Cue the lights! Rev up the wallpaper steamer! Whip out those paint brushes! We’re back and sharing a room update on our most complete room of the house; our living room. But spoiler alert, it’s still not done. And to be honest, depending on where ya look, we’d say it’s farrrrr from done.
When we first moved in back in January, this room had a few things going for it, and a lot not going for it (sorry, Mrs. R.). One of the things we absolutely loved about this room was the tin ceiling that was salvaged from a local school building, but oh man, it was a bitch to paint. The carpet is also in great shape, and we LOVED that the previous owners were so kind to leave their furniture for us when we first moved in. In the time between leaving our apartment and closing on our house, 95% of our life was packed in two tiny storage units, and let’s face it, we weren’t sacrificing valuable storage space for our shitty college furniture anyways. Also, if you don’t like swear words, maybe this isn’t the post for you. This is a longer post, and there’s lots of ’em.
Here are a few shots of the living room from the day we moved in on January 15, 2019.
It’s so much fun for us to look at these pictures more than a year after we toured the house for the first time! So much has changed, yet there’s still so much to do. We’ve talked about the things we liked about the room already – the carpet, the tin ceiling, the window – but as you can see, there were a few things that had to go. This list included the grass wallpaper, excessive amount of driftwood, lots of taupe trim, the lantern, and of course, duck wallpaper.
Without further ado, here’s a juicy list of everything we’ve done so far to our living room.
TOOK DOWN THE DRIFTWOOD
Almost immediately. Seriously. We took the before photos, broke out the hammer, and that’s when we realized that Mr. R loved 24-inch nails (or something close to that).
REMOVED WALLPAPER AND PAINTED
Alan really lucked out with snowdays when we first moved in, and we couldn’t wait to break out the wallpaper steamer and wish this shit goodbye. The wall in the photo above was covered in a grass wallpaper, which our real estate agent tried telling us was “back in style”. All of the duck wallpaper had to go. We really lucked out again as the walls were pretty clean underneath, unlike our kitchen and dining room walls (which we’re still not ready to talk about.) In case anyone out there wants to steal these paint colors too, they’re Well Watered and Piece of Cake by Magnolia Home.
We also gave the ceiling a coat of fresh white paint, and that really made the snow day a lot less fun. This ceiling was a bitch to paint, and we look at a few spots here and there and question if we should slap on another coat. But then we remind ourselves that we have too much self respect to put ourselves through that again.
INSTALLED NEW RECESSED LIGHTING
And to reference Alan’s Facebook post, “Like our new pendant lights? Laryssa almost gave me her ring back after wiring these. 😉” We still have a bit of work to do over here, like patching holes and smoothing drywall, but they’re definitely an upgrade.
INSTALLED CROWN MOLDING
INSERT ALL SWEAR WORDS IMAGINABLE HERE. And hell, “installed” is a stretch as we still need to sand holes and paint it. Also don’t look too closely. Laryssa’s uncle is a former finish carpenter, and her cousin Dave installed the most beautiful trim the world has ever seen. Then, well, then there’s ours. When we were installing it, Alan’s narrative went something like this: “Measure twice, cut onc….aahhh shit.”
BUT it’s up. It adds CHARACTER. And if you squint your eyes hard enough, it looks SEAMLESSLY BEAUTIFUL. And the wonky miters aren’t anything caulk can’t fix.
UPGRADED [SOME] OF OUR FURNITURE
And again, we were so thankful when we first moved in that the previous family left us their couch and chairs, otherwise we would have been bag-chairing it up for the first six months in our house. But as grateful as we were for the furniture they left, we had no regrets upgrading. The recliner was a gift from Laryssa’s grandma, and the couch was a gift to ourselves. Our number one priority when we were searching for our new sofa? A good napping couch, and we found it.
GOT MARRIED AND WENT ON OUR HONEYMOON
And that put a halt on a lot of house projects, and gave us a forest of eucalyptus that we will be getting every last penny out of.
FINISHED OUR WINDOW AND DOOR TRIM
When we took down the wallpaper and painted this room, one thing we had to remove was a piece of trim that ran about 18″ below the ceiling. This trim also served as the top piece of trim for the window and door. And per our usual, it took us six months to finally fix the window trim.
We actually made the trim ourselves using our miter saw, table saw, and router. The window trim was a challenge for us as the window casing sticks out about a third of an inch from the wall, so in order to make everything look right and avoid gaps, we essentially had to make pieces of trim that had an L-shape. We swore a few times, but after a few shots, we finally got the trim up. What a difference it makes!
PUT UP OUR GALLERY WALL
We had been dreaming of this gallery wall forever, or as Laryssa calls it her “My Andrea Wall.” We knew from the very beginning that we wanted a big set of these gold frames from Target to be the star of this wall, but these frames seriously never go on sale. Never. We used our wedding gift cards and our Target registry coupon to finally make this wall happen, and it brings smiles to our faces every time we look at it.
Even though we’ve already made a ton of progress in this space, here are a few more things we want to work on in the weeks, months, and years to come:
◦ FIND A PLACE FOR OUR CHRISTMAS TREE! [Any help Amy? Or Mrs. R?]
◦ Finish the crown molding and baseboard molding.
◦ Finish patching drywall around the new recessed lights
◦ Switch out all of the light switches.
◦ Install new, more energy-efficient windows.
◦ Build or buy a new set of end tables.
◦ Replace the tan/orange chair.
◦ Give the ceiling a second coat of paint. [*^&*^*(&^&&***]
◦ Install a set of french doors in between the living room and the office.
◦ Redesign the TV/entertainment center area [but we have no idea what that would look like yet.]
◦ Reconfigure the stairs so they take up less floorspace.
But until then, congratulations, hugs, and participation awards to anyone who made it all the way through this post!