When we first purchased our little investment cottage, I was incredibly overwhelmed with where to start. The bathroom and kitchen needed complete remodels, and every other room required a clean and fresh look. Although there was and is so much charm in the original woodwork and flooring throughout the home, the paint and tile choices we started with left much to be desired — it desperately needed a living room makeover.
Back to my dilemma of being overwhelmed, there was so much to do I wasn’t sure where to start. Then I remembered that scene from the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” where Diane Lane had just purchased her new home in Tuscany, and she is standing there not knowing where to start. Then she says, “Pick one room and make it yours. Go slowly through the house. Be polite. Introduce yourself so that it can introduce itself to you.” And that is exactly what I decided to do. I decided I am going to take my time and get to know this home. I am going to go one room at a time and introduce myself while making it my own. I will clean it up, enhance the natural charm and insert a little of me. When I am done, I will hopefully have a home for so many others to enjoy. A home that I know, and it knows me.
For now, I am madly in love with the living room, which is now complete. Check out the photos and details about my changes and selections below.
The two biggest changes in this living room makeover were the fireplace and the paint. Although it may look like I had the fireplace retiled from its original 90s tanish color tile to this beautiful white, in reality I painted it. Yep, you read that right, it is painted and it only took me a couple of hours.
Painting tile is not as hard as it seems. And you can read more on how you too, can update your ugly fireplace tile with a fresh coat of paint with this DIY tutorial.
Choosing paint colors is probably one of the hardest things for me to do. Why? Well, because I get a color stuck in my head, and it takes forever for me to find the match. I think at one time I had ten different samples smeared on the wall so that I could step back and look at it over and over until I could decide. And yes, you absolutely want to get a sample and put it on the wall in a few different places before you paint all of the walls. Just because it looks good on the paper doesn’t mean it will look good with your lighting or even during different times of the day.
Using this darker grey color on the walls made the white of the freshly painted fireplace pop. Not to mention it made the white on the ceiling and above the picture rail pop as well.
The best part of making over any room, in my opinion, is furnishing a decorating. By painting the walls dark grey and accenting with the white while leaving the beautiful dark wood trims, I created a neutral pallet that allowed me to play with other colors and textures in the furnishing and decorations.
I love to mix and match… can’t you tell? And so I started out with this green velvet chair that I just adore and could spend hours in reading or writing. I knew I wanted the green chair to be a focal point. I mixed in both wood and metal coffee and end tables with this older two-tone side table. Topping it off with some fun throw pillows, blankets, and flowers, and this living room quickly became my favorite place. Often times I’m not sure how I’ll use something I find at my favorite consignment store or garage sale, but if I can get a good deal, I’ll buy it and store it until I find the perfect location! I picked up all of the decor around the fireplace in a consignment shop with no idea of when or where I could use it. And then it just came together and tied in perfectly with the green throw blanket that draws your eye back to my favorite chair. The lamp was one of the remains of a set I had in my home where one got broken. I just loved it and couldn’t part ways. So it found its way next to my favorite chair.