Living Room in Progress

Living Room in Progress:  The Story of a Slow Evolving Room

The living room has been very slow to evolve... it's been a room that I haven't had a clear vision for.  So, it's slowly been evolving as I find pieces that I like.  It's also a very odd shaped space, so arranging furniture in there has been a challenge.

This is what the room looked like empty the day we bought our house.  I love the large windows.  They let in a lot of light when they're not blocked by furniture.

When we first started to style the room, it was a dark brown color (Behr's Blanket Brown).  It made the room feel very warm and cozy, but also small.  We received that couch and arm chair from friends of ours who were moving and didn't need them anymore.  Most of the other furniture in the room were hand-me-downs as well: the bookshelf, side table, console table, rug.  But, this layout didn't allow us to put a tv on this floor.  For the first couple of years we lived in our home we didn't even use this room unless company came over.

Check out how dirty the couch is... later you'll see how much better it
looks after a DIY steam cleaning job.
However, when we restyled the playroom, we wanted to create a living room that we could spend time in while Little Man played in the playroom.  So, we rotated the couch and purchased these bookshelves to make an entertainment center.

The wall color is Valspar's Montpelier Ashlar Gray.  It's an awesome greige color that is also the color in the playroom.  It really opened the room up and made it feel bigger and brighter.  Plus I had a great helper when I painted the room.  Little Man loves removing painter's tape.

However, since we moved the couch we were left with a weird narrow walkway that we had to go through when we walked in the front door.  Removing the chair also left us with less seating.  So, two armchairs later (from we ended up with this layout. Loire Chairs

With the narrow walkway and the chairs on one side, it was time for another game of furniture swap.  So, the couch moved to the other side of the room and the chairs separated and we ended up with what we have today.

An Entertainment center made from three Hemnes bookshelves from Ikea.
Look the books are actually organized!  They probably won't stay that way
for long.  Apparently it's a lot of fun to take things off of shelves and throw
them all over the floor.  :)

These are curtains made from drop cloths.

Check out how awesome that ottoman is.  It serves as
storage as well.  It's from
 Christopher Knight Home Ottoman.

I spent a weekend steam cleaning and running the cushion
covers through the wash to clean them.  They'd gotten kind
of dark colored and dirty.  However, 4 cycles in the washer
and three runs with the steam cleaner and it actually looks
cream again!

The pros of this layout are that it creates a more balanced seating arrangement and it allows you to walk straight into the room from the front door.  We're still left with a weird space behind the couch, but at least the living area is much better.  We're considering putting in "built in shelves" and a desk behind the couch where we can store books, frames, etc. and hide other items behind cabinets below.  We would also have a place to set up a printer and potentially put a desktop computer there.

So, although this room has been slow to evolve the vision becomes more clear as we go.  I feel like I'm slowly chipping away at a block of ice and the more I chip, the clearer the sculpture beneath becomes.  It just takes some time to discover what the finished product will look like.  Don't be discouraged if your before and after doesn't happen overnight.  Most don't.  Be encouraged that it doesn't take a clear vision to create the room that you love, just the willingness to figure it out as you go.


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