Friday, February 26, 2010

Before And After: Living Room Edition

I have so many ideas and directions that I could go with in this room, it makes my head spin. As I poured through old photo albums I realized the living room has had many looks over the years.  It is the only room besides the bedrooms which had been painted twice. It was originally a lovely spring green, and then with the purchase of new couches the cork color was chosen.  

Early on the room was filled with a few antiques, but over the past several years, I've decided only those pieces which were functional would stay.  I want to lighten and brighten the room, but how we will do that with the existing furniture will be the challenge.

Original (the wall on the right was opened by two feet)

We have our computer in the main living room, and currently use an IKEA desk which is anything but attractive.  Originally we needed a proper computer desk for the computer's CPU, but now with our Mac it is not really necessary.  Although I do wonder where everyone puts their printers and scanners? 

Original (beautiful gold flecked fiber wall)

Warning:  there will be a slight change in topic for the next two paragraphs, as the author of this blog wishes to meander down memory lane.  

Can you believe she is 14 now?  This was a month or so after she cut off all her hair while I was taking a nap (I was allowed, remember the "she was with child" scenario that came with the house?)  I felt I needed to remind you, just in case you had forgotten.  And for those of you who didn't need naps while you were in your last trimester.  You have no place being here at Bungalow'56, so shoo.  

Now back to my little hairdresser....she was so proud of the job she had done, she even put all the hair in a baggie to bring to me.  All I could say was that it looked wonderful and hadn't she done an amazing job.  Did I mention she had long hair?  Yup, beautiful long hair.  But you know what?  It grew back.

This parenting moment was brought to you by Bungalow'56, a home where more is caught than taught.

Now back to our regular HGTV blog programming


I'm surprised at how spacious the room looks in the pictures, it is very deceiving, as right now it feels crowded as though the room has shrunk (Or is this Alice In Wonderland phenomenon simply because I have grown....hmm?)   Note to self: Find scale.

I am continually trying to edit, and have my eye on the bookshelves which are far too busy for my taste. The piano must stay,  our eldest started piano lessons when she was five and had short hair.  The piano was given to us by my parents.  My Organized Sister took lessons for a few years and it had not been played for a decade or two.  It is in need of a transformation also.  Is painting a possibility?  We'll see.

Looking from the front hallway

You may have noticed that my walls are bare... only my walls, which is, as it should be, as this is not that kind of blog.  The white square above the piano is a practice poster created by my youngest.  We do have wonderful art, but everything was taken down when the room was rearranged two years ago (by a wonderful interior designer friend) and I never put anything back up.    

I had plans....I was going to paint. I think I mentioned that was two years ago.  That would be 24 months of navel paint gazing.

And of course there was no point is hanging pictures before I created that new look.  To be especially helpful with the process, I stuck wonderful green painters tape squares throughout the house,  highlighting where the holes needed to be repaired before painting.  

Those have likely been up for almost a year now.  Can you see how my analysis paralysis has become a problem?   

The painters tape was a hopeful gesture.  And I knew Painting would eventually happen, and that is why the paint tape has remained; if anything, it's been a great conversation starter. 

But no more, this professional procrastination must come to an end.  

Today is the first day of the rest of my living room's life.  

My apologies;  I know you were waiting on the edge of your toilet seat, but the "Blue Throne" room transformation will have to wait until Monday.... I promise, it will be worth it.



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  1. I am really enjoying your before and after photos. Your home looks so warm and inviting!

  2. Thanks Lana, I'm really excited about what will be in store for the new look. This will force me to finally make some decisions.

  3. I too am enjoying the before & afters. I also have a piano I'm debating on painting - it's really not an attractive wood, but it's in the basement so I forget about it. Your hair cutting story cracks me up! My daughter did that same thing, but with her best friend - my best friend's daughter. I blogged about it will crack your business up :)

  4. Hi, Dana! It's so nice to meet you, and even nicer that we have so much in common. Love this transformation, but I think I love the hairdresser story even more. That's priceless - especially because she brought it to you in a bag. Clever!

    And that moulding - love it!

  5. Talk about work, wow! The love your living room its so open and bright that those baseboards, my or my!

    That's the cutest story about your daughter!! I remeber being a little girl and wanting bangs and DIY my own hair - not a cute look on me - lol

  6. I love your "interruption" --so funny! And what an amazing transformation of your living room! It's bursting with sunlight--my kind of room. I bet it feels amazing looking at your befores and seeing how far your house has come. Great job! Can't wait to see the blue throne transformation!

  7. Wow! well documented!! I have that paralysis you talk about!! I paint a wall ... maybe a room... first coat... LOVE it... imagine it with the white trim I will one day paint and then it sits... for a year or two! or three?! sigh.... and the pictures... on the walls... that aren't there... one day I will get to them! Really Your before and after had me saying WOW the whole time! ;)
    Just Jenn

  8. Dana-

    I'm so glad I've found you over here! I love this blog...I love transformation...watching change unfold before my eyes. I love the stories behind and within the change.

    I'll be back for more!

  9. Amazing difference.

    if you'd like a thought on the scale issue. i love all three of your seats but they all have large over sized arms- that when grouped together like that tend to dwarf the coofee table and the piano with the little stand next too it too. you need height over there. hang some pics near that piano- drawer the eye up a little. those are just my objective thoughts looking at the photos, i hope you don't find me rude- i just like when i get objective input...

  10. No, this is the reason I've put the pictures up for the world to see. Thanks for the input. I am definitely planning some pics for the piano wall, or perhaps a series of shallow picture shelves to lean them on. I had never really looked at the arms of the couches, they are high and wide, and you're right they take up a lot of visual space. Everything is big and clunky. Eventually these will change but not for awhile, and of course I would make different choices today. I do have to say though, they are perhaps the most comfortable couches I have ever sat on. Visitors often comment on this also. I think thats why I want to edit everything else, because the room feels so full just with the furniture.

    I love input.
    Please feel free to analyze! I love getting different perspectives.

  11. WOW! Love your inviting living room after pictures.
    I think it has a very open airy feel to it. Beautiful job.


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