Living room refresh

Sweet Summertime

Summer is here and we have been loving every moment.  Warm weather and sunshine are just plain good for the soul after a Minnesota Winter.  With the sweet sunshine comes a busy schedule.  It's like we Minnesotans need to fit a whole year's worth of outdoor activities into a four month span.  Don't get me wrong, we don't hide inside all winter, but Summer is special.  

Taking a break from projects to capture some family photos at Grandma & Grandpa's.

Taking a break from projects to capture some family photos at Grandma & Grandpa's.


Back to Work

Even with all of Summer's craziness we have been continuing to work on DIY projects around our house.  Every time we finish a project and pour a little more of our hearts into the house, it becomes more of a home.  This month's focus has been our living room, and it has been so fun to invest this labor of love into a space where our family spends most of our time.  Not only has this project made our home feel more beautiful, but it has also made our space more functional.  A double win!  Before I get started with all of the details of our living room project, here is a before and after of the wall that we focused on for our refresh.

Isn't that a great transformation!?  When we bought our house we really liked the house because of the potential that it held, but we weren't in love with the finishes that the builder selected.  Don't get me wrong, everything was new and nice, and we have always been very thankful to call this place home.  However, our style is very different from the style of our home when we bought it, so we knew going in that we would want to make quite a few changes to the finishes.  The layout, size, and location were perfect for us though, and we love having the opportunity to make the house our own.  We also knew that we didn't want to spend a ton of money on renovations after having just purchased our home.  Our solution for this was doing all of the projects ourselves in the most cost effective way that we can.  If you are willing to put in the work, it's amazing what a few DIY projects can do!

The plain greige walls that our house came with didn't last for long.  Within a couple months of moving in, we painted almost the entire house using "Gentle Rain" by Behr.  This lighter gray paint was an easy change that made a huge difference.  We also installed faux-shiplap on the wall behind our living room TV shortly after, which made a big impact in the space.  We still felt like it needed some "finishing touches" to fit our style.  

Here's the room with the shiplap installed and painted "Nimbus Cloud" and the gallery wall painted in "Gentle Rain" by Behr.

Here's the room with the shiplap installed and painted "Nimbus Cloud" and the gallery wall painted in "Gentle Rain" by Behr.

Project Time

For the latest DIY in our living room we installed board and batten wainscoting.  This will eventually extend through our entryway and adjoining playroom that we are converting into an office/den in the next couple months.  Even though we already painted our walls a very light grey, the added brightness of the white board and batten makes the room feel so much brighter.  Since we don't have the greatest natural sunlight in our living room, this small change makes a big difference.  When we installed the board and batten we also took down the gallery wall that used to hang in our living room, in favor of creating a unique 3 sign collection that finishes the space off perfectly.  The texture, depth, and neutral color make it the perfect compliment to our space.  

I have always been drawn toward the beautiful barn quilts, but a traditional barn quilt wouldn't be a good fit for our home.  We decided to use them as our inspiration with a few modifications.  We decided that they would be 3 dimensional to add some extra visual interest.  We also added a slight Scandinavian touch by simplifying the pattern and using a neutral color scheme.  This means that we won't have to change them out for each season, because they will blend seamlessly with our decor no matter the time of year.   We also created a 3D quote for the middle, using one of my favorite quotes from Mother Theresa.  Family is extremely important to us, so this quote was the perfect addition to our living room.  We plan to use this as our "go-to" sign for the middle, and also create signs for Fall, Christmas, and patriotic holidays that we can switch out.  

Here is our finished living room wall. It is SO much brighter and the whole room feels more inviting.

Here is our finished living room wall. It is SO much brighter and the whole room feels more inviting.

A Gathering Place

We also designed and built a coffee table for our living room that compliments our World Market console table. In our 9 years of marriage we have never had a coffee table, and it makes the room so much more functional.  Before we bought our current house, our living rooms had always been too small for a coffee table, so we didn't have one to bring to our new house.  Once we moved in, there were so many other things that we needed that this project fell by the wayside.  Now that it's done I can't believe we waited so long! The kids always seem to have Legos or puzzle scattered across the table, and it is so nice to have a spot to rest our feet after a long day. Not to mention that the table is just as beautiful as it is functional.  I look forward to all of the memories that will surround that coffee table.

Here's what the coffee table looked like for a hot minute, right after we finished the project.

Here's what the coffee table looked like for a hot minute, right after we finished the project.

And here's what it looks like about 95% of the time since. Not exactly the decor color scheme that I was going for, but still perfect in every way.

And here's what it looks like about 95% of the time since. Not exactly the decor color scheme that I was going for, but still perfect in every way.

Stay tuned for a step-by-step guide on installing the board and batten wainscoting that we used in our living room.  This project gives you so much bang for your buck, you will want to run straight to Home Depot for supplies! 

I'm off to enjoy the summer sunshine,

Lindsey