My Living Room Makeover with Benjamin Moore’s 2016 Color of the Year-Simply White

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I know it is probably not to shocking to most people, to paint a living room white, but please understand, when we bought our over 100 year old home, 20 years ago, every single room in the house, walls and ceilings were painted with a fresh coat of primer white, which I spent the next 20 years trying to get rid, I mean really who is so boring that they would settle for white walls, is what I thought. You needed color, be brave, go bold, that was what the trends were saying. White was out. And we have painted the living room three times in twenty years, first blue, then a faux finish, because that was cool in green, {it looked like wall paper} and then gray. All were lovely in there day, even my most recent gray, which we painted the February before my youngest daughter went to collage, and she is now a junior, was beautiful, it was simply to dark for this room. I like to learn every thing the hard way, and if you haven’t noticed yet, every February we are painting something, because its my birthday month, and its easy to talk my husband into helping me then, but really, he helps me all year long, but when its something I know he is going to hate, I always pick February, cause its my Birthday, ya know!!! Anyway, I would have never believed it myself but I began to go on the hunt for the perfect white paint about a year ago, soon after I started my Blog actually. Suddenly I found my eye loving white, crazy right, well not really. That is exactly how the trends gets us. The market place puts them out there in front of us, and at first we might even resist the urge, but eventually we start to like the way they look. And so it goes for me and white paint. So the search began, I knew once I told my husband we were painting the living room again, he was going to look at me funny, you know with those eyes, and smoke coming out of ears, can you picture it. I mean this was full on ceiling s and walls, and did I mention the room was 28 x 18, a whopper of a room. So, I needed to make sure that I picked the correct color of white, and I do believe white is one of, if not the hardest color to pick, because there are literally thousands of shades. But I did my research, and it all boiled down to Benjamin Moore’s, 2016 color of the Year, Simply White. I read every thing I could on it. I read reviews, I read bloggers advice, I read comparisons to other colors, everything I could find on this color I read. It seemed to be the perfect white. When I made my trip to the store to purchase the paint, I made one last check before I purchased, and asked the expert, to look up the formula and share it with me. All of my paint was purchases at The Limerick Hardware Company in Limerick, Pa. I wanted to know what the under tones were, because that can really effect how the color looks in a room. I did do a test wall by my staircase and I loved it, but I still wanted to double and triple check before getting it mixed. This is always for me the most anxious time, when you go to get the paint mixed. The undertone for Simply white is Black, there is black and a smidge of yellow in it, and that is it, and I am talking drops. It is the perfect white, and it is exactly what the name says Simply White, nothing else. It has the softest look, almost a diffused look. Just lovely. So here are some pictures along the way.

Here as the room looked before.

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These next two shots are kind of before and after of the same area.

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When we purchased this armoire for the living room I got really excited about painting because I knew it would really pop against the white, and it does.

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We worked together as a team, I did the edging and he did the roller, it went well. We also cut the job in half. We emptied one side of the room into the other primed and painted, and then the next weekend we did it again. It was pretty smooth sailing I have to say, and really other than the ceiling, we hardly have any walls, because everything is a window or a door, which is a blessing and a curse.

I have to admit at this point I was really hating the gray. I had just admired it the night before knowing we were going to paint over it, but once all the décor was out of the room, I thought it looked outdated, and smudgy. I can be a little crazy like that, love it one day, hate it the next.

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Here you can get a glimpse of the job half way done, and see how bright and cheerful the white side is. I am loving it.

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Everything emptied into the other side.

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Here was a shot I shared, early on when I was dying to share, below is all the piles od furniture and stuff. ha ha.

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Why is it all I see on this side of the room is the board above the radiator. It has been like that for years, and even if you look back at the picture above when the room is still gray, its there, but it didn’t jump out at you like it does now. So that will have to be dealt with in some way. A shelf maybe, or just some white paint.

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And now for the next side.

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I brought this antique rug up from the basement. I have had this rug for 20 years and have moved around from room to room. It has been in the basement for many years, and now I am madly in love with it again. Because you know, I over the moon for Navy Blue right now. The advantage to this rug is it is huge, so it shows off the size of this room better than the smaller black rug I had in here. I still need to snip off the stray pieces of left over fringe and threads that are hanging off the ends, but they give it a little character.

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Below, see the spot between the couch and the chair, I have my eye on a brass stool from Pottery Barn, I am watching for it to go on SALE, and then I will pounce on it.

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Trying out some décor. I am weeding out. I have removed two pieces of furniture from the room, the sofa table from behind the couch and the coffee table, which means I have lost 2 surfaces for décor. However, I have enough décor left over to decorate at least, 10 surfaces, or so it seems. I have made so many trips to the basement caring things down, and every once in a while I carry something up, opppsie. I mean when I was empting this room, I could not believe how much stuff there was in here, but then when I went to put it back, it wouldn’t fit. Really its just that now that I have a softer, brighter, more neutral color pallet, putting too much back just looked like clutter.

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Here the Mantle is waiting for a “Special Delivery” from one of my favorite shops.

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This flea market find, the cast brass Pineapple Candle Sconce, I never even noticed in the room before, now its a stand out.

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This beautiful tray from Painted Fox  is a stunner.

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Below you can help me with something, this wall above the stairs, is the first thing you see when you come in my front door, but it is bare and usually is. I have always considered it the place for the eye to rest. Meh…..however I would like to add something special there but I don’t know what, I was thinking maybe a touch of color, since there is really no color on this side of the room, I would appreciate and input, I’m stumped. The only idea I had was maybe a set of three butterfly prints.

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And then there are the pillows. The only real color in the room now is the antique carpet, so in keeping with the navy, I went with these pillows, and Oh my what can I say, these pillows which are to die for are from Taylor Linens, please stop by and check them out and watch for a giveaway coming soon. Ok, I do have a bit of an addiction when it comes to pillows. I have a lot of them. But now I am thinking maybe its because I have been settling for far too long,  and so I need to keep buying more. When I received these pillows, they literally took my breath away. They are a little bit more of an investment, however they come with the down insert, and the quality and workmanship is like no other I have ever seen. I can honestly say I have never held or seen another pillow that is more beautiful or made with such attention to detail as these pillows are. There really are not words, you need to experience it. I would rather buy one of these pillows then piles of others any day.

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Here some close up shots, so you can really see what I am talking about.

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Over all I am so happy with the way the living room turned out. Besides the paint, the only new thing added so far are the pillows on the couch. But I do believe by adding just a few things and removing many more, the room has a more welcoming and comforting look and feel. It has less clutter and so it is more enjoyable to be in here. I do plan to layer in a few others things slowly, that something special for the mantle, and I am looking for a coffee table again, and of course the stool I am drooling over at Pottery Barn. Every January I seem to clean house and move out a lot of stuff that I have accumulated over the year. This year I am working on being content with less. I don’t want to feel bogged down by so many little things. Not that I wont add anything new, but I intend to be more thoughtful about what I am adding.

Thanks for Stopping by the Blog

Tammy Damore


  1. Hi Tammy! I love the color change. It is so bright and cheerful. I actually loved the dark color also but I learned long ago in my own house I need light colors. I love your home and blog. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    • Oh thank you so much Sherry for taking the time to write. I did really struggle with the change. My eye was drawn to all things white for a while, which was the exact opposite of every thing I ever loved in the past. But you know how it goes, your taste changes slowly, it creeps up on you. I too loved the grey walls. In fact the night before when the whole room was empty I looked at it and thought do I really want to do this? The next day when half the room was painted, because we did half at a time, I looked at the gray side and I hated it. I am so glad I took the plunge.

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