Living Room Makeover -- Our Home Tour Part 2
Our living room design has changed a lot over the last 3.5 years. The first change we made was painting. When we moved in, the living room was painted this unpleasant orangey color. The kitchen was a standard off-white, and because we have an open concept there was a line down the wall where it transitions from living room to kitchen. We were not fans of the look at all. So we painted the entire room (and much of our house) in Benjamin Moore’s London Fog.
Our stair railing originally matched our kitchen cabinets, so it was a light maple color. Aaron painted it black, which we liked but thought it closed it in a little too much, so after a while, he painted the spindles and base white (Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, like our cabinets). We love the contrast of the white and black.
We also replaced the maple-wood colored blinds with dark wood blinds. Our downstairs is full of natural light thanks to all of the windows, and I absolutely love it. Again, we love the contrast of the darker blinds against the lighter paint.
When we first moved in, we had a dark “leather” couch from American Furniture Warehouse that Aaron bought me as a Wedding gift, so we had it in our previous rentals as well. Two summers ago the leather started to flake off, so we decided to replace it with a big, cloth sectional that we got from Costco. It is so comfy and fits so many people! We’ve bought a few furniture items from Costco and we highly recommend checking there. They sell high-quality items and their return policy is second to none! Their furniture is only available in store for a short time, so if you see something you want don’t wait too long to get it. We’ve missed out on a few things by waiting too long.
I love the fabric bar chairs that we found at Target for a great price a while after we moved in. They’re really comfortable, elegant, and give us extra seating when we host big events like Thanksgiving dinner. Their price point was also excellent; upholstered bar chairs can be pricey, but Target has a great selection at really good prices. We paid around $70, compared to $150+ at other places.
One of my favorite furniture replacements in our living room is our coffee table! When we first got married we bought this cheap hidden-storage “table” that we kept for years. It started to look really rough so last year we finally started looking to replace it. One of our favorite stores is Pottery Barn, but 99% of their stuff is far too expensive for our budget, especially their furniture. We found our current, real Pottery Barn coffee table on Craigslist from a family down in a very wealthy neighborhood south of Denver. New it would have cost over $1000, we bought it for only $200! This thing is SOLID. It was in impeccable condition when we bought it, and it has held up amazingly for us, with 3 little kids! Don’t be afraid to use Craigslist to find amazing deals on high-quality products. It’s worth waiting a while for the right one to come up; we searched for this style of coffee table on there for a month or more, and I’m so glad we were patient and didn’t settle for something less than what we wanted.
Another furniture upgrade we made was our TV stand/buffet table. Our original one was from Ikea, and we replaced the knobs with the mega-sparkle ones that our kitchen cabinets have (we love classy bling!). It lasted a long time, but we saw a gorgeous blue one at Costco that would go with our ocean theme perfectly, so we ended up selling the Ikea one and replacing it with this one. I am SO glad we did, it elevates the room so much and ties everything together.
The most unique decorative item in our living room is our genuine Cuckoo clock. When we were visiting my parents in Germany last summer (2017), we went to Triberg, Germany, which is in the Black Forest. Triberg is the original Cuckoo clock town, and we bought one there from the maker himself in his shop. He hand makes them and the detailing on all of them is incredible. It’s an item we hope to pass down to our kids, and their kids, for generations to come. Interestingly enough, you would be hard pressed to find a German with a cuckoo clock in their home; they’re pretty much just for tourists.
For a very unknown reason, the builder of our home put in this weird nook that is basically pointless. To help it make a little more sense we put a small table with some decorative items on it, as well as the subwoofer to our surround sound (all of the hookups are in there). The water shutoff is in a random storage place under the stairs and the access door is in the nook. To give it a little interest, we painted the back wall a deep blue-grey.
We love hanging mirrors in spaces; it makes them feel and look bigger and more open and adds some interest to an otherwise boring wall. The addition of the [floral] wreath with wire lights around it completes the look. Our Philips Hue lights are so fun too.
When we changed the floor in the kitchen and entryway, we contemplated doing the entire downstairs with it. Aaron and I both prefer carpeted living rooms and bedrooms though, as they feel warmer, cozier and more welcoming, so we kept it as is and added a big, thick cream rug for added texture. We will eventually replace the carpet, but we’re waiting until the littles are a little less messy.
The most recent change that we’ve added was a curtain on the back wall next to the couch. I love the warmth that it adds to the room, and of course, a little touch of sparkle with the curtain rod.
Last but certainly not least, one of the biggest statements in our living room is our front door. The original was a boring, builder-grade 6-panel metal security door that was white on the inside and maroon on the outside. To be frank, it was ugly and mega boring. Last year we switched it out for this beautiful dark wood door with a decorative glass insert. Adds another touch of elegance while bringing in even more natural light.
The changes that we’ve made to our living room over the last few years have been relatively subtle but have made a big impact. To us, home design is all about the little details; they add up to make something beautiful and interesting to look at. Function is important as well, especially as a young family, so we try to find beautiful pieces that make life a little easier for us.
What are your favorite living room trends right now? Leave us a comment and let us know! If you missed the first part of our home tour, our Kitchen Renovation, check it out now! For a home project that didn’t go quite as planned, head over to this post here.
Click on the Cuckoo Clock to see how we survived an international flight to Germany with 3 kids under 6!