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August 9, 2008

Getting More Real

Note: Living room is on the top part of the floorplan, kitchen on the bottom. Paint colors and upper left hand image from Valspar. Couch from IKEA.

This week we notified our landlord that we will be leaving as of October 1. It was a weird (and frightening) feeling...and it certainly made moving into the new house feel much more real.

While I was waiting for the termite guy to arrive at the house yesterday, I spent some time looking around the living room and thinking about how we might arrange it. While the house is the right size for us, it is certainly small. After living with 10-14' ceilings for so long, we are starting to realize that it will be an adjustment to actual rooms with 8' tops. Given that, we want to make the right choices with color and light.

There is a nice picture window in our living room- the only source of light until you get to the other side of the building/kitchen/dining room area. The window definitely lets in light, however we are going to need to find some sort of shade/blinds that allows natural light in but still gives us privacy. Once that light shines through, I think that it would be nice to have some mute color.

Is there a trick to using color in small spaces? I love this light blue, off white and dark brown combination. I was thinking that it might be nice to paint the walls blue, trim off white and then utilize our dark wood furniture (and perhaps a new brown couch).

Will it work? Also, what kinds of affordable window coverings out there will bring in a lot of light, yet make it hard for someone to see inside?

Posted by callalillie at August 9, 2008 9:16 AM | Home


I am actually painting my bedroom a very similar color to that light blue, with white molding... my furniture mostly isn't dark wood like yours... but maybe I'll take some pics and post 'em on flickr for you when the job is done.

Posted by: Kelly at August 9, 2008 4:04 PM

My solution for light and privacy is to put up two layers of sheer curtains. (Or curtain sheers. Whatever they're called.) With both closed I feel like it's enough...from the street all I can see is light and shadow. And there's plenty of light that can still come through. Then I also have the option of having only one closed, or both open.

I'm also not a paranoid person, and feel if peepers do come along they will probably choose someone more interesting/attractive than me.

Posted by: mollysusie at August 9, 2008 4:17 PM

Kelly, I definitely want to see when you're done! mollysusie, I like that idea. We're less concerned with peepers and more with people looking in and then breaking in...but I guess that's what alarm system is for. Neither of us has ever lived this close to the ground in the city before (well, I lived underground/basement level once, but that didn't really count).

Posted by: corie at August 9, 2008 10:07 PM

New reader. Hi. We just bought a Bklyn house last year and remodeled. Our ground floor is our living room/entry much like this, 8 ft ceilings and all. We used a very similar color combo, though our overall effect is more modern than you are after - black rather than brown, etc. Pics here:

The first pic in the set shows the living room and kitchen. The back wall is a light blue (Arctic Blue, I believe). All others are white. It's important in a room like this with low ceilings and just one window on front and back of house to have LOTS of lights. LOTS. We did TONS in the living room and it's great. I thought we were being crazy putting in so many but husband and my parents were right. We did not put in extra recessed lighting in the kitchen and I totally regret it - that back bit near the windows gets super dark at night and the kitchen feels shadowy when cooking as a result.

And we also did the two sheer curtains on the front window. It's been nice - you can choose how much visibility you want at any given time - one layer or two or none.

Posted by: bri at August 9, 2008 11:39 PM

paint the ceiling light, very light blue(almost white), cream or white. It should help make the space feel lighter, brighter and bigger. fun!

Posted by: honor at August 11, 2008 1:08 AM

silly me

Posted by: honor at August 11, 2008 4:55 PM

Hey, Cor. There are actually a ton of inexpensive window treatments composed of natural fibers that will allow light to filter through. I was actually pleasantly surprised at Target's and, dare I say Walmart's selection, which, of course, I only hit after I had made the rounds to a ton of specialty (and decidedly more expensive) home stores and wasn't finding what I was looking for. We had our living room walls painted in an earthy tone with white trim. Once we moved in, we realized that the color absorbed a lot of the natural light in the room, despite the fact that we have 65" of window stretching across the front wall. The window coverings are light and translucent, but not to the extent that privacy is compromised. I am so excited about your new place!

Posted by: Erin at August 13, 2008 7:55 AM

I love the blue, it's fresh and elegant.
The blue will be enhanced and warmed, by your wood floors
Soft white on the ceiling will feel taller.
Natural fibers on the window are great, as they give light and also privacy.
A Boston Ivey growing on the outside wall would look amazing.
We are excited for you and lex.

Posted by: Petrie at August 13, 2008 10:50 AM

Your eyes will look beautiful in that room!

Posted by: virginia Case at August 21, 2008 1:09 AM

I prefer warmer or deeper colors. Also blue specifically is supposed to make rooms feel colder (not sure what that means, but I have read that before).

Posted by: Gina at August 31, 2008 4:01 PM

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