You know when you stop doing a thing, and then the longer you’re not doing it the harder it is to get back to it? Yeah, that’s real.

I’ve been so busy chasing a toddler, working some other part time gigs, and doing house projects that aside from snapping some iPhone photos, I have not been inspired to write. But I can no longer contain the amount of completely amazing changes I’ve been able to accomplish somehow during naptime and after bedtime that I just have to share.

To be honest, I’m completely out of my comfort zone in this new house. It’s just so different in style from our first home, which was a craftsman. Working on that house, I felt a little trapped into a certain look – which feels silly to say but it was true for me.  I did a lot of antique furniture refinishing, it was a more traditional look if you will. Lots of molding. Beadboard. That home sort of evolved with me along with this blog as I was learning what I liked. And man, if you dig through the archives you will really see the humble beginnings…

Since having my son I’ve felt a real need to simplify my life (as everyone does naturally after binging Tidying Up on Netflix). It sort of snuck up on me, as I had to slowly remove all of my decor from surfaces easily grabbed by exploring baby hands (coffee table vignette? BYE). Then as I was preparing for our inevitable move, even more purging and organizing occurred. I realized I LIKED the more minimal look, a lot. I found that having less “stuff” really made me feel more relaxed, and it was less work to keep the house clean. How could this be??? What about all of my seasonally specific handmade craft items? How will the world know it’s Summer if I don’t decorate my foyer?

These are valid concerns, obviously.

Now is the perfect time for me to take everything I’ve learned about my personal style over the years (7, can you believe it?) and hone it into my dream home. I’m seriously feeling the 70s vibes, and I think with about 1000 projects I can turn this place into a boho/mid century/minimalist love child.

I apologize for both the quality and the content of the following photos.

Let’s start in the living room. Guys, I just can’t with this. Massive dark brick fireplace and dated mantle? Check. Natural grasscloth wallpaper? Check. Weird doorway bracket-y things with heart shaped cutouts? Check. This room definitely has “den from your childhood” written all over it. It’s not without charm or nostalgia, but I just want to scream, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

Which is exactly why we’re putting a giant hole in the wall.

This house has a real flow problem. Like most houses built during this time, there are a lot of walls separating rooms. But since we have no need for a living room, sunroom, and a formal sitting room at the front of the house, we have done some creative re-purposing of the spaces. The formal sitting room in the front of the house will be the dining room, and it has a HUGE window. Just one (tiny) 6ft hole in the wall separating this room from the living room and BAM – all the light. Plus, a little birdie told me that cased openings are the new open concept.

In addition to the hole in the wall, some paint will help brighten up the space. My plan is for the 10 ft brick fireplace wall to get a face lift with some white paint. I’m admittedly a little gun shy to tackle this because I’m pretty sure there’s no going back, but I love how a white brick fireplace looks in photos!

I may sit with the brick for awhile and start with a different project – possibly painting the grasscloth wallpaper. I might be a little crazy, but I think I’m going to try it. Worst case, it looks like garbage, and I have to remove it. But, it’s worth a shot.

I’m planning to use my favorite color, Behr’s Burnished Clay, basically everywhere. I’ve seen gray grasscloth wallpaper, so it seems like a good place to start with my crazy idea. Neutral walls were one of the things I loved about my first house too, as it allowed me to play with color in other ways. This time I want to keep it simple with a lot of contrast (black and white) with elements of nature (wood, wicker/rattan-yassssss, green from plants) and maybe a pop of color like teal or hunter green.

The best way for me to stay focused with so much work to do is put all my ideas onto a classic “mood board.” Here’s what I’ve come up with for the living room:

And of course, budget is a factor. I’m keeping costs down by buying used and thrifted if possible! Plus, there will be plenty of refinishing. Stay tuned for an update on how the living room looks so far, 5 months after move-in 🙂

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