We finished the living room renovation about the same time as the kitchen. However, it took a lot longer to decorate. Our TV sat on a plastic bin for about 6 months before we found the right console. My DIY Lamp Makeover was the last addition to the room.
There are only a few before pictures as the room was adjoining the kitchen. You can actually see the corner of the old island. The placement of the island meant that there just wasn't a lot of room to move in the space. If you want to see how the living is and was laid out in relation to the kitchen and dining room, check out The Kitchen: Before and After. The big changes to the room where that we sealed up the fireplace, renovated the bar and painted feature walls on the two main walls of the room.
We went back and forth about covering up the fireplace. One of the main arguments for keeping the fireplace was resale value. However, the argument that ultimately won out was that the space was so much more functional without the fireplace. We also live in San Diego where the temps rarely drop below 60 during the day and start hitting 90 in March. I think we made the right decision because we have another fireplace in the home, if we want the warm and ambiance of a fireplace.
We went back and forth about the bar area as well. It takes up half the wall and the fireplace took up the rest of the wall. It just seemed like we were potentially sacrificing living space for a ‘70s relic. We ultimately decided to keep it as we thought it would be nice to have a place away from the busy kitchen to grab a beer, open a bottle of wine or mix a quick cocktail. The kitchen area can get congested during dinnertime or parties and the bar has definitely helped alleviate some of that congestion. I also really enjoy having a large area in which to store glassware, liquor and wine. We used the same countertop and cabinets that we used in the kitchen. The wine fridge was our update to the area.
Our contractors had painted the entire space a middle gray but I thought it was a little boring. One night I made a quick decision to turn the living room walls into feature walls by painting them a charcoal color. It was impulsive but definitely the right decision. The walls pull you into the space and make it very cozy. I love the moodiness of the dark gray.
Once we started decorating, we decided we needed some color. We had an old lamp that didn’t work in the room and I really wanted to paint it a bright yellow. It took awhile to convince my husband that yellow was the right color but after a year, I convinced him (I think I just wore him out). You can see my DIY Lamp Makeover here. I painted a few frames the same color (and filled them with prints from minted.com) and added a couple of matching pillows. The great thing is that if we ever get sick of yellow as an accent color then we can just swap them out for something else. It’s a no commitment way of adding a splash of color.