Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Gray Outlook

Let's talk about the living room.

Like I've mentioned previously, I read a lot of blogs before we actually purchased a house. I was obsessed. I had to know what everything was going to look like, and one of the things I noticed I was drawn to was gray walls. I love the look of gray walls because they can go with any kind of style. It looks beautiful against the natural woods but still allows my modern curtains to pop.

Yet, before I actually put the room together I created a mood board. Why? Because I was buying a bunch of random things at thrift stores without giving it much thought and I wasn't sure if it was all going to work together.
The top right corner was the inspiration for this room and how I decided to put it all together. So, I created a gray background, took pictures of the items I already bought (the couch, the chair, the vase, the picture frames, the bar/vanity) and added things that I thought would compliment. I thought it would look good to put distressed white floating shelves above the bar, add a yellow lamp, some yellow curtains, and a rug. 

Is this how it actually turned out? No, but it's close. 
I ended up putting the china cabinet in the living room (it matches with the bar), moved the bar into the family room as a TV stand, replace the yellow lamp with a black one, and I am currently without a rug. Yet, even though it is not the same as my mood board it accomplished what I wanted it to do; it allowed me to see that even though I was buying things randomly, it was still all coordinating together nicely. 

As far as my purchases go, I would say 75% of the items in the room are from a thrift store or garage sale of some sort. I'm awkwardly proud of these purchases because they were a steal. Take the green chair for example. It is from Goodwill but made by Baer's. The tag on the bottom of the chair said it was shipped from the Baer's factory two days before I bought it at Goodwill. What does this mean? It was brand new and it only cost me about $130! The only items I did not buy second hand are the picture frames, the TV stand, the curtains (although, those were DIY), the little side table, the pillows, and the gray throw on the couch. 

Yet, putting this room together wasn't as easy as I'm making it sound at the moment. We hit a bump in the road when it came to painting. I bought two different gray paints and put swatches up on the wall and decided on Valspar Polished Silver. So I drove down to Lowes and bought a gallon. That is where I made the mistake. I ended up needing two gallons so I went back and picked up another but when I got  back to the house my mom noticed the label looked different. So we called Lowes and asked them about it and they told us that the formula was exactly the same just logo was different. 

Well....guess again.

If you look closely on the left near the arch and up at the top of the wall you can see the new gray.

They did change the formula and the new gallon of Valspar Polished Silver was significantly lighter than the first gallon. I was bummed. I preferred the first gallon, I like the darker gray much better than the light but I was all out (and so was Lowes) so my only choice was to repaint over everything with the new gallon. We got the majority of the walls repainted but the wall with the china cabinet has some spots that you can still see if you were looking very closely.

However, there is a silver lining in all of this. Lowes has a color satisfaction guarantee and I took advantage of it. I painted the two colors on a paper plate and brought that in along with the two empty paint cans and they gave me a full refund. I painted my living room for free!!! Can't beat that!

The lesson I learned in all of this is to take home improvement one step at a time and see where things lead. They may seem bleak at first but things will turn around and the sun will still shine.

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