Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home Décor: My Living Room's Face Lift

I haven’t really done a blog on home décor yet and yet it is one of my favorite things to do! Decorating a new home or re-doing a familiar space is therapeutic and it really allows me to unleash my creativity. I have been told that I am “craftsy” before—but I don’t take that to mean scrapbooks and paper dolls—more like I can make something amazing out of anything—no matter how bad.

How would I describe my home décor style? I’d say modern with a nod to tradition, sleek and simple (no surprise, huh). I love old hardwood floors, color blocking, abstract paintings, lots of family photos and I always opt for the darkest espresso shades of wood. But I also like for things to feel like home—just imperfect enough and comfortable enough to not feel like a model home...

There are two things that I dislike when it comes to decorating—1. When things are so perfect that it doesn’t feel lived in (and therefore you aren’t comfortable out of fear that you may knock something out of place!), and 2. When it is obvious someone hasn’t redecorated since your visit 15 years ago (grandmas are excused because it’s actually quite nostalgic to visit and feel like you were warped back to your childhood—baby blue paisley couches and all!)

Anyway, one of the projects that I had the pleasure of working on this past year was my home in Connecticut. We moved into this quaint colonial style house in New England, and my assignment was to redecorate the living room and the study— two small rooms on the main floor with the original hardwood floors still intact (yes!).

The previous family had painted the top half of the walls a stale and dusty periwinkle blue and the bottom half a sparkly (yes, sparkly) cobalt-ish blue. The kitchen was—and still is--canary yellow. Yeah. I have NO idea!

My first thought was PAINT IT—I could try to make the blues purposeful but it would have been too much of a stretch (and to be blunt the colors weren’t doing anything for me). I tend to gravitate towards warm colors for the parts of the house I will spend most of my time in, again, to make it feel like home.

My second thought was where do I draw some inspiration? Sometimes inspiration can be a color, a fabric, a painting or picture, an area rug—or even a comfy old couch that molds to your body. I’m a sucker for those oversized couches—the kind that you blink and then wake up an hour later having slept through your entire show!

Well, for this project I was inspired by this beautiful burnt brick reddish color. Now before I delve into painting—I plan out my space and consider all of the possible components:

1. What are the dimensions of the room and how can I maximize this space?

2. What colors will look good together and what type of accents do I want in order to
create a space that feels like me (i.e. plants vs. vases, photos vs. art, vintage wall hangings vs. 3 dimensional art etc.)

3. Does my color scheme allow for flexibility and easy updating—i.e. Will it be easy to change it up season to season or year to year with new throw pillows, accents or a different area rug?

Once you can answer these questions (and everyone is different), you can begin your project.

No matter how small your budget, you can always give your home a face lift--sometimes it is as simple as de-cluttering.

To help nudge you in the right direction, here are some quick and easy updates/ideas that I have used in the past (and for this project):

1. Framing fabric with abstract prints—I actually got this idea from strolling through one of my favorite stores—Crate & Barrel. I love Marimekko fabrics the most (the ones you always see framed at C&B and shown above)—they are vibrant, original prints that bring new life to a living space—and make for a cheap alternative to buying expensive paintings. The only thing is that C&B only sells them at their outlet stores (sad face). But—for our living room, we went to the fabric section at Ikea—and they also had some fun prints—and most prints have inverse prints with the same colors so you can switch it up. Plus Ikea has a super cheap framing section where you can pick up a variety of frames at a reasonable cost.

2. Fresh paint—never underestimate the power of a new color. My husband didn’t understand this until after the room came together and he said it made a world of difference! Home Depot has plenty of color cards and even a computer program that will help you put different color schemes together and give you some decorating ideas by seeing some of the already created living spaces.

3. New accents—try a fresh potted plant or 3 candles of different lengths—and keep in mind the space you are decorating. For example—on our bar in the study, I accented with a cocktail tray, a cocktail shaker and a magic 8 ball. Its fun and its practical! is a glimpse of how the living room turned out:

an over-sized comfy couch, framed fabrics, a colorful area rug, and lots and lots of photos!

All frames are from Ikea and were under 10 bucks (even the big ones!)

Happy decorating!




  1. Niice! I walk through my job everyday I imagine the day when I can decorate my own apartment or house with all of the amazing stuff(West Elm)! Niice. Next time you should do a before an after pic :)

  2. I love this post!! Another thing I like to frame is postcards. They look really good in small spaces. :-)

  3. Love, love, love this post!!! I especially love the picture wall!!

  4. Man, as soon as I find the before pictures I will post them and let you know! I love how the earth tones feel warm and home-y :)


{ See More }

Related Posts with Thumbnails