Our Living Room's Story and Reveal

First, do I have to apologize for tons of pictures? No? Good!

Oh – the fireplace built up surround isn’t completed or even started except that materials are propped up in the corner (I’ll leave those out of the after pictures) but if I wait until that is done to show you…summer could be over and I could decide to redecorate the entire room by the time we get around to it. So, I’ve decided to share what we’ve done since the rest is complete and I’ll save the fireplace surround and tutorial for another day.

Our living room has been through a few changes in the last three years!

Here it is when we bought our home. Before, at time of closing:
Lots of strange angled corners to work with.

We repurposed this mirror by taking it down and framing it (more details here). It hangs in our back entry way.

The white walls were painted wallpaper. Fun!
We also tore out the nasty carpet and refinished the wood floors.

Then, I always wanted a red room. So – I painted the room red. It wasn’t quite what I pictured but I really loved it for a little bit. Excuse the mess. Some of these I snapped right before I began painting.


We installed French doors between the living room and family room.
We mounted the tv above the fireplace…I’m not sure if you can tell, but there aren’t a lot of options (wall 1=staircase, wall 2 = entry to hall and built-in shelving, wall 3 = French doors, wall 4 window/fireplace/window). It’s really not too high for viewing. We’ve adjusted to it being there. Our wood burning fireplace isn’t used at this time (another future project). Since behind the fireplace is a brick chimney and the walls are plaster, I currently hide the wires with garland (upcoming project to build up the fireplace surround will take care of that problem). Brick? Someday we’ll replace it with marble and I got a dirty look when I suggested we paint it. Mr. DIY does not like painted brick.

It didn’t take long before I didn’t grew tired of dark red. The room wasn’t getting any light. It just didn’t “feel” like the right color. THEN I won a Jason Martin DIY+design consultation from Jason Martin at Desire To Inspire (See the advice HERE! Thanks Jason and Kim for the inspiration!). It’s been almost a year and finally…

Finally! Here it is today:

Color is Benjamin Moore Smoky Taupe. It changes color in different lighting. I first saw this color in Sarah’s livingroom and it was love at first site! If you like it too – check out her beautiful livingroom to see it again.



Lamps – TJ Maxx



My thrift store find – wine corks.

Vintage French linen pillows – Restoration Hardware


French pediment – Ballard (I plan on adding more trim to the French door to fill in the gap)
It’s weathered and says “Flanders Sweet Shop”

Drapery is from Target and Ebay. I needed 8 + another to cut up and sew to lengthen them since I mounted my curtain rods near the ceiling. The curtains are ‘gray pebble’ by Thomas O’Brien. They aren’t a true gray, more of a griege color with a subtle pebble design. I got most of mine on clearance at Target so I don’t think they carry them anymore which is why I bought some panels on Ebay. I love the way they frame the French doors.

I scored a bunch of vintage boxes and crates at an estate sale (3 are the same found at Pottery Barn for $24. I paid $8 ea!). This little box holds the remote controls.


The Red Letter Words art I won a while back. It’s one of my favorite things and the quality is amazing.


Wall art from vintageprintables.com (Here is the post if you’d like more information).

My style? You’ll see that I have a bit of interior design ADD. French, vintage, traditional, farmhouse and so on but the thing I love about designing my own space is that I can decorate with things I love and I don’t have to follow any rules. And we’re obviously not minimalists. It’s for us, not for a decorating magazine, right? We love how much taller and bigger the room looks and our mix of decorating styles works for us. I’d love new furniture but it’s not in the budget and this set from the 90s is in excellent shape. It works for now.

Featured at Ballard Designs:

“Pruvost Plaque” by Roeshel

“Pruvost Plaque” by Roeshel

Roeshel has our Pruvost Plaque framing her French doors. An unexpected hanging place makes the Pruvost Plaque come alive, so naturally, we love her ingenuity!

Id love to know what you think!

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