living room reveal

We’ve been dreaming about this living room for years and working on it for about twelve months. You can follow our progress here and here and here. And, now, we’re finally finished!

Here’s what the room looked like when we bought the house 6 years ago.

There was a LOT of sea green! And the seating was awkward because the chairs were too far from the couch for a comfortable conversation. Plus there weren’t many places to set a drink, and there wasn’t any place to prop up your feet. There was no overhead lighting, which made the room feel like a dungeon on cloudy days.

After we closed on the house, one of the first things we tackled was the fireplace. My mom and I scraped the green paint off the bricks and the white paint off the mantel using some terrible chemicals and then painted the brick with watered-down wall paint. I love the final result!

We painted the walls a light gray and put our furniture in the room, but it still didn’t look fantastic. The furniture didn’t encourage conversation, and after we got a coffee table it was awkward to walk around it to access the sun porch.

About a year ago, we came up with a new way to orient the furniture that created a conversation area and carved out a walkway to the sunporch doors. We splurged on a leather couch and coffee table from Article, but most other additions to the room were much more affordable (links at the bottom of this post). We painted the walls a lighter color, added a chandelier from a thrift store, and had an electrician install can lights. Then John added board-and-batten along one wall.

And, now, this is the heart of our home . . .

I’m so happy with it! It feels like our home has gotten so much bigger, since we didn’t use this room very much before this renovation. But now I often work from the couch, and John and I have a glass of wine in here in the evenings. It feels cozy and serene.

My mom made a cushion for the window seat, and sometimes the kids sit here and read. (Sometimes they sit here and use their devices!)

We kept the antique radio and the cream-colored cabinet where they were. This cabinet houses most of my special food items, like low-sugar baking supplies, food dye, and cookie cutters. Surprisingly, I end up opening it almost every day, so I wanted to keep these items near the kitchen rather than moving them to the basement.

We didn’t change the fireplace, either, although I swapped some of the decor pieces.

My dad has taken up sculpture in retirement, and I begged him for this self-portrait. It looks exactly like him, especially with these extra glasses perched on his nose!

The chandelier was a lucky find! I picked it up at a thrift shop a few years ago, figuring I’d use it somewhere. It originally had a fake gold finish, but I dabbed on several layers of white and cream craft paint and chalk paint. John found these Edison lightbulbs, and I think they add the perfect touch.

We looked at more modern lights at a nearby lighting store, but in the end I decided this antique-type look fit our house better. Plus, it was nice to save some money!

You can see in the picture above that we need to repaint the ceiling because the electrician made (and patched) a bunch of holes. Maybe we’ll do that this summer. For now, though, I’m calling this room done!

The stars of the room are the bookcases built by John’s dad. They balance out the room and add interest. Even more importantly, they make the room feel like us!

I’m so happy to have this new, cozy space! Now that it’s all done, I can’t wait to have friends over and drink some red wine by the fire.


Wall color: Snowbound by Sherwin Williams

Board-and-batten: Lichen by Farrow and Ball

Couch: Sven by Article

Coffee table: Amoeba by Article

White chairs: Elroy Threshold chairs from Target

What spaces are you tackling in your home? I’d love to hear — please drop a note in the comments.

Enjoy the process!

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