I just watched a home makeover show where they renovated an entire living room and dining room in three days — all compressed into 22 TV minutes.
And these blogs I read. One day you’ll see a grungy before shot of a room. And the next day? Dozens of gorgeous after photos.
I know better. I really do.
I know these are nothing more than camera tricks. Cleverly edited reveals that skim over the hard work between before and after. They are design community equivalent of time-lapse photography. Because home improvement and home decorating projects take time.
But they shouldn’t take as long as my living room has — six months from concept to completion — when all I had to do was hang some curtains and some artwork and do a little accessorizing and fluffing.
You may remember back this summer I asked you to weigh in on some lamps I was pondering for my living room.
Well, that wasn’t even the beginning of the living room makeover. Nope, it had started two months earlier, when I had Rene from the blog Cottage & Vine stop in to give me her opinion on how I should deal with my living room, namely the huge expanse of wall behind the sofa and the wall of windows and doors in the room.
We moved some furniture around and Rene sent me a plan.
I ruminated on it for a while and moved some furniture around — relegating some pieces, like my handpainted secretary from Lucketts and my round Duncan Phyfe table, to other rooms. I brought in others pieces, like the green-and-white-end tables, stealing them from my antique store booth when I realized they would work perfectly in my living room.
Sometime around August, I ordered the curtains and bought the large frames for the botanicals.
And they sat in the living room — for months.
For the botanicals, I was a little concerned about the cost of such large-scale pieces. (But I’ll share later this week how I accomplished a large scale art installation like the one above my sofa for less than $250, including framing.)
But I think mostly I was worried that some of the DIY jobs would be a little too challenging.
How would I get 165 inches of curtain rod hung level, securely and without drilling dozens of holes in my wall? More importantly, how would I iron all that fabric?
I called in an engineer to help. My dad. And in four kid-free and husband-free hours on Sunday, we got those curtains hung. The ironing was all me.
And speaking of getting things level? How would I get those botanical prints hung above the couch in the arrangement I envisioned?
The answer. Math. A tall husband. And maybe a few extra holes in the wall.
I wish my photos did this room more justice. It was overcast when I shot them, so there were definite lighting challenges.
Here’s a view of the staircase, the spoiled only child gallery wall, my vintage French damask settee and the chalkboard I made from old armoire doors to hide the thermostat.
I am so very pleased with how this room has turned out.
It really reflects my style. A little French. A little vintage. Colorful. Lots of different printed fabrics, both traditional and contemporary. (I’ll be sharing sources later this week.)
I love the unexpectedness of these feathers and a mercury glass ornament in a vintage green vase, one of many in my collection.
And this vintage gold accented bird lamp is one of my favorite pieces in the room.
I love my living room. I declare it “done” — for a few days, at least. Now it’s time to start decorating for Christmas.
For now, though, I’ll enjoy this space that is so very me.
Partying at the following places: