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DESPITE what you may be thinking, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  I’ve just been in my typical winter state of mind for the past month:  hibernation.  The effects of hibernation are countless, the most significant of which is the inability to complete any task that doesn’t have to do with basic human survival and hygiene (e.g., eating, sleeping and showering).  Filled with the hope that a fresh coat of paint would lift my spirits high, I managed to come out of hibernation at least once to focus on some updates to our living room.  But don’t get it twisted, I didn’t do any actual work.  I picked up the phone and called (actually texted; again, too lazy to speak) my favorite painter Alisa Stehman to do the dirty work for me.

As a reminder, this is what our living room looked light before we moved into our new place:

Embrace My Space: Living Room Before

Then we moved our furniture into the place, which changed the layout quite a bit:

Embrace My Space: Living Room at Christmas

We flipped the entertainment portion of the space to above the fireplace because our sectional really only made sense placed against this side wall.  I know some people are over hanging the TV above the fireplace, but this worked best in our case.  I actually like the TV above the fireplace because it focuses all of your attention to one focal point, rather than having two (i.e., the fireplace wall and the TV wall).

Embrace My Space: Living Room at Christmas

I love our big, cushy, white sectional, our rug and our accent furniture, but all of that loveliness still wasn’t enough to compete with the color of burnt flesh on the walls.  So, I did what I do best.  I picked out some blue/green paint and got to work. Well, Alisa got to work, but you know what I mean.  Here is what the room looks like now:

Embrace My Space: Living Room

The color is Silver Sage by Restoration Hardware.  It’s a subtle slate blue/green that evokes the beachy vibe that I love.  Eventually our entire first floor likely will be covered with Silver Sage; but as you can see at the left of the photo, the burnt flesh remains.

Embrace My Space: Living Room

And, yes, those are stripes you see peeking out from the right side of the frame!  Matt thought it would be a good idea to do a stripe in the room.  We decided that the fireplace wall would be the best place for the stripes since that wall grounds the space visually.

Embrace My Space: Living Room

The stripes are Silver Sage and Sea Green, also by Restoration Hardware.  We had some Sea Green left over from the paint job in our office, and I thought it would be the perfect contrast to the Silver Sage.  The stripes as just a bit more bold than subtle, but they aren’t so jarring that they distract you from the TV or the fireplace.

And did you notice anything else about this wall?  Perhaps you were too distracted by the stripes to notice that the fireplace went from RED to white.  I must admit that the fireplace went white by default.  Matt and I have been dreaming of getting a really cool mantel from an architectural salvage place, so we didn’t put much effort into thinking about what we’d do with the current mantel once we painted the room.  Needless to say, we also haven’t put much effort into finding a new mantel either.  Darn hibernation!

Embrace My Space:  Living Room

Once Alisa painted the stripes on the wall, it was clear that the red fireplace just had to go.  Since she painted the trim a nice crispy white, we both thought the easiest fix would be to do the same with the fireplace.  I think it’s an almost 100% improvement over the red, especially considering the tones of blue/green we went with on the stripes.

Once the Silver Sage was up on this wall, Alisa used a level to measure out and pencil-mark the stripes.  After she marked everything, she put up blue painters’ tape on the outside of each stripe that would become Sea Green.  Before applying the second color, Alisa painted another coat of Silver Sage over the tape so that if there was any bleeding, the Silver Sage would bleed on to the Silver Sage base coat.  Once that was dry, Alisa rolled on the Sea Green paint and peeled the tape off while that coat was still a bit wet.  The stripes came out nice and crisp, with only a bit of touch up required!  I learned this stripe painting technique from the lovely Emily Henderson when she was competing on HGTV’s design star a few years ago.  Thanks for being brilliant, Emily.  Holla atcha girl!

Embrace My Space: Living Room

You’ll also notice that the extremely formal cornice boards are gone in favor of, well, nothing in these pictures.  I currently am staring at our new window treatments, which went up yesterday.  I didn’t have a chance to take pictures after they were hung (read, I was too lazy to do it), so I’ll update you on those soon.

Embrace My Space: Living Room

I’m still working on the styling details in the space.  Right now I have books, picture frames, sea shells and glass vases littering most of the surfaces in the space.  I need to do some editing to get it just right.  Now there is just a lot of junk sitting around.  Although I’m not super excited about how this looks, I did want to show you my new protea flower that I bought this past weekend at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This particular protea traveled to the flower show all the way from Maui and showed up looking fresh as a daisy!  I just had to have one when I saw dozens of them at one of the vendor booths.  The seller told us that it will last for about 2 weeks and then it will maintain its color when dried.  How cool!  I think he looks like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. FEED ME SEYMOUR!  I said that about 100 times after Matt bought the flower for me.

What does everyone think of the stripes?  Isn’t it amazing what a coat of paint can do to totally transform the feel of a space?  Did you work on any paint projects during the winter, or do you wait until you can open the windows before you do a project like this?