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Living Room Inspiration

I don’t know what it was about last week, but we had some bad luck at home!

As we began prepping for our living room project, my husband was up in the attic looking for something, when he tripped and his leg went through the floor/ceiling.  He is ok, thankfully, but he did scratch his leg up pretty bad.  I am just thankful he did not go all the way through.  Since that happened, he was able to patch up the hole, but it created SO MUCH dust in the house from sanding the spackle.  SO MUCH DUST!  He still has a little more sanding left and then I can really get down to clean these floors.

While all of this was going on, our just over a year old microwave decided to die.  There was no coming back and of course, there was no warranty.  And if I have to be honest, it sucked.  We had to drop another unexpected $$$ to buy a new one.

Then throw in our living room.  Guys, last week was exhausting!  And our house looks like we are doing work.  Oh, and then add a toddler into the mix.  Mama is tired.

Last week, I mentioned our first project of the year being the living room and how we were going to totally transform it.  We actually started working on it this past weekend and just the few things we did has made a difference.

Inspiration Board

living room

Details

We took advantage of the new year’s sales going on and bought this couch from Haverty’s.  The color is called Mineral and is mainly gray with slight hints of green.  Very slight.

I also bought two of these bookcases from Joss & Main to sit on either side of the fireplace.  I went back and forth on the height of our bookcases because I did not want to take away from the fireplace.  After looking at so many options, we both liked that amount of storage (and hidden storage) this bookcase offered.

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We decided to get rid of our current rug and buy something new, something a little more toddler proof.  I am so in love with all the neutral looking rugs and how they ground a room, but we needed more.  And I was apparently feeling spicy.  I am 100% going out of my comfort zone with the rug I chose.  I am going to buy this rug from Joss & Main (or whoever gets it in stock first).  This rug is so out of my comfort zone, I waffled TOO long and it was out of stock when I went to order.  I AM SO DISAPPOINTED!  I have been stalking it and I hope it is restocked when they say it will be.

The paint color that you see in the picture of the fireplace above is Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray at 50%.  We love the color so much, we decided to paint the living room the same color.  The main reason we have to repaint this room (and eventually the whole house) is that the flipper painted the whole house in flat.  If you want my advice, do not paint your walls in flat.  It sucks and it looks like we use the walls as hand towels.  We did paint this weekend and if you follow along on Instagram, you know the slight drama we dealt with getting this on the wall.  I will share in another post.

As far as accessories and other pieces in the room, I am going to keep everything budget friendly.  Our brother-in-law built a coffee table for us and I am so excited to see it in person.  I hope we can see it soon.

The main color scheme I am feeling for this space is Black, White, Green, and Gray as my base colors.  That rug is going to help add pops of color throughout, but I really am really feeling green these days.  And mainly I am feeling green in plants.  Maybe it is the post-Christmas life that makes me crave greenery, but I want to add more plant life to this space.  I have always run from it because I don’t have the best green thumb and I have yet to find any faux plants that don’t look terribly fake.

Update on my to-do list:
  1. Sell the couch and loveseat.  Both listed.  Both had bites but people can be so flakey.
  2. Repaint the ceilings. 
  3. Repaint the walls.  
  4. Freshen up all of the trim with paint
  5. Clean and polish the floors.  We may have had some accidents this weekend with paint.  More on that next post.
  6. Probably should add touch up paint to this list.
  7. Mount the tv over the fireplace.  <- This is happening this weekend!
  8. Build new bookcases.  These are being delivered today and with an upcoming work day trip, the goal is to have them built by Sunday.
  9. Furnish and decorate!

 

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Living Room Project

Happy new year!  2018 is off to an incredible start with my Georgia Bulldogs winning the Rose Bowl and heading to the National Championship!!!  The game was high stress and at one point, I stopped breathing.  Under the previous coach, we would have NEVER made it this far, so I am so proud of this team and coaching staff!!

I am so excited for another reason…we are going to start the year off with a project, the living room!  This room has been so frustrating to figure out that I had to reach out to one of my favorite blogs for help, DIY PlaybookBoy, did they inspire!  As I slowly started to execute the plan, my husband came back to me and said he really REALLY hates where the tv is hung.  His reasoning is because there is a really bad glare coming from the windows behind it.  Totally get it and I offered to hang curtains.  Let’s just say that is still a battle because he truly hates curtains.

His suggestion to solve the problem is to move the tv.  Of course, there is not a good spot in this room.  The only location that would make sense is above the fireplace.

You guys, our fireplace is tall.

So, I played around with different ways to layout the room and it seems like the best thing to do is start from scratch.  Here is what the room looks like right now (and my half-hearted attempt to clean it):

Home Down South Blog LR Before

This is the view when walking in from the front door.  To the right is the hallway leading to the bathroom and kitchen.

Home Down South Blog LR Before

This room is somewhat long and narrow.  Another obstacle that makes this room so difficult is the french doors.  This room originally had a large window instead of doors, but the guy who flipped the house stuck some doors there instead and it makes laying this room out so much harder.

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Eventually, we are going to remove our pantry in the kitchen and flip two of the three downstairs closets into a pantry.  This means the door with the red bag hanging from it would become a solid wall.

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That should give you an idea of what we are working with.

How we plan to tackle this project:

First, we are going to empty the room.  My hope is to sell what I can (and use that money for this project) and we are going to start fresh. Once this room is completely empty, we have a laundry list of things to do BEFORE getting furniture in here.

  1. CLEAN
  2. Repaint the ceilings.  After we had our can lights installed, we never got around to repainting the blemishes out
  3. Repaint the walls.  I am MADLY in love with the color of our house, so we are going to repaint it the same color.  This time, we are going to use a sheen.  For some reason, the flipper decided to paint the whole house with a flat paint and IT SUCKS!  The color of the walls is Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray at 50%.  
  4. While we are at it, we are going to freshen up all of the trim with paint
  5. Once all the painting is done, we need to clean and refresh the floors.  They were not really finished other than stained, so we need to add a top coat.  We have tried Bona on the rest of the house, but the shine does not last long in traffic areas.
  6. Mount the tv over the fireplace.  I am going to let my husband and stepdad take care of that!
  7. Furnish and decorate!

Basically, this is going to start as an EPIC spring cleaning!

Once all of that is done, here is how I envision our room to look with the new stuff:

We want to add a sectional for more seating and based on how this looks, I think the room could handle it.

I am still working on WHAT we are going to put in this room, but we have our couch narrowed down to three choices.  All will be in the dark gray family (hello pets and toddler messes).  As for everything else, I am still on the hunt.

One thing I am sort of scratching my head over is the rug.  What we have right now is tired and needs to go.  I want to find something with a little more pattern (for reasons stated above) and I am sort of itching for something bolder.  What that looks like, I am not sure yet.

Hopefully, in the next week, I will have a design plan ready for you!  But now, I have to go narrow down our three couches to one!

 

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Farmhouse Candle Sticks

I meant to get this post up at some point last week, but I have been sick and traveling and I was just too tired at night to open my computer and think.

Last weekend, I was cleaning up the house a little bit and was focusing on cleaning up our family room because with a toddler, toys.are.everywhere!  While I was cleaning up, I started thinking about how my fireplace mantle could finally use a small update.  It had sort of became the place where I just threw things up as I was unpacking and left it alone.

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So, deciding to spend almost no money on this, I started looking around the house and playing with what I had.

A few years ago, I purchased two gold candle sticks from Everything but the House, with no actual plans for them.  I wanted to use them on the mantle but not in the current state.  I still like gold accessories, but these were just so dated and not the style of the room.

What I really wanted was something that looked more rustic and would fit the style of our room.  Something like this:

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Pottery Barn

I did a lot of looking around and it looks like most versions of this candle stick are made from wood.  I didn’t want to totally ditch what I had because I already had them.  So I figured I would play around with paint and see what I could do.  If it was a total fail, I would just paint them a solid color.

I bought the Martha Stewart Vintage Decor paint in Linen and Clay.  These had a matte, chalky finish, so I figured I could apply and sand where I wanted to distress.  Also, I was lucky timing-wise that they were buy one get one half off at Michaels because they are a little pricey.

The rest was pretty easy.  I applied two coats of the clay and followed the instructions on the back of the bottle.  Apply and let cure.  I was purposely sloppy with how the paint went on because it was going to be sanded down.

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After the clay covered completely, I applied two coats of linen and let dry overnight.  Again, not really caring how smooth the paint went on.

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My plan was to sand most of the linen off the top and expose most of the clay.  Sanding was not going the way I thought it would.  It took a lot of effort to sand and when I made it through the top layers, it went straight back down to the gold.  Hmm

Plan B: Dry brush* the clay over the top and hope it looks good.  And that is what I did for both.

*Dry brushing is when you dip your brush into a little paint, wipe it on a paper towel or paper plate and then paint your piece.  It cuts down the coverage and gives it the look that I spent all day sanding.

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I was so happy I was not particular about how the bottom layers of paint went on because it created this really nice groove effect on the top to give it way more dimension.

I totally eyeballed how much to put on and when to stop.

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I mounted the long window I actually found in the trash back when I was looking for wedding decor.  I think it is such a cool piece and lucky me to find it.

Such an easy and cheap project to take off the to-do list!  I am brainstorming ideas for a new screen.  I will tackle that once we have the fireplace serviced.  When we bought the house, the seller was in the process of switching it from gas to electric and just stopped halfway through.  So we are going to hire someone to come take a look and make sure it works in time for winter.

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Shared Home Office Reveal

I am about to climb on the roof of my house to shout to the neighborhood that my office is DONE!  This has been such a HEFTY project and took way longer than I had hoped but mainly because I did all of this by myself!!

I was planning on writing up a post on how to customize boring stock cabinets, and I still can, if you are interested.  But for now, let’s just talk about how this room came together and I was finally able to clean it out last night!!

Let’s flashback to where we were when we first started:

The room lacked any type of storage and any sort of personality.  Storage was BIG for us because at the time I took these pictures, there were still boxes from moving that needed a home.

I ended up getting a later start on this project because I was not sure what direction I wanted to go with shelving.  I was going to be sharing this space as well so I needed to make sure we both agreed on what I was going to do.

Here you can read about the design plan

When things finally got moving, there were a bunch more hiccups than I had hoped for.  The shelves were a pain to deal with.  Then, while upgrading the cabinets with new and existing trim, so many things got annoying that I had to walk away and rethink.  Painting only takes forever when you do not have a paint sprayer.  And switching out old outlets for new in a house with annoying wiring is, well, annoying! HA

Let’s just jump into the reveal already!  I will try to source everything I can below each picture, but if there is something you see and have a question on, let me know!

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I am so happy this is done!  There are a few things I still to take care of in here: fix the front gaps where the cabinets meet the wall, find a plant for the desk, and scrape any paint off the floor.

The desk is from Cost Plus World Market.  It was a tough one to get because it was on backorder for a minute.

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I am currently not a big fan of the camera I am using because it really ran with the green tint coming in from the windows, I assume?  The cabinets are painted Glidden Stone White.  It is really pretty.  It is gray in some light, white-ish in others.  Green apparently to my camera 😦HomeDownSouth Office Reveal 3

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Honestly, I am still getting used to the shelves.  I love them but I am not used to having ALL THE THINGS up on the wall.  HomeDownSouth Office Reveal 5

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There was a lot of going back and forth on what knobs I wanted in here.  Honestly, I did not have the budget to spend anything more than a few dollars on hardware, but I wanted something a little more unique than what you would find in a big box.  I ended up finding mine at Hobby Lobby on sale for 50% off!

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The chaise is from a local warehouse outlet store but I am pretty sure it originally came from Ashley Furniture.  The Georgia G and the lamp were local thrift finds.  I need to replace the brown pillow that came with chaise, but I have not seen anything that made me stop in my tracks.HomeDownSouth Office Reveal 7 We are each getting one cabinet to do whatever with it.  I have already organized all the craft supplies I wanted to keep and move out of our hall closet to my side (which is the more decorated side because not everyone has had a chance to play around).  I’ll share what I did in my cabinet for another post.

What do you think?

Now that this space is finally done, I can start focusing on the next room, our dining room.  We have been handed the Thanksgiving host torch and the room is in shambles right now …so stay tuned!

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Design Plan for Our Home Office

When we moved into this house, we decided to take what is commonly used as the “Formal Living Room” and turn it into our home office. First, what is the actual purpose of the “formal living room”? This house was built 30 years ago, so it was a thing then but now, notsomuch. We do not need a room that will sit untouched (that is what the formal dining room is for). Second, I work from home and Matt is in grad school, so we need a dedicated space to work.

The room is plenty big and perfectly proportional (luck that I have not had before).

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I have noticed for this space our tastes both mesh in the “Industrial” look. It is a lot masculine, but so many yummy wood tones. I think our biggest inspiration for this space was the filing cabinet we scored from someone’s trash pile a few years back. It could use some cleanup, but boy does it serve it’s purpose well.

I decided it was probably wise to start putting some ideas down on paper to avoid going eight directions with this space. My biggest request from looking good is the organization. We have been in this house for seven months and we still suffer from a lack of organization.

Home Office

 

So, here is the baseline design I am going after. I promise to post a source list at the end of the reveal post because some of the items above are just placeholder pieces.The back wall of the office is 12’ long and it is perfect to install wall to wall shelves. Not only will it serve an organizational purpose, but it will also allow us to display nice pieces up there. We have actually already purchased two kitchen base cabinets to go on either side of the room under the shelves. They are totally unfinished and I am still thinking of how I want to finish those off.

I have been researching a way to make shelf brackets to hold up our beastly shelves mainly because they can get super pricey. So far, everything I love that I know I could DIY just makes me too nervous with how much weight they can actually hold.

GREEN! I am making it my goal to have at least 3 – 4 plants in each room. I am trying to steer away from faux mainly because I have not seen any that don’t look FAKE. I can be swayed!!

Paint: I am considering putting a board and batten around three of the walls, but I keep flip flopping. Too much wood vs. my love for BnB. I think this room can easily handle a dark color on the walls because we get a lot of light throughout the day. I have always always wanted to paint a room deep blue but never had the right lighting. If I were to do a board and batten, I would paint the upper portion of three walls in the deep blue. The wall holding the shelves would probably have to be painted all navy.  The choices of the blue I am leaning towards are Sherwin Williams Distance or Sherwin Williams Moscow Midnight.  If BnB is in our future, I am thinking a lighter color that is not pure white.  Possibly SW Pearly White.  I haven’t actually put samples of these on the walls yet so this could change completely!

We also want to add a French door to the front of the room, but right now our focus is getting the inside completed.  I feel like I have been planning this room forever!!

Stay tuned for more updates!!