Thursday, April 12, 2012

living room transformation: part V

One thing I love about our living room is the built-in shelving on either side of the fireplace.  Not only is it nice to have shelves to display vases, pictures, books, etc., it's great that there are drawers and cabinets, too.  I love that most of the woodwork in this house is painted white, however, the shelving was almost too white for me.  I like to accent with white objects and I couldn't do that with these bookshelves.  So, on a Saturday morning, I called up my mom to get her permission approval to paint the inside of the shelves. Ehren thought it would look great, but we all know mom knows best. 

Here's before:

I decided to use Benjamin Moore's "trout gray" that we used in the dining room and master bedroom because it was in the same color family as the "anonymous" on the living room walls and it was a good background color to make things "pop".  After removing everything and wiping it clean, I started painting.  I don't use painter's tape for painting, (only for projects like here and here) I just use good brushes (i.e. Purdy) and a steady hand.  It's also good to have an old, damp wash cloth to wipe up messes as soon as they happen.  

After one coat, it looked like this:

I decided to paint the three sides as opposed to just the back wall so that if I were to put a white object in the corner, it wouldn't look weird and only half "poppy".  I had some decorative objects to display on the bookshelves but not enough and not all the same, contemporary style.  I knew that Goodwill always had a good selection of glass vases for really cheap ($1.00-$2.50) from our annual "Goodwill Christmas" tradition.  

Side-story:  On my dad's side of the family, there are seven granddaughters and no grandsons.  Us cousins decided one year to draw names for Christmas with a budget of $10 and Goodwill/Salvation Army being our only shopping destinations.  You would be amazed at what you can buy for $10 and what you can do with a little creativity.  This year, I got the book "I like you" by Amy Sedaris, a wine rack, and a vintage-looking plate with a Jamaican theme (we went to Jamaica for our honeymoon).  We expanded the Goodwill Christmas to the aunts and uncles this past year, and let me tell you, it was the best gift-giving experience we'd ever had.  Who knew you could laugh that hard giving gifts? 

I went to Goodwill and loaded up my cart - I ended up buying 17 objects and paid $32.00 total (woo hoo!).  I also got some white and silver spray paint plus some yellow and blue craft paint to refinish some of the glassware.  

This picture was a wedding gift from my cousins Ryan and Jill Stueve, the birds are from West Elm.
Random white vase thingy from Goodwill; spray-painted, $1 elephant from Michael's. 
Cherry tree (?) art - it was gold when I got it for $1.49 at Goodwill; still need a picture for the Crate and Barrel frame.
Birdhouse and bird from Michael's, approximately $4-5 each. 
I made this Kansas frame with hearts in Lawrence and Meade (where Ehren is from and his parents still live); spray painted giraffe (also $1.00), old camera, cheap white vases - need flowers for those.
White vases (one was clear glass and I painted it white); the F is from Urban Outfitters made out of recycled metal; map of the Philippines (where Ehren's mom is from).
Below is a St. Patrick's Day card my grandma sent all of us cousins this year.  It has an Irish prayer, the story of St. Patrick, and other good info.  What is special about it is that my grandpa Mac picked up a big stack of them from the Skelly gas station where he worked before all of the granddaughters were born.  My grandma said that if there was something free and up for grabs, my grandpa would take as much as he could!  He brought them home and grandma put them in a safe place.  Now, 30 years later, and four months after he passed away, we got these keepsakes.  In a way, they are a gift from Grandpa Mac.  

Here is how the shelves look now:

I also got new pulls for the drawers and cupboards.  

This is the old white pull.  
Ooooh, contemporary!
Here is a look at the shelves before I rearranged them, just so you can get an idea of what the big picture looks like:

So, what do you think?  What an easy change with such a big impact!  The next post will be the final reveal of the living room... stay tuned!


  1. I vote you fill the crate and barrel frame with a picture of me.

  2. Looking great Jamie!!

  3. Love it! You are as talanted as your mom and her sisters! :-)

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE the shelves. I'd thought about doing that but never got on with it. WELL DONE!
    I "second" Greg.


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