When we came to look at the house, this is what they had done with the back half of the living room. For those who are curious about why we don’t just knock out that wall that semi-separates the two rooms? Well actually it’s the main interior load-bearing wall, and the doorway actually years ago used to lead to a former bedroom (perhaps why the seller lied about our 3 bedroom house being 4 bedrooms? not sure. anyhoo.), before the attached garage was built. Gotta love (NOT) that the seller tried to dump those gnarly old recliners on us. As y’all know, this place screamed MAUVE CHIFFON AND COUNTRY OAK! in the former decor and yep, she had the nerve to leave all her never-been-dusted-in-14-years stanky mauve chiffon curtains and plastic blinds, which on the day I picked up the keys led to me grabbing great big garbage bags to collect all of them in and take to Goodwill. The floors, for those who are curious, are NOT original – they were put in in the 1980s when the house went through it’s Country Oak remodel, and with my distinct dislike for refinishing – particularly the staining part – floors (been there, done that, got the t-shirt…and it would have cost an arm and ten legs to have the work done out here – not to mention the fact that the two guys in the county who do it were 3-4 months out – not something you want to wait for if you would like to actually not have to move all your stuff into the garage after having just unpacked), a big, big rug I knew would be necessary. I love hardwoods but prefer a darker, sexier tone (think: walnut). Anyhow, along with that she had wallpaper trim in multiple spots of mallards (see below the window frame? WTF!), it is an odd space. Since the living room is two connected rooms, and the back room where you’d want to hole up and watch a movie is also where the door to the garage is, we had to make some decisions for sure.
And…voila! Finally, we have a living room! Well the back part at least, which is HUGE for us after 8 months in this place with this as our last priority! When we moved in I’d painted all the walls white just to clear my head then realized it was a damn hospital and then I tried what I thought would be a slate blue and it ended up looking…periwinkle (and not some cool peri, more like a little girl’s bedroom periwinkle, sigh…). So, I told my husband, you know what? I’ve had deep blue living rooms for 15 years, why do anything different when it always makes me feel good to walk into? He agreed, and this time I did the entire paint job (so don’t look too close if you’re in my house, haha). I also painted the door to the garage which I think helps disguise it SO much more, don’t you agree? The leather sectional was agreed upon but way out of budget – until food poisoning in Mexico cancelled half our vacation and the refund financed it (happy birthday to me!) After much Pinterest-ing, I found my inspiration: this photo. Not a lot of purchases beyond the two biggies – the sectional and the rug, both ordered online and awesome.
- This is the sectional sofa from Costco.
- This is the jute area rug from Wayfair.
- This is the TV wall mount from Home Depot.
- Floating shelf above sofa – my DIY invention from two pieces of leftover 7′ sanded plywood we had from the master bedroom sub-flooring, painted in zero-VOC white paint with existing framed photos we’d been waiting to put up!
- Shelves below TV – also my DIY, these were shelves we’d made from reclaimed fir at our Portland house along with old Ikea brackets I’d stained.
- Coffee table – Dan had made this in Portland from reclaimed red oak. I adore it.
- End table (barely visible) – an old Poplar stump from Portland I had Dan strip the bark from and sand for me years ago.
- Floor lamp – an antique my mother had in her garage and let me have some years back. I always got the broken hand-me-downs but hell, I still like it.
- No curtains yet but those are in progress – I’m making them from drop-cloths thanks to, yep, another Pinterest inspiration!