Our Living Room – Before + After
Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Modsy. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.
When we bought our house in May, I was most worried about making our living room work for us. For Finn and me, this space is the most important because we spend so much time relaxing, entertaining, and hanging out in a living room. And when we bought the house, there was a huge wall smack dab in the middle of the room. Let me remind you of how things looked on closing day…
It was a very narrow living room with lots of brown on brown on brown. Yikes. Within the first few weeks of our renovation, those walls came down and the room felt soooo much more open!
Wow, such a difference! But now that the room was more of an open concept, I struggled to visualize where the heck to put everything. Where should the couch go? What about the TV? Did I have room for built-ins?
Enlisting Modsy for Help
In July, I decided to enlist Modsy to help with the layout of this space. I showcased the entire process in this blog post along with the two design options they created for me. If you’re not familiar, Modsy is an online interior design service that gives you realistic 3D designs of your exact room. They’re able to fill the space with shoppable pieces so you can virtually “try on” products before you buy them! They have a few plans ranging from $79 for the classic version to $499 for the luxe package (where you get priority service, paint color help, and more!). Again, I feel like it’s money well spent to hire a designer to help guide your room design! And if you use the code “DIYPLAYBOOK” you’ll get 20% off your order (excluding the Luxe package).
While I had a good idea of the furniture and decor I wanted for the room, I was totally lost on the layout. They helped me so much with this. Once I received my two design plans, I worked with my Modsy designer to tweak things even more. I also used their online tool to swap out items and try on different pieces of furniture and decor before buying more items for our living room.
My Final Modsy Design
After some back and forth with my designer and more tweaking from me, here’s the final design we created!
Now let’s take a look at it in real life…
Our Living Room Makeover
I really can’t even explain how much I love our living room makeover. It’s the one room I’ve primarily focused on since we moved in last August and it really feels like “us.” Cozy, layered, neutral (but with a bit of color), and lots and lots of texture. While I loved our living room in our condo, we pretty much started over for this living room. We ended up selling our large sectional to our neighbors, which prompted us to buy a new couch for the house.
The couch is the comfiest couch ever. Seriously, it’s totally nap-worthy. The fabric has held up beautifully (even after a few chocolate stains, eek!) and I’m so happy we upgraded to the kid/pet/chocolate-friendly fabric!
Our front window area makes me smile with all of that sunlight streaming in.
I shared the details about the chairs in this post and our new olive green curtains warm up the space even more. When friends come over, these chairs make for great additional seating in this room.
We still have our favorite leather chair and I love the warmth the cognac color brings to this room. I actually sit in that chair pretty often (especially when Finn is watching sports). I’ll sit there on my laptop doing work, while he watches football and it makes for a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon.
Our coffee table also made the trek from our condo. I love the round shape and it still looks amazing after a few years. Such a gorgeous piece.
I found the wood sideboard at the Restoration Hardware Outlet in a suburb of Chicago. Their stuff is such high-quality and I was able to get it for 50% off…such a great deal. It’s Russian Oak so it’s super heavy and well-built. I love it. Our contractor still needs to come to mount our TV and soundbar, so that’s one thing left on our to-do list. We would do it ourselves, but the walls are plaster and it makes us nervous hanging something so heavy on a construction material we’re still learning. When we do, we’ll use this TV mount because it’s the absolute best and super sturdy.
Side Note: A few people have asked why we don’t just keep the TV where it is. We would, but we ended up adding an outlet on the wall behind the TV and it’s peeking out a bit from the top (the pictures don’t show it very well). So we want to make sure we have that all hidden.
The Modsy design really helped me figure out what to do with the “extra” space in this room. I’m so happy we went with a small round dining table over here. We use it all the time and it fits in this area perfectly. Plus, since our kitchen isn’t exactly how we want it just yet, we often come in here to eat. I would like to add a gallery wall of some sort to the blank wall near the table, but I’m sure it will take some time as I find the perfect pieces for this prominent spot.
After deliberating between white and black paint for the back of our door, we ultimately ended up going with black paint and black door hardware. I adore the contrast and I’m thrilled we went for it!
I’m really happy we ordered an ottoman to go with our couch. It’s on wheels, so on movie nights, we wheel it over so we have even more space to lounge. Most of the time, it acts as a little bench where we sit to put our shoes on and off near the front closet.
I was originally eyeing a different piece for our entryway console, but the one we had from our condo ended up working here beautifully. We have a little tray for our keys, a lamp that automatically goes on in the evening for gorgeous ambient light, and some secret storage for our picture albums and scrapbooks (you know, the important memories that we want to have nearby!). My snake plant is somehow surviving in that corner and I’m so pleased with how good it looks (especially in my favorite planter!).
And you read all about the very special art my grandmother painted from this post. It’s my favorite piece in the entire living room.
With all of the furniture figured out fairly early on, I had so much fun nailing down the accessories and decor. I always like to add personal pieces that tell a bit about our story and I did just that in our living room makeover. This wood dough bowl holds polaroids from fun times with friends.
On my DIY side table, I have a wooden box we got on our honeymoon to Mexico, this faux jade plant, and a Belleek vase filled with photo booth strips (I love displaying them in creative ways).
Right by the front door, I hung our home key art. I found the shadow box at Michaels and the light wood complements our other decor so well. Everyone who walks through the door comments on this piece, so I know it’s the best spot for it!
On our console, I have a typewriter that we used at our wedding (we had a love letter theme) and a wicker basket filled with postcards from our travels.
It’s these special personal touches that really make it feel like home in here.
Before & After
And just for fun, let’s take a look at a few before and after angles (along with the Modsy designs in there too!)…
Living Room Sources
Hardwood Floors // Wall Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” // Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White” // Door Color: Sherwin Williams “Tricorn Black” // Couch // Rug // Coffee Table // Leather Chair // Gray Chairs // TV Sideboard // Entryway Console // Modern Planter // Floor Length Mirror (old from CB2) // Ottoman // Floor Lamp // Table Lamp // Curtains // Curtain Rod // Dining Table // Dining Chairs // Dining Tray // Side Table (DIY project) // Wood Side Table // Wood Bowl // Votive Holder // Tree Basket // Olive Tree // Custom Frames // Mudcloth Pillow // Other Pillows (HomeGoods, old from Pottery Barn, old from Rejuvenation & custom-made) // Pouf // White Blanket // Lidded Basket (similar) //White Vase // Green Marble Tray // Faux Jade Plant // TV Mount // Speaker System //Home Key Art
Catch Up on Living Room Blog Posts
- Removing a Load Bearing Wall
- Doors & Door Knobs
- Our Hardwood Floors
- Choosing Paint Colors
- Shopping for Our Couch
- Custom Couch Details
- Living Room Seating
- Living Room Dining
- Framing Custom Art
- Our Smart Lighting System
- Choosing Window Treatments
- Installing Window Treatments
- Sonos Speaker System
- Living Room Gallery Wall
As I mentioned in this post, there are still a few things on the list to finish off our living room makeover (for now…). That includes mounting our TV, adding a gallery wall, and installing our new window treatments (they come in a few weeks!). Other than that, I’m sure I’ll forever be tweaking our living room space. But for now, I’m absolutely in love with it.
If you need help with a room in your house, I highly recommend giving Modsy a try! Use code “DIYPLAYBOOK” for 20% off (excluding the Luxe package).
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.