Thursday, March 5, 2015

living room update

My living room has always been an odd and challenging room. It has so many doorways, a giant mirror, moldings, window seat. None of which are bad things, but together they make a space that has lots of restrictions, more things to consider than a plain white box might. So I find that it is the space in my apartment that I change the most. Often just little tweaks, moving pillows, adding plants, rearranging art. Recently I decided to repaint, sort of on a whim. And I painted the gray room............ gray! I know, super anti climactic. But I swear it makes such a difference. I loved the color before, but with all the breaks in the walls, the contrast between the dark gray and the white trim was making everything feel busy, and then adding in all the orange that I had in there (can't remember now why I chose that as my accent color but I digress) it was just not a calm or restful feeling place, or at least not the space that I wanted it to be. So I took it from this:

to this:

As you can see in my badly lit and grainy phone pictures, the difference in shade between the two grays is pretty drastic.

I went with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl without swatches or samples as I have noticed that every time I like a light gray space that turns out to be the color that was used. And now I get why. It is the perfect gray. I didn't want this room to be another white room, as the hallway and my bedroom and studio space are white with white with more white. But I wanted something quieter than the moody original paint color. Gray Owl is somehow both cool and warm depending on the time of day. It is beautiful with sunshine but also lovely when it's dark and cloudy.

I actually loved it so much that I didn't even want to hang anything, move any furniture back, just sit in the window seat and gaze at the walls. It's very restful and I breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out as well as it did, For an impulsive painting decision this was the best possible outcome.
I did eventually move the furniture back in but I've been trying to keep things more simple in this space as it is such a pass through for the apartment. I only hung artwork on the wall by the couch, and the oversize woven piece that I made to cover the mirror and add some texture and interest to the longest uninterrupted wall.

The dining corner I have been keeping pretty spare, I like how quiet it is right now but it is also so easy to add color through art and table coverings as I feel like it. And I've been loving the leaf covered lampshade as it's dried it's become even prettier.

I cleared up the bar cart a bit and added some pretty green decorative paper to the lower shelves. The window seat was a great accident. I had some blankets sitting on it while I was putting the furniture back in place when it occurred to me that I could just wrap a blanket around it for a temporary color fix. The blue and green afghan was made by my grandmother it is much cozier to have a softer surface on the window seat cushion than the cotton upholstery weight fabric that I used to recover it.

I lucked out in that it was very warm outside when I decided to paint, and it was a three day weekend so it was a perfect time to create a bit of temporary chaos in the middle of my apartment, and I am so happy that I did because the space is much closer to what I want now. It's funny to see how my likes and style are changing as I experiment in this space. As it is the first place I've been able to decorate and improve with any level of freedom I've made a bunch of missteps and learned from some mistakes, there was a certain level of barreling in with all the enthusiasm in the world, but I've enjoyed the process of learning what I like so much. And besides, it's only paint, it's easy to fix.

A last note, this angle made me realize just how much plant craziness there is going on in the living room (and there's a bunch more to the left of the frame) but you just can't beat greenery for making a room feel like home. Also there are several smaller ones that just came from one bigger umbrella tree so I really don't think they should count towards my plant-hoarding total!

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