Welcome to the first reveal of my new house! It’s been a long time coming, seeing I’ve lived here nearly 6 months now. Doh! Since this is the first house I’ve bought, I’m learning to let go of achieving perfect decorating status, and embracing the imperfections that can’t be changed overnight. You can read more about why I finally took the plunge into house-buying and why this house already felt like home here. Otherwise, on with the reveal!
The vibe: Laid-back, earthy comfort
The style: Modern bohemian. It’s always so hard for me to pinpoint this because I love using various style elements. There’s a little traditional, a little industrial, a little beachy, and a little tropical. But mostly there’s modern and bohemian, so I’ve created my own style.
The palette: Neutrals: creams, grays, browns, black and white, gold, silver
How this space is me: I finally feel like I’ve come into my own with my decor style. It took a lot of experimenting with many colors and styles, but this fits me the best. It’s easy to work with, because I can introduce any color I’m crushing on at the moment. It’s very flexible, because you can always find neutral decor and accessories. Most importantly though, it’s harmonious. The natural elements soothe me and the monochrome palette is peaceful.
I kept many of the same decor elements from my last home’s living/den, even choosing a paint that is strikingly similar, Valspar’s Cozy White. This slightly creamy hue lives up to its name by adding warmth and providing a subtle contrast to the white trim. Using a bright neutral on the walls also helps reflect more of that delicious sunlight coming in.
So, what changed between this new home and my last one, besides the obvious point of ownership? For starters, this living room is larger and offers so much more natural light. I have a huge front window that my plant family loves. The window is so wide (nearly 13 feet!) that I had to buy a specialty curtain rod and 6 curtain panels. Thankfully, I scored a decent deal on these faux linen curtains at Home Goods. They blend in perfectly with the painted used on the walls and give some privacy while allowing a lot of light to come in.
One of the biggest updates was my TV stand, this midcentury modern-inspired piece from Wayfair. It’s a beast to move but was well worth it… because you can’t have all your furniture come from IKEA.
Another significant change was moving my home office into the living room. Previously I used my second bedroom as a home office, but grew tired of feeling confined to a small room for 10 hours a day. Plus, there is so much space in this living room that it makes more sense to make it a part of the room and use the spare bedroom for something else. All this natural light really makes a difference in my energy level when working, too.
Because I can’t get rid of this fabulously sturdy tanker desk, I punished myself and gave it a third paint makeover: light gray with gold edging on the sides and back. I loved that emerald green but it was time for a fresh update. Now I can use this desk in any room, because its neutral color will match easily.
Staying loyal to my Swedish Disneyland (IKEA), I did drop some coin there and buy a real dining room table and chairs. This table was a great deal and just barely fit into my trusty little Dart. Believe it or not, that was my first initiation into the “Fitting Impossibly Large IKEA Packages Into a Too-Small Car” club. I’m happy to say I aced this rite of passage, even if I did have to drive home scrunched up on the steering wheel.
The dining table is up along the wall most of the time, unless I’m using it. It’s mainly used for crafting, but someday I will entertain and will simply move it out from the wall. Someday, whenever this savage winter is done for us Michiganders.
I’d like to create some sort of shelving flanking the kitchen entrance, but for now my trusty Expedit shelves are there. I’m thinking built-in or faux built-in bookshelves would be perfect there. I love the idea of a dining room doubling as a library/den. And don’t worry, I already know that pure 80s ceiling fan has got to go.
The rest of the changes were smaller and were mostly aesthetic. For instance, I originally planned on painting all the doors white to match the trim but changed my mind. Before, I was decorating with mostly cool wood tones and whitewashed wood for more of that beachy look but when I got all my furniture moved in, I saw keeping the doors as is looked better. (Plus it was a lot less work!) The doors give the rooms more contrast and using these wood tones is much easier to coordinate with other wood decor.
Also, can I just say how much I love how the front door with its three little windows fits my style? You can’t see it here, but I added film to give the windows pattern and semi-privacy.
More houseplants were added to my family, like the money trees and split-leaf philodendron next to the sofa. However, there were a few lost in the line of duty–Norfolk Pine, you were beautiful while you lasted. This dry Michigan winter air just wasn’t right for you.
To add warmth and earthiness to my palette, I also brought in more cork and terra cotta. These elements tie in to the kitchen and bathroom, which are painted a grayish pink. Most importantly, though, I’ve found ceramic/terra cotta planters are the best for moisture control. I’ll never forget my plant babies lot in the Great Fungus Gnat Invasion of 2016.
I’m a big sucker for patterns and texture, so I added more to these rooms for greater visual contrast. One key to coordinating different patterns is to keep them in the same color family. This gives you harmonious contrast. (I’m also a sucker for juxtaposition.)
Listed below are my sources, tutorials, and links. I do not receive any income for any linked items–I just really dig them and want to share them with you!
Walls: Cozy White by Valspar
Coffee table: DIY
Bookshelf: IKEA (discontinued)
Artwork: yours truly
Dresser: Broyhill with a DIY chalk paint makeover
Lamps: IKEA, Target
Mirror: consignment store
Desk: secondhand with a DIY makeover in Rustoleum Aged Gray Chalk Paint
Desk chair: IKEA (discontinued) with fabric makeover
Rope side table/plant stand: DIY
Bamboo blinds: DIY
Walls: Cozy White by Valspar
Fabric wall hanging: The Bohemian Shop
Dining table: IKEA
Dining chairs: IKEA
Bulletin boards: Michaels with a DIY makeover
Wall art: Target, Joann Fabrics
Gold wall hanging: Target
Stay tuned for more room reveals coming soon!
Have you had the pleasure (and stress) of buying your first house? Did you decorate it the same or differently as your previous home? Have you found your own unique decorating style?