As we wait for the final steps in our kitchen (ahem, the whole back door thing), we poured a little effort into the living room this past weekend! FOUR small changes, but kind of big, too.
ONE. I mentioned that when we chose the wall color for our kitchen, our goal was to eventually paint the adjacent main dining and living space the same, Intense White by Ben Moore. It’s not that we didn’t like the current color – Pensive Sky, Behr – but, well… okay, no, I simply despised it.
At first, we did like it! We loved it! It was a far leap from the orange walls and patchy drywall, and it felt so refreshing to have at least one room in the house that was one, clean color. But as months went by and we slowly began layering in our furniture, it felt too cold, too modern. Our home’s first floor receives very cool light to begin with, and it only highlighted the blue undertones in our paint choice. It was to the point that the blue-ish gray on the walls was making me angry (hi, I’m crazy), and when I finally admitted to Scott that I can’t take these blue walls any longer!, he agreed that if we could find a color that worked for both the kitchen and living areas, we could just knock it out.
And so, we did what any sane couple would do, and we repainted the living room a shade so similar on paper, yet so different once complete! Below, you can see how blue the Pensive Sky was in comparison to Intense White – a super (super) soft warm gray that still contrasts against our trim work but feels so bright and welcoming at the same time. We had it color matched to Valspar Optimus in a dog-friendly eggshell finish.
Yes, it was absolutely a pain to admit our mistake and disassemble the entire room to get it right, but it just feels so. Much. Better. The warmth in the paint feels right for this house, and although it took a couple of tries, it was 100% worth the effort.
TWO. Since we knew we were going to be stirring up that big room, we finally hunkered down on another tough decision and purchased a dining room rug! To balance the intense color of our couch, we were in search of something that had a natural look (think: jute or sisal), but preferably less taupe and more gray. Could it also be square? And, if possible, cat friendly?
We found the winner at a place called Sisal Rugs Direct, and after ordering a handful of samples, we landed on this style in Belize Pewter. It’s a four-season rug that can be hosed down should we ever need to go to that extreme, but the best part is that it’s polypropylene (with a real sisal look), meaning, the cats don’t care.
Upon ordering, I realized that we had the power to make the size completely custom, and so we opted for a very specific 6.5′ x 7′. (A little blue tape around the dining table nudged us in the right direction.) This would allow us to pull the dining chairs out fully without tripping over the carpet edge and still allow a proper walkway through the main areas of our home. Now, the dining area is no longer a sea of wood! A subtle addition, but room-changing.
THREE. In other (riveting!) room-changing news, we finally replaced our placeholder end table with one that we love! After our kitchen counters were installed, we had a slab remnant from the same quartzite cut to a 2′ circle; the plan was to use it as a tabletop for an end table in the living room. What started as a Craigslist ( slash Krrb, slash Ebay, slash Chairish) search for a pedestal base turned into finding this adorable guy (below). It was a steal on Craigslist, and the photo online gave us the impression that the marble top was in terrible shape, hence the low price. But upon pick up, we found it to be so sweet and perfectly aged; a spritz of mild cleaner and a microfiber cloth buffed it up nicely. I did, however, scrub off a bit of rust to the base with steel wool, and I finished it with a coat of Clark+Kensington’s Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine – our favorite blue-black.
It’s tall enough to meet up with those high couch arms, similar to the table on the opposite side. It’s slightly smaller with a different, more petite base than our other table, and it’s a nice balance that doesn’t feel overly matched. The leftover quartzite will find a home eventually – maybe the bedroom? Or studio? Time will tell.
FOUR. Finally, for kicks (and since all our art had to come down to paint), we flip-flopped the placement of our dinos. Big stuff, you guys!
Since it’s been a while since we’ve tweaked anything in this room, I can’t help but to take a look back; it’s the most gratifying part of this house journey! Here we are, two paint colors, a rotating crew of dining room tables and two big, bold purchases (you know, plus months of tearing down to build back up) from where we started:
There are still a handful of things we want to do in here – we’re looking at roman shades for the dining room windows to add contrast to that wall, a large plant, and we’re on the hunt for a pair of sconces that don’t take themselves too seriously. With all the bones in place, we’re happy to allow those items to fall into place slowly; probably.