Before and After: Living Room Reveal
Living room goes from plain and empty to a warm and welcoming space in this room reveal. Plenty of pictures to inspire... as well as a cleverly hidden TV!
I have news: The living room is finally, officially done!
As a quick recap, the living room originally looked like this:
It basically functioned as a workroom for small upstairs projects. As convenient as that was, I wanted a real living room.
And now I have one!!
Big difference, right? It can actually function as a real room, now!
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So, I have to admit that I had a severe hatred of the wall color of the original living room. It's a very unoffensive cream, but it's the exact same cream tinting my kitchen remodel a strange yellow, and so therefore, I hate it. It had to go.
I debated for awhile about what to do instead, but eventually took a leap and decided on a crazy "slap burlap on the walls" idea I had. Honestly, this decision was primarily based on laziness - I was tired of painting. But I'm so glad I went for it. It looks great.
Pretty much simultaneously I added vertical shiplap wainscoting around the room and painted the brass fireplace insert black. They were both inexpensive projects that made a huge difference in the overall look of the room. It was definitely worth the time it took to do them!
I actually didn't purchase a single piece of brand new furniture for this remodel. Everything was either picked up from a thrift store, built from scratch, or something I already had. Thus, the bulk of the six week time period consisted of me refinishing furniture to fit the new space.
I started with the couch. It was actually purchased by my parents as a birthday gift for me when I was in college. Eight years later, it needed a little love. I "reupholstered" it with some bleached drop cloths, and now that everything is done, I adore how it looks! Click here to see the full couch transformation.
For a bit of time, I thought the coffee table purchase was a major mistake. I picked it up for $15 at the thrift store, only to get it home and realize it was laminate. But... I managed to save it, and add some secret storage! I love it, and am so glad I accidentally picked it up!
I'm also obsessed with the antique chair I picked up for $35. When I took it home, the wood was super dark and the fabric was dark and dirty. The chair looks so much better with new fabric and a quick wood refinish job. It's actually really comfortable, and was my dad's favorite chair when he was here last week. Clearly a good sign.
I grabbed the grandfather clock the same day I picked up the chair. I was super nervous to complete this project; people have opinions about grandfather clocks. But this one A) didn't work, and B) was largely made of particleboard, so I tried not to feel too bad. Regardless, the refinished version fits the living room so well, I don't feel at all bad about stripping the "fine finish" it originally came with.
The standing teapot lamp was a quick project that I completed when I was in Wisconsin helping my dad open up our summer cabin. I found the teapot sitting around up there, and after getting permission to turn it into a lampshade, competed the project in a couple days.
Finally, the biggest, most expensive, and most labor intensive project was saved for last. This past week, I built that giant cabinet in the corner.
The cabinet is giant for a reason... it has a secret.
Yeah. It houses a TV. The TV Lift Cabinet was by far the biggest furniture project I've ever done, and I am so pleased with how it turned out! And I love that I was able to avoid putting the TV over the fireplace, which was seriously considered for quite awhile. I'm also super proud. Have I mentioned that? I planned and built a cabinet, and didn't mess it up. Major win.
Since I didn't have to put the TV over the fireplace, I could put this super cute moose up there instead! I found him at the thrift store (of course,) for a whopping $10, and seriously love him. Plus, a little sticker on the back implies he is actually "real art," aka, something that hung in a gallery at one point. I made the frame myself, and think it looks much nicer than the original frame the moose came with!
The other two pieces of artwork in the room were both things I already had, and are probably no longer on the market. They were actually purchased the same day as the couch all those years ago!
The curtains were one of the two things that were purchased from a real (not thrift) store! They're Ikea Lenda curtains, but I hacked them a bit to remove the tabs and add a liner. The curtain rods were a DIY build from dowel rods.
The second thing I purchased was the rug... I learned early on that it's near impossible to build an area rug for cheaper than what is commercially available, so I buy my rugs. This one I got off Houzz for around $200. I'm so pleased with it. It brightens up the room, but doesn't dirty easily like white rugs do. And, despite the texture, it's great to walk on!
Here's an approximate cost breakdown of what this remodel cost. Keep in mind that most of the furniture got a makeover before landing in the room, so what this makeover saves in money, it makes up for in labor!
- $150- Wainscoting
- $40- Burlap Walls
- $50- Curtain Rods + Rings
- $30- Couch Reupholster
- $70- Ikea Curtains
- $30- Teapot Lamp
- $320- TV Lift Cabinet
- $40- Rattan Chair
- $75 Coffee Table + Materials
- $50- Antique Chair + Materials
- $25- Grandfather Clock
- $200- Rug
- $10- Fireplace Paint
- $20- Pillows and Accessories
- $15- Small Side Table
The makeover came in around $1125, which seems like a lot until I go look at what it would have cost to furnish the room with new furniture... then it seems like a bargain! Plus, I love it, which is always a bonus!