Living Room Makeover

** Addendum: If you're interested in seeing further updates to the living room, check out this post. **
 
Remember how last week was supposed to be living room makeover week? Yeah...well, a day (or week) late and a dollar (or more) short. That's me.
 
Even though it's not finished (it won't ever be "finished," that's part of the fun!), I've loved incorporating a variety of living room ideas that have resonated with me into this space. This has been a slow process for me (going on six years now)...I wonder what the next six years will bring...
 
So. Buckle up for transformation time. This minivan lady can haul.
 
It's a pretty basic/modest living room design; here's the room before:
 
 
You guys, so many things about the setup above I want to address but am almost embarrassed to. Furniture pushed up to the walls and a wiiiiiiide open No Man's Land in the middle of the room, the blinds-only windows, the plant with a single huge stalk being held up by the wall (whut the...), the grossly undersized clock above the mantel, the two 80s track lights, the unintentional focus on an unused stark fireplace, the blah-ness of it all.
 
 
 But here's the thing. We didn't have money (or it wasn't a priority) for a huge one-stop living room overhaul. I've had lots of living room decorating ideas over the years, though, so we've changed things up and out, one piece at a time. 
 
Over the course of a few years, the living room coming closer to how I actually want it. It's certainly not perfect now, but here's where we're at today:
 
 
 
We've changed a lot (starting with the color scheme), and it's still a little busy. But I love it so much more as a room that's closer to what our family is all about.
 
 
 
We changed the paint color (BM Phoenix Fossil 3/4), added ceiling-to-floor drapes (Amy Butler), added bookcases to flank the fireplace (Ikea) and painted the backs, changed out track lighting...for more track lighting (Lowe's), added a large mirror above the mantel (TJ Maxx), added a rug (Overstock), added old & new furniture, and did some DIY projects (sunburst mirror, reading lamp, throw pillows, etc.).

 
I love how mixing old and new tells "our" story. Like my gramma's ottoman that I recovered with an Ikea sheepskin, this vintage trunk as a coffee table, the reupholstered thrift store tulip chair, the bookshelves filled with books and objects from my childhood (which are now weaving themselves into the childhoods of my own children).
 
 
I'm working on trying to increase the calmness of a space by being well-edited. Not there yet, but I'm learning my own style as I go.
 
 
 
 
 
It's a work in progress. For life. But a fun work in progress!
 
 
Some projects still looming: slipcover the grey loveseat, find another lamp (or pair of lamps) for the white sofa, make the bookcases look more built-in, and redo that light blue side table.
 
 
 
What people see immediately when they walk through our front door into our entry way:
 
 
I don't think decorating a living room space is ever "done." At least, not for me. Which...hooray! Because changing things up brings me joy.
 
 
Annnnd, one more time. Just because it's like a cyber-pat on the cyber-back:
 
 
Addendum: I'm constantly changing things up... Exhibit A: This sneak peek into the most recent living room changes:
 
 
If you're interested, check out my most recent living room update, some of my other room makeovers, or the full (yet incomplete) house tour
 
Have a wonderful week!
xox 
 

 
 
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also shared:











TDC Before and After
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56 comments:

  1. I think that transformation is definitely pat on the back worthy!

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    1. Cossette, you're nice! I have to admit I was a bit surprised to pull up my "before" photo to see how bland it was. I love how style evolves over time.

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  2. It looks so great, Brittney. really.
    two thoughts:

    1)love the bookshelves flanking the fireplace

    2)first pic: the saddest houseplants in the history of living rooms. But they were so sad that I laughed. Poor plants! And all the plants in the transformed room look lovely. :) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I know, right? funny sorry about that sickly corner plant...it was actually healthy and awesome until we loaded it into the truck to move here. TOTALLY didn't survive the short drive across town in the wind. I thought we could revive the one stem that survived...nope. Couldn't. And embarrassed our new homeowning selves in the process by keeping it... :)

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  3. Absolutely LOVE IT! You even got a 'holy crap - that's awesome' from my husband. This from the man who doesn't notice pictures on the wall and then comments 'oh that's a cool picture - is it new?' yes, new 5 years ago when we moved into our house. :) Pat on the back, high fives and a round of applause worthy!

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    1. Haha! I'll take a "holy crap" husband compliment any day. :) Thanks, Allison. This comment made my day.

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  4. Wow...Brittany you get an A+++ for this design! It may have taken some time but well worth it! Your room is so hip but remains very cozy. Super job! Visiting you from the BeColorful party!

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    1. Thanks for your nice comment, Barbara. I do want a cozy home, so I'm glad that's a vibe that "reads" through these photos.

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  5. What an amazing transformation! You've done a great job pulling your living room together. The impatient part of me would like to complete a room all at once, but I'm always much more pleased when I force myself to take it slow.

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    1. Haha! I'm super impatient, too, Suzy...but for many reasons, I had to change or add just one thing at a time. There have definitely been some crazy (and, therefore, short-lived) experiments in this room. That's kind of what makes decorating so fun, don't you think? The journey.

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  6. Here from 'Motivated Monday'....just wanted to let you know that that is one of the best makeovers I've ever seen! It looks spectacular and you should be soooooo proud!

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    1. Awww, super nice of you to say, Carol-Anne. I'll tell you what would make me so proud though: getting the laundry folded AND put away all in one day. I think I've accomplished that maybe three times in the past 11 years. Sigh. A girl can dream, though, right? :)

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  7. I actually said, "Wowwwwwww" right out loud as I scrolled down from the before to after photo. NICELY done. Love the rug and draperies especially. Thanks so much for sharing this on BeColorful this week.
    p

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    1. I'm going to be honest here...I love that I'm not the only one who talks to my computer screen sometimes. :) Thanks for your comment! Made my day.

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  8. What a fabulous makeover! It looks so warm and cosy now - so inviting!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Jill. I actually think the room's a little overstuffed with holiday decor, but my kids (and I) wouldn't have it any other way at this time of year. :)

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  9. It looks like such a fun room to be in! Personally, I think rooms like these {that seem to take for. ev. er. to put together} are often the best because they feel more authentic. more collected. Ya know? And, as far as not being done yet and wanting to tweak some more, that's half the fun! As they say, a room is never really done.

    http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com

    P.S. Stopping by from New Nostalgia's Anti-procrastination Link Up

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    1. Totally agree with everything you said, Alana. A room has to evolve to be authentic, fo' shizzle. Also, you can't get more UNauthentic than saying "fo shizzle." Go figure.

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    2. Hey Alana, I just tried to comment on your blog but couldn't Just wanted to let you know, your post on glorifying busyness? Way insightful. I find myself doing that sometimes...less and less as I get older and realize what's really important. But still. It's a temptation! Thanks for the food for thought.

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  10. Maybe it feels too busy in person, but your rug is super cute in the photo. You have done a great job layering colors and pattern. Thank you for sharing your space on Uncommon Slice, I'll be following you from now on.

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    1. I'd love for you to check in on occasion, Rebecca! That's sweet of you to say. I feel like the room is actually less busy in person, so the fact that the photos "read" well is reassuring. Thanks.

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    2. I also think the rug is super cute. If you do replace it, send it to me in Michigan! Seriously, it looks wonderful in the room. Great job all around!

      Libby

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  11. Visiting from Craftomaniac. I loved ready this, you are hillarious and dont hold back, i laughed out loud! Thank goodness Im not at work ;)

    Your living room is evolving wonderfully. It looks so inviting and charming and comfertable all rolled into one. Cant wait to look around more and laugh some more too. :)

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    1. Haha! No, Bethany, I don't hold back...what's the fun in blogging if it's all about the perfection of being perfect? Thanks but no thanks. :) Hope you come by on occasion for more tongue-in-cheek commentary. It's what I excel at. That, and burning toast...

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  12. What a huge transformation. The room is beautiful. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

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    1. So, you hate one-stalked wall-supported plants, is that what you're saying, Judy? :)

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  13. Wow, love it! So warm and cozy.

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    1. "Cozy" is a word I love...mostly because it makes a small space feel desirable, you know? Which is a great goal for me & my small(ish) home. Thanks for coming by, Jenna!

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  14. It's wonderful. Were I visiting, I'd feel welcomed and cozy and comfortable walking in there and choosing where to sit. I'd then look all around and see some eye candy in every direction and then I'd start itching to get up and check out your books. It is GREAT.

    Most of us don't have a choice to just hit the bank, get a million bucks out, and go "do" the perfect dream home. LOL ...no, we create the best we can with our situations and heirlooms and hand-me-downs and the house we can afford and so on. I love home or room tours ( I JUST screwed up the nerve to post MY less than perfect home in 3 parts this week ) because there is such a variety and that's what is best about them. And yours is great! :)

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    1. Debra, I would absolutely love to see your post. Can you get me the URL? Also, your comment was full of wonderful insight, thank you! Really.

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  15. Yes - such a cozy space! You did a great job. I'm featuring your living room in the Power of Paint Party Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up...

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    1. Maryann, I love your power of paint blog. It's always so inspiring! So, what an honor for me to have you include my space, thank you!

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  16. This looks so good! I love the paint color and how you mixed old and new.

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    1. Thanks, Sara. Isn't choosing paint colors so fun...and so overwhelming? Sometimes it's hard for me to actually envision how a color will look all over, rather than on the teensy paint chip. But I do love this color.

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  17. Cozy cozy. It's come a long way and looks great. You've got skillz.

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    1. You're one of the few who've seen this room through from the very beginning, Val. Awww... And I'm sure it will change again. :)

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  18. I love how it has come together, it is just gorgeous, I'll be featuring it tomorrow.
    XO
    Kristin

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    1. Thanks, Kristin! Super nice of you; I can't wait to see it "in print" over at your place (a blog I love, btw. Totally feeling your last post of greyishness.).
      -Brittney

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  19. Wow! What an amazing transformation! I am glad to hear it took longer than a week ;)

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    1. Holy cow, if I can get anything done in a week around here it's like a Christmas miracle. I change my mind waaaaay too much...but I love the journey, thank goodness. Thanks for popping by, Karen!

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  20. wow! i don't know what i like best...the tulip chair, the rug, the curtains! it's all great!

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  21. Wow, that’s a pretty awesome makeover! It certainly has its own fashion sense. Those lights really give more life to the room. The decorations are so cute especially the old treasure chest-like box which was used as the center table.

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  22. Now that’s what I call a makeover! I’m showering your once-bland living room with stars! What’s so great about this transformation is how you turned something so “bah” (I’m borrowing your word here XD) into a cozy and homey nest. I love those lights near the fireplace – their effect was welcoming!

    William Gulliver

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  23. The post is sharing information about living room makeover. Good post

    Upholstery

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  24. do you have a post on the DIY sunburst mirror? I absolutely love it!

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    1. Thank you, Gabby! I actually followed another tutorial to make mine out of shims. If you check out my Pinterest "DIY" board (I think), you'll see it.

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  25. In the 10th picture you posted, there's a little copper(?) statue of a man playing piano. My mother has or had one in our house. Where did you get it? It's a delightful little musical piece.

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    1. Hi, I answered this question in "Your Questions Answered." Thanks for asking! I love that piano-playing music man, too.

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  27. Hello Britney. I loved thehome remodeling ideas in your post. And the coffee table has taken my heart away. Keep posting.

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  28. I love your blog! Love your living room renovation, too! I personally would paint the mirror above the fireplace RED! :) Have you seen this idea for non-working fireplaces? I think it would bring some warmth into your space...http://cdn.freshome.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/fireplaces-the-love-shack1.jpg

    Keep up the great work! :)

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  29. We have a family room that pretty much looks exactly like your before photo and I have been struggling with furniture placement as well as with the fireplace which we can't use, has no insert and floods our home with freezing cold air in winter (I'd love to get rid of it, but the husband says that is way to costly). I would love to see a close-up of your fireplace because I am keenly interested in what you've done with the candles. Also, do you have a television in this room? That is my other big dilemma because this is the room where we need our tv to be and I am not a fan of putting it above the fireplace - that would be like sitting in the front row at the movie theater! Your photos have already given me much needed inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  30. This blog is awesome..
    How nicely you manage the glance of your blog..!!!Thomas the Tank Engine Beds

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  31. Kelly from View Along the Way referred me here regarding the capiz shell chandelier.
    Great transformation on your living room! One comment regarding the front-door view--I notice two things that I think detracts from the overall effect. First is the reading lamp right behind the half-wall. Second is the large empty wall expanse between the bookcase and sunburst mirror. Your taste seems to run along the lines of filling space, so it seems a bit unbalanced with the rest of the room.
    But overall, a great room that makes me want to sit down and pick up a book. Oh, yes, great idea with the animal bookends. Like what home with kids doesn't have gazillion of those around?!

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  32. Where do you find your rugs? I love the pink one!

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