Fancy-fying the Living Room


As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been away from this space for a while. The reasons are all too predictable – we went and had a baby, and yep, as it turns out, that’s a time-consuming endeavor! Of course, it’s not so much like having Owen has meant I don’t have time to write, but frankly, there hasn’t been much to say! After all, this is a blog about working on our house, and THAT is what we haven’t had time for. Now that Owen has lived in this world a few months, and more importantly, that we’ve been learning how to be parents for a few months, we’re settling into a routine. I’m back at work, we’ve replenished our coffers a bit, and we’re ready to tackle a bit more.


In fact, I think it’s time to try something new here. Let’s face it, while we still have some big projects left in this house (we’ve taken to calling our future office in the unfinished converted carport “the west wing”), they will be trickling in over the next couple of years. Fits and starts. Tough way to maintain a blog. But the finishing touches are still being done little by little. Because we’re saving for the big things, I’m doing a fair bit of DIYs, Ikea hacks, and creative sourcing. I thought maybe I’d like to share that process with you, too.

Kyle and I both have backgrounds in architecture, but we’re definitely not interior designers or stylists. It’s been nice to live in this space for a while and really figure out what we need and what we think will work. I’m not saying it’s going to be like living in a magazine or anything (at the very least, we’re not that tidy), but I’m going to try to pull it all together now with accessories and finishing pieces. The first room I’m going to focus on is the living room. You can see it above in about its current state. Yes, it’s a far cry from what it was! Remember this?

Family room

Living to Dining/Kitchen

But it also looks a little bachelor-y, like we put some furniture in there and were done. Which, you know, is exactly what happened while we did other things like installing windows and re-doing major plumbing. Now we need to make it more ours. I have a list of projects to do in there, and I’m hoping posting them here will help us keep up the momentum. With that, here’s what we’re planning to finish the living room “decor.”

  • Add an area rug (we’ve actually already done this!)
  • Add ombre woven baskets under end tables for blankets and toys
  • Refinish shop cart from my old fabrication job to use as coffee table
  • Throw pillows: bleach and then dye existing pillow covers to bring them into the new color scheme
  • Frame and hang art (select and print photos from our travels)
  • Refinish salvaged midcentury end table to elevate plants by back door
  • Make roman shades for windows
  • Add baseboard
  • Add floor lamp in corner between couches
  • Replace door handle to laundry room so that it matches the rest of the house
  • Add a bench near front door for putting on shoes
  • Create a “landing pad” near front door for setting down mail, hanging coats, and last minute checks in a mirror
  • Sand and refinish beams (this one is more of a someday because it’s so much work)

I’ll start doing more step-by-step walkthroughs for each of these projects. I’ll also talk about some of the thought behind each piece and how we envision the whole room. I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it too 🙂

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