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Monday, July 18, 2011

{Living Room} The Befores

My Living Room has been a revolving door of furniture and decor since moving into this house 6 years ago. It's slowly evolving, but now that Babygirl's Room is complete, I can focus more attention on completing it.

Let's start at the beginning. Here is how the room looked the day we put an offer on the house.

living room - previous owners
Look at my baby boy! 

You'd never know by the decor, but the previous owners were actually younger than us. I think like most of us, they started out with hand-me-down furniture and leftovers from college days. We're still trying to weed some of that out of our house now!

The first thing we did was paint the walls a brighter shade (Martha Stewart for Sherwin Williams 'Lamb'), and swap the carpeting for hardwoods (engineered). That really helped to lighten the room.

before 4

And with any new house, things don't quite fit together the way they did in your prior home. Talk about questionable taste a weird collection of things!

before 3
Can you spot the Eiffel Tower that is now Babygirl's Jewelry Stand?

I must have loved all things honey-wood, because I've got a lot of it. The room also had an outdoor rug for awhile, as buying a 9' x 12' rug was at the bottom of the list!

before 2

The Entrance Hall, connected to the Living Room, was awfully bland and devoid of personality too.

before 1

We changed that last year with a makeover.


The outdoor rug was eventually replaced by a jute rug, but I can't seem to find any pictures of that stage. Just more brown! Then I inherited the gorgeous rug that resides here now, along with some lighter chairs.


And was finally able to ditch the heaviest-coffee-table-known-to-man, with a glass top metallic table.


The mantel has also had multiple personalities.


My burlap vases were next.


Then the dried Fresh Magnolia Wreath.


And finally the Horchow "look-alike" mirror with black mantel.


Lamps were added to the console table (and a secretary over on the left!).


Then switched to these.

nice cords

With the addition of a wingback chair, I moved things around a bit more, and added new pillows and throws.


The sofa has settled in with some nice throw pillows.


And after nine-lives of decor, the coffee table is currently styled like this.

Picnik collage

Definitely improved, but still willy-nilly. I'd like to bring more cohesiveness to the space, and rid the room of the remaining bad wood grain. Tomorrow I'll show you my plans and the projects. Do you have 'before' shots as humbling as mine?


  1. the flooring was a HUGE improvement! and i love your eclectic style and dashes of color. can't wait to see what changes you make!

  2. You have done such a great job down to the little details! Love it:)

  3. I absolutely know the "hand me down" decorating life. When I moved in with my husband, that is all he owned (talking plaid/mauve sofas...yuck)! Little by little we have made over a few things and luckily rid ourselves of the others (see ya plaid). I love how you have shown how things do not always come together naturally! Your home is looking bright and modern now!

  4. Awesome changes - I love the comfy sofa :)


  5. It's already looking much improved! I can't wait to see what you come up with for the room!
    Haha I think everyone has those before pictures!

  6. I love to see how the room has evolved. My humbling before pictures (previous owners) are actually scary. I don't know how we saw the potential in our house. Oh yea, our first couches which we thought were awesome were 12 inches off the ground. Talk about a bad buy.

  7. Dang girl! You've got skills! Anyone can work wonders with tons of cash and all new furniture, but you've made this space look a million times better already! I have one very important question: how do you keep that coffee table "styled" with little kiddos. I look forward to the day when a one-year-old-destroyer isn't determining the decor of my house. ;-)

    Oh, and my "before" pictures are horrible. It's my right now. My living room (minus the vintage chandelier) makes me want to poke my eyes out.

    xoxoo, abby

  8. I have a TON of before photos... but not many after photos that I'm proud of yet! We're working towards a few big remodels - an entire kitchen reno, and a bedroom/bathroom reno that will hopefully happen next summer. Here's one of the worst of my before shots (this room has since been painted)...

  9. Oh my, yes. It pained me to post pictures of my "formal" living room and dining room:
    but I'm trying to use it as motivation to make some serious changes. I can't wait to see what you do with you living room!

  10. You're just like me things in your home change with your mood and season! Great transformation. It's amazing what some good colors and shapes can do to a space!!

  11. I think we all have terrible before pictures! Your room is coming along so well, I can't wait to see your plans :)

  12. I like "The Evolution of a Room"'s fun to see how your style/taste/furniture has changed...I don't know that I'm brave enough to post pictures of our first place! *Shiver* It would be *real* scary...(c:

  13. Loved seeing all the progressive ways you've transformed this space. It looks great've done such an amazing job!

  14. Love the evolution and flooring. Definitely gives me some new inspiration for my coffee table and room layout.

  15. I love your living room, Cassie, especially that sofa - it looks soo comfy! And the colour is perfect.

  16. Wow! Such a big difference and keeps evolving! I love the pair of white lamps! And your son is such a babe in that old picture! Where does the time go??!

  17. Wow, that's quite the evolution! It looks fabo now with the new pillows and lamps. Gotta love the Dwell Studio pillows!

  18. Ha! I just might have to pull out the pictures of our family room 20 years ago. Can you say, wedgewood blue carpet with mauve accents? YUCK!!

  19. So cute! What a transformation!

  20. It looks pretty great right now! I totally understand wanting to "tweak" it until it feels right, though. And, oh honey, your before shots look like the Bellagio compared to mine. Picture 6 college guys, all of their Craigslist furniture, and 1300 square feet. That's what I started with when my hubby and I got married. It's a slow process, but progress is what keeps ya going. =) The room looks wonderful!

  21. I love changing things around too. I think your transformation is beautiful as always. If you could see my kitchen before (not sure where the photos are) you'd be shocked. The previos owners painted them barn yard red with an antique glaze = SCARY!!! Needless to say, the kitchen went through a complete remodel once I moved in!

  22. Girl you've done wonders from where it started. It's so nice and inviting now.

  23. Ooh i love the evolution of the space, I'm going to be showing the before and after of the study this week or next!! Exciting! xo

  24. wow! what a difference. I know I cringe when I look back at my old photos- Im like "what was I thinking?" LOVE your coffee table!!

  25. I love it! It is gorgeous now and the trip down memory lane was fun :)

  26. You've created miracles starting with the flooring! Love all you've accomplished!

  27. I am very excited to see what you do. Your most recent "before" shots are already really dreamy, so I can only imagine what you'll do next! I'm staying tuned for sure!

  28. ohh living room looked like a grandma lived there!! the sad part was...i made it that way!!! now, i love our living room re-do! come check it! i don't have a fancy,'ll have to look in my archives! ;)bluh
    (i told myself...100 followers, new blog layout..pathetic..i know) :P

  29. I'm sure your finished product will be beautiful. I LOVE that you decorate with a color other than brown!! Also love the rug & glass topped table.
    So glad I found your blog - it's a pleasure I look fwd to every day. This year will borrow your fleece scarf idea - will need at least 24!

  30. Dang, that rug is killer! I love your colors and fun mixes of different styles. Great evolution!

  31. It has just hit me- we moved into our new house and I was so excited I didn't take "before" shots! Ugh! I LOVE watching the transformation of your home. Thanks for the reminder to take pics as you go.

  32. I love what you did with the entry! Much better!

  33. to your last question yes yes yes. humbling is a good word for my before shots. :)

  34. Your living room looks beautiful!! I love your sofa and the cushions are perfect!! I love the black doors in the foyer too. I love to see how a home evolves, it's funny to see how your tastes change, and you find items that just work better.


Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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