Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Our Front Living Room Mid-Process (+ Before/After Pics)

One thing you will quickly notice from any of our house pictures is that, first and foremost, an interior designer I am not. While I definitely love a beautifully designed space (and can appreciate it when others have the eye to do so), I seem to lack that particular oomph when it comes to knowing how to decorate, so I just do the best I can with my limited powers (and budget).

Hopefully I'll get better as I go along.

However, one thing I can definitively say is that I for sure like how our front room currently looks much better than how it looked before:

While the people had it decorated to fit the colors and space before (and I'll freely admit that their furniture grouping looked a lot better than ours), I personally am not a fan of vivid colors inside (at least not in such large quantities), so the red walls were the first thing to go (we actually tackled them even before we moved in!).

Note: There wasn't actually any furniture in the home when we came to look at it for the first time; the only reason I know what it looked like before is because I saw this picture off of the house listing on Zillow:

Eventually I might reconfigure the space so the furniture layout actually looks a bit more like how they did it (because I think it's better overall), but for now, we have to work with the furniture we have.

Here's another before pic:

And how it currently stands:

As you can probably tell, we kept the off-white walls that were already there and simply painted the accent wall a light silver gray. I also got rid of the curtains (though I still need to take out the curtain rod thingies), and I think I'll keep the windows open (aka, non-curtained) like that for now, possibly adding in a small natural wood trim at the top so it looks just a touch more finished.

One of my favorite pieces in the room right now is also one of the most newly acquired:

The funny thing is, this dresser was actually from one of the last storage sheds we bought. We had intended to sell it, but several family members told us that we'd be wanting a piece like that in our future home someday, so we decided to hang onto it and keep it in my in-laws' garage.

Of course, it didn't look nearly as beautiful as it does now.

I wish I had a better before picture, but I'm frankly lucky to have one at all. Here's a glimpse of what it used to look like:

While I didn't mind the color, the wood was noticeably scratched up and dinged the closer you stood to it, and the reddish wood didn't match anything else we had, so my mom graciously agreed to refinish it for us. I seriously cannot believe how awesome it looks now.

I think she needs to go pro when it comes to refinishing furniture, eh?!

Although I like the space now a whole lot better than it was before, I'll be the first to admit that it looks a little bit *too* neutral at the moment.

Here are some of my more immediate plans for changing up the space:

The biggest change I'm hoping to make over the next year or so is that I want to buy a new couch. Matt and I have never bought a new couch (we inherited this rather old one upon getting married), and I have the perfect navy couch in mind for this space.

Something kind of like this:

Or even like this:

(Also on Amazon)

Because navy is still pretty neutral, I would add pops of color through the throw pillows, either throwing in some bright yellow or even some bright green:

(Via Amazon)

(Via Amazon)

In that picture above, you'll also noticed I circled the plant---that's because the plant in the picture is actually on loan from the kitchen: I haven't bought the plant for the front room yet (though it's on my to-do list for this month, so it should be happening soon).

A stupid change I have to make is that I should have never bought the frame above the piano in the first place. Sure, I was looking for something cheap, but this one is SO cheap that it's almost impossible to ever see the picture without some sort of glare, and it literally is made of the same plastic that you put on the side of a bunch of papers to hook a cheap clear cover on top (if that makes sense).

I was able to get the other 3 poster frames for a steal from someone who lived here locally and who was only asking $15 for the trio (and they're NICE frames, too), but I'm thinking I won't get so lucky again, so I'll probably be picking up this one from Amazon.

Also in the pic above, you'll see that I circled the piano bench. My mom was telling me that it's pretty easy to reupholster a bench like that (and I'll have to take her word for it since anything crafty seems hard to me), so I'll be doing that after we've bought the couch and have a better idea for the kind of color scheme we'll have going on.

The other changes will just be to change out the decor on the piano once we actually have our final colors in place.

Finally, let's just say that I struggle with the whole "vignette" thing, or whatever you call those cute collections found on tabletops and shelves.

I've always loved scouring antique shops and garage sales (or squirreling away particularly good pieces from the storage sheds we get at auction), but I need someone to train me how to be better at putting it all together.

For now, it will stay as it is until the couch is bought, at which point, much of the smaller decor will be changed out or added to.

And there you have it! Our front room as it currently is, in a nutshell (er, in a long blog post).

And if you have any suggestions on how I can become more Joanna Gaines-ish overnight, feel free to push me in the right direction via a comment or send ideas to my Pinterest. Please and thank you.


  1. It's looking great! I'm excited to come visit in person soon. As for picture frames, a lot of craft stores almost ALWAYS have frames half off or more. Like Hobby Lobby, Michael's or Joann. Or they at least have a free weekly coupon (that you can show them from your phone) to get at least 40% off. If the picture is in an always-sunny spot though, you may want to get some anti-glare glass cut to fit. It may cheaper from a glass company than from the craft store framing dept. -Sarah W.

  2. I love what you did with the color! My husband and I are in the process of buying our first home and my first order of business is to paint our rust orange living room. Light colors always make a room feel bigger and it really opened up your space!

  3. I really love it, actually! I love house blog posts and I think this room came out great. I like how clutter free and minimalist it is. I need to do that to my own house.

  4. I absolutely LOVE this decor! My husband and I are hoping to be able to afford a house one day and the colors you used are exactly how we'd imagine ours! It's so bright and you accent the colors very well! Thank you for sharing! :)

  5. your mom did so good on that dresser! looks great. love the big pictures on the wall too. and the new paint color. i like red but that was like, SCREAMING red before. also i am terrible at all the little decor stuff. hence my house basically has none. and i think a navy couch would look so great in there, good thinking.

  6. Yeah, gotta say, your mom did an amazing job with that dresser. I've tried painting/refinishing a few pieces in my time, and let's just say a professional I am clearly NOT. Wish I had someone with your mom's skills around. Can't wait to see the room as it progresses!

  7. I love it! You did a great job so far and have great ideas!
    Okay so I know I saw something (on your IG???) about the engineer prints. I have this saved as a project to do and think perhaps it might look good in the playroom, but I need to know more. Where did you get your frames and also do you have any ideas for what type of photos I should use if I did this in the playroom? I know that's rather specific to just me, but I have this giant wall space and have been wanting to put something there! I feel like the big PLAY letters thing is a bit over done. Anyway, looks great, friend!

  8. It looks so much better!!! I love what you have done with it. I think the line between pretty neutral and too neutral is tough! I love the couches you picked out though, and I think that's a good future goal! I love the second one most, if I got a vote! hehe I think that I get a lot of good help from those color pairing charts on pinterest. You know the ones with the swatches (often for weddings). I would look some up including navy and that will give you some guidance for your pops of color and focusing what you are looking for! :) As for vignettes, I am not an expert!!, but as with most design, it's good to decorate in 3's or odd numbers, and to use diagonals when possible. I don't know if that is helpful at all.. lol! You've inspired me to share our "apartment's" decor as well... hopefully soon! haha Keep sharing the progress, I'd love to see, and I think the other ideas like recovering the bench are great! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  9. I am just loving ALL OF THIS.
    The dresser looks amazing!!!
    & those pictures!!! I just want some pictures of my life now in my living room

  10. ooh love the blue tones! The wall looks amazing and IF you go for the blue couch, all the YAASS! It's stunning!

  11. What a transformation! The change of color makes it look like a whole new room and really open!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I love reading your thoughts :)

01 09 10