Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Before and Not-So-After: Living Room

I really wanted to show some updates to friends and family who have seen our house. It is coming along, slowly but surely. I titled it Before and Not-So-After because none of the rooms are actually "finished" (except my closet--I will post about that later). So my goal is to show the before and the current and to inform you about our to-do list for each room.  I will start with the living room because it is the first room that you see when you walk in (except the foyer) and the room that we spend the most time in (alone and with guests).

Our living room is the very sunny yellow color that prevails throughout the majority of our entire home.  Here is the very boring before picture:

Things that we like: 
  • The carpet.  Although we would rather have hardwood here, we are happy with the color/style/cleanliness of the carpet that is here to stay.
  • The blinds.  They were here when we moved in.  I don't know if they will stay forever, but they are very nice blinds and we were happy that the house came with them.
  • The light fixture.  It matches all of the others downstairs.  So that's good.
  • Yellow walls.  Not too bright.  Not too dull.  Makes me feel happy.
Things we didn't like:
  • The size and set up of the room.  It is virtually impossible to set it up in more than one way (if you want a TV).  And we still wish it was a tiny bit bigger.
  • The yellow walls.  I know I said we liked them, but there are also things we don't like.  We both have a similar vision for our living room and although we think the yellow is warm and happy, our vision doesn't include much yellow.
Here is the Not-So-After/Current living room:

Sorry about the color, I had a lighting issue with this photo

Things we have done so far:
  • Bought new couches from Ashley Furniture.  This was an adventure.  Josh and I have a hard time agreeing on things like this because we have different tastes and ideas of budget.  But after many days of walking through many different furniture stores and bringing many different fabric swatches home, we finally agreed on the Ashley Zia Couch and Loveseat in mocha.  It was officially our first-ever furniture purchase together.  If this is a sign of what's to come, I'm terrified!
  • New TV!  We just purchased and received our first ever TV purchase together.  We bought a 47" LG TV.  That's all I know about it.  If you're really interested, ask my hubby.

  • We used our old TV stand pictured here and just took the top off.

This picture is from our old townhouse in Salisbury.
  • We ordered a new TV stand! We actually just did this yesterday.  We had been searching online for the perfect stand for a while and finally came across it at none other than Best Buy!  We waited and waited for it to go on sale and when it finally did yesterday, we ordered it right away.  It should come in sometime next week.
Our vision for our living room and downstairs in general was a sort of beach-y look.  We wanted to incorporate cool colors downstairs and warmer colors upstairs.  We love the beach feel of homes and since we live close to the ocean now, it makes perfect sense.  Let me make myself clear: I like the feel of beachy-ness.  I want to create that through cool colors and simple but bright decor.  Not glass lamp bases filled with seashells or tons of dead starfish on the walls.  (I apologize to anyone who has one of those lamps with the seashells)

So, we found the perfect color pallet for our downstairs!  Sherwin Williams has a line of HGTV line of paint and one of their color collections matches our color vision for the downstairs almost to a T. It's called Coastal Cool.

CC 01 Recycled Glass

CC 02 Watery

CC 03 Pier

CC 04 Comfort Gray

CC 05 Lemongrass

CC 06 Eider White

CC 07 Sea Salt

CC 08 Cooled Blue

CC 09 Wheat Grass

CC 10 Coastal Plain

CC 11 Restful

CC 12 Fawn Brindle

CC 13 Accessible Beige

CC 14 Nurture Green

CC 15 Scanda

CC 16 Rapture Blue

CC 17 Hearts of Palm

CC 18 Cay

CC 19 Curio Gray

CC 20 Blissful Blue

Now, this isn't exact and it certainly is a bit limiting.  We would hope to incorporate a few brighter colors, too.  We don't know if we will actually use this brand of paint, as we don't know anything yet about quality or price.  But it's a good starting point.  Our kitchen most closely matches the green on the bottom called "Hearts of Palm":

This isn't the best lighting, but if you click on the picture and enlarge it, you will be able to see the green color.

We have been talking a lot about painting the living room a cool teal color.  We thought it would look good with the white crown molding and the sofas we picked out.  It turns out that on the Ashley website, our exact couches are staged against teal walls with white crown molding:

Sofa & Loveseat

We would really like to paint our dining room a cool gray color in the future.  And our foyer and staircase are already a nice, cool beige color which we will be happy with for a long time. Our main priority is to get some paint on the walls in the living room.  But a few things need to happen before we can make that possible.  Here is our Pre-Paint To-Do List:
  1. Wait for the TV stand to be shipped and make sure we like it and like the color of wood against a teal wall.
  2. Mount our TV on the wall (mounting hardware is already purchased)
  3. Install new in-ceiling speakers.  Yep, bought 'em yesterday.  Are you surprised?  If you know me at all, you are very surprised.  I will talk about this more at the end.
  4. Run all of the wires through the wall and install all electronics. We definitely don't want to paint and then cut a huge hole in the wall to run wire.  But it certainly can't stay like this forever:
Those wires are driving me crazy!
About the new speaker purchase:  If you know anything about me, you know I am not a risk-taker.  So this post may surprise you in many ways.
  1. I am actually going to paint my living room teal.  This is not in accordance with my simple, clean, white usual self.  I mean white as a metaphor to blandness.  Not to the color of my skin.
  2. Because I am not a risk taker, it is unusual for me to spend money on non-essentials.  And it is unusual for me to spend a large amount of dough on anything all at once.  However, you have seen through this blog that we have made the following purchases in the last 2 months:
    • A house.  Largest check I ever wrote.
    • A new couch and a new love seat
    • A new, large, flat screen TV
    • In-ceiling speakers
    • TV stand--the real kind of wood.  No pressed wood or laminate for us.
"How did you do that?!", you ask?  Well, because I am not a risk taker, I have spent the last two years working modest paying jobs (teacher and teacher) and I have literally saved every penny that I didn't need to spend (with the exception of a few trips to New York and Company and our favorite Italian restaurant).  Josh is the opposite in this respect.  He is a risk-taker and I am super proud of him for not spending a dollar more than he needed to in the last year of our marriage.  And because he did that part my way, he was happy to be able to pick out our TV, speakers, and TV stand.  He is really interested in those things and I left it all up to him.  Plus, I don't really care to know about the specifics of different LED TVs.  So, I am happy to spend some of our carefully saved moo-lah on things that we really want for our home.

Plus, once we get the room painted, it's my turn to spend money on decorations!

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