before & (for now) after: the living room

When Devin first bought the house, the entire place was carpeted in a grubby pale pink.  One of the first things that he did before moving in was to rip up all of the carpet and have the original hardwoods that had been hiding underneath refinished.

The Before

This is the only before photo I could find of the living room.  This was before he ripped up the carpet and in the midst of cutting all the crown molding.  Don’t you love that dirty pale pink carpet and the maroonish brown fireplace?

Behind the sawhorses is the coat closet.  Directly across the coat closet is the front door of the house.

In Progress

This is what the living room looked like when I first moved in.

From this viewpoint, the front door is directly to your right.  Compared to the first photo, you can see the hardwoods, the fireplace that we painted and the crown molding.

The gargantuan sectional is also a sleeper and was a hand me down from Devin’s mom. It took up way too much space in the living room and closed the whole area off from the dining room to the left.  The deep brown color also darkened the overall feel of the room too much. The buffet along the far wall was a really ornate antique that belonged to Devin’s great grandmother.  While it’s a beautiful piece of furniture, it was much too large for the space and the style is more traditional and classic than we prefer.

The (for now) After

Here’s what the living room looks like now.

The new couch has a chaise that is shorter than the old couch which opens the living room up to the dining room so it feels much more open now. The craftsman style wood rocking chair sat abandoned in a rundown cabin on Devin’s great aunt’s property until we rescued it.  The display cabinet was made by Devin’s dad, the console table that the TV sits on was made by Devin’s stepdad and the candle stand was made by Devin.  I told you his family’s got some skills!

The wood mirror, candlesticks and lantern are from antique stores, the yellow vintage frame is from the flea market and the metal egg basket that we keep the dogs’ toys in is from a garage sale.  The mirror feels too “church-y” for my taste and puts too much focus on the center of the mantel, so I’m on the lookout for a different mirror to put in its place.  The little wooden elephant figurines are from a trip Devin took to France after he graduated high school.

Here’s the new couch.  We purchased it from a local furniture store, and I LOVE it.  When we chose the fabric, we were worried that it was going to end up being too dark, but I think it’s perfect and I love that it has simple clean lines without being uber modern. The cream wool rug and distressed green coffee table are from Pottery Barn (no longer available), and the hurricane candle holders are from Cost Plus World Market. I’m in the midst of replacing the throw pillows with a variety of more brightly patterned ones as right now, all the pillows are so BROWN.

Please excuse the blurriness of the above photo.  I just love these nesting tables.  Devin already had these and doesn’t remember where he got them. MEN.  The framed prints on the wall are of the Ireland coastline, purchased by Devin on a trip there.  The cute leaf coasters are from Crate and Barrel Outlet.  The pharmacy floor lamp and Crosley iPod dock are from Tar-jay.  The little elephant chair is a souvenir from a trip that Devin’s mom took to South Africa. Do you notice a trend here? Devin went through an elephant phase.  I’ve lost track of how many elephant figurines I’ve found around the house, in closets, bookshelves, etc…we now have them narrowed down to a select few.

Behind the couch (and to your left as you walk into the house) is my good old Expedit bookshelf from Ikea.  This bookshelf has been with me ever since I moved to California from New York over five years ago! The grandfather clock belonged to Devin’s grandmother, and the frames on the wall are from Kohl’s.  Let’s play “where are the elephant-themed items in this photo?”  Ha.

Before I wrap up the living room, I wanted to share one of my favorite little details with you.

I would guess that most people who come over don’t even notice them, but these old wrought iron skeleton keys are hanging on the wall to the left of the front door.  We found them at the Alameda Antiques Faire along with the old hook, and I just love them.

By the way, if you live in the Bay Area and have never been to the Alameda Antiques Faire, you are MISSING OUT.  It’s amazing, and whatever little vintage knick knack, antique piece of furniture, old book, etc. that you’re looking for?  It will be there.  TRUST.  Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes because it’s HUGE, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

For anyone interested in the paint colors, the fireplace is Twig Basket, the walls are Hazelnut Cream and the trim is Ivory Mist, all from Behr.

I say this is only a “(for now) after” because I’m not done with the living room yet.  As I mentioned, I need to brighten up the couch with some colorful pillows and jazz up the mantel styling as well.  I’m also searching for the perfect throw for the couch, which by the way I never realized was so difficult to find…until I actually started looking for one!  Then there’s the display cabinet.  While it’s a really nice piece, in its current location it looks a little awkward, so we need to decide if it’ll stay or get moved somewhere else in the house.  Lastly, I recently scored some really awesome hollywood regency style chairs from the Alemany Flea Market which I’ll be repainting and reupholstering.  One of these will go in place of the rocking chair (the other in our Master Bedroom) and will also need a little table and lamp to accompany it to create a little reading spot.

Despite the aforementioned changes that still need to be made, we’re really happy with how the living room has progressed so far.

There you have it folks!  This concludes the living room portion of our tour 🙂



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8 thoughts on “before & (for now) after: the living room

  1. I love that mirror lol!!! I’ve been looking for one like it for my kitchen actually!!! But I do love what you guys are doing with the place lol and that couch is pretty damn comfy

    Do a search for a place called lucketts in VA. They have a great blog and are on Pinterest. Great antique store that Karen and I check out from time to time. Great ideas on their blogs

    • Oh yeah? Well if you’re good, maybe I’ll send it to you for your birthday 🙂 That is, if I’ve found a replacement by then haha.

      Just checked The Old Lucketts Store. So cute! Thanks for the head’s up.

  2. Love your new couch. Found your blog on the Tater Tots and Jello linky party and just had to stop by to take a look at your mouthwatering artichoke bites. Mmmm…
    MGal ~

  3. Pingback: before & after: the living room | park house love

reading all of your comments makes me happy. thanks so much for taking the time to post your feedback!

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