We have lived in our house for 2.5 years and the room we spend the most time in is one of the last ones to get done. Why? Because I wanted to do it right. I’m happy to sit in a less than ideal room until I get the perfect pieces to create a room I want for years to come (minus the odd restyle here and there). I am so incredibly excited to finally share our living room with you today!
Our living room (and house) is quite the eclectic mix. Almost everything is placed with intention. I’ve always wanted our home to tell our story, and it does so through sentimental items we’ve inherited, picked up on travels, or that have been with us for a long time. As for furniture, we’ve managed some insane scores on local craigslist type sites over the years – when you take your time, you can end up getting that perfect item for dirt cheap (or in the case of our pink chair and barcelona chairs…free). But sometimes you can’t wait, or you just can’t find that perfect item. For that, I’m thankful to have Wayfair Canada help us out with the final touches in the room. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time (they helped me start out this living room make over right here), so I’m beyond excited that they’ve made the move north up here to Canada! We’ve been seriously lacking in affordable options, especially when it comes to shipping. When I saw that shipping is free over $75, I may have done a happy dance.
The living room make over all started with the mantel. When we moved in, the entire mantel area (heck the entire house) was a nasty off white shade we called “Banana Split Puke”. Appetizing. I believe the first paint of the house was painting the bricks white, then later the mantel. It took us a while to figure out what we wanted to do, until one day I was inspired by the richness of 18th century France. I mean, just look at this room. Sure, our humble abode is no Versailles, but I wanted to bring a little bit of that grandiose into our daily lives.
As part of the mantel dress up, we painted the back gold and the shelves navy, making it all one cohesive unit. To make sure I really did these shelves justice, I decided to go to styling school and take the Bookshelf Styling Class by The Decor Fix. Seriously, I’m so glad I did. I was fairly happy with how this shelf was styled before, but something felt off, and it took this course to help me figure out what. I loved all the tips and tricks and the homework that went along with it (yes I loved the homework – I’m a teacher give me a break!). Now I have two styled shelves that feel so cohesive and perfectly put together. Seriously, if you’re the kinda person who tries to get inspiration off mimicking shelves on pinterest (I was there girl!) then I HIGHLY recommend you take this course.
This is an old IKEA shelf spray painted gold – a project I had been meaning to do the two years we’ve had it. I also covered the top and bottom shelves in marble contact paper, basically doing this exact DIY. The gold and marble is so much softer than the harsh black it used to be.
We were in dire need of a couch (and my mom reminded me every time she visited). It was nice enough, but it was big, super low, and the cushion filling had gone wonky. I hated sitting in that thing when pregnant because it meant I was stuck there until someone could help me get out. So I turned to Wayfair. I had a tough time deciding as there’s so many great options (a part of me still wishes I was bold enough to get this one!). In the end, we went for a couch very similar to our old one because we loved the lines and style. This couch was the perfect match. It still has sleek lines, but is smaller which leaves more floor space, and higher up so I don’t feel like I’m sitting on the ground.
Our old window coverings were the biggest eye sore of the room. Imagine old granny curtains from the 90’s. Not pretty. But our windows are 14 feet wide, and pulley style drapes were the best option for that length. However, the only way we would be able to make that happen is if we custom ordered them, and we did not have the funds for that. So we went for top down bottom up shades with regular drapes hanging on either side. These shades are a GAME CHANGER. I love that we can pull them halfway down so we still get light in but retain privacy. And the white is so much crisper looking than wall to wall drapes, 90’s granny flowers or not.
We used to have a lovely big coffee table in front of the couch, but a few weeks into squirrelly baby’s arrival and all the accoutrement that entails, we realized a coffee table was just not going to work. We needed something more mobile that we could easily move so he could sprawl out and play. So instead we opted for these nesting tables, and they are absolutely perfect. The two smaller tables move around the room as needed, and gets tucked away when we want the open space. For styling, I placed a tray with items on top of the main nesting table rather than placing items directly on top. That way if we need to use it, I can simply remove the tray rather than individual items.
We like to revamp our free/cheap finds, and this credenza was no exception. We picked it up for $15. It originally was all dark brown with just one rickety door. Paint, new doors made, new hardware – bam! This is a thing of beauty. You can check out the before and after and read about our furniture refurbishing adventures (and how to buy and refurbish your own furniture) here.
Fun story time: I always wanted to play the piano and would beg my parents for one. One day when I was 13ish, they came home from church absolutely beaming. “Tanya! We have a surprise for you! They were selling the piano at church so we got it for you!”, and then they revealed a……n organ. They were so excited for me that I didn’t have the heart to say anything, so I took organ lessons for around 3-4 years. I would treat it like a piano though, playing piano music and using the two keyboards as if they were one. I would play every piano I saw, and spend hours in the keyboard lab in University. Finally the day came when I could get a piano of my own. My mom’s old client wanted her piano to go to someone who would love and play it often – that someone was me. I love this thing.