Living Room {partial} Makeover

02 December 2013

And even that is a super generous title. When we found out that Simon had matched in St. Louis 2.8 years ago we had a tiny little window of time to find a house (as do all residents - we weren't special at all) and our realtor was a smart man. He showed us a few fixer uppers that reeked of feline urine and stale smoke and had one entire bedroom (in the basement - it was weird) and saved our house (that only smelled like pets in the basement and the advertised "two bathrooms" was actually just 1.5) for last and it was a sight for exasperated eyes of parents looking at houses during 7 month old Julia's nap time SO we were as good as sold suckers. It's old and kind of small but it's been perfect for our family even though I have no idea how we are going to work the sleeping situation in May. Sebastian just might be bunking up with the washer and dryer if he continues to hold the title for lightest sleeper in the entire universe but ... another post or ten to be written, I'm sure.

The only minor detail that needed to be addressed was the wall colors. You can see the kitchen and Julia's room before we (ahem - Simon's parents) painted right here. I don't know why I didn't take photos of the dining room that was the color of Merlot? Cabernet? Basically dark wine and awful. We painted it medium light greenish and I still really love it. The laundry room and basement bathroom are both lavender (whywhywhywhy - I really do think the previous owners just bought the clearanceclearanceclearance paint and went to town before they listed it - I'm not sure) and the upstairs main bathroom is a gorgeous shade of light lime green. Whatever. I'm more concerned about the sink that has a birth date somewhere around 1938ish.

So the living room was tan - which wasn't the worst but since we spend the majority of our time in the living room it was starting to get to me and blah blah I already talked about this. So many people sent awesome grey paint recommendations and a lot of people strongly suggested that I get some samples and look at them in different lights and yes, someday when Simon is not working all the hours of all the weeks and the thought of hauling the kids into Lowes multiple times (where Julia WILL "riddy riddy need to use the westwoom!!!!!") doesn't send me into an attack of the anxiety variety ... I'll do that. But for now I just have to trust my gut and follow my heart and be stupid about it, I guess.

Camille (super talented Camille) told me about the shade "Quill" from Olympic Paints and sent the link to her schoolroom and I loved it and had my brother pick up two gallons and never looked back. Inititally it just looked white but after two coats and a day or two of drying -- there is a definite contrast with the floorboards and the trim. I just nodded off. I'm sure you did too.

Here.

Behold ....


and then ... not taken at dusk ... but still taken with the cellular ...


I also had Paul pick up two cans of white spray paint because I thought I could just pull a Sheena (also CRAZY talented) and spray paint my way into a success story but that was not the case. I went a little nuts and painted two picture frames, the tall lamp (the only one in the entire house that the  kids haven't broken), and the toy baskets. Simon walked in the morning after call and asked why I hadn't just gone ahead and given the couch a little coat as well. Not laughing.


I will say that Simon is a far more sensible soul than I'll ever be and usually asks for Lowes gift cards for his birthday and Christmas so the paint was free (not for the gift givers but you know) and the only things I bought were two throw pillows for the couches from World Market but I really wish I'd purchased two more. And the entire store.

So I know it's pretty sparsely decorated but for a terribly untrained eye like mine I think that's a better route to take and I have big plans for a wall to be decked in Instagrams cuz I'm classy. Or classay.

What a fun post.

I could've gone on a tirade about holiday call weekends and how they suck all the sunshine out of my soul but ... I think there are about 99 of those floating around the blog already and there's always next Thanksgiving. And Christmas.

Ah. And not that I didn't before but I have serious respect and admiration for people that do this kind of stuff on the regular. Even with Paul's help - it was super exasperating trying to paint with the kids and their needs (food! attention! more food!) around and at one point Sebastian dumped a cup of water into the gallon of paint - we dumped what we could but I'm sure it made the paint a little lighter. He also painted a nice square foot of the floor and the desk in the next room over with his hands. So. Respect and admiration to infinity and beyond.

36 comments:

  1. Looks awesome, Grace! Mad props for doing it during the day when the kids were awake. Our usual painting hours are about 10 pm - 2 am, ha.

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  2. I had no idea you lived in St. Louis! I do too, and I'm also pregnant (13 weeks). So glad I found your blog! Your house looks so pretty - I live in an apt in Tower Grove area with a similar look.

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  3. Love the grey color! Our galley kitchen had the same issue and we have the same exact color (from the looks of it) in there. We have never "fixed" the tan and now I'm 21 weeks pregnant with #3 due in April and our house has been up for sale for like two months or something like that. Next house...if we find one (I'm thinking a tent in a pasture is our best bet lately), will HOPEFULLY be painted in its entirety before moving in.
    And in my latest tradition: Lord, please sell our house quickly before this baby comes. Amen
    And Amen to your partial makeover. (Our last lamp was broken over the weekend. *sniffle*)

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  4. I lack the decorating flare, too. I even lack knowing how to best arrange the furniture. I concur with Jenna, I love the arches, the make the new grey look shabby chic (sorry if you don't like shabby chic. I do!) the beige made them look tuscany. I like both! BUT...this comes from a girl who once painted her room at her parents' house deep, deep plum. the ceiling too. so...

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  5. A thousand times better. I can't WAIT to do mine.

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  6. 1. I love how you document your residency years (2.8). And I apologize for finding it humorous, because I know how serious it is. I'll be punished in 2.5 years.
    2. The new color looks FAB! I love gray so, so much!
    3. Your doorway arches are super cute. Old houses are the best!

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  7. Oh it looks soooo much fresher! I have a lot of paint samples on my wall at the moment looking for a great gray too...and I have to say I think you really lucked out with your color! There were a couple colors that I thought would be great but they didn't look good in our lighting/room. I think your room looks really nice!

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  8. Love the new wall colour Grace - but I have to say I am loving the new cushions (or pillows) the most, they are so cute! And being no stranger to trying to decorate with kids around... I salute you.

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  9. I really like it!! And I also really like that brown chest in all of its large glory as well :) Our old house was painted a very weird yellow/tan that was awful. I decided to paint the walls when my husband was off on a month long training excursion. I painted one wall...then gave up. So you most definitely win big time for completing the whole room!!

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  10. It looks gorgeous!!! And I would never even attempt to paint with toddlers in the house. You are a brave soul.

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  11. The last time I painted (and it was just a bookcase) I ended up with more paint on me (and the floor) than on the actual bookcase. So toddlers aren't a necessity for these accidents!

    It's a lovely grey :)

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  12. So chic! And as Leanna admits above, I too have made more than my share of messes with paint and no kids in sight to blame. So GO YOU.

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  13. It looks great - so much lighter and brighter! And I was laughing about the painting with kids - mine are older and I STILL only paint at night, after bedtime. Seriously. They can get it on anything, anywhere, without even trying.

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  14. dude, that looks AWESOME!! Where has the plant gone that I can see in the corner of the top pic? I like the look of that!

    GO YOU. Now your house is as hot as you are… almost…

    xo em

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  15. digging the new walls. and it's amazing what a small change can do to a room. we got rid of the bookshelf in our bedroom and bought a clothes hamper with a lid and i was shouting with joy so much over the change that you'd think we'd have moved or something.

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  16. Thanks for the love although you give me way too much credit. I do what anybody can do only I get to call it therapy/normalcy/keeps-me-sane. :)
    Love the living room! Filing that color away for lata. Also, I can't tell you how awesome it is that you did that with three kids under your belt. Sometimes I feel like my diy days are numbered and ending at the end of this month. Thanks for the hope.

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  17. Sheena is an inspiration! Because of her I spray painted a bunch of things when I was nesting.
    Love the walls! And I may have already asked and you answered, but that chest/coffee table ... was it a Craigslist find or where can I watch it to go on sale?

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  18. I. Love. World. Market. I've been coveting so many of their items including throw pillows for so long. It was all I could do to restrain myself during their cyber Monday specials. And I really like the lamp transformation in addition to everything else. We have one of those black tall lamps and it could use a change.

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  19. You laugh but when #4 was imminent I started putting the biggest one in the laundry room for nap. She is 5 weeks now and I am still a fan. (Ok another bedroom would be nice. But this is a million times better than the crazy happening with the two oldest together.)

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    1. ha. not laughing -- I am not above putting anyone in the laundry room to sleep for naps .... the death of naps would be the death of me :)

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  20. Color is lovely, Paul should get an award, and you win all the prizes for painting a room w/ all the kiddos around, and the water in the paint...and World Market is the best. :)

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  21. Color is lovely, Paul should get an award, and you win all the prizes for painting a room w/ all the kiddos around, and the water in the paint...and World Market is the best. :)

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  22. The lounge looks so great!! I'm a major fan of the minimal look, can't for our new apartment seriously going to look like you could throw a dance party with all the open space:) "so much room to do actividies" (please let someone get the reference;)
    Ahem, also, Bump photo's please?? Us broody types need a little help you know!

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  23. Kudos to you! The last time I painted a room was in college, ten years ago, and I'm still not ready to go there again.

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  24. I think it looks great! Spotless house by the way :)

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  25. Looks gorgeous! I am SUPER impressed you got that done with three kiddos and another one in utero! I'm DREADING re-painting my son's bedroom (which will be turned into the girls' bedroom for when #3 is born in March) but it so desperately, desperately needs to be done and I want to do it before I get too huge to stand on a ladder without toppling over. I think you gave me some much needed motivation!

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  26. Looks great! I have been searching for a nice gray for our basement that won't make it feel like prison, quill might be the winner!

    Also, I think we all may need to start a Sheena support group for those of us who see her awesome step by step work, buy oodles of spray paint, then realize we aren't Sheena! This will never work! Why did a spray paint the carpet!?! How does she make it look so simple! :)

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  27. Love the color! You were lucky that the first one you tried worked out so well. :) Would you say it has blue undertones to it? It looks that way from the pictures. Just wondering as I might try it myself. :)

    We just moved and I'm itching to paint the two kids bedrooms. I just haven't figured out how to do so while home alone with two kiddos. I think the only option will be to do it while they're sleeping (which is tricky since I'll be painting the rooms they normally sleep in). Can't imagine trying to paint with them underfoot! Interesting to note that a cup of water added to a gallon of paint does not seem to ruin the quality. Who knew?

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    1. hmmm I'm terrible at this but I don't notice any undertones -- it's pretty grey. And I think I would've been happy with a million different greys --- I'm not at a point in life where I can be picky about paint colors --- maybe in a few years I'll care more. It's weird I even cared about the tan.

      Good luck!!!! :)

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  28. As I came in the door after work last night, I yell: "Hey Curry! I'm home! How was your day?" and I hear a little voice yell back "Camp Patton painted her living room the same color as my room and I had just commented and omg Camp Patton, Camp Patton, Camp Patton!" Now this had me intrigued so I walked down the hall and repsonded "Ugh, and Camp Patton said she hasn't done any Christmas shopping but you know that all of gifts will turn out better and cuter than ours even though we started shopping weeks ago...." #obsessed #loveyourblog

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  29. Just found your blog. I absolutely love your humor. I especially like your sentiments concerning Christmas. Love the holiday, hate the stress.
    -Cass

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    1. haha thank you!!! I should be less grinchy! I just always feel so behind

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  30. Grace! It looks great! Thanks for the link - though I can't say I deserve that much credit. Your room looks awesome - but now I am very curious about that lavender laundry/bathroom area. If I were in St. Louis, I'd be itching to paint it...

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