For as long as I can remember, I have always loved light and bright open spaces. When we moved into this house, the hardest part was waiting until I could makeover these rooms. They were so dark and drab and needed some paint. In the process, I learned how to decorate a living room with neutrals and I have used that knowledge when decorating the rest of our home.
When we moved in I was in love with all the character an older home has. However, I am not a huge fan of dark wood. I love it as an accent, but this house is very, VERY dark. Between the doors and door frames, stairs, wood floors… it was all a little much for me.
The Room Before Learning How to Decorate with Neutrals
I love open and light spaces but can also appreciate the older charm. So, in an effort to preserve a little of both, I decided painting the living room was my first line of defense.
I used my favorite paint, Behr Marquee ” Cameo White” on the walls. It has great coverage and almost a slight tint of gray. I think it pairs perfectly with the bright white by Behr that I used on the trim and baseboards. We primed those because I knew the stain would bleed through. I like to call that older stain “industrial stain” because that stuff is strong and dark. I also used the bright white on the metal tile ceilings and the bricks on the fireplace.
Metal Tile Ceilings Painted White
Neutral Living Room Decor
I love old wood floors. A lot. However, these floors had been sanded down and refinished so many times that they are too thin and too weak to withstand another refinishing. Because of this, I decided to paint the living room floors. New flooring is not in our budget this year.
I first sanded them down by hand with a dry wall sander. Again, I couldn’t be heavy handed or it would have possibly ruined the floors completely. The recommendation is to first apply a primer. I opted to skip this step because these old floors are so dry and most of the sealant had been worn off years ago. Then, I cleaned it really well with TSP which is a great cleaner to remove any oil based products that may have been used to clean the floors.
Neutral Grey Painted Floors
I went around the edges first with a brush by hand and then went back with a roller for the rest of the floor. Allow it to dry overnight and then apply a second coat rolling the opposite direction from my first application.
Let me be the first to say that the right brush makes a HUGE difference when painting. Clean up is my least favorite part so I’ve always used brushes that I didn’t mind tossing out when the project was finished. However, I recently purchased a Purdy brand brush and oh…my….gosh. I’m now a convert.
I used the Behr Porch and Patio paint in “Pacific Fog”. It’s the perfect gray tone for this space. We opted for the Porch and Patio paint for durability and the coverage on this paint is AH-Mazing.
Living Room Decorated with Neutrals
I have been behind on my blogging because I knew these floors had to be finished with enough time to “cure” before my furniture arrived. And I am SO excited because I haven’t had new living room furniture in almost 10 years. I always buy second hand for my dressers and accent pieces. But, more on the furniture later.
I have more paint work to do in this room and I have also been working on painting the entry and stairs which I will share with you soon. I’m also planning on painting the concrete in the fireplace to clean it up a bit. It has taken me some time and patience to learn how to decorate a living room with neutrals but I think my patience has paid off and still continues to do so.
Thanks so much for stopping by today! It means so much to me to have you here!
The trim in the other rooms also got some neutral updates and in this room, I painted the dark trim white for a lighter feel.
Be sure to follow along on social media for more inspiration!