My Coming Out Party / Living Room Progress: Half Painted Wall

My husband and I have been living in a high rise condo in downtown Austin now for over three years. When the place was first purchased in 2011 we were only dating, but he really valued my opinion, or so I believe that was the case, especially when it came to the urgency of painting the living room walls that weren't so nice on the eyes. I only wish I had a photo. They were pea green and baby blue (no thank you!). So he/we needed to think quick...and for us that meant painting them back to their original color, Sherwin Williams Dover White. I know, not so creative, but it made the most sense to me at the time. I love white, the space is very small, and I didn't want it to feel closed in by painting it dark. And mostly, I had no clue what color I wanted to go with at that time.

As our relationship moved full speed ahead, I moved in which meant moving his bachelor pad furniture OUT! The black pleather sofa, box frame bed and mattress, and the side table that held the TV all went out the door. Adios! Off to your new home! Minor updates began - a new designer sofa (Lazar), bedding, art, etc., but the place still needed some love. Here is a photo of the room in it's current state (not loving) and a list of things I'd like to change in the captions below. Please excuse my terrible photography skills.

Add/Change Lighting - I'd like to get a new lamp and switch the fan out for a chandelier. New pillows, rug, and add something, just something to this very tall, bare, white wall. Coffee table could use some attention, too. 

These kitchen cabinets need a slight facelift. Paint? Yes, please!

Hardwood floors were installed throughout the condo making the already small space seem larger. The high ceilings help too. The very affordable bar stools were purchased from Amazon. I switched out the bar lights for two glass pendants from Restoration Hardware. These were all minimal updates but well worth it. If I could go back and change anything, I would have gone with different bar lights similar to these pendants. I love the restoration hardware lights but they get lost in the space.

Accessories! Accessories! Accessories! The media console is feeling naked. Add gallery wall around TV.

Okay, let's fast forward to 2015!

We're married...YAY! And now that I'm not planning a wedding I have some time to really focus on what I love, interior design. And what better place to start than my own home. I have to admit, I was really hoping we could make the big move out of downtown into a know one with a yard, become grown ups, and so on, but I guess we'll have to stay put, at least for the next year. Oh, the conveniences of living downtown...isn't life rough?! I think I will survive. So, instead of wasting time thinking about where we could be living, I've decided to refocus my energy on our current home. Insert GOAL for 2015 - design and style my home!

There are many things I'd like to update and add to our home. Some of those were mentioned above. One area that has stumped my mind for some time is what to put on the vertical wall that sits between two large windows in our living room (picture above). Do I add a piece of art, bookshelf, wall of mirrors? It's such a large wall and would be the focus of the room so it has to be good. After speaking with a friend and pinteresting, I decided I would start with changing the paint color. And even better, doing a two colored wall / half painted wall. 


I felt like this would bring so much style and character to our living room without making it feel I went for it. I rushed to Benjamin Moore last weekend (because I couldn't hold back my excitement) to pick up one dark and one light shade of paint. I chose Knoxville Gray as my dark option and Smoke Embers for the lighter option. I love both but the Smoke Embers was too light and the Knoxville Gray was too green when tested on the wall. The green made the space look country which wasn't the look I was going for. Our space is already modern with some rustic pieces and I wanted to keep it that way. In a different room both colors could be beautiful, just not in our living space.

I wanted something even darker, almost black. One color stood out to me while I was shopping for paint and that was Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron. I decided not to test it out at home and couldn't be happier with my choice, but I wouldn't recommend this. The color can look very different from the swatch once it makes it to your wall. 

My only fear was not getting the half way point line perfectly straight. I went out and bought a level which worked really well. I chose the height of the bar as my half way point, taped it along with the trim and carried that through the space. If I had gone any higher I would have had to carry it on into the kitchen. I also made sure to paint the outlets the same color. 

In progress...

I was having some difficulties removing the TV from the wall so I did my best to work around it.

And the finished product!

So. Much. Better.

I can't even believe the difference a little paint makes. It makes me happy just looking at it! Overall, this doesn't solve my "what do I put on that wall?" problem, but it does help so stay tuned (you can get a glimpse of that wall in the first photo behind the black chair). 

Well, now that my design wheels are spinning out of control with excitement, I'm ready to tackle the next project and look forward to sharing it with you on the blog, along with my spectacular finds and anything that inspires me. 

I hope you enjoy!