Friday, 2 August 2019

The Third floor - A living room

Wheee.. I made it to the third floor! I have big plans for this floor but let's start with the living room. Like the dining room it will have a fireplace chimney breast in the middle of the wall and this time instead of cabinets it will have "built-in" bookcases either side. I love symmetry in design and my gustavian inspired theme loves it too. :)

In anticipation of starting the living room I decided to renovate this little broken chaise I got in an HBS grab bag. Red Velvet! Oh no, no, no.... tsk tsk..

Firstly I removed all the velvet and gave the piece a sand on the area's I wanted paint to stick. The next order of business was to glue the broken off leg and arm back on.

Add some taupe-y coloured paint antiqued with wax and white paint. And crisp pale taupe linen as a fabric replacement.

Then I added the tufting.. to the seat cushion.

 And then added little cardstock buttons to the divots.. sorry, bit of a blurry picture.

And then glued the seat cushion on. I might add some embroidery floss or cord along that bottom edge for a neater finish.

I started working on the room by making sure all of downstairs lighting had it's wires extended and was fed through grooves in the floor and down the holes I drilled where the chimney breast is.

I haven't decided if I'm feeding the porch light up the wall or down it. Probably up.

Then I started to lay out some stand in furniture (some pieces may stay, some may go) and cutting the front for the chimney breast. I'm blocking your view of my messy craft room with some brown paper.. lol... I gave up on this in later shots.. :D

The stairs will come up behind the couch and my mini people will have to walk between the coffee table and couch to get to the next flight of stairs. Not ideal but this room is narrow and other furniture arrangements weren't working. I could lose the bookcases and the fireplace but I don't want to. :) And as I'm using my chimney breasts as a receptacle for my electrical, it's a must have.

The bookcases will be filled with some books but also with a collection of sculptures, decor pieces and natural items that I feel the occupants have collected on their travels.

So of course I got side tracked and started playing with styling options. Look at the mess I was making!

And a closer look.

Left Side

Right Side

Taking pictures like this is helpful.. I already see a bunch of things I'm going to edit. lol

I then made a template for the floor and constructed it of... take a guess.... popsicle sticks! They've been working in the other rooms so far so why change now.

And in the room.

I was originally thinking of keeping the shelving their natural colour with just a clear coat.. but my gustavian leanings won out and I gave them a very light whitewash and some aging. 

I had already made the shiplap wall a while ago.. so as you saw earlier, I taped it up and tested it in place. I need to add a little bit more wall on the other side of the door as I've changed to narrow ones. but it's a still a pretty good fit.
Having this wall continue up the stairwell provides continuity and means I don't have to think of ways to transition from one finish to another. It will likely go the entire height of the house into the attic space. But in these upper floors it's not going to go all the way around like it did in the dining room. It will be more of a structural feature wall. :D

Then it was time to stain/paint the popsicle stick floor. I'm going for a kind of aged oak that is quite popular over here in Oz at the moment.

While I waited for stain and paint to dry, Shawn and I took the pups for a walk.:D I think Ferris has spotted a cat. *rolls eyes*

That little blue dot at the end of the footpath is Moreton Bay which leads directly out to the Pacific Ocean. :) Our house is the little speck of white fence you see almost at the blue dot. 

I'm liking it so far but I think it needs a bit more white dry brushed on.. job for later.

It looks better with the furniture in but still in need of a little refining. You can see by now I've also finished constructing the chimney breast from foam core and cut out the opening for the hearth. I think I'll employ egg carton bricks in this one also.. now if I could just find the other marble hearth I made! I clearly put it away for safekeeping and the only thing I'm keeping it safe from is me. *rolls eyes*

Tried a different rug, I don't like it in here... it's all a bit to pretty, I think I need something a bit rustic to keep the room from becoming too girly.. I'll likely move it to the bedroom, where girliness can reign supreme! :) 

Look there's Deborah's childhood jug on the coffee table. :D

I bought a little desk that I thought might look good in the bay window and paired it with a bespaq chair from my stash.

 I like it for now, but it is another pretty girly element so I need to reserve judgement for a while.

I'm in the process of building an armchair in the same style as the sofa (both are millie august kits) and I've taped it together here to see if it will fit the space. I like that it has a lower back than the wing chair I had sitting in before. It allows a view of the desk behind. The other option for a single chair is a french occasional chair or a slipper chair. I'll likely make up a few kits and/or transform something ugly from my stash until I find the right fit.

So this is where the room is so far. Of course as always, furnishings are subject to change, but I'm really liking my foundation pieces so far.

I need to think about what finish to do on the front wall. Patterned wallpaper? (probably not), paint or plain wallpaper? (more likely) but what colour? I need to go and troll around pinterest for some ideas.. I'm thinking it will be something neutral and may just end up being white. I don't want a bunch of competing patterns and colour. This room is meant to feel serene like the dining room.


  1. You've done such a beautiful job on the chaise renovation! It's marvelous now and I love the tufted detail! You'd never know it was rescued from a brothel, lol!
    The shelves are such a perfect fit for the living room and the styling examples you showed are fantastic! It must be so great to have so many amazing decor items to play around with! I think you made the right choice in the whitewash and distressing! They are dreamy!
    The flooring is so charming and it looks like an original and restored detail of this historical house! The shiplap also looks like an intentional homage to the history of the house. I like that the central wall will carry it all the way up!
    The layout and furnishings are so wonderfully utilized for the space, and though it is a long, skinny room like many traditional San Francisco dwellings, the immense ceiling height and the matching shelving height bring the eye up and makes it feel amply spacious!
    With all of the nautical references, a ships wheel or a mariners compass rug would be neat! I encourage you to experiment with printing your own fabrics and rugs because it's so easy to get exactly what you want! LMK if you need any pointers!
    For the front wall, maybe a sisal type fabric as a wallpaper? It would give texture and interest without taking away from the serenity of the space. I believe there are some fabric as wallpaper tutorials on the Greenleaf forum.
    It's coming together in a beautifully designed and well thought out way, and it's easy to see that in spite of the challenges you are in your element and having a ball! I can't wait for the next installment!

    1. Ooh, fabric is a great idea Jodi! Maybe a linen or a pale sisal as you suggest. I also was tossing around the idea of using some of my painting canvas. For a neutral but textured look. A sisal ceiling could be very interesting too. Oh, you’ve given me some good things to ponder. I would like to print my own fabrics and papers all the time, but I don’t ha e a very expensive printer and I can’t seem to get great prints on fabric and as soon as I go to seal paper all the ink runs even if I leave it for days. So I’ve kind of given up on that. I don’t know if it’s me or the printer or the sealer, but I can’t get it to work. On the subject of sealer, I wonder how I would seal fabric walls. Perhaps I should soak the fabric in something first? I think I’ll remove most of the nautical decor in the final iteration as I intend to build a beach house at some point and I don’t want to be repeating myself. I lean to nautical naturally because I love it but I need to try to be disciplined and stick loosely to my original vision for the house with gustavian influences. Thanks for being so encouraging of what I’m doing, it helps so much to get mini friends opinions to solidify where you are going and get great suggestions you haven’t thought of.

  2. Hi Sam,

    Good suggestions from Jodi as always. Did you try the chaise in front of the desk instead of the chair? (What a difference you made with the chaise,) The desk is charming and I hope you keep it. If you swap positions of those it would not block the view of the desk nor the view of the room from the window.
    I really like that you have taken the ship lap up the wall.
    I am having fun following your build.
    Regards Janine

    1. Thanks Janine. I’m going to try both Jodi’s and your ideas. I didn’t consider the desk in the front of the room as it was a late addition when the chaise had already found its spot. I’ve got a feeling the chaise might be too wide for that end of the room but I definitely need to try it. I’m glad you are enjoying following along and I hope my long hiatus and new burst of motivation will inspire you back to the Swedish house... after the garden stops calling you :D

  3. Everything is lovely Sam. I like Jodi's suggestion of using fabric for a wall covering. Perhaps a linen piece or maybe a bleached small scale burlap will give you texture without being too busy. I used fabric on the walls of my dress shop, and it was very simple to do.
    I love the desk, and I think you have a good mix of hard and soft items. It does not seem too girly. So glad you are blogging again. ((hugs))

  4. Your work on the little chaise was worth it. Out with the red velvet bordello look, in with the crisp, modern linen. I agree--I would probably add some thread piping, just to give it a more finished look. I love the throw you have on it, too. I like the finish on the bookshelves--it's nice and light and a perfect background for all your treasures. And you do have a lot of treasures! What an amazing collection. (Here's a laugh--in the first, more distant shot of the bookshelves, I thought that piece of coral over on the left, on the second shelf, was a rooster sculpture. I clearly have chickens on the brain.) It will be fun for you to play around with styling and editing the shelves. I like the rug, and think it could be OK in the room, but I can also understand your wanting something a little less traditional. I love the desk. I don't think it's too feminine at all. I would leave it open, with some bills and letters poking out of the various cubbies. :-) Ooh, and to make it more contemporary, maybe a few travel brochures (since your homeowners love to travel) and a take-out menu or two. Looking forward to seeing more.

  5. The careful continuity which you've been able to achieve with your AMAZING POPSICLE STICKS is enviable! The reclaimed wood floors turned out Beautifully and so did the shiplap on the walls- a good call!
    The tall bookcases serve to further emphasize a graceful aging of this room and their height and spaciousness along with the whitewash you've applied, visually connects them to the the rest of the decorative elements within the room without overpowering them.
    The natural light flooding into the room, make me feels as if they were inside a treehouse, ESPECIALLY with the branches of your garden tree visible through the bay window- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!
    Also love your use of the trunk as a coffee table , the refab chaise and the neutral sofa and upholstered arm chair right next to the bookcase- do make sure that there is a reading lamp nearby, for those foggy autumn evenings by the fire.

  6. Hi, Sam - You've done an incredible transformation of the broken chaise for the living room! It's turned into a beautiful, elegant piece that makes my mouth water! I like your choices for all the basic furniture pieces, and I'm so glad that you decided to whitewash the shelf units - they blend so nicely now with the other neutral pieces and will be a perfect showcase for all the wonderful items that you plan to display. I love the graceful little desk with its chair - I hope you'll decide that it isn't, after all, too "girly" for this setting. I think you're off to a perfect start with this living room, and - as always - I'm very impatient to see more of your work!

  7. Hi Sam! The room looks great. Love what you’ve done to the shelves and the accessories - not sure what you want to change as I think you have placed everything perfectly already! I also really like that rug. I think it ties in the antique features (fireplace, shelves) with the furniture and accessories, plus adds a little detail. Which brings me to suggest a pale blue grey paper for the remaining walls. It would add a little colour that would blend well with everything else and have a Gustavian feel. But I am sure that whatever you choose it will be beautiful.

  8. Admirable mi enhorabuena por ese buen trabajo, verdaderamente es un placer a mis ojos pasear por su blog- Un saludo.

  9. I love your refurbished bench! And those built in bookcases... Oh I'm jealous! It's going to be such an elegantly cozy room.

  10. Hi Sam, did you mix your own stain for the floor or is it a ready-made? I am sanding back a floor that ended up way too dark, but it might be just quicker to redo it.
    Also, love looking at your filled book cases.. getting ideas. Where do you find all the wee bits and bobs to go on the shelves?
    Anna x