Tuesday, September 27, 2011

living room tour {with before and after pics!}

I’m so excited to show you our living room “before and after!” We started remodeling it in the spring, and I’m happy that after six months of working on it {including finishing those last few details}, we are finally done! Phew! I want to encourage those of you who are still renovating- it’s worth it!

We bought our home last year as a foreclosure, and the previous owners did not take great care of the house at all. The fireplace was falling down, the floors hadn’t been cleaned in ages, and there were several cracks in the drywall. I so wish we’d gotten more before pictures so I could show you! You never want to take pictures of ugly though!

I showed you the entryway a couple of weeks ago, so let’s do the full tour today!

the living room before:

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off-white trim, yellow walls, icky dark floors, and even with the warm walls, extremely dreary.

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and after all of our DIY blood, sweat, and tears work…

can we get a drumroll, please…

 

…….

the finished living room!

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We repainted the living room, refinished the floors {aren’t they uh-mazing! thank you honey!}, installed a new fan, and partially remodeled the fireplace. And we bought “new to us” furniture to go with everything! The leather couch was ours before {$350}, and the white furniture is all from Ikea- the couch, ottoman, and chaise, were only $400 from Craigslist. The green buffet is actually a vintage radio I’ve had for 10 years.

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The fireplace is now one of my favorite things about the house. When I told people how we were going to rip off the drywall and make a “feature wall” showing off it’s original look, I think they probably thought I needed to be committed. I mean, why would you tear off drywall? ;) I understand, though- I’d been longingly watching people recreate plank walls with mdf for over a year in blogland, and I’m sure they’d never heard of such a thing.

So you can imagine after admiring Layla and Kevin’s Lettered Cottage and their siding walls {new and old} for so long, when I found out I had amazing original 116 year-old planks behind my walls, I was little a more than thrilled!

Every wall in our house was built with horizontal tongue-and-groove planks {which make for an interesting time hanging pictures, btw!}. We tore down the drywall that had rippled and was coming off over the fireplace, painted and caulked the wood, and trimmed it out with molding. {oh, when I say we, I mean my husband- he is seriously my hero. The man is a genius. I help mostly by bringing him stuff, taking pictures, and telling him if it’s straight…what a job, right?} I’ll give you the play-by-play with pictures in another post. :)

The actual fireplace is marble, and the brick threshold is original as far as we can tell. It’s a little messed up from the last 116 years, but I am okay with that.

He also installed the sconces from Ikea. They are brushed nickel with white pleated fabric shades. The pleated shade reminded me of the 80’s at first, but it’s really grown on me, and I think it’s the perfect blend for this space. It’s not too modern, not too nautical. Perfect.

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The armoire was a Craigslist find for $200. The bird cage {ah, my lovely bird cage!} was a Goodwill steal for $25! I didn’t do anything to it. It was just sitting there waiting for me to come and buy it. Love at first sight.

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The reading/task lamp, I’m almost 100% sure it came from Pottery Barn. I’ve been wanting one for forever, but for $200, it wasn’t in the budget. I found this one at Goodwill for $7. The shade welding had come loose so no one bought it- all I did was just put it back on the right way, and it was as good as new!

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The coffee table was originally my friend Abbie’s- she redid her living room and sold it to me {and put a tufted ottoman in it’s place!}. I’d never had a single coffee table in my adult years, but now that I have a toddler I don’t have to worry as much about little ones hitting the edges {hooray for older kids!}. When I bought it, she told me it needed refinishing, but hey, I have four kids, so really, why bother? Right? It’s just got character at this point.

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The stained glass window made for a very interesting time picking the paint color {it ended up being “Sea Salt” by Sherwin Williams}. It was seriously difficult to find a perfect one- in fact, we painted the entire living room from top to bottom and it took me two days to decide I hated the first color. {Hooray for husbands that don’t leave when you tell them you want to repaint two days later!}

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The rug was from Lowe’s- it was on clearance for $150. I love it. It’s made from synthetic fiber, so it doesn’t shed, and it cleans up very well! I was so excited to find a rug that was so “me-” I love florals and neutrals, but not too traditional. Love.

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The old chair was a find from the best garage sale loot ever. The butterfly prints were from Marshall’s, $13 each.

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And here are a few more details like the webster’s flower wreath, a lamp from Home Goods- my first full-pricer! @ $40, basket from Ikea, vintage pillow from Goodwill, teal/blue throw from Marshall’s, sign from Hobby Lobby, $7, ottoman, a Craigslist find I had recovered- $80 total cost.

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Just for fun, let’s see that one more time, shall we?

before:

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after:

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*happy sigh*  :)

I’m so thankful for a very sweet man who spent hours working on this room for us. So thankful. He is amazing.

Remodeled living rooms really don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of life- they will be forgotten, get old and need repainting again. It’s all just stuff.

The only “things” that truly matter are the people who live here, and the memories of us doing just that- memories of existing here in this place, loving each other, being a family.  I think it’s a story we will all remember in eternity.

As to whether we will remember Sea Salt walls and old chairs and bird cages, I really don’t know. But for the moment, I’m thankful for the lovely setting as we all play our parts.

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