My living room was one of the more labor intensive demolitions but the most satisfying to design. It was basically stripped to its’ bones but we did keep a few features, like the marble stone around the fireplace. Check out all the before and after pictures below, along with where I got my decor and fixtures.
The first thing to go in this room was the hideous (and disgusting carpet). Carpets are magnets for dust, hair and dirt. You may think your vacuum is getting it clean but trust me, it’s not. The previous owners had dogs and the carpet was embedded with their smell.
One of the biggest changes we made to the room was raising the ceiling. It was originally low with some open space above it but it wasn’t being utilized. Instead of having a small attic the original builder just wasted space. Once we ripped the sheetrock down we decided to vault the ceiling to make it the room look bigger.
The ceiling was raised about 2 feet and the beam that was once partially seen is now fully exposed. We ripped off the wood paneling that was originally on it and encased it in pine. I painted it white to match the neutral color theme of the house.
As you can see in some of the pictures above, the large entryways were added during construction. Originally in the front wall of the house there was one doorway sized cutout and two weird (and random) widow sized cutouts. The back wall that adjoins to the kitchen had a small (and I mean SMALL) doorway sized cutout. One of the first things I said to my dad was “This is not going to work.”
Originally we planned to close up the window sized holes and make the doorway on the front wall bigger but then there was some debate about whether to keep the cutouts and add shelves in them for storage. I nixed that idea. For the back wall we had planned to widen the doorway and then turn the one side into a breakfast bar since there’s not much room for a table. That idea got thrown out too and eventually we just decided to create an 8 foot entrance between each room. It ended up being the best choice because it lets in the most light and it’s the closest we could get to open concept, which is what I wanted.
I chose to go with a grey paint (Online by Sherwin Williams) for the living room. It’s one shade darker than what I used for my walk-in closet. I love how clean and crisp the white trim and fireplace look against the grey. The flooring was an easy choice because it’s the same throughout the house. I hate when homes have mixed flooring, laminate, wood and carpet. It’s an eyesore. By using the same flooring throughout the house it creates an open feeling. *Obviously I watch too much HGTV when I start talking about “open concepts”* The only room that doesn’t have this flooring in it is the bathroom because too much exposure to water can ruin the laminate. I chose a Pergo-type flooring (the boards click into one another) from Lumber Liquidators that was on sale for 89 cents/sq. foot. It cost a little over $1000 to do all the floors. There’s a few nicks here and there because we were still doing construction after we installed the floors but for the most part, they look perfect.
The lights/fans that now hang in the living room replaced the ugliest recess lighting I’ve ever seen in my life. They were similar to lights you see in school, with textured plastic covering. I picked up these 52 inch fans at Lowes and the glass around the light bulbs has a marble swirl. All the light fixtures in the house have this and it happened completely by accident. I didn’t know the lights had this accent until I opened the box. However, I like the little detail because it matches the marble tile around the fireplace. I went a little marble crazy and even picked up marble coasters (on sale for $15) from Kohls.
The majority of my furniture was free or found at thrift stores. The coffee table was $27 from a Habitat for Humanity Restore and with some black spray paint it looks brand new. The end table next to the the reclining couch was purchased for $25 at a flea market. Normally I wouldn’t pay that much for a used wooden end table but I loved the space it has below to hold books. I have more books than I can count and finding space for them is always an issue. I spray painted this black to match the coffee table as well.
Thankfully my parents gave me their old couches and recliner which saved me the trouble of searching for couches on craigslist. The painting and the shot glass holders (above the recliner) were given to me as well. The white bookshelf in the corner of the room was something I’d had for years. I was going to get rid of it but decided to store my cameras in it and use it as a place to hold my cactus.
The pillows are from Badwood, a designer that specializes in screen printing. She collaborated with Society 6 to create bedding but unfortunately is discontinuing her work with them. Check out her site though because she sells amazing clothing and will hopefully be selling bedding again soon. The white bookshelf next to the door to the walk-in closet was found on the side of the road (no shame). All it needed was a few coats of white paint to spruce it up and now it holds all of my cookbooks, DVDs and VHS tapes. Yes, I still have VHS tapes. Getting rid of original Disney tapes is practically a sin.
As you probably noticed, the fireplace was painted white. When I first bought the house it was rough, like someone used a textured brown paint on it. I sanded it down and painted it white to go along with the color scheme and to match the beautiful marble tile. (Can you tell I’m obsessed with the marble tile?) The candles on the mantle and infinity candle on the coffee table are all from PartyLite. The picture frames on the mantle are silver because I despise gold. I picked up a bunch of different styled silver frames from TJ Maxx. They each have intricate little details which make them more unique and though they cost more, they’re better quality than the cheap frames you can get at Walmart.
One of the last things we threw out were the green curtains. We kept them up during construction because we didn’t want nosey people looking in the windows. When the time came, I replaced them with white grommet curtains from Amazon. If you’re super curious about where I got everything pictured, the TV is from Target and the white blanket on the recliner is from Kohls (both Black Friday purchases).
There’s a few things I still want to add, like a colorful area rug, another painting, some more shelves…but for now this is what home looks like. Don’t forget to check out my bathroom and walk-in closet and stay tuned to see the rest of my home makeover. There’s four rooms left to reveal!
Feature photo originally posted on Instagram by me.