Living Room Renovation: Progress!


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Remember when you said you’d still love me if I showed my “almost-but-not-quite-yet-finished” rooms?

That an almost done room is as lovely as a perfectly done room?

I hope that still holds true, because my living room falls into that category.  While stage one (the fireplace/bookcases) and stage two (paint the walls) are finished, I still have stages 3 and 4 to complete before I can say we are totally 100% done.

And let’s be honest.  By that point, I’m sure I’ll want to change something– so really, a room is never 100% done!

Let’s take a quick trip back in time to see what we started with:

Yikes.  Dark brick, unsafe ledge, broken fireplace, wires everywhere, old t.v. with glass doors to break, zero storage, awkward furniture arrangement… I could go on and on.  While we have an outdated kitchen, at least that space is functional.  Our living room was barely functional for our busy and curious family of four.  Those glass doors on the t.v. stand would have lasted a week once Bee started to crawl!

Without further ado, here’s the living room renovation thus far:

Remember this wall of brick, with the sharp hearth that ran the length of the room?

It now looks like this.  Note that they had to build a beam above the bookcases to match the other ones on the ceiling.  It’s true that details do matter, I had no idea how to deal with the beams until the contractor came up with the idea to build one to match.  We were going to paint them all white, but now I think they add a nice contrast:

The broken fireplace?

Ta-da!  Converted to gas.

Our DVD “storage” that Noodle rearranged every time she was in the room?

Woot!  Now safely hidden behind cabinet doors (and safety locks).

We really had no storage before, so imagine how thrilled I am with two large bookcases for storage and to display special things.

Furniture arranged so no one could face each other, and only a few seats could view the t.v.?

Fixed.  It really is true that floating the furniture is not only okay in a space, it really makes everything look bigger {and we purchased a new sectional for a great price, but it won’t be delivered for a few more weeks.  It will basically go where the couch and loveseat currently sit.}

As for the t.v. that was like an elephant– an elephant with wires hanging out and glass doors to swing on–

On the wall, baby!  I realize putting a t.v. above the fireplace is the biggest decorating faux pas there is, but quite frankly I’d so much rather have it out of the way than in a place where the kids could get hurt or accidentally break it.

{let me just state that because I’m super-compulsive that t.v. is anchored six ways to Sunday.  Not only will it not easily come off, but you’d need a chain-saw to do it.  SO DON’T EVEN TRY TO STEAL IT, CREEPY BLOG STALKING BURGLAR!  Not that you’d get past our alarm system or mean cat, but if you did you wouldn’t be able to get it off the wall.}  This isn’t directed to my dear readers, of course.  Just the odd blog stalking burglar that might be reading.

As for the color, I don’t know why I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  Had I just done “Misty” like you suggested I think I’d be happier.  But noooooooooo I had to add a drop of blue, and now the wall color reads “gray/blue” instead of “is it gray or is it blue?”  I might change it this summer to a true gray, or go back to my comfort zone of tan.

On the to-do list:

hang something here
 finish this gallery (I have a few handcrafted surprises to share…) 
plus find a console table for the wall– I’ve been scouring thrift shops
spray paint this side table, but the temperature needs to get above 50 degrees for me to do that.  I’m thinking glossy black, any other ideas?  Should I go for a bold color?
 One last look at the progress so far.  It’ll be interesting when the new sectional arrives!  Especially since we have a cat with very sharp claws…

We are loving it.  This renovation has doubled the time we spend here as a family.  It’s so much more comfortable and welcoming, not to mention safer.

In case you are new to the blog, here are the previous posts about the renovation:

Part I, The Problem
Part II, The Plan (some great inspiration photos!)
Fireplace Fantasies (information about our new gas fireplace insert)
Renovation, Week One
Wall Color

What do you think?  I totally blew it on the wall color, didn’t I?  I really should write an entire post about the tile because you wouldn’t believe how hard that was to choose.  Most comments I get about it are of the “wow, that tile is… interesting…” variety but truthfully I love it.  It’s the perfect mix of modern and rustic; it fits in both a traditional and more contemporary decor.

Okay, enough rambling.  Anyone want to come over and sit by the fire with me?  I’ll make the hot cocoa!

Linked to Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch… come join the fun!

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  1. I’ll be there in 5 minutes. LOVE LOVE LOVE how it turned out!!!!!!!

    Do you have marshmallows?

  2. It looks great! I love the random shots of Noddle. Oh, and stop painting your walls. The color looks great.

  3. Oh my gosh, I am drooling! I am so in love with your new living room. We are in the process of moving and I can’t wait to see what new projects that house will have for us.

  4. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the renovation, but I can see you’ve made some beautiful choices! Good job!!…Wish I could get there for the cocoa!! ^_^

  5. Oh my goodness! Money indeed well spent! What a huge improvement. I can tell you all will use that room a lot more now.

  6. Yay, I got a Noodle fix! (LOVE that child’s nose!)

    The room is looking fabulous, and the flow is so much better. I’d definitely spray paint that side table something that pops. I mean, if you hate it, another $4 can of Krylon will fix that, right?

  7. Love it! Amazing transformation. As for the table, go for a pop of color and let the orangey-red bowl be your guide!

  8. This is unbelievable!!!! What a difference! I love the white built ins and dark wood beams…I was so happy to see that you kept those beautiful pictures of the kiddos somewhere in that room! 🙂 I found you from Naps on the Porch!

  9. Your living room is gorgeous! I found your blog at Between Naps on the Front Porch. You have such great ideas and I’m your newest follower! I’d love it if you’d follow me back:
    Again, you did a fantastic job with this!! 🙂

  10. Wow! I can see the big changes you made in your living room even thought it is not yet done. I like it so much. It is more organize now and the ambiance is quite lively compared before. I’m looking forward what your coach will look like.

  11. I love it! Would you mind telling me how tall your wall is and how wide?

  12. Can you tell me how you got rid of the brick wall?
    Did you ever consider painting the brick? You can tell me if that is the worst idea ever!

    1. Clare, you read my mind when it comes to the brick! YES, I very definitely considered painting it, but for some reason couldn’t bring myself to do it. When we finally had the living room redone, they contractors knocked out that ledge at the bottom but kept the rest of the brick wall. Then they constructed the bookcases over top of the brick. I forsee someday, like 50 years down the road, someone will be renovating our house and be like, “WOW! I can’t believe this beautiful brick was hiding under these old bookcases!” But to us, the brick was really ugly and not a pretty brick at all.

      When it comes to painting brick, it’s a slippery slope. We weren’t sure this would be our ‘forever home’ and I didn’t want to make a big mistake by painting over what some might consider a good ‘feature’ of the house. I don’t think painting the brick is a bad idea at all– I probably eventually would have done it if we hadn’t gone ahead with the big renovation. It’s a very inexpensive and quick way to fix a dark wall. At the end of the day, it’s your home, and if painting it will make you happy then go for it!

    1. It’s been 2 years now and I can’t remember the exact name but I know I got it special ordered at Home Depot. We LOOOOOOOVE it!

  13. Where did you get the bookcases or were they custom made? Did they com with the cabinets?
    They are beautiful and the room looks great!

    1. Thank you! They were actually custom made. We had a carpenter in and do the work because it was quite a bit above my DIY skill level!

  14. Hi Carrie! I’m several years late to this thread so I hope you’re still responding! I am having the exact same thing constructed in my house and LOVE the look you have here! The one thing that is driving me crazy is my second guessing of the dimensions that will achieve such a clean look without creating a tunnel vision to the TV. Could you tell me how deep your shelves are? Also, how wide and tall are the doors at the bottom? Thank you in advance!!! 🙂

    1. Hi, we’ve sinced moved so I’m sorry but I don’t have those dimensions any more. 🙁 I believe the tv was 55 inches though, if that helps visualize it.

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