and painted the fireplace, and found my white slip cover for the sofa. I was also able to neutralize the the sage green chair with a cream slip cover. But that dang armoire was still throwing off the whole room, and as I was loving having the carpet gone, the floor still needed something to fill the space and warm it up.
By spring of 2011, I finally felt I was close. I knew where I was going and I was happy.
I lightened up the walls by painting them a chalky white (Bye-Bye yellow). The floor got the fabulous blue stripes, which filled the room and gave it a signature style. And I finally found a solution for the TV. Out went the armoire and in came a vintage dresser, which no longer overwhelms the fireplace.
Today, the living room is still like Spring of 2011, which I feel is a good sign.
Of course, there are small projects I would like to take on, but in general, I like where it is at.
I often think of how much our house has changed from the day we first saw it. I have no illusions in believing I am anywhere near the end of decorating this room, but it is interesting to reflect back and see how far it has come.