Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Our Living Room & Fireplace Before and After

I cannot remember if I shared this information on the blog before, but in August 2017 my parents moved from Saskatoon to Regina and my husband and I moved into their home here in Saskatoon. We have been super happy with this arrangement – this is more house than we could even rent, nevermind buy; there is a huge backyard; there is a wonderful neighbour community; and I grew up here. When I look around at the different paint and design features, I see the hard work that my father put in to making our home beautiful and updated. There definitely is not anything that we needed to change or update, just a few things that could stand to become more our personal taste. We painted the living room from beige to a warm white within six months of moving in, and that is it. 

We have been taking our time with the whole house, but since the living room is the centre of the house and the first room you see when you enter, we wanted to focus our efforts here first. It took a while for us to decide to paint over the oak touches. While the tone of the wood was not really our style, we are not people that tend to jump right to painting over beautiful, great condition wood. We ultimately decided to go with white over the wood to brighten up the room, and then a blue on the walls (Soft Chinchilla - Benjamin Moore) as a contrast and statement.

Another large part of why we worked on this room first was the tiles on the hearth. The original ones were loose when we moved in (they had been on my dad's to-do list for years). When our daughter was starting to crawl, she discovered that she could loosen the grout. All of a sudden, the tiles were off and the little pieces of grout were finding their way into her pudgy little hands on their way to her mouth. We obviously did not want her to be eating the grout, so my husband removed everything that was loose or could possibly become loose soon. What was left was about half of the tiles and a half-naked hearth. My husband and I do not have similar styles when it comes to home decor, and we are still pretty new at this, so it took a very long time to come to a consensus and we lived with this sad hearth much longer than I would have liked to.

Once we were ready to go, though, my husband did a great job building the wooden sides to the hearth to match my vision. Instead of tiling the top and sides as it had previously been, we decided to tile the top but go with wooden sides with a curved wooden edge - this was my number one priority so that it was a bit more child-safe. We really struggled to agree on the look, and particularly the size, of the tiles to use, but we ultimately ended up with these marble-look subway tiles, and I could not be more happy with them,

This room does not have any exterior walls, so there are no direct windows to the outdoors (the windows flanking the fireplace go into the sunroom). There are pockets during the day, especially during the bright, reflective winter, that allow light into this room, but the majority of the day sees this room in darkness. As such, it is important to us to make design decisions that maximize the light and brighten the room when we can.

We still have plenty we want to do in this room, including changing out the baseboards and even the floor, but it will be a long, slow process. We haven't really styled or decorated the mantel yet, either. We tend to layer pieces over time, and I will be decorating for Christmas soon.

Another thing we did in the living room was remove the built-in, look-through shelves that separated the entrance from the living room. This still isn't totally complete, though, because we have some patching and painting to do, so I will share that update when it's fully finished.

What are some updates that you have done recently in your home, or that you hope to do soon?

Products used:
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior Eggshell - Soft Chinchilla (Wall)
Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Pearl - Distant Gray (Woodwork)

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