My Living Room Redo {Before & After}

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Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

Today was a “feel good movie” kind of day. The clouds were out and the sky was dark. I woke up with a migraine headache. So, after taking a couple of Excedrin, the girls climbed in bed with me and we watched one of my all time favorite movies Secretariat. Love that movie! So awe inspiring. I love horses and the fact that it’s a true story makes it even better.

Later in the day we watched another wonderful movie, also based on a true story, Fly Away Home. It’s about a girl and her father who hatch 16 Canadian Geese and raise them, then teach them how to fly with their homemade airplanes. Amazing!

Next up was another horse movie, Hildago. Excellent – and based on a true story too!

Anyway, last Sunday I spent the day painting my living room. Finally, after ten years I decided to tackle the living room! I’d dreaded doing it because of the bookcases filled with hundreds of books and all of the large heavy furniture. But, now that it’s done I’m wondering why it took me ten years! Really.

We’ve always loved this room. Guest have always commented on how nice the room was and cozy. It’s one of our favorite places in this old house!

Oh, but now! The girls and I can hardly believe the difference a little bit of paint and some rearranging of the decor changed the room.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

The room was painted a cream color – the walls were the same color as the molding. I’ve always struggled with the mantle. Up until a few days ago I had lots of family photos framed on the mantle. I decided we needed a change and I removed most everything. But then I didn’t know what to do with it.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

We have lots and lots of books. Only a small portion of our books are in this room. It can be a challenge trying to figure out where to put them all! I have been giving a lot of books away here lately.

I used to think you could never have too many books. I was wrong.

{Excuse the clutter. This was a messy day.}

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

This room has pretty much looked the same since we moved in. The curtains came with the house and were probably 50 years old. I never liked them.

My sofas are totally awesome, though. Truly the most amazingly comfortable pieces of furniture ever. And so well made. We made a good investment when we bought this set!

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

My mother-in-law surprised me with this piano after we moved in to the house. Literally. One day there was a knock on the door and a man says, “I need to know where to put the piano.” And I was like… “Uh, I didn’t buy a piano.”

I would have liked to pick out my own, but it’s been such a blessing and has a good sound and keeps it’s tune.

Anyway, so here’s what I did. I painted the walls a beige, taupe color. I bought the paint about 6 months ago and painted my upstairs hallway this color.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

I had so much fun redoing the mantle. I only bought 4 new items for this room. The Family Plaque was $11.00 at Big Lots. The pitcher on the left was given to me years ago by my sister-in-law and brother when they were stationed in Italy. It says, Casa di Ringstaff. I removed the photo from the oval picture frame, and kept three pictures on the mantle. One of my son when he was about 7 years old. He’s 22 years old now! There’s also a photo of me and my girls from our 4-day, all girl, 24 mile backpacking trip last October – one of my favorite memories!

The bird garland I had purchased last fall at our annual women’s retreat {end of the retreat yard sale}. I collect birds. You’ll find them all over my house.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

Still have lots of books. I re-purposed the baskets on top of the bookcase.

Oh, an notice NO MORE CURTAINS! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this made me. It was a nightmare taking them down. SO many screws and parts!

We replaced all of the windows in the house two Christmases ago. {All 53 windows.} But with the curtains you could hardly see the windows. I didn’t even realize how the curtains were blocking the sunlight. Such a huge difference!

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

I got rid of some of the excess stuff on this table {below} and printed out this sweet little print and framed it. The chicken plate came up from the family room downstairs. I’ve had the floral arrangement for several years now.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

The quilts on the backs of my sofas were purchased on clearance sale years ago for only $15.00 each by my mom. They are twin bed quilts. So pretty and just a perfect match for this room.

The two sets of double doors you see in the photos lead into my sun room.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

I made a slight change above the piano. I added a beautiful clock. There is music in this room off and on all day long {piano, guitar, and violin}. I don’t even have to tell my girls to practice. They just love to play!

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

You can see I have a flower {$2.00 at Wal-Mart} in a sweet little milk bottle. This one was given to me by one of my church members recently when he found out I collect milk bottles. {They’re really hard to find these days!} Anyway, you can’t see it, but there’s a red rooster and sunshine on the bottle and it says, “You can whip our cream, but you can’t beat our milk!” I just love it. I also collect chickens and roosters. The little terracotta planter {which I use for tea light candles} was picked up in Mexico when I was a little girl. The tole painted chicken was painted years and years ago by my mom when I was just a girl. It’s a kitchen trivet, but I like to display it as art. The rooster tea light holder was given to me by my daughter-in-law years ago.

This bookcase {below} was given to me by my mother-in-law years ago. I never cared for it much. In fact, I tried insisting we didn’t need it. I lost that argument. Now, though, I’m so happy with it… Well, I still don’t care for the 70’s, 80’s vibe, but… I’m making the best of it.

I purchased the “Everyday Counts” plague at Big Lots for $8.00 and the silk peonies at Wal-Mart for $2.00 each.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

I purchased the tole painted lunch box at a yard sale twenty years ago. It’s one of my favorite finds ever. The old fan has been sitting in my garage in a pile of junk for ever. It belonged to my husband’s step-father who died in 2001 when he was 87 years old.

The old tool box also belonged to his step-father. I actually went out in the garage and took a bunch of tools out of this box and put my blue Ball Mason jars in it.

I purchased the blue Ball jars last summer from Mr. Cooper who keeps my horses. I bought about 20 jars from him for $2.00 a piece {including the zinc lids} – a super deal considering these jars often go upwards of $20.00 each in antique stores!

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

This frog picture {below} is one I’ve had for about 20 years. It’s a painting based on the book, The Wind in the Willows. It was hanging in our breakfast nook for the last ten years. I wanted something bolder in this space and a burst of inspiration told me to relocate the picture here. I am so in love with this corner now!

The table {moved up from the family room} replaced our old record player. We have a second record player in the family room, so the one that  was in here is going on craigslist.

The plants under the window are sitting in another antique wooden box that came from my husband’s step-father’s garage years ago.

We have five guitars. So they take up space in every corner. 🙂

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

Here is a collection of framed pictures from my wedding. In the first one, if you look closely you can see my son, James, peeking out the church doors at me. He was such a cute little  boy!

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

This has nothing to do with the makeover, but if you drop in for a visit, you’ll often find Emily and her artwork in the living room. This is the current piece she’s working on.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

And finally, right next to the entrance to the living room is this piece of furniture.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

We purchased this years ago at Sam’s Club. It’s a DVD case. I really love it! The picture on the wall was cross stitched for me by my mother almost 20 years ago. The picture of my dad and Laura when she was a baby is sitting on top of an old wooden box that came out of my husband’s tool stuff.

Living Room Make Over {Before and After} | A Virtuous Woman

I spent less than $50.00 on this room makeover including paint. Now, it’s like walking into a brand new room!

I’m sharing this with Thrifty Decor Chick’s May Before and After Party.

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  1. I am wondering if you would mind telling me what the exact paint colors of your walls are, both before and after!? And the pictures of your "after" also seem to vary quite a bit. There is a picture of your piano from far away, and then there is a close up of the piano (with the flower), and the colors look quite different. Would you mind letting me know which is closer to the actual color, please? I had wanted to paint my living room a light tan, and unfortunately the color I ended up picking, now looks pink on my walls, which looks horrible!!!! So I am hoping you can help! Thanks ever so much!!! Diane Carlson
    1. Diane, The picture of the piano from far away is closer to the actual color. I got the paint at Wal-Mart - used satin - Better Homes and Gardens Brand. Light Base. The name of the color is Old Gaucho Trail - I'm not sure if they still have that particular color. It's been a couple of years since I painted it. Here's the numbers for the tint for a gallon size: B: 0Y+42 C: 2Y+28 F: 0Y+14 Hope that helps! :)

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