Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Living Room Before and Afters

Finally, I'm ready to share more detailed before and afters of our home.  Today, I'm starting with the living room and entryway:

For those of you just joining me, let me explain.  My husband and I purchased our home in 2008 from the first and only family to own this 1924 bungalow.  The home was out of date, and had to be taken down to the studs to be habitable (by today's standards)! 

The entryway before:

You can read more about how I styled this entryway for spring here.  We saw this gut job as an opportunity to open up and move walls as well as put our own touch on the home:

Someone once asked me how I saw beyond the run down before shots you see here. Honestly, the older and more out of date the home, the better, in my eyes. That way, I'm not paying for someone else's updates that aren't to my liking.  I LOVE OLD RUN DOWN HOMES ON THE MLS.   I just love imagining the possibilities......

You might notice in the above before and after that we actually moved the entryway toward the front of the house by closing in a small outdoor porch.  At the same time, we widened the entryway as well as the entrance into the living room.  The sideboard in the entryway was left in the basement by the previous home owner.  I decided to clean it up a little and use it in this space:

In addition to gutting the home, we installed all new windows (with lots of help from our contractor, of course).  Since the walls were being opened up, it was more cost efficient to order standard size windows than to try and match the old window openings.  Besides, this front window didn't fit the age of the home:

 I would eventually like to change the face of the fireplace and to install a mantel.  Until we do that, we painted the old brick white for a mini-facelift:

Up until two months ago, the tv was hung over our fireplace.  We took it down and used this mirror - that was previously in storage - as a place holder until I can find a piece of art that I really like for above the space.

I'm also using these lanterns on the side table until I can find a pair of lamps that works in the room.  I'm keeping my eye open, and something at Homegoods caught my eye this week.  I might go back; if they are still there, maybe it's a sign.

It's interesting how much photographing my own home has helped me make improvements. The mirror just hasn't been working for me on the fireplace. After looking at the below picture, I realized it would better fill the space hung horizontally.  Until I can get my husband to add the wire, it will stay as is.  Here is a shot looking into the dining room:

...and one last one looking into the living room from the dining room.  I think this is my favorite before and after.  You can see how opening up the walls and adding larger windows makes a huge impact:

Of course, there are still changes I would like to make in the living room.  You can see some of my plans to update this room in my 6 Ideas to Update the Living Room  post:

See more of my home tour here

Thanks for stopping by!
If you like what you see, I'd love to hear about it or have you follow along with me!

Linking to:
DIY by Design / No Minimalist Here / Stone Gable / Jennifer Rizzo / Common Ground / Inspiration Gallery / Inspire Me Please / Finding Silver Pennies / Home Stories A to Z / Clean and Scentscible / Savvy Southern Style


  1. Love your house and the updates you've made. Every space looks so bright and open.

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  2. Wow, wow, wow! Your home looks fantastic! Your style is evident in every change you've made! Can't wait to see more! :)

  3. Wow, I am so very impressed! The house looks absolutely nothing like it did before. Way to bring it into the current time! This way, you got to customize it and put your own spin on the home. Such a great job!

  4. Of course you already know I think your house is stunning... there is not a single thing I would change... well maybe add a pink cushion lol jk... I love the moulding around the windows...The paint color spectacular very soft a subtle... and your furniture just gives that pop of colors, textures and patterns and looks so cohesive. Your kitchen I could live in ... you did a great job!

  5. That is one super awesome living room! I love the colors and your style of decor! My favorite was the black and white photos around your television..very nice!
    Selene @

  6. What a fabulous job. It looks great and I like that you had the vision to knock down the wall to see the kitchen and that you changed around the hallway wall and made the tv wall bigger. Great taste, great job.

    Lol..I especially loved the pictures of your Christmas decor in the hallway with your son crawling into view. I wondered at first why you included the blurry picture, but then saw the second pic and your caption made me laugh out loud ("what are you doing in the closet, mama?"

    I actually pulled my husband over to tell him that I wasn't the only one that would do that! do what you need to do to get the right shot! Great job. Love getting your blog updates!

    Cortney @ (just started blogging myself b/c of ppl like you - thanks for the inspiration!)

  7. What a great job you've done, and it oozes love and hard work.

  8. WOW! Want an amazing transformation! I am loving how you opened it up! The style and the colors are so serene and comforting! Great job!

  9. Your rooms are lovely and those are some amazing changes. Love the updated windows and the wider openings, especially to the dining room.

  10. amazing it all! xo

  11. Wow, so beautiful! Amazing before and afters!
    Jamie ~

  12. Wow, amazing transformation! Found your blog through 'Inspire Me Please' and looking forward to reading more!

  13. You have done an amazing job making this space your own - love it! Visiting from the Inspiration gallery... Rhonda @ home.made.

  14. Seriously, why did you get rid of those pinch pleat drapes and that wallpaper? JK, you know I think your place is awesome. Enjoy your weekend! xo, Shauna

  15. What a beautiful transformation, I love the mix of old and new. Your newest follower!

  16. What an amazing transformation!! I love how you've opened up the space between the living and dining rooms - absolutely gorgeous, and I love all of the light that floods in now. I'm still wondering what deal was with the window in the living room that seemed to connect to the (inside) entryway in your before photos! Loving all of it - such great charm and character in your home, and it's nice to see that you've restored and enhanced it!

  17. found you over @ Savvy Southern Style...I love what you've done with your home...

  18. Dropping by from the Savvy Southern Style party. Wow! This is so beautiful. I love your house and you did a wonderful job. I want to see more ;)

  19. Dawn, I LOVE your house and all the updates you've made. What a huge transformation! You have done such a lovely job and I enjoyed looking at all the before and afters. Thanks for sharing this at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  20. Beautiful job! It looks so much more open and inviting with the change in the entry way. Great vision!