Thursday, March 13, 2014

Updating Mom's House: #1 The Living Room

My sister Joanne and I are updating our Mom's condo. I convinced Joanne that we needed a little "occupational therapy" to cope with the stress after Mom's stroke. As usual with the "Smith sisters", things soon took on a life of their own. Two months later, we're still at it...redoing the whole condo that is! 

Mom's living room was off-white and she likes the color. We color-matched her paint and put two new coats on all the walls and trim. Her color scheme still worked with her "shabby chic" things but relied heavily on 80's rose and blue. We chose to update it by eliminating the blue and heading toward orangy-red instead of pink for accessories. That way, we could still incorporate most of Mom's things, but with a new twist.

 We went a little crazy and decided that Mom really needed a colorful accent wall to set off her fireplace and mantle. A quick trip back to Sherwin-Williams and, before we could second-guess ourselves, it was done.
But then, Mom's TV stopped working.
 Off to Best Buy we went. The next day the Geek Squad arrived with this baby. We decided Mom deserved a 46" Smart TV mounted over her fireplace! 
 (See what I mean about one thing leading to another?)
Years ago, Mom cut roses out of her living room curtain fabric and decoupaged them to the wall as a border over her fireplace. When it came time to paint the accent wall, we felt bad taking them down.
Our solution was to frame them in a shadowbox and display them in the finished room.

We got all of the carpets professionally cleaned and started to put things back in the room.
Joanne bought a slipcover for Mom's faded wing chair and added a textured throw cushion the color of our new accent wall.
She also replaced the throw pillows on Mom's couch.
 Mom loves wall groupings so it took quite a while to carefully replace all of her artwork after painting the walls. Luckily, Joanne is a perfectionist.
We moved a few pieces of furniture around and edited the accessories...respectfully decluttering and organizing where we could.
 This clock has told time in the Smith household for over 60 was always in Mom and Dad's living room.

 My sister Joanne definitely inherited Mom's decorating gene. She arranged this vignette on the top of Mom's's one of many she has carefully arranged since we painted.

We thought we were about done redoing, refreshing and repurposing Mom's living room when we saw this rug at the Curtainshop last week. came home with us.
It pulled together all of the colors in the room, old and new, and provided the finishing touch. Mom's rose is there...along with the oranges and reds we added.

The fabric swatch on the chair is the start of yet another DIY project!
Joanne found the foot stool, made in India, at Home Goods.
We hope that Mom recovers enough to enjoy her "new" living room. We're pleased that we were able to update it while honoring her amazing sense of style.
I guess that with a view of Portland Harbor like this, the living could have stayed empty and still been beautiful.
Next up? The Master Bedroom...
This post is linked to:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On the Porch

p.s. Meet my "little" sister with our Mom in 2009...


  1. Wow, you girls are amazing decorators! I think your mom's living room looks fabulous. The feature wall colour is beautiful and I like the way you added more colours to the room. Great job!! I'm sure your mom will love what you've done.

  2. You are so sweet, Pam...thanks so much!

  3. It looks wonderful! Love the update and I know you Mom will also.

  4. Oh my goodness, how sweet of you two. I think she will be delighted!

  5. Beautiful colors and textures! What a fun time I bet you all had.

  6. I do wish the best for your little mother and that she recovers well. What a beautiful thing to do for her! Everything looks gorgeous. Love the colors and special touches. I'm popping over from Met Monday.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. I met a guy from Maine when we were in the Army (hubs stationed in Alaska), he truly was a "Maniac"! He harassed me continually as I am a southern belle~~hehe good times..anyway, just wanted to let you know I think you two sisters did a FANTASTIC job decorating your Mom's place! Seriously, you give professional designers a run for their money! You're welcome to come 'do' my home anytime you get the notion~jk, I'm sure you don't do house calls this far South. Ya'll have done an amazing job! Are you sure you don't do this professionally? : )

  8. What a wonderful thing to do for your Mom. I love how you saved her roses and found a way to display them. The room looks beautiful. And you're right - that is a fantastic view to have. Good luck to your mom as she recovers.

  9. How did your mother react to the changes, given that she'd had a stroke and might have a need for continuity?

  10. She hasn't seen it yet...we hope she will like it. Good point about changing things too much...we have left all of her photos, art and favorite things alone and tried not to move any furniture except during painting projects so hopefully it will be OK. Many of the projects, like repainting, are things mom talked about doing, but, at age 92, just couldn't. Mom has excellent taste and loves anything to do with home decorating so we hope she will be excited about the update when she sees it. Thanks for commenting! Cheryl


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