One Room Challenge Week One – The Living Room

I’m a little hesitant to even publish this post because then the (self-induced) pressure is officially on. It’s time for another One Room Challenge from Linda at Calling It Home, and I’m half excited/half terrified to join in. During the last ORC in the fall, I worked on our den, which you can see here. The fireplace redesign was the most significant part of that project and it didn’t get finished until after the challenge was over, but you can see the lovely results here.

living room progress

So why am I nervous about participating? Because this time around, the room I want to tackle is our living room. It’s the first room you see when you walk into our house, and it’s pretty much empty. We’ve lived here for over a year and it’s still unfurnished! Our old house only had one living area so we use that furniture in our den. We’ve been trying to decide how we want to use the front room because the last thing we need is a “formal” living room that hardly gets any use.

In case you’re wondering how we can possibly stand having this room empty all this time, I will say that it has really come in handy for a few parties and large family gatherings during the holidays.

Before Pix (during our walkthrough with the realtor):

living room before

One thing I love is how much more spacious this room feels with the hardwood floors. The carpet wasn’t in bad shape, but with a dog and two young children, the light color was really impractical for our family. Plus it’s a lot easier to replace your flooring when the house is empty!

living room before

That shelving unit on the far end was a DIY that had seen better days so we ripped it out. I think that area might is prime for some updated shelving or storage. Looking back at these pictures, I remember how busy this room felt. It’s not because there’s so much stuff, but because there are so many different styles going on. One of my goals in our home is to make it feel cohesive, especially now that the floor plan is more open.

living room before

The living room connects to the dining room, which leads into the kitchen. You can check out our full kitchen reveal here. We turned the wall between the kitchen and dining room into a pony wall. I’m sure you’ll be sad to know we replaced that chandelier over the dining table, which my daughter said looked like an upside-down wedding cake. The nice folks who bought the old dishwasher were pretty excited when I told them they could have it for free.

living room before

Here’s the view facing toward the front entrance and the stairs to the second floor. The kitchen is through that entrance on the right. We had our builders remove the old double doors to the kitchen and expand the entry to let in more light and expose part of the stairway. It’s made a huge difference and it’s one of the best decisions we made (Thanks, Mom, for the suggestion!)

I have some big ideas for this space, which I’ll share next Thursday!

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