Yowza. Can you say dark?! I knew the leather was dark, but once I added the tall and imposing bookcases, the room kinda felt like a dungeon. It's worse in pictures, but still- it was dark.
It didn't take me long to decide what I really needed to do was to paint the brick fireplace. I had actually wanted to do this pretty much since we moved in, but I was so scared. It is such a permanent thing, and I didn't want to do something I couldn't undo. So, I delayed. But, finally, I bit the bullet and painted the brick.
It immediately lightened up the space. It was like the living room lost about 100lbs.
I also added a lot of lighter accessories. I painted that barn star on the mantle a light color, I got some lighter throw pillows to break up the dark leather furniture, and I brought in some softer textures with the ottoman and fuzzy throw.
But, the transformation is amazing. This is finally what I was going for all along. The white paint just makes everything look so fresh and clean. I also painted the back of the bookcases an army/olive green color, which makes everything pop. This is so hot in the shelter blog world, and it's a trend that I love.
I have only staged the shelves with things I had on hand, mostly, but I even think it looks pretty good so far. Of course, there's always work to be done! :) (For example, I would love to devise a way to make the bookcases built-in. I would need some sort of addition from the top of the bookcase to the ceiling, and then there's the 6 or so inches between the left one and the wall. Anyone got any ideas?)
Let's have a quick look back again. Then, and now:
The difference is amazing, don't you think?!
PS. I would be remiss if I did not provide any photo credits. All of my usual, sub-par photos are taken by yours truly with my frugal point and shoot can't-go-wrong, perfect for the photog illiterate Nikon on the basic settings. (All I know how to do is turn on or off the flash.) These most recent photos of the living room were taken by my son and budding photographer, Colin, on his fancy pants camera. So, a large part of the difference is the photo quality. I hope to have Colin take more pictures for the blog in the future. We are still discussing payment. Hugs and kisses is what I've offered...