before/after: living room

A low budget DIY flip of the living area in my house.

In April, I was still waking up to an empty living area every day. I had painted before I moved into my house because I knew covering the paneling would be a big step toward making the space feel more like mine. After painting, I tore up the carpet to find WOOD underneath. I’ve already written about that whole process. The non-decor part of the project ended up costing me the primer, paint, the rental of two machines, a BUNCH of sandpaper, and then two cans of satin polyurethane.

I’m beyond thrilled to put these images together. I’ve been waiting to put together the actual evidence of the transformation I achieved with my own creative energy and vision.

Can you spot the pieces from the before photos that I fit into the new layout? Almost all of the furniture in both parts of this room were either in the house when I bought it or were given to me. Even the “desk” I’m using for my computer was given to me. It’s actually more of a console or sofa table, but it’s doing a great job at being a desk.

It’s truly amazing how supportive my friends and family are. They all had so much to offer me. They kept an eye out for things I might need. Eventually, I had to tell them I had too much furniture to know what to do with it all.

I still accept plants though.

The only pieces I purchased were the sofa, one plant, some photo prints, the curtains  and the two pillows. Plus, the sofa was from a thrift store so the curtains and pillows were the biggest splurge as far as decor/furniture goes!

My grandmother found the floor lamps at estate sales and gave me the rug. The hanging plant has been with me for three years now. The painting on the wall is one of mine. The little ovals with vignettes on them were in the house. The clock and the fish tank and a plant were given to me by my cousin who recently downsized. All the wood furniture in the main section picture above and below were in the house, including the China cabinet.

The two snake plants were split from a large plant in my office at work that needed to be re-potted. The white chairs pictured above were picked up by my aunt when a friend of her’s moved away. The books were mine, but the bookshelves were salvaged from someone who no longer wanted them. The art on the wall next to the window was in the house when I bought it. I just put it in a magnetic frame I already had.

I think the total cost of the whole transformation was under $900. Not everything is placed in the best spot. Not everything makes sense. There’s a lot here that a designer could come in and completely undo.

BUT I am so proud of the fact that so much of this room is re-purposed. I LOVE OLD STUFF. My sisters say the living room is a combination of both my grandmothers’ aesthetics. Which is so interesting because I wasn’t thinking of either of them when I started putting it together. I just liked what I was doing.

Most importantly, I love coming home to it.