In Progress: Formal Living Room

We've been plugging along on the formal living room for a few weeks now so I figured it was time to share it on the blog! I wouldn't consider this room a finished product by any means, but it's at a point where I'm not embarrassed to have people over. I consider that a big success since we haven't even been in this home for two months. Now we can take our time to find the final touches and not rush into impulse purchases, which is exactly how I like to decorate.

Like the rest of our main living spaces, this room got a paint job before we even moved in. A fresh coat of Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore gave us a neutral space, so I could go any way I wanted with the colors. It was the perfect spot for our West Elm rug, so I used that as a jumping off point.

As a reference point, here's the room when we first toured the house:

This room is in the center of the house so it doesn't have any windows. The only light source was a very dim ceiling fan in the center of the room. Considering our home is almost completely shaded by trees, this particular room really needed more light.

To solve this problem, we recruited our friend who works with Scott. He does electrical work on the side and was willing to help us install more lighting in this room. (We worked out a trade where he will take that giant play set in our backyard in exchange for helping us- everybody wins!)

We added four new pot lights in the corners of the room that made a world of difference right away. Suddenly the room was bright and spacious! Then we brought in some ambient lighting and a little extra sparkle with some crystal sconces on either side of the french doors leading to the office/studio. The best part about the sconces is that they were free– a generous hand-me-down from my mom. I love it when she gives me stuff she isn't using!

So we started with our West Elm Ikat Links rug (one of my favorite outlet purchases ever) and added the Rooms to Go sofa about a month ago. Things always look better in threes, so I hung three mirrors above the sofa. The middle one was a bargain from the Wisteria warehouse sale, and I bought the other two recently from the sale rack at Target. How great is Target's Threshold line? I want everything!

That ceiling space above the mirrors looked empty, and I found myself cursing the lovely high ceilings in this room. Instead of resenting them, I decided to draw the eye up and emphasize the height of the walls with a DIY art sculpture made of origami birds. Let me tell you, the husband was skeptical about my idea. It's like a nursery mobile made for adults! I LOVE it.  I'm working on a detailed post about that project, so stay tuned for that.

We didn't have any side tables, so I used two of my thrifted crates. That's a makeshift, temporary solution until we find some real side tables, but they work surprisingly well. The finish of the wood crates ties in well with the mirrors above the sofa. Another fun thrift store find in this room is our coffee table. I like how it picks up the silver of the nail heads on the couch and the frame of the center mirror. The stainless steel finish of the trunk shows every little fingerprint, but that's OK since this is the formal living room and we don't hang out in here that much.

I'm still in love with one of my most tedious pieces of artwork ever, the pear painting. I'm happy that it is one of the first things you see when you open the front door! We have it sitting on top of a hand-me-down dresser from my grandparents that has been stripped of its shiny 1980s finish and still needs new hardware.

Check out my vintage brass recliners! I picked up these extremely heavy Barcaloungers at the thrift store for $40 each. Yes, the condition is a little rough. We're still deciding if we want to sink some cash into these for reupholstering and tightening up the reclining part. Right now the footrest sags a little bit. I'm pretty in love with them but the husband doesn't want to spend a fortune to bring them back to life, so right now they are sitting pretty until we make a decision. On top of the chest sits a mercury glass lamp from HomeGoods and a glass dome from the thrift store, along with our wedding album. Those pillows on the recliners came with the new sofa!

Over in the corner is our little West Elm desk, my doodle chair and a $7 thrifted mirror. I added a plant, some photos and the little Wisteria horse to make it a bit more interesting.

Well, I think that covers it! Do you like how it's coming together? I think this room will continue to evolve over time but I like where it's going!

* Dinner Time *

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