A lighter transformation of my living room

Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2018 by KiM

I was at it again a few weekends ago, going to town on my living room walls. As much as I love some dark paint, having a dark grey living room after about 3 years was getting to me. The cave-like effect had lost its initial appeal. Here is what it looked like before the transformation:

That was Downpipe by Farrow and Ball – high gloss on the trim and fireplace and estate emulsion on the walls (and Plummett on the ceiling) . Luckily I didn’t need to change anything but the walls (gawd I hate painting trim – and it’s high gloss so I may be stuck with it forever!). I am not a faux-finish gal but I have always loved the plaster walls the talented duo behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. always use in their projects. So I thought I would give it a go. Due to my busy schedule and general laziness when it comes to painting projects, I came up with a plan. I went to Home Depot and bought a couple of cans of Rustoleum’s Chalked paint – a medium grey (Country Grey) and a concrete coloured grey (Aged Grey). Then I bought many packs of cheesecloth, at Jo’s suggestion. I did a rough, thin coat of the medium grey over my dark grey walls, letting a bit of the dark grey show through. Oh – chalk paint dries almost instantly so I added a bit of water to it. Then I brushed on the lighter grey in small sections and immediately started dabbing with the cheesecloth. And voilà! It looks like concrete/plaster!

Here is a quick snap I took on my phone during the process:

And here is how it looks now! (I know some people may think the dark was better but trust me, a room with larger windows that let in more light would have been much easier to live with)

I was inspired by a photo I saw recently while doing blog research and found this simple solution for hanging art in a not-so-average way. I bought some small black chain at Canadian Tire which I attached by little eye hooks into the bottom of the molding left it hang down (I might hook it into the baseboards to straighten it out a bit). Those beautiful frames I found at Highjinx. They had awful still life paintings in them so I painted over them with some leftover paint I had stashed away.

(I really want to sell the awesome leather sofa under those tablecloths and get a new one more suitable for this space. Maybe this? Or this?)

Sources: raspberry vintage sofa + brass base side table + pink tufted chair – The Pale Blue Dot; Moooi carpet by Marcel Wanders – The Modern Shop; sheepskins – Cowboy Kate Outpost; Knoll tulip table + black tall plant stand + blanket over back of sofa – Alteriors; floral pillow on raspberry sofa – Wild Rice Designs; knitted pillow – Hana Waxman; embroidered bat art – Caitlin T. McCormack; large portrait over sofa – photo by Amanda Margareth; ceramic cat + black base side table – Highjinx; pink blanket and remaining pillows – Homesense; FLOS aim pendant by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Everything else random vintage finds.

Barbara says:

Time to give up your day job! This looks awesome.

KiM says:

You made me blush Barbara. Thanks so much!! XO

Nancy Brown says:

Awesome transformation, and decor!!! Love it all. Nancy from Texas

KiM says:

Thanks so much Nancy!!

Robyn says:

I love the new wall! Brilliant idea and came out so well.

KiM says:

thanks Robyn!!! XOXO

Sparky says:

I prefer the new lighter version. :o) The furnishings all light up and show their beauty better, too!

KiM says:

thanks Sparky! And I agree that my junk stands out more now 🙂

Mary Ann says:

I love the rug. Great colors

KiM says:

Thanks Mary Ann! Moooi has lots of really fun patterned rugs.

Lena Daley says:

Love the new furniture arrangement (hope its just not camera tricks). Agree that your furniture jumps against the lighter walls rather than fading into the darker background.

Ulrich Schloßer says:

Wirklich sehr schön geworden!

Cher This says:

Bravo! This is one of the most inspiring projects I’ve come across in quite a while. The vibe here is clearly all your own and that’s what really makes it such a joy to behold. I love the red-on-red tactile contrast, art, and the modern simple touches that balance the antiques and vintage items.

KiM says:

Thank you so much!! XOXO

Natalie says:

While I loved the dark, this looks amazing! I can totally understand the need to brighten it up.

KiM says:

Thanks Natalie!! XO

kimberly says:

I know I’m a week behind, but i still had to comment – Kim I LOVE It!!!! The new layout is awesome – what a great spot for your desk with the view and it looks awesome centered on the bookcases and window. super picturesque! And the round rug and sofa near the entry is to die for!! Love the chains and small art made into larger art…the faux finish is cool too. That is a sentence I never thought i’d type! But i mean it. Looks stellar!!!! the large sofa across from the fireplace also looks so usable…i can just see you and the can cuddled up all winter:)

KiM says:

Thank you for such a sweet comment Kimberly! I really appreciate it XOXO (never did I think I’d partake in faux finishes – and love it!!)

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