How to Lighten Up Your Living Room -A Before & After

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I love our living room. Everything in it has been chosen carefully (albeit on a Craigslist budget). However, because we were so careful in our selections, most of the room is very neutral. Lots of wood and earth tones that can seem heavy in the afternoon's sun and dark and stiff in the evening.

The fireplace is also off-center and in a corner. Which makes it a very awkward focal point. So our media cabinet, or armoire, is unfortunately our focal point. And until recently, was also unfortunately knotty pine. I've shown pictures before, but here it is again, in all it's naked piney glory:



Years ago, I decided to paint it. First I thought black--another nice neutral color, but I already painted our kitchen table black and didn't want our house to look like it was designed by Mrs. Havasham. Then I thought about staining it darker-maybe a walnut or mahogany. But the room already struggled with too many dark tones.

The room needed some POP! Some whimsey. I chose Olive #5 from Ralph Lauren.

And the result, in my opinion is amazing.



The color really Made the armoire the focal point of the room. It is as if all the other pieces in the room are now pointing to this one lead piece. I could get really dramatic and describe how my lamps are standing on the the couches saluting my armoire chanting, "Oh, Captain, My Captain. " But then you'll think I'm exaggerating. Trust me. I am not. The room is chanting and it is inspiring.

And most surprising, adding color to our focal point actually lightened the whole space.

In lieu of blogging, I've been painting all over the house this summer. Hopefully, I will put the brush down soon and take a few more pictures to share again.

Before I get back to my projects, I'll leave you some painted amoire link love:

::Kim did her's in distressed black-so sophisticated! She's got more photos of it in her home on Scrap to My Lu, if you keep your eye out for it.

::Becoming Home paints an armoire a crisp white to house her linens.

::Edie from Life in Grace gives a French Painting technique tutorial she used on her armoire.

::And of course, Nester shared her tips for painting knotty pine last week, which I re-read and re-read before starting my project and am really glad I did-(the roller saved hours-and a primer was totally necessary to keep the knots from bleeding!)

::Lucas Rise dares you to paint creatively before dismissing an armoire! Do you dare?




This post is linked to Kimba's DIY Day.

31 Creative People Had This To Say:

Jessica Morris said...

LOVE it!! That color is fantastic - I'd love to see a fuller shot of the room and how it fits in there! :)
Great color choice!

Leaning on Him said...

I've missed reading your posts but I'm glad to hear that you're having fun painting everything! ;)
This turned out awesome! But, is it back in your living room? The after pic makes me wonder. I agree with JM, we wanna see the whole view. :)
Amanda @ leaningonhim.wordpress.com

Elizabeth said...

Great color! Looks good. I'm stuck in lets-paint-everything-black phase. Thanks for another color idea. :)

The Park family said...

This is gorgeous! Love the color and the links to all the how to's. Now I have to find one of those craigs list airmoires to paint! LOVE IT!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

That green is very nice. I have started trying to think of other colors than black. Jackie

Terry said...

It's beautiful and now that you gotten over the "natural" look, you can paint it again without guilt to make it perk up any room.

Enchanted Rose Studio said...

Love the color! What a terrific choice! Great job!

Tina

Mrs. C said...

Love it! You did a wonderful job. I enjoyed the other links as well. Thanks for posting them.

Pink & Green Mama said...

I love the GREEN!! It's FANTASTIC : ) Great job....okay, maybe I'm a little too excited about this but I really do love the new color.

Michelle said...

Love the Ralph Lauren paints and they cover to nicely too!

Great job!

Kristen, The Pajama Mama said...

Thanks for all the affirmation, guys!!!

The room may be singing, but it is far from finished...still needs some mantel tweaking...but, yes Amanda, it is still the same room, and same wall.

mary'smom said...

Nice color choice! Great look.

Cindy said...

Beautiful job, I love the green, it brightens everything up! Cindy

Lynn said...

You just painted your amoire one of my two favorite colors!
It looks good!

The Nester said...

Love this post and all the links! I'm adding this to the Nest Files!

The Nester said...

oh, and yeah, that armoire? FAB.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a fun blog.

Love your color selection -- i am a green lover too.

All this is fantastic especially if you are enjoying yourself.

TTFN~~ Claudia ♥

Brenda said...

I LOVE the color! Sometimes ya just gotta take a chance and look what you ended up with. I'm saluting it too!
Brenda

Kammy said...

Hi Kristen !
I love the color you chose ! I did mine in black this week, sure made a huge difference. I am one knot for pine either, LOL !
Hugs ~ Kammy

Leaning on Him said...

Wow--I didn't know you took up the carpet! I guess if I actually e-mailed you once in awhile I could find out what's going on in your life!
bad--bad friend.
8>)

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Green is my favourite colour and my bedroom suite is the exact same wood finish as your 'before armoire'... that's it - forget the cream... this is the colour I'm going with. It will go so well with my bedlinen and it will mirror the greenery of the forest we look out on to from our picture window! Thanks Kristen for the inspiration.. I'm goiing to be a busy girl... just need hubbie's approval now!

care-in said...

This is great...checking out all the links now! I have trouble seeing past the furniture and figuring out how I could fix it up. I did buy a bookshelf at a garage sale knowing my friend could help me!!

Things That Inspire said...

Great job - what I love is that you chose an unusual color, a bit of a risk, and it paid off so beautifully.

J. Paige said...

Oh, I love that color. It looks great!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Hi Kristen, I'll answer your question about big pictures here and on your blog since others who read this may want to know too. The easiest way to answer is to refer you to Mary at: http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.com/2009/04/big-picture.html. and also Susan at:http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/2009/06/welcome-to-21st-metamorphosis-monday.html. They have both given instructions on how to enlarge your photos. Hope this helps!

Nikki said...

This turned out great, it really changed the whole look of the room, well, what I can see anyway.

nannykim said...

such a peaceful color

Heidi said...

beautiful! I've gotten a painting itch this summer too! The dinning room table is my next victim. ;)

Lindsay@ THAT'S SO CUEGLY said...

I'm LOVEING this! so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!Come check out my TRANSOFORMATION end table at DIY DAY!

Sugar Mommy said...

It looks so peaceful there! Great color!

Becky said...

I love it! And I agree that a surprise of color is just the thing for any room. It really turned out great!