Posts Tagged ‘living room’

Spring in the Living Room

Monday, March 31st, 2014

It rained all day Saturday and the kids’ games were canceled so we stayed in our pajamas for much of the day. Rainy days inspire indoor creativity so I decided to paint some new artwork for the living room. My 10 year old daughter loves to paint too so we spread out newspaper on the dining room table and opened up our sketchbooks and collections of acrylic paint. 

Late last year in my quest for more masculine touches, we painted the living room above our DIY wainscoting Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray and I also painted the French doors black. The two together are a perfect moody neutral combo but with spring arriving I was craving more color.  

Coral is all the rage this year and I’m also lover of the hue – it’s so chic especially with gray and gold, so I added pillows to the tufted sofa in that colorway.  

gray and coral in living room centsational girl

The gray zebra pillows used to live in our master bedroom (originally from Z Gallerie but no longer available). I found the geometric coral Lulu pillow covers at Ballard Designs on sale, the embroidered floral is Tar-jay.

The walls held only two prints (one of them is one of my most favorite souvenirs from a trip to Paris) but there was a bare spot between them and I needed a third piece of art to fill it. Black and white made sense, not a charcoal, not a print, something whimsical and botanical.

practicing swirls

branch painting

I was inspired by none other than Matisse – I saw his Le Buisson framed print for sale at Joss & Main and thought it was perfect but even more perfect if I painted my own version of a black and white botanical for pennies.   

matisse

I just loved the simplicity of the Mattise painting so I tried the tree with twigs and leaves but after a few attempts opted for a simpler set of branches instead.

attempt at tree

 

simple branches

 

gray and coral pillows centsational girl

   

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No Longer Blue

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

It happens every few years, I grow tired of a paint color and I crave something new. After staring at three samples on the wall for a week, and after much study and discussion, two weeks ago we agreed to repaint our living room. Before, it was a lovely shade of blue gray which remained in the space for years (see it here) but we were ready for a change, something deeper, slightly more masculine but not too dramatic, just different.

One of my favorite tricks for when I’m tired of how a room looks (or what I recommend when friends complain of the same) is to empty it and look at it with fresh eyes. Often it’s just a new color on the walls or introducing a wall treatment that will give the space a whole new look and make you fall in love with it again.

empty living room

Years ago we added picture frame wainscoting to this space and I still love the way it looks, it fits the classic style of our home and adds an interesting architectural layer. We inherited the baby grand piano from Matt’s grandfather so the heirloom will be with us always. (The black on the piano inspired me to paint the French doors the same ebony shade, I’ll share those soon!)

This is my oh so scientific way of sampling paint around a room, it’s just a process of painting large swatches with the initials above that represent the color, and then staring at it for days and days at different times of the day.

gray paints on wall

In the bright morning light I loved Seagull Gray (right) by Glidden but by the afternoon it was way too tan. Wood Smoke by Glidden (left) was beautiful in the evening but felt washed out in the middle of the day. Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore (center) won and that’s what we ended up painting in the living room.

I contemplated Rockport Gray in my powder bathroom after installing beadboard wallpaper in early 2012 and ended up choosing it for our living room instead, it’s a warm and elegant gray that adds just enough contrast. Our living room is a space you see just off the entry so the color needs to flow with the adjacent foyer and family room.

piano in living room

 

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