make me pretty – my own living room

March 3, 2010

My very first blog post was about my house – about wanting to re-paint my living room. After years of renting, and before that growing up in an all beige house, I was so excited to paint. Every room would be a different color! It would be great!

Four years later I am already tired of some of the colors. Granted, I am the girl who re-arranges the furniture every couple months. But I am now realizing I may not have picked colors I could live with. So I have been very busy working on my house. Not only the living room but the kitchen too!

I did some research before painting and discovered that people feel strongly about their shade of gray. I also learned that it is difficult to get the exact shade you want. So for the first time ever, I bought those little tester bottles of paint. Three shades of gray and thank goodness I did. I thought I wanted a pretty dark shade but it turned out I liked the light one I tested just because it was different than the other two.

So two long afternoons of Jasper having adventures with daddy, and the living room is finished. I love the color. It is light and modern feeling. And I am pretty sure I can live with it for a while.

So what I am trying to figure out now is what to do with the fireplace mantel. Should I just paint it bright white or should I be bold and paint it a color?

There is so much white tile that I think pop of color would be nice. What do you think? Please, please, please leave me comments with your opinion! Here are some images to inspire your creativity!

Picture form desiretoinspire.

Picture from design*sponge.

Picture from doorsixteen.



  1. Color! Go for a color! How would the fellas feel about a pretty bold shade of pink? I see it peeking out in the other images ~

  2. Your house is lovely!
    I like all three but wouldn’t paint the tiles. Glossy enamel paint would be cool and blue would tie in with the painting above, but not too light that it would blend in with the grey.

    The orange would take a lot of bravery but wow!

  3. The tile is really the deciding factor in my opinion. White will do nothing for it.

    You could go subtle and more monochomatic with a deeper gray that bridges the two. You could also use a color in the tan familiy.

    For more color, I kind of like the blue in your curtain. That would be very rich looking.

    I love the idea of popping your photo into a color visualizer to see what’s you.

  4. what about super shiny black? If yes I have a quart that you will just LOVE…pricey to purchase…free from me! Fine Paints of Europe high gloss black. Would certainly make it pop and still give you a “neutral” back drop. I think those green candle holders and yellow elephant would love a shiny black canvas.

  5. What about a charcoal grey? Darker, greater contrast, but not so bold as orange or blue, which I wouldn’t be able to live with for long.

    I’m painting too. Dining room. Walls are going quickly, but the trim is going to take for freaking ever!! And the tobacco-stained harvest gold is not going to give up the ghost easily!

  6. thank you all so much. you probably know that i am dying to paint the fireplace a fun color – i just needed some encouragement! i am still thinking it over but i am leaning towards corbin’s shiny black paint offer. i will be sure to post a picture when it’s done!

  7. We painted our mantel, brick and surrounding walls a dark brown to give a more uniform look. (It had been brick, wood and mucho wallpaper). I say go for color! You can always repaint it later if you change your mind.

    (We have the exact same banister by the way, although our rail part is different.)

  8. salmon pink!

  9. I love seeing a committee come together around an important issue. But, since I live in this living room, it’s curious that I had to come here to find out that the mantel color was even up for debate. Babe, I thought we agreed on midnight blue and black cammo stripes with bullet hole decal accents? Muy macho.

    Okay. Please proceed. Can’t wait to be surprised.

  10. I was just wondering how functional the fire place was? It might be cool if you only use it on special occasions to put up a japanese screen…ooo or make one. I went to this exhibit in the Lu and I was inspired. http://www.slam.org/japanese-screens// Let me know what you decide!

  11. Oh, definitely a color! I don’t normally like orange, but love that fireplace,and I also like the turquoise blue.

  12. it would be much better if we could buy a Jewelry box that is gem studded*~.

  13. we have different jewelry boxes at home and most of them comes from my mother who like to collect jewelry boxes ::.

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