Our good friends, Sarah and Joe have a cape, but very different than ours. They have the traditional stairs by the front door leading to the second floor, like we do, but off to the right they have a really large living room. It is a great space, that I have secretly had the itch to fix it up for her for awhile! Now, I bet you are thinking that you are never going to invite me over. Or the opposite, you want me to come in hopes that I rearrange your furniture in my head, then eventually follow through and do it in real life.
I don’t judge ANYONE for their home. But I can’t help myself think “is this the best way they have the furniture arranged?” Then I play with different furniture arrangements in my head. I also think of what I would do if I lived in your home. Yep. All this goes on. But I promise I am listening to everything you say.
With Sarah and Joe’s living room, I always changed their fireplace (still in my head). The fireplace was really not their style anyways. I imagined a bigger mantle and changing around the decor that was on the mantle. The mantle always needs a hanging plant. Am I right??
Well, I finally decided to ask her if I could makeover her living room, in real life. Her husband Joe is a school teacher, so I knew he had some free-time during the summer to help with this project. And Kevin had one day off….so, why not do a makeover!!!! Sounds like the best kind of day-off to me! Right?? I also had a partnership with Walmart that I wanted to buy some things to give to Sarah and Joe for this makeover, so it was great timing.
Living Room Before-
Let me go over the main things I was trying to change and make “better than before”-
- Add a darker rug that contrasts with the wood floor (the way they had it felt too washed out).
- Also a darker rug because Sarah is a tutor and has her students walk from the front door, right in front of the fireplace to the dining room table (she does ask them to remove their shoes). So we wanted something darker to avoid any traffic patterns (I do recommend rotating your rugs every month or so to avoid seeing any wear spots).
- Make the fireplace larger and more of a focal point for this LONG room.
- Create more cozy seating with comfy chairs. A place they wanted to hang out more.
Living Room After-
Can you even handle how great it looks???!! We accomplished our list of “better than before”! The rug was my starting point in my design plan and it is amazing. Notice how the pattern really works in such a large room to cozy it up? It is so affordable too, for an 8x1o, a rug under $400 is a great price. They had a 10×12 rug in here before, that was actually too big for the space, kept it from feeling cozy. I searched online on Walmart.com for nuLoom rugs, I love that brand of rugs (I have a rug from them too). And THIS rug is even better in person than online (ps- I have ordered two rugs from Walmart.com and one didn’t work, and it was very easy to send it right back).
The fireplace was the main thing that I wanted to change. I knew the room needed the fireplace update to feel complete. Even if we only updated the fireplace and the rug it would be a successful makeover. And those two things would have put us spending about $600! Totally worth it for such a big impact to a room.
You can get the complete fireplace makeover details over on THIS blog post. We kept the stone that was already there, it was in great shape and is a timeless stone. I added the mirror over the fireplace for a different shape (find similar mirror HERE). The Love Grows Best sign is cute, but it was too close to the shape of the fireplace, the round adds the right lines. And to add a little bit of interest I did THIS art (I brought her two from my home that I wasn’t using). A Philodendron plant is the hanging one on the end and I balanced out the greens with a branch from her tree in the yard.
The nice thing about extending the fireplace is that you really do not need art on either side of it. Adding art would just make it feel busy and take away from the fireplace being the focal point.
And THESE chairs are perfection in here! I actually had ordered them for our living room and was going to give them our green swivel chairs. But the stripe chairs were just slightly too big for our space. I asked Sarah if she liked the stripe for her home and I offered to give them to her instead. She said “I love the stripe, I wear stripes all the time!” Ha! That is totally the best way to judge something! I will say the chairs are a firmer sit, great in this application, but not a chair you would want to sit for hours in and watch a movie.
I also did a simple change with their window treatments. They just had basic white curtain panels, that look great in the room. But the curtain panels were INSIDE the window and blocking too much of the view. I simply had them slide the road out further and hung the curtain panels off of the window. It make the window feel bigger and let’s in more light!
Living Room Before-
Living Room After-
The sofa is the same and the dresser! Just changed out the rug, can we talk about the rug? Just kidding. I am done with the rug. But the coffee table is different. I didn’t order it with the initial plan, but then after I saw the fireplace changes coming together I quickly ordered it! The faux cement top looks so good with the stone on the fireplace. Plus the coffee table was very affordable and REALLY nice quality. I found it was I was browsing THIS Coastal Collection on Walmart.com. You can find the coffee table HERE it is only $100!!!!!
Also the pillows were not a big investment at all for such a difference they make! THESE cream 22″ pillows come with the insert and are a super soft plush material for only $15!!! RUN! I really like these for fall and winter. And THESE Rug pillows add the right amount of rich texture. I actually think texture is more important in pillows than a pattern. I normally don’t like to do 18″ pillows, but the insert is really full that comes in it and they work great on her smaller scale sofa.
Simple real plants in wood trays are great for coffee table. Low and look good from all angles. She had the trays (find similar HERE). I added in some natural elements with the shells and everyday item is a book that I had laying around.
I gave them the floor lamp we had in our living room, because it needed to be here! Don’t you agree? They don’t have any overhead lighting and really minimal plugs, so a floor lamp was a necessity. Also if you look at the before photo she had some small frames on the wall over by the lamp. Now with the floor lamp it takes away the need to put anything over there. (You can find a similar lamp HERE)
PS- notice in the before photo below the sofa legs are not on the rug. You want them to be (like above). When you put the legs of your furniture on the rug it really pulls it all together and makes it cozy! If you look back at the other before photo I have the front of the stripe chairs on the rug too. Knowing those things it will help you determine the proper size rug for your space.
The art above her sofa is a map of the area we live in! I found it in her hall and brought it in to try here. She kept saying how much she loves that piece of art. And now she can see it so much better than in a cramped hall. I think that is such a good tip for all of us. Bring to focus what are our favorite things are and work your room around it! (I just moved the soft colored beach scene into her hall for an easy swap).
The dresser by the side of the sofa works really well here. It is a big wall and the dresser fills it up. Plus the storage is great because right behind the dresser to the left is their front door. I kept the lamp that she already had (it was actually mine that I gave to her a year or two ago!) the lamp shade looks so good with the rug. And added a black picture (that I found in her kitchen with some greens from the yard), another piece of art that I had (find it HERE) and her favorite diffuser (find it HERE) to spot she can enjoy it more. The mirror is new and sold out online, find similar HERE.
And on the opposite side is her piano that she painted white! We didn’t do anything over here except add THIS amazing basket and a real ficus tree. I want to do wallpaper behind the piano! So stay tuned for that.
You can read all about the fireplace makeover HERE.
And click on an image below to shop the post!!