Tuesday, August 5, 2014

From Yellow to Bright White: Living Room Reveal

Going from yellow to white was a big challenge. I looked at lots of whites but in the end went with Valspar High Hide White right off the shelf. The first swipe with the roller was terrifying. I was worried that it looked a bit sterile.  Did I own enough old books and travel mementos to keep it from looking like a doctor's office waiting room? As you can see nothing much changed except the wall color and furniture arrangement.

I wanted everything to tell a story and bring a memory. The icon of St. Francis and St. Clair I purchased on a lovely day in Assisi. The rosary is from The Vatican. 

I always struggle with finding the exact balance between clean, organized, functional, and warm, layered, interesting. 

I don't work at collecting many things. These cameras happen to be ones that have been in the family for years. The basket was brought home by my grandfather who was a missionary in New Guinea.

If there is anything I make a half hearted effort to collect it's Mexican blankets. I pick one up whenever I'm there. They're easy to find and extremely inexpensive. I don't have the shopping determination to collect anything that is expensive or hard to find.

Layering without having things look messy takes a lot of editing and rearranging.

The white on the walls generally looks like a crisp gray in the summer when this room gets no direct sunlight. I'll have to wait a few months to see if it is blinding in full sun on January afternoons.

One thing I decided while painting was that I was never going to buy another piece of mass produced art. Okay, maybe a vintage travel poster. Luckily having a son who is an artist and being someone who loves to take pictures means that won't be a problem. The three pieces below are by my son.

A glimpse of a bare wall in the dining room that I have plans for.

Below are two of my own photographs that I framed and hung up on the wall over the antique French bookcase. I wrote the location underneath each, on the mat, and signed them.


Home doesn't have to be a cookie cutter vision of anyone else's ideal decor. Making it personal means it reflects you and your family.   


  1. Hi Michelle, your living room makeover is beautiful! Everything looks so cozy and inviting! Your red sofa and travel mementos really warm up the space, and I love the maps!
    Sally @cottagefix

    1. Thanks, Sally! Painting the walls white was the one thing I swore I'd never do...and here we are. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!