The Deets on My Apartment Therapy Room For Color Contest Entry

It's time for Apartment Therapy's Room for Color contest again. I entered last year and was one of the finalists in the "Dark" category. (I wish they didn't use that word, "dark". It sounds so scary! I much prefer "deep." Because a space with deep colored walls can have lots of light and therefore not technically be "dark". But I digress...)

Here's a collage of my living room entry from last year, "Kelly's Deep Teal with a Funky Vintage Vibe":

This year I almost didn't enter. Honestly, my "Mystical Atelier" wasn't done done. There are a lot of things that are kind of wacky and unfinished, but I figured what the hell. It was a good kick in the pants to spend a little time cleaning up and styling and taking some decent photos of a space that is how it is. It's a real living space, not a perfect one. At that is a good thing to share.


This room wasn't much to start with. It's a 1950s box with zero detail. The glass in the window is broken, there is a hole in the floor where an outlet used to be, the door doesn't close properly, and it has a silly central vacuuming plug that we have yet to remove from the wall. (I'm sure you can spot it if you look carefully!) The furniture is mostly hodge-podgey leftovers - pieces that didn't fit in the rest of the house - and the area rug (from Overstock) was a quick fix. We needed something for the pup to lie down on so he didn't bang up his bony little elbows. Oh - and it desperately needs window treatments. But, like I said, it is what it is. And hopefully there is some inspiration in that.

After (or rather, "in-progress")

As I wrote in my entry, I was "looking to create a masculine, intellectual, artistic space for reading and playing music. Charcoal gray on the walls was the right color to help lay that character foundation. To keep the space from getting too moody, however, I came back in and painted the bookshelves in a bright red."

The walls are painted in Sherwin Williams Sealskin, a deliciously warm and deep charcoal gray. The bookshelves got leftover front door paint in Sherwin Williams Real Red. (You can see the same color on the front door in the living room pics.)

And just for fun, here's a before of the bookshelves, which we purchased from an estate sale just across the street. Keepin' it in the hood.

As most of you know, I love vintage. The chair was a find at an antique store a number of years ago. It looks pretty, but being a real Victorian piece, it desperately needs to be re-stuffed. Someday.

The mirror is also vintage from an estate sale. I stole it from the living room to fill up the wall space for the photos. But it looks so good there, I'm going to leave it. 

The armoire - which is HUGE - was made by my dad to house our gargantuan TV back in the day before flat screens. This is literally the only room in the house where it fits. It holds a lot of junk, which is good. And not so good.  

I had fun with this gallery wall. My husband has a strange collection of "anthropological" things, and one day I curated this small gallery for him. Yes, that is an actual coat of arms from his family's lineage. The desk below the display was my grandmother's.

I found the green lamp - which I love! - at a garage sale for $3. And the mid-mod end table? Free on the side of the road.

The fern was another item I stole from a different room. But, again, it looks too good in here to move back. I'll just have to buy another one.

The day bed was a recent purchase from Cost Plus World Market. It's not super fancy, and I hope to replace it with some cool vintage velvet find at some point, but for now it does its job well. And I love how the cream color brings lightness to the space. Oh- and the pillows and throws? Some are from Ross Dress for Less (I am not ashamed!) and some are vintage. 

So, now you know all the dirty little secrets behind this room. Hopefully it endears you so much that you feel an overwhelming urge to head over to Apartment Therapy right this second and give it your vote! Voting ends October 3rd. I'd be much appreciative if you can share the love. I promise to send it right back atcha.