In July 2009, when we first moved into our newly-built house, the living room was in some serious need for character and life. The walls were white, floor was laminate, and it also warehoused the old furniture we took with us from our last house.
December 2009, to prep the living room "for show" in time for a Christmas party, I picked up some decor accessories and furniture I later parted with on CList -- the room not only looked "blah" but also was impractical: why on earth did I put an oval white silk ottoman in the middle of the room? It's so pristine that none of guests dared to sit on or use it.
June 2010, in my quench to add some vintage look to the living room, I put up a gallery wall of antique botanical prints over the fireplace. The flow appeared awkward, and the room still looked very much like a builder home.
Fast forward one year, June 2011, I came to the realization that wall panel/wainscoting would be a good way to add character and accomplish that "always there" look I've been so much going after.
We also replaced the ceiling light with the Edwardian lantern to add more vintage touch.
September 2011, the room was filled with a lot of my favorite: Windsor Smith Pelagos fabric, antique coffee table with criss-cross legs, finial urns, etc., but they were all upstaged by the masculine black cowhide sofa set. They cost us tons of stones, so to get rid of them wouldn't be rational. The only hope was to finish the basement soon so that we could retire them down there.
November 2011, a fantastic score of the Urban Barn Lumex coffee table, and the newly acquired Martha Stewart Fretwork rug seemed to have brought the room together.
December 2011 was a good month. We finished our basement, and were able to send the black cowhide sofa set down to my husband's man cave. I added two curved arm chairs upholstered in a creamy fabric (similar to the long sofa), a mirrored chest with clover cutout, and re-arranged a few pieces of furniture and accessories.
And the living room is finally "fully us". It was a painstaking process to put this room together as it was done while my design skills and tastes were evolving. It was however definitely worth the ride, and I've learnt so much from the experience.
You can read more about how our living room came together here.