Sunday, July 8, 2012

A White Living Room


I have always wanted a white room.  But let's be honest here.  How many of us can not take the risk of furnishing a room in all white and have the audacity to think that our kids will be as excited and keep it clean?  For years I have said to myself, "I will have an all white room when my kids are grown and gone."  Well, my kids aren't 'gone,' but they are teens and my new home has a formal living room just inside the front door away from the family room and media room.  So why wait?!

So here is my before pic.  The room had a seriously ugly faux finish and garish ceiling.  I mean, who paints a ceiling anything but white? Look at those grandma curtains. I knew they were going bye bye. My friend, Ted, helped me hang the art before we painted the room.  I knew the painter could just leave the hangers in place.  The only thing that was in the room was my pine farmhouse coffee table.  I was hell bent determined to make this room a white neutral room.  Putting furniture into the room would make it impossible to turn back.  Weird, I know.

In a recent copy of Southern Living Editor Lindsay Beirman wrote an article entitled, 10Tried-and-True Decorating Rules.  His number one rule was:

Lindsay Beirman. Editor/ photo Southern Living
1. When you just want a room to be "warm white,"meaning not too yellow or too peachy or too anything else, then go with Benjamin Moore Ivory White (925). Don't overthink this—I've already done enough agonizing for everyone and can say for sure that it works pretty much anywhere, unless you're going for museum-like sterility, in which case you're reading the wrong magazine.

So I took his advice and didn't even try the color in a swatch.  I told my painter to buy it and start painting.  Yes, I realize, this is a serious cliff dive for me.  For those of you who know me, I am the swatch queen.  I figured that if Lindsay was that sure, I would just go for it.  I am so super pleased with the results.

Having bought two Pottery Barn Basic Sofas with the White Twill Slipcover, I needed a white for the walls that had a little variation to offset the bright white (close to blinding white) of the slipcovers.  Benjamin Moore's 925 did the trick.

Ahh.  Love these windows without those heavy curtains. Clean.


I search high and low for two matching occasional chairs.  I searched at all my local consignment and thrift shops, but couldn't find two matching chairs that fit my needs.  I realized that I had to expand my search to local new furniture stores.  I wanted a neutral fabric, but a chair with character.  Nothing slip-covered.  I found these two chairs and fell in love.  They are from Lexington Furniture's Kingstown Collection for Tommy Bahama and are called Maarten Chairs. The chair comes in a variety of finishes. The finish on these particular chairs is a silvery taupe grey and the fabric is a wonderful nappy linen.  With nickel finished nail heads, what's not to love?!  The console tables under the paintings were in the same collection, which helped tie the taupe color into the room.

The pillows and throws (also shown in the first image in this blog post) are in a variety of neutral tones and textures. I bought them this week at Pier One and Home Goods.  I am still looking for a bench or a pair of ottomans for the open side of the seating arrangement.

I added an accent of taupe to the inside of the recessed ceiling. The taupe sets the ceiling off nicely drawing the eye in a subtle way.


I love how the white walls allow my colorful artwork to pop.  The center painting is a Haitian Painting by a well known painter, Louis Rosemont.  The two paintings flanking the Rosemont piece are two pieces that I painted a little over a year ago.


In the image below is a 6 foot by 6 foot painting that I found in a consignment shop.  I have no idea who the artist is, but I fell in love with it and scooped it up.  It stands alone nicely. (see below)

Here is a quick shot of the dining area that is adjacent to this living room. It's not really complete, but it's fine for now. I am continuing the white theme throughout the entire space.


Super excited about how this has developed.  Oh! and guess what?  My teens haven't even come close to my living room! They have not once sat on the white sofas! That's what happens when you don't put a television in a room!

Now, it's time to go get a little rest.  Coco is already ahead of me with that!

30 comments:

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! Love that gorgeous chandy in your dining room too!

Olive Cooper said...

It is about eight kinds of gorgeous. I am completely jealous that you have two, PB sofas by the way.

Grammy Goodwill said...

OOooohhhh, I love, love, love your living room. Okay, the view of the pool may have slightly influenced that love, but after I pulled my eyes back into the room, the sofas look so clean. The chairs and the accent color on the ceiling complement the room so well. Then there's the art work - just gorgeous!

Carolyn@Sweet Chaos said...

LOVE it!!! Love the sofas, the chairs, the hanging candles and the art. And, the view is gorgeous. Congrats on getting your white room :)

Korrie Bastian said...

It looks amazing! So glad you were able to achieve the look you wanted. I adore those spindle chairs--I'm just a little jealous of them ;-)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

it's just beautiful! and the chairs are so awesome.... i really love the pop of color the artwork adds.

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Congrats on your white room! It looks SO much better! And that view of the pool is to die for!

Twice Nice said...

Beautiful! What a gorgeous home you have. You are a very gifted decorator with your artistic eye!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

You've brought that room into this millenium! I love the white sofas, but it would never work for me. Our girls are grown, but now we've got new little grubby fingers touching everything.

The white room really sets off your art!

Robin said...

This white room really plays up the artwork and the view! No need to compete with those. My favorite is that subtle color in the ceiling. I just recently re-read those tips from SL and giggle once more over the "wrong magazine" part!

Robin
Robin Flies South

Brandi said...

Lesley...girl, your home is gorgeous. I seriously thought you were sharing inspiration pictures from a designers site.

chateau chic said...

Your living room turned out beautifully!
I'm a new follower, Mary Alice

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

This is really gorgeous. What a wonderful big and bright room. I love the new wall color. Look at that view of the pool. Lucky you.

the poor sophisticate said...

How gorgeous! I adore your style! Thank you for stopping by my blog and I am thrilled to be your newest follower! Have a blessed day!
-Molly

Judy Bigg said...

Beautiful, the room is just gorgeous and so is the artwork. Thanks.

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Well I finally got to sit down and READ this post and not just look at the pictures! As I told you on the phone it is simply beautiful! The view is to die for! Makes me want to take a ride and see you!!!
I am putting this on my facebook page today!

Princess Kate said...

So beautiful. I have 4 small kids so a white room is out of the question BUT someday. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I am your newest follower stopping by from Wow Us Wednesdays

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Lesley, the room is spectacular, and so is the view. Love that open feel, your artwork, mmmmmmm, everything. I'm glad you got your white room.

very merry vintage style said...

Such a beautiful, peaceful space. Love the neutrals and your artwork shines in this color palette. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!
Mary

Brandy~GreyLaneHome said...

Looks like a resort. The colors all came together beautifully. I love your living room art too.

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Lesley,

Wow! Your new home is gorgeous! I love how your decorated both rooms.

Dee

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

That is one seriously gorgeous living room!! I dreamed of a white room for years too and finally took the plunge last year. I try to keep my kids out of that room. There's a few little spots on the couch from the little one, but that is the beauty of slipcovers. I really love the pillows you've used too!

Deborah H Bateman said...

I love your site and the refreshing feeling of your decorating. i enjoy decorating myself. If you like recipes you might like to check out my site called Recipe for Life at: http://deborah-bateman.blogspot.com
Have a blessed day,
Deborah H. Bateman-Author

NanaDiana said...

Great room- I have a small all white sitting room at the front of our house, too. I just love the quiet it brings to an otherwise busy household.

You home is lovely and I am your newest follower- xo Diana

Princess Kate said...

Love that you were showcased at Wow Us Wednesday. I saw this room last week and fell in love with it. Congratulations. Looks fantastic.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Lesley,
This is my first time to visit you,
I came over from Kim's at Southern
Saavy Style. What a wonderfully
beautiful and relaxed room, and the view is to die for! Really liked that you put the taupe on the tray ceiling, it was perfect with the room. Just lovely!
and your dining room goes with it perfectly as far as I am concerned,
I wouldn't change a thing. Your chandy is gorgeous.
Well, sure enjoyed my visit.
Blessings, Nellie

Heather said...

Wow Lesley!! I'm drooling right now over your A-MAZ-ING living room! Love the cathedral ceilings and the airy feeling of this room! I have cathedral ceilings in my home too and know it can be hard to make a room feel cozy, but you certainly did that! Love the chairs with their spool turned legs but mostly the artwork just sings in this space! I am your newest follower and looking forward to seeing more of your home and transformations! Please swing by my blog sometime and say hello - I love to make new bloggy friends :) Heather

SHERRY HART said...

First time here...and I am also a fan of white!!! Love how this room turned out.....

Wild Oak Designs said...

"Wow us Wednesdays" sent me to you, glad it did....I love to see what others do in decorating....
Love what you did....
Nancy
http://wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

Lisa Montsion said...

Your dog is super cute.

lisa