Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Two Gray Walls [with some teal here and there]

Sometimes when I get tired of reading the kids books, I just sit and tell them stories. "Once upon a time, there was this little girl named Jemima..." You know, original stories like that.

Well, I'm thinking of this post as the "story" of our living/dining room. Since before we moved in, till now, we've been slowly working on this room, and believe me... there have been times that I've thought "those walls will NEVER be painted!!" or "those curtains will NEVER be hung!!"

And then, suddenly (did I just say the word suddenly?! There's been nothing sudden about this process...), the room starts coming together, and everything just keeps getting prettier and more orderly.

But now I'm getting ahead of myself.

Our story begins with some dirty carpet, yellowed paneling that was [literally] falling down, and some white, badly-needing-to-be-painted walls.

That paneling was BEGGING to be torn down. So my husband--and a few hired guys (yes, we hired some help in for this one)--started tearing down those walls.

Now came the really fun part, and the most expensive part of our house remodeling... at least so far.

In a word, laminate flooring.

[Ok, so that was two words. Sorry.]

A short ASIDE: while we were staying at my parents' (before we moved in to this house), most nights I felt absolutely terrible, so as soon as the kids went to bed, I'd retreat to bed myself. But not to sleep. I kept myself occupied with quite a few "Sell Your House" or "Flip your House" shows. Not only were they entertaining, but I found myself getting all sorts of ideas on what I wanted to do in this house.

So, yeah, if you need some cool house decorating ideas, watch some fix-up-your-house shows. It's kind of like "Pinterest on youtube" or something.

That aside aside, we chose to paint our living room walls this cool gray--specifically, Valspar Vessel Gray.

[And when I say "we," I should say my youngest sister, Hannah--who has spent more hours over here helping us, than I could possibly count. (My mom has, too--and my other sister Theresa... they spent hours and hours working over here, while I sat sick on the couch, in my parents' living room. :( ]

As soon as that lovely paint was on the walls, they already looked SO much better. But they weren't the only item needing a facelift!

These green lovelies were my parents' originally, then they were passed down to my brother, and then they were given to us. Who knows how long they've been in the family, but goodness... they are still NICE couches. They're super comfortable and firm, which is why we didn't want to get rid of them. Since the only issue was the out-dated fabric, we decided to spend $100 on couch covers (instead of much more than that, on new couches ;)).

So this is progress, you see. Tan couch covers (from Target) are ON (though wrinkled... I never did get around to ironing them), and there's a rug that had graced our basement floor in our old house.

Problem is, it didn't quite fit with my new ideas for the living room. Between the floor and the rug, there was entirely too much brown going on. So... we sold it.

Which brings me to another [very important] aside: I've mentioned in previous posts that we've been buying a lot of stuff. It pretty much comes with the territory of buying a house... you need to buy supplies to fix it up, and you need furniture and décor to make it in a pretty home.

But along with all this buying, we've been doing a TON of selling. Before and during the move (and even after--and continuing STILL!), both Matt and I went through every nook and cranny in our house, and sold everything we didn't use, or decorations/furniture/appliances that had fit in our last home, but wouldn't in this home.

We sold a bunch of our big-money items at the beginning, and then I sold $200 worth of smaller stuff at a yard sale last weekend. I let go of things that I realized I really didn't NEED anymore (such as all six seasons of Lost, which I'd watched--in its entirety--3 or 4 times).

So anyway, I'd say we've easily sold $1000+ worth of items. I call this "Selling to Buy." :-) Out with the old (plus CASH!), and in with the new.

While I'm talking about fun stuff like earning-money-through-selling-unwanted-items, I'm going to mention something totally different, but still very fun.

Moving to town introduced me to this whole new world of "buying something one day, and returning it the next." WOW. Okay, so first off, in the country, we didn't really have many options of places to shop, aaaand... going to any stores (except Walmart) was a long drive, a hassle with kids, and so on, so this "Buying/Trying/Returning" would've been difficult.

No longer.

The curtains you saw in the above picture were our "Curtains Experiment #2." Our first set was cream with blue flowers at the bottom, but you could barely see the blue flowers behind the couches.

The second set (seen above) was very light gray, and barely kept out any light. They were more decorative than actually practical.

And the third set, bought from Target, was a definite YES.

[I took those pictures in an attempt to decide if they matched the pillows/couch covers...]

Today--yes, TODAY!! (may I hear loud cheering and clapping for my handsome hubby?!), Matt drilled the holes and hung the beautiful, black curtain rod (I'm a huge fan), while I ironed the curtains, and...

We have curtains. That match the teal-ish color in the pillows. So far, I really like it!!

But let's not forget the dining room side of this living/dining room.

Yep, it was awesome, too.

We bought the dining room table set from--guess, guess, guess... Walmart. I searched Craigslist (and a friend of mine heard I was searching for dining room tables, and she probably searched for me more than I searched for myself!) for a month or two, before I decided... I knew exactly what I wanted.

So we bought it.

As for the greenery in the middle of the table, I've been trying to supply our dining room table with a little vibrant color each day... a little FREE vibrant color. We have several nice bushes around our yard (some flowering, and some just green), and they have kept our dining room table well-supplied with some needed color (especially till we get something on our walls!).

This isn't a great picture, but at least it gives you a better idea of what the full room looks like.

And NOW, 'cause it's so fun, a last BEFORE...

and... AFTER!

What would we still like to add to this room? Floor lamps and a coffee table are at the top of the list, but also... some sort of wall décor, as I just mentioned. Which is why I'm so excited about yard saling. I'm hoping to find some great prices on some GREAT finds.

Well, that's the end of the story for now. Until my next living room report... :)


  1. So inspiring and awesome. I love your couch pillows.

  2. Wow, that's an amazing before and after picture. Your new house is looking so nice! :)

  3. Your living room is beautiful! :)
    And congrats on bubs #4! :)


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