Living Room Before and Afters (10 Year Anniversary)

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I hope you all have been enjoying my posts this week so far! If you are just jumping on board, I'm celebrating my 10 year blogging anniversary (yes, I'm a dinosaur, I know). This week I have been going back in time and looking at the main rooms in my house throughout the 10 years. It's been fun, and makes me realize how far it's come....and how crazy my style used to be. If you missed my other rooms, you can find the links at the bottom of the post. But for now, let's get on with the heart of my home...the living room!

My living room seems like it has come so far in the past 10 years! This is the room that probably has seen the most change. We added built-ins, changed out the flooring, did board and batten...and truthfully, decorated pretty much every nook and cranny to the nines. :) 
Rug: Link     Chair: Link         Lamp: Link
 Shiplap: Tutorial     Media Console: Tutorial      Builtin shelves: Tutorial

Rug: Link     Clock: Tutorial     Ruffle Pillows: Link  

This picture is how it looked when it was built and put on the MLS...circa 2007! Yes, that's 12 years ago! The pictures on the MLS were just ridiculous, and this was the one they chose to put of the living room. Yep. The only one. 
When we walked the house for the first time, I fell in love with the size of this living room. Its is 13' by about 18'. It has 20' ceilings. I remember just feeling engulfed in its vastness. But, that quickly diminished once I put furniture in :) When I first decorated it, I used all the decor that was from our previous apartment. As I mentioned in the post yesterday on my dining room, I was all for the Tuscan look. I wanted to paint walls yellow and red, and use Venetian plaster. I was going to go ALL out. 
 Luckily, my husband didn't want much to do with it. Oh, yes, he wanted it. But he couldn't imagine painting a single wall. Heck, he didn't want any holes in the wall for the first couple of months living here(just look around!). I remember the pressure I got just from hanging those darn curtain rods....and yes, I totally missed on one, but don't tell him ;)
 One of my first diy projects in this house was turning my old little desk into a sofa table by securing fabric and ribbon around it. I was pretty proud of myself for that. 

We then bought our sectional! We got it a Labor Day sale, and pretty much fainted over the cost. At this point, we had never bought anything over $100 for our house. This was quite a bit more, but it has been totally worth it. Ten years later, we still have it! 
The sectional only lasted a hot second in here until it was time to put up the Christmas tree, so we moved it into the front room. I brought our old sofa back in here, and paired it with two extra chairs from my dining room. Oh, and look! We have things hanging on the walls! 
 Did you guys notice that awful color of the tile on the fireplace? I hated that since the day we moved in. But, I guess, lucky for me, it matched my decor at the time with all those browns and burgundy. 

 I soon switched up the chairs for some white chairs I got for Christmas. This was my first step in adding more and more white to the space.

 You can see from this angle the horrible design of these darn alcoves. First off, what the heck were they really intended for? Second, they are not even the same size!!! You have any idea how much that bugged me for years? Like seriously thought about so many options to get them to look the same. 
Back to the white theme. I soon changed out all my curtains for white ones. I also changed out my rug at this point to something a little more plush. This was definitely one of my favorite rugs. I found it at a discount rug place, and wish I had bought a bigger one! I have never found one like it since.
In search for answers on how to make these alcoves not so ridiculous looking, I decided on adding shelves in them. This was probably a game changer for me. I seriously hated the alcoves sooooo bad. And now, they were my favorite thing about this space! And still are!

 Of course, I didn't change it on the other end. I couldn't quite figure out what to do with the TV. 

This was a point that I switched out my coffee table for some diy tree stump tables I had painted white. I also added a little cover to my fireplace surround to hide the ugly salmon colored tile. I was slowly transitioning to my all white Scandinavian vision. 

 Oh, why do I constantly have a blanket wrapped around my seat cushions in pretty much all the pictures? My dog. We had a yellow lab that left his pile of hair e.v.e.r.y.where.  We slept on the couch when we were gone. So, this was my easy way of keeping the hair off the cushions for when guests came over. Just ripped off the blanket! 
 Here's another view from a different season. I did change out the curtains to white ones...well, because that's what I do :)
This was the era that burlap and jute were king. I shared these diy striped burlap curtains with you from my front living room. They were actually meant to be in here first. I quickly realized how they did not offer any sort of privacy at night. They were completely see-through. And yes, years into living here, we still didn't have any blinds. I truthfully don't have any clue why not.

 I switched the curtains out and the jute rug to keep transitioning into keeping everything white. I added my chunky knock-off garden district mirrors to the corner. They are still here today! I take them down and the space feels so naked and dark. They bounce the light off the room beautifully! 
Now it was time to bring the sectional back in here. This was the point that I realized the danger in having those stumps in our main living space with small babies trying to walk. The cushioned ottoman was so much better for scooting around. 

 Had to throw this in :) My sweet old Max dog. 
A new year, a new rug! Also, more whites and neutrals.

And because it's another year and apparently that's what I do, I switched out my rug again. I also thought adding more color was going to be my new thing. This was where I was unsure of my style. I was trying to figure it out and had outside influences persuade me. Every other blogger was using happy bright colors. I tried to fit the mold...and hated it. I used these pillows for this season, and this season only. Color is just not my thing :)
 Here's a good look at this rug. 
 See that random gold deer art with black? Yes, black! I know...see, I had no clue where my style was going. And all that yellow? ha!

In effort to add more white and break up the beige in my house, I made this slipcover for my ottoman. It seriously did the trick! It helped so much. Also, of course, helped me in my destiny to turn everything white! :) haha. I also added new huge white euro pillows to hide the beige-ness of my couch.

Talking about rug again! And yes, totally way white (with a little grey). But check out all my pillows. White. White. White. 

My next big step in here was adding board and batten to some of the walls and changing out the rug...again. This rug has actually stayed in here every since! 
 At this point, I finally wrapped my mind around what the heck to do with the other alcove and that TV. I built this sliding barn door TV stand, and added more built-in shelves above it. 

 Here's a good look at my random use of board and batten. I was trying to figure out if I should extend the board and batten on this empty wall above the window or keep it the same height. So, instead of doing either, I just kept it naked :)

And now, for the biggest change in this space. My floors! The nasty carpet that had graced our house for 8 years was finally gone. Oh goodness, I'm going to spare you by not showing pictures of this, but pulling up the carpet was sooo gross. There were stains on stains on stains. You never know how gross your carpet truly is until you rip it up and look at the underside. 
 I'm not going to lie, but it was such a hard transition for me with these dark floors. As you saw above, my whole living room was like one solid beacon of white. Everywhere I looked was so bright and cheerful. It took me like 6 months to get used to these floors. And every single day in those six months, I wondered why the heck I made the decision to go so dark. 
 I do love them now....more so because I have gotten used to them. But, I often walk into other homes or model homes and look at their light floor and wonder again why I chose such dark flooring :) I do love the contrast of the dark against the board and batten and my beige walls there's that. You know, I have to find the silver lining! 

 Had to add this in :) This was the year we brought Bo, or newest addition to the family, home. 

Ever since we moved in, for some reason, I had a really hard time being 'okay' with the color of my walls. I wanted so bad to paint my whole entire living room white. But, with 20 foot ceilings, that was problematic...and well, super expensive to hire out. I had sooooo many ideas in my head to help solve that problem, and to also figure out what to do with this wall. I really was never 'happy' with my fireplace area. I hated the mantel. After painting white around my staircase and then loving how the knotty alder looked against white, I decided it was time to add some white to my fireplace. I didn't know how or if this would even look good. So, I just threw up some shiplap and called it good! And I love it! It helped balance this area and not have it so lofty. Plus, I think most decor looks so much better against white :) 

Next, I decided it was about time to make a decision and finished the board and batten. I chose the easy route and just extended it around the room at the same height as the original boards in the dining room.

And this is how it looks today! ...well, technically a couple of months ago. I actually have a few new changes in here that I will be sharing with you next week! So, yeah. Still similar but a little as guess it...a new rug! :) How many is that in now? 8 rugs in 10 years. That's not too bad, right ? ;) 
 Here's a good before again:

And after:
 Wow! So many changes in here over the years! What do you think was the most impactful change? I think the floors were a big change, but I'm thinking the built-ins take the cake. I couldn't imagine this room without them! 

Stay connected this week to see more room tours in celebration of my 10 year blogiversary! If you missed the tour of my front living room, you can click below to see it :) 
And for all the before and afters of my dining room, click below!

Follow me on my social for sneak peaks, live videos, and fun new things that are going on!


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


happy DIYing! Alicia