The Decomposition of Our Living Room.

August 2, 2012

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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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Believe it or not, there was a time when we were actually content with the way our living room was looking.  That time was last year when it looked like this:

Since then, pillows have scattered themselves to other areas of the house, the ottomans got stained and buttons were ripped off, the couch cover got stained and has holes in it (!?), and the lamps we moved to the family room.  So, lately our living room looked closer to this:

Which feels very, “Eh” to us–and if you saw it in person, especially our naked couch and those ottomans, you would feel the same, I’m sure.  And as much as we both love our new arc floor lamp, it kind of makes things feel…empty without side tables.  And since we’re already picking apart the room, we need a much larger area rug for this space so it can actually tuck under some furniture and not just float in the middle of the room. The whole room needed refreshed, even the purple wall that we painted very first when we moved into the house last year.  We love the drama of the purple, but purple isn’t found anywhere else in our home–it was time for a change.


Earlier this week, we ordered a larger area rug for the space (we’ll share those details when it arrives), and last night we decided to start on revamping that purple wall.  The plan is to add floor to ceiling paneling to that feature wall like this inspiration photo, found here:

Or one of our favorite eye-candy inspirations photos, found here:

After discussing what color we wanted the wall/paneling to be (do we want it to be white? the same color as our other walls? or something different?), we decided that since we had a lot of the same light greige that we have used on the other walls, we would use it–hoping the paneling would add enough oomph itself.  So, we broke out the paint we had on hand and got to work.  If you follow us on Facebook, we posted this teaser picture last night showing there was definitely something in the works.

The purple covered surprisingly easy and the whole task only took about 45 minutes and 2 coats, but it was about this point, when I realized, “I think we made a mistake.”
And when the wall was all painted, I knew the box of greige was not for us. The room felt significantly smaller (weird) and tres boring.

I tried to imagine this wall paneled, and maybe it wouldn’t be so boring then–but it would, for us anyway.  We like a little bit of spunk in our decor and this wasn’t giving it to us.

I will say, it looked better put together–better than the above pile of furniture, that is.  But we have officially crossed “greige paneled wall” off the options list. And we crossed “white” off, too.  We want something bold and dramatic that will still fit into the rest of our house’s decor (which is why purple didn’t really work anymore).


Then, I started finding more and more photos of really dark paneled walls that we both really loved (found here and here).

The wall and room can easily work with a black or almost black (like Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy pictured below…those rugs, I die) because of all the natural light it gets and it is still neutral enough to add other colorful accents in throws, area rugs and pillows.


I think we’re sold–but are you?  We asked on our Facebook page in early May (we must have had this idea in our subconscious) how you felt about black accent walls and the reviews were mixed.  Weigh in!  We’re off to pick up some swatches.

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What do you think?

  1. Kate says:

    Really like the black paneling – I say go for it!

  2. Jamie says:

    I have TONS of cool paneling throughout my home…and I LOVE the look of it…but be warned, it requires a LOT of dusting…if it were black, or really dark, I can only imagine how crazy the dust would make me. So, though I think the look is great, I’m not sure I could handle the ‘upkeep’.

  3. Jessie McKinley says:

    I’m loving the Hale Navy color…I think it’d look great! Also, we just did floor to ceiling paneling in our bedroom and I LOVE it. It was surprisingly not that hard to do for us, so I’m sure you guys could easily bust it out in a day :)

  4. Heather Gearhart says:

    I am in love with black accent walls! We have a wall in our kitchen/dining area that is black chalkboard paint and I think it was the best decision we made. Its different and definitely stands out. So I so go for it! It really looks great with that paneling…

  5. Oooo! I want to see pictures!

  6. Rachel says:

    I definitely think the beige is a huge improvement over the purple. Love the color, but in this room it felt more like a college apartment…not a grown up, sophisticated living room. I think a dark navy, black, or charcoal wall would definitely look great.

  7. meaganbriggs3 says:

    The black paneling is AH-MAZING!!! Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  8. Kim says:

    I think a dark paneled wall will look fantastic. Can’t wait to see what you decide to go with.

  9. oooooooo! ahhhhhh! No, seriously, that’s the sound I made when scrolling through the blank accent wall pictures. If you wanted drama, this would BRING IT. I think it would be amazing and I can’t wait to see what you decide!

  10. That sounds like fun. What about grabbing a few chocolately, espresso or even dark olive swatches as well to see if you like the look of ‘black’ or just ‘dark’ better? You may find you like the darkness but with a bit of ‘life’ (colour) behind it? Looking forward to seeing what you choose.

  11. Robin Tilburg says:

    After seeing the wall painted purple and then greige, I think that the deep color brings so much to the room. Any dark colored paneling would really look wonderful!

  12. I love black walls – definitely go for a total matt one so it has a velvet look! there are some beautiful ‘blacks’ that are actually not quite black.. I would pick one with a little bluish charcoal tint to it, for you guys! And I would suggest a little pop of either fuchsia or gold or wood tones somewhere in the room… or all of the above! Beautiful!

  13. Lettie says:

    Definitely go for it :) Love it! Can’t wait to see the results.

  14. We couldn’t agree more, Rachel.

  15. We grabbed every almost-black they had!

  16. Lyndsday, Seal is on the list! I thought of your house!

  17. Lawestf says:

    Love the dark wall. I am thinking of a different color accent wall in my living room. Just saw your studio pinned on pinterest. I think it is great how many places you are being featured. You are awesome.

  18. You guys and your use of bold colors and wall statements are so inspiring! :) I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  19. Mmmm girrrlllll I saw them dark panel walls on yous Facebook and I was like dammmmm she needs to get her some of THOSE

  20. Autumn says:

    It looks great! It looks masculine/feminine. It’s wonderful what paint can do!

  21. Gingerbradley16 says:

    I’m not so good at change – when I paint something – it’s good for like….ten years. (that’s why my house looks so 2000 and 8 …. I loved your purple wall…..but I’m sure something better is on the way

  22. Julia F says:

    I’ve noticed black lately too and I like it. Maybe a bit too risky to do it at our house, but i’d love to paint a studio black someday. Have you considered a dark blue? We painted our living room wall van deusen blue and it looks great with pops of color (aquas, brass, pink, ect)

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