The mid-century home we bought a year ago had solid bones, but fabulously outdated interior spaces. Every room came with it’s own unique patterned wallpaper and a thick layer of beige carpet. It was hard to imagine we could polish this into a gem, but we took a leap of faith and snapped the house off the market.
Since that time, we have slowly transformed this house into a welcoming homestead. We finished Juniper’s room first. Then came our room. Then came the bathroom remodel. In between these projects, our garden was taking shape as well. But the living room, the heart of our house, took the longest to remodel.
We started by peeling off the carpet immediately after we bought it to reveal some beautiful hardwood floors. I gave the fireplace a facelift a few months ago. But the walls were another story.
Wallpaper had been professionally installed, making it a real pain to scrap off. It was circa 1980 with a fabulously outdated, textured pattern with a foam-like consistency. It could not be penetrated with water or any special wallpaper-removing mixture, but Jay painstakingly made it his mission to remove every little scrap by hand – a process that took several months.
We painted a soothing grey-green using Yolo Paint, an eco-friendly VOC paint, called Nourish .03. I love their suite of nature-inspired colors. The one we choose is richer in hue, but not too dark since our living room faces north. The grey-ness of the color makes the other colors and our artwork in the room pop, but that hint of green creates a natural-feeling space.
We have tried to be really thoughtful with the furniture, considering we have both little ones and pets. We emphasized natural textures, like the sisal rug and chunky knit accent pillows. We tucked storage into every nook and cranny – using baskets to hide toys and a bright footstool to store blankets.
Juniper has great spaces to play – like little stations around the room. Her play kitchen fits nicely into an unused corner. Old fruit baskets store more toys, books and puzzles around the room. They serve double-duty adding homestead accents that are perfect for storing toys. She has lots of space to sprawl out on the floor and, when playtime is over for the day, it’s easy to dump it all back into storage.
We found these amazing mid-century accent chairs at a local resale shop and choose them for the yellow pop of color and the durable vinyl fabric. The cats don’t scratch them and it’s easy to wipe up spills. Added bonus: their light-weight appearance keeps the room feeling airy since they don’t take up much visual space.
Our artwork just went up a couple weeks ago – the finishing touch that really makes this space feel like home. The walls are now lined with our favorite paintings, like this onion grouping from local artist David Shratter. The entrance wall is too narrow for furniture, but the perfect place for a collection of hand sketches – both portraits of our family and others we’ve collected over the years.
We’re hoping to remodel an unfinished back room over the next year, turning it into a family room. The bulky TV we rarely watch will then move out of our living room, which we can’t wait to do. It’s pet peeve of ours to have TV’s be such a central component of a living room.
In the mean time, the space finally feels like home to us. Everywhere we look our eyes are met with a little piece of our family history – the rocking chair my Nana used as a child 100 years ago, the kid’s dining set my other Grandma used 80 years ago, pictures from trips, the play kitchen I made for Juniper, and some reclaimed farmy accent pieces. All it took was a vision, a little elbow grease and patience to find all the right pieces.