room giveaway 2: christina’s living room

If you’ve checked in on us this week, you’ve probably realized that this was the week for room giveaway updates. All three winners selected the very same room for their redo…and we’re kindred spirits…my own living room is one awkward configuration in itself. So I totally understand this wildly popular conundrum. I’ve been working on ideas for ours, and I thought it was funny…and inspiring just for me to tackle the challenges and cook up something different for each space.

If Christina lived in the same town as me, we would be friends. Just sayin’. After her first email, she had me laughing, and when she told me a little of what her fam is about, she had me excited to design a space for her. Here’s a little of what she had to say:

We love to travel and are on the go a lot. We get to go to cool places because my husband is a full time stand up comic on the road. We love silly. No kids – we have 2 mini dachshunds named Oscar & Maya.. wait for it… wait for it…  See? We’re corny (Oscar Mayer = Oscar & Maya).  I love retro/vintage 40’s/50’s stuff a la  House 8810. Our house is a bungalow down the street from a lake.  I grew up in a similar renovated 50’s summer bungalow and wish I lived in the house when it was a summer bungalow in the 50’s, going out to the casino on a Friday night where Jackie Gleason did standup.

First things first, I adore this description. And second things second, could her dogs’ names BE any cuter?! So let’s get to it, shall we?


Christina sent me this table cloth as color inspiration for their entire home. She also added that she loves the idea of adding architectural interest, and planks on the wall.

I love the colors in that tablecloth. SO…this is what I came up with…

1. That sofa in the space now, is really really dark. And there’s a major vying-for-space going on in that room. My real and honest suggestion: is for Christina and her hubby to sell their current sofa and chair on craigslist. And with that money, go for this one from Ikea. They’ll probably still lack a few {???} to make up the difference, but I think they would be SO glad when they did. This price tag is actually quite reasonable.

A secondary option would be to slipcover their current sofa, to lighten up the area, and add an additional chair to the space. But for a true, streamlined, and pulled together look, this couch would be a simple, practical addition. {I know. Hate me.}

2. + 6. When I saw this photo, I knew we had the perfect plank-ey upgrades for Christina and the hubster.

Pretend that the ceiling in this photo are the other walls. If that is the case, then the main “accent” wall you see here would be the wall with the TV, in their room now. So the colorful planks would go behind the tv, and vertical on that wall only. The other walls would be horizontal, and white. For a nice, simple contrast. {Don’t worry-they don’t have to touch the pretty floors: that dark they have will be a nice contrast}

For the horizontal planks {and a lot of the vertical, on the accent wall} I would paint them a nice classic, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (2121-70). For the occasional accent plank: Juneau Spring (2041-40) and Crystal Blue (2051-70). I would dry brush them on over the white. It’s subtle yet adds instant personality.

The addition of the planks in this space will be a little work, but with simple math, a borrowed nail gun from a friend, and the help of your local HD saw welding guy, {they cut them in store for you} these walls will exude simple, rustic, vintage, lake-house beauty. Instant room appeal, I tell you.

3. For the fabric:

I put a bird on it. {I was rolling when she sent me this link} But I wanted something that was fun, and shared in the same vintage, kitschy feel that Christina mentioned she loved. These unlikely pairs would make some fabulous pillows for their new couch, and a wonderful contrast with all the white. I would probably only do one or two of each, to create this trio. I love pillows that reflect a lot of personality, in an unexpected combination. When you grow tired of them, you can simply switch them out. The first fabric combines almost all of her color scheme in a simple way, complimented with the tiles, and the Richloom Basil. I might even trim the basil out with some of this cording: {sold out, but found via etsy}


They keep the room fresh, and unpredictable. I’d also love to see these paired with at least one of these:

{via pinterest} to bring a subtle shot of that deep, retro red to the room, along with accents similar in color. {I spied a red lantern in one of those “now” photos via Christina.} If ever there was a time to learn to sew, pillows are the best place to start!

4. Christina strikes me as a gal who isnt’ afraid to take risks. So why stop with the planks on the wall and fun pillows?

I’m drooling over this yellow rug. {another shot from her color scheme} and I love the idea of having a slightly smaller one layered on top of a natural fiber, that covers most of the floor:

both of these rugs give the combination of a well-traveled, lived-in feel, that I think Christina wants to convey in their living space.

5. Since Christina and her husband live near a lake, I wanted to address the accent wall, where the TV is. She mentioned to me in one of her emails that she had one brown shelf {the one out and against the wall in one of her photos} and another still to be assembled that she could use in the room. I recommend she put the second one together, and paint both of them the crystal blue color. I would then place them on either side of the teli.

I would also use these baskets for some much needed storage in the room, mixed with a few of these: {you can find these puppies at your local flea market/thrift store, so keep an eye out} to add interest.


And, to hide a few of the un-sightlies. I would even consider, if they could, moving their wii console to the floor, beside the dresser, and dvd to underneath the dresser, or to under each bookcase to sit discreetly below. I would then use the top of the dresser for baskets, and as an added bonus, to close the gap between the dresser top and the tv bottom. {read: somewhat hide the wires, and make it more appealing to the eye}

Certainly, and I hope most of you would agree with me, change nothing on that dresser. Perfection.

I would then add a series of these above the TV, to fill in some interest in all of that height, while still showing off the beautiful accent wall: painted like these…

via my sweet savannah via pottery barn: these are simply paintings of oars: but how wonderful if you could paint some like this, to bring more shots of color to the room?

but arranged like this.

7. For each window, because of the layout of the room, furniture will mostly be blocking the windows. I would recommend a simple shade like this one from overstock. They bring in nice, clean lines and simple texture to warm up the white in the room. They will also pull the darker floor in, with the rest of the space.

8. This lamp brings in a nice grown-up feel to the room, especially when used symmetrically on each side of the couch in a pair. I would also leave those fabulous green end tables as-is. Another opportunity to bring in that green color. Bringing in a natural tone, and a pretty contrast to colorful accents, these lamps would be a classic choice for the space. Bonus….they’re on saaaaaaaaaallllleeeeeeee….

9. + 10. last but not least, and probably the most interesting area of the room, is the wall to the right of the door when one first enters their home.

I would love to see something like this, to create a bit of a “faux” entryway, that is cohesive with the rest of the space:

but I’m thinking this fun couple should reserve simple, symmetrical hangings for the rest of the space, to balance out the walls, and keep it simple. For instance, on either side, that opposite window (the one with the chair and the mag rack) a grouping of three vertical, tightly hung photographs, in this style, on each side of the window. {click here for a few hanging tips}

But here, you get the basic idea of a table design:

this table, but at the perfect size that you need. That means you build it. The design above, doesn’t even call for the assistance of a welder. I would take it all the way across that wall, with my handy dandy planks that I stained on my own, and my dremmel/drill. It looks like this one is composed of simple pipes and casters to make the design. OR, use a super long bench, that goes all the way across, at the same length. {as seen below} Again, delightful for a catch all/entryway that every space really needs.

But back to the gallery wall: with hangings of a gallery wall, a little like this:

reserved, yet eclectic. retrained fun. I may keep the frames a lighter shade. Mixtures of natural, white, and blue. Paired with additions like chalkboards, clever type, etc. Major organized personality for your space.

Oh. And I might paint the back of that front door, blue.

So, there you have it. A little detail, some fun finds, and some wonderful pops of color, added with architectural interest, can certainly go a long way in transforming a room.

Christina, I hope this helps, and that you like your design…feel inspired, and empowered to conquer that space!

Enjoy!


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11 Responses to room giveaway 2: christina’s living room

  1. Christina says:

    Oh my goodness. Love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. I clearly knew I had a lot of work to do to begin with and let me say that when you see your “before” living room on a blog and see wires, an elliptical, and my kitchen floor tile boxes on the floor.. it’s a little frightening to say the least…the very least (extra points for the person who gets the quote). Anyway, I love what you did!!! The planks are a little daunting with that high ceiling but something I’ve really wanted to do and wasn’t sure how far to go with it. I guess I need to go big or go home. I’m putting a bird on it and I’m psyched about it because I love the fabric choices. That wall with my bench has been an enigma since we moved in. I thought gallery wall? Bench? Shelves? Builtins? I couldn’t decide. Thanks for deciding for me :) I’m still taking it all in. A million thank you’s are NOT enough and I so wished we lived closer so we could be friends (I need help with all those planks ;) )! Seriously- you are AWESOME. Thank you :)

  2. I am SO glad to see you are so happy with it! Three room giveaways were kind of laborious, ;} and it makes it SO worth it to see the recipients thrilled with it all! ;) I want to come over and help you put it together!!! I’m thrilled that you are thrilled!!! My blog left a few things out, for some reason, like links to the lamp and shades. So I went back and put those in this morning in one horrified moment. Just so you know, they are there. ;) Have a WONDERFULLY inspired Friday!!! {and yes, go big, or go home. I’m saying that more to myself, than you, as I get ready to tackle OUR living room…}

  3. Jennifer Creviston says:

    Oh, I love it. Seriously… I need your assistance in the “play room” which is really the formal livingroom in my house.. of course its the first room people see.. ack!

  4. Erin says:

    I LOVE this! It is so bright and cheerful. I’ve had my eye on that IKEA sofa for my front living room. Glad to see it is one of your faves. Can’t wait to see my room soon. :)

  5. Misty Blue Phillips says:

    Okay~ so can I just say that I am IN LOVE with it all! Seriously? Brilliance! How much do you charge to do that? I totally blog-stalk you weekly and COVET your new kitchen! Your artistic ability astounds me. But if I think back some, ah hem, cough…18 years ago…i almost died saying that, I did have quite a few lovely doodles on notes passed between classes.
    You are incredible at all of this and I am so so happy to see you fulfilling your obvious calling, all the while, including your hysterical sarcastic humor to entertain me even more! I wanna email you pics…send me a quote via fb message!!!
    I love it all!

  6. I am struggling with a room and needed some inspiration and I knew right where to go! :) You always have the best inspiration boards :)

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  9. I am a fellow designer and just stumbled across this post. I just wanted to stop in and say I LOVE that plank wall! Very neat idea. :)

  10. Ying says:

    I found your work from the pinterest. They are amazing colour scheme.
    LOVE them.

  11. Ying says:

    I found your work from the pinterest. They are amazing colour schemes.
    LOVE them.