Monday, November 3, 2008

House in Progress: Living Room 3.0

Of all the rooms in our home, the living room is the one that seems to forever be morphing. (You can see earlier incarnations here and here.) In fact, the only thing that doesn't change much is the furniture placement. We've tried moving the big pieces around, but this seems to be the only arrangement that doesn't look wonky in the space. Still, the colors, smaller pieces, and accessories in this room are constantly shifting.

It's still not quite there (I'm desperate to repaint, for one), but I thought I'd show you the latest incarnation:

Yeah, I know it looks a bit cluttered in this shot. It doesn't feel that way in real life, but now I see that I should probably continue to edit a bit. (Ah, the accumulation of "stuff." It's a sickness.)

Anyway, other than the seating and the bookshelves (which came from Crate & Barrel and a local "unfinished furniture" store, respectively), we got just about everything in this room from the Alameda flea market or eBay.

The bullet planter is from Hip Haven; the SubPop/Jeff Kleinsmith poster can be found here; the lamp was $10 at the flea market (my best find there this year); the little planter trio is from IKEA; and the vintage teak entry chest is an eBay score.

Except for the mirror and the books, everything in this picture was found on eBay; the metal "sculpture" is actually a vintage industrial cake beater. The latest evidence of my incurable lamp addiction always seems to end up on this cabinet.

The credenza, Buddha head lamp, metal H, vintage letterpress letters, and ceramic bird figurines are yet more eBay finds; the black-and-white photo was a flea market score; the tiny print is one of Chris Crites' paper bag mugshots; and the ceramic pear is from Heather Knight's Etsy shop.

The ceramic garden stool and vintage coffee table? Also eBay. I want to replace the table's small marble top with a larger one, but haven't quite gotten around to it. The pillow is from Henry Road (purchased on the cheap at the last Modern Economy sale). The "amazing shedding shag" rug is the Quinn from Pottery Barn, but we got it for about half-price on eBay. It's a good thing, too, because if I'd paid full retail for this thing -- which I kind of love but which is the absolute bane of my existence -- I'd be upset.

The stone planter head was from Wisteria; the vintage teal bowl is from eBay; the tall "Try Everything" print is from Advice to Sink in Slowly; and the blue bird triptych is by Hadley Hutton.

I'm just going to say it: I kind of hate the couch, chairs, and ottoman. Once I figure out what to replace them with -- and if we ever save enough pennies to actually buy those replacements -- they're going straight up on craigslist. Nick and I are both pretty tall (6'2" and 5'10"), so the couch is more comfortable for us without the back cushions.

The throw draped over the back (a birthday present from my mom) is from Designers Guild, and the linen pillows are from Anna Joyce (a splurge from Portland's Olio United), Sharon Spain, and Paper Cloud (both bought on super-duper clearance at Oakland's Atomic Garden); the floor lamp is from IKEA.

I used the Orla Kiely wallpaper left over from my dining room hutch project to back the bookshelves, but came up one length short. (Anyone have 52 inches of this paper to spare?) A vintage wooden soda crate turned on its side displays bud vases from Heath Ceramics and a few other odds and ends. The teak money, vintage hat form, phrenology head, limestone chunk, vintage globe, ceramic horse head, and turquoise dish all came from eBay (yes, I have a problem); the oval "tree head portrait" is by Sarah Ogren; the cream vase and nesting bowls are by Sara Paloma, nabbed at one of her studio sales; the paper-maché vessels are by Up in the Air Somewhere; and the white bowl is from Perch!

The round metal table is from the flea market, and the round white side table is (a vintage Saarinen knockoff) is from eBay.

Now, as for paint colors: I'm a little stumped. All I know is that I have to get rid of this butterscotch-camel hue. It's a nice color -- I'm just sick of it, and I want something a bit brighter and fresher. Should we paint the room white? (I can't believe I'm actually typing that, since Nick and I spent more than a decade waiting for the day when we'd have a place of our own that we could paint anything but white. But I'm much more into Scandinavian brightness and simplicity these days, so I've got white paint on the brain.) Maybe dove gray? Other ideas? Anyone? Anyone?

(P.S. If you missed my earlier House in Progress posts, you can see them all here.)


Sarah said...

Love the living room! I just painted my living room walls a very lovely gray- Calm by Benjamin Moore with Super White baseboards and crown molding. It's subtle but not drab and dreary like some grays and next to the baseboards it's stunning. I was amazed at all the shades of gray- brown undertones, black, blue, pink and purple too! Whew!

Lori said...

Your living room is beautiful. I love the furniture. Everything is gorgeous. We painted our living room a half and half mixture of Benjamin Moor Linen White and White Dove in an eggshell finish. We painted all of the trim in the same color, but in a semi-gloss. It looks beautiful. It is neither too cold, nor too warm. A well-known designer that has authored four decorating books gave me this paint color tip.

What kind of plant is in your egg planter? I love it.

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend has similar tastes towards what's chic/trendy right now. I'm just afraid she'll grow tired of it in a couple of years and want to start all over. In your experience, how long does it take for the re-decorating bug to bite you again? I don't want to have to re-paint the living room every couple of years.



beachbungalow8 said...

you've curated it so well, that it looks perfectly suited for the space.

Leah said...

Sarah and Lori -- I will take a look at those paint colors. Thanks!

Lori -- the plant is a "Fiddle Leaf Ficus." $12 at Home Depot.

Bob -- I'm usually good for about two years before I want to repaint. But hey, change is good, right?

Anonymous said...

Lovely! I like your white/turquoise accessories...

My living room and guest room are painted Benjamin Moore's "Silver Fox," which I love. It's a warm grey that changes from almost-taupe to almost lavender sometime depending on the light, but it give s really crisp, sophisticated feel to the rooms with White Dove trim. (There are copious pictures at the "Apartment photos" link on the upper right-hand corner of my blog.) It might be a little dark for you, but I've been thrilled with it and I have a lot of similar accent colors, with the sad addition of a large, poufy, dark brown leather couch. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

A pale hue or white would certainly help your subtle accents be more visible and allow your colorful ones to pop.

We've been in renovation hell for 10 years and have gone with all vibrant hues for the walls which are now looking really tired. When we are finally done and can repaint everything we'll be going with white predominating. Then I'll choose accent walls working their way throughout our open floor plan downstairs to continue our current energetic color scheme. Right now planning a teal green and a dark chocolate brown.

Not sure where you'd make it work here as I don't have a sense of the entire layout, but perhaps white with an accent wall would solve a few issues for you as well.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I think the paper on the back of the book shelves is too busy for the pieces you have on the shelves. It doesn't make the pieces stand out. Perhaps a smaller print or a solid that would blend with the paint color you choose so it definitely stands out, but doesn't make it as cluttered looking. However, overall the place looks very nice.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your house is amazing. I think it's magazine editorial layout ready as it is. Thanks for sharing such great pix. They are giving me great inspiration for my own space. Thanks for sharing.

Your color is good. What about a sort of lemony green color? Not chartreuse, but much paler. I don't know how to describe it.


cassaundra said...

oooo, i love your house! gorgeous - love that flea market find lamp. i would suggest maybe a pale lavender or an eggshell - i think that would be lovely.

Laura said...

What about a color 1 or 2 shades lighter than your dining room? I love how brown wood looks against aqua walls and all the light pieces (furniture, rug) would really stand out against it. I agree with the previous poster about the Orla Kiely wallpaper in the back of your bookcases. Love the paper, but it just doesn't work there. Big fan of your blog -- though, this is my first time leaving a commment!

Jennifer said...

I have the same hippo! Don't you love his little teeth?

indianyarn said...

i came via corine via veronica and then reached here ( that was a long time ago). your house is so serene, there is reflection (mirror and white ) and color (refraction) and the glow of warmth in every corner. there is reality and beautiful.


Anonymous said...

okay, where did you get the mirror?

hadley hutton said...

Leah I adore your charming living room! I love all the turquoise accents. I think you can never go wrong with white! I'm painting my studio white right now. Thanks for mentioning my prints.

Leah said...

Thanks for all the paint color suggestions, everyone -- keep 'em coming!

Anon. 1:08 -- I got the mirror at (gulp) Pottery Barn a few years ago. I don't think they sell it anymore, tho.

Sarah Ogren said...

You did a beautiful job on that room!

Mango Gal said...

Your home looks beautiful! I love how ecclectic everythis, but goes so well together! It's the style that I am forever trying to achieve, thanks for the inpsiration.

mominaledo said...

Thanks so much for sharing!! I was wondering - were your ebay purchases local or were they shipped to you? I love wasting time on your blog!

Tiffany S said...

Applause applause! YOur room looks great and FINISHED which is so impressive since I don't think I have a sq inch that doesn't look like a work in progress. Maybe it's cuz I'm short!

Leah said...

Thanks again for your input, everyone! I really love the wallpaper in the bookshelves, so I'd be sad to see it go. Maybe I need to make the REST of the room less busy so there's less competing with it?

Mominaledo -- most of the big furniture I got on eBay (the credenza, coffee table, cabinet) was local so I could just arrange pickup or delivery in person. The accessories and smaller pieces (those that would fit in a regular shipping box) are from all over the place.

Jana Souza said...

Very nice Leah; oh, and I recognize those apple bowls :) Just an idea, you could replace the knobs in the wall shelving doors with cool ones from Athro; you have one in your neck of the woods, and last time I was there they had some mercury glass numbers that would look fab in your space.

Thank you for sharing and you have done a very great job---sofa comfort is key---we are in dire need of a new one ourselves.



tula said...

i am so in love with every inch of your home. can i move in?

Condo Blues said...

You didn't give details about the most important element pictured in your room - the Corgi!

Leah said...

Condo Blues -- sorry, she's a one-of-a-kind and not for sale!


cassandra said...

I've just found your blog and really appreciate your design aesthetic and writing! Thanks for sharing your house project. It's fun to find other families who share the same decorating/redecorating obsession. You may have thought of this already but in regarding your coffee table...have you considered just having a larger marble top cut for your existing base? I love the base and it seems to suit the room's aesthetic. A larger marble top might just do the trick?

Katie said...

The room is looking great. I love all the bright blue accents. I definitely think white or a cool light gray is the way to go...I've really been into gray lately, so I lean towards that.

Our new landlords have said we can paint, and they will even reimburse us (!), but I am sort of digging the white right now. But the curtains that came in the living room are HORRIBLE so that's my priority. I would never be able to decide on a paint color anyway!

Bone*Head*Studios said...

I would greatly appreciate it if you could please tell me what the name of the color of your wall is?
I very much like it!
Many thanks,


©Copyright 2007-2014 More Ways To Waste Time and Leah Hennen. All Rights Reserved.