The Evolution of a Living Room

living room

Hello everyone! I have really been neglecting my blog lately. And not only that, I have zero finished sewing projects to share with you today. 😦 I currently have 4 projects (the Amy Butler bag, a pillowcase dress that I am testing for Debbie Brooke Designs, the Caroline dress in a gorgeous blue pique fabric, and the Foxglove tank by Selvage Designs) that I have started and are just sitting on my sewing table either waiting to be hemmed, waiting to get an invisible zipper, or waiting for a second opinion before I cut any more fabric. So instead of sewing, the Brown party of two has been busy doing what we do best, fishing and getting sun burned. In addition to that we have been working around the house a lot lately. And while this has nothing to do with fashion or fishing, I am excited to share with you some images on our living room: check out what is looked like a few years ago to now in it’s latest glorious transformation that included a new coat of paint, a new couch, a sweet window storage bench that Will built, a new DIY valiance that Will built and I covered with fabric, and a new black and white photo gallery wall.  So here we go:

June 2008: When I bought this house in 2008, I was 26 and I knew nothing about decorating. The house had all wood trim everywhere and was painted beige. So I just left it like that and moved in what few mismatched pieces I owned including this long china cabinet from my grandmother and a horrible gray leather couch. On the wall I hung some framed concert posters. 200810400893_572444419758_8296_n

Fall of 2010: I met Will this year and my good friend Becky moved in.  Grandma’s china cabinet was replaced by a little love seat that Becky owned that we covered with a sheet. Because that’s what we did in our 20s, we covered futons and couches with sheets. To cover the wine stains, obviously. I added some blue curtains to the white ones and a little book case.  Also Legolas is now starting to get a little gray hair. But that’s not relevant to this story. 16 early christmas gifts 2010

Winter 2012: By 2012 Becky had moved out and Will moved in. I decided to paint the room blue, the love seat was replaced by a patio bench (because that made great sense), the posters were replaced by some decorative mirrors, and I now owned a nice L- shaped sectional couch. And a cat. At the time, I was in love with the blue but after a while it was just too much. It made the room feel small. It had to go.171873_824818145788_1138121_o

Spring 2014:  This was the year that I decided to do a total make over. I was inspired by some photos I saw on of window seats and benches:

inspiration 3  inspiration 2 inspiration 1

images via

Before we got to building, I painted the room Sherwin Williams Seal Salt. As you can see the china cabinet at some point found its way back to the front window. But it was soon to be replaced by the custom built window storage seating system from the one and only Will-my-fabulous-husband-who-builds-me-things- Brown.IMG_0006

Here’s how the bench was done:

Step one: remove the china cabinet and then remove the trim from the bottom of the window.IMG_0019

Step 2: Next, frame out the base of the unit. Also note the new window valiance that I covered with fabric from Five Eighth SeamsIMG_0020

Step 3: Frame the sides and add the top pieces. The top is actually three lids that Will attached with hinges.IMG_0015

Step 4: Add paneling to the front and three long decorative strips to trim. I have to apologize for not knowing “contractor” terminology. To be honest, Will did all of this and I just stood around eating Cheese Nips and snapping pictures. But you get the point. He added more wood. There was a hammer and some nails. Enough said.step 4

Step 5: Prime the bench: I always prime when  I am painting on on raw wood. Especially if my final color is white because untreated wood just soaks up the paint. IMG_0018

Step 6: Add a few layers of white paint in a matte finish. Then take the dog for a walk. IMG_0017

Step 7: And the step that I am currently at. Figure out if you are going to make a top cushion or order one. I am having a hard time finding foam that meets the exactly measurement of this bench. But to custom order a cushion will cost me around $500! To be continued. IMG_0021

Now how about the other half of the living room. The couch situation has seen some changes. We went from a gray leather hand me down, to the huge beige sectional, then momentarily we had a small day bed, to the beautiful blue couch we have now that my friends Nicole and Jon gave us in exchange for some custom made children’s clothes (you might remember seeing their daughter Vivienne on my blog). PS do you have any friends that just GIVE you couches. No you don’t. Because they are one of a kind. Couches aside, we are blessed to call them friends.

Anyways, you will see some more images of you couch but lets talk about the gallery wall. I saw this image on Pinterest and I was instantly in love :IMG_0002

Ok can we please talk about that bird in the photo?! Amazing. And totally not awkward.

So off to Ikea we went. Here you see Will installing the shelves from Ikea (similar one seen here).  We only needed 6 to cover the entire wall and they cost only about $12-14 a piece. IMG_0003

Add some frames. I started with some black and white frames but have slowly integrated some gold frames for a pop of glitz. This, like the cushion, is still a working project.IMG_0022

Here is a nice little “Before and After” to remind you of how far we have come:before and after

So even though the gallery wall is still a work in progress and the bench still needs a cushion, overall this room is coming together quite nicely. And it’s nice to have a place we can call our own and keep us busy with decorating and designing new ideas. We also finished tiling the foyer and have some building/decorating plans for that room as well. To be continued!! hehe.

Have a great weekend!  Priscilla

8 thoughts on “The Evolution of a Living Room

  1. What are the measurements for your cushion? We have a place here that cuts the foam, and you could probably whip up the covers. Let me know if you need some tips on zipper installation! Or! Can make some for you, but it is pickup only 😉


    1. I actually round foam at Joann’s that fit my size and they will even cut it in shape for me. I also got some nice upholstery fabric that I think will cover it. I have gotten pretty good at installing invisible zippers in my dresses so i think I should be ok doing it in the pillow but I’ll let you know if I get stuck!


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