Living Room Series: Future Plans

Katja Oxman,  Unsuspected Turns , 1984, etching, 23 1/2 x 28 inches

Katja Oxman, Unsuspected Turns, 1984, etching, 23 1/2 x 28 inches

Since I showed some images of my “finished” living room in my last post, I thought I would follow up with sharing the plans I have for continuing to work on the space in the next few months/years. These are slightly more long-term plans, but I think it’s always good to be thinking ahead to the next steps, even while we are very much enjoying our living room in it’s current state. So, here are some of my future projects for this room:

1) Decorating above the mantle. One of the really exciting things about finishing our basement is that it means we can move our TV downstairs and I finally get to decorate the area over the mantle. We originally mounted our TV above the mantle because it was really the only logical place to put it in the room, however, it’s never been ideal, since our mantle is unusually high which makes the viewing angle for the TV very awkward from the sofa (We did manage to fix this issue somewhat by using a TV mount that allows you to pull the TV out and down from the wall about a foot and a half. The exact mount that we purchased is currently unavailable, but this mount is very similar and about the same price. For anyone else, dealing with this same problem, I highly recommend this solution—it’s worked great for us!). I wasn’t sure what I was going to replace the TV with, since I didn’t really have a piece of artwork to hang in this spot, but very serendipitously, my dad was able to purchase this incredible print by Katja Oxman for a ridiculously low price when his company recently auctioned off their art collection. I really love this artist’s work, and it’s amazing how well it coordinates with the color palette and style of our living room! It’s even the perfect size to fit in this space, so it really feels like it was meant to be.

Tile sample painted in  Quincy Tan  by Benjamin Moore

Tile sample painted in Quincy Tan by Benjamin Moore

2) Painting the fireplace tiles. Moving the TV downstairs and replacing it with a work of art will really allow the fireplace area to become much more of a decorative focal point for the room. However, I haven’t necessarily wanted to draw too much attention to it in the past, because I really dislike my fireplace tiles. They are the same as our floor tiles in the entryway/kitchen area, and I think they look ugly and dated around the fireplace. Since replacing them entirely isn’t in the budget right now, I am going to paint them! I was originally thinking of using a stencil to paint a pattern over the entire thing, but we have a very large area of tile around our fireplace, and with all the other patterns in the room, I think it would be way too busy. So I’m thinking that instead I will paint them all a neutral beige (see photo), which will tie into the beige tones in the rug, and then paint more detailed patterns on just a few select tiles. My husband and I visited the Mercer Tile Museum a few months ago, and I was really inspired by some of the designs I saw there, so I am thinking of trying to re-create something along those lines in our living room. Since painting patterns is a major part of my work as a fine artist, it should be a fun challenge and a nice way to combine my various interests!

3) Adding a bar cabinet. Another piece that will be moving downstairs once our basement is done is our electric keyboard. I’ve never been nuts about having it in the living room, and it makes a lot more sense to install it in the new office, since my husband needs to have access to a computer while he composes music on it. That will free up the wall to the right of the fireplace, and we are thinking of putting a bar cabinet there—possibly something like this piece from Pier1. I am thinking it also might be nice to mount a mirror over it and put another table lamp on top of it to add a little more light to the space, since that corner can be a bit dark.

4) Installing hardwood floors. Sadly, this project probably won’t happen for a few years, because we need to save up some more money first, but I can’t wait to eventually be able to rip out the carpet and install hardwood floors in this room. I’d like to go with a medium-tone wood—something that is rich but not too dark, that would coordinate well with all the dark espresso wood tones that are already in the room. I think it will make an enormous difference to this room and really up the level of visual interest and sophistication.

5) Painting the walls. Last, but not least, I’d like to paint the walls a more interesting color. They are currently a beige, which is fine, but a little boring. But I don’t want to paint them now, because the color of the carpet is so hard to coordinate with, and I would rather wait and pick a color that will work well with the hardwood floors. I am thinking of still keeping them very neutral, probably still a type of beige, but a beige with more complex green undertones, unlike the beige we have now, which has a slightly pink undertone. There are tons of options to choose from, and we will have to buy a lot of samples and try them out on the wall first, but one possibility that I’m considering is “Carrington Beige” from the Historic Color collection by Benjamin Moore.

As I said, it will be a while until we actually get around to implementing all these ideas, but I am excited to see the living room transformed even further in the future, and it definitely gives us something to work towards/look forward to! Hopefully the first three projects on this list will happen in the next few months, so do check back for further updates!