The Evolution of My Living Room

Monday, February 15, 2016

This picture "had me from hello," or from "Pin It" as we call it in Pinterest world.  My living room is the central focus of my home and it was in desperate need of getting "done."  I stumbled across this image below on Pinterest thanks to Miss Mustard Seed which became the main inspiration for decorating my own living room.  Little did I realize how long the journey would take!


We tackled this room in stages due to the ENORMITY of the project:

PHASE 1 began years ago with the floors when we first closed on our home.  We tore up every carpet and pulled out every staple and nail embedded in the floors ourselves.  Look at this crazy pile of carpet in my garage!

The upside to all of this carpet is that it protected our wood floors which we had sanded and stained in Early American by Minwax.  I cannot say that I had executed any fancy process to pick a floor stain.  I basically chose the same color my friend had used which I thought looked nice.

PHASE 2 was the painting.  Oh the painting!  Our walls are made of plaster which makes prep work much more challenging.  They were filled with cracks and the paint on the moldings was peeling off.  My husband has become quite proficient at fixing cracks in plaster after much experience, trial and error.  I have outlined the basic premise to how we fixed cracks in plaster below:


1.  Prep wall for painting

2.  Remove all debris and loose particles from crack with a painter's knife (it's ok to widen the crack)

3.  Fill the crack with a mixture of spackle and plaster of paris (let dry/sand)

4.  Apply fiber tape over crack using joint compound (let dry/sand)

5.  Smooth over and reapply joint compound as needed (let dry/sand)

6.  Final sand should result in wall being smooth to the touch

(Perhaps at a later time, I can provide you with a more thorough guide to fixing cracks as we are about to tackle some more in our upcoming dining room project.)

Ugh!  This is why it took us years to paint our house ourselves!  Here is a sample of what our wall looked like after it was all prepped for painting.  Not very pretty, but it comes out great in the end, I promise!

When choosing a paint color, I agonized over the color as I knew it would be in a majority of my home and set the tone for everything else that goes in it.  I kept referring back to my Google Image searches of living rooms where I ALWAYS loved the rooms that were light and bright.  Thankfully I went with my visual inspiration!



Winning Wall Color:  Benjamin Moore Dove Wing

Molding Color:  Benjamin Moore Super White

We had also decided to paint our fireplace as well.  This was a big, scary decision for us as there is no turning back once you apply paint to brick.  Still, I resorted to Google Images/Pinterest to confirm that I was making the right decision.  We used the same color as our moldings and painted the interior black for a cleaner look.  Can you say LOVE? 

Right Photo Credit:  Creative Heart Arts

PHASE 3 was hiring a contractor to install a built-in on a big blank wall behind our piano which you can see at the end of this post.  Once again, I went right to Pinterest and found a built-in I loved.  I printed out the picture and wrote down some notes and handed it right over to our contractor.  This was my favorite picture from Pinterest.

The contracter nailed it both literally and visually!  I have to say that being able to hand him a picture of exactly what I want made the whole process a lot less stressful and more successful in the end!

PHASE 4 was my favorite part.  Decorating!  I began with making the curtains that I have been swooning over for months from Miss Mustard Seed.  I am providing a link to her tutorial (here), however I just used the same fabric pattern which is Tucker Resist Indigo by Waverly.  My friend who knows how to sew so graciously helped me through the process of sewing these and they turned out AMAZING!  Thanks Jess!

This picture was taken and sent to my husband who was at work to prove that I was (in fact) making my own curtains.  Yes, I know I look a bit cheesy and perhaps this isn't the best photo ever taken of me, however, I must mention that I was pregnant with my second child and didn't even know it yet, so I love this pic!

I decided on the Eton Loveseat and two Leyland Armless Chairs from Ballard Designs.  I ordered several fabric swatches which definitely helped me make a decision.  Here are some other sources that I used for my living room décor:

Rug:  West Elm
Side Table (by stairs):  Country Willow
Coffee Table:  Pottery Barn (from years ago)
Fireplace Mirror/Pillows:  HomeGoods
Fern Picture:  Country Living Fair
(and we will talk more about this fair another day as it is HEAVEN-ON-EARTH)

And here it is!  The end result!  After YEARS of working on this room, I can finally say "It's done!" and I love it!  

Photo Credit:  Creative Heart Arts

Right Photo Credit:  Creative Heart Arts


  1. Wow! What an amazing transformation, Shannon! Love it!

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