Tuesday, November 15, 2011

jen and chad's place: living room unveil.

After many, many, MANY months of putting this off, I finally took some photos of Jen and Chad's new living room. And, after many, many, MANY deep breaths, I finally used my new scary big camera to take them (more on that later but THANK YOU, Michelle). Wow, I am all about the caps today.

Anyway, let's start with the primary focal point: the fireplace.

With Jen moving into Chad's bachelor pad, we needed to find ways to make the space feel like their home, not just Chad's. You can find all posts about it here. To do this, we added some of Jen's style while keeping the room's color palette gender neutral for Chad.

The fireplace wall was painted a dark gray and stenciled to add some depth and visual interest. We replaced the mantel with a modern floating shelf and kept the accessories simple so as not to compete with the pattern. A lamp and planter were added to anchor the wall and stone tiles were affixed to the hearth to add texture.

Next up: the TV wall

We found this small, retro console at a thrift store ($50!!!!) after hunting for what seemed like an eternity. It was stripped, stained and sealed in a darker hue to stand apart from the light bamboo flooring. A small collection of clay pots were used to draw attention away from some of the electronics and highlight the grain of the console. The TV is Chad's and was already in place before Jen moved in. To balance, we moved the square seat next to the console and added a boxy bookcase arrangement (hi, Penny!).

Small pieces of wood were added to the backs of old frames, creating shelves for additional storage. We arranged the framed shelves in an asymmetrical arrangement to keep the space looking casual. From there, we used books and small trinkets to fill.
And then there's the rest of the room.

The coffee table was painted the same chartreuse as on the stenciled wall. A shag rug was added to compliment the retro style of the console and add texture that contrasts with the slick leather sofa. Same deal with the bamboo sliding window panels. New pillows were purchased to add color and a travel wall was created that feature some of the places Jen and Chad have visited over the years. 

Next to the couch - and I should have gotten a better picture - is a small counter top that juts out from an opening in the kitchen wall used for additional seating. We painted it the same gray as the fireplace wall on the opposite side and, since the space already had enough picture frames, added three hanging pots (utensil holders from Ikea) on each side of the opening, filled with succulents. I LOVE this idea, adding unexpected artwork while modernizing the space. 

In the end, the room ended up striking the perfect balance between Jen's and Chad's styles, functional needs and overall wants for the space. 

Have questions? Just ask!


  1. This is great, just found your box frames via pinterest! Thanks for the idea and inspiration, I love everything about the room, especially the stenciling on the fireplace wall. Stunning!

  2. Thanks Ann Marie, I can't take credit for making the box frames - Chad's dad was actually built the backing. Either way, I'm so happy with the way the room turned out too and it wouldn't have happened without such great homeowners that were willing to get their hands dirty and pass along ideas. Thanks again for the kind words!

  3. Lovely work! I too love the box frames and also the Ikea utensil hoders as vases. How did you attach them to the wall? Thanks for all the great pics and inspiration!


  4. Thanks so much for the kind words. They have a little hole already for hanging so we just screwed them in. Easy peasy!

  5. what creative ideas

  6. I was absolutely thrilled to see your innovative use of frames to create bookshelves! I recently graduated with a degree in English Literature and have books upon books stacked in storage – will definitely do this to display them! One question, how did you hang these bookshelves? Hooks?

  7. Thanks for the kind words! We actually used photo frame hooks on the back. Very easy, just make sure to center!

  8. how did you attach the frames to the boxes? So creative and functional, too!

  9. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Large Shaggy Rugs

  10. On the frame shelves, how do you attach the wood box to the picture frame?

  11. So we should have a bookshelves on the wall or picture frames to become a nice view our living room like this. Thanks!

    Frame My TV

  12. Whaz up?!

  13. I love this idea! I'd love to have instructions on what kind of wood, and what kind of hanging structures to use to make this project. I already have frames I want to use for this too.

  14. we can use the wooden frames and boxes in many applications.

  15. Bless you with respect to discussing the Mirror TV, I just genuinely wish to get the structure along with install it likewise on the subject of great TV . Impressive!

  16. Loved it! I have taken the liberty of posting this on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/thelittlegreenpage – an online community to spread eco-awareness. Trust this is fine with you. Thanks!

  17. C L E V E R
    B E A U T I F U L .

    Love this idea, especially, using picture frames for book shelves. Thanks for the witty inspiration. <3

  18. Picture frame bookshelves are fantastic.

    Not a big fan of the rest of the room, to be honest. Looks a little bit like a display at a crafts store, a little too perfect. And the color scheme is a bit dull. The three vases on the wall are too small and in perfect alignment, so it doesn't fit too well. All the little decorations (candles, vases etc) are all too small. They just look piled in there, like I said, a craft store display.

    I think a little other colors, maybe not quite so many tiny decorations, and some more plants to off-set the boring could help. ? Honestly not trying to post something too negative, just constructive honest criticism. And besides, many may disagree with me, because taste is just taste =)

    I think the shelves and cat are lovely =)