Living Room Re-Design – The Big Reveal :)

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you remember that WAAAAAAAAY back in early June my fabulous friend Sarah designed an inspiration board for us to makeover our tired looking living room.

Check out her suggestions and post HERE

We’ve been renting our little ranch dressing house for two years and early in the summer decided that instead of moving to a nicer place for now we’d stay put. The location is great and….we’re already moved and settled in. Jeff and I have both moved pretty much every year of our life since high school so to have been somewhere for two years is just heaven!

But the living room was drab and dark and just made me feel closed in. So fairy godmother Sarah made some suggestions to transform the space.

Well you wouldn’t believe it since it’s now November 11th but we did get started pretty shortly after that.

In late June we (and in this case for the most part I mean my dear sweet Husband Jeff since I was crazy with wedding season) got to work re-painting the living room to brighten and lighten it up.

We used Benjamin Moore “Creme Brulee” on the walls (2022-70) and “Shades of Spring” from the Pottery Barn Spring 2009 Collection. Decorator’s white went on the chair rail and trim.

Our cousin’s doggies Grit and Cole were visiting at the time so when we didn’t have them barricaded outside of the living room they were very helpful 🙂

Yes the living room got worse before it got better :)….it was total chaos for awhile!

After the painting we took a Sunday trip to look for rugs and furniture. We found an amazing steal of a rug at Targe’ for $30 and also purchased a Mission Style coffee table, TV Stand, and two matching side tables. Try as I might to find another matching rug (searched the internet, went into Targe’ stores multiple times) it was not to be so we just have the one.

The next step was an update to the drab curtains that had adorned our windows to that point. For some reason at the very beginning I decided to do it on the cheap so I bought panels at Ikea and then (internet world forgive me!!) cut off the bottoms so they wouldn’t drag….it wasn’t a pretty site!!

So one day in early July I took a cruise by Osgood’s fabric store in West Springfield….holy overwhelmingness Batman! Literally it was a warehouse filled with fabric from floor to ceiling – I almost fainted! Thankfully Sarah had given me some parameters and I had pretty much decided on what I was looking for so after getting lost for awhile I located the linens and picked out the colors below.

And then the fabric sat. And sat. And I looked at it. And was intimidated. And it sat some more. Finally I put a 911 call into Sarah and begged her to come visit for a day. I plied her with food and promises of fabulous company and kind person that she is she relented. So in the middle of August she showed up with not one but TWO sewing machines and we got to work. There was smoke and sparks (literally….her serger gave out in the middle of the day!) but after about ten hours of solid work (and an emergency trip back to Osgood’s for more fabric) the curtains were done. And we went out and ate A LOT of sushi to celebrate. I can’t tell you how they completed the room – they just looked awesome.

But we still had blank walls. I had analysis paralysis about which photos to hang so with my busy schedule I just kept putting it off. Finally I sat down and figured it out – so in early September we ordered all the pictures (and pulled some from our own collection) and voila….almost done.

We bought the frames and the mats and Jeff’s colleague from work kindly agreed to cut the mats for us. Well long story short she has had quite a busy fall so literally last night Jeff hung the final two big prints and the living room was complete.

We had a friend coming over so of course we made the place spick and span. It reminds me of those facelift commercials where the before pictures looked like the person literally rolled out of bed, no makeup, no hairbrush, and the after are retouched and airbrushed and everything….these before/afters are kind of the same way.

When I took the before pictures I had no idea it would turn into a blog post -I just took them to send to Sarah so she could see the space she had to work with…and obviously I didn’t tidy up whatsoever!

Ok – enough writing – onto the photos!!!!!

Jon painted this beautiful picture for us as a wedding present – we are sailing (Jeff loves to sail) towards Vermont with Strider and my camera in tow – we were thrilled to find a place for it in the new living room!

The vases/votive candle holders below are Tabbatha Henry – an artist in Vermont. They positively glow when a candle is lit inside them – beautiful!

One of Jeff’s family friends kindly had our wedding invitation framed as a gift to us….what an awesome idea!

Our wall of Italy!

Pretty amazing transformation right? I can’t tell you how much happier and lighter I feel when I walk into the room.

So the nitty gritty:

What we spent money on:
New furniture (2 end tables, coffee table, and TV stand via Target and table + 4 chairs via Craig’s list)
2 frames for our large Italy Prints (Michael’s – $20 each on sale!)
Fabric for curtains

What we scrounged from other parts of the house:
Decorative items
2 lamps (wedding present)
Frame Collection (wedding present….thanks Phil & Nancy) – Red Envelope

What we didn’t end up doing:
Buying new curtain rods (sorry Sarah!)
Re-wiring the lights in the dining area – we really don’t mind them that much
Recovering the old dining room chairs….I think that might send my Mother over the edge (they were my Grandmothers!)
Create a curtain to separate the kitchen (this will motivate us to keep it cleaner!)
Matchstick blinds – would be nice but just didn’t want to spend the $$
Buy a second rug for the living area….still haven’t found the perfect one
Losing the footrest completely (I removed it for these photos but we do use the room as a living area so will keep it….except when guests come over!)

This is by far my favorite part of the new room – all the photos are from our honeymoon in Italy this past May….happy memories 🙂

Close up of the awesome frame collection (available through Red Envelope) and given to us by Phil & Nancy 🙂

The painting on the left was also a wedding present

The photo on the left is one of our favorites from Daria & Andy

The one on the right is from the Amalfi Coast (can you spot Jeff??)

I also have two wedding canvases that can be swapped out when clients come over.

This photo doesn’t do the curtains justice – they really tie the room together and turned out beautifully!

So what do you think?

Hope it inspires you to get re-decorating!