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5.10.2021

farmhouse may-keover: living room

coastal style,color,farmhouse style,decorating,room makeovers,colorful home,diy decorating,FREE,spring,makeover,DIY,furniture,color palettes,boho style,grandmillenial style,living room decor,spring home decor,spring decorating,mantel decor,wall art,furniture arrangement.
i'm structuring this 'MAY-keover' series of posts
as if you are walking into and through my friend K's farmhouse...
first, you saw her grand front porch and welcoming entry hall
(link at end of this post)

today, we'll focus on her living room
and all of the simple changes made that completely transformed it...

continue reading to learn some easy tips for re-styling a room on a budget!

[as i shared in my last post i have no before photos. not a one.
we just got so excited about getting into this project that we sort of forgot the camera.
i'll describe the 'before's as well as i can!]

for thirty years, this home was decorated in pale seafoam greens, light blues,
oak wood, and floral/garden motif fabrics and accessories. it was lovely!
my friend's mom made it her own, and loved it.


now that my friend is the owner and resident of this house,
her mom's style just wasn't working for her.

a whole new style and mood was called for, and my friend rose to the occasion...
she selected a piece of art with a style and color palette that she loved
and let that guide all of her decor decisions.

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from room to room, the way the colors are used changes,
keeping the palette coordinated with a fresh interpretation in each area.

today, you'll see how we apportioned the color palette in the living room - 
as well as how we expressed my friend's own personal style here.

because one of the tones in that art is a very very pale seafoam/mint green,
it reflects the existing carpeting color.
eventually my friend will replace the flooring, but for now, it still works...
it's just a background for all of the more bold colors.

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as you walk into the living room from the entry hall, this wall is on the left.
the fireplace is faux, added a few years ago to a very long wall...
previously, there was a large floral painting hung above it.
then that changed to three white square carved wood panels - 
we took those down and used them elsewhere.

my friend had already hung this wonderfully energetic painting above the mantel,
and although she thought it was too big for the space, its proportion is perfect.
(in the next photo, you'll see how it is almost exactly the size of the mantel base)

she had also picked up the three gold metal shelves,
and we decided that an asymmetrical arrangement of them worked best.

i'll add in a note here to say that if you want symmetry, that's fine.
using two identical large-size shelves on either side of the painting would achieve that.
but with three varying sizes, this approach provides more interest AND
more 'coverage' on the large wall.

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those shelves are filled with items that my friend found in her house and loved:

 a vintage blue glass decanter that had been her parent's
a small vintage glass used as a dome over a gold-painted 'house' trinket box
two vintage jars with raised dots (that i painted gold) as votive holders
two small handthrown pottery vessels with 14 K gold edges, planted with succulents
a small sign that says 'blessed'

several antique books with beautiful covers in her color palette

we created a vignette on the mantel,
using another small sign, another dotted jar, and a small wood birdcage with a plant in it .

this look is perfect for spring & summer,
and she can easily change the elements on all of these surfaces for fall & winter.
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this is what that wall looks like from across the living room (by the kitchen).
you can see how the shelves and painting make an impact at a distance,
and the accessories add interest up close.

the tv and base cabinet in the right hand corner were there before.
but the furniture placement in the foreground was different....
because this is a large room, a floating furniture placement has always worked best.
but it was previously turned at right angles - 
meaning the sofas were placed in an 'L' arrangement
and ran parallel to the wall behind the fireplace and the window wall
(unseen on the right side).
that made viewing the tv difficult if you sat on the sofas,
and it also had the effect of closing off the space no matter where you entered from.
that square in the center made the room seem cavernous around the edges.
and amazingly, the arrangement totally ignored the breathtaking view out the windows!

so, i turned the whole thing 45 degrees to the right. on the first night i was there.
(i have no shame and thankfully, my sweet friend trusts me)
as i pivoted the sofas, ottoman, table, then rug, she looked on in interest.
 then she sat in her chair (unseen on the left end of the sofa)
and smiled. 'oh this DOES make a difference!!!' she said.

take a look at it from the other side:
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this photo shows across the room from the entry point -
which is just to the left of the wall with the fireplace.
here you can see the rug - which she bought new, along with the one in the entry - 
which is on an angle parallel with the tv cabinet in the corner.
(that's how we chose the angle - i wasn't about to move that behemoth!)

just out of view on the right side, there is a small white cabinet,
that holds a lamp and necessities like kleenex, remotes, and crochet supplies.
her comfy chair & footstool are next to that, facing the tv - 
you can just see her dainty little feet perched on the footstool!
this is her morning spot, evening spot, favorite spot
and i love that she says it has never felt more homey and 'her'!

this furniture grouping is right in the middle of the huge room,
but because it is on an angle it seems to do something magical:
it not only fills up the floor space, negating that 'cavernous' effect,
but it also creates a focal point that draws the eye PAST it.
you look at the details up close, then your eye moves
into the background and toward the light.

oh yeah.... about the light...

the FIRST thing we did after my arrival (and some wine & food, because.... yeah)
was to literally pull down the window treatments.
for thirty years, there was a very expensive and lovely set of panels and valances
that curved around the three large arched windows.
the seafoam green fabric had faded and frayed, and the style was outdated.

my friend grabbed a stepladder and ten minutes later, there was a pile of fabric on the floor
and a very loooooong curtain rod being hauled out the back door.
one of the brackets that had held that rod refused to come out of the wall,
(her sweet son came over and wrangled it out the next day!)
but we proceeded to clean the windows
and enjoy the uninterrupted vast scenic beauty of the distant mountains.

[for sun control and privacy, there are blinds that cover the lower windows -
direct sun only comes in the upper windows really early in the morning.]

after a few hours of working in the room, my friend stood looking at the window wall.
'it's too bare, it needs something...' she mused.

then she grabbed the white carved wood squares that had been over the fireplace,
and held one up between the curves of two windows.
'what do you think?' she asked. 'i think you are really getting the hang of this!' i smiled.

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so we hung two of those three white carved wood squares between the windows,
and they offered just enough texture and interest to defeat the 'bareness'.

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here's a closer look at the sofas and accessories....

there's a seafoam green upholstered ottoman under that beautiful white crochet tablecloth,
we simply camouflaged it!

 this brings in another element that became a big part of the decor scheme:
white crocheted doilies.
my friend and her mom (and her eldest son and daughter) all crochet,
and her mom had a laughable humongous collection of crocheted doilies
in every size and every color imaginable.

this white tablecloth ALSO coordinated with those white carved wood squares
and two similar lamps that were already in this room...
lending a bit of a boho grandmillenial look to spice things up.

the tray on the ottoman is actually the lid of a woven basket!
i flipped it upside down, then tucked in some vintage books and a scented candle.

the beautiful crocheted throw on the sofa was made by K's daughter,
and the gold hue in it draws out the gold in the artwork over the mantel
(and one other 'art piece' that we'll talk about soon!)

the sofa previously had a plethora of very nice mint green pillows on it...
we put those upstairs in a guest room (to be decorated in the future).
new throw pillows in blue and white hues & patterns update the mood
and coordinate with the painting.

if you look past that furniture grouping,
you'll see an arrangement of art on the wall behind it:

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much of this art has been given to K by her talented friends,
and she wanted to showcase it.
by creating a multi-level and layered art wall with it and photographs,
the small pieces have more impact in this large room.

using similar frame styles and colors doesn't detract from the art,
and the small shelf was painted gray to blend in
(it was previously dark reddish mahogany).
we placed the last of those three white carved wood panels here...
and there's still plenty of room to add more art in the future.

some white crocheted doilies were placed on the table like a runner,
providing a perfect background for family photos in white and gold frames to stand out.
(i've covered the faces of her family members for their privacy)

one of two carved wood lamps sits here, casting a warm glow,
and a small faux plant on the shelf adds dimensional interest.

you'll notice that the arrangement is again asymmetrical -
with so many square shapes, the random placement shakes it up a bit.
a strict symmetrical grid would have been too harsh and rigid.

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i could truly kick myself for not getting any before photos
(and my friend's old photos all have people in them, so....)
because the incredible change in the feeling and mood of this room is astounding.
the light, the color, the spaciousness, the details that reflect my friend's interests
all work together to create a setting where she can live with joy
and enthusiastically share that joy with her family and friends.
and that's exactly what she deserves. we all do. 

oh yeah, there's something ELSE here that we created that makes a statement!

(stay tuned for the story of that fabulous art chair in my next post)

i'm adding in a resource for you that JUST hit the web:

Christopher Lowell, decorator extraordinaire, posted on his blog on May 11
about the subject of looking at the homes we live in, making NEW decisions,
and taking action to refresh them so they really work for US...
he gives excellent advice and examples for doing this,
and i think you'll love his viewpoint!


read Christopher's blog post here

links to previous related posts:

coastal style,color,farmhouse style,decorating,room makeovers,colorful home,diy decorating,FREE,spring,makeover,DIY,furniture,color palettes,boho style,grandmillenial style,living room decor,spring home decor,spring decorating,mantel decor,wall art,furniture arrangement.

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