Kitschdesigns

Decorating : The Formal Living Room Update

October 5, 2011 00:59 by ehouston

I know it seems like all the posts recently are about decorating, and well, they are!  I have been working to change the things I can change in each room and/or finish smaller projects that have been lingering for what seems like an eternity.  In the case of our formal living room, we are simply neglecting the space.  It’s a pretty basic room at 11 feet by 14 feet, with two large windows looking onto the front yard and nice wide crown molding.  There are a couple of issues with this space, though, the main one being the two large passageways on either end.  They make for a great flow right into the formal areas when guests arrive, but they leave the formal living room with only two walls for furniture placement.  I guess that’s really no big deal since we don’t spend a ton of time in there, but it has made decorating this room feel awkward.  Below are some before shots of how we had things laid out.

FLR-FromFoyer-Before

In the shot above, you can see a typical formal living room set up with the couch along the main wall, flanked by side tables and matching lamps.  Yawn.

FLR-FromFoyer-Right-Before

Opposite the couch is a pair of wood framed chairs with coordinating blue cushions and a side table that matches the tables on either side of the couch.  For filler, and lack of a better place to locate them, I added our vintage black metal display shelves on the little wall in between the front windows and the chairs.  As seen in the far right corner of the photo above is the angled bookshelf, also a vintage metal piece, acting as another display shelf/table.  You can also see the other problem with this space- lack of good light.

FLR-FromDiningRoom-Left-Before

Here is another shot of the chair side from the dining room.  You can see I also added a couple of vintage black metal magazine racks, a vintage wood and metal floor lamp and our vintage Seth Thomas wood panel clock. 

FLR-FromDiningRoom-Before

This view of the couch side, from the dining room, shows another angle of yet another vintage black metal shelf.  This mini shelf holds our funky metal flying pig made of old oil drums.  In the center of the room is a wood slat coffee table that extends at each end to give as much or as little tabletop space as needed.  You can also see the old, smaller rug in these shots.  This was the set up we lived with up until the beginning of September 2011.  All pieces in this room are vintage, modern and out of synch with the rest of our 1992 Colonial style home in the burbs.  However, I actually don’t mind having furniture that does not seem to go with the rest of the home.  I always feel that if you like a piece you can make it work.  It may take time, but eventually things will start to mesh and mingle well with each other.

There are many changes we look forward to making in this room.  First, will be to change the paint from purpley-brown to something in the grey/blue-grey family and to paint the dingy cream trim to bright white.  We have already switched out the rug for a pale, steely blue little number that now fits the scale of the room.  Next on the list is to buy or create some chunky side tables to flank the couch since this space is all legs right now.  I would also like to sell the vintage ceramic lamps from the 1950’s and possibly add something in clear or seeded glass instead.  I will know those when I see them, I think.  I am also strongly considering a tone-on-tone mural for the main wall and hope to pull something decent together soon.  In the mean time I wanted to share the recent updates that have happened in there.

After taking the room to this…

IMG_9664

….for the Little Guy’s 2nd birthday bash, I decided to hold off on putting all the furniture back in their original spots for a few days.  For a while now I have been hoping to find two skinny display cabinets, with glass doors, to put on either side of the opening from the formal living room to the formal dining room.  Unfortunately, most glass display cases are not very tall, are to wide and usually not my design taste, so no luck with those finds yet.  For now, I thought that I could make better use of the vintage black metal shelves that we already “use” in that space.  I say “use” because they were mainly in there just to take up space and so they would not be getting dusty in the attic.  I never intended for those pieces to stay in that room for this long, but that’s what happens sometimes when your design tastes don’t match your design budget.  ;o)

This time around the two vintage metal shelves went back into the room in the little bit of wall space on either side of the passage to the dining room. 

FLR-Shelves-Left-WIP

FLR-Shelves-Right-WIP

FLR-Right-WIP

FLR-Center-WIP

FLR-Left-WIP

Even though each shelf is different in width and height, visually they seem a little closer in size when balanced with the framed photos and other pieces from our travels.  I also tried to move the display items on the top shelves to roughly the same height as each other.  The black and white photos spent their early years hanging above the couch in the family room prior to being nixed in favor of the Little Guy’s 1 year portraits.  They are shots from vacations that I had blown up to 8 X 10 size and then placed in metal frames from Target that already had white mats.  Below the photos I reworked some of our display items into the collections on the shelves and pulled some more things out of storage. 

FLR-LeftfromDiningRoom-WIP

FLR-PlantStand-WIP

I was also able to use the smallest of the vintage metal shelves as a plant stand in one of the opposite corners of the room, which looks much more proportioned than it did before as a flying pig stand.  I eased the chairs together a bit to balance that wall, as well and placed the floor lamp in between for reading.  It’s hard to tell from the shot above, but that green glass blob is a really cool elephant sculpture that I found at the Sal. Army a few weeks ago for only $3.99.  Not sure if it’s old or new, just thought it was neat looking and a nice color.

FLR-LeftfromDining-WIP

FLR-RightfromDining-WIP

There are still a bunch of changes on the horizon, but for now we are really enjoying the new view of our collections and more balance and cohesion in the formal living room.  It’s amazing what moving your things around can do for a space.  Now we will just have to figure out where we are going to put the Christmas tree this time around!

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Comments

October 5. 2011 17:55

Melody

Whoa, you have been busy...and the little guy isn't so little any more!! Love the redos!

Melody

October 6. 2011 01:04

ehouston

Aww, thanks Melody!

ehouston

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