Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d cheerfully form.
I spent my first three years of marriage raging against the beige walls of our first two apartments, affectionately referring to one of the paint colors as “zombie flesh.” I craved color and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to make whatever paint choices my heart desired in our first home, like the dark charcoal office, green dining room, or blush pink master bedroom. I was only a personal vendetta to banish boring beige walls.
However, one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is to listen to your home.
When I tried to make our first home white and bright, the low ceilings and the windows’ solar screens flatly refused. I had to lean into the shaded qualities of our downstairs living area and roll with a cozy, moody gray. I listened to my home and ended up with one of my favorite rooms as a result.
Listen to your home. That mantra has been foremost on my mind as we’re settling in here. If I rush in with preconceived notions and a pre-formulated plan, I just might be fighting against this place’s best features, not enhancing them, and that is NOT the formula to ending up with a home you love.
So I have been listening, intently, and I’ve discovered that this house really has a thing for neutrals.
The wide open floor plan means that I need to pay careful attention to the way rooms flow into each other, and all the streaming light and windows mean that I can finally embrace some light and bright decorating.
I’ve been surprised to discover that the soft beige wall color the previous owners chose is actually pretty great – it doesn’t clash with the undertones in the tile OR carpet (which, judging by my house hunting experience, is astoundingly rare) and they even used a matte paint finish (the 70’s dream house had sticky semigloss walls throughout). I owe these lovely people a huge debt of gratitude!
In an absolute first in Brynne Delerson history, I’m not itching to start painting.
I originally was thinking I would head in a completely different direction than our former living room in here, but then I found those beige 1980’s leather channel-back club chairs on Craigslist ($20 each, you guys!!!) that were just begging to party with the green velvet sofa. Once I pulled them into the room, I knew I had to embrace this chance to explore the lighter side of a few of my favorite things.
And oh my goodness, I am loving the tone on tone and soft subtleties of this room right now! As I brought in old pieces and a few new thrift finds, it all seemed to come together into a warm, breezy space that I feel really should have a beach view out those windows…
It’s amazing the way a clean slate gives you entirely new eyes for your pieces!
It’s so easy to get locked into one idea/purpose/direction in decorating. This move was a great way to “shuffle the deck” and force me to try out new arrangements and combinations, but you definitely don’t need to move (in fact, I can’t recommend it) to experience the same fresh perspective.
Start by taking a step back and removing things from the room until you feel like you’re starting over again – mix and match pieces from other rooms to bring in new vibes!
I am madly in love with this mantel right now, even though there’s no rhyme or reason to the arrangement. Thrift store obelisks join Mr. Spalding’s Fantastic Feathered Flying Machine, along with a woolly sheep figure and a prized family heirloom portrait of my great great aunt, who was a stage actress. They have nothing in common except for the fact that I’m adoring these colors and textures together!
Please keep in mind, that this room is definitely not finished. And I can’t even promise it will look anything like this even a week from now… At the moment, it’s my intention to hang the two huge Forrest Moses monographs over the sofa, and most likely rehang the sunburst mirror over the teak bar, but you just never know what new finds may pop up and cause drastic course corrections!
In the future, I see breezy curtains for the windows, possibly a change of ceiling fans (non-negotiable for our Texas summers), maybe a taller floor lamp for that corner, and I’ll admit – the leopard rug on carpet situation is very wrinkly and bunchy at the moment. I’m looking at rug pads designed to alleviate the issue, but I’m not confident they’ll be effective with our plush carpet. I feel like wouldn’t even know who I am without my leopard rug, but it just might not end up working in this room.
But remember – just say “no” to rash decisions!
I’ll be here waiting, mulling, and slowly gathering to make sure whatever I do fits with both the spirit of my home and the feel I hope to achieve.
I hope you enjoyed this first look at the new living room! I’m slowly making progress in other spaces, but this room is definitely the most “company ready,” so I’m so glad you stopped by!