Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Living Room makeover

Let’s transition from something that bums me out to something that makes me REALLY happy, shall we?

So last August, Ryan and I celebrated our 15th anniversary and, for my gift, he gave me a living room makeover!   Perfect present, huh?

It turned out exactly like I wanted, which hasn’t always been the case when I’ve decorated areas in the past.  This is why I think I got it right this time:

1. Learning from past mistakes: after doing this for 15 years, I’ve learned things.  Less is more for me on walls and shelves.  Go 2 shades lighter on the paint strip after you’ve picked a color.  Let the paint dry ALL THE WAY. 

2.  Using my super talented interior design friends, Adrianne and Melissa, and listening when they tell me I can’t have my sectional block my fireplace and stuff like that.  Melissa lives here and so she was always coming shopping with me and looking at color swatches.  Adrianne lives in Arizona but she SO SWEETLY let me fly her up for 5 days while we got the room together.  I have a decent eye for style and home design, but I need their superior talent to get it perfect.

 174 - Copy      185 - Copy                        

3. Taking my time.  The couch (to get the one that didn’t block the fireplace) took 4 months to order from China so I was forced to make this a 6 month process.  I think it made all the difference because I had time to order swatches, take stuff back, look around for a while, etc.  I tend to just buy whatever if it kind of works and then I get a result I’m less than thrilled with.


4.  The internet/technology.  Pinterest made it possible for me to find ideas and hold onto them and have them with me wherever I went (via the iphone) and was so great for just giving me TONS of pictures of all things Mid-Century Modern, so I knew the types of colors, shapes, etc. I wanted to create my look.  Plus, Skype/picture texting made it possible to show Adrianne exactly what I was looking at, so I could get good feedback from her.

5.  Identifying the main “problems” with the room.  I figured out that I wanted more seating and more lighting.  That helped guide the budget and other decisions. 

So here we go.  (this should be probably more than one post, but that’s too much work.)

Here’s some Before pictures (the first one is after we’d started a little bit, just so you know it didn’t look quite that bad.  There was another chair and a lamp). 

IMG_7029IMG_7030038 039

We’d had all of this stuff for 8-10 years and it was used and stained and I was done with it.

I knew I wanted calm colors, and I am drawn towards Mid-Century modern things.  Ryan just wanted a darker rug and a darker couch (kids, you know) and I wanted the room to feel light and airy.  I found this picture on Pinterest that seemed to fit the bill:


and we used it for inspiration all the way through.

Here are some After Pictures:

240 - Copy


226 - Copy239 - Copy


We did a pretty good job on all counts, right?  Light and airy, check.  More lighting, check.  More seating, check. Dark rug, check. Dark couch, um…we tried, but it got here lighter than we thought.  Calm colors, check.

Here are some things I love:

The curtain height and width.  They put those curtain up (18 inches ABOVE the window frame) and that room just opened up.  It was crazy.

238 - Copy

The carpet pattern.  I didn’t know that pattern was that big and it couldn’t be more perfect.  I think it also makes the room look bigger.

This side cabinet thing.  We saw it at Marshalls and thought it was perfect but too big.  When we realized that the smaller side table we bought was too small, we sped back over there to get that silver, mirrored beauty and it looks so great.

242 - Copy

The piano.  Ah, that piano.  Don’t look too closely.  If you look too closely, it won’t look as good, I promise.  But the color is great, and it looks WAY better than it did before.  It was my first foray into the world of chalk paint and it has its pros and cons, but I liked it. The lamps are covered with curtain fabric and that little metryoshka is Ryan’s only mission souvenir.  It think the unexpected color there is so fun.

172 - Copy176 - Copy245

The ampersand.  This was a tricky one.  We saw it at World Market covered in a map.  Adrianne had a vision and we decided to take it home, and recover it in paint samples and then modge podge it.  (Also, don’t look too close.)  Everyone asks what it means…and it doesn’t have a meaning except that there is always MORE here at our house: more kids, more to say, more to do, more time to be a family. & & &

179 - Copy182 - Copy

The mantle arrangement.  That’s a printed picture of the Oakland temple (where we got married) and the books are neat because that Jesus the Christ is my grandma Paula’s.  Love having it on display.

244227 - Copy247248

The couch.  It’s from Dania and, honestly, it’s so comfortable and big and we just love it.


The chairs. From Urban outfitters, they are tiny but they work so well in this room.

225 - Copy

The white side table.  So modern and 60s, I just bought it and was glad I could find a use for it.


My family pictures.  I wanted something funky and not traditional.  This shadow shot looks so cool with the gray asphalt and the silhouettes.  I love the jumping picture, too.  (bad lighting, sorry)

223 - Copy

This lamp.  Total splurge from Pier 1, but could it be more perfect??


So there you go.  Thanks for indulging me.  The process and result has been so satisfying and the whole family really loves to be in that area.  Thanks for the perfect anniversary gift, honey!


Elizabeth said...

You (and your mates) are so so talented. The room looks amazing - thank you so much for letting us know all the details.

Carie said...


Jenna said...

Looks great!

Katie said...

Love, Love, Love!
Thank you for sharing.

Also, feeling bad about your knee and running.
Hope recovering goes well for you.

Ashley C said...

Amazing makeover! I love it! You girls did such a great job. That makes me want to re-do my living room.

Annie said...

I love it so much. Great taste, gorgeous room!

Brooke Romney said...

Absolutely lovely. Way to go. You did an awesome job!!!!!

Paige said...

Jessica you guys are brilliant! Seriously gorgeous. Just read your knee surgery post and I am crying for you. There are 4 million people in this world that would LOVE to have the diagnosis of never running more than 5 miles, but not you! I'm sure your recovery will be miraculous, and that you have so many friends who love you. Also I suck because I dropped the ball in supportive. If you are actually talking on the phone (who does that? Hello texting) please please call me and I'll scream at everyone to be quiet so we can chat at your convenience. I've also been thinking about you so much lately as I'm working really hard on the love and logic thing and admire your parenting. It's hard. I literally cry every day and can't figure out why parenting is so darn hard. Fortunately my kid REALLy respond to me crying! Love you friend.

Mandy said...

It's so beautiful!!!!

Lauren in GA said...

It. look. fabulous...every single detail is fantastic. I love it all. ☺

I learned a lot from this post. Who knew that hanging the rod 18 inches above the window frame would open up the room like that?

LOVE that carpet. Love, love, love ♥.

Adrianne said...

Thanks for letting me indulge in my favorite hobby without having to spend money! And of course the 5 days with you was the best part.

heidi said...

love. brills. i'm so inspired. i told my husband about this and i hope he took the hint.

Heather said...

This is GORGEOUS!! You can come do my living room when I finally have one of my own! ;) Hope you're feeling okay and not going crazy.

Rachel said...

It looks awesome!! You guys did a great job!

jessica said...

Oh man...I swear reading your blog makes me more sad than the last time I read it. I am in such denial that I am not ever living by you again. But the room looks amazing! I just wish I could have been there to help :( I'm so proud of you for painting the piano!!! I know how tricky that project is and I'm so impressed that you took it on. Looks great!

Tammy said...

looks awesome! Nice work!

the Aymster said...

I love it. Those are some of my favorite colors as well. Where did you get the rug?

Blogger said...

You could be eligible to get a free Apple iPhone 7.