#tbt - The Cozy Cottage Living Room at the Ivy House

When we first purchased the Ivy House, I was determined to add a cottage-y yellow to the main living space.  Picking a yellow that doesn't look like the Waffle House or a babies room is really hard! I put lots samples on the wall and struggled for days.  I finally found a yellow called Clam Chowder and was convinced it was a sign since we had recently moved from Boston (in hindsight, that is a little silly), but it really was a warm yellow that I loved.  

My husband now tells me he never liked the yellow but didn't want to tell me, ha. My style has definitely evolved and if I was to re-do this living space now, I probably would not choose yellow either. The floors and the cabinetry both have a tinge of yellow so I would probably steer clear, but you have to go through these style choices to learn what you like and don't like!

 Wow - all of these yellows look hideous

Wow - all of these yellows look hideous

 Good ol' clam chowdah!

Good ol' clam chowdah!

When we moved, we also painted the ceiling and the trim. We painted the ceiling a lighter yellow and I quickly learned that ceilings require flat paint! I was not seasoned enough with painting rooms to remember this before diving in, but I definitely didn't forget it after the ceiling had a sheen from using satin.

Now, I always double check the finishes at the store prior to purchasing paint. For our current house, I kept the wall finish the same throughout the rooms so that I could re-use the paint when I had some leftover. For the ceiling paint, I now stick with the flat white ceiling paint that you can buy in big tubs at Home Depot. Simplicity is key when you have lots of rooms to paint! 

Here is a reminder of the basic finishes you should use in each room.  

When my in-laws were in town, my MIL suggested we paint the fireplace. I loved the idea but had been intimidated by it because it was brick...and fire went into it.  She convinced me it was no biggie and so we used KILZ to paint it white.  BEST DECISION EVER! It totally brightened up the room and gave it the cottage-y feel I was going for.

 The living room prior to moving in.  It looks pretty boring.

The living room prior to moving in.  It looks pretty boring.

 The fireplace once it was painted a fresh coat of white!

The fireplace once it was painted a fresh coat of white!

Along with lots of paint, we also swapped out the light fixtures for a fan and more modern chandelier in the dining room. These were purchased at...wait for it...HOME DEPOT!

Side note: When our son started learning the places we would often go, we would put him in the car and he would ask, "Are we going to The Depot?" or, "Are we going to Starbucks?" Hehe.

Here is a snapshot of the main living space when it was prepped for the open house. Like I said, I was going for a cottage look and I think I nailed it (toot! toot! of my own horn).  The yellow walls, blue couch and distressed furniture helped to give this space the look and feel I was going for.

 The couch and distressed hutch are from Arhaus (our first major furniture purchases!), the coffee table was thrifted and painted & the dining room table was borrowed from a friend for staging purposes.

The couch and distressed hutch are from Arhaus (our first major furniture purchases!), the coffee table was thrifted and painted & the dining room table was borrowed from a friend for staging purposes.

 Those little windows that flanked the fireplace were my favorite part of this space.  It gave the room so much character.  When we moved, the new owners replaced them with boring double hung windows!!! SO. DUMB. Also, do you see how shiny that ceiling is? haha.

Those little windows that flanked the fireplace were my favorite part of this space.  It gave the room so much character.  When we moved, the new owners replaced them with boring double hung windows!!! SO. DUMB. Also, do you see how shiny that ceiling is? haha.

We did not do anything in the kitchen except for paint and a deep scrub.

I loved this little house so much and it was the perfect size for our first home. This main living space helped my style grow exponentially and I learned from many mistakes. Have you looked back at any of your old home projects and thought, "what was I thinking?!"