Tackle The Living Room Window Wall: Update #1 (Not Happy)

In my “Tackle The Crap” series, I have set out on a mission to simplify my home, and make commonly used areas more functional and beautiful. To catch up, read here (where it started), and here (Tackle The Paperwork: My Kitchen Command Center), and here (Toy Storage Solutions)

I’m in the midst of an emotional design crisis. For some, getting upset about design just doesn’t make sense. It’s “not important”, they say, it’s “just paint” they say. But not me. I get so emotionally invested in design, that when something fails, I feel it. Maybe I need counseling. It’s kind of like sports. I see lots of people very much invested in a game. It’s “just a game”, right? Now, I personally have no investment in any sport ever, but we as humans do weird obsessive things. Like care about sports. Or care too much about wall colors.

As you know, I’m in the midst of tackling different areas in my home, including the living room.  I broke down the living room into smaller projects, so that I can do a little at a time.  The “toy storage” wall turned out great. In fact, I love it more than I imagined I would. That project was checked off my list, so I moved onto the “window wall”. Oh my gosh. Trouble in paradise. I have found myself in the thick of a design fail. I could seriously pull all of my hair out and scream for days.

I’ve shown this photo before, but here it is again in case you need a reminder as to what the “window wall” in my living room looks like:

window wall

And here it is again, exactly the same, except with my original design plan:

big couch wall blog

Above is the “before” photo. I wanted bright white walls, white sofa slipcovers, plants galore (or at least like one), and pops of color. The bright white (“Drifting Snow” By Glidden, color matched with Behr Quality) on the toy storage wall looks great, no problems. Here is a photo as a reference:

full view vertical

But on this window wall, it’s upsetting me. Which is actually an understatement. I literally cannot sleep at night because I am so annoyed at this window wall.

12179426_10208181754000516_463668295_n (1)

Clearly, my windows, moldings, and doors are MUCH darker/yellow/ugly/dirty looking than the bright white walls. THIS IS A PROBLEM. My living room is a mess, the couch is pulled out into the middle currently so that I have room to paint.


I can ignore the upper crown molding, but these windows, I cannot ignore. I decided to paint the inset of the window the exact green of the toy storage unit. I thought that going from tan to green would solve a problem. It does help, but not much. I will admit that the one thing I was trying to avoid all along, is painting the actual plantation shutters. I was trying very hard to work around them as is.


In theory, it makes perfect sense that the inset would be green. Green paint emphasizes the nook-ness of the window space, helps tie in colors around the room, it’s bright and refreshing, and it bridges the gap between my indoor space, and outdoor greenery. But oh no. No. No. No. Something is off. Like I hate it’s guts. I could cry.



See. Excuse the awful poor quality of these photos taken with my phone. But trust me, it’s not just the photo quality,  it’s just as bothersome in real life. In case you aren’t bothered by this, and in case you are confused why it even bothers me, it’s because the plantation shutters look dirty + the green is not working. The color palette is not connecting, and it doesn’t feel cared for or well planned. It’s just not working.


My meltdown in regards to this one wall doesn’t stop here.

Below is a photo of the slipcover I ordered.  I ordered a slipcover for my long couch from Ikea. It’s the Ektorp Sofa Cover in Blekinge White. Gray couches are lovely, just not mine. I have convinced myself that I need a bright white bleachable and washable slip cover. I feel set on that. Guess what? I didn’t measure until after I ordered it. It hasn’t arrived, but I know it won’t fit. 10 inches off length wise, and at least 5 inches off depth wise.


Why. Do. I. Do. These. Things.

Ikea has very affordable slip covers, but Ikea is two hours away from my house, so I had to order online. $14 shipping, down the drain. Plus, I’ll need to return this one once it arrives. I called them about six hours after I ordered it to cancel my order, but they said it was too late. OKAY WHATEVER IKEA. $14 shipping fee feels like a lot when it’s wasted. I could have gone thrifting with that! Plus, I still need to find a slipcover that works. Seriously, I can’t stand that many more weeks of yogurt stains on my couch without being able to wash them off in a washing machine.

Going forward:

One thing is certain, I can’t just let these little things go. I’ve tried. I sit and obsess about it all day long, I have to fix it. So, I’ve developed a plan.

1. Paint the plantation windows the same color as the walls. 

I’m not happy about this, but it’s necessary. They need to feel clean, bright, and airy.

I will be painting these as is, I’m not removing them from where they are. It’s scary, but I’ll do this carefully and slowly. Mike cannot be home when I do this. He will get worried, and stare, and question things, and become frazzled. I will then get sassy, because I have an attitude problem.

2. Paint the window inset walls a luxurious and rich off-white. Hints of gray, hints of white, and hints of cream. Glossy and fabulous. I’m not 100% sure if I want to paint all of the inset, or just the base. I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of  colors. Which was hard for me to do. I spent all day thinking about the exact color that made sense with the lighting that was in my living room in combination with the feel I want to convey. Something dramatic, yet easy on the eyes.


2. Paint the back door the exact same color as the window inset.


I’ll be unifying the space, and warming things up. This is not an overwhelming task, as I had intended on painting this door anyways. I will also be painting the trim around the door. I like bulkier old school look of trim + doors painted as a unit. Below are some photos of color palettes I find inspiring that incorporate bright white walls with off-white trim and doors. Also, notice how the doors are not only painted, but the trim around the door. I really like this look.


After spending the evening staring at these swatches tapped next to the door, and observing them in several changes of light (5pm- night fall), I’ve decided I like #3 the best. The third from the top. It’s “Campfire Ash” by Behr. I want to see how I feel in the morning, to make sure I still like the color the best in morning light.


3. New slipcover:

I will be returning the one I ordered, and searching for another. I probably cannot find a bright white bleach-able one, but I’m open to an off-white or raw canvas colored one. Just something I can wash.

4. Details.

I cannot even worry myself right now with small details. Pillows, art, throws, etc. That will have to wait. But just know, eventually, this wall will be finished.


So, this is where I’m at right now with my living room window wall. I will be posting more updates as I implement my new plan, and hoping it all comes together as I imagined.


One Comment on “Tackle The Living Room Window Wall: Update #1 (Not Happy)

  1. My Mom had a white slip cover my entire life with 4 young kids. People called her crazy but she swore by it cause you can bleach it! I have a white couch now too. It’s a good move, I hope you find a slip cover that works!!

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