August 8, 2016

house update: living room

After a year and a half in our house, we've made some pretty big progress upstairs. We finally put in wood floors - not real wood, because as much as I love gorgeous wood floors, they weren't justified in this house. We still have a lot of projects to do but I'm happy to be rid of the nasty 70's carpet that covered our entire upstairs. You may remember that we also removed the wall that separated the kitchen from the living room, which made it all open and much more attractive. Now, I'm going to show you some amateur pictures of my living room.
Full Disclosure: these pictures are FAR from the "afters" I have in my head. I feel like I have to justify how my house looks because, as a decorator, it seems like everyone expects my house to be picture worthy at all times. The reality is that my house doesn't really reflect my personal style (which is always evolving) and we are normal people who are saving up for things like furniture and remodel updates... plus we have three young kids so it's often cluttered and crazy. I do love it though and the light that we get in this space is really wonderful, especially in the PNW.

Anyway, here's our upstairs living space. We live in a split level so, as a reminder, here's what it looked like when we moved in. We still need to do a lot of things like put on baseboards, get NEW WINDOWS, new entry light fixture (considering this one and this one) and lots more! One of our next projects is to update the fireplace surround. More on that later.
Lest I sound like I hate my house... I don't! The cost of homes here is crazy and I'm trying to stay positive that someday we will be able to do a few things to the house that we'd like to, even though this fixer upper was almost at the top of our budget. Luckily, because the market is so hot right now we have a LOT of equity in this thing so that makes me happy. I just have to remember that it's a process and to enjoy it.
I love this house, and one of the main reasons is because we feel like we're in a tree house. It's so calming and beautiful to see green out of these windows all year long - it's the evergreen state, after all! If you're not familiar with the set-up of split levels, when you walk in the front door, you immediately go upstairs (to our living room, dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms), or downstairs (to the family/playroom, guest bedroom, guest bathroom, and mudroom/laundry room). So, there's this really confined space right when you walk in, that lots of people hate about this style of home. It's not ideal but we were willing to make it work. We have plans to potentially bump out the front entry to give us a portico and more space in the entry. That's down the road, obviously because that would include putting on new siding (which is $$$), not to mention doing major structural renovations. 
Anyway, the entry is what you're seeing behind the sofa. There's a half wall there and it's kind of useless, and we don't have any storage in the living area, so we put a few IKEA cubbies next to each other to make a sort of "built-in" for our books and some toys. Once we put in the baseboards, we'll make it look more deliberate by trying to build it into the wall (or maybe moving it our altogether). It's really useful though. I love having all these books in our main living area because it really encourages our kids to read a lot. 
To the left of the fireplace (between the dining room and living room), I put this console table as a way to try to create a flow between the two rooms. It's one of my favorite spots. Mostly because I have some of my favorite things on this little table (which is from Home Goods, BTW). I love my framed postcard from Bornholm a few years ago (take me back!!!).
Don't hate... I'm learning Photoshop and I had to get rid of my reflection in a nightgown.
three of my favorite design books.

We got Lulu this dollhouse for her birthday and it's so cute that I mostly keep it out in the living room. One of these days, I'll move it into her bedroom but all the kids play with it so here it stays... at least until after Christmas because I plan to put little wreaths on all the windows during the holidays. :)
This is our sad fireplace. I dream of making it look like the picture below. Now, this is a little fancy for this house so I probably wouldn't do such exquisite crown molding, but the general idea is the same. Mostly, I just can't wait to get rid of those terrible cords!
I'd like to move the TV downstairs to the play room, once we fix it up a little. It's definitely a mess of toys and junk right now, and we have no furniture either, but someday!

Anyway, that's it for now! If you've seen anything epic lately, let me know cause I have the time to plan to perfection!


  1. Looks great! What paint color/brand did you use upstairs?

  2. Looks great! What brand/paint color did you use upstairs?

  3. It's Benjamin Moore Horizon. :)

  4. Love it ~ very pretty Liz.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! Still have lots to do but we're making progress! :)

  6. looks gorgeous liz! love the bornholm cards so much!

  7. I had your exact same house when I lived in Ohio. I am very impressed with the renovations you have completed so far. You definitely have an eye for space and composition. We removed the closet at the top of the stairs which really opened up the entryway. We also eliminated the half wall behind the couch area -- where you have the ikea bookcases -- and created an open, modern banister. Again, this opened up the entry way a bit more. Amazing to me that I never thought of wood floors which I love in your pictures. Great job.

  8. For what it's worth- I love your house! I totally get that "want it all to be done" feeling but there's something about being able to transform a house and make it your own that is so satisfying. Also. I love 60's and 70's style houses so I'm a fan of yours. I love the serene colors in your space with a colorful punch with your pillows and accessories. And, I love your fireplace! I wish my 1968 ranch had that instead of the white one it has.

  9. Love the mirror above the white console table. Do you remember where you found it?

  10. I am so jealous of all those windows!! Your living room is really lovely, even if it isn't exactly what you are picturing. I'm in awe of how pristine your furniture looks with young kids around.

  11. Love the house. Looks beautiful. Where did you find your amazing ottoman?

  12. I love your style and your house. I wish my house looked like that... but after 8 months we haven´t come very far and i have a hard time loving it.... I Need Money and Patience. :-)

  13. Your home is beautiful. I love the windows and all the light and also your new floors.

  14. very beautiful living room ideas , thanks for sharing

  15. Where did you get that fabulous doll house? I am searching for one for my granddaughters.


Comments are moderated to eliminate spammers and internet bullies.