Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Metamorphosis of a living area...

I shared my summer living room yesterday HERE, so I was thinking about all the changes I have made over the last few years and thought it would be fun to revisit some of the different looks. 
When we first moved into the house, it looked like this.

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Then I started moving things around, like I always do. I had dark brown leather furniture because I had young children. Funny enough, I had white slipcovered and white painted furniture for years before going with the brown leather and a more Mediterranean feel -- including things I had collected on my travels like this rug I bought in Turkey.

The living area is open, long and narrow so I have tried every possible furniture arrangement including this one. (I sure wish someone had told me how horrible my photography was then:-)

I started going for more of an English cottage feel and brought out all the blue and white transferware.

I continued my leaning toward more English cottage and made all these pillow covers starting to make things not so matchy-matchy. 

I painted all the trim gray and still love that decision. I always hated the white trim and doors. 

Then the *blue* bug bit me and I wanted a more American-vintage look. I started to add more family heirlooms and things mostly from the 1950s. 

One thing led to another and I decided to sell the brown leather furniture as it was so big and bulky, I felt it limited my seating arrangement choices. To fill the void, I brought in an inherited loveseat and changed the blue rug to a white shag rug.

I then painted the walls starting with the dining area which became a medium blue, "Secluded Guestroom" by Colorplace. The living room got the old plaster treatment with joint compound and "Geneva Swan Grey" paint by Colorplace.

I added more hot pink with the blue.

Being a huge fan of designer Vicente Wolf, I continued to experiment with my seating arrangement on the diagonal. I love how it opens up the room. 

I have also tried about 20 different looks on the windows! Last summer I had sheer curtains. I usually change these out with the bamboo blinds. 

When I found the white French provincial couch for $50 at a thrift store, I changed the seating arrangement again, this time moving the piano to the dining space, moving the living area down, and putting the dining space at the opposite end. Got that?
I started out with the couch in the middle of the room. 


But I felt like it really chopped the room, so I ended up putting it this way and that has worked really well for seating and with the dining space as well. 

One of the biggest changes I have made is adding more and more family things and basically purging anything that is currently mass-produced. What I think that does is give me a more personalized and unique space. 

And it really is all about your own personal style isn't it?

You can certainly see how my style has changed over the last few years in this room. I think having good neutral basics makes it easy to introduce new things especially different colors and textures. Even with the dark brown furniture, I still had a lot of options. Now with the white furniture, I can also easily change pillows and accessories for a whole new look and spend very little, or in my case no money. 

This is how my living room has changed over the years. How has your style changed over the last few years?

I'll be joining:


  1. I love your decorating styles throught out the years. In fact I think next year I will be painting my trim a different color than white. I really like how you have it now, but I liked how you had it before.

    1. Thank you Betty:-) It took me a while to decide on the gray, but I just dove in and did it. I really think I would like a little lighter shade of gray, but not enough to do it all again.

  2. Oh, Anita, I sooo enjoyed this post. It is so nice to know I am not the only (crazy) one who constantly changes space design. My husband jokes that it is a good thing his eyesight is good because if it wasn't he'd break his neck falling over freshly moved furniture, haha.

    It is so interesting to see your "metamorphasis" of design change. Thanks for sharing. How long of a time frame was all of these changes, just wondering?

    1. Michele, 2008 was when we moved in so it has been over 6 years with most of them being over the last 3. My husband feels the same!!

  3. Hi Anita! Honey, you're had great style all through these snaps! Love seeing the transition and each phase is so pretty. Love your style and all of your pretties! Hope you're doing well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. That was fun to look back at your style changes. I am a fan of the English cottage look!

  5. Your home is beautiful! I always just stare at the projects you do. My style has definitely changed over the years. When we first married I had a short stint with southwest looking accessories, then way too much floral, then french country....then we moved and I would say it's more transitional with french country thrown in. I am enjoying lighter colors too.

  6. I've loved watching this room and your kitchen through each step of the process. I love how you've used old pieces of your family's history everywhere and how you are inspired by things from the past but given it all such a fresh romantic look. And I always watch for your vintage love posts on FB!

  7. I have loved watching the changes in your living area over the past couple of years. My style has changed a bit. It has simplified and gone from a 'traditional' cottage style with a lot of accessories to a much simpler, cleaner look - called a 'traditional country' by one survey I took. Not farmhouse - not truly country. Country with a touch of traditional in there somewhere.

  8. Hi Anita, I love your style and loved seeing all the phases this room has been through:) The fact that you are just using family heirlooms is priceless. Beautiful!!!

  9. Every one of the spaces you showed is beautiful in its own way, Anita. You've always had the designer's touch, and I feel inspired every time I see your home. I really like where you are right now -- using family heirlooms and pieces that mean something to you. That really does make your home unique. I'm curious what color gray you used for your trim. It looks great.

  10. Anita, it was so fun to see all of your transitions in one space! You have done a beautiful job on your home; and I always look forward to your posts! I love how you incorporate all of your family heirlooms. It really does make your home unique. Everything always feels so warm and inviting.

  11. Wow! Such a fun post. I love your sense of style. And, yay on the color!