Ah, fresh starts! With January well underway and the adoption of our sons complete (yeah!), its the start of a new season for us. Like taking in a deep breath of fresh new air, this January feels invigorating to me! I'm sure I will blog about deeper things soon and even a little about our foster-adoption (after I process it a bit more). But for now, I can finally dream about our house again and start planning projects. I have lots of low-cost/high-impact projects to share with you!
So for the month of January, I will be posting updated pictures of our "new" 1930s home. We moved in over a year ago, but I've barely posted anything about it. So without further ado, here are before and during/after pics of our sweet little cottage, "Pioneer Heights":
The Living RoomSo far we have done only $45 worth of updates to this central space. But it has made a big difference and the room feels more like "us" now. Here are the projects broken down:
Before - Focal Wall
The view below is coming in from the entry way and looking at our long, narrow living room. To soften the feel of this elongated room, I decided to make the blue wall a major focal point - something to grab you upon entering. I also wanted a more neutral tone-on-tone look, so the blue had to go.
|Before - Blue focal wall on the far side of out long narrow living room (coming in from the entry way)|
I found a perfect shade of brown paint- it was a $5 can of mistint paint at the local hardware store. (Tip #1: The mistint shelf is always a great place to start when looking for a paint color!) Then I hung framed pictures that we already had to add a big impact to our focal wall. (Tip #2: Lay out your arrangement on the floor under the wall you are hanging them on first - to figure out spacing and balance before you hang them on the wall.)
After - Focal Wall
|After - We painted the focal wall brown & added tons of family & architectural pictures.|
Before - Fireplace Wall
The knotty pine paneling and scalloped trim are original to the house, but too dark and dated for us. (Tip #3: Don't let original wood be too precious to you. It can be extremely limiting to decorate around. Trim or paneling that is well-painted can freshen a space up and keep it from looking drab and outdated.)
|Before - Fireplace wall - dated brick, screen, knotty pine and scalloped crown molding|
We sanded & painted the paneling a soft taupe-gray - the same can of paint that was used on the adjacent walls and in the hallway. We chose a bright white paint for the trim and built-in shelves. We already had both cans of paint, so the only cost for this project was the heat-resistant black paint on the fireplace brick and tile.
After - Fireplace Wall
|After - We painted the brick black, the paneling soft gray-taupe (like the other walls), & the trim crisp white.|
After - Built In Shelf Redo
The pictures below are of our built in shelves. They were also 100% knotty pine. We painted the exterior a bright white and the interior back of the shelves "Emerald Isle" - another mistint color I found for $5. We still want to remove the scalloped detail at the top by cutting a simpler arch instead.
|After - We painted the interior with "Emerald Isle" mistint paint for a bit of color.|
I love the bluish-green hit of color inside the shelves. It still reads as a neutral, so it doesn't necessarily pin me down to any one color scheme for future seasons. Plus if I change my mind, its a simple project to change out. Here's a close up:
Yes, I still have a few Christmas decorations up. Don't judge. I hate saying goodbye to Christmas decor right away. I'm hoping it can count as "winter decor" until the end of January!
Total Cost of Shelf Redo: $5
We have more we'd like to do in the Living Room! Here's our TO DO list as it stands now:
Remove scalloped trim and scalloped valances over windows$0 Sand, prime & paint knotty pine wall and shelves$5
- Remove scalloped detail at top of shelves by cutting simple arches instead
Update fireplace (paint brick, tile, trim & remove screen)$35 Paint or cover focal wall$5 Hang pictures$0
- Remove carpeting
- Refinish wood floors
- Add a larger, distressed DIY mantel over the existing one
- Add overhead lighting - ceiling drum fixture like this one below maybe?
We already have a spot wired for it in our ceiling and switches too!
So there is our Living Room "Before and After" pictures - although we are really still in the "During" stage right now. I'll keep you posted as we progress.
Stay tuned for more of our Upstairs on the next post!