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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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!
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.
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!