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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.

fullsizeoutput_fc7fullsizeoutput_fc8Home Down South Blog LR BeforeHome Down South Blog LR BeforeHome Down South Blog LR Before

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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Daydreaming

This week is going to be crazy busy.  We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time and I was out of town all last week, so I have a lot of catching up to do around here.  The house is due for a massive deep clean!  Instead, I would rather catch up on all of your blogs and write a post myself.  #priorities

Matt and I always have some sort of house project on our minds and sometimes we randomly walk into a room and exclaim how we want to tear a wall down or plant an entire garden.

The week before I left for my work trip, I finished up the dining room and there was something that started to bother me about our house flow.  Our house was built in the 80s and walls are abundant around here.  We talked about this once before we moved in that we would LOVE to tear the wall and kitchen pantry down that separate the dining room and kitchen.

Before you scream in horror for wanting to take down the kitchen pantry, our house has so many closets next to the kitchen, we good.

If we DO take down the wall that separates the kitchen and dining, it creates an odd shaped room.  I needed to start visualizing this space now if this is something we actually want to do.  Spoiler alert: we actually want to do this.  We just need to find the right guy and see how much this would cost.

Home Down South floor plan

Here is our current downstairs.  This is not at all drawn to scale but it at least gives a great visualization of the space.  What we would like to do in the near future is tear down the pantry (yellow below) and transform the two closets behind the stairs (purple below) into one long pantry.

Home Down South floor plan

Home Down South floor plan

It would open things up so much more and let all the light that we get in the dining room into the kitchen.  The big question that we are wondering is if it would be weird to have two eating areas right next to each other like that?  The dining room table would be pretty close to the breakfast area.  Until I know what we are going to do with these spaces, this is where we are at.

Just for fun, I was curious what things would look like if we took down ALL the walls that we knew we could take down and move some things around.

Home Down South floor plan

Total game changer here!  We would totally get rid of the breakfast area and move the half bath to its location and take down the wall in between the office and living room.  We would then reconfigure the kitchen to extend into the dining room.  If we did this, we would have the best house in the neighborhood and we would have to decide if we were here long term (I want to be but we will see).

For now, we are just going to focus on the dining room/pantry wall and start getting ideas and quotes.

Have an amazing Thanksgiving week!  For those not celebrating Thanksgiving, have an awesome week!

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Easy Light Fixture Update

I am all about quick and easy around here….for the most part!  Last time I shared with you the plans I am mapped out for our dining room.  I have started playing around in there little by little and one thing I recently tackled was the hanging light.

Over the years, I have been pretty much obsessed with the open-sided, clean lines, rectangular chandelier (which would be perfect over my long table).

World Market 4 sided pendant lamp
Source

The reason I have not sprung on this option is that Project Manager was never really sold on the idea or spending the money.  But IT’S PREEETTYY!  <–Not a good enough argument.

Jasper Hardwood
Source

Another style I was starting to like was something like what we have, only larger in scale.

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Source

This option is very close to what we already have, so I figured until I am really ready to commit to the expense of a beautiful light or find something I can use to create a masterpiece (HA), I needed to work with what I have.

This is what I started with:

Home Down South Dining Room light beforeNothing particularly wrong with this (other than it is a little on the small side) but it almost seemed like an after thought in this room.  Life in a flip!

I figured, if I couldn’t spend the money, work with what I’ve got.  I started out by doing a search for more modern looking shades.  Those are either expensive or a pain in the butt to find five.  Deep down, we all know I love the exposed bulb look, so I played around.

diningroombefore2

It wasn’t a bad start but those cream-colored sleeves were a big punch to the eyes.  Who thought that was a good idea?

I couldn’t find any sort of replacement at the store while I was there and my search was short lived.  One day, I went into the garage and grabbed whatever can of spray paint that I had that closely matched the finish on the fixture (because I was not about to take it off the ceiling to paint the whole thing..nope).

I happened to have an almost empty can of Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint/Primer in Oil Rubbed Bronze.  The light is not a black, so this was a pretty close match.

When I was ready to paint and not planning to take the fixture down, I created a high-tech paint box to catch the mess spray paint can make.

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Mind blowing, right?  It actually worked pretty well and the only thing that got messy outside of the box was my hand.

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Not a bad little update for the cost of nothing!!

I am still trying to find a good lightbulb replacement for this fixture.  I love the Edison bulb look but they are too yellow (we have one over our sink).  The ones we have in here are at the left side of the light spectrum and are SUPER SUPER warm.  It is almost too dark in there with the lights on a full brightness.

Update on the punch list:

  1. Update the light fixture  -DONE!
  2. Paint the walls – I am shooting for Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
  3. Organize the buffet
  4. Buy a rug
  5. Decorate with as much on hand items
  6. Add my own floral paintings to the room.  Or buy them, we will see how my creations turn out
  7. Switch out all the outlets and outlet covers from beige to white
  8. POSSIBLY add shelves….possibly!
  9. NEW – Sand down the table top and re-seal
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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.

Fireplace_before

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.

Candlestick_during

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.

Candlestick_during_homedownsouthblog

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.

candlestick_after_homedownsouthblog

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.

fireplace_after_homedownsouthblog

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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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!!