A few weeks ago over on Instagram, and in last week’s Pinterest Faves and Saves, I shared some hints about our formal living room design plan, but I really wanted to flesh it out and show you the full plan here. To kick things off, I’m throwing it waaaaay back to how this space looked on the day we moved in. Don’t worry, this post gets prettier the further down you scroll. Click through to the end to see the full plans and design board.
Formal Living Room | Before
Not the best photo to start a blog post with, but it does make this next image quite dramatic.
Formal Living Room | After Paint
For context, this is the formal living room at the very front of our house, right off the entryway and opposite the staircase. That whole view changed pretty dramatically as well with two coats of my favorite white paint and the addition of a collected staircase gallery wall.
Entryway and Staircase | Before
Entryway and Staircase | After Paint
Everything that’s been done in here is basically a phase one, cosmetic makeover. Now, that’s not to say that what I have planned in here will be the be-all and end-all for this space. We still don’t have the budget for hardwood floors (thanks to needing a new AC and roof last year), and I have major plans for the ceiling, front door, and staircase, but this year’s focus is not those big-ticket items.
Here’s what we’ve done so far in this space:
- Painted all the walls with two coats of Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee in Flat
- Hung curtains
- Changed out entryway light fixture to this beauty (not part of formal living room).
- Painted staircase railing (also not technically part of the formal living room, I know)
- Painted brick fireplace
The primary goal for this space in 2021 is cutting into this wall and letting more light in via new windows that will flank the fireplace. I feel like a broken record because I’ve been talking about this change ever since we moved in. Why the builders didn’t install windows on this wall will always be a mystery to me. There is literally nothing on the other side of it, and it’s a monstrosity of a wall that’s just begging for something more than a wimpy little fireplace (that will be addressed as well).
There have been many iterations of this room in the two years we’ve lived here. Here are a few:
This is how our formal living room looked before a rug. I was also trying to make those woven shades work, but with the curtain color they just weren’t right. Now that I’ve switched the curtains to a lighter, off-white color, I kind of want the warmth of those woven shades again. We’ll see how that plays out in the final design.
Here is a look at my first attempt at a rug. I loved that rug, but it was really white, and I was worried about pets and spills, so I returned it before my family had a chance to make it un-returnable.
This is how it has looked for awhile…no woven shades, curtains that don’t function and are too dark, and a color palette that’s just sort of meh.
And here’s how it looks today…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m thankful for this sweet space and the blessing of a baby grand piano that now resides in this room, as well as the gorgeous rug I was gifted by Loloi. I just have a vision for taking it to the next level that doesn’t involve changing the flooring or ceiling (future projects).
Plans for Our Formal Living Room
- Install motorized curtain rod and new curtains
- Frame windows, add grids, and possibly hang woven shades
- Sofa reupholstered in olive velvet
- Different, more substantial living room rug
- Have chairs reupholstered in a patterned fabric
- Recover the smaller ottoman I moved into here (not shown in any pictures)
- Get the biggest indoor tree I can fit in here
- Have windows installed on fireplace wall, frame them out, add grids and possibly woven shades
- Build floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround
- Possibly have new, bigger fireplace box installed and hearth for seating
I’m craving muted color, luscious textures, and lots of layered interest. In order to show you what’s in my head and give myself a guide, I created a conceptual design board. Of course, it’s not exhaustive, as it’s only meant to be a visual of the concept for the space, but it gives the general idea of the color palette and overall feel I’m going for. Ready to see it?
I wish I could say this was going to go as quickly as our cozy café kitchen makeover or even Hannah’s bedroom renovation, but I fully expect it to take the better part of 2021 to complete. I’ll be sharing lots of posts along the way, such as when our sofa gets reupholstered, framing out the windows, a tutorial on recovering our ottoman, and of course, when those fireplace-wall windows are finally installed. I’m also working with Somfy on the motorized curtain rod, which our whole family is excited about because it means we’ll have privacy at last! That’s a post I can’t wait to share with you, and it should be happening this month…the rod is on order as I’m typing this.
So, what do you think of our plans? Are you into all the deep, muddy colors that are making a comeback right now? In all honesty, these are colors I used to decorate with in the early 2000’s but in a much different and dated way. I’m excited to bring life back into my designs with color and texture, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.