Thursday, March 22, 2012

William Morris Thursday - the living room

I don't even know where to begin this week because it's been so long since I've posted. Last Thursday, my house was a turned-inside-out mess. It was our spring break and I had a list of things I wanted to get done. Two of which were nonnegotiable. Along with catching up on laundry and pulling down the summer clothes from the attic, I was determined to paint my living room and move that dang crate/coffee table into the space no matter what condition it was in. I have to warn you, this post is extremely lengthy and has a ton of pictures. It won't hurt my feelings if you skim. Promise.

Here's what I accomplished in the past two weeks:

1. I finally decided on a paint color. And I have my husband to thank for helping me decide. I swear, if he hadn't gone with me to Lowe's, I'd still be standing there in front of all those color swatches, drool running down my chin. The middle one is the one we chose.

Since it was spring break, and I had all week to work on whatever I wanted, I decided to get the painting out of the way on Monday. My helpful friend, Brenda came over to help and we knocked the whole thing out in 3 hours.

2. With the painting so quickly out of the way, and my entertainment center in the middle of the room, I decided to do something I hadn't planned on doing just yet. I had been wanting to paint the entertainment center, but wasn't sure what I'd be getting myself into. My husband has always suggested I sell the thing and use the money to get something I liked more. It was, after all, an expensive purchase and he just couldn't stomach the thought of me slapping paint on it. He did relent, though, and I went ahead with my plan. ;)

I started by researching this chalk paint that everyone is raving about these days. I read all about the Annie Sloan chalk paint and how everyone falls in love with it the first time they use it and vow to use nothing else their entire DIY lives. And I was just about to climb on the band wagon when I saw the price tag - $38 for a quart. Ouch. Plus, I'd have to wait. Wait, I tell you, for the stuff to be shipped to my house because it's not sold everywhere. When I get ready to do something, I don't want to wait. I wanted to start on my project in the next few hours. So I scoured the web looking for an alternative and I hit the jackpot.

I am apparently not the only one who's not willing to spend $38 on one quart of paint and wait for it. I followed this blogger's advice and made my own.

I wanted to bring out the color of my stone fireplace mantel, so I took a leftover piece we had in the rock pile outside. I was hoping the 'oops' shelf at Lowe's would have something I could use and sure enough, they did. I got a gallon of good paint in a color that was close for $8. The container of grout I got was $5. That's a far cry from $38/quart!

I took all the doors and hardware off and jumped right in. It really does work as well as they say. I didn't sand or prime beforehand, I just painted it in 2 coats, sanded the rough spots and sealed it with furniture paste. Miss Mustard Seed has an excellent tutorial about it here.

3. Of course, you know that when you pull out a large piece of furniture that has held lots of stuff, you have to remove all that stuff and clean the inside of the piece. This was not a project I was looking forward to, so I did it half way and haven't done anything else since.

The stuff in the foreground is the stuff I got rid of. Everything else is keep and the grocery sack is filled with empty cd holders and scratched dvd's that I pitched. The stereo components and all related wires are in a laundry basket in the dining room. The tv is shoved up against the wall in the entry way. I'm so close to just pushing it out the door a la Poltergeist.

4. I went to an antiques store known for having lots of old hardware and bought 3 hinges for the crate/coffee table and on one of the few sunny days we had last week, my husband installed them and the caster wheels.

Then, he did something that I hadn't thought of because I don't think of such things. He found an old leather belt and used it as a stay to keep the door from falling back too far and bending the hinges the wrong way. He's sharp like that.

Here's the completed crate.

I'm still not sure about color or stain. I really just wanted to get it into the space and live with it for a while first and maybe later I'll have a better idea what to do. Or I'll just leave it that way forever.

5. I left a few piles of clothes that I had purged laying around and I guess this is what happens when you walk away from them for a few weeks. They multiply into 7 bags! 6 of those bags will be going out the door and one will go into the attic for storage until the season changes again.

Whew! Let's recap with some before and after shots.






Additional notes:

The wall color is Cosmic Rays by Olympic from Lowe's. We sprung for the primer/paint in one.
The armoire color is from the oops pile so I don't know the name of it. 
We opted to remove the other two pieces of the entertainment center that flanked the armoire because it always seemed a little too crowded for me. They're in the dining room awaiting their next assignment.
The matching table and chair were scored last year on my birthday when our town had it's annual citywide garage sale. Not sure what I'm going to do with it as far as color or fabric goes, I think I'll just live with it for a while and see how I feel.
The back story on the crate/coffee table can be found here and here.
The inspiration for all of this can be found here

I'm linking up with Jules at Pancakes and French Fries for her weekly William Morris project.
I'm also linking up with A Bowl Full of Lemons Tuesday link party.

Join me?


Kelly said...

Holy guacamole, you've been BUSY. And it all looks so fresh and open. I love your new coffee table...and the entertainment center re-do totally changes the room. Impressive!

Cathryn J said...

It is amazing how emphasizing the focal points of the fireplace and entertainment center help to ground the room. The new paint color makes it feel so much more welcoming. You room now says, come on in!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

Wow! Excellent job! The blue color is so much more friendly. Perfect choice. I'm the worst about picking wall colors also. But it's amazing what a huge difference paint can make!

Love what you did with the armoire - and that you mixed your own chalkboard paint. That's so something I would do :)

Alana in Canada said...

This is so exciting. I just love watching the transformation! Great job.

May said...

It feels so warm now. That old hardware rocks! The whole crate project is my favorite part.

Julie @ The Family CEO said...

Great work! I wanted to paint my bedroom blue but could never decide on a color. Yours looks great and I love the table on wheels!

pamelotta said...

@Kelly - Thank you so much. I really had fun knowing I was saving money by doing it myself!

@Cathryn J - Thanks! I never realized how much the previous yellow color caused my fireplace to disappear. And it's my favorite thing in the room. I'm so glad the blue had the opposite effect.

@Tiffany - Thanks, I'm loving the blue more and more. It really is a calming color just like 'they' say. ;)

@Alana - Thanks for stopping by!

@May - I think it's mine, too. The one thing I didn't realize was how big it is. Naturally, in my yard it looked small, but when we brought it in, I was shocked at big it really was. Good thing my husband cut it down a little!

Alice Almighty said...

Pam~Amazing. The whole room looks new. I love the coffee table and the colors...I am so impressed with your vision for that crate, and the fact that it ended up where you planned!

Sharon Hermens said...

Oohh, Pam. I love how everything turned out!! You did a great job!
Love ya!!

pamelotta said...

@Julie - that color wall at Lowe's is so daunting. It helps to have someone with who knows about cools and warms and contrasts and complimentary and all that stuff. Fortunately for me, my husband is an expert in all that! I'm glad you like it.

@Alice - Thank you so much. I'm having fun showing it off. However, all along I thought I would have a hard time keeping my kids off of it. Turns out I can't keep them out of it. It's kind of creepy, actually. ;)

@Mom - Thanks. When you saw it, it looked like a tornado hit. Or, like it always does! ;)

That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

Your living room has such a fantastic, beachy vibe now. That blue color with the painted armoire totally transforms it. And the crate/ table looks so great. A Spring Break well spent!

pamelotta said...

Thanks, Ms. Amy! I never thought of it looking beachy, but I guess it kind of does. Wish it was a little closer to the beach!