The only area in our house I haven’t repainted is our living room and dining room. The original color was a neutral yellow so it worked really well for awhile. The problem was that we didn’t have any leftover from the previous owner for touch-ups and had no idea the color. The room, after 4+ years, was starting to look a little rough (especially after HGTV was here).
I knew I wanted to keep it light because I love to take pictures in these rooms and the lighter the walls the better. I also knew I wanted to keep the walls light because the rooms don’t get a ton of light. I had pretty much set my sights on a gray color, but the “gray” family is waaaaay big. From green grays to blue grays to brown grays to gray grays …. sheesh! It took me months (literally) to decide on a color. I’m pretty sure our nanny and friends thought I was going crazy because every week there would be a couple of new squares painted on the walls (exampled above).
Finally … finally I settled on a color! I loved the color Collingwood from Benjamin Moore:
I loved the shade, but wanted it lighter so I simply told my paint guy (we are tots bff) that I wanted it at 1/2 of the darkness and he made it happen.
Then, when Corey and Charley went to Knoxville for the weekend I spent over 12 hours painting on that Saturday. It was, by far, the hardest paint job I have ever done. With all the windows, doors, the mantle, chair rail, etc there were way too many lines! I was soooooo tired when I went to bed that night (at almost 3 a.m.).
We have always loved the pictures over our mantle (1 of every sibling + parents + us) …
After a little spackling and sanding the wall was ready for a fresh makeover!
And, that’s just what I gave it. There is nothing quite so refreshing as giving a room a makeover with a fresh coat of paint (forgive the noise from having to use a high ISO. This picture was literally taken around 2 a.m.).
Fast forward a few weeks and with a little help from my friend, Jackie, my new mantle layout now looks like this:
A little tip: Masking paper can be expensive when you see it in rolls for wrapping paper. BUT! You can get it at Home Depot for only $2.97 a roll simply because it’s marketed to be used as a drop cloth.
I got the idea here from Pinterest (duh).
To the left of the mantle is a tall, black bookshelf (not pictured). I have plans to paint it a fun orange-y color and cover our big books in scrap paper to give the books a look like this.
One more thing I added to our living room makeover is a little bench I found at an antique store one weekend when my mom was in town. I wanted something small to fit under the window that we could keep Charley’s toys on. When I found it I knew it was the perfect piece. I didn’t snag it up immediately because I was still looking around, but about 10-minutes later I saw a woman staring at it for like ever. I literally started sweating! NOOOOO! As soon as she moved on I ran and got someone who worked there and told them I wanted it. They cleaned it off and got it ready for purchase and of course, knowing I almost lost my love, made me love it all the more!
I’m still not sure what I want to do with it (i.e. paint it or leave it as is?), but already it has become a sentimental piece. Charley spends a ton of time at it playing her keyboard, and pulling out all of her books. She is especially obsessed with her keyboard Corey and I bought her for her birthday. She loves to “sing” and turn up the volume as loud as possible.
I am totally digging our new wall color. They are so fresh and clean and pretty. I know my walls were looking a little ridiculous with all the paint options, but I wanted to get it just right and I feel like I did. They were well worth the wait.
Now, I have plans to sew some pillows, make curtains, paint the tall bookshelf and maybe do a few other things. I’ll work really hard to be diligent and share it all here when I’m finished.
Who else has taken 2+ months to find the perfect gray? Anyone else as obsessed with antlers as I am?
p.s. Who is proud of me for blogging so regularly recently? Something has totally come over me and I’m likin’ it!
p.p.s. The frames for my family gallery are 8×10 document frames from Hobby Lobby for $2 each. That means I made that entire gallery for $30 total + the cost of the brackets I secured to the back.