DIY & DESIGN FROM BERMUDA'S OLDEST PAINT STORE

Creating Your Dream Living Room

Recently I was asked what my dream living room would look like.   If you’ve been following along you can probably guess that it would involve A LOT of grey.  As a matter of fact my living room IS grey from top to bottom (Benjamin Moore Cinder to be precise)!  Even I had a chuckle sitting on the couch on Sunday in a grey sweater under a grey blanked staring at the grey walls.  Do you see a theme?

At the end of the day the living room is where we go to relax and unwind.  It’s where we get together with family and friends.  If I’m being totally honest, at our house it’s even where we eat dinner.  It’s hard to resist when your coffee table lifts up to just the right height and you can cozy up on the couch with a warm blanket and a delicious meal.  For me, a dream living room is less about the objects that are in it and more about the people that surround me.  But let’s face it – even though I love spending time with my husband it would be slightly less enjoyable if we were sitting on a bare floor in an empty room.

So let’s talk about the THINGS that make a living room (or any space) cozy.  First let’s start with smell.  To this day I still remember the cologne my husband was wearing when we first met and after almost ten years of marriage I still make him wear it on wedding anniversaries.  It’s no surprise then that a scent in the living room is one of my personal key elements for a dreamy space.  Every year for Christmas, Santa treats me to a few Cire Trudon candles from the Irish Linen Shop and even though they’re definitely a splurge, the smell is divine and they last me all year long.

Lighting is another thing to consider when planning your dream living room.   The key to a balanced lighting scheme is layers.  Overhead lights are a must if you don’t want to stumble around in the dark but if you don’t want to feel like you’re in the hospital operating room then consider installing dimmers or look for warm white lightbulbs.  I have also been eyeing the Phillips Hue lighting system which lets you control not only the brightness but also the shade of your lighting depending on your needs.  The next layer is floor lamps and table lamps followed by candles to give the living room a cozy glow.  When we first moved into our house one the first projects was blocking up the fireplace so now we fill it with candles and it looks just as beautiful.

A living room wouldn’t be much without comfy seating.  A few years ago we used our wedding gift money to buy a leather L-shaped sectional.  I don’t regret a penny.  When buying a couch, make sure it’s something you want to sit on.  Sure, you want it to look great but you won’t enjoy it if it’s not comfortable.

Living in Bermuda we don’t have much of a winter but as soon as the temperature drops below 65 degrees I put on a sweater and break out the blankets.  There’s something extra relaxing about coming home and snuggling up on the couch with a cup of tea.  A balanced design needs texture and pattern for visual interest so have fun with throws, blankets and pillows!

Working out way down, an area rug is another way to add colour to your dream living room.  It’s also a great way to warm up a cold surface like tile – especially if you live in a cooler climate.  A quality rug is an investment but it will last you for years (decades even) if you take care of it. At our house, we take our shoes off at the door which keeps dirt to a minimum and makes cleaning a breeze.  Make sure you choose a size that fits your space and avoid small rugs that can break up your floor making your room feel out of balance.

Finally, let’s talk about wall paint.  A lot of people fall into the trap of choosing the paint colour first (which makes sense if you’re renovating and your room is empty) but it’s kind of like planning an outfit around a pair of shoes.  A paint colour should compliment the other elements in the room so pick it last whenever possible.  If you’re unsure you can’t go wrong with a great neutral like Benjamin Moore Seapearl OC-19.  It’s light without looking white, warm without being too pink and just grey enough to be contemporary.  If you love grey my favourite is Benjamin Moore Gray Owl 2137-60 (see my favourite spaces here).  For larger spaces that can handle a stronger shade try Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.  Remember that a neutral wall paint colour will give you more decorating options.  Overwhelmed? Picking a paint colour can quickly go from fun to frustrating so if you need help check out my previous posts “What To Bring To The Paint Store” and “Are You Making These Paint Colour Mistakes.”

ONE LAST THING before we look at some of my favourite living rooms from Pinterest.  The living room is the perfect place to show off your favourite artwork, family photos or decorating treasures but try to keep the clutter to a minimum.  Too much stuff will make your space feel busy and if your room is small it will seem even smaller.  FINALLY, below are some of my favourite living rooms from Pinterest.  To see more of these beautiful spaces click on the images and don’t forget to pin YOUR favourites!

Check out that amazing grey ceiling!

Have fun with patterns and texture. Touches of animal print, a super soft rug and metallic accents give this living room dimension.

Have fun with patterns and texture. Touches of animal print, a super soft rug and metallic accents give this living room dimension.

Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon here!?

Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon here!?

For wall paint try a duller shade of your favourite colour to create a relaxing space. Get this look with Benjamin Moore Tranquility.

For wall paint try a duller shade of your favourite colour to create a relaxing space. Get this look with Benjamin Moore Tranquility.

If you prefer your spaces clean and modern try a colour scheme with strong contrast like this black and white stunner. Add gold for warmth.

If you prefer your spaces clean and modern try a colour scheme with strong contrast like this black and white stunner. Add gold for warmth.

If you're not afraid of bold colour try a rich charcoal. It will look stunning even in small spaces.

If you’re not afraid of bold colour try a rich charcoal. It will look stunning even in small spaces.

Balance a strong wall colour with light trim, furniture and fabrics.

Balance a strong wall colour with light trim, furniture and fabrics.

I was recently introduced to Arhaus (kinda sounds like “our house” right?) and came across some beautiful items.  Here’s what I would buy for our dream living room.  Notice how these items are they similar not only in tone but also in their rectangular shape.

What does your dream living room look like? Leave us a comment below!

If you liked this post don’t forget to check back next week to see what’s new on the blog but if you can’t wait  our Facebook page is updated daily with amazing spaces, design tips and DIY projects.  Or get a sneak peak at life behind the scenes at the paint store (and more stunning rooms) on our Instagram page here.  

If you’re local and don’t want to miss a paint sale make sure to join our mailing list by following this link!

HAPPY PAINTING!

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