our living room:: before

I’ve written three posts since we moved into our house a month ago. THREE. I honestly didn’t even realize it was only three until I went back to read the last post I wrote about the house and realized it was from the weekend we moved in. Technically, it’s four posts if you include the rambling I did this morning about balancing the busy and the happy. I missed this place and kept writing in my head which is probably why I didn’t know I had only written THREE times. In my head, I wrote every day ;)

I swear I’m not completely insane. Anyways, I’m here to talk about our living room because, like the rest of the house when we moved in, it needed work. Below is the only before shot I have of it . 1-I’m forgetful and 2-the second we moved in, I started painting it and moving things around and then it was no longer a before and only then did I realize there were no before pictures. Was that English? Point being, here she is, in all of her iPhone quality before-ness.

photo 2

I first fell for the white brick fireplace. I later realized it wasn’t actually a real fireplace, which was kind of a bummer (probably more for Josh than for me), but we have since moved on. All of this furniture is the landlords, so just picture this, but empty. Yes, still green.

So first things first, our original goals were this:

1-paint walls-we chose Behr Manhattan Mist, and every day I love it more. I wanted to paint the whole house white, but Josh insisted (strong armed) that there be some color. So sometimes it’s grey, and sometimes it’s blue, and depending on the weather, it’s also occasionally purple. Had you told me that last hue, I wouldn’t have chosen the paint, but I’m actually pretty fond of it.

2-buy rug-I believe I touched on this in a previous post but that was probably 5 years ago at my current rate of writing. I love Moroccan rugs, but I don’t love Moroccan rug prices. I stalked RugsUSA who has confusing sales because they are all really the same (so maybe that means they aren’t confusing at all). I couldn’t justify $600 for the rug I really wanted, even though I’m well aware that’s still very low for a great rug. We landed on this pup from Overstock and accidentally got the Trellis vs the Diamond that I wanted, but rugs aren’t easy to return. Plus, in person, it’s more angular than in pictures, so there is the third thing that has grown on me. Maybe I should change the title of this post to “Our living room: It’s growing on me.”

Kidding. I LOVE MY LIVING ROOM. Ok it’s out there now.

3-buy couch-Hah! I almost forgot about this battle because there have been so many since. When your budget is minimal, your couch options are sooo slim. I mean, I get it every advice giver out there, “Don’t buy an Ikea couch. You need to invest in a great couch and save everywhere else.” Which, okay yes, I get, but ¬†what about when you need to save EVERYWHERE. Including the couch. People told me “Rooms to Go,” “Costco,” Josh tried to sell me on Craigslist, which I was even open to, but there was just NOTHING that actually looked good. So, as I’m sure you can guess, we bought an Ikea couch. And I haven’t regretted it for a second. It didn’t even have to grow on me because I always kinda loved it. Terrible instructions manual and all.

We do want to do the typical Pinterest hacks for the Karlstad. We plan on switching out the legs and getting the pillows upholstered, so that’s a future to-d0.

Besides art and all that jazz, those were really the main goals for our living room, and that landed us here.

before after




The progress is pretty great, but we’re still a bit of a ways to go which is a little scary since this is probably our most complete room.

  • upholster couch and switch out legs
  • finish coffee table: Josh built this, but the legs need to be shortened and it still needs a good stain
  • build TV stand: another Josh project (see: I’m the luckiest)
  • buy TV: we don’t have a TV, which makes the room feel a little empty and that really makes me a child of my generation
  • buy shades: I don’t want curtains because of the current window treatments, so I’m thinking just privacy shades.
  • change mantle art: this was all so temporary for the party. I mean, two frames don’t even have art. And there is a book about sailing and neither one of us sail. I was really in love with the books in the fireplace, but now I’m torn. If you’re still with me, do you think I should keep them?
  • shorten entry table legs and add art to the wall above: I should caveat that this is still set up from the party hence being flanked by two large man cave speakers. Honestly, we were considering keeping that wall pretty blank but this picture bores me to tears.

One thing you may be able to tell from these photos is the trim and ceiling need work, but the thought of painting them myself is revolting. I know painting the ceiling would go terrible. This house is a rental though (2 year lease), so it’s really not worth the investment for professionals. Thoughts?? Do I suck it up and paint it? Do I ignore it? Embrace the off-white trim and dirty looking ceiling? Also-the books, do I keep them?

3 thoughts on “our living room:: before

  1. SO- a few things! I love, love the books in the fireplace. We have a working fireplace that we never ever use (babies playing in ashes = big mess) so I might steal your look.

    And the rug/couch combo look great- ikea is totally my price point too and I love the hacks on that sofa! We were just given some couches so we’re working with that- if not these are my exact picks.

    Try painting the trim and not the ceiling? See how it goes… but also, the longer you live in a place the more you forget about the ceiling. From experience ;) But I always notice trim.

    1. I’m glad you like the books! I’ have been going back and forth about them. Some days I love them but other days I’m totally sick of it.

      That is such a good tip about the trim! You’re totally right. I honestly forget about the ceiling 90% of the time anyways.

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