One of the reasons we bought our house was for the large formal living room at the front. We wanted a grown-up space where we could
escape from the children sit and talk, but not a space that felt like a museum. My parents’ house had a beautiful formal living room, but we were never allowed to sit on the furniture, walk on the carpet, or breathe the air.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
1. Ivory Camelback sofa from my parents.
2. Large mirror. I have no idea where this came from. I think someone just gave it to me.
3. Sassy brass lamp from Goodwill that I spray-painted in an oil rubbed bronze finish.
4. Jason, doing his Beyonce impression.
5. Buffet from Jason’s old house.
6. Giant ginger-jar lamp from my parents.
7. Drop-leaf table from my parents.
8. Pair of wingback chairs, from my parents.
And here’s the reverse:
9. Bookcase with curtain front, and a photobomber.
10. Marble-topped vanity/desk, from my great-grandmother.
11. Armchair, from my great-grandmother.
The room is…..fine, and comfortable, and we certainly spend a lot of time in it. But it’s kind of boring, and not very coherent. Also, I hate pink. True story – see those bright coral throw pillows on the wingback chairs? My father painted our entire family room that color. I mean, it worked for them, but it’s just not my thing.
So I’ve been thinking about how I want the room to feel, and looking for an inspirational color palette. I keep coming back to this picture, which I originally pinned to my “Guest Room” board on Pinterest.
Why I love it: I have always loved navy and white. It’s classic and clean – two things I aspire to be. And this particular color scheme crops up in my wardrobe on a regular basis.
Why it works for that room: It will be pretty easy to work with/around the existing dark wood furniture. My mom has generously offered to have the wingback chairs reupholstered (thanks, mom!), and I can handle re-covering the armchair seat. I’ll probably leave the sofa as-is, but add/recover the throw pillows – although if you notice, two of the pillows and the blanket across the back are already the right color. I’ll need to add curtains and art. And I’m planning to paint that medium-wood buffet – maybe turquoise with a glaze?
I’m excited to start working on this room. As always, I’ll keep costs to an absolute minimum – but considering the only money I’ve put into the room so far was for two deeply-discounted rugs and a lamp from Goodwill, I’m doing all right.
Let’s all cross our fingers that it doesn’t end up looking like a shoddily-constructed British Colonial nightmare.