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Living Room Makeover // before

April 1, 2016

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

Welcome to the next post of my home makeover adventure! If this is the first time you’re checking this out you can take a look at the bedroom and bathroom posts too if you’d like :)

This is by far the most difficult room for me to imagine making over. Not because I love the way it looks now (far from it!), but because I feel like there’s so much to do and I don’t want to mess it up. I know that whatever I change isn’t permanent (we’re renting so no painting or renos here), but I hate putting time and money into something that doesn’t end up working. Also, this is the only room that needs new furniture so there will need to be some investment eventually.

The other thing about this space is that it’s the room where we spend the most time, so it needs to be equally comfortable, practical, homey, and generally awesome.

When I see photos of gorgeously styled living areas I always image what the same room would look like with laptops, phone chargers, dinner plates (are we the only ones who hardly eat at the table?), etc in it. How do people achieve the pretty vs practical balance? Have any tips? Let me know in the comments!

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

Okay, now on to my lists.

The must-haves:

color palette // I don’t know! I’d kind of like to stick with neutrals because I feel like it goes well with the weird yellowish wood floor, but then part of me wants to branch out and do something with color.

art work/wall hangings // just a few days after moving in we had so many framed prints hung up everywhere. Then slowly, they fell down one by one and I got tired of putting them back up again. Which brings us to now: nearly blank walls. Matt hates blank walls.

We’re photographers so we have an almost endless source of pictures we could hang, so now the question is: gallery wall or giant prints?

shelves // we have one measly book shelf that sits sadly in the corner all by itself with only about 1/4 of our books on it. The rest are hidden away in a closet which is sad for them (books have feelings too, alright??).

We also have a bunch of old cameras that used to be in our office, but now they too sit in boxes probably being very sad too. It would be nice to have different shelves for the books, cameras, some picture frames, etc. Maybe making it a focal point to deal with all that blank wall space?

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

lighting // I never understood why apartments don’t have ceiling lights in the main areas. Where is all the light?! We have 3 floor lamps which do the trick, and I don’t mind the

couch // matt was given our couch by family before we got married and it’s been good to us. I get that the pink floral isn’t for everyone, but I would take that over the brown floral velour couch of my childhood!

Anyway, it’s old and falling apart. Matt would love a sectional or something with a chaise, and we have the room for it, so hopefully that will happen one day.

Question: statement couch and neutral rug or neutral couch and statement rug?

chairs // the same lovely family members gave us 2 IKEA chairs which are still really comfortable and I like the look of. We also have this blue arm chair, but depending on the couch we might want to swap out the chairs too.

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

board game/puzzle storage // we can’t really change the TV stand we have for various reasons, but I’d like to find a way to use the shelves on it for nicer looking storage. It gets super dusty really quickly too (it’s all black glass) so it would be nice to do something that fills the whole space.

tidy cords // so. many. cords. I know there’s a million ideas on Pinterest on how to keep them tidy, so I probably just need to look through them some more.

The one area that I might just have to live with it the laptop, iPad, iPhone charger situation. We often use those things while they’re plugged in so a charger station wouldn’t really work. But is there a good way to keep them looking tidy without having to constantly tuck them away?

stealthy router // our wifi router is sitting on an end table in the middle of the living room. Ugh. It’s one of those things that needs to stay relatively in the same spot, but how do you keep it functional while not making it an eyesore?

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before // www.thelovelythings.comApartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

and the would-be-nice-to-haves:

coffee and side tables // all these tables are the IKEA Lack series, and although inexpensive and functional they’re quite tired and boring after all these years of use. The sizes and shapes are actually pretty good, but it would be nice to change it up and give everything a new look.

And yes, I’ve looked at about 1,462 IKEA hacks for them. Lots are cool. Most would end up costing the same as just buying a nicer table to begin with ;)

rug // I feel like a big room-filling rug would change this room so much. Again, budget.

plants // this winter I was gifted a palm tree plant which I love. I also can’t stop giving the cactus and succulents in my table top greenhouse all the heart eyes.

So this makes me think that I would really enjoy more green things in my life. And maybe, if I’m really lucky, I would keep them alive for more than a week. One can only hope….. or one can buy artificial ;)

room divider // oh, this metal room dividing grate thing (a full view of it is back up there with the bookshelf). Matt hates it, I kind of love it. Either way it’s here to stay so I wouldn’t mind figuring out something to do with it to embrace it. One that doesn’t involve hanging tissue paper pompoms on it ;)

At Christmas time I hung ornaments on it which I ended up really liking, so I’ve thought about doing something similar in a non-Christmas theme. But then will it look too cluttered? I can’t paint it either, so I’m kind of stuck.

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before // Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

The other thing with this room is that we like to change around the layout of the furniture every so often – usually when summer and winter comes around. So it would be great to be able to keep a lot of these things movable and still functional.

Okay guys, like I said, this is definitely the hardest room for me to figure out so all your thoughts, advice, and ideas are welcome! Feel free to comment below! I’ll very much appreciate it :)

Apartment Makeover - Living Room Before //

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