Living Room Redo

I’ve wanted to paint the bricks/bookshelves in our living room since we moved to this house in 2009, but it’s such a COMMITMENT. You can’t go back after you paint brick, you know. You could ruin your fireplace FOREVER. No really, FOREVER. Also, the wood. You should never, ever, never paint wood. Especially wood that’s original to the house. And is orange. And is actually just plywood with a trim strip to make the shelves look fancier than they really are:

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But I wanted to brighten up the house. I wanted the living room to feel light and fresh, not like a dark mancave with brick and wood and football on the TV 24 hours a day. Plus I was over the red. Red has been my accent color for a good 12 years now. Time to move on. To blue, but you know, change takes time.

We decided not to sand the wood and instead used a liquid sanding product. This worked really well, and I would recommend it, but the project ended up being never-ending painting because we did a coat of that and then three coats of paint with primer.

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But four coats and a week of my life later, we were left with WHITE:

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And then it was time to bring in the fun stuff:

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We sold the red console table and moved the light blue ottoman to the basement. I added a gray ottoman I already had, a new rug from West Elm (that sheds like a small animal; would NOT recommend; completely regret this online purchase), and new curtains and throw pillows. I really wanted a reading nook (and another piece of furniture in the room besides that monster couch) so we added a blue trellis-patterned chair from Pier One.

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I love the bookshelves flanking the fireplace, but the styling was difficult. Chris teases me that my new hobby is moving things around on the bookshelves because I’m tweaking them every few days. But I want it to look just right. Where before I was trying to cover up the ugly wood, now I appreciate the space to breathe that the white provides. But I still want to look at cute stuff.

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Overall I’m really happy with the way the living room came out. It feels welcoming without being to stark and it’s no longer something I feel the need to constantly work on. It’s a comfortable room that we can live with for a long time to come.

P.S. And I know you guys probably don’t care, but I feel the need to apologize for my terrible photography. It is not my gift, but I still wanted you to see the living room.

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