Welcome to Southern Comfort!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Living Room Project Breakdown

This was the best and the worst project I've ever done. I say that because I had a vision in my head, but trying to get all those visions into the room was hard. Especially having such a short budget. The most expensive thing in this room was the floor lamp. But we'll get into that later.

I started this project the last week of May. It's now July. When I say I'm done, I'm really not. There are still some things that may need a teak here and there. I swear a home is never really complete is it? :)
The first project I tackled was the fireplace. Here is a shot of what it looked like before it's facelift. Not bad per se, but not what I wanted either. John and I had this ongoing "battle" over what to do with the fireplace. I wanted to paint it white, he liked the natural wood color. After many discussions, we did decide to paint it (since most homeowners like white now-a-day and it would increase our resale value, since this isn't our forever home). This is what sparked the living room makeover. John was leaving for a business trip to Salt Lake in late May. I decided I would surprise him with a new room.

So one evening, one of my wonderful friends (thanks Emily!) came by after work and we got started on painting it. I primed it with some Kilz before painting it. I used Behr's Ultra White paint. Here it is now.

Beautiful. And yes, John loves it.

The next project I did was the couch. I needed to update the pillows in a bad way. Our couch is a hand me down, and as much as I love it, it is beginning to show its wear. Since we can't replace it yet, I knew I could give the pillows a little help. So I took the original pillows (as you can see in the first picture) and took off their covers. I knew I wanted a beachy, fun print, so off I went to the fabric store. I found exactly what I wanted.

I thought I liked the rust brown one because I'm in love with the texture, but it doesn't work in the living room so it will be used in another room someday. But the one on the left was PERFECT. It was pricey at $26.99/yd. which is way out of my budget. Luckily, it was on sale that weekend and I had a coupon (score!) I swear the stars were aligned that day. I ended up skipping out of the store with 3 yards of this fabric for only $7.99/yd! I still can't believe it. It ended up being the perfect fabric for my pillows. The green pillows I made from some leftover fabric I already had. Perfect.

We exchanged the oversized coffee table for another one we had upstairs. Since the "big box" as we admiringly call it was just a little too large for our small living room, we exchanged it with one we had in storage. It opens the room up and since you can see the floor underneath, does make the perfect place for Maggie to beg for popcorn. :)

The mirror above the fireplace I repainted. I used it as a child above my dresser for years. Come to find out, it's a hand-me-down from one of my Gram's dear friends I knew as "Grannie Ruth" who died in the 1990's. She was 88. The mirror was Grannie Ruth's mothers!

Project number 3 were the sitting chairs. I moved a couple of our chairs from the kitchen into the living room. I inherited them from my grandparents. They were made after my Dad's dad decided to have new chairs made out of some wood from our family farm back in the 80's I believe. I love the history behind them. When I first got them they were little worn and tattered so I re-covered them in a red stripe to match the kitchen, but I knew I wanted them to be beachy for this room. Hmm. I have seen all over blogland amazing curtains and pillows using painters canvas from hardware stores. So I headed to Lowes, grabbed some for myself for only $4.99 I slipcovered the chairs. I didn't take off the original red stripe, I just slipped the canvas over it. Looks just like linen and gave me the look I was visioning all along. If I need to move them to the kitchen for holidays or guests, I just take off the canvas. Voila.
The adorable pillows in the chairs I found at Goodwill for $2.99 each.

That awesome glass jug was found in my grandmothers house while we were cleaning it out. After a good wash it was perfect. You can't really tell in the pictures, but it has a subtle blue/ seaglass look. Beautiful.

The bookcase in the corner was a gift from my mom's dad. He passed away in 2002, but made this for me when I was a little girl for all my toys and books. My mom has been holding onto it for when I had my own house. The picture below kinda shows you how it looked before I painted it. I didn't really want to paint it. I had this internal struggle with myself for a while it was "being tested" in the living room. Grandaddy made this for me with his two hands. For me. Thinking about me while he made it. How could I cover it with paint? But it just didn't look right. So after a while, I decided to paint it. I wanted to love it in this room, not just like it. I decided to take the plunge, paint it and MAKE IT WORK FOR ME. And I'm SO GLAD I DID. I love it. It's perfect, and maybe, one day, I can pass it down to our little one for their toys and let Grandaddy's vision live another generation. I know he would be so proud.

Like I mentioned earlier, we did purchase the new floor lamp. I let John pick it out. He liked the square lines. I still haven't decided if I want to switch out the shade for a drum one. Any thoughts?

As for the foyer, I reused the small table we already had. It was a gift from my Gram (mom's mom) several years ago when she found it at an antique store. It's the perfect small table for a tight spot. The basket underneath was a given to us (thanks Lyndi!) at one of my bridal showers. It's been a real life-saver.

I shopped the house and found some picture frames that I placed beach pictures in. Love being able to shop the house and not spend a dime :)

The "E" monogram was a project I made back when we lived in our apartment. I bought the vinyl "E" and the wreath from Stampin' Up. I'll give the run-down on that project a little later since it's pretty cool (and very easy to do).

The grand total of our living room cost us $78.42 including paint. Not bad right? I don't think so. This comes to show that you can have a house that you love with a little patience, a little digging and some creativity.

So that's the run down on our new facelift-ed living room. Did I miss anything? Have you done any projects you love? Any room redecorating you'd love to share? I'd love to feature it or see what you've done. Any project big or small.


  1. Nice work! Painting the fireplace surround was a great idea--what a fresh look!

  2. Anonymous7/11/2010

    It really looks brighter and newer. Well done!

  3. Danielle Dicaprio8/23/2010

    Just wanted to say I LOVE the new look of the living room Lizzy!


I put a lot of hard work into the blog, so I love hearing back from you! If you wish, leave me a comment and help make Southern Comfort a fun place to voice your thoughts too! Happy Writing, Elizabeth

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