When we first moved into our house, the living room was the biggest and darkest room in the entire place. It had hunter green carpet, dark paneling, dark brick fireplace with a black woodstove.
When we realized we wouldn’t be moving for a very long time, I decided to add some permanence and decorate beyond just pale-colored paint on our walls and nerdy posters. We pulled out the carpet and added some cheap laminate and painted the paneling, but after a few years that got boring.
When I realized we weren’t going to sell forever, I decided to go more daring, and alter the colors and make the house shine. Here’s how I turned my boring living space into a family-friendly living room straight out of a nerd’s fever dream.
I sold the woodstove and painted the fireplace white, which completely lightened the room. Since there is no flue, I decided the fireplace was nonfunctioning. I painted the inside of it with fireproof paint, and I put my first nerdy thing in there — a painting of fire with the word “Incendio” which is a fire spell from Harry Potter.
When I painted the paneling, I wanted it to be bright and cheery, so I came up with the idea of painting the walls red, orange, and yellow, and the little grooves in the paneling I painted in opposite colors. If it is orange, I painted the grooves red and yellow, it it was yellow, it was red and orange, etc. It took FOREVER. And I used a ketchup bottle.
I painted my furniture to coordinate with the curtains. I have a blue coffee table, purple bench, white banquette table with blue oilcloth and I reupholstered our rocking chair with rainbow striped fabric.
I spraypainted my pea-green vinyl couch white with SO many cans of paint. And yes, usually my power tools ARE laying all over the house when I am in the middle of a project.)
For Christmas last year my husband and I used pallet and scrap wood to build our two sons (now six and four) a treehouse in the living room. It has been a great source of adventures over the past year.
Underneath it I have a table that I Mod Podged Star Wars pictures on top. The boys usually can do art under there and keep their crayons and paper there.
But the main focus in our living room is the TARDIS TV cabinet. A friend helped me paint our cabinet blue, and then I built a box on the top of it, and added the sign and wired the lighting so that it flashes! It really made having our Doctor Who premiere party in the Fall so much easier to decorate for, and the boys really love it too.
What I like best about my living room is that it is MINE. No one else I know has a Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter rainbow living room!