House Tour: The Living Room

by Beth Anne on May 30, 2014

When we were house hunting, we had a list of things we absolutely wanted in our new home:

  • linen closet
  • 4 bedrooms
  • laundry/mud room
  • two family spaces

The two family spaces broke down to needing a place to play & a place to escape.  When we first toured our home, I immediately started placing furniture before we even put in an offer. The back family room a playroom for now, but a place for teenagers to sprawl in 10 years. The front living room a space to escape (most) toys during the little years, but a spot for us to be present in supervising said teenagers without hovering. (Is that strange & dated? That’s okay.)

When we bought the house in September 2012, 90% of the house was painted a terrible lime yellow that turned neon green under artificial lights.

livingroom yellow House Tour: The Living Room

I was so eager to get rid of the yellow that I made some pretty bad paint decisions. The green I chose was supposed to be a muted olive but turned out to be celery. It was nice, but not cohesive to the rest of our home:

livingroom green House Tour: The Living Room

But at this point, I was several rooms into painting & paint-chip-burned-out. So I pulled out the trust Benjamin Moore & slapped Revere Pewter on the walls. It was a lazy move that paid off:

livingroom1 1024x768 House Tour: The Living Room

We’ve done a few more updates – our old Target bookcase was about to lie down & die. I was nervous that we’d hear a crash in the middle of the night & find our books in a pile, so I offered it up to the Craigslist gods & started searching for an affordable barrister bookcase (HA! HAHAHA!). The great news is that Raleigh has an entire “strip” of furniture stores on Glenwood Avenue, ranging from Rooms 2 Go all the way to small business locally-made oak stores. We also have these mass warehouse-type “stores” that sell a mish-mash of furniture at way discounted prices.

livingroom2 1024x768 House Tour: The Living Room

I settled for a manufactured barrister-esque bookcase. I love it even though it may only last 10 years at best. Furnishing a house in our early 30′s breaks down into two categories – what to spend money on & what to buy knowing you’ll toss it. Couches & mattresses & kitchen tables? Spend cash. Television stands (televisions change every 10 years so needs will change) & children’s dressers (young kids can be rude to furniture) & dining room sets (only used 3 times per year)? It’s okay to not buy top-of-the-line.

Of course, that’s not a hard rule of thumb. Just my rule of thumb.

I added one of my favorite pieces of art, Dancers in Blue by Edgar Degas, & then I sewed pom-poms onto the curtains for fun.

livingroom3 1024x768 House Tour: The Living Room

The room flows directly into the entry way, which is our functional drop-off for keys & mail.

hall 1024x768 House Tour: The Living Room

(People like to ask about the framed picture of the ram – it’s for Rameses, the mascot of the University of North Carolina.)

I love this space. It’s easily my favorite room to sit with a cup of coffee, to read or write. It’s formal, but open to everyone – hence the Wii & train table & children’s books. If I had one goal for my entire home, it would be for every space to feel beautiful, warm, & functional for the entire family.

I’m so excited to show you a little more of our beloved “money pit” although I am definitely not an interior designer. Owning this home has been such a challenge for me & Doug – we always joke that it feels a lot like doing triage, so many things to fix & just trying to figure out what needs to be addressed first. (Right now it’s the kitchen floor & while we save like mad to replace the back deck, we still have to get the garage door functioning on a remote & replace the ceiling fan in our master bedroom.) Focusing on the easy fixes like paint & art helps me stay focused for the big stuff & remember that owning a house is a marathon, not a sprint. & with each house that goes on the market around us, we give a little cheer that our sweat & tears will pay off in the long run.


quick source list:
paint color: benjamin moore’s revere pewter  |  grey rug: garden ridge, $100  |  tree canvas: home goods  |  degas print: home goods  |  lamps: marshall’s  |  striped pouf: zulily  |  braid print: elizabethmayview on etsy  |  ram print: dimdi on etsy  |  painting of tucker: linnyfish on etsy  |  white console: home goods

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

DeNae May 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm

You have done a beautiful job with that space. We are currently trying to sell our house and move across the country and mud room sits at the top of my list. With four kids who love the outdoors, we need a place to catch our mess. (Well 3 and a baby who we assume will join them in the mud puddles soon) I love how you want everyone to feel welcome and I totally feel you on the supervise/don’t hover plan.


Beth Anne May 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Thank you!

The mud room is such a saving grace. Our old house had a laundry “closet” & having the doors open to do laundry made the hall so cluttered on weekends! I hope you are able to find a house with a mud room :) & SO MUCH LUCK with the house sale! I hope it is smooth & fast for you.


DeNae May 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

thanks. fingers crossed and catholic statues buried. not really, but I wouldn’t be opposed if that really worked!


Beth Anne May 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Oh, we buried a statue. But Doug ran over it with the lawnmower & chopped it’s head off.

So…don’t do that.

But our house did eventually sell!


Jessica May 30, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Seriously, 2 seconds ago I was reading another blog that was talking about your paint color and I thought to myself ” wonder what that looks like?”

And here it is….. and it’s perfect!

My husband and I are debating building or buying our forever home. Such a process, either way.

I love your decorating taste. So beautiful and comfy.


Beth Anne May 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I’m so glad! It is the PERFECT color for our home – grey but with enough brown undertone that our brown furniture & warm floors look fine against it. (although as a warning, my friend thought it looked ridiculously purple on her walls!)

The forever home is such a lovely thing once you’re in it, I must admit. Like…we look at the deck & we feel like we have time. Time to make our choices because we’ll be here so long, then time to enjoy those choices.

& thank you!


Kate June 1, 2014 at 12:34 am

Build for sure! We did it a year ago and couldn’t be happier!


Sarah Coggins May 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

It’s definitely a marathon. You know I feel your pain in the whole money pit fun. And, as one who has seen your home in person, it is gorgeous! You & Doug are doing a great job. Your living room has me rethinking ours. It’ll just have to happen later. Too many othe things on my list! :)


Beth Anne May 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Same to you, my friend. We’re marathoning it together!


Courtney May 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

We just signed the contract on our own personal marathon this week. I’m excited but also nervous knowing that it will be a very, very different experience than the house we live in currently{turn key, move in ready}. It’s been nice, but we’re ready for a change, a forever home, a house to make ours…but yeah. Marathon. Gotta keep that in mind. Thanks for the thoughts…and the killer gray paint rec!


Beth Anne May 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

AH! GOOD LUCK! We had the same experience – turn-key & newish for our first one, but very little stamp of “us” on it. This one is a total marathon & exhausting, but it’s all ours.


Rebecca May 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

So pretty. All of it.

I love to see how people mix colors, patterns and textures and yours are right on :)


Beth Anne May 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Thanks, love. I am so unsure when I do things but I’m liking how it’s turning out!


Lindsey May 30, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Aw, thanks for the shoutout! :)


Beth Anne June 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

::fist bump::


Katie-LovesofLife May 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

lovely :) you can’t go wrong with that color. My sister has it in two places in her home, so cozy.


Beth Anne June 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Thanks, lady! Our old house was 90% brown/beige, so it’s a nice change of neutral.


Leigh Ann June 1, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I had no idea you lived in Raleigh. My SIL and BIL live in North Hills, very close to Glenwood Ave. I’d move there in a heartbeat if I had an excuse!


Beth Anne June 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Yes! I grew up here & never thought I’d want to live in my hometown (it just feels so lame) but honestly, we love everything about it. Raleigh has such a great atmosphere, even in the suburbs.


Amy June 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Dude. Ya’ll are making the money pit your bitch. It looks awesome. Miss your face. See you soon.


Beth Anne June 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

It is such a labor of love. But thank you :) (At least there weren’t stamped sailboat curtains?)


Stef June 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm

What a beautiful, simple, relaxing room. I absolutely love it. When I moved into my new house, I painted every room Revere Pewter. It really is the perfect neutral (but not boring) shade to decorate around!!


Beth Anne June 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Thank you!! It is my favorite color ever in the main parts of the house. Only the hall & this room are painted Revere Pewter but it helps tie in everything else!


Scarlett June 7, 2014 at 9:48 pm

I’ so terrible arranging furniture, matching colors, and figuring out how to decorate the whole room. Because I want to change the arrangement of furniture in my condo and at least make it different from before, I always end up great blogs like this. Thanks for giving me ideas. I’m just wondering, do you consider your kids (if you have any) when putting some carpet or selecting colors? Nice post though. :)


Anne-Marie August 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Love the picture of your entryway… mine is currently empty, just waiting for inspiration to strike! Thanks for the inspiration…


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