While we are finishing things up with our kitchen makeover (aka- longest makeover in the history of ever), I thought I would distract both our minds with some pictures of our living room, as it is today. Well, technically – as it was a couple of days ago when all the kids were at school and baby was napping and I managed to keep it clean for 1 hour.
Our living room was the very first room we re-designed when we moved into our 1990’s home a few years ago. It was the very first “before and after” room I posted about in this house (original living room tour, found here). I kind of felt like it was the room I was trying to establish my style and the look and feel I wanted for our whole home. I loved it then, but after a few subtle changes through the years, I love it even more now. I imagine my style and our needs will continue to change and develop – as will this room.
I will talk about some of the changes and additions (or subtractions) along with the images – but if you like a good comparison, visit my original post. You’ll also find resources for paint colors and purchases in my previous living room tour. I would also like to mention some things I am thinking about changing – and would LOVE your input.
So, here is what she looks like on a bright sunny day.
The walk in view.
Turn your head to the left, view.
Walk in a bit and turn your head to the right, view.
Now, go stand by the fireplace, view.
And this is the shrink-down-to-a-child-size, view.
Any way you look at it, it is spilling over with light and cottage fresh goodness.
We still love our horse silhouettes (tutorial here) and don’t plan on changing those any time soon. The baskets under this up-cycled butcher block table are still put to good use with library books and all sorts of hidden clutter.
However, the top of this table used to hold a lot of nicks and knacks, and just started to feel too cluttered. I also discovered this spot has amazing light so I use it for a lot of my blog pics (if you’ve noticed). I made the decision to clear it almost completely off for a cleaner look and a quick work table.
What’s on there now is just a bit random. It is all my latest finds from my latest mommy sanity savor outing to my favorite antique and thrift stores. I just sat them there, and decided I kind of liked it for the time being.
Above you will see a little teaser sneak peak into the kitchen. Still working on getting that brick wall in the background just how I want it.
I used to just place my magazines on our side tables, but the baby was destroying them as quick as he could get his hands on them. Funny thing happened when I place our reads in a tool box – he left them alone (for the time being). It is pretty nice having my favorite magazines and our family scripture reading handy by the couch.
We still plop the kids bean bags under one of my favorite pictures. They get used often each day. A new and very loved addition to the room is my husbands childhood toy box. His sister made it for him and his twin brother when they were wee little lads, and his parents passed it onto us. It makes a great toy box, but an even better slide. This thing has stood the test of time.
Perhaps my favorite change in the room is the rug. Oh, how I LOVE our new rug.
I actually discovered it on Amazon one day as I was searching for vintage rugs. It is made from viscose fibers and is so darn smooth and silky. It lays nice and flat, even without a rug gripper underneath. I love that it looks time worn and loved already. Here is the actual link on amazon, if you would like to see the details.
Safavieh Vintage Collection VTG117-440 Area Rug, 8-Feet by 11-Feet 2-Inch, Stone Viscose
Finding the perfect rug has actually been the biggest challenge in this room. It needs a big one, which of course is a cost challenge in and of itself. This one is 8 x 11, and works great for the space.
Just don’t bring up the rug with my husband . . . touchy subject. We have gone through 3 already and he believes I will never stop buying rugs. Poor guy. But I fully intend on letting this one stay for a loooooong time. At least a couple of years (wink). The first rug we bought was a striped outdoor rug (seen in original post, here). I liked it alright, and it was very affordable. But, the stripes just started to feel way too trendy for me, and I was hoping to steer towards a more classic/neutral living room. The second rug (actually gifted by my mother), was this jute rug I had been drooling over for a long time. I was so smitten when we laid it down, and I still just go crazy over the texture and natural look of that rug. However, it shed itchy little fibers EVERYWHERE and my kids constantly looked like they had been playing in a dog pen. That, and the hardwood flooring looked dusty in minutes after a mopping, due to those fibers. Drove. Me. Mad.
Good new is, I found a way to still love that rug. I put it under our dining table (reveal soon), and found that in an area with less traffic, it doesn’t shed near as bad and you can have a weeks worth of crumbs and the jute rug will hide it like no other! It just did not work as the main play area for my kids. But this viscose rug has been heaven sent. I was worried because I saw fuzzies for about a week, but after a few times over with the vacuum – I don’t see them any more.
Any way – long story about a rug.
On the mantel, I switched a couple of things up. I discovered a local gal who does abstract paintings from a special song you choose. She listens to the song, talks to you about why it is so meaningful, and puts it into a painting. Pretty awesome.
My husband and I have a special place in our heart for the song “Keeper of the Stars”, by Tracy Byrd. The painting she did for us has a lot of symbolism and meaning – all with some of my favorite colors.
If you are interested, her site is called “See Your Song” found here. Not an affiliate link, just spreading the love 😉
Last change up – the pillows I currently have on the couch are from Homegoods. Ya, I normally DIY pillows – but these were just too good to pass up. They look really great with a diaper baby boy. Oh, and that baby boy is the reason we removed our coffee table. Too many head bumps, but we are liking more open space anyway.
I just want to make sure you are aware – with 4 kids this room is RARELY this clean. But it gets plenty of love and play and is the center of our home. The couches are jumped on, and usually packed with toys. Shoes, art projects and pillows are often scattered this way and that way. But it is our home. And we are grateful for it.
Real quick – some projects that are on my to-do list for this space. I intend to make some slipcovers for the couches. We bought these light colored linen sofas a few years ago and I’ll be honest . . . they are looking pretty sad. Probably not one of my most realistic purchases. However, I would still recommend light colored furniture – just buy ones with slipcovers to wash. I am a bit/extremely nervous about this project actually. It may test my sewing abilities, but I’m giving it a go any way. We simply can’t afford new couches, and I can’t find slipcovers that I like – so naturally I want to make them myself. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Also, there is a closet in this room that is like one of those closets which you better watch out when you open it. I want to re-think the purpose of it, and create a functional closet where my kids can’t shove and run.
I’ve also been thinking about the mantel. I saw this picture, and wondered if I could get away with painting the rock so it is not so much of a contrast and so orange-y. What do you think?
Lastly, the hardwood floors. I realize they are perfectly good floors, but I can’t help but imagine being rid of all the orange-ish stained wood that was saturated in this home when we bought it. Some of you have commented how much you like them, so I’m probably making a few enemies. We have really thought about sanding them down to bare wood and re-staining or even (gulp) painting them – as beautiful old looking wood floors are not in the budget. But for the time being, I’m taking comfort in this article by a color expert, where she says I can work around 1990’s orange wood maple floors. So, for the sake of my marriage – I think I’ll let this one pass. Thoughts?
And now, I’ll leave you with a quick picture of some of the new shelving in our kitchen which the hubs built – details soon (I do hope!)
Thanks for sticking around! That was kind of a long winded post 😉
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My husband and I just bought the same rug online and we had to laugh because we also have the same canisters on order as you have on your kitchen shelves. Maybe you can advise us, I do see a small percentage of reviewers complain about the thinness of the rugs and their total intolerance to stains and even water, is this something you can comment on?
Rrriot Kitty says
No, definitely DON’T paint the rock. That is only going to make the floor look more out of place to you, if it is already bothering you, because it will be the only darker (orange, as you say) thing left. For the same reason, I don’t think it would work at all, painting the rock white, and staining the floor an even darker color. Right now, the floor, fireplace, toybox and chair balance each other, with the floor and fireplace doing most of the work. And, they look nice, they are natural materials, wood and stone, and most don’t see them as ‘orange’ as you might. I too, prefer dark woods if I have my choice about it, but of course, sometimes when we work with what’s there, it can turn out so nice, which really I think is what you have. Your room is beautifully balanced, with lovely contrast, with the lights and darks, and it has become a unique, gorgeous space.
IF you decide to paint the stone I have an idea that might help with lightening it, and yet still tie it to the floors if you are going to leave them!? There is a stone found mainly in/near the Austin, TX, area (the Capitol of Texas) … and it is an off-white with touches of rust and lighter oranges in it … It is actually now called Austin Stone. Many, many homes in Texas are being built of this stone, some completely, and some just using it as trim! It is lovely, very popular, and a chunky look stone such as yours seems to be ~ not brick. I bet you could look at it online … and mimic the look if you wanted to do something other than a flat, solid paint color on the fireplace: it would give it much more dimension and interest!
Just a thought … and I’d just cover more of those floors with a few more rugs! (I’m a rug lover, too!) As a new follower, I don’t know where you live, but they make the house warmer (if needed), and lessen the noise level of the kiddos!!!
Can’t wait to look into this suggestion! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I have been stewing over it still. And I could always use some noise lessened! 😉
Amanda King says
I LOVE your house. I think we have identical style, however, you actually make your visions come to life. Mine are still sitting in my head. We built a new house and had EVERYTHING painted white. I actually don’t mind the white but I would love to add just a small subtle touch of color to my great room. Similar to yours! I tried to look through the article/comments to see what color is on your walls and didn’t find it. Sorry if I overlooked it somewhere. Do you mind telling me what color it is? I want something that will make my trim/fireplace pop a little but will still give that “White, Clean” feel. Thanks!! 🙂
You are too sweet! I would love to see your house and that is so fun that you were able to build. It is my dream 😉 Sorry you couldn’t find that paint color. It is really a beautiful blue/gray and very subtle. I do love how it helps the whites stand out a bit more. I have tried the color in a couple of places and really think it looks best in a room with plenty of natural light. It takes on the prettiest shade in the afternoon. Any way, it is Benjamin Moore brand, and called “Sterling”. I had the paint store half tint it, and am really glad I did that. Best of luck with your new home! So fun to hear from you.
Alison G says
I think it’s great you left the fireplace stone. I hope you don’t paint it.
You are too sweet! Thank you for the encouragement. A rug is a tough thing to purchase. Why do they have to cost so much! I took a risk ordering one I hadn’t seen in person, but luckily it turned out good. I am really looking forward to getting some slipcover on the couches so I don’t have to be so strict with my kids about eating and jumping on the furniture. No Ben and Jerry’s has been allowed, so far 😉 Thanks for commenting talented friend!
I’d be nervous about painting the rock also. It is such a primary feature in the room and it does tie the flooring into the scheme.My mom recently had her brick fireplace and hearth painted in pure white. While I prefer the used brick look, it does tie in nicely to the rest of her room. Some furniture stores have in-house decorators that will come to your home and provide free suggestons. They might come up w ith ideas that I couldn’t imagine. Might be worth a try. We recently had our hard wood floors restained. while it was a mess during the process, I love the darker wood tones we selected and the floor is silky smooth. Worth professionals in our case as it covered the entire living room, hallway and our in-home office off the living room. Pricey, but beautiful and I love how everything turned out. Good luck!
Thank you so much for your suggestions! The more I hear about re-staining wood floors, the more I come to the conclusion that it is probably not the best DIY’er project and better left to the professionals. So, until we come into a nice chunk of change, I think I will leave them be. I truly appreciate your comment!
Leave the floors! We sanded and re-stained ours and it was a huge pain! We read all the tips, watched the videos, rented the machines, had our super handy bro-in-law come help that works on
homes all day long and can build/fix anything – and it was so horrible. We had so many complications. Everybody warned us! We should have listened. We ended up paying someone to come fix/ finish it. So if you do change them- I would suggest hiring someone to do it. But I actually don’t mind the colors maybe rest of your house is so cute that you don’t notice the coloring of the floor
Oh wow. That sounds like a serious disaster . . . one I think I want to avoid 😉 Whenever we think of the mess it would make to sand those floors down, it kind of scares us away. I am really glad you shared your experience with me, as awful as that sounds. I suppose until we can afford to hire this one done, I might leave our floors alone. Thanks!
Cami, I recently painted all of the judges paneling in my den–the kind that only goes about 1/2 way up the wall. It was a beautiful grained wood, which was unfortunately stained that lovely orange-y yellow. I could gel stain it darker but decided to just go ahead and paint. Now I mourn for those 4 years I lived with stained wood I really didn’t like when I could have had my soothing neutral wood. I. Love. It. Painted. I say paint the stone. I also have a floor similar to yours–not wide planked but same color. When we bought the house my comment was that it looked like the 100+ year old wood in my MIL’s house. I started pricing the wide planked pine to replace it and thanks to your link (I read the articles on timeless hardwoods) I look at them much differently now. I really like your pops of blue. Just enough–any more and it would lose the soothing neutral look (IMHO).
Fiddle Leaf Figs are all the rage. I kill all things green, so I don’t have one.
Oh I LOVED your comment! Thank you! I think it can be so hard to paint wood, because it is kind of a permanent decision. I love wood, but I really think too much can be . . . well . . . too much. I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement to paint the stone. I am really so nervous about this move, and I usually jump right to painting anything in my path! The fireplace is such a focal point, but it has bugged me from day one. I’ve had to kind of adapt my style to suit it, and I don’t like that. And I agree, that article was very helpful. I guess we just have to invest in killer rugs! And I must say – I kill all things green as well (but hey, my kids are alive), which is why I have never invested in plants yet. Maybe – just maybe. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Maybe you should paint the floor white ;). Just teasin Sis! Although you would probably find a way to make that look awesome too.
If I didn’t have 4 kids – I would actually do this! But I’ll take the kids over the painted floor, any day.
What color would you paint the stone? I think it would be pretty painted, but I wonder if you did it white that you’s miss some of that contrast? I think it would look great in a coordinating neutral. So beautiful and peaceful!
Ah, yes. The great debate. My thoughts are to go with a very subtle brownish gray – but I am so worried I might regret this. I usually jump to painting things, no problem. This stone has me way nervous. I am glad to see some encouragement though. Just might do it! Thanks for commenting!
I had never heard of that place, Liv! Just when I found a rug . . . ha! I am definitely going to have to check it out next trip south. And I am going to give you all the blame when my husband wonders why I bought a new rug 😉
Alison G says
I would put a rug pad under the rug, the rug will last longer and it will be softer for the children. I ordered mine off ebay and cut it to size. I think it needs another accent color, perhaps an orange or brick color to match the pretty stone in your fireplace and plants. Wow great price on the rug, and buying only two rugs is not bad at all. Tell your husband that perfection takes time haha! Very nice room and great looking shelves.
Your suggestions were so very helpful! Thank you! I think adding plants is the first thing I am going to try. I bought the rug and wanted to make sure it was a keeper before I bought a pad. But when it didn’t slide around, I wondered why I would need one. But you have assured me to get one anyway. It is not a plush rug, so I would like it to be softer for the children. If you have a minute and could send me to a link for the rug pad you use, it would be very helpful. If not – that’s okay too! Thank you for sharing your incite.
Alison G says
I sent you a link to the rug pad. It really is worth the investment.
I think the floor balances out the rest of the room. But I agree on the orange rock. Other than that, I love that space! I will say that my husband does wood, and he would be furious at me for wanting to change, or heaven forbid, paint the wood. 🙂
I am glad to hear someone agrees on the rock. My husband just shakes his head when I recommend doing something with it. Sometimes we don’t agree 😉 Maybe if I did something with the rock, I wouldn’t notice the orange in the floors so much. You’ve encouraged me – thank you!
Susan W. says
Love it all! Floor is fine, matches the fireplace. Wish I could find a rug like that that looked good with a checked sofa. (I know, sounds awful.). Actually not too bad. It’s navy and white, fairly small checks. Wish I knew how to make slip covers. The thing just won’t wear out.
Haha! Hard to justify something new when the old stuff holds up so well. I’ve seen checked sofas work really well actually – it can make a very nice country/cottage feel. These slipcovers are definitely going to be an adventure. And yes, I need to look past the floor and realize I won’t find old wood flooring any ways! Our house isn’t that old! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Truly appreciated.
Absolutely charming! I’d love to come for a visit on a sunny afternoon! Only thing I would add is a green plant somewhere to greater enhance the cottage theme. Perhaps on the upcycled butcher block table…
Oh my! I love that suggestion! I think I may make a trip just to find me a house plant now. That would really be the perfect thing for that table and I truly appreciate you taking the time to share.