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Real-World Renovation: 1920s Prairie Box: Painting the Living Room

Renovation adventures make for lively reading — it’s all the fun of a full-blown home makeover, only someone else does the work and pays the bills!

1920s house living room paint color scheme Somewhere out there in rural Indiana, USA, a 1920s foursquare house is getting a major makeover.

Although is is in very good shape structurally, the previous previous owners (PPOs) had very bad taste and strange ways of making improvements. The last owners started to straighten things out, but were forced to relocate before they got very far. My husband and I are working on finishing the job and restoring our home to as much of its original appearance as is possible and practical.

The homeowners are DIYers with ambition, fair skillls, and a good sense of personal style — but even with a clear idea of what you like, aesthetically, and what you want to achieve with your home… sometimes it just comes down to trial and error.

Case in point, redecorating the living room.

Here, the planned colour scheme is just lovely — rich and home-feeling and appropriate to the vintage and character of this old house. But when the gorgeous copper-red paint paint went on the walls, something just didn’t feel quite right about it.

Instead of feeling warm and cosy, the red room felt dark and a bit oppressive. Stripping layers of white paint off the trim and stairs to reveal the beautiful old woodwork was an attractive choice to bring out the character of the house, but it also added to the sense of dark enclosure.

Solution?

To stay with the same great paint colour scheme, but to change the proportions in which the colours are used.

(And we’ve talked about this before, how playing with the proportions you use can alter the look of a room so dramatically.)

A mid-range “Hubbard Squash” gold colour replaced the red paint on the walls — or it’s in the process of doing so. Even with just the one coat of the gold paint on, so far, it’s enough to see where this room is headed… and what a lovely room it is going to be!

Follow this real-world renovation at Life in the Prairie Box.

3 comments… add one
  • Domestik Goddess 2009/08/17, 10:26 am

    Di, thank you for sharing that photo! Your decorating job worked out just beautifully – love the warm wall colour, love the soft colours of carpet and sofa… That’s a room I’d love to just lift up and transplant right into my own house!

  • Di 2009/08/16, 8:01 pm

    Wow, this has been up about 2 years, and I had no idea until today that we’d been the subject of an entry here! A lot about this room has been trial-and-error, especially since it was the first room we’d ever decorated from the ground up. Just thought I’d update y’all with a new picture showing how the colors have ended up working together: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_cm49P41qLLE/SjVMTXci6BI/AAAAAAAAAlg/pUNCioLRrf8/s1600-h/Picture+008.jpg Thanks so much for noticing our hard work!

  • Rachel -www.Staged Makeovers.com 2007/10/02, 11:36 am

    I absolutely love the color scheme. I grew up in a four square with the stairs in the same location as the picture, so I can actually visualize walking through this home.

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