Thursday, January 17, 2013

Board and Batten Makeover

Our living room has really undergone quite the transformation in the five years that we've lived at this address.  Through the years it has endured my ever-evolving style and two growing children.

When we moved into this bare-boned, under-styled rambler home, I was a more than a little nervous about the enormous project we were taking on.  Especially coming from our semi-new, completely finished 3-bedroom condo.  But with trying to start a family, came a realistic look at our living situation.  Although perfect on the inside, we were very aware of the challenge it would be to haul a newborn in a carseat in and out of a tiny detached garage and down three flights of stairs every day.  And I didn't even want to THINK about doing groceries by myself!

Now, I'm certainly not trying to complain about my beautiful little 3-bedroom condo.  In fact, I loved it.  Cried when we packed up.  Literally sat on the floor in my master bedroom sobbing as my husband and his best friend loaded the last of the boxes into our vehicle.  (I may or may not have been hormonal.)  I was the crazy wife who begged her husband for a house and cried when I actually got my way.

You would think things would improve when we spent our first night in our new home...but that was not the case.  Walking into our "new" home and sitting on our couch surrounded by 4,000 boxes that contained our life, the sinking reality of what we had done came crashing down on me and invited an entire new round of tears.  At the risk of sounding like a complete looney toon...nevermind, I won't go there.

Yeah.  We're a little crazy, right?!  But with the help of my friend and designer Monica...we had a vision and a plan.  And slowly but surely our living room, along with the rest of our house, transformed into a livable and lovable home.

Unfortunately what we learned through the process of gutting and re-doing our entire house was that when you have to make decisions quick and efficiently, occasionally you will make choices you regret. Although I adored our living room when we first painted and was the first room in the house to be completed, and by the time we completed the rest of the rooms, our living room became dead to me.

That may sound a little harsh.  But really, when you look at the mini home tour I posted in 2011 (back when we were anxiously awaiting Cocoa's homecoming) you will quickly see why.  While I have no fear of painting dark, intense, or bright thing I failed to consider was the lighting in that room.  Had I lived in the home a season or two prior to making paint decisions, I would have realized that there is almost zero natural light in this room 10 months out of the year (our only hope is when the sun breaks through at just the right time of day, and let's be real - this is Seattle...those days are rare).  It wasn't long before I felt like I was living in a dungeon or a dark cave.

I could have done the easy fix and paint it a neutral like I did most other rooms in the house.  My problem was that my carpets were beige.  My couch was beige.  Painting my walls beige would leave completely devoid of color.  Color that I crave.  Color that I need in my life.

Source: Mike Fiechtner Photography
So I did nothing.  To the room at least...  I looked through magazines, browsed site after site, and pinned a bazillion things.  I started to notice a trend in my choices which led me to a big decision - for the first time since we got married, I needed to choose another color palette for my living room.  I started to re-think what inspired this space to begin with and I noticed that the pieces that put together this room didn't speak to me anymore.  In fact, the only thing that DID speak to me were my Pier 1 clearance curtains I scored and impulsively bought a few months before these pictures were taken.  So I decided to design a room around them.

I knew I wanted more color, more brightness, and more pow.  I started with choosing a wall color.  This turned out to be a much harder decision for me than anticipated.  I collected color swatches every time I passed a paint department in search for the perfect shade.  My problem was that I couldn't find a shade that popped against those curtains, was light enough to brighten the room, and looked just right next to the dark red bricks that my pot-belly stove sat against.

Inadvertently, my daughter changed the game a bit when she pulled a couple bricks out of the hearth (back when she was crawling and discovering her strength).  Being that this house was built in the 20's and last remodeled in the 60's (besides our recent re-do) my husband found it impossible to perfectly match a grout color as he was fixing the hearth.  Which led us to impulsively painting the brick in its entirety.  Which completely changed the look of the entire room!  I was completely inspired.  Starting at square one, I took a look at my inspiration boards with new eyes.

That's when I came up with the plan to do board and batten in this room.  All of a sudden everything just fell into place.  The perfect shade showed up at the perfect time.  After a lot of begging and prodding, my husband finally agreed that it was time for a change.  Like I teased in my year in review, in May I put my man to work on the transformation.  It didn't take long to realize we had made the right decision.  It felt a million times brighter in our space!

The process was time consuming and most definitely a lot of work....but well worth it for SURE!

As always in our household...this room is a work in progress.  New closet doors are coming in just a matter of days, wall art is still up in the air, I would LOVE to refinish those chairs, get a cute TV stand (or wall mount that baby), and maybe add some more pops of blue.  But for the curious folks out there...

The tufted sofa is a Martha Stewart design that we recently purchased from the Macy's Home Store on a sale.  The stunning yellow chairs we inherited after my husband's grandma passed away.  The sofa table is from Ikea.  The throw pillows I found at World Market.  The curtains were a lucky Pier 1 clearance find.  The wall color is Benjamin Moore's "Spice Market" (an Aura color - well worth the money, I promise) and the board and batten is painted their Aura "White".  Storage ottoman is from Target (although I wouldn't recommend it, it's on the way OUTTA here).  The fuzzy cream throw is also from Pier 1.  The red vase was a wedding gift from Pottery Barn.   The big "R" above the TV is from L'Alfabeto on Etsy.  

I know my choices are a little bit out there for most, but for the first time in a looooong time I can say this space puts a BIG SMILE on my face =)



Skellyvision said...

Love it!! The yellow is so you.

The B Family said...

Love this room! It even coordinates with your blog!

Meg said...

I love this, but you simply cannot reupholster those chairs. (I assume that's what you have in mind when you say you'd love to refinish them.) I'd die if you did! They are everything I've been looking for for years. They're gorgeous and I can't help but envy them. Their appearance and sentiment are so beautiful.

Meg said...

I love this, but you simply cannot reupholster those chairs. (I assume that's
what you have in mind when you say you'd love to refinish them.) I'd die if you
did! They are everything I've been looking for for years. They're gorgeous and I
can't help but envy them. Their appearance and sentiment are so beautiful.