What started out as a simple paint project has turned into mass chaos in my house. Let me introduce you to the “impromptu” living room renovation on a budget.
My husband and I woke up on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago and decided we were going to paint the living room. Well, truth be known, I said we were going to paint the living room and he has so kindly learned to just respond with a simple “okay” to all of my crazy ideas. He truly is the best.
As we were preparing the living room to paint, I mentioned that I didn’t really like the built-ins. My husband responded with, yeah, me neither and I’m not crazy about that fireplace. And thus, demo day began. Holy moly, you guys. I totally didn’t plan and prepare for this. We started tearing out built-ins, pulling the mantle off and busting up marble. How does a simple idea to paint turn in to such craziness!?
Our home is about 20 years old. It’s a builder grade home that we purchased one year ago. We have been adding our personal touch and style to each of the rooms, but it’s definitely a slow process. I didn’t want to just slap some paint up on the walls in the living room and call it good. I wanted to make it mine. Let me give you a visual of what the living room looked like before we started the reno.
Our living room is relatively small. The walls were a dark tan color, which made it seem even smaller; and there is not a lot of natural light coming in, so it felt a little depressing in there. I wanted to brighten it up and make it more cheerful. You would think that paint alone would do the trick, but nope, we wanted to be spontaneous and have our very own demo day. It’s how we roll. Life would be boring otherwise, right? 😉
The first step in our living room renovation was tearing out the built-ins. They just looked too manufactured. The sides of the built-ins were a peg board material with holes going all the way up and there were these little plastic pieces that held up the shelves. It just wasn’t my style. I prefer more original pieces. My plan was to tear out the built-ins and put a piece of furniture instead. However, once we pulled them out, we realized that there was no floor underneath them. Oops! We had a feeling this may happen, so I did have plan B in mind and I will share that with you shortly.
Living Room Renovation Plans
I wanted to do an accent wall of faux shiplap on the fireplace wall. We recently installed faux shiplap in our foyer and it came out amazing. Check out How to Get the Shiplap Look for Less. This was a good option for this wall because it covered all of the sheetrock blemishes where the build-ins were.
There are wood floors in our living room. They are oak with a honey color stain. Having the floors refinished or replaced was out of our budget. I had to come up with something that would cover the areas without flooring. Introducing plan B.
Little Vintage Nest is one of my favorite home decor blogs. Sarah’s creativity and styling is definitely swoon worthy! I remembered a DIY that she had on turning an empty space into a reading nook. I knew this would be the perfect idea for the area on the side of my fireplace where the built-ins once stood. Since our living room is small, this will give us more seating area also. So that is my plan for one side of the fireplace.
On the other side, I plan to find an armoire that is large enough to cover the area without flooring. This side of the fireplace is in a walkway so I have to be careful what I put here to make sure it’s not in the way.
Fireplace + Mantle
Now on to the fireplace. We started with black marble tiles around the fireplace and flush on the floor in front of the fireplace. I really wanted to add a hearth, so we decided to add a painted brick hearth around the fireplace.
We are DIY’ers and try to do as many of the projects as as we can to save money. However, we’ve never laid brick before and we didn’t want our fireplace to come crumbling down, so the brick laying was the one and only project that we contracted out. We decided to get 2 quotes to have this done and one was almost 4x more than the other. Anytime you hire someone to do something, I would always recommend getting more than 1 quote!
The mantle was very decorative with lots of moldings and fluted columns down the side. Again, not my style. I wanted a simple, rustic look.
Our plan is to install an old pine beam for our mantle. Maybe add some corbels underneath (depending on the price). I am going to love having a hearth to set baskets and plants on, and to decorate for the holidays. I have so many ideas in mind!
Our living room is the space where we gather as a family. We cuddle up on the couch and watch movies, play board games, do our devotions, and just hang out in this room. Creating a special place that is comfortable and practical is a priority. I ordered this Gather Sign from Feather & Birch to remind us that this is our gathering place. Sarah at Little Vintage Nest allured me with her gorgeous display of this sign.
I also wanted to add a special touch with some scriptures for our family that will be forever inscribed on the wall behind the fireplace. We all wrote our names as well, even the 3 year old who just learned how to write his (he was so excited that he had to write is name twice).
Currently, there is very poor lighting in our living room. There are only 3 small track lights in this room and they are so ugly. We plan to change those out to recessed lights and add in a few more on the other side of the room. We have a ceiling fan with no light fixture that will be coming down. By the way, does anyone else hate ceiling fans as much as I do? This room needs some farmhouse living room lighting! I’d love to add some barn light sconces over the reading nook. And how amazing would this pendant light fixture be!! Changing out the lights is going to make a huge difference!
The paint is what got this whole project started. Benjamin Moore White Dove is my go to. For everything! I used it on the sheetrock, shiplap, brick, and trim. I love the Regal Select grade. It is more expensive than the contractor’s grade, but it’s much thicker so you don’t need as many coats. I used Eggshell Finish on the sheetrock, shiplap and brick. I used Pearl Finish on the trim. You really can’t go wrong with White Dove. In my opinion, it’s the perfect white.
You guys, I am so stinkin excited about this living room renovation! We aren’t even finished yet and it is already an amazing transformation. The living room looks so much bigger and brighter. I can not wait to show you all the final results. Of course, I want all new furniture and decor to go with it, but that will have to come in time.
Thanks for stopping by, friends! I hope you have a blessed day! xo