Hope you’re all staying safe and healthy during this quarantine. What crazy times we are having right now. It’s definitely overwhelming and can be really consuming. To take my mind off of it and put it to better use, I am putting together this living room transformation blog!
Scroll on down for the pictures, but I wanted to share a little behind the scenes of the transformation! When we initially walked into the house, we were definitely wowed by the faulted ceiling and skylights and saw the potential of this living room. But it. needed. work.! It had a bar IN the room, for cryin’ outloud. And though my husband and I like to have some drinks/wine, we don’t need a bar IN the living room! This was also a waste of space because we wanted a bigger laundry room and the existing one was really small for the house.
The room also had globby popcorn ceilings, weird chair rail that couldn’t be painted over, a fireplace that was just completely dated, and a low ceiling from the kitchen that also featured a pointless railing. The carpet needed to go and all the trim, from the baseboards to around the window, needed to be replaced. It was going to be a lot of work, but we knew it had the good bones to become what we wanted. We also wanted a big ole mantle over the fireplaces, with matching shelves on the sides of the fireplace, to give it character.
So here’s what we (our contractors) did! They opened up the wall from the existing “living room bar” and expanded the entry from the garage and laundry room into a big combination mudroom/laundry room (more to come on that!), and dry walled in the old bar area to make ONE single room. They scraped and re-mudded the entire ceiling to get rid of the popcorn effect. The chair rail around the room was ripped out and also had to be re-dry-walled. The carpet was ripped up and the same wood floors were run throughout the entire first floor (sans mud room/laundry room) to keep it open and cohesive and create a nice flow. The walls were repainted and we used the same color throughout the vast majority of the house (Sherwin Williams “agreeable grey” @50% — this made it a bit lighter than just using “agreeable grey” as it usually is). The doors to the connecting sunroom were torn off to create an open space. And the we chose a thick square stock trim for the baseboards and around the window. We decided to forego a ceiling fan in lieu of a cool light fixture that would anchor the room. It was the first purchase we made for the house and we just love it!
There were a couple of tricky parts to this room. First, the ceiling from the kitchen into the living room felt low. When I walked the house and figured out what I wanted to do with it, that was on my lists of “musts.” I wanted anything that could be opened up, opened up. I like when spaces feel open and airy so I wanted to make sure that we could do this. There had to be some enforcement beams installed to do this and some of the dry wall around the perimeter had to be fixed from improper installation when the home was built.
Then, there was what to do with the fireplace. My original idea was to dry wall the upper 2/3 or so of it and create some framed out boxes and leave the bottom brick and just paint it white. That way our new mantle would separate the two and create a cohesive look. I have to give my hubs credit here, he pushed for keeping the brick all the way throughout and painting it. In the end, we decided we wanted to keep the character of the house and we’d try it out. If we thought it looked terrible, we could always dry wall it later. The fireplace had to be cleaned out, re-painted on the inside and out, and new fireplace logs installed. It was a process!
The mantle was then created out of elder wood, along with the matching floating shelves. We chose a walnut colored stain for them because we wanted some contrast from the floor and a bit of dimension. We had to get a special kinda tv so that we didn’t have to drill into the fireplace for the wires. This one comes with just one clear wire and connects to a box where you hook up all your devices. It also has this cool ambient mode that you can put a picture up (like the crane I love to throw on) and have some nice little artwork instead of just a tv.
We couldn’t be happier with the end result. We love raising our family here and having cozy night on the couch with a glass of wine together. It’s our living room, and we love living in it. We can’t wait to someday entertain our family and friends again and have them enjoy this space with us.
Before and after pics + direct links to everything listed below
Comments or questions on our reno? Leave them below!