Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Formal Living Room - Furniture and Paint

Now that Christmas is over, I think it's time I update you on what's been going on around these parts… Let's start with the living room; it's probably had the most changes here recently.

We moved in and placed an accent chair in the formal living room ONLY because I wanted to be sure of its (the chair's) final destination.

Here's how it looked from March until August:

The view from stairs in foyer

This room is right across from the stairs and one of the first things guests see when they enter.

I thought long and hard about how I wanted to approach the design of this room. I searched for the perfect sofa and quickly decided I wanted a cream or white sofa. I also knew I wanted it to feel like luxury (tufting, quality fabrics, etc.), I knew… it would be expensive.  Reality hit - the formal living room would not be a room we use everyday so its completion was pushed lower and lower on the priority list.

My mom decided early September that she no longer wanted the grandfather clock she designed 20+ years ago.  She thought about selling it but I insisted the clock come to our home.  It's our first family heirloom!!  I remember my mom designing it in Japan when I was in Kindergarten.  For years, it's been one of my favorite pieces in our home.  The sound of its chimes reminds me of my childhood. I just love it. 

So, when the clock came, we moved the accent chair to the basement and moved the clock into the living room.  It looked awesome in its new home.

There it sat.  For months.

Instead of focusing on the living room, I focused my attention on those spaces that were important to our everyday life.

Hubbs could see my progress (it was slow but steady) but he started to ask about the living room.  He would point out random furniture sales at our neighborhood stores - you know, the furnish-your-whole-room-for-$600 kinda deal?  Yea, that one.  They're nice sales but totally NOT what I want in my formal living room.

My typical response?

"O, yea… $600 is about 10% of my estimated furniture expense."

He called me all types of liars, shook his head in disbelief and would THANKFULLY shut up about the living room… at least for a day.  Then, he'd return with questions about the location of this never-gonna-happen furniture.  I dropped a few names - Thomasville, Arhaus, Restoration Hardware.  

I would describe the vision for the space - a world traveler look with rich fabrics and conversational pieces… wood that's lived a full life… Hubbs would reply, "I don't get it."

On one November Sunday after church, I had Hubbs accompany me to a nearby Arhaus store. He needed to see the style I was referring to.

Finally, he got it.  He also saw the prices we could expect to pay and about passed out, lol.  I'd explained that I wanted a tufted sofa that had  contemporary lines and would complete the feel of this Thomasville photo I've been drooling over:

I love the cheerful color combo and styling but I didn't want to have pillows to fluff… I needed a little more structure.

Anyhoo, we left the furniture store and headed to my parents' home for dinner.  I guess Hubbs still had furniture on his mind because, as soon as we walked in, he noticed their living room sofa:


He walked over sat down and started rubbing the seat, "Ma! Pops! Where'd ya'll get this?!"

I responded, "from Bob's."

By this time my Mom was gracefully sitting next to Hubbs with her Vanna White hands showcasing her brand new sofa's details, "...you like my sofa?  It's great, right? Guess how much it cost?"

Hubbs, now crossing his arms, with his NEW furniture pricing skills, "Ma, she just had me in this store with this SAME sofa so I know what the price is…"

Mom: "NOPE! I bet you don't. $550!"

Mom proceeded to tell us all about Bob's Furniture deals and set-up.  She also explained that she really wanted the sectional version of the sofa she purchased but the salesman talked her out of it.  Hubbs said, "well, if you want to sell your sofa and go get the one you REALLY wanted, let me know."

A few weekends later, Mom and I planned to go to Bob's.  This was an opportunity for me to see the Bob's Furniture selection and for my mom to drool over her sectional.

Mom fell in love with the sectional all over again.  As luck would have it, it was on sale for $600 less than the original price because the inventory was getting low.  Guess what! Mom decided to purchase!

It was Christmas time and, although I had no plans of purchasing, I did want to check out the store.  Mom made a phone call and wandered off.  While she was chatting, I explored the store.  Would you believe they have a complimentary cafe? 

TV, ice cream, snacks, candies, coffee, water, drinks… ALL COMPLIMENTARY?!

Our salesman informed us the staff can't talk business while shoppers enjoy the cafe.  Apparently, "when you're at Bob's, you're home.  Help yourself."

Mom returned and said she was getting the sofa.  I was excited because that meant I could purchase her sofa before the new one was delivered.  Apparently, however, I ruined a major surprise.

Hubbs planned to purchase the sofa and armchair, pick it up and place it in our basement.  Much like he banned Munch from the basement (calling it Santa's Workshop), Hubbs planned to block that area of the house from me.  Then, when I went to be bed on Christmas eve, he and Dad were going to move the furniture and put it in place so when I woke Christmas morning, I'd have my living room furniture in place and, as he put it, he would be the best husband ever.

Sweet idea, right?!

Mom explained that she was on the phone with Hubbs.  She also informed me my armchair (my what?!) would be shipped with her sectional that Thursday.  The best part?  Her sofa (her PRACTICALLY NEW sofa) would be her and Dad's gift to us.


The above picture was taken on Christmas Eve.  I had taken the sofa's measurements and it really helped to ensure everything would fit perfectly.

Having the furniture in place, I realized the wall color had to change.  The sofa is an oatmeal color and the wall is move-in tan… It all was too bland.  I wanted a neutral color but one that would be the focus… I decided on a blue-based gray.  I chose my 3 top picks:

Once on the wall, the far left color seemed too nursery like, the middle color was too faint.  I liked the darker color but I wanted to get Hubbs' opinion.  He and Munch, with neither hesitation nor my influence, chose the same color.

Valspar Autumn Fog

It looks more gray in the photo above than it does on the wall… It's really a dirty blue-gray.  I was excited to paint!!

This past Sunday, January 5th, I painted my living room.

To recap, we have living room furniture that, get THIS, meets all of my requirements!  

Tufting and luxurious fabric:

Nail heads:

Wonderful details:

I am very pleased with how everything is coming together. The furniture looks great and the wall color gives the room a neutral pop.  I can't wait to find the perfect pieces to pull it all together.

YAY for making progress!!!



  1. Good read. The clock would surely look good with the room design you want to achieve. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is really an amazing and attractive post about Pups with Wine. I appreciate your posted wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.


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