As promised, we’ve been hard at work on a few fun projects behind the scenes here in the Mercer house. In between park play dates, 1/2 marathon training and a ton of golfing, this long weekend has been the perfect chance for us to finally tackle some of those projects we’ve been meaning to do for much too long.
Since moving into our new home late last fall, and simply dropping some furniture into it, our living room has felt like a bit of a mess. It’s clear to us that none of our furniture really seems to fit well into the space. With summer almost here, most of our time will be spent outside and so, making over this living room isn’t really isn’t a priority for us at all right now, but we thought it would be nice to slowly cross things off the list as the opportunity comes.
Here are a few things we’d like to do just to help the room function a bit better for us by the time winter rolls around again.
1. Buy a smaller T.V. to mount on the wall & move the current one downstairs (and of course, get rid of that old coffee table from our college days in the process!),
2. buy a larger rug to fill the empty floor space,
3. find a coffee table to put our feet up on,
4. hang a clock on the wall so that we can actually know what time it is,
5. find smaller end tables that better fit the space & move the current ones (which I still LOVE) downstairs,
6. find a fireplace mantle (hopefully in time for this year’s Christmas stockings!!!),
purchase rustic table lamps,
8. find a way to add seating without overcrowding the space.
While working on another project (more on that later this week!), I happened across plans for some end tables that looked simple enough to make and the thin profile seemed like they would fit our space well. Instead of “pinning for later” and forgetting all about them, I instantly sent a link to Brady at work and asked him if it was something he wanted to do. I was down at the hardware store the next day picking up the supplies and Brady spent a few evenings last week banging them all together.
You can find detailed plans by Ana White on her blog here, which by the way, is an absolutely fantastic resource if you ever want to build anything, seriously ANYTHING! Because we wanted a rustic look, we chose to use nails rather than screws to fasten everything together.
After Brady was done with the hammering, I sanded down all of the rough edges, banged and dented the top a bit with some tools to “distress” it, and then stained both tables with Minwax’s Special Walnut.
Though I really loved how the colour turned out, something about them didn’t look “done” enough to me. I’ve seen a ton of furniture on Pinterest lately with a “dipped” in paint effect and I’ve been just itching to try it myself. I liked the idea of adding some colour to the living room to break up all of the brown (floors, sofa and chairs, pillows) and this seemed like the perfect way to do that – I know what you’re thinking: how adventurous am I classifying white as a colour?! … I blame you Mom! Keeping in mind that I want to keep the colours fairly neutral in the living room, the only paint I had on hand that would work was my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, which was unfortunately a bit creamier than I was looking for. Living in a small town, there aren’t really any options to buy chalk paint without ordering online, so I REALLY wanted to make what I already had work, but, knowing I’d be settling, I just couldn’t make myself do it. Cruising pinterest paid off yet again when I came across this post by Liz Marie Blog and I realized that I could make my own! SO, instead of waiting for something to come in the mail, I took the opportunity to cross another item off of my DIY bucket list – DIY chalk paint.
Because I didn’t want to be too overwhelmed with choices when I went to the hardware store with a toddler in tow (making decisions is not my strong suit at the best of times), I did a bit of research about the “best” white paint colours to help me narrow down the options. I found a ton of helpful articles: this one on Houzz did a really great job not only listing the paint colours, but the undertones of them and how best to use them; and this one by House & Home broke up the most popular whites into brands. I wrote down a few from brands that I knew were available where I was shopping. It truly was SO helpful to have the choices narrowed down to only a few out of what felt like hundreds of whites! I also found it helpful to focus on the darkest shade on the sample card to give me the best idea of the colour undertones. I knew I was looking for a warm white, but without too much yellow to it. With only three colour samples in my hand to pick from, Cloud White by Benjamin Moore was the clear winner!
I used the recipe above to mix up my own, custom chalk paint in the perfect shade of white and, after very carefully measuring and taping off the parts I wanted to “dip,” I painted out the bottom with two coats of my homemade Could White chalk paint. Here’s how it all turned out:
I am beyond thrilled with the results!!! That’s one less thing on our wish list for the living room and it really does make the space function so much better for us!
Wishing you all a lovely week!
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