Friday, July 8, 2022

Mid Summer Formal Living Room; Yes I Have One

Hi Friends, I've been wanting to share our formal living room for a bit, since it's been a while. I don't usually tend to do a lot of seasonal decorating in there. (Many of you may not know this room even exists) Things don't seem to change too much, probably because we use this room so much. The coffee table is right in my husband's sight line to the TV, so whatever I decorate with there has to be compact and not distracting. He tends to keep some of his "stuff" out on the end table along with the remotes so it's always a bit of a pain challenge to clear off his personal area in order to take current pics. Since it looks just like it did several years ago, I just thought I'd "re-share" those photos which were actually taken this time of the year. 

Some of you may remember while we were getting ready to move, we found this great traditional style recliner from Lazy Boy at deep discount. (on the left in the foreground, below pic) It was a perfect match for the neutral tones that I use here. I claimed the leather recliner that he had used previously, because he wasn't a fan of the comfort of leather. hmmmm. He hated it for 5 years.

I don't bring a lot of color in here, but usually stick with more neutral colors like taupe, grays, off white and black and gold accents. 

This is the same paint I used at our previous home, Smokey Taupe by Benjamin Moore. It looks a little more "brown" here, but was what matched the upholstered and painted furniture. I was awake nights worrying about this darn paint color and job, which I did by my lonesome. So it's going to stay this color at least for awhile. I have Agreeable Gray in the Entry and Dining Room, and they are very, very similar.

One thing that does change in the living room are the decorative pillows on the sofa and loveseat. I have a set of leopard print pillows I purchased a while back at Pottery Barn, but I change them out in the warm months, because... well... real look fur pillows are just too visually warm for July. I made these toile pillows about 10 years ago for my sofas at our previous home and sofas. 

(Leopard print pillows in the cooler months.)

It took us awhile to get the framed wall art up on the walls here at our new place. In the past I've zoomed through decorating a new home, but this time, I took longer to really think things through. One of my main goals in decorating this place was to not overwhelm it with "stuff" and clutter. (at least not in this room) That includes the walls.

This large oil has always been the center of attention, and it's been over my larger sofa at the old house, and the one before that. I fell in love with the old curving road by the lake, the man and horse, and the home and outbuildings that appears to be in the style of the Normandy countryside. My Dad's side of the family has been traced back to the area of Northern France and Europe, so this countryside holds a little affection and interest for me. 

at our previous house

When we started to hang up the paintings here in the Living Room  I kept thinking that the gold in the frames was just "too much". The ceilings here are not high, nor is there a lot of wall space, so the pieces overwhelmed things and looked too big and way too "gold".

I took my trusty Chalk Paint palette, and mixed up a gray wash and pretty much covered the main parts of the frames. Then I went back over them and wiped away the raised portions revealing some of the gold.

Then they looked too gray, so I used Rub and Buff antique Gold to highlight even further. Now they are toned down and still have touches of gold but not to the point that you need sunglasses when you walk in the room.

I have several smaller oil paintings that fit the same vibe.
(Anniversary gifts from Hubby)

Of course, this one with the lambs is my favorite.

Here's the view from the Entry looking through to the Dining Room.

...and from the Dining Room to the Entry.

I collect prints and engravings of castles, so these two worked well together for the small space next to the opening into the Entry. My daughter brought back the print below of Windsor Castle from a trip to England several years ago.

Here's a pic of the coffee table, first painted about 10 years ago, and then in 2014 when we moved to our previous house in a mix of Coco and French Linen from ASCP. I've never once regretted painting my furniture, even though some people wanted to smack me for doing it. It was all too much dark wood and was very heavy and distracting. I didn't want contrast, but for those heavier pieces to blend in with the sofas. 

We really enjoy this formal Living Room and use it in the evening to watch TV and eat dinner. The TV is in the armoire, which actually is part of the suite of Master Bedroom furniture we bought 20 years ago. It's just a few steps to the kitchen through the Dining Room, so it's separated, but close by. And now that my husband has retired, he's in here frequently on his laptop or reading, so I kind of steer clear during the day. I have my office just a few steps away, and yay, I can close the doors!

Hope you're having a good week, thanks so much for coming by...

*On a blogging note. A few of you have mentioned that you're not receiving the email notifications on new posts. (Mad Mimi) If you could check back in your emails that would do me a great favor. If you haven't been getting at least two a week would you please sign up again? Sorry for the inconvenience, the sign up form is on the right side of the blog. Thanks a bunch friends!

We hope you'll come by the party on Monday evenings.

joining in here:

The House on Silverado,  Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda
All About Home at Common Ground and Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
 Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
  Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life   Wonderful Wednesday at LeCultivateur 
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode,  Centerpiece Wednesday at Karin's Kottage
Share Your Style at French Ethereal,  Vintage Charm at Our Hopeful Home,  
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home,  
Create, Bake, and Grow at Shabby Art BoutiqueFarmhouse Friday at  County Road 407
Fabulous Friday at Vintage Home Design Friendship Friday at Create with Joy 
 Funtastic Friday at 2 Chicks and a Mom


  1. Debra your living room is gorgeous. I love the neutral couches. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks Kris, Hope you're having a great week. Way too hot here!

  2. Your living room is very calming with the netural sofas. You have amazing art.

    1. thanks so much, it's a bit of a "get-away" space!

  3. Lol, "he hated it for five years". Sounds like someone I know! I'm glad you've showed this room again, it's got great lighting. I actually thought you guys watched TV in your hearth room! I love the way you altered your countryside painting. I'm looking for yet another large focal painting for my DR. I think it's best we take our time on the walls. Happy retirement to you husband! Good thing to have your own spaces. It's key!

    1. Haha probably longer than 5 years! yes, we each need our own spaces. Retirement has taken us some time to get used to!

  4. I think we all have rooms no one sees on the blog but at least yours is pretty and not full of junk like mine. Love those paintings and frames. Nice hubby! And you were correct - I had no idea you even had a formal living room. ;)

    1. oh, I have a room or two like that myself. our basement bedroom was turned in to storage room for my stuff. Glad I shared it. it's been a minute.

  5. Debra,
    Your living room is just lovely and yet so cozy. I can see why you would want to spend time in there. I love that painting with the winding road.

    1. thanks Bev, I do tend to get lost in paintings and imagine stories for the place and people.

  6. It is such a beautiful room, styled to perfection for the size and your needs. I love the Normandy painting and that it has the sentimental value. I think the frames being toned down but still leaving some gold looks really perfect too. The toile pillows you made are wonderful but you know I love me some animal prints for fall and winter!
    Great inspo!

    1. Yep me too. Love me some furry fake animals on my sofas! haha

  7. Your formal living room looks fabulous. The paintings are all so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.
    Meagan-Decorative Inspirations

  8. I love it all. I was wondering where you'd recommend looking for a similar painting. I'm looking for a more horizontal landscape for over our bed. Any tips would be most appreciated.

    1. Hello, I'm pretty sure we found the large painting at Haverty's when we bought some of our furniture 20 years ago. I was surprised of the quality of artwork they had available. But that was twenty years ago and it was an expensive purchase at that time. If I were doing it again, I'd look into having a print made "on canvas". There are several online companies that will take a print and digitally reproduce them on canvas and they truly look realistic. Canvas Pop is one I've used before.

  9. The frame turned out great. Rub and buff is pure magic. Your home looks gorgeous!

  10. I forgot about the formal living room but after seeing this now I remember it. I absolutely love all the artwork! I also love that you painted the coffee table. You're too funny about having office doors lol. I totally get it:) Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen


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