Home Makeover: Front Burner Edition.

It all started with something as innocent a coffee table…

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Ever since we moved into our beautiful house in Old Town, Casey and I have worked hard to make this a warm and inviting space that makes us happy.  Working from home, we spend a lot of time in our house!  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m antsy from being laid up for the past two weeks, or maybe it’s our turning-30 crisis – but we’ve been talking a lot lately about wanting to replace some of our old junky furniture with nice “adult” pieces.  Clearly an expensive project that would need to be done piece by piece over time.

Yesterday afternoon Casey posed the question, “what would you say is the worst piece of furniture in this house?”  Without even thinking, we both immediately knew the answer – the coffee table.  If you can even call it that.  We had two cheap glass-topped side-by-side tables that I hated the minute we assembled them.  No matter what we tried, the glass was always filthy and the tables were always out of line.  They drove us crazy.  (I see glass-topped tables everywhere – HOW do people keep them looking sparkly and nice?) 

We decided it was time to invest in something nice, something made of real wood.  After a LOT of online shopping, price comparisons, and phone calls all around the DC metro area, we found ourselves at the Tyson’s Corner Pottery Barn last night, purchasing this beauty – the Hyde Coffee Table.

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And of course as I talked circles around Casey discussing the ten million different options for what we could change in the room, we decided we also needed something on the wall behind the TV.  A trip to Z Gallerie later, two gorgeous wall sconces were heading home in the back of our car…

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Can I just add that it is really nice to have a husband that actually gets involved with decorating?  For the most part I get to make the final decisions, but I love that he actually shares opinions and make suggestions.  It makes the whole experience so much more fun!

Now I know it probably seems like we just moved in and decorated our new space.  But the truth is, we’ve lived here almost two months now.  I think with any new space, you have to set something up, feel it out, and adjust it to work better as you grow into it.  From our first living room tour, here is the before image with the dirty glass tables…

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And here is the gooooorgeous after shot!  Complete with new coffee table and fantastic wall sconces above the couch.

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Perhaps you are thinking, wait a minute – what happened to those DIY wall hangings that they made for the empty spot over the couch?

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It turns out the sconces looks much better there than the wall hangings, so we swapped them out.  Don’t worry, you’ll see where they ended up in a minute!  Now the living room makeover isn’t totally done yet – we will still want to get a few colorful couch pillows and some decorative coffee table items, but I wasn’t willing to wait another day to show you guys.

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Once we brought in the coffee table and the sconces, we were totally in love…with the left side of the room.  Having such nice, pretty furniture on one side really made our Ikea bookshelves stick out like a sore thumb on the opposite wall.  We still liked the shelves, but the color and texture contrasts were just too much with the new setup.  We started thinking about ways to mix it up.  Here’s the before…

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And the AFTER!  Ahhhh I am in love with this space!  And the best part is that with the exception of the tall floor vase, we made-over the TV area using only items we already had. 

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Here is the before shot of the bookshelves and TV, as you would see them from the couch.  (Bookshelves were repurposed upstairs in our bedroom!)

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Aaaaand the AFTER – clean, creative, and much more appealing.  The wood structure is actually the bench to our dining room table, which we are currently using in the office as a double desk.  The painting came from our bedroom, and the floor vase was an awesome find in the sale section at Z Gallerie (great store). 

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As for the books, this was an idea that we played with for quite a while.  To be honest, I don’t think the pictures quite do it justice – I absolutely love it.  We took all of our books and cookbooks and laid them out like bricks, overlapping in rows that were relatively even in height. 

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Because of the overlap, they are actually pretty easy to remove individually without disrupting the whole layout (because after all, books are for reading!).  I tried to keep the ones I reference most often towards the top to make it easier.

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Our cable box is cleverly perched inside the wall of books (with just enough room to ventilate), so that you don’t even really notice it.  We’re planning to get some sort of wooden shelf to hang above the TV, but other than that I think it looks great!  Our original intention was for the wall sconces to be on this wall, but we quickly realized they were much better suited behind the couch.

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One more angle from before…

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And now AFTER!

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And do you see the old wall hangings still tying into the living room scheme?

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They are bringing some life to our staircase now.  Cascading up the steps and bringing a wave of color with it…

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Looks great looking down from above too.

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So there you have it – our living room makeover!  A few pillows, a shelf, and a few table items will make it perfect, but for now I’d say it’s pretty darn close.

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The older I get (can you tell 30 is creeping up on me?) the more I realize what a homebody I have become.  I think having a warm and peaceful personal space is so important to feeling calm and centered. 

I’m pretty new to playing around with decorating and design, and I definitely still have so much left to learn.  But I do know one
thing – I have smiled every single time I’ve walked into my new living room today.  And for today, that is enough.  :)