before & after: the living room

Over a year ago, not long after I started this blog, I posted about the current state of our living room.

Living Before 1

It has been a gradual process but since then we’ve slowly transformed it to a lighter and brighter space that’s more reflective of our style.  Following are photos of the living room as it stands today.  I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out, and while there are a couple little odds and ends that still need tweaking, it’s nearly there.  I’ll post a source list at the end for anyone interested.

The area that had the biggest transformation is the fireplace.  We painted the mantel in Behr’s Ivory Mist to match the crown molding and make it a crisp blank slate against which I could add rotating pops of color over time.


Then Devin re-tiled the hearth with slate in a beautiful herringbone pattern.  I am so in love with the hearth.  Sadly, I somehow lost all of the progress photos I took of Devin working on it so there won’t be a step by step post, but if you have any questions on how he did it, feel free to contact me and we’ll do our best to answer them.

I fell in love with West Elm’s Gem Mirror and scored it on clearance at our local branch.  I flanked it with some favorite art prints and a couple accessories to complete the mantel.


We swapped the rocking chair to the left of the fireplace out with one of the cane back hollywood regency chairs I scored at a flea market awhile back.  I STILL haven’t gotten a chance to paint and reupholster them, but it’s definitely near the top of my to do list.


The awkward space above the TV needed SOMETHING, but not a distracting painting that would make that wall too busy.  Against Devin’s wishes I brought home a papier-mache deer head from West Elm to try out in the space.  As tends to happen around these parts, Devin doubted me at first but upon seeing it up there for a couple of days, it grew on him, and we decided to keep it.  Meet Hank.  I love how he has a smirk on his face…cheeky bastard.



Lastly on that side of the room, we took down the wooden display box to the left of the fireplace and replaced with one of my favorite Mark Rothko prints mounted on wood.  I really love the variety of colors and textures along this side of the room now.


The ikat curtains that I made finish out the room nicely.  As do the two dogs sleeping on their bed 🙂


I added a vintage brass bamboo tray and brass trinket box along with some favorite books to the coffee table.


We collected the small pieces of coral in the trinket box on the beach in Paa Mul, Mexico on our honeymoon.



I added throw pillows in varying patterns to add some color and interest to the couch.



Lastly we swapped out the old collage frames on the wall above the Expedit bookcase with a mini gallery wall, and I restyled the top of the bookcase.



The quatrefoil tray is from Target, and it was originally a bland tan color which I spray painted over in gold.


This old metal toy truck belonged to Devin’s uncle when he was a kid.  I love its simple lines.


Aside from redoing the hollywood regency chair next to the fireplace, the other small to do is to replace the three framed prints above the side table.  With what, I’m not sure yet but when I see it I’ll know.


Here are a few more detail shots.





Lastly for comparison, here are some before and after shots.




If you’ve made it through the influx of photos thus far, I commend you!  We spend the most time in the living room of any room in the house, and we love what a bright and cheery space it is now.


Source List:

  • Mark Rothko art prints
  • Etsy: infinite love art print, brass bamboo tray, brass and glass trinket box, chevron throw pillow
  • Pier One Imports: recycled glass vases
  • West Elm: gem mirror, papier-mache deer head, diamond ikat throw pillow
  • Target: ram head, chevron urns, gold vase, yellow throw pillow, big piece of coral, quatrefoil tray
  • HomeGoods: small recycled glass vase on mantel, gold and silver notebooks on coffee table, blanket
  • Ikea: Expedit bookcase and storage baskets
  • Ross: garden stool, frames
  • Caroline Wright: paint drip art print on mantel
  • High Street Market: gold wishbone
  • Flea markets / garage sales: wire egg basket, hobnail vase, vintage Big Ben clock
  • DIY: ikat curtains, ikat throw pillow, herringbone hearth



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