Now that we've all learned patience: PAINT!

After spending a full 27 hours prepping and painting this weekend -- 9 hours Friday night, 12 hours Saturday and 6 hours Sunday -- the moment we've all been waiting for has arrived. The living room is PAINTED! We tried 3 different samples of putty/beige/tan colors and hated them all, so we went with the same perfect creamy off-white (Valspar's Homestead Resort Jefferson White) that we used in my office.

It's admittedly a little hard to see in pictures, but we are 110% gung ho about how it looks in person. In fact, we are almost giddy about it. My parents helped us paint on Saturday (thanks mom and dad!), and it got their stamp of approval as well.

The blanketed doorway (below right) will eventually have steps leading up to the dining room.

And now for a controversial surprise! Yes friends, that is a chalkboard wall.

I know it's not everyone's taste -- visit any major design blog and search for chalkboard paint, and you'll see that the general opinion is very divided on whether it is cool or not. Some people are "totally over this trend," others just plain hate it and still others can't sing its praises enough. We happen to love the idea (S especially!) and have been thinking about which wall we'd paint since the day we bought the house.

As it turns out, it looks so darn CRISP and fresh in our living room that even we are pleasantly surprised! I was concerned it would create a black hole effect in the corner, but it doesn't at all. Black accent walls are making the rounds on design blogs lately, and it kind of serves the same purpose -- except you can write favorite quotations, daily scriptures and little notes on it. My home office (essentially just a small desk) is going to sit in front of it, so it will serve a practical purpose as well. It looks so good I almost don't want to write anything on it!

BONUS: Our stair treads and railing are stained black (below), so it makes for the perfect transition and ties everything together.

We chose such a subtle, neutral wall color so that the furniture -- and the people we love sitting on it -- would be the focus of the room instead of the walls. In such a big space, a bolder color would feel overpowering. Fortunately, the choices we made are even better than we envisioned. Victory! (And how frickin AWESOME does that beam look? Good job, husband!)

We still have some details to finish up (touching up the trim, installing quarter round, socket covers and light fixtures) but those are a piece of cake. We are exhausted but in a good mood today.

So, what do you think? Do you love or hate the black wall? (You're allowed to thoroughly hate it if you want. I won't be sad.) Are we crazy or geniuses? Is it what you expected or completely surprising? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. everything looks nice but holy sh** that beam thing looks good. i read your blog every now and then but never post. i was wondering how that beam would turn out and you did a great job

  2. Emily Kate:

    Outstanding! I like your color choice, I like the reflections in the floor, the trim AND the black wall. (We have one red wall in our bedroom)
    I particulary like the black treads. Very modern of you. Have you heard, "Black is the new black" Now, will you be up-set, or elated when the treads begin to show wear? I'd look forward to it. Are they oak, ply, or pine? (Kind-a looks like oak to me,)
    I'm guessing that you'll finsh with brushed nickel covers? You've got an outlet at eye level, what's that for? Next, move in that furniture!

    I'm proud to know you folks.


  3. Good eye, Mel. The stairs are oak. I need to put a few more layers of poly on them, but we'll be fine when they age and show wear. It will actually help it blend with the log section better -- the addition is 10 years old but the log section is 130 years old, so finding ways to bridge that gap is always good.

    The eye-level outlet is for hanging a flat screen TV. Our house is for living in and being comfy, so we aren't the types to hide a little TV in a corner. We watch our TV, so ours will be visible for movie nights and Sunday afternoon football. ☺

    We'll probably go with white switchplates b/c we have a bronzish light fixture toward the front wall, so we're afraid the brushed nickel plates will clash.

    Adam - Thanks re: the beam. We are SO happy with how it turned out. That ugly eyesore became an architectural asset. Woohoo!

  4. Love the beam. Love the color. Love the LIGHT in this room. Love it all!

    You actually WATCH TV? ;-) I love that you are renovating and designing your home with people in mind, not magazines. That is awesome. :-)

  5. This looks amazing! Great job! I can't wait to see it in person!

  6. I think it looks great! Considering I haven't been there since a demolition weekend this is amazing and I can't wait to see it in person!
    I would like to put a chalkboard wall in the kids room someday too.


  7. Wow, great job you guys!! I can't believe how much LARGER the room looks since it's been painted. I wasn't sure what it was going to look like with the white paint, but I must say that I am also pleasantly surprised. With the way you love color, you won't even notice the white walls because the colorful decorations/furniture will really pop in there.

    I love how much natural light is in there. I LOVE the recessed lighting...that is a must in our next house for sure, especially reflecting off of the floors. Did I mention already how much I love your floors?! :)

    I admit, I am a fan of the chalkboard wall, partially because ever since I was a kid I've always wanted a chalkboard, but never had one. Every time Jas and I peruse through IKEA and come across the chalkboard walls I always tell him that we are doing that for our kids, but deep down I want it too! haha...so good choice!

    Great thinking ahead for the tall outlet for the tv! Now that's planning! And Jas and I are already making plans to come down for some Sunday afternoon football watching. :)

    Congrats for getting this finished, and I can definitely see that you two are going to be spending a lot of time in here...who wouldn't?!


  8. Lace - We will have to have you guys down this fall for sure! Warning: We are Ravens fans. ☺ I love the floors too, even more so now that everything is painted. Not bad for discount auction flooring!

    J-Rod - Please bring your beautiful and growing family for another visit! Your little ones can draw on the wall. (And hopefully do that chicken-arm dance again!) Congrats again on baby-in-progress. Can't wait to meet her/him.

    Jen - Same to you on bringing your/my fam for a visit soon. Or maybe we'll come down. I don't know. Either way, soon!

    Jenny - It is so easy to get caught up in magazines and design blogs once you start. Sometimes I have to remind myself to step away and not get too materialistic or too trend-happy -- and focus instead on making a "home" instead of a "house."

  9. Oh my goodness. I am so in love with this room, I don't even know what to say. Seriously. Love. Everything. About. This. Room. And the chalkboard wall!!! Can I move in?!?!?

    You guys are my heroes.

  10. Oh my, I love it. It's just gorgeous. The color, the floors (I am gasping for air at the floors). I really love the chalkboard wall. I really love where you put it, and I love the view from the main room and the stairs. Perfection. I have never wanted a chalkboard wall, until now. My husband will thank you. ;)

    I'm also liking the lighting. I wish we would have done more recessed lighting in our living spaces when we renovated. It gives it such a polished look.

  11. I really love the chalkboard wall. Done right (which you most certainly did) i don't think it could ever go out of style.

    I have a wall, about the same size, in my gift shoppe that is a chalkboard. I change it seasonally (or quicker if I get board) and my customers LOVE it.

    right now I drew bookshelves filled with books from top to bottom. some books falling over. some stacked vertically. some horitzonally. it took a while, but i must say looks super cool! last spring i did a full size cherry tree with the pink blossoms. too cute.

    can't wait to see how you decorate! i've been reading for a while, but i think this is my first time to comment.

  12. Mr. Inkeeper, that idea about drawing chalk bookshelves is ingenius. Got a picture you could share?

  13. LOVE the black chalkboard accent wall. Forget about whether it's trendy or not. You'll enjoy it and it's a nice balance with all the light in the room and the light color on the walls.

  14. recent lurker, and first-time commenter stopping in to say that i am amazed and inspired by how your living room has come together! that ceiling beam you've worked so hard on is an excellent, subtle visual transition from the stair/office/landing area to the actual living room. the nice light color makes everything bright and open. and i love that chalkboard wall! that's a lot of fun. and whimsy. and practical. (lots of my favorite things.) keep up the good work!


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!