Living Room Makeover – The Awful (And Awfully Boring) Before

Well, the time has come.  It’s time for me to get on the ball with my living room makeover!  I finished up my whirlwind bathroom makeover, took a couple of weeks off of DIYing to rest up, and now it’s time.

Generally when I start a room makeover, I have some grand vision in my head of what it’ll look like when it’s finished.

I’ll be honest.  I have no such vision for my living room.  I mean, there are certain elements that I’ve already installed, like a whole wall of cabinets, that will be the focal point in the room.  But other than that, I’m at a loss.

I’m just gonna wing it, and we’ll see how that works.

So for now, let me show you what I started off with.  There’s really not much to show.  When we bought the condo, the whole place was filled with apartment-grade everything, and the living room was just a plain, drab, empty box of a room.

You can see the front door on the far left side of the picture, and then our one living room window.  (We only have four windows in our whole condo.  I’m starved for windows and sunlight!!!)

condo living room before 1

And as I’ve said before, when we were handed the keys to our condo, I didn’t even bother waiting for the electricity to be turned on, or clearing out the previous occupants’ junk.  I just went in and started taking pictures.  I was a bit anxious.  :)

You can see how drab and dull the place was, but in my mind, it was a blank canvas.

condo living room before 2

Look at that gross carpet.  Yuck!  It was one of the first things to go.  I’m not a huge fan of carpet in the first place, especially not when living with pets, but living with carpet in a place that was previously used as a rental is absolutely unbearable to me.

The one thing I love about the living room is that it had two large, blank walls.  The possibilities really seemed endless to me.

condo living room before 3

And in that picture above, you can see the hallway to the far right side of the picture.

So to help you get your bearings (and for those of you who may be new here…welcome!), when you’re looking at the front door from inside the condo, to the right is the living room….

condo living room before 1

…and to the left is the breakfast room, which now looks like this…

…but started out looking like this…

And if you stand in front of the door and look straight ahead, you’ll see the hallway.  You can catch a glimpse of that hallway on the right side of this picture of the living room, with the old bi-fold doors on the closet door…

condo living room before 3

That hallway now looks like this

condo hallway laundry room

…but it started out looking like this…

(That picture was taken after I had already started doing work on the condo.  You can see that the flooring had been removed.  With all of my picture taking, I never did get a good true before picture of the hallway!)

So that’s where I’ll leave you today…with all of the possibilities swirling around in your heads!

Although I haven’t done any work on the living room in probably two years, it really looks drastically different from the before pictures above (thank goodness!!).  I would show you today, but in all honesty, the living room is a complete mess right now, filled with tools, ladders, and other randomness.  I’d be horrified if any of you saw it in its current condition.

So today, I’m going to get it clean up and emptied out, and tomorrow in a couple of days in a few days I’ll show you where it stands today.  And hopefully as I’m working and cleaning today, a clearer plan of action will form in my head as to what I want to do with this room.  If that happens, I’ll share that with you tomorrow as well.

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Comments

  1. says

    I just found your blog a few days ago, and I have been floored by how cohesive and homey your condo is, especially with so many bright colors! I am definitely going to steal some of your DIY projects and adapt them for my rental apartment. :)

    I’m anxious to see what you’re doing with your living room – if your other rooms are anything to go by, I know it’ll be amazing!

  2. Kathy Coley says

    I am really excited about what you will be doing with your Living Room. I just love when anyone can add on a room or can re-do a room. I am going to enjoy this.

  3. Christine says

    Looks like in the one next to the last picture you have painted the walls and put white boards on the bottom, and done the floors already like you did in the kitchen to tie in with the kitchen. Looks good.

  4. Carrie O. says

    Wow! That breakfast room makeover is amazing! I’d already seen a picture of your breakfast room, but now that I’ve seen a “before” picture, I can’t believe it’s the same room. I wish I had that kind of vision for decorating. Wonderful job!

  5. Peggy says

    Yeah! Let the decorating begin…..this is just like watching a great movie or reading a good book….looking forward to the next chapter……I know I won’t be disappointed at your creative genius in your living room……I’ll be checking in often to see what has inspired you! Have fun!

  6. Carol says

    There’s not a doubt in my mine that it will be beautiful when you finish. Looking forward to seeing what you do.

  7. Becky says

    It is certainly a blank canvas, but I know it will be beautiful you will get that vision and go for it! I have gotten stuck on my own house, we moved in and I thought I would decorate, all we did was rip out the most hideous wallpaper ever created and paint everything white…I can’t wait to see what you do next! I have to say too, your breakfast room actually looks bigger AFTER you put things in it! (and so pretty) great work as usual on all these rooms…and I am excited to see the end result;)

  8. Julie says

    wow you have a good eye, i whish you could help me out with my living room :(
    if i sent you a picture would you /could you help me ???????

  9. says

    Kristi! I love the before and after pictures of your home. I cannot believe what you did with those space already. I cannot wait to see what magic you work in that living room of yours. Thank you for sharing your really inspiring talent. I am so much more confident handling power tools and taking a can do attitude with DIY since I started reading your home makeover posts.

  10. julie says

    I love your blog. I love you. You are one of the most inspiring and motivating DIY’ers I follow. So excited to see what you do with your living room. The rest of your place looks fab!!

  11. says

    omg – that breakfast room, the hallway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i can’t wait to see the living room!!! wow. wow. wow!!! unreal!!!!! great job so far, fabulous!

  12. says

    There is no doubt about how your next project will look when you’re done, you might not know what colours to use or how the lay-out will look, but one thing’s for sure, with you at the helm it will be spectacular. Loads of good luck and lets see the end results asap. All the very best. Mary

  13. says

    Kristi,
    I’m almost giddy to see what you come up with! Is that normal? I just LOVE your breakfast room. Talk about night and day. Whoever buys your condo will be one lucky person. Then you get to start all over with your new house.

  14. says

    WOW WOW WOW! I’m not sure I would have had your bravery to take on this condo. I’m just floored at the before pictures! I know the living room is going to be fabulous because of everything else you’ve completed! Can NOT wait to see what you do! XO

  15. Pamela says

    Kristi…..I am holding breath in anticipation as I know whatever you decide to do or not do it is going to be fabulous dahling! Simply fabulous!
    Can’t wait to see the update!!!!
    Sleep tight and maybe you will DREAM your new space…..:0)
    Hugz…..

  16. says

    Kristi, your transformations are remarkable. I’m wondering, though… you were talking a while back about staging and selling, and you wrote that you’re not going to dull down your home because you think good design will HELP sell it. I agree! But I’m wondering — if your plan is to put the condo on the market, why spend resources making the living room as fabulous as the breakfast room and the bathroom are? You said you’d fixed the floors and made some built-ins, we can see the wall treatment, and I’m sure that the other elements of the room are well-chosen. So it probably looks pretty good already. Why not stage it for sale in the traditional, de-personalized way instead of making it fabulous?

    It’s a genuine question; my mother will soon be selling her unusual house, and we’re wondering what strategy to take before putting it on the market. Is it because you think that a condo with a cohesive, consistent style will sell itself better (if to a smaller slice of buyers)? Is it because you want it to reflect YOU for your remaining time there, or because you want to perfect this condo before you leave it?

    I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of your progress, and I hope that you feel like talking about the reasoning behind your choices!

    • says

      Elizabeth, I’m not completely sure that I could fully explain the madness that goes on in my head. :-D The short answer is…I’m doing it because I love it. For the most part, it’s for my own benefit, and my own sense of accomplishment. :) And while it would certainly wouldn’t be prudent for most people to spend the money completely decorating rooms in their home knowing that it will soon go on the market, you also have to factor in the fact that my blog is my job, and my main source of income. So I basically get paid for decorating my home. I have a certain monthly “allowance” that I can spend on decorating and on projects for my blog each month (I consider it an investment in my business…spending money to make money), and I see at least a 10-fold return on that money each month. So from a financial perspective, I don’t necessarily consider the money spent as an investment in my condo. I consider it an investment in my business.

      Hope that explains it a bit! :)

  17. Carolyn says

    You are just amazing, you can take nothing and make it into a masterpiece. I hope you
    know that you are very special as not many people can do this. Keep up the good work,
    I love your blog, it is full of wonderful things. Happy Spring!!

  18. Debbie from NC says

    hello, i bet your tired from all of this today..i see the white living room, is that when you first moved in? I wanted to see a pict. of it with the blue cabinets and what it looked like when it was a living room, just nosey i guess..Can’t wait until you star posting on what your doing..thanks Debbie

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