Livin' it up

We made some changes in the living room. Ah yeeeaahhh.... Good vibratiooonnsss!. (Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch style)

Here was the 'before'.

Fine. We repainted back in the summer of 2011 to this much brighter creamy shade (the room can be quite dark). It was a massive improvement from the avocado green walls (with tone-on-tone varnish stripes) that were there when we bought the place. One of the reasons I chose this shade was for a treatment I had in mind for the loooooong wall you see on the right. I'll get to that....

But first I wanted to address the glaring wall of windows you see centre stage.

We updated the blinds too at the same time but I always wanted to soften the edges of the windows. 

In January I finally found the perfect panels! Yes! But they were on back order until mid-March. Zing. 

Oh well. It was love at first click so I had to go for it. I ordered up three of these beauts (found here from Sears) in the grey shade (called 'Metal'). Why three? Because I wanted one for each 'end' and one to branch the space between the large main window and small one that you see above on the left.

One of the things I love about these is the subtle texture in the fabric. 

I decided to hang these curtains right up to the ceiling for a few reasons: 1) the mirror above the fireplace goes right to the ceiling so I thought this would create a nice balance 2) the main window is so large that again, I thought the extra height would be a good balance and 3) because this way I would not have to hem the curtains - ha!

Because the rods meet each corner at a weird angle (not 90°) in all instances I decided to forego a finial (say that last bit five times fast). It was too tight a space to add one and since these are panels vs. curtains, we don't draw them closed. No movement of the panels = curtains not yet falling off the end of the rod. I will keep you posted/remedy the problem if this changes!

I went with a simple black Ikea rod (Hugad) - mainly for ease and price) plus my friend Natalie gave me some that she had left over from a project she did (score!). So I didn't even need to buy any. Saweeet! 

For the brackets I bought five Betydlig brackets like the one shown below (from Ikea) but in black. 

See that long flat base though? It's like a big black skid mark coming down your wall. Not a problem if it's behind a curtain, but REALLY ugly when it's the middle support bracket. So instead of painting over it in the same colour as the wall, I bought one white bracket (yes, I splurged an extra $1.50 for this) #highroller - and covered up the black one used in the middle. And because Ikea 'white' is a little off-white it actually works quite well!  A little less garish no?

I could paint over that to really make it disappear but it looks fine to me as-is.

For the corner where the two rods needed to meet, I picked up a corner connector piece. It's bendy so you can adjust this to fit your exact angle where the corners meet - genius! It's from Ikea as well and is also in the 'Hugad' line.

And this is what the the big wall-o-windows looks like now! Phase one complete.

Okay, so now we're back to the big looonnng wall that I had plans for...

Back in 2011 when this wall was painted I envisioned a large panelled wall. Hard to picture? Well maybe the diagram I did will help clear things up for you?

Still confused? That makes two of us. I suggest you read on ;)

I pictured what is sometimes called a 'library wall' where a piece of moulding with a simple (non-decorative) profile is used to create large rectangles on the wall. I know this may still be confusing but hopefully the pics below will clear it up.

First I began by re-painting the long wall. The cream shade was fine but I had changed my mind in the year and a half since I had originally painted it (a woman's prerogative right? No? okay. Moving on...)  I chose a light shade of grey as I wanted to tie in my new curtains. I had actually planned to do this back in January when I chose them. But get this. Since my curtains were back ordered so long - and I am impatient - I ordered another design (a Chevron pattern) from the same manufacturer in the same 'Metal' shade. Then I used those 'stand in' curtains while picking my new wall colour. I didn't hang them or anything of course, I just used them to hold my paint chips against while checking the undertones of the greys. Matching greys is hard and I wanted to get just the right shade! After choosing the grey, I returned the curtains. I know, totally dorky but it worked!

And another side note  I actually used them here (check out the last picture) when taking photos of the 'new baby art' that I made for my friend's little guy Evan. ;)

Okay, so back to this. After painting the wall, I went shopping with my dad and found the right profile and size for the moulding portion. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this pic...

Once we figured out how much wood was needed I purchased it and took it over to my parents. Since I had roped in my dad and Chef Kev into this project my dad graciously offered to paint the moulding for me over at his place. My mom helped too. Thanks guys! xo

Then I went and got my hair cut and coloured while my dad and Chef Kev slaved away. No seriously, I did. It sounds totally diva but is just a coincidence. I actually only get my hair cut twice a year (thanks to the curly Gods) but it sounded fun to type anyway, like I was all J.Lo there for a second..

Do you see what I mean now with the whole 'library wall' thing? If not, then keep scrolling. But first, check out this photo that I can use as blackmail to ensure that Chef Kev will never again get dibs on my dad's second hockey ticket. Can you believe my dad gave it him once over me!? Where's the love ... (mwwaaahaahaa)...

Why yes that is my loving husband pretending to be winding up with a hunk of wood like a bat...

And here's the real shot. Awww :)

After a lot more cutting, gluing, seam patching, sanding and touch up painting, we are D.O.N.E!





Subtle but so interesting.

We had one 'work around' where there is a bulkhead just before you go in to the kitchen. But a few cuts made quick work out of this little corner. You can also see here where the seams have all been patched, sanded and repainted.

This is also the corner where the motion detector for our house alarm is. The wiring used to come out the wall that now has the moulding but Chef Kev simply cut a little slit into the drywall and moved it over so it came out just past the corner. Smarty pants.

I am SO happy with how it turned out.

So, to save you the scrolling, here is the 'before'...

And the 'AFTER'!

A year and a half in the making but SO worth it. Just think of it as carrying twins... one right after the other, For 18 months... okay, don't think of it that way, that's just weird. But I'm really happy the twins are finally here. I'm going to call them Curtains and Wall. Those names won't get them teased on the playground right? 

Oh, and a few little things to tie it all in together? Some new throw cushions with a bit of grey in them as well as some art on the wall. To come in 'due' time (see how I did that, twins, due... ). Okay done.


  1. Elaine, the wall looks amazing, and I love the curtains. Your blog is also so fun to read - I love your sense of humour.

    Hope you're well.


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