Next up on our tour of #ThePalmHouse is the living room! The living room is the center of the home, where you, your family and friends gather to spend quality time and enjoy each others company. At #ThePalmHouse that's exactly where the living room lies on the floor plan, smack dab in the center of the home. It's also the very first thing you see as you're walking up to and into the house so we wanted to make as much impact as possible.
The goal - create a "WOW" moment as soon you walk through the door. We put some extra time and effort into the exterior to help with this "WOW" moment but that reveal is for another day. First up with this living room + entry - relocate the front door. Originally the front door was off in an odd hallway that made you have to backtrack to get to the main living areas of the home. Not good. The living room has a massive fireplace that we centered the front door on to create some symmetry and calm our OCD. We also added two huge windows on either side of the front door to bring in as much light as possible.
Once we moved the front door, the first thing you see as you walk into the home is the fireplace and we knew this needed to be a seal-the-deal moment. To follow the modern farmhouse vibe throughout the house, we decided that a beautiful juxtaposition between a polished marble and rustic shiplap was the way to pull at buyers heart strings. Because we hate random design elements, we loved the idea of being able to tie the marble in with the backsplash in the kitchen and the shiplap in with the kitchen's vent hood (remember seeing that in our kitchen reveal post?). We chose a cool, Bianco marble and had our tile guys leave the smallest grout lines possible (>1/8") to create the look of slab vs tiles. It elevated the look without having to spend thousands of dollars to achieve it.
Another element of the fireplace that might not be the first thing you notice but is an interesting design piece, the air vents. This home is OLD and with that comes challenging parts to it. Initially we wanted to try to eliminate the four vents that flank the firebox but when we found out we were going to have to basically redo the whole fireplace, we went back to the drawing board. The vents are necessary, to you know, warm up the house, and we want them to be pretty to look at but not steal the show. We decided on some vintage-inspired vents and had them painted to match the wall color so they compliment the design but also blend in. We're pretty happy with the final product and even ended up being happy we didn't eliminate them!
One of the biggest "WOW" pieces of the living room was the floors. We kept the original floors, added matching floors where we ripped up laminate/vinyl/carpet and worked with our flooring team to get a custom stain. The floors are original so they've had almost 70yrs of sun bleaching and wear on them but because they're old that also means they were made like floors used to be to made - thick and sturdy. This allowed us to sand them down to get rid of as much of the sun bleached damage as possible and get to the beautiful, raw grain (see the picture below - top left you can see the sun bleach made the floors a deep orange color!) The floors were a fir species, and if you've never stained fir, it reads red - really red. Beautiful graining but the color can be a bit tricky. Luckily we were able to get the right mix of stains after a few tries to get the warm, golden color we were dreaming of! Another (some would say) negative of fir floors - it takes stain unevenly. Our flooring team was like, "the darker you go the more splotchiness you will get so, how about these light colors." But we wanted splotchy. It added some of the character back into the house in a way that really beautifully complimented the updated design! The newly refinished floors seemed both new and old - the perfect balance for this old palm plantation house! In the end, the back and forth and hard work on the part of our flooring team paid off - the floors were something everyone who walked the house loved!
For the wall colors we didn't want a white that was too stark so we went with Sherwin Williams 'Snowbound'. We complimented the walls with a bright white with no undertones, on the baseboards and ceiling. The thought was to have the walls read like a grey-white with a tiny bit of distinction where they met the ceiling and baseboards. It's a way to add contrast without committing to a color.
Thanks so much for following along with #ThePalmHouse reveals and leave us a comment below! Stay tuned for the guest bath reveal coming soon!
The HHI Team