Every room begins as an idea. That idea might be spurred by an image, a single décor item, a piece of furniture I can’t stop thinking about, or even just how I want a space to feel, but what starts as an idea soon becomes a fully fleshed out room design. Some people have the budget to see their design ideas through to the end all at once, while others, like us, executing a design takes time.
We’re coming up on our 3 year house anniversary and every room in our home is still very much a work in progress. I keep all my ideas and plans in a mood board and as time and budget allows, we execute those ideas one by one until hopefully, one day, the room is finished! And then once it’s “finished” it’s never truly finished – you know how that goes – but I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how our living room has evolved over the last 3 years here.
I hope that by explaining our process, you’re inspired to get started on a makeover of your very own – even if it takes years like us to see it through! Before we dive right in, I want to show you the living room from the MLS listing:
MOVE IN DAY (or shortly thereafter)
We knew going in that when moving into a new home not all our previous furniture would translate well in the new space and with that in mind, we were prepared to make some changes/additions to our belongings after settling in.
Here’s what the living room looked like after unpacking all the boxes:
After living with the above set up for a few weeks, we made note of the immediate changes we wanted to make: we disliked the fireplace tile, the wall color, and the eyeball looking lights on the ceiling, and the tasseled rug had to go because our robot vacuum was continually getting caught in the tassels – everything else was livable.
We didn’t waste much time before we knocked out some of the easy fixes like purchasing a new rug and painting the fireplace tile:
We purchased a media console that was large enough to fill the huge expanse of wall on the left, added a couple lamps, and brought in the glider from Emie’s old nursery to help fill out the space.
The beginning of 2020 was when our living room finally turned a corner. We swapped out all the ugly eyeball lights for some slim energy efficient LED ones:
And we had a fun opportunity come our way when we were able to work with Clare paint products to give our living room a big paint makeover. Clare continues to be a brand we use time and time again and I still can’t get over how this one simple fix really changed the entire trajectory of our living room:
After painting we swaped the discolored roman shade for this beautiful linen one and hung wrap around curtains to soften up the room:
Then we hung sconces above the fireplace, I thrifted a beautiful gilt mirror, swapped rugs again, and I brought in an antique chest underneath the window just to see…
Then in 2021 while pregnant and on bedrest, I did a lot of scrolling on Facebook Marketplace / OfferUp and stumbled upon not only that modern credenza under the window but also those Pottery Barn swivel chairs too:
The most recent change is the addition of a colored sofa that I bought sight unseen while also on bedrest – I guess I do my best work when bored in bed! Today the living room is much closer to the living room I’ve been envisioning for our family these past three years but despite being closer to where I want to be, we’re still not quite there but that’s ok!
One day I’d like to add a big potted tree in the back corner, and my dream table lamp for the credenza is way out of budget so I’m hoping to DIY something soon. I’d love to add some millwork to the fireplace façade, hang a statement light from the vaulted ceilings, and would eventually love to upgrade the coffee table too but…all in due time.
THEN VS. NOW
Part of the reason I love documenting our home is for this very moment – to see all our hard work and incremental changes come to life over a period of time. At times it can feel as if you’re not making any progress at all (and maybe you aren’t) but if you look back on all you’ve done, you’ll see just how far you’ve come: