Other Living Room Plans

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Living Room, My House41 Comments

Sometimes I have trouble sitting back and enjoying what I’ve accomplished in the light of the size of my to-do list!  I’m sure many of you can relate!  I realized as I was putting this post together that there is a to-do list a mile long made up of all the little and big projects I want to do in the house.  Some of them are as simple as repairing a tear in a cushion or slipcover (I have a few of those) or as involved as installing wainscoting and crown molding.

But, I just need to remember that #1 – it’s not a race and #2 – that list will shrink one project at a time.  Little steps to get big things done.

So, one thing that I want to do is change out the fabric on the backs of the French chairs.  The fabric worked great in my last living room, but it’s not quite right with the new buffalo check.  Thankfully, it doesn’t look bad in the whole of the room, so I can take my time getting to it, but I do want to change it out.  I’ll also fix that popped seam on the cushion.

Next, this ottoman slipcover is getting threadbare!  I used an old quilt top and some antique fabric to make it and it is threadbare in some places!  You can hardly see the patchwork design anymore.

Since the sides are in good shape, I’m just going to replace the top and I’ll show how I do that.

And the fireplace…  I’ve been wanting to change that since the day we moved in, but I’ve felt a little stumped by it.  I’ve looked into all sorts of stick tiles, paint options, etc. and haven’t found anything I really love.  So, I’m moving forward with sanding the granite tile.  I imagine it’ll look much better with a honed finish, since it’s the shine, not the color, that is bothering me.  So, we’ll see how that goes!

The biggest project I want to do in this room is installed box beams and crown molding on the ceiling.  I think it’ll add some great architectural interest and I can’t wait until we’re ready to tackle that.  I definitely need a strong and fully-mobile shoulder for that job, though!  I can envision it and I know it’ll look amazing.

Here are just a few more pictures from around the space…

I know some of you might point it out, so I’ll address it.  Yes, the carpet…  I would love, love, love to replace the carpet with hardwoods.  With just a few exceptions, I am not a fan of wall-to-wall carpet.  It’s very comfortable and warm underfoot, but I feel like it’s never really clean.  Anyway, I am the only one in the house who wants hardwood and everyone else is insistent that we keep the carpet.  I’ve thought about burning a hole in the middle of it or spilling a gallon of red paint all over it, but my better nature prevails.  I’m just kidding, but maybe the 15-year-old carpet will wear out enough and I’ll win that decorating debate one day.

Until then, it’s just going to stay carpeted and I need to gracefully concede that I get my way on many things related to the house, but not everything…

I have a PT appointment today, so I’m going to take advantage of being out of the house and I’m going to stay out of the house for awhile!  I’m going to hit some thrift stores and local second-hand shops to see if I find any goodies.  It’ll just be nice to be out and about.  I’ll also pick up wood for the studio shelf.

Oh!  And Calvin, my youngest, has finally shown some interest in working on his room, so we found a dresser on craigslist that we’re picking up on Thursday, ordered a simple upholstered bedframe from Amazon (wee downsized to a twin and I’ll share about that later), and will be designing a “climbing room” for him together.  He’s a tough client because he likes modern stuff, but I’ll do my best to make my client happy!

And, one last thing.  I’ve had a great time looking through your Decorating Dilemmas.  Man, some of you really have some head-scratchers!  Anyway, I picked a kitchen to “work on” and I’ll be sharing my ideas for that space soon.

Other Living Room Plans

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41 Comments on “Other Living Room Plans”

  1. What an exciting list! Can’t wait to see the fireplace sanding & the ceiling ideas come to fruition! Think the honed granit idea will look great & if so, it might just inspire me to try it on our kitchen counter tops. We gutted & remodeled our kitchen about 15 years ago & now I’m really over the shiny granite counter tops but find I love our honed granite tile backsplash even more than when I picked it out! Glad you healed enough to envision tackling that list!

  2. I might be wrong, but I think the problem with the fireplace IS the color. It kind of looks garish or too modern compared to the rest of your beautiful room. There is too much of a contrast between the white mantel and it, Have you thought of using something temporary there to see if you like the change? If it were me, I’d cut a high-grade piece of plywood to the shape of the surround, paint it white and do light stenciling in blue. I’d pop it in there and live with it awhile to see if the color change might be a long term solution.

    We recently bought a 100-year=old house and was surprise that there was no crown molding in any of the rooms. The ceilings are high, but the windows are tall and the molding around the windows beefy. My husband thinks adding crown molding would compete with the windows (especially the ones with stained glass transoms) and the six-inch baseboards. The house is in the Craftsman style, so I wonder if eliminating crown molding was in keeping with the simplicity the builder was going for.

  3. You could try doing a faux finish in a marble look on the fireplace surround which would change the look. Your home is so lovely and warm…just like you.

  4. I’m not a fan of carpeting either, but, in the meantime while waiting for it to wear out or someone ‘accidentally’ spill on it, why not try adding an 8×10 or 9×12 area rug in the living room? I think it would look great and take your mind off the actual wall to wall that is there. Just a thought.

  5. Not so sure it would be safe to put plywood or any wood in place of the granite. Looks too close to the fire box. I think it would be a hazard. That being said, I agree the color is off for the rest of this lovely room. I am right there with you with wall to wall. I have removed it from every room but the master. Was eyeing it yesterday and it’s days are numbered.

  6. I like the idea of painting the fireplace surround and adding one of your amazing landscape paintings. Love the mural in dining room. Warm it up!!

  7. It so funny how you talk about the mile long to do list, I agree with you 100% we need to pace our self’s on projects.
    I really like the comments above about creating a faux fireplace surround and also the large area rug in your living room. I also debated what to do with my surround in our living room. We bought a 160 year old farm house about 7 years ago and as with you I don’t struggle with painting wood, the surround was a lovely stripped wood I am sure someone had put all kind of effort into stripping well I painted it. I understand it was not the project grandeur of yours but I have great belief in your visions.

  8. Can’t get over how much you have done in your home in the short time you have lived there, and everything you do turns out beautiful! If that pine hutch ever comes up missing don’t look for it in Kansas City… ; )
    I’m interested to see how your fireplace will look and how you will accomplish that.
    Happy Wednesday!

  9. There’s nothing wrong with the color of the tile around the fireplace. I look at the photo of the room and it all goes together beautifully. Looking forward to seeing the honed look.

    Thank you for your informative and fun posts.

  10. Have you looked into the faux beams made today..? I couldn’t tell the difference! Sooo much easier to install.

    1. You know, I have! The ones I’ve seen look too rustic for the look I’m going for. I plan to paint them white and put up crown molding, etc.

  11. I recently removed my tile surround and bought 3 rectangular pieces of marble to replace it looks great

  12. Your “pop outs” and “wear offs” are just life…. living with all boys!!! I’ve dealt with the same. I know you will be anxious to get the fireplace sanded down. I remember how anxious I was to get some kitchen tile sanded…….until it happened.
    That sanding dust gets into EVERYTHING!!!! I put plastic all around the room, the cabinets and the doorways AND it still got everywhere. So make sure your arm and shoulder is REALLY ready for it!!! Sometimes it seems like we have to take 3 steps back to get 1 step ahead. Good luck.

  13. I have been a fan of your blog for many years. Reading your blog is like having coffee with you across the “table” You made me laugh out loud on your thoughts about speeding up the carpet removal process! Your sweet, humble, down to earth nature always comes through on your posts and is so refreshing. Keep doing you! God bless you and yours.

  14. The room is beautifully, tastefully and thoughtfully done. I think the beams, crown molding and fireplace update are going to be the icing on the cake! It’s a peaceful and inviting space. I love your taste.

  15. Quick Question: do your new cats bother your house plants? I can only keep plants in rooms that I close off from my two cats. I really wish I could have some greenery in other parts of the house. (My daughter says no to artificial plants.)

  16. I think painting the marble on the fireplace surround white and stenciling a blue tile pattern on it might look nice and be compatible with the rest of the room. I agree, while it’s not awful, that grey marble reminds me of a tombstone! Or, maybe you could install blue and white tile over the marble.

    On the other hand, I don’t think the backs of the French chairs fight with the larger checked pattern on the couch and pillows at all. Especially since they are on the backs of the chairs. The top of the footstool, of course, will need to be redone. I hope you can find another compatible quilt pattern in shades of blue. It’s a nice shift from the checks, but still compatible.

    You’ve made the room very inviting, Marian. It’s really lovely and crown molding will be the icing on the cake. I don’t know about the beams. I might not bother with those.

    One question: Who is the person in the portrait on the wall in the corner next to the window? An ancestor or just a vintage portrait that you found. Either way I think she’s very interesting and mysterious and a nice touch to that wall space.

    I’ll be waiting to see which of your many projects you tackle next. But, be careful of that shoulder!

  17. Agree with you on the fire place, wrong color, wrong material for your style of decor and its mirror like high polish isn’t nice. I would not take a chance with sanding to dull the surface, it could end up uneven and still in the wrong color. I do not have to give you any advice but only the idea I would use if this fire place was mine. Check the biggest and best tile business in the US, small scale marble tiles , thin “subway” tile shape, or tiny mosaic square or rectangular in marble or stone or terra cotta, without a shiny finish…You could do the work yourself very well.
    In NYC there is Country Floors for a catalogue and reference. And since you like blue..the Dutch Delft lovely tiles could be faux painted by you after sending the granite surface, prime, base coat and paint Delft tiles.

  18. Gosh I absolutely love your style. Such a beautiful room even though I know you can see it’s faults and to-do’s! Love the buffalo check. You’ve inspired me to recover an old couch that my young sons have dirtied! I only covered it in calico knowing it would happen as it’s my great-grandmothers – might be time for some piping and drill! Have been following you for years so xxx from Queenstown, New Zealand.

  19. I like the sanding idea and if it works I will do my counter tops. Off to google this! I think the stone would love good the color of the walnuts in the bowl.

  20. If it were my fireplace, I would just save up and get the job done right and just replace the tile entirely. Don’t bother with trying to paint it, sand it, etc. Get someone to come in there and do it right. It is worth the money every time.

  21. I had a similar dilemma with the shiny marble tile surrounding our fireplace. I sanded it lightly and painted it white with the same latex enamel paint as the wood surround. Looks amazing! Once that was successful, I painted the same marble tile that was on the floor in the front of the fireplace. For that, I used a latex semigloss paint in black. Again, it turned out amazing. Looks like it was installed that way! It is holding up amazingly well!

  22. I never noticed the silhouettes before. I love those and actually want to make some for my house. Unfortunately, the last time I did them I was in grade school. You know, back when Methusalah was a pup. I can’t wait to for you to make the faux beams. I been wanting to put some up in our dining room and our living room. I think I scared my husband when I told him! Love that you share the popped seams and all the other stuff that bugs you. Thanks for keeping it real!

  23. I agree with those who would like to see a total change with the fireplace granite. The tile size alone is dated along with the color/pattern. You have to decide if you prefer a dark or light surround. Maybe look into a grey slate, white marble or warm white tiles (smaller handmade-looking rather than the clinical bathroom/kitchen type). Luckily, you don’t need much. I feel this change would fit much better with the charming, cozy aesthetic in the room. Brown granite tiles is not something typically seen in old farmhouses or old world European spaces. Collectively, your updates have been spot on. I so enjoy following you for many reasons. You are such a delight!

  24. I’m like you, sometimes it takes a while to envision the look I’m looking for!!
    I can’t rush, I want to love the look not hate it. I have way to many projects to
    To put on hold for a re-do…Lol!
    I’m anxious to see the outcome of sanding the granite. I have a thing about shiny
    And bet you will be good for awhile..until decide what you want.
    Have a wonderful Sunday

  25. went to the PILLOW/furniture website BUT my virus protection said NO NO,,so i guess i just LOVE the blue and cream check do they come in another color?

  26. Aah! I get the sanding the shine down on the fireplace. The slate is a similar color & touch. I love your informal & practical decor. Ceiling treatment(s) would be eye candy. Would they have to be added to the DR….too?

  27. I know you love your cow portrait above the fireplace but I would do something with a different shape. Perhaps one of your own paintings! It’s very uniform between the tops of your built in shelves. Also, I think painting the surround in a deep blue or gray would really be striking.

  28. Your living room is so beautiful and comfy-looking!
    For the fireplace I’d go with Delft or Portuguese blue and white tiles. It’s not only the shine that doesn’t work, but the stone itself and the fact that it’s big tiles, not slabs (old marble slabs would probably work).
    Also, yes to area rugs to break up the expanse of beige carpet.

  29. I like the idea of getting rid of the shine. I think I would paint the walls Sedate Gray by Sherwin WILLIAMS. It doesn’t come out like the chip . Then fireplace surround could be a deeper gray green . It works awesome w any shade of blue.

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