Before & Progress: Living Room

purple living room
When most people ask themselves, "What color should I paint my living room?" they don't usually pick purple.

Which is part of the reason I did.

I had originally planned on a light turquoise/teal/aqua, but that was the color of our living room in our old house, and I was ready for something new.

Most pictures I'd seen of purple rooms looked terrible, but I'd seen one picture (that I could never find again) that was a dream. I tried to match that picture.

Here's what the living room looked like when we bought the house:

Would you have bought this house? No?

I wouldn't have either, but that's a story for another day.

Almost everyone says, "Oh, It's purple!" the second they walk into our house for the first time. Then they say that they like it, which, of course, they have to whether they do or not, after they've already commented on it.

We put in crown molding and a picture rail molding (which I never even knew existed until I started reading Nicole Balch's Making it Lovely blog), and the fine folks at Young House Love taught me how to hang curtains to make the windows look bigger.

picture rail purple living room
The gossip bench is a craigslist find that I repainted and recovered.

gossip bench
I also know that everyone says that you're supposed to paint your ceilings a light color; otherwise, it looks like the ceiling's falling in on you.

But I had a vision, and I went with it, dang it! And in this case, it totally works. You probably can tell that we have pretty high ceilings. The darker color just draws your eyes up there, and your mind thinks, "Hey, there's the ceiling! Whoa, it's pretty high!"

crown molding purple living room
For being 100 years old, our house didn't have a ton of awesome architectural details. We've had to add a lot of them ourselves, but this arched doorway was here, and I like it a lot.

arched doorway purple living room

This little built-in bookshelf was also here, and it's been kind of fun; although, I'm not 100% set on the way they're loaded up (the bottom shelf needs a tiny bit more, for example).

built in bookcase purple living room
So, tell me, have any of you taken a risk on a color that turned out alright?

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(Have you seen our master bath and master bedroom?)


  1. Ha, I painted the kitchen and library yellow. Not sure I love it and I know Vince doesn't, but I'm working on it. You have a pinterest account right? I'm totally going to check it out.

  2. Keep working on it! I'm of the opinion, that you can make almost any color work. Just carefully control the other colors in the room (furniture, curtains, etc.) For example, if it's too powerful use colors to tone it down (like white). I do have an account, but I just barely set it up :). There's nothing in it yet ...

  3. I love this room! It's beautiful, and daring! You have great taste lady! xo

  4. Hilarious! Yes people always blurt out something and then follow up with something kinder! lol. I like the color choice! It's fun.

    1. Thanks, I like it too!

  5. i love the fun color plus the great vintage decor & furniture! we love having a bold color in our home too. our hallway is painted a semolina color from benjamin moore--such a great color.

    1. Thank you! I'm not really sure what a semolina color would look like? An orange?