Going Lighter in a Cozy Sitting Room: Before and After

Just like I did in my house a few years ago, my sister Robyn has banished the red.  No more yellow walls either.

She has gone in a completely different direction now in the sitting room of her Arlington, Texas, home–a lighter and fresher direction–with white walls, more neutral accessories, and touches of robin’s egg blue.

That was then…

And this is now…

At 2100 square feet, Robyn’s house boasts three living areas, two dining areas, and four bedrooms.  So all the rooms are on the small side.  With a mostly open layout downstairs, though, her house doesn’t feel small or cramped in any way.

It feels cozy and livable.

The sitting room, which serves as walk-through to other parts of the house, posed a challenge from the beginning. “When we moved in we put the tv in there, but it’s open to the kitchen and was too loud.  I knew I couldn’t handle that because the kitchen is where I spent most of my time,” says Robyn.

Now this room functions differently.  With its small footprint and minimal furniture–a love seat, two club chairs, and an ottoman which were housewarming gifts from our mother–it’s the perfect spot for conversation.

The love seat is now covered in a slipcover from Surefit, and the red chair and ottoman have been redone in a cheerful stripe and floral from Waverly.  The other chair remains its original neutral fabric.

Although the original pink-ish brick of the fireplace would work fine now in this room, it didn’t work at all with the previous red and yellow color scheme.  So Robyn painted the brick with a Martha Stewart paint called Pip.  The once soft yellow walls are now painted Pip as well.

The fireplace and built-ins are clearly the focal point of this small room.  She picked up the rusty cream sconces on the mantel from an antique shop in Waxahachie, Texas,  for $28. Mother gave her the cream shutters.  She has a total of six of them both inside and outside her house.  The little figurine of the boy holding a gold heart was a gift from a parent of a former student.

Robyn adores the quaint little town of Jefferson, Texas, the B&B capital of Texas reportedly, and purchased the ornate gold mirror there twenty-five years ago.  She paid $135 for it.  The antique tin fragment above the mirror she found at Canton Trade Days. It was $8.

The piece of barn wood on the hearth is her nod to farmhouse style and helps balance out all the white.  She bought it from her friend Earnie of Green’s Produce in Arlington.  Robyn loves to hear the interesting stories Earnie has to tell about his treasures, most of which he finds on his scouting trips up north.

The architectural pieces on top of the barn wood are from The Vintage Market in Decatur, Texas.  My daughter says paperwhites smell like old people, but Robyn and I both love them.  Her silver bowl holding this fragrant flower (or stinky depending on your point) was a Goodwill find.  

Her silver pitcher is dated 1917 and set her back only $5 at Canton Trade Days.  It was her only purchase on that particular shopping trip to Canton on a brutally hot day.   The other silver pieces came from an estate sale at our beloved childhood piano teacher’s house after she passed away.  Miss Hazel Mac would get a kick out of knowing Robyn has something of hers.

The framed flashcards were found in Round Top a few years ago and perfectly expressed how Robyn felt as she was approaching retirement from education.

Our sister Jan gave her the Peterboro picnic-style basket one year for Christmas.  The old globe is from Montgomery Street Antique Mall in Forth Worth.

As I noted in my posts about Robyn’s sunroom and master bedroom, my younger sister and I think alike when it comes to our homes and decorating them.  We both finally realized that we could get a lot more light in our homes if we would  just leave the blinds up all the time.

Robyn’s philosophy on this?  “After twelve and a half years in this house, I figure any Peeping Tom has had his fill and moved on.”

Makes sense to me.

One of my favorite spots in my sister’s sitting room is the spot to the right of the fireplace–technically part of the entry.  She’s had this little table from Joann’s Fabric for nearly twenty years.  It’s now painted in Sherwin Williams Watery.  The chippy pink chair is rickety but was cheap and just the right color.

The framed coffee bean sack is another find from Green’s Produce.  The frame itself she found when she shopped her own attic.  She swiped the leaves from a tree in the parking lot of her dry cleaners.  Hey, our mother taught us to be thrifty.  

 All in all, I’d say my little sister did a great job on her sitting room makeover.  She achieved a completely different look on a budget, on her own, and in the style she loves–and I love, too.  I’m giving this room an A+.




6 thoughts on “Going Lighter in a Cozy Sitting Room: Before and After

  1. Love it!! We all went through the deep dark colors phase and some people still love it. For me, it feels so good to have lightened up with whites/creams/blues. I love the way Robyn mixed in found items. That really takes skill and patience. Y’all keep it up!

    1. Don’t you think it’s an age thing, Stacey? The older we get, the harder it is to see, the more we like lighter colors? Robyn is really good at finding unique pieces. Yes, it does take skill and patience!

  2. All light and lovely, it made a lot of difference and looks awesome. Your sister had some great old things in her room. Thanks Jill for sharing.

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