Upping The Elegance Factor In My Living Room

The other day, someone commented that now that my kitchen is finished, my living room might need a little do-over so that it will match my kitchen in terms of elegance.  At first, my heart sank a little, because I knew that she was right.  In comparison, my living room was just looking flat and dull.  But then I got to looking around, and realized that I don’t really think the room needs to be done over again.  I think it just needs to be finished.  I got so many of the big projects done in that room — draperies, Roman shades, ottoman, fireplace — and then completely turned my attention to the kitchen for several months, leaving my living room half done.

When I was finishing my kitchen, I purchased a few accessories to decorate it (most of which I didn’t use), and one of them was a little brass and silver lamp.  I thought it would be nice in the corner of the peninsula by the tiled wall, but I quickly realized that a lamp there would just be in the way since that area has become my main prep area while cooking.

So I put the shiny little lamp on one of the side tables in the living room just to get it out of the way.  The next day when I walked in and saw the lamp there, I realized that that was exactly what the living room needed!  It needs some shimmer and shine just like I added to my kitchen.

adding elegance to living room 1

That lamp was too small, and I only had one, so I made it my mission the other day to find two similar lamps that were just a bit larger.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything at my two favorite places to find bargains on lamps (Marshall’s and Ross — sadly we don’t have a Homegoods here), so I headed next door to Pier 1, and they just happened to be having a 20% off sale on table lamps.  I didn’t find anything that I liked quite as much as the little lamp, but I did find this mercury glass lamp.

adding elegance to living room 4

I bought two of them to try out.  I haven’t taken the plastic off of the shades yet because I’m still not sure if these are exactly what I want.

adding elegance to living room 2

I do love the shine, and I like that they add some silver into the mix since I like mixed metals in rooms.  I also saw this Serena lamp at Pier 1, on sale for $99 right now, but it just so happens that both Marshall’s and Ross have this exact lamp right now for about half that price.

serena lamp from pier 1

So I think I want to try those out too.  They would add shimmer a shine without necessarily adding a metallic finish to the room (well, just a little, but it’s not predominantly metallic), which might be good.

I’ll also be changing out the furniture in this room.  Obviously, I never intended for the painted sofa to be a permanent fixture in my living room.  I’d like to eventually replace it with a sofa like this Barclay leather sofa from Restoration Hardware.

barclay leather sofa from restoration hardware

It actually has very similar lines to the sofa I currently have, with the English rolled arms and the tight back.  I don’t know that I’ll actually get this one (I seriously can’t imagine myself ever paying almost $5,000 for a sofa), but I’d like something very similar.  I want leather, one seat cushion rather than two or three, a tight upholstered back rather than loose back cushions, and exposed legs.

And then the small tufted chairs on either side of the fireplace will be replaced by two transitional style wingback chairs that I have in storage.  I have a picture of them somewhere in a past post, but I can’t find it!  They have tufted backs and skirts, so they’ll be a perfect complement to the sofa with legs, and the ottoman with legs.  I’ll probably end up using the small tufted chairs in the bedroom.

I’m also going to replace the light that I used in this room.

living room with all big projects finished - 6

That light was my first purchase for the house, and I think I even purchased it before we actually closed on the house.  I was initially heading in a completely different direction with my style and decor.  For some reason, with my very first purchases, I thought I’d be adding carriage house/farmhouse/cottage touches to this house.  But almost as soon as I started actually decorating, I went in a completely different direction.  (If I had to put a label on it, I would call my style transitional — traditional meets contemporary, or traditional with contemporary touches)  🙂

So that light definitely needs to be replaced. Obviously I want something more contemporary, and I want more of a semi-flush light rather than something that hangs down as far as the current light.   I’ve also learned something else about myself — I hate bare bulb light fixtures, including fixtures with seeded or plain glass shades where you can see the bulbs right through them.  I don’t want to see any light bulbs.  I’ve been looking for weeks, and so far the best I can come up with is this Modern Matrix Ceiling Light from Shades of Light.

modern matrix ceiling light from shades of lightI really like that light, and I’ve had that link saved for over a year now, but for some reason I just never have bought it.  I think I like it, but I just don’t like it quite enough to buy it.  So there’s got to be something better out there.  Quite honestly, I think my kitchen light would look fantastic in my living room, but I don’t want two of the same light, and I don’t want to find something else for my kitchen.

Oh, and then there’s this one.  I get a little weak in the knees every time I see this light.  Now I know for a fact that this is one of those things that some people will absolutely hate, but I love it.

extra large olive leaf ceiling chandelier from shades of light

Ha!  Okay, I know I’ve lost about half of you now with that.  😀

I don’t know why, but I love that light.  It’s like an art sculpture for your ceiling! And it would actually be so easy to DIY something like that!  BUT…my hesitation is that I just can’t imagine how a light like that would put out enough light for a living room.  And also, wouldn’t that create some crazy weird shadows?

So I’ve got lots of plans for this room to really up the elegance factor.  And that’s in addition the wainscoting (something very traditional — not board and batten, or beadboard), the overmantel, and the doorway with two more black rolling doors between the entryway/living room and the music room.  I think once it’s done, it will really compliment the kitchen much more than it does right now.  Right now, everything looks a bit…well…flat, for lack of a better word.  But once I add some shine and texture, and finish up the unfinished projects, it’ll be much better.

And finally, for those of you wondering, “But what about the breakfast room?” or “What about the condo?” let me explain.  I still have quite a ways to go on the breakfast room before it’s even clean, much less before I can start on any of the fun stuff.  Before any of the decorative stuff can start, I still need to figure out what to do about the drywall.  Right now, I’m leaning towards renting a drywall lift and doing it myself.

And as far as the condo goes, Matt has just asked me to hold off on working over there until we’re through with the current “phase” of our diet.  We have nine more days to go, and then I’ll make it a priority to head over there and get things finished so that we can get it on the market.

And in the meantime, I’ll probably just keep on doing what I do best — working in a completely random and unorganized fashion based entirely upon what I feel inspired to do each day.  😀

UPDATE:  I ended up returning the lamps to Pier 1 because when the light comes in through the windows and through the glass on the lamps bases, it completely ruins the effect of the mercury glass.  They just look like dirty glass lamp bases.  Not quite the look I was going for.  🙂

So I stopped in at Marshall’s to pick up those glass ball lamps to try out.  I think I love them!

new lamps for living room

They’re shiny without being metallic.  And really, how much metal and metallic finishes does a room really need?  And I really wanted to try something non-metallic especially since I’m testing out gold leafing the tables to make them more like the inspiration table that was a burnished gold leaf.  So a metallic lamp sitting on a gold leafed table just seemed a bit much.

Oh, and you can also see a glimpse of a large round tray that I picked up while I was there.  I think it might work perfectly for that ottoman.  And…round.

And I just rummaged through my garage and dragged out one of the chairs I was talking about.  Now disregard the horrible appearance.  They’ll be reupholstered with new foam, batting, and fabric.  But the frame is perfect, and I love the shape of these chairs.

tufted chairs

They’ll be good as new when I’m done with them.  🙂

Oh, and I’m about 85% sure that I’m going to try to DIY something like that gold leaf light.  Hope I can do it justice!



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  1. That’s what I love about how you work — is the “unorganized” and random way you work through your home based on your current inspirations.

    While I have love, love, loved the transformation of your kitchen these last few months, eventually I was lost on it because it was big project after big project after big project. I’m excited to see the small things to be finished in this room. And it’ll be fun to see the last things you do in the condo prior to marketing. I do hope you’ll do one final walk-through of it for us when it’s ready.

  2. I really like the mercury glass lamp you have – I’d keep them. I also really like the dream couch (gah Restoration Hardware prices – why do they have to make such pretty expensive couches?!) and the Modern Matrix Ceiling Light too.

    I don’t remember the story or blog post (if there is one) behind the side tables, but I wonder if you’d be up for painting the side table bases? Not 100% sure what color I’d like to see them in; black comes to mind, but not sold completely on that. Or gold leafing, but I want to gold leaf everything. 🙂 They just look a little dull to me. Another color would look cleaner too me.

    1. We’re thinking along the same lines, Katie. 🙂 I’m not quite ready to share pictures yet, but I actually did gold leaf one of the tables two days ago. I wanted it to be more like the inspiration table, which is a “burnished gold leaf”. Right now, mine just has the gold leaf, and it looks like something I purchased from Liberace’s yard sale. So it’ll definitely need the “burnishing” to tone it down. 😀 But I was thinking last night that if the burnishing doesn’t work, I’ll try just painting them black.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. The real focal point in this room, in my opinion, is that painting and frame. The tables and lighting and sofa…(well, everything else in the room) should be some sort of a “supporting cast”

      2. OK, now I keep thinking about your side tables. I looked up the original post where you made them, and was actually surprised that it was just a simple piece of wood on top – when I looked at them here, I thought it was marble or some white stone counter. I wonder if you could find two white marble remnants to use as tops? Sorta similar to this: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img839/9906/au0x.jpg

        If that link doesn’t work, I’m referring to the dresser top from this forum where she puts a marble remnant on top: http://forums.younghouselove.com/discussion/714/need-kitchen-help-cant-afford-to-gut-it-so-need-to-live-with-it/p12

        Of course, marble remnants are probably a big pain in the butt to find. And not so cheap.

        But new base color of either gold or black + marble tops would be so pretty…

  3. First of all, I can’t believe someone would have the nerve to say that about your living room. You did an absolutely fantastic job with that room Kristi. Do some people think money grows on trees and at a whim you can redo/change a room…..it makes me mad thinking about their insensitivity. You are doing an amazing job in your house and don’t be persuaded by what others think. Carry on doing whatever room makes the most sense to you to do next…..after all, you and Matt are the ones living there day to day and know what your needs are.

    1. Oh, the comment wasn’t meant to be rude or anything. I wish I could find it, but I can’t. If anything, it was a compliment on how elegant my kitchen looks, but it certainly wasn’t meant in a mean or hurtful way. And I did find it helpful, because it helped me to pinpoint exactly why I was thinking my living room looked dull and flat next to my kitchen. 🙂

  4. First of all, I find the comment that your living room is not elegant enough to be insulting! Everyone’s idea of elegance is different and personally, I adore your living room (not that I don’t appreciate all the work you put into your kitchen and the uniqueness of it). Did you not just tell us this week we should decorate for ourselves and not for others? You owe us no explanations and I hope you are adding all these details because YOU want them.

    Second, maybe you could DIY something similar to that gold lamp but make it into wall art, a coffee table bowl/centerpiece or a clock?

    1. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the comment, because it really wasn’t meant in a rude way. I actually found it to be helpful,because it helped me to figure out exactly why I wasn’t feeling satisfied about my living room. But yes, any changes I make will be because I want them. 🙂 I’ve been feeling for a while that my kitchen is probably the one room that I’ve ever decorated that comes the closest to expressing my personal taste and style — a combo of casual mixed with elegant touches, traditional mixed with contemporary touches, and a healthy dose of bold color. But my living room has just been falling a bit flat in my eyes as I made progress on the kitchen. But that single comment was actually quite helpful, because now I know what needs to be addressed, and how to make the living room more “me”. 🙂

      1. I don’t think that comment was insulting. I agree that your living room looks a little flat (for want of a better word) in comparison to your kitchen. It has a lot of beige happening at the moment. Your kitchen has some serious contrast and striking detail going on that your living room lacks at the moment.

        That’s not an insult to the style in the living room – it’s just of an entirely different nature than the direction you’ve taken the kitchen – and the ideas you have for your breakfast room as well for that matter.

        I think you should do your wainscotting in a raised panel to reflect the style of your kitchen cabinetry – and I might revisit the flat board and batten on your fireplace surround for the same reason – it’s a little “country” in comparison to the elegance of your kitchen.

        I like the mercury glass lamp bases – but I have a thing for mercury glass. I think they’d look really striking with black shades (I believe someone upthread mentioned that.)

        In the short term – you could take the skirt off the couch (and replace the legs if necessary) to get more of the feel of that gorgeous leather one. That might help too as I think that style of pleated skirt is rather dated (and fussy to me).

        1. I was thinking the same thing about taking the skirt off the sofa. And how about painting it the color of the leather? Didn’t the paint give it a leather-like sheen and feel? Would that work until you can afford to pay for a leather sofa?

          I love the sheen of the first lamp base. I agree it gives that touch of ‘bling’ that the living room needs. And what about silver leafing the console table?

  5. I also love the leather sofa. I think you can find a similar style much cheaper. I love the end tables. Although burnished gold may be even better. I just envision black shades on the lamps. I don’t know why but I love the idea of black shades. Do you think you will change out your console table also? Some of your furnishings may work in. The future family room.

  6. Hi Kristi, I prefer the first lamp you showed. One of the many tricks that I am sure you are aware of, is stacking books and placing a lamp on them to give it height. I have done that in a number of places. I don’t care for the lamps from Pier One. I also don’t think you need to have your lamps matching. As far as the sofa goes, use stores for ideas, but go to North Carolina (not physically) to purchase your furniture. The Furniture Mart is now open to everyone and they have hundreds of showrooms that represent manufactuers. I purchased all of my leather furniture that way. I also have tons of friends who bought other than leather. Upholstery,case goods, porch rockers etc. You find out what you want, get the mfg # if you can, and contact them. You get a much better price and quality. I am sure restoration is probalbly made overseas like potterybarn etc. They deliver it via common carrier all over the country. You pay a depoisit when you order, the rest when they contact you for shipping and the delivery in cash to the driver. That is how they live out on the road. No tax either. I think you should find a bunch of candle holders in brass, silver, mercury glass and group them on your mantle. That will give you a little shimmer. More art work in beautiful frames on the wall will also add that gold/silver, you are looking for, and keep your eye open for good deals on mirrors. Placed opposite a window they bounce the light right back into the room. Same with a lamp placed in front of a mirror. You could find a wooden tray at the craft store, paint it and add some rub and buff or gold leaf for your cocktail ottoman. Tons of ways to bring pops of light into the room. It will all look great, remember Rome was not built in a day, nor the earth made. Blessings

    1. I much prefer that first little lamp also, but when I went back, they didn’t have any more. 🙁 I got it at Ross, so I’m not sure if they’re the kind of store that will ship items from another store. I guess I could ask!

      1. You might try doing a Google Image search for that first lamp to see if/where it might still be available. And I agree, I like it much better than the Pier 1 lamps.

  7. a lot of your style isn’t mine, but it makes me think that I need to think outside the box! You give me inspiration to try to do something, instead of waiting for my husband to do it. AND keep rocking your new healthy lifestyle! it’s hard but you can do it! if you can do a whole kitchen remodel mostly by yourself, the healthy eating should be a walk in the park…. and don’t forget to excercise! it will help in many ways!!!!
    Keep it up!

  8. OMGosh! I ADORE that Leaf Light!!!!! It is absolutely gorgeous! I have no idea how big it is, but in my mind’s eye I can so see that as a wall ‘sconce’ in a hallway or even a large, elegantly appointed bathroom, never mind a living room or dining room focal piece. Serious drooling going on over here. ~:0)

  9. So it doesn’t need a redo, just a different light, different chairs, different sofa, and different lamps? I wonder what a redo would look like!!!

    1. LOL…Okay, that made me laugh so hard! Ummm…you’ve got a point.

      I guess what I mean is that none of the big projects that I did for the room, and that I intended to be permanent (window treatments, ottoman, fireplace) need to be redone. The sofa was always just a “place holder”, and I never got to the accessorizing,so that’s needed to be done for several months now. But no big projects that I custom made for the room will need a do over. 🙂

  10. I love that you work in a random way, depending on your mood or inspiration. I’ve never heard anyone else say that they work that way, but I have been chastised for it many times. It always gets done when I’m left alone to do it my way. If I have to fit into a mold, then I rebel and procrastinate, lol!

  11. I love the living room as-is and I love the proposed changes, especially the mercury lamps but that’s my current obsession. Have you considered going with a really elegant rug with some saturated colors to play off of the curtains but bring in a bit more glam?

  12. Love, love, love the light. You can punch up the wow in your living room with some bright pillows, especially if your permanent furniture will be neutral. Bring in some of the greens and golds you used in the kitchen.

  13. I love the big chrysanthemum and would not worry about the light volume because it is just your top layer, you don’t want too much coming from your ceiling anyway. Too much overhead light is neither flattering to humans or rooms, in my opinion.

  14. We are also in the process of renovation. We checked into renting a drywall lift but realized we could purchase one instead (Troy DPH11 Professional Series 11 Foot Drywall & Panel Lift Hoist–Amazon $149 with free shipping)
    Owning our own lift allowed us to move at our own pace. We have many rooms to complete at different stages and will actually come out ahead by purchasing our own. It worked perfectly!! When you are done you can sell it to someone else. Everyone wins.

    1. Oh my gosh, you are AWESOME to suggest that! I never would have even thought to look into buying one. I just assumed that they were super expensive. I’m definitely buying it! I have a whole house that needs new ceiling drywall, and by the time I pay for rental for all of those rooms, I would have paid for the thing several times over. THANK YOU!!

  15. I LOVE the leaf light! It kind of echoes the mirror you DIYed too. But being on the celling right in front of the gorgeous painting would it be too much? Maybe, maybe not but they only way to know for sure is to try it! DIY something similar, rely on lamps for the bulk of the lighting and go for it! If you don’t like it maybe it would work in the hall or eventually the music room since I expect you would have some specialized task lighting for the piano and other areas.

      1. I sure wish folks would stop “should-ing” on you! You “should” do whatever you want in your home. There are better ways to express opinions that “should”.

  16. When I saw the last ceiling light I thought….Kristi can make it! It’s not too far off from the chrysanthemum decor piece you made some time ago.

    I look forward to the changes you’re talking about. You certainly are on the right track….it just feels right! I like the mirrored glass lamp for the living room. The stacked balls seem more dining room or bedroom, to me…but sooo pretty. Glad you’re having fun with the details. 🙂

  17. Kristi…. For someone who “works in a completely random and unorganized fashion”…. You do grrrrreat. Somehow I got the feeling while reading that as far as the ceiling light is concerned I think you most likely with your creative genius can even make something that would suit your fancy….. Rooting for you and Matt for a successful diet…. Hugs, Pat

  18. I started following your blog after finding your kitchen make-over posts. Even though I have a different style, your tenacity has me hooked to see what is next. I too, love the leather sofas online.

    The “bones” of your sofa are a good beginning. What if you tore off the skirt & exposed the legs on your painted sofa and added casters? The top part is great, the skirt is not so much. If the bottom portion needed some extra work you could dress it up with a little braided trim or small trim of wood & paint it to match the rest. Flat brown paint could be layered over your tan to mimic the bomber leather of the online sofa. Some faux painting techniques do a great leather look. Keep up the good work, your system organized or not is absolutely working!

  19. Your house is beautiful. So much hard work poured into it, I’m sure at the end of it all it feels so rewarding. I agree with the comment above about the marble tops on the side tables….what about that marble contact paper that everyone is raving about? Also, just a thought on your layout…what if you put the sofa slightly floating off the long wall opposite the big window and the chairs in front of the big window, almost like turning the room clockwise a bit, and maybe move the side tables next to the sofa and one different shared side table in between the two chairs with just one lamp? just a thought, just my own opinion I thought I would share.

  20. Your ideas for the living room sound great. The leather sofa will add richness and depth. I happen to love the flush mount petal light fixture. Won’t you have enough lamp light in that room? The petal light has such flair and picks up the gold tones from the kitchen. I saw some cool gold tone and shiny accessories on Joss and Main you might like. Fun!!

  21. Yay! I am one of those people who kinda felt the living room was left hanging. I loved watching the amazing kitchen redo but always felt the living room was kinda like a cake left unfrosted! I couldn’t wait to see the accessorizing!!!! I love the metallic lamps too. I’m so looking forward to seeing the living room done!!!!

  22. When I wanted to add some polish to my living room, I found two mismatched mercury glass table lamps and unified them with the same color shades. I made sure that their height was the same, since they’d be flanking my sofa, but the tables they sit on are different sizes, so one lamp is “heavier” than the other. The other lights in the room are silver finished, and I’m very pleased. Just some tweeking of the accessories on my coffee table,, and the room feels sophisticated and fresh. I think your idea is fine–keep looking, and you’ll find exactly the lamps you need.

  23. I agree a little sparkle and maybe a paisley print pillow for your chairs. a little extra shine and color will make the room full circle ! I know when you are done it will look great!!

  24. I’m a big fan of Marshall’s and Ross as well, however I recently found a store called Garden Ridge. They have a ton of home accessories and I think the prices are great. I’ve included the link for their store finder. I found many of the items they had to be much less expensive than HomeGoods.


  25. At least I can identify with the “And in the meantime, I’ll probably just keep on doing what I do best — working in a completely random and unorganized fashion based entirely upon what I feel inspired to do each day. “…You are so far ahead of me….even in your thoughts. I wake up to a new day every day :^) At least I can blame it on old age!
    Blessings to you,

  26. I know you have your heart set on the leather wing chairs in the breakfast room, but, I wonder how two of them would look instead of the cream tufted chairs. Wing chairs have a higher back and that might affect the lamp height needed. And I would take off the sofa skirt too. I took one off a chair and it totally changed the look. Love the leaf ceiling lamp. It would be somewhere in my house! Check craigslist for ethan allen leather sofa. We got one from them twenty years ago and it still looks fabulous and we raised teenagers and golden retrievers. Love your kitchen and living room!

    1. Those chairs in the breakfast room are actually too small to be living room chairs. They came out of an office, so they’re not necessarily designed for roomy comfort. 🙂 They’re perfect for dining, where people don’t generally require roomy, comfortable, loungy chairs. But for the living room…not so much.

  27. My two cents: do the living room lamps have to match? Why not the mercury glass lamp and the other one you showed that you can get at Ross for half price? It also occurs to me that one of the reasons your living room appears “flat” is the sisal rug in the neutral. Not sure what could effectively replace it because you have pattern in your drapes, but things kind of dull out on the floor (although I do love that rug!). It’s not going to take much to glam up the room; you will surely find the perfect solutions. Go get that mercury glass lamp to start!

  28. Okay Kristy, I think the person who said you need to redo your living room was dead wrong. When looking at the two rooms I think they are pretty much the same style and have the same design aesthetic. The only things I would really change in the room is the overhead light fixture and perhaps (though I know you love it) the frame on the painting (it’s a little too ornate) and I think is the one thing throwing the room off. As far as your sofa, I know you need a new one because the one you have there is painted but I think leather might be a little too dark for the room. However, you could always paint your existing sofa brown to get an idea of how leather would look in there. I think a natural linen sofa with nail head trim would look better, but that’s just me. Anyway, I will be following along to see what you decide to do. Have a great day.

  29. I also prefer the first table lamp. I think the size is better than the taller ones. But I really think you need to either modify or use different side tables. They just don’t fit other elements in your room…too tall, wrong color, too square. Something without sharp colors? Also more electic….two similar but not matching tables and lamps. Love the idea of leather sofa.

  30. I agree with Maryanne. I think your livingroom just needs accessorizing.
    I also preferred the first lamp you showed us.

  31. What ever you ‘re doing keep doing it. It is so beautiful. I don’t decorate on a big scale anymore. Too physical for me but I do like to change things around.This year I’m putting the painting on my DR wall between the windows over the couch and putting LR wall stuff, wreath and red transfer ware ,castles of Britain, plates. On DR wall. Just for a change up.Tou are so creative so it is natural for things to keep getting changed. Those peacock handles made me crazy. I could do a whole house around them

  32. I love what you are thinking about for your living room:) I purchased a couple of mercury glass lamps at Walmart awhile back – narrow shape, nicely done, and cheap…$25. I’m glad I didn’t spend any more since the cat knocked one over and broke it the first week I had it:/ Fortunately, I was able to buy another one. I’ve also seen lamps similar to the clear version at TJMaxx – just a suggestion. I can’t wait to see what you decide:)

  33. Kristi, I can so relate to a lot of the things you do and the way you work. I have often bought the “wrong” things early on in a project because I was afraid I’d be sorry if I didn’t (ever try to find a discontinued item?). I like the lamps that you have decided upon but would also like to make one suggestion: now that one of the chairs is out of the garage, go ahead and put it in the living room next to the side table and lamp to check the height, scale, relation, etc. You never know…. you might get them (the chairs) all redone and then discover that OMG, they don’t work in your living room. Carry on! ;c)

    1. I’ll definitely test them out before I upholster them for the living room, but I don’t dare bring them in right now. They’ve been in the garage for a year, and it looks like a rat has chewed on them. :-/ Gross. I was a bit afraid to even touch them. Ha! But I’ve seen…and reupholstered…worse. I just need to get them clean up a bit and make sure there’s nothing living inside before I bring them in. 😀

  34. I love your kitchen, am seriously excited about your dining room plans, and am completely infatuated with the crazy leaf light for the living room! I love that you think outside the box and can create/build anything. The sofa you’ve chosen for the living room is perfect. I really like the chairs you are currently using in the living room, but your reupholstered ones will also be great. Your French doors blow me away – so elegant and classy. I never considered green kitchen cabinets, and yours are spectacular. I know you will bring this same class and shine to your living room. It’s almost there, I know you’ll carry it off perfectly!

  35. I love that ceiling fixture that you’ve picked out! Its awesome. However, I love interesting shadows made by light fixtures so that would make it even better if it did send out some wild ones. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  36. I laughed when I saw the title of your post. I knew that would be coming. Your home will be a jewel box when you are finished!

  37. If you use a black lamp shade in the living room, make sure it’s one of those that is lined with gold. They give off the most wonderful golden light and look so elegant. I had asked you for the websites where you order fabric, and found the perfect co-ordinating fabrics at fabric.com. I chose a Waverly print for my daughter’s sofa, and a Nate Berkus solid for her love seat. I purchased brand new legs on ebay, and they are very similar to the ones you show on the leather sofa, except without the rollers. I had the skirt ripped off the furniture, all the foam replaced, and she has the most beautiful French Country living room. We just couldn’t throw her furniture in a landfill because it was solid oak frames and eight-way hand tied springs. You just don’t throw that quality away.

    I like both lamp styles you are trying. Either one would look great with a black shade with gold lining. I love the traditional style that you have drifted to in your living room. You are amazing!

    Watching eagerly for anything you do!

  38. Hi Kristi, I happen to like that lamp also, but for different reasons. After your blog about looking at things and imagining if you could replicate them, I fixated on this lamp. I knew I didn’t want glass, since it is too contemporary for me, but I did find some beautiful sets of four balls in different colors that work with my things. I ordered four sets so I would have four of each color, ergo, four lamps. I am a bit leary about drilling into them, so I will probably just put a socket top them with the wire down the back and drilled through a painted wood base. I think you could totally make these lamps yourself. Especially with Christmas stuff coming out soon. Think about it. LOL Blessings

  39. I know you said above that the comment made was not insulting and that you were feeling that your living room was “off” some and you were wanting to do some other things to it anyway. I just want to encourage you to do things when you feel like it and not when people feel like you should or even that you should change something at all. Like you said the other day, you are doing your home for you and not for anyone else. It should also be on your timetable. Even though all of us out here are excited to see what you come up with next, please don’t rush on our account or start something if you are not ready to do it. Everyone can be patient and wait. I certainly don’t want you burning yourself out over it all. Take care. I know whatever project you do decide to tackle next, it will end up being spectacular!

  40. I’m really interested in your rooms and remember that anything I write is just food for thought and not meant as any kind of criticism. I hope you know that. I admire all the hard work you’ve done and like it or not, you’ve sucked quite a few of us in and now we’re hooked on your decorating blog! I eagerly look forward to reading/seeing each new installment. With that said, here are my thoughts about your living room and your feeling that something is off.

    Your roman floral shades are at war with your woven wood shades. Are the floral blinds fixed or functional? If functional, I’d get rid of one of these. I’d get rid of the floral. Google the phase “Images of transitional living rooms.” You won’t see much floral in the elegant rooms depicted. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any floral drapes.

    As for having both floral shades and wooden blinds on the small windows, it’s like having a bedroom with table lamps on the night stands AND hanging lamps on either side of the headboard – who needs that much lighting and why would you have both? I know. I’ve seen rooms with both sets and you probably have to, but why needlessly clutter or weigh down a room? You may call it layering. I call it being “one step closer to cluttered.”

    Also, you have too many upholstered pieces for the size of the room. You haven’t even started accessorizing and already your room feels heavy. As much as you and I love that ottoman, you need to swap it for a metal or wood coffee table. The heavy-looking drapes and the matching blinds, the ornate frame above the fireplace, these are all pieces that are having a heavy effect on the room. Having legs visible on your furniture pieces can only do so much “lifting up” the room. You mentioned that you like metal pieces and mixing metals, if you had a metal table, you could continue the theme with a metal ceiling light, and then display another bit of metal elsewhere in the room. Then that metal would tie in to the gold on the kitchen cupboards and everything would make sense. Some things to think about….

    1. I knew the instant I typed it that I’d regret putting a label on my decorating stye. 🙂 I’m not aiming to create a quintessential “transitional” style house. I love floral, and will probably have floral patterns in every single room (except my kitchen) of my house. My style is traditional with a few contemporary touches. Or maybe it’s eclectic. Or maybe there’s really no definition. I just like what I like. 🙂

  41. I am so glad that you have decided on the ball lamp base… I have one similar (two balls) which I just adore!! Mine originally came with an off-white shade but I have replaced it with a black one from KMart (in Australia) for $10 and this has given it a much more contemporary look. I wait in anticipation for your other decisions to tweek this room… I love your thinking. I too often change my mind mid process!!

  42. Love your ideas for your living room. Not sure about the gold chrysanthamum light fixture but I admit don’t have your ability to visualize the finished room. Keep on going so we can see it completed!

    1. I don’t know. That whole process intimidates the heck out of me, but I’m trying to come up with a solution for the ceiling that won’t require me to take down the existing drywall. I’m considering just adding new drywall right over the existing. That seems way less intimidating to me. If a project seems to intimidating to me, I’ll procrastinate as long as I can. So I have to come up with something that seems doable so that I can get started and stop putting it off.

  43. Kristi,

    You touch so many of us! thank you, I enjoy reading your posts. It gives me support to try new things. I recently repainted my bedroom in valspars perfect storm (dark blue/green/teal) and I love it so much… I have to keep walking in there and I walk out smiling. I’m using white and gold touches and building my own headboard. My husband loves my learning and doing these things on my own, without having to ask him for assistance.

    I think your style might be called comfort glamour. It’s what I see as comfortable to walk in and sit down and relax but feel like it’s not a store front/magazine cover or too formal that everyone is on edge.

  44. Love your blog! Have you considered placing the small lamp, originally intended for kitchen counter, on your mantle?