I need your advice.....

I'm beginning a long term remodel of my entire house.
For some rooms that means new paint and possibly updating or tweaking the decor slightly
For others, complete overhaul.

Starting with the formal dining room (major changes)
and then moving on the the formal living room which will probably involve
 new paint, rug and a little tweaking of the decor.

As you can tell in the pictures below, decorating is not my strong suit
so I need your advise.

Shall we begin:

We had our house built and moved in in January of 1999
and it's pretty much been decorated the same since.

Our paint is the golden yellow of ye olden days of the turn of the century (2000).

This is a list of things I definitely want to change.

Paint color on ceiling and walls to gray.  Thank you pinterest.
I would like to go with a lighter shade of gray and even slightly lighter on the ceiling.
Wainscoating below a chair rail in white.
Plantation shutter to replace the blinds.
Replace the chandelier with an iron/crystal one.
Ideally I would love to update my dining room furniture to a more
formal darker wood but that's not in the cards.

I can't justify the expense when this is a perfectly good and very good quality
(albeit not my style at this point of my life)
dining room set that we had made in North Carolina in the before mention "olden days" of 1999.

I try to be a good steward of the money God has allowed us.

My problem is I can't stand honey golden oak.  My husband loves oak so it 
was really his choice.  I realize it's very dated looking so I'm up for painting it and the china cabinet.
My husband realizes it's outdated too so he's on board with the painting idea also
if it takes buying a new one off the table (pun intended).

The chandelier is capodimonte italian porcelain.
While it is beautiful, I've never been a fan.
My husband got it in Italy when he was a sailor.
He loves it and I was happy to use it all these years but he's agreed to sell it
and update.  
I'd also love to wire in two wall sconce lights where the two decorative sconces are now.

Floors will remain the same tile.  I'd love wood floors but I'm happy
with the tile and it keeps the house cooler in our hot Florida summers.
Possible a rug.

 I'll want new art work for the walls.
I'm thinking a very oversized framed chalkboard where the small one is now.
Not sure about the other walls yet.

Eventually, I'd love to have a built-in across the entire wall where my china
cabinet is with cabinets and drawers  below and shelves above.
I love, love, love dinnerware.  Some might say I have way too many plates/platters/etc
as it is but I say "can you really have too many".
That will have to wait.

The pictures below are what it looks like currently.

What do I need your help with?

paint color suggestions?
should I paint the ceiling? 
I know I want plantation shutters but should I have drapes also?
color suggestions for the table?
I'm leaning toward staining the chair seat and table top a darker color
and painting everything else a black chalk paint
I'm also slightly considering a white chalk paint instead but with the wainscoating and
plantation shutters being white and the walls and ceiling being light gray,
I'm afraid that would be too much.  What do you think?
What do you think about the lighting choices?
Would you go with a rug under the table?
Wall decor choices?
Also I'm thinking about a side table against the wall under the chalkboard.

Next is the living room.

And yes, before we start that is indeed an Easter tree.
Let me explain before you think I've done lost my mind.
At the very beginning of the year we began purging our house and
placing all of the things that we want to sell and donate in a room where
we usually store our artifical tree in the closet.  The room
already had tons of things in it up against the closet before I got around
to taking the tree down.  In addition to the fact that I'm considering getting 
rid of the tree because we actually prefer real ones.  But I wasn't sure if I actually 
wanted to be rid of it because we put up both a real and artifical one most years.
So it ended up staying up through valentines and I thought I might as well decorate it 
with felt hearts and it just kind of became a joke with my granddaughter.
Needless to say, I still haven't cleared out the junk that we will be getting rid of to put 
it back in the closet nor have I made up my mind as to whether I want to keep it.

Any hoo.....

The living room

I'd like to repaint the walls and ceiling gray.
Paint the faux fireplace white.
It is 64 inches wide and 24 inches deep.
It has lighted logs that look pretty but don't put off heat.
Not needed in hot Florida, even in the winter.
I'm also considered cutting off about 12 inches of the dept to make it look
a little more realistic but not sure how easy that would be.
Plantation shutters.
New rug and possibly chandelier to go with the cooler color scheme.
New wall decor, specifically replacing the plates and turtle pictures.
The plates were my husband's mom's.  She passed away the year we got married
and I only met her a couple of times.  He loves turtles and you can probably see the 
small tank of water turtles in the corner.
(He also has many outside turtles)
You can see my delimma.  
I would love to take the clocks down but I don't think that will
be even up for discussion.   (Did I tell you he's a clock collector also).
 Especially if I win the turtle/plate removal battle.
Compromise and pick your battles ladies.

Below are pictures of what my living room currently looks like.

So my questions are:

Suggestions on paint color and would you paint the ceiling also.
Painting the fireplace white and/or reducing the depth of it.
Would you put window treatments in addition to the plantation shutters.
Would you leave the wooden buffet under the turtle pictures the same color.
I'm up for painting it but I also like it the color it is.
New coffee table?

Thanks for any and all suggestions you like to give.
Even if it's not something I've asked about.

Remember, decorating is not one of my strengths and I'm sure I've not
thought about all possibilities.

Have a blessed day.


  1. DINING ROOM: Paint the walls Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. It is a beautiful light grayish taupe and goes with practically everything. Keep the ceiling white. Stain the table top, chair seats, and flat "table top" section of the hutch a darker brown. Walnut is usually a good choice. Paint the rest of the table, chairs, and hutch a semi-gloss black. Replace the knobs on the hutch and cabinet. Replace the chandelier with a dark oil-rubbed bronze one. On the windows, yes, I'd use some panels to soften up the area. Buy one set of panels and put one panel on each window. Hang on a wooden or dark metal rod hung at the bottom of the arch (where the top of the blinds are now). Hang panels from rings rather than gathered on the rod. Swag or pull back the left window panel to the left side and do the same to the right window panel to the right side. Remove the clock and sconces. I would remove the chalkboard and replace with a large picture to add some personality to the space. A very narrow iron and glass table under it would probably look nice, but is not necessary. A large centerpiece on the table would look nice also. Either remove the single plate on top of the hutch or add more things up there. It looks lonely. :) ~ Suzanne

    1. Hi Suzanne
      Thanks for visiting. The benjamin moore revere pewter is exactly the one I'm seriously considering. Also the chandelier you suggested (oil rubbed bronze and crystal). I think the metal and dark wood narrow side table would be perfect and the colors you suggested for the table and china cabinet sound great. Thank you for all your advise. Have a blessed day.

  2. LIVING ROOM: Paint the walls Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore...same as dining room. The rooms are close together and this will help the house feel cohesive. Keep the ceiling white. Paint the fireplace white, but don't try to alter it. This may create more of a mess that you want to tackle not to mention the expense! Remove the turtle pictures. Goodwill will love them! ;) Or, you can reuse the frames in the dining room on the wall in place of the chalkboard. Just find new prints to put in them and spray paint the frames. Take several of the smaller clocks - I see some over the mantle and in the foyer - and hang over the buffet table where the turtle pictures were. Create a large grouping with various clocks hung at various heights. Don't try to be symmetrical here. Keep the buffet table as is...it's beautiful. Take down the plates and hang somewhere else in the home. A large grouping on a smaller wall will make more of an impact and showcase them more. (Similar to my suggestion with the clocks.) Move the turtles to a new location. Place the end table that is next to the chair on the left side of the sofa. Move the chair to where it's more angled in front of the window where the end table is now. This will open up the space in front of the windows by the fireplace and make it feel roomier. A new dark oil-rubbed bronze chandelier with a barrel shade (see link below) will be lovely in there and will keep it from looking like a dining room light fixture. Replace the rug with something more neutral and replace the table with an iron and glass one or leave out completely. If you like the picture over the sofa, move it over the fireplace. I think the scale will be more appropriate there. You need something very large or a set of pieces to go on the wall over the sofa since it's so large. Good luck! ~Suzanne
    Here's the chandelier link: http://www.lowes.com/pd_559489-57278-P4217-20_4294687722__?productId=50132152&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks for taking the time to review this room and give your opinions. My husband especially appreciates the fire place suggestion of not trying to cut it down. I'm definitely going with that. I also really like the idea of moving end table to the left side of the couch and angling the chair. If I can talk my husband into relocating the clocks to where the turtle pictures are I'd like to put something large scale above that. Possibly a mirror or the art that is currently over the couch. I have another question for you, would you go with curtains or just have the plantation shutters. Also thanks for the suggestion of changing out the art over the couch to a larger scale or Set of pieces.

    2. Honestly, I love the simplicity of plantation shutters by themselves. Such a classic look! Since you have a room with many windows and other furniture/accessories, I would keep the windows simple. In the dining room, I suggested using them because there are so many hard surfaces and yet not a lot of pieces, I think they would help soften and add interest. Of course, the windows would also be fine with just the plantation shutters if you prefer to keep both rooms similar. ~Suzanne

    3. Thanks Suzanne. I like the idea of the simple curtains on either side in the dining room but I was thinking the same thing about the living room. With so many windows,adding curtains would be a little much. I appreciate your eye.

  3. Dining room -- I like the idea of a side board and big chalk board. I'm glad your husband is willing to compromise with taking down the chandelier. and I think the idea of built in shelves for your dishes sounds fun!! I think this is such a fun look especially if you already have nice dishes -- http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/01/tall-dark-and-handsome/

    living room - i think the Easter Egg tree is kinda fun! I think you have alot of good ideas -- I wonder if you could move the clocks to another location and put one central thing above the fire place?? I think that would help draw your eye to a starting place rather than all around the room...you know?!

    Good luck! and have fun :)

    1. Thanks for visiting. I'm definitely going with the chalkboard and side table. Hopefully metal and dark wook but narrow. I wish I could remove the clocks. I think that's the only thing that my sweetie is not going to give on. He's a collector of antique clocks (among many other things). Ha. I've visited your blog. I really love fiesta dishes also. Hense the need for a large built in.