Living Room Details

Someone pointed out to me that while I provided process details on the living room project ad nauseum, I provided very little practical detail should anyone want to do something similar.

So a quick recap on what got the living room to where it is right now.

Before and after. The living room just needed a little updating and some of the bookshelves had pulled off the wall so there were practical reasons for doing something different to accommodate the books.

I pulled up the carpet because that ubiquitous champagne carpet looks good for about 30 seconds and then real life makes it look like crap. A few years of senior dogs and walking on it had trashed it. Plus, right where the picture on the top cuts off, the carpet ends with a laminate floor that went into the dining room and hall. It looked strange to have a flooring change right in the middle of a space like that.

Here is a picture where you can see where the laminate floor started. Right across the middle of the space. This was the subfloor and it was gross. Some of those “bubbles” are pee spots from pets before I moved in and a few after I moved in. It stunk too. I was so glad to replace that! I also replaced the baseboard to update it and to fix it since the previous owner had done things like this:

When I replaced the floor after the washing machine disaster of 2013, I included the living room too so that the same flooring runs through the entire open space. It looks about 1000% better. And that is a statistically accurate number, I assure you.

The trim is a clean, basic, no-frills trim that I bought in a “builders’ pack” for $33 each at Home Depot. I wish I could remember how many square feet there was in a pack but 4 packs covered about 70% of a 1500 sq foot house. I don’t see the builder packs on their website but they were on an end cap in the store with some other styles.

The floor is a very inexpensive laminate but I love it. I love how it looks and for a cheap laminate, it doesn’t scream “cheap laminate.” I went with a very low-cost option because I was trying to cover as much square footage of the house at one time as possible and I wasn’t really budgeted to replace my floor at that point in time. The floor is Bourbon Street, LOBSLPCEFX in Flaxen. It has a touch more gray than red but since it is sitting next to gray walls, it looks very warm. It has held up brilliantly to dog toe nails and clumsy red heads who may or may not drag heavy things across the floor. It is less happy when liquid sits on it but that only happens when you don’t find it for a while.

I had been looking at the rug for a while. I fell in love with it but it was just too expensive for a house with dogs and clumsy people. Then it came up on for about $300 so I jumped at it. $300 is still more than I like to spend on something I’m so hard on (seriously, I’m like four teenage boys rolled into one, middle-aged woman) but I love the graphic design and color (navy and cream). It is a Safavieh rug and I still see it on Overstock. It looks like it is still under $300 right now too. They were also carrying a brown and white version of this which is stunning.

The coffee table is a style I’ve seen around in a few places. I’ve seen versions of this for around $1000-$2000 which is out of the question for me. I just can’t have anything too precious like that or I would never feel like I could relax and be comfortable. The table I ended up with I found at Cost Plus. They were having an online sale so I got it for 20% (or 30%?) off which put it under $200. I’ve always been a Goodwill coffee table kind of gal but I wanted something very specific (2 tier so games could be kept out on the lower tier for easy access) and I wanted something that would look nice against my new, fancy-pants rug. Cost Plus also let me pick it up from a store which saved me a bundle in shipping costs. I like the wheels because this is supposed to be a game table and now we can roll it around as needed.

The bookcases are the ubiquitous Billy bookcases from Ikea. I put doors on these which gives them more of an uptown look. Two of the bookcases have the doors that are only half glass. These are hiding practical storage areas while the rest is staged because they are on display.

This was my inspiration room for the bookcases. She has a lovely blog. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should spend some time there.

The rest of the room is still in progress really. I despise the louvres on the windows and I got a Home Depot gift card at Christmas so I need to go down there and order some shutters for these windows and the dining room windows. I think they will look so good in here. The couch is in great shape and really comfortable so I’m not in a position to replace it even though the style and color aren’t quite right. I think I can do something with pillows to tie the blue and green better together. I have some ideas with peacock fabric and design. Amy Butler has some amazing fabrics that I keep coming back to that might be fun.


It takes me forever to make decorating decisions. I want to love it to live with it and I want it to be super practical and livable.  Hopefully over the rest of the year I’ll chip away at the other half of the room and get some more seating in there.

Anyone have big project plans for this summer?

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