I’m finally sharing my living room progress. I’ve been dragging my feet because, well, I’m still working on my photography skills. The room feels so good in person, but I can’t seem to capture the right images. I’m trying to be patient with myself as I learn the right height, exposure, and settings. I used a wide-angle lens for all the shots, which I think contributed to some of my problems (some of the images look a little distorted – like the proportions are off). I also think I should have tried to capture photos on an overcast day, as I was battling bright light for some of the pictures. Nevertheless, let’s talk about and celebrate the progress of this room. It makes me very happy, and I just like spending time here.
Let’s start with the before pictures because it’s always fun to see how things have changed. This first photo is from the real estate listing. The room was bright, painted white, and had wood trim. This room is not large by any account. It opens up into the dining room and has a doorway into the entryway (you’ll see that in some of the photos below).
Right before we started demo, I snapped some quick photos on my phone. They are dark (it was a cloudy day), but it gives a good sense of the overall room size. The first photo looks into the dining room, and the second one looks into the living room from the dining room.
Here is a quick shot after we removed the carpet and prepped it for the hardwood flooring installation. I had also painted the walls (Asiago by Valspar) and trim (Ultra Pure White by Behr). These small changes started to make it feel like a different room.
We installed the white oak hardwood flooring, and I was over the moon excited. Sadly, this is how it sat for a couple of months while we worked on the dining room and all the trim work.
After some delay, we finished it off by installing larger baseboard trim and quarter round around the perimeter.
And now the official after photos – all furnished!
We had all the furniture and accessories before the demo, so we just put everything back into place. These two chairs are from HomeGoods (one is Charlotte style by La Z Boy, and the other is from a manufacturer I’ve never heard of). I had the two chairs flank the window and put a small table between them. I searched for months for the right table because I needed something relatively short as I didn’t want to block the window. The floor lamp is from Target (years ago), and the wicker basket under the table stores some board games.
You can also see the doorway to the entry at this angle. Don’t mind our shoes (hey, this is real life!). You’ll also see that the entry has old hardwood floors and unpainted wood trim. We are installing the hardwoods room-by-room, so the entry will eventually get the new floorings/trim, but for now, it’s in an in-between phase.
Here is looking into the living room from the entry. Our XL DIY art is on full display here. The coffee table is from Hayneedle (no longer available), and it’s topped with a large blue woven tray. Of course, it’s full of magazines. They seem to be taking over the house these days. The rug is from Overstock.com, and I love it. It’s textured, soft, and has two different weaves that create a nice striped pattern. Quick disclaimer – I ordered an 8′ x 10,’ but the dimensions are slightly smaller. I ordered the “bleach” color.
Looking into the living room from the dining room, you see an old console table (I think it’s 10 years old!). We bought it for our first house, and it has moved with us everywhere. It’s starting to show its age, so I may replace it or do a DIY makeover. I use it to display a bunch of family photos. I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll repeat it. Kate Spade’s home tour really inspired me. She had a table just crammed full of family photos, and I thought it was so sweet. It’s not necessarily the most “beautiful” thing, but it’s probably one of the happiest moments in the room. We also have some baskets which store my son’s craft supplies. I threw blankets on top for a little more grown-up look.
As I said, the living room is pretty small. With a different layout, I could have included a full-size sofa but decided to use a loveseat (also a HomeGoods find) instead, so it could float in the middle of the room and face the chairs. I wanted this space to feel intimate and be an area for people to have conversations and play games.
It’s always fun to take a few detailed shots. I love snails (you’ll see them throughout the house). This little wood snail is from Target (many years ago now).
I really like the piping and texture on this blue pillow.
This room is done for now. Eventually, I’ll change out the blinds for a bamboo shade, replace or refinish the console table, and layer in more art on the walls (I already have a ton that I just need to frame and hang). Also, let’s do a sneak peek of the dining room because it’s almost done, too! EEK!