Over the last year, our home has undergone some major renovations. We built on a large master bedroom, added on a front porch, and opened up our main living areas. All of these projects have been so worth the time and effort put into them. I can’t choose a favorite. In October we began the process of remodeling our kitchen, living, and dining areas. Our living room was super tiny but when we first renovated this house in 2009, I wasn’t open to the idea of knocking out the wall between the living room and kitchen to make it larger. Justin suggested it and I quickly shot the idea down. My reasoning was that I didn’t want anyone to be able to see my sink of dirty dishes from the couch. After 5 years of living here and adding 2 more kids, it was time. I decided if anyone wants to comment on my sink of dishes, they were more than welcome to take care of them. See the before living room.
We knocked out the wall that separated our kitchen and living room. Our dining “room” is also in our kitchen so now all 3 rooms create one main living area. We (when I say we, you can usually assume I mean Justin) added a header beam to hold up the house, lightened all of the walls with new paint, and installed new, wider crown molding. We planked or shiplapped the wall that runs from our living room to the dining room and painted it bright white. Before our kitchen had been a deep red which was a beautiful color, but it ate every bit of light that came into those rooms. Our hallway was too dark and if there were clouds in the sky, our house was just too dark. The darkness of those rooms did nothing to help me on hard days and the lack of light did nothing to help my moods as I fought depression. Our living room was a pretty light blue which I still love, but it was time to go a little more neutral as these rooms joined.
I discovered some amazing Etsy shops through Instagram and ordered two large signs from different makers. I had the “storm” sign custom made as this quote has been inspirational to me and summed up how I’ve felt as I’ve gone through the storms of the last several years and came out completely changed. The corner was looking quite bare and we had not been able to come up with anything to put there. I’ve had a few ideas but Justin doesn’t have the time to implement them or build right now as he’s covered up with work. (No complaints.) I originally ordered this gorgeous cherry blossom tree with plans to decorate our front porch entrance with it. Once I placed it behind the couch in this corner, I felt like it was meant to be there. It added some color to an otherwise neutral room and is gorgeous.
In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom tree represents the fragility and beauty of life. It’s a reminder of how life is amazing and beautiful but also tragically short. The cherry blossom trees bloom for a short time, but they do so in a vibrant way. The blooms are there- bright and beautiful- and then they are gone. Much like life- precious but not to be taken for granted. This has great significance for me. You can find cherry blossom trees and other artificial plants at Commercial Silk.
The paint colors used are Revere Pewter and Simply White, both by Benjamin Moore. Ivory pillows are from Walmart. “You’re Okay” pillow from Target. Custom “Storm” sign from FourOneFive Designs. Romans 12:12 Sign from HouseOfBelonging. Both shops can be found on Etsy and Instagram. Cherry Blossom Tree provided by CommercialSilk.com.
I absolutely love the changes we made in this room. Opening it up by knocking out the wall and repainting changed the entire feel of our house. It seems much bigger but still extremely cozy. It’s bright but not sterile. It is exactly what I imagined- but better.