{Living Room} The Plans

Yesterday I gave you an embarrassing glimpse in to the early days at Casa Sugarplum. We’ve come a long way, baby….but I want to keep going. Problem is, I don’t have a clear image in my head of how I want the room to look. I have several really good (and sentimental) pieces, so I’m going to let those take the lead and pull the colors from the rug.

The plan is to bring all the varying elements together into a more cohesive look. It’s the first room you see upon entering the front door, and even though it’s the ‘formal’ living space (read: no TV), we use it quite a bit. It won’t be a drastic makeover as I hope to mostly only use the existing pieces.

The Plans:
(These pictures were pulled from different phases of the room, that’s why items are different in some.)

The wingchair dates back to the early 1950s. It’s been upholstered several times over the years, but this is how I remember it most from my grandparent’s house. I might reupholster down the road, but I like it for now. Adding some nailhead should jazz her up a bit. And I’ve been toying with the idea of painting the brick fireplace for years, but hesitated since getting paint off brick doesn’t sound like a fun job if I were to change my mind later. I did paint the mantel black, as well as the actual frame of the fireplace (it was brass).

living room plans

The pass-thru leads to a wet bar on the other side. Don’t need or love that, but closing up the wall and ripping out the sink on the other side isn’t a viable option. We’ve peaked with how much we should spend on the bones of this house. The little seat beneath the pass-thru is actually a camel saddle, gifted to my great-grandfather for the work he did in Afghanistan in the 1960s. His monogram is engraved in brass on the sides….pretty cool, eh? The needlepoint was done by my great-grandmother and hung in my nursery.

I think I’ll paint the armoire a deep peacock blue, but not sure what to do with the hardware.

living room plan

The back door is parallel to our black interior front doors (which I love), so I wonder if this door would look good black? Or would it just be a sore thumb next to all the open windows? Oh, and I want to recover the cushions on the barrel chair, too.

living room plan

The secretary was a wedding gift to my grandparents 60 years ago, and I was thrilled when it fit perfectly in my house! And even though I love to paint fancy furniture in bright colors, I’ll leave this one be. All it needs is some polish, and the hardware cleaned. I think gold leaf would be stunning on the back of the shelves, too.

living room plan

We’ve had these bookcases for 12 years. And I’ve wanted to paint them white for 12 years. I can’t wait to finally do it! (TWSS) And I’ve been hoarding this fabric for over a year for the backs of the shelves!

living room plan

I know these lamps are well-loved, and I adore them too. Just not behind the sofa. The cool gourd shape is blocked from almost every angle except the front door, and once the shelves behind them are painted white, they’ll disappear. Plus, I have a thing for black drum shades. The terracotta tiles just bring another un-coordinated color to the room, so I think I’ll try them more neutral.

living room plans
After Jill wallpapered her little nook, I knew I’d do something similar in mine. (It leads to the Master Bedroom.) I’ve played with different mirrors and vignettes, so who knows how that will end up. But I’ll definitely paint the chest. Pink? Black? Metallic? Maybe some gold hardware.

living room plan

That should be a manageable list of To-Dos:
(or at least it was until I saw it in list form!)
Paint Armoire
Paint Brick
Paint/Fabric Bookcases
Re-Style Bookcases
Paint Table Tiles
Paint Hall Chest
Paint/Wallpaper Nook Walls
Paint Backdoor?
Add Nailhead to Wingchair
New Covers for Barrel Chair Cushions
Change Out Lamps
Clean Secretary
Gold Leaf Back of Secretary
More Coordinated Sofa Pillows
Determine Fate of Side Table

What do you think? I’m open to ideas, apart from torching the room and starting from scratch.

Leave a Comment


  1. Amber wrote:

    I can't wait to see all the changes!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  2. Mary wrote:

    I love what you have done so far so I'm sure whatever you do will be gorgeous! Quick question, though: why get new lamps? Those are awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  3. Heather wrote:

    I love reading about your ideas!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  4. You've got such great ideas! I have a few thoughts from your e-mail yesterday. I'll send a reply…

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  5. I think the ideas you have will make a great difference- I love the idea of the black door and painting the armoir- oh and the gold leaf on the secretary will be fabulous- are you painting that as well? I think it would be fantastic in black. I can't wait to see it all come together!!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  6. Ms. Bright wrote:

    can't wait to see the armoire "did"!! I have a similar beasty hiding in our basement that I've been putting off dealing with for years!!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  7. I'd do the bookcase first, all your ideas are wonderful…love the wing back chair!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  8. Wow, sound like SO much fun.

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  9. amber wrote:

    these all sound like fabulous ideas!! cant wait to see the transformations ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  10. Wowza…that is quite the list, but I'm pretty sure you will be able to tackle it like a pro! Glad that I just get to reap all the benefits of the genius here…(c:

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  11. My goodness you'll be busy if you tackle that entire list! I'd start with the bookcases and painting the armoire. And the hall chest (I'd do black). I love your lamps so I wouldn't change them but adding black shades might just give the punch of black you need to balance the mantel. I definitely would not paint that door black as right now it reads as part of your big window wall and would look awkward – it's so pretty as is. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  12. i spy "that's what she said!"

    AH! yes! 1 point!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  13. Love your ideas! And judging from your past projects- this will be gorgeous!! I love the idea of adding nailhead trim to the chair- that always spruces up a chair and takes it to the next level! And painting the door black is an awesome idea- go for it! I was thinking of trying that to our interior doors too! A glossy black will be gorgeous. cannot wait to see what you decide. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    I love this room – truly looks like it evolved, instead of being purchased one weekend en masse at Room Store and Home Goods…patience in decorating produces a layered, truly individual and personalized look, I think. Can't wait to see the armoire painted, don't mind the pass-through at all, would definitely NOT paint the back door black; I agree with previous post that it's an important part of the windows on that wall and might look a bit jarring. I like the gourd lamps a lot, but if the bookcases go light, I'd prefer the contrast of darker lamps. The little area outside your bedroom would look AMAZING with an allover stenciling! Maybe your delightful aunt will help you do it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ali

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  15. Great plans! Pretty much exactly what I'd suggest, so… Looking forward to seeing the changes happen! I love how you said closing the wall isn't going to happen – some projects are just not in the cards, no matter how great it may be. My fav is the nook changes!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  16. ana wrote:

    Oh you have so many things to do! I have also so many projects in mind too… but don't paint your door black! In my point of view! your door looks lovely in white ๐Ÿ˜‰ all the other improvements will look amazing! can't wait to see

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  17. Fun list! I love that you have such a great eye for detail and can see the potential. I get to used to my rooms that it's hard to make changes after a while!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  18. WOW WOW! This all sounds awesome! I'm so excited to see it all come together! You have a GREAT starting point ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  19. Moddy Bee wrote:

    i can't wait to see what you do!
    p.s. thanks for becoming a follower!! you are helping me reach my GOAL! haha :p

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  20. I really like the idea of painting the door black. I also like the bookcases white or maybe even a soft gray? And a touch of wallpaper anywhere is always a winner in my book!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  21. Simply LKJ wrote:

    I am loving all the ideas Cassie! What helped me when I redid our family (and several other rooms) was to clear the room of everything but the large pieces and the area rug. It allowed me to see the space in a different way (nothing competing for attention). I then gradually added things back to the room, begin sure they were things we truly either used or loved.

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  22. Natalie wrote:

    Girl you are ambitious! Love the nailhead idea and painting the fireplace. Also love the idea of wallpapering the nook. You could also do metallic stripes or stencil it in a metallic color could be cool?

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  23. Amy wrote:

    Your ideas are great! Maybe you could hang something cute and quirky in that little opening…. I've been wanting to hang some air plants in clear hanging vases for a while, so that's the first thing that comes to mind!

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  24. Bee wrote:

    Sounds like a lot of work but a lot of fun! I love the idea of gold leaf backing- but what if you did a chevron design- kind of mimic'ing your pillows and pulling that grey blue from them and the rug- just a thought- I love when you keep a gorgeous older piece of furniture but throw a little modern in it somehow..:)

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  25. a' la mode wrote:

    I'd help with wine! Lol! I think it'll all be fab and I say go for it on painting fireplace white! Xo

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  26. Haley wrote:

    Find something black you can hang over the door and live with it for a while to see if you like it. Maybe hang the needle point in the pass through opening and add pillows to the saddle back to add a little extra interest.

    Great plans! Have fun and can't wait to see what you do.

    Posted 7.19.11 Reply
  27. Heidiopia wrote:

    Ambitious list and great thoughts! Paint, paint, and more paint, I say. Rock on!
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

    Posted 7.20.11 Reply
  28. emily wrote:

    Sounds like you have some wonderful ideas. I am totally on board! Can't wait to see your changes!

    Posted 7.20.11 Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    i just painted my front and back door (inside and out) urbane bronze. both were white and both are surrounded by walls of windows…i LOVE the new look.

    Posted 7.20.11 Reply
  30. Christie wrote:

    It looks like you have your work cut out for you! Your home has such a brightness to it and feels inviting and warm! I have a long list too! It takes time, doesn't it? I came over to admire your son's birthday party! So fun and I love free printables, too!! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas! Christie at Three Pixie Lane

    Posted 7.20.11 Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    It seems like you are looking to transform the open space next to the fireplace: Why not hang a decorative lattice or art of sorts in that space to visually block it off, but still allow light through to the wet bar? Love the ideas!

    Posted 7.21.11 Reply
  32. You've got your work cut out for you! p.s. I love the mirror above the fireplace mantle. Excellent choice!

    Posted 7.21.11 Reply
  33. Dacia wrote:

    I think all those changes sound great! I definitely think painting the fireplace a nice creamy white would be a great contrast to the black mantel. And I saw paint the interior of that door black! It will really make it stand out and give it some symmetry to the front door.

    Posted 7.21.11 Reply
  34. Oh don't we all have lists!! I of course saw your grannys nice cab and was thinking bold yellow like your girls room…hihi. But perhaps the pine armoire could be painted one color with contrasting trim. Make it pop.
    Another idea is to paint the fireplace white and add one strong unifying color on the wall that will save you from fixing up any of your fixes. I did that at a client. A bold red, if was amazingly peaceful…anyway know you have millions of great ideas yourself!

    Posted 7.21.11 Reply
  35. Hi,
    I love love love the wedgewood blue sofa in your living room. Is it velvet? Where did you get the sofa/fabric? Thanks so much.
    Anne Marie

    Posted 2.11.12 Reply
  36. Love the sofa too! Where is it from?

    Posted 8.4.12 Reply
  37. Thanks Joanna! the scoop on the sofa can be found in this post:



    Posted 8.6.12 Reply