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When we moved in, the living room was green. Not a bad green. A touch of gray, not too dark. It worked with our throw pillows and rug. We couldn’t complain. So we lived with it, even though deep down, neither of us were wild about it.

livingroom1We’ve got nothing against green. We used it in the hall bathroom at the Russian Space Station. Over time though, it became too much for us. Green in the throw pillows, green in the rug (not shown in these previous pictures), green on the walls…Too.Much.Green.livingroom4To top it off, though my pictures make it look light and airy, it really wasn’t. The front of the house gets about 15% direct sunlight over the course of the day, which keeps it cool, but means that the flat-finish paint job didn’t reflect any light. The room was dark, and kind of dreary.livingroom3 livingroom2Over the past six months, we’ve put paint sample after paint sample on the wall, trying to figure out what direction we wanted to go. (Tip: We hid the samples behind pictures so that we could cover them up when guests came over.) We looked at them at different times of day, and debated. After living here since October, we finally decided on Benjamin Moore’s Parachute Silk (which we also used in the Russian Space Station’s master bedroom) and an accent wall (WOHOO!) of Benjamin Moore’s Stillwater.

livingroom-after8The regular painting process ensued. No, it is not fun to dismantle your living room when you collect books. Why can’t we collect things that don’t weight a lot instead? (Like dollar bills. Just saying.)livingroom-after6Here’s an in-progress shot of Parachute Silk going up. B rolled while I cut in. We changed the paint finish to eggshell so that the room would reflect the little light that it got, and we could tell the difference immediately. It made a huge difference!livingroom-after7Don’t mind the hole in our bulkhead ceiling still. We’ll get to that saga later. There has been much teeth-nashing and cursing involved. Short story: We’re fixing it ourselves. livingroom-after9We shoved carefully arranged all of our bookshelves and furniture in the dining room while we painted. Fitting all that stuff in there was B’s doing. Engineer brain at work.

We used Behr’s Paint and Prime in One. We did two coats of Parachute Silk and only one of the Stillwater on the accent wall. The difference is phenomenal. The room is incredibly brighter and airier.  livingroom-after3 The navy accent wall is something I’ve wanted ever since the town home, but we could never decide on an appropriate wall, so we didn’t do it. One of the houses we looked at while house-hunting, and loved but didn’t buy, had a navy accent wall with the fireplace, and we adored it. We nicknamed that house Beverly Hills (and sang the Weezer song every time we went to see it, which was around four times because we really loved it and wanted to buy it, but the layout and backyard didn’t work for us). So now we have a touch of Beverly Hills here in the new house (which has yet to be named). livingroom-after5I’m telling you, guys. The amount I love this wall cannot be explained. I want to hug it. I want to move my bookshelves somewhere else so that they won’t cover it up and I can stare at it for days instead of going to work.

(Above shot: with the blinds closed. Below shot: with the blinds open.)livingroom-after1I mean, look at it. Would you put bookshelves in front of such a beautifully painted wall? Yes? Well, we did too.

The two smaller bookshelves (via Target) moved to this wall and a newish bookshelf (via World Market) moved next to the TV (a few pics up).

livingroom-after10Scout thinks I need therapy.livingroom-after4Right now the only other blue touches in the room are in the bird throw pillow on the side chair and in the wave picture on the wall next to the TV, but we plan to add more when we find new throw pillows. Our old ones have hit their lifespan limit for dog drool. And they’re dry clean only, which was a mistake. Live and learn.

And buy new throw pillows.