The Finished Product!

Part 1 of the living room redo is here.

I am so, so happy to report that the living room redo is finished! Well, almost. There is a bit of minor accessorizing to be done yet, but that will happen as I find things I like.

I approached this project like a house flipper would, which is difficult because we live here, and I was so pleased that the hours and hours I have invested in HGTV and TLC shows have finally paid off. I know they always advise to have a budget and stick to it. However, there was no budget for this room because it was an unplanned makeover, so I really tried hard to keep the expenditures to a bare minimum. And in the end, all I bought was 2 curtain rods, 3 curtain panels, and all the paint we needed. No new mantle, even though that was the original plan for where money would be spent.

I started by painting the fireplace wall a dark taupe, and I really like the color. The remaining three walls are a lighter taupe (two notches down on the color card). I first painted the mantle the lighter of the two colors, and while I honestly liked the look of a light mantle against the dark wall, the light paint did not do our ugly mantle any favors. The mantle is distressed (on purpose, from 1979) and the light paint really highlighted all of its faults. So instead, I painted the mantle the darker of the two colors, which Matt’s mom originally suggested! It looks so much better. What I really want is a mantle that gets your attention in a good way, and frankly, this one is never going to do that. So making it blend in is a much better choice.

I decided that spending some money on window treatments, which were also ugly in the old room, would be a good idea. The one window in the room had old mini-blinds on it, and I pretty much just tried to ignore it. But the sliding door was the worst…the actual door is pretty new and looks nice, but there were hideous vertical blinds on it. They had to go. I’m really happy with what I found for pretty cheap; I did tone-on-tone to just make them more appealing to more people as far as putting this house on the market is concerned (though I found lots in just three stores that I liked even more, they were more expensive and more just my taste, and I really was looking for broad appeal here).

And I almost forgot!  We removed the old wrought iron railing that separated the kitchen from the living room.  There was one like this in our entryway into the playroom, too, and we took that one out years ago (why we didn’t do both at once, I don’t know).  With our furniture we still have to block that opening, but I think it gives the appearance of a larger room.

That means that the only totally nasty thing (besides the mantle) left in this room is the 1987 brass and oak ceiling fan!  We’re getting close to removing all of the dated stuff.

Here are the after pictures.

curtain panels just pull to the side during the day.

curtain panels just pull to the side during the day.

so much better without the old dirty mini-blinds!

so much better without the old dirty mini-blinds! also, someday, when we're grown ups, no more torchiere lights (at least this isn't from college and it isn't a halogen lamp).

an improvement.

an improvement.

jack henry's loving having the living room back!  here he's chilling for a few minutes after waking up from a nap.

jack henry's loving having the living room back! here he's chilling for a few minutes after waking up from a nap.

where the railing used to be...that wall to the right could probably come out, too, but that's too much work.

where the railing used to be...that wall to the right could probably come out, too, but that's too much work.

big picture.  try not to notice that the kids have already started to trash it 14 minutes after it was usable again.

big picture. try not to notice that the kids have already started to trash it 14 minutes after it was usable again.

15 responses to “The Finished Product!

  1. LOOKS GREAT!! And, yeah, I have a torchierre light in my living room, too. One of these days…

  2. The curtains ALONE make a world of difference; I didn’t even know you were taking the old blinds down! Good move. Having seen just a small test area of paint beside the fireplace, I knew it would make a big difference–a richer, updated look.

    Can’t get over the space from the wrought iron! I think you’re right about busting that little wall area out–would improve the openness but not worth your time/money at this point.

    For a minimum of $$, good job!

  3. I’m sure Kevin could help you bust out that wall! ha!

    It looks good!! I love the curtain panels, too!!

  4. It looks great! I’m so glad that your first choice of colors were winners. 🙂

    My only concern about that wall (which you already said you aren’t going to remove) is whether it is a load-bearing post. Maybe you’ve already had someone check that out.

  5. Looks Good! – Are you for hire?

  6. Very nice! I especially like the window treatments! BTW, I saw some fabulous home accessories at TJMaxx the other day. That store rocks.

  7. You must be thrilled with the result! It looks great!

  8. Looks Great Nic!! Also if you would take that little wall out, It would look weird having the little end table and couch stickin out… or however it would be arranged.

  9. fab.u.lous! great job. sara t…you should rent her out to do your dream fireplace….

  10. That turned out great! Nice fresh, neutral look. And for the record – I have a halogen lamp. Brat. 🙂 But why WERE these so popular in college? What did we have against a regular lamp?

  11. Why am I struggling to remember the railing??? Are there old pics of that? I need to look. Geez, I was just at your house but am not remembering this. . .

  12. Nicole! It looks great!! See…wasn’t it worth all the work 😉

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