Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Challenge: Making a small living room feel LARGE!

A black depressing end table
Alright, I've explained before that my house was built in 1860 and that the rooms are quite small. My living room is 12 feet by 12 feet. Really it's not so bad until you try to fit more than 4 adults in the room. And as I've mentioned before my four children crowded in the room  leaves me feeling rather claustrophobic!

Keeping all this in mind, Chris and I had a conversation at the table this afternoon about trying to make the room feel larger. Right now we have a coffee table in the middle of the room. I've on occasion moved it out to make more room, but always thought that Chris preferred it as our living room center piece. At lunch today he cleared up that assumption. He also would like to take it out to make more room, but thought that I liked it. Isn't it better to communicate these feelings? Well, now we both know the coffee table is going somewhere else!

The other thought we had was lightening up the colors of the furniture from black to white and then painting the walls a lighter color to make the space feel bigger.

So, I have a long check list of things to do to my living room. Oh, but I do love a list!! I set to work right away lightening the furniture in the room starting with one end table (the black monster above.)

Using my trusty liquid sand paper- have you heard that this stuff is not available in some places because it's a health hazard? Anyway, using my trusty poison liquid sandpaper, I prepared the surface of the table for it's makeover.
Whew! It took a lot of layers of paint to cover that black paint- guess I should have primed! Oh well.
I sprayed the hardware with Krylon aluminum and already my spirits are lifted!
Funny how you notice something way less when its not bold black!! Only two more furniture pieces to go and my living room should feel 15 feet by 15 feet... what a mansion!!


  1. how funny!- we just decided to move our coffee table out of the living room this week as well! And when we get a new couch and love seat (in a couple of years unless we find an excellent deal before then) I plan on getting a couple of used end tables and painting them... probably white :)

  2. We should start an anti-coffee table revolution!

  3. Oooh, I really like it. I have to tell you, since I made everything in my livingroom *mostly* white (or cream, actually) including the curtains, people are constantly saying it seems bigger. So I definitely think you are right. And too, too funny about the coffee table removal discussion, b/c I was thinking about leaving mine out (I had in downstairs for a little while over the weekend). But, we just use ours waaaaay to much, so, ours is staying. :/ But mine is pretty small, so i don't think it takes up too much visual space... Anyway, love the lighter look! (Though, I always liked the black too...) :)

  4. Well, just to be different, I'm gonna keep my mammoth coffee table! Lol But, perhaps your children will have fewer bumps and bruises as they're learning to walk without furniture in their way, as opposed to mine, who have bloodied themselves on ours....Anyhow, I'm liking the change up you got going on...

  5. I LOVE POISON LIQUID SANDPAPER! and engine degreaser! LOL! You are so funny!

  6. I can't keep up with you! And I'm your mother! Now I have to think over how I'm going to paint my living room/dinning room area.

  7. We feel the same way about our living room. While I LOVE our new sofas, they looked a lot less bulky in the store. When we can justify getting new ones in 15-20 years, I think we'll search for something slimmer. We also have an organ that we're trying to sell but waiting for a good price. It's super deep and awkwardly high for the room. When we had our tree in there at Christmas, it was sooo difficult to move around; I'm definitely changing that next year. Does your house have radiators? A long one in our living room definitely makes the room even smaller. It's good to know we're not the only one dealing with the claustrophobic feeling! I can't wait to see what you do!

  8. i have a house from the same era, however since it is a farmhouse and had to house all the farm hands, i have the opposite space problem! I have been looking for your endtable to use as a plant stand... well at least i know where it is! Just wanted to venture an opinion based on the photo and not the whole room; i think the hardware handles have the effect of emphasizing the smallness of the table. i wonder how it would work with something less clunky and ornate? I imagined a balanced-sized tassel (elegant and minimal), but wouldn't work for 2 drawers.

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