Finished Living Room Remodel – Before & After

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The living room is finally finished! That doesn’t mean I won’t make a few tweaks here and there in the future, but this is the first time in our 7.5 years in this house that I feel like this room is actually finished. I have no idea why, but this room has been the most difficult room I’ve ever done. Ever. I had so many starts and stops, so many different directions and ideas I tried (even trying to turn the room into a dining room at one point), and it was a source of continual frustration for me for so long.

But it’s finally finished, and I now have a living room that I absolutely love.

finished living room - 1

We don’t have a separate entryway in our home, so the front door opens up right into the living room. So I used the furniture arrangement to create the feel of a separate entryway and living room in the one large room.

finished living room - 2

Here’s a peek at the area behind the sofa. You can see that there’s still plenty of space between the back of the sofa and what I call the entryway wall (i.e., the teal wall on the far right) for a spacious “entryway.”

finished living room - 11

(Note: If you’re reading this post on any website other than Addicted 2 Decorating, that means you’re reading on a site that is stealing my blog content. I hope you’ll consider joining me on my actual blog by clicking here.)

The funny thing is that I tried this furniture arrangement a couple of times through the years, and never could make it work in my mind because I kept trying to keep the areas on both ends of the sofa open for easy access from the “entryway” to the seating area, which meant that I couldn’t use an end table on either side of the sofa.

Once I got past the need for both sides to be open and clear, and I put a large side table and lamp on the window end of the sofa (leaving only one end open to access the seating area from the “entryway”), the whole arrangement felt so much better to me. It seems counterintuitive, but separating those areas more and having only one end of the sofa open for entering the seating area somehow made the living room feel larger.

finished living room - 4

All of the color in this room makes me smile. One of the biggest challenges I had was finding a way to inject all of the color that I love without making the room feel too jarring and overwhelming as the first room seen when someone enters the house. But once I found the beautiful purple rug that has loads of other colors in it without being too overwhelming, that set the tone and gave me a jumping off point for the rest of the room.

finished living room - 14

And then when I found the artwork above the fireplace, it seemed like it was custom painted specifically for my room. I couldn’t believe how it brought all of the colors together so beautifully.

The original piece of artwork that I made specifically to go above the fireplace found a new home on the wall to the left of the cased opening that leads to the kitchen. I actually like it much more in that spot than I did above the fireplace, so that worked out perfectly.

finished living room - 9

Now that you’ve seen the “after” of the room, let’s go back and remember how this room looked originally, shall we?

When Matt and I bought this house, I know so many people thought we were crazy. But I knew it had good bones, and could be turned into something quite beautiful. But I really did have to look past all of the original colors and aged finishes everywhere, because here’s what this area looked like 7,5 years ago.

living room - before 1

And now that view from the front door looks like this…

finished living room - 16

Originally, there was no opening into the kitchen on that left wall. The kitchen felt so small and closed in, especially because it doesn’t have any direct natural light into that room. I decided to open it up to the living room (and all of the natural light in the living room), and it was one of the best decisions I made in this house.

And, of course, there are so many other improvements I made — removal of the polystyrene ceiling tiles, all new drywall, new windows, removal of the carpet to expose the original hardwood flooring (which I refinished). And from the very beginning, I envisioned a fireplace between the two side windows. I also built that myself from scratch. It’s an electric fireplace and not a real fire, but I really just wanted it for the architectural interest and not for warmth.

Here’s a view of the original front wall with all of the windows.

And here’s that view now…

finished living room - 7

And finally, here’s what the fireplace wall looked like originally…

living room - before 3

And here’s what that view looks like now…

finished living room - 21

If only I had gone from that original “before” room directly to this current living room, I could have saved myself so much frustration. And money! But for so long, I just couldn’t find my footing with this room.

I think part of that was me trying to figure out my own style and giving myself permission to actually decorate like I wanted to rather than trying to fill some mold that I thought I needed to fit into being a new homeowner and a blogger in a sea of “country farmhouse” bloggers back then. I knew from the condo days that I loved lots of color, but back then, I always felt a little insecure about that. With seemingly everyone else decorating in neutrals, I felt like when we went from the condo to the house, I had some obligation to decorating in a more “grown up” manner.

The very unnatural decision to try to be something I wasn’t and fit a mold I didn’t feel comfortable in is what led to such results as this in the beginning…

living room with all big projects finished - 6

There’s nothing horrible about that, but looking back on those pictures, it’s hard to imagine that I was actually decorating that room for me. It seems like I was decorating for someone else altogether.

Combine that problem (i.e., not being true to myself and my own style) with the fact that I was still trying to put lipstick on a pig back then (polystyrene ceiling tiles, old drywall, old windows, window unit air conditioner), and the result was something that I knew was going to be temporary. It was an improvement from the original, but not something I could live with for the long haul.

After several more attempts, and several more starts and stops, I’m just so relieved that I finally found the right direction that really resonated with me.

finished living room - 6

It’s been very rainy and overcast here lately, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to photograph the finished music room to show you (that room doesn’t have any direct sunlight either). And then I have a few more finishing touches to do in our new breakfast room-turned-sitting room. But as soon as I you those finished rooms, I plan to take a whole bunch of wide angle photos to show you how all of these rooms flow together. I know simply looking at a floor plan doesn’t quite give you the whole picture of how a house feels as you walk through it.

But for now, I did take a couple of pictures that give you a peek into other areas. So here, you can see the feel for the layout of the living room together with the kitchen, the breakfast room (the painting with the light over it is in the breakfast room), and the pantry (just to the right of the picture with the light over it, which you can see two pictures down).

finished living room - 17
finished living room - 13

And then here’s the view while standing inside the music room (the music room is straight ahead when you step through the front door). To take this picture, I’m standing in the cased opening between the music room and the hallway (which I showed you at the beginning of this week).

finished living room - 10

But I’ll try to get many more pictures (including wide angle) of how the rooms fit together next week. Hopefully we’ll actually have some sunshine by then!

But for now, here are a few more pictures of my finished living room…

finished living room - 5
finished living room - 15
finished living room - 18
finished living room - 19
finished living room - 22
finished living room - 23

So that’s it! It’s done, and it only took 7.5 years. 😀

Here are the paint colors that I used in the room…

*Custom color – click for the formula.

And all (or most) of the sources for items in the room can be found here…

Purple Herringbone Throw
Purple Herringbone Throw
Metal and Glass Magazine Holder
Metal and Glass Magazine Holder
White Ceramic Birds
White Ceramic Birds
Sputnik Ceiling Light
Sputnik Ceiling Light
Coffee Table
Coffee Table
White Table Lamp
White Table Lamp
Faux Fireplace (DIY)
Faux Fireplace (DIY)
Electric Fireplace Insert
Electric Fireplace Insert
Wood End Table
Wood End Table
Ikat PIllow Cover
Ikat PIllow Cover
Canvas Artwork
Canvas Artwork
Woven Window Shade
Woven Window Shade
Pinwheel Artwork
Pinwheel Artwork (DIY)
Round Coffee Table
Round Coffee Table
Purple Chair
Purple Chair
Lavender Area Rug
Lavender Area Rug
Gray velvet sofa
Gray Velvet Sofa

If you’re looking for any of the DIY projects that went into this room (or any of the previous attempts, like that upholstered ottoman in the dark teal version of the room, or the DIY Roman shades), you can find those here…

[laurel_index cat=”living-room-diy-projects” title=”Living Room DIY Projects”]



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      1. Kristi, I have been following you since your condo and you never cease to amaze me. Your living room is so unique. This last version is so much more your personality. I love it! Well done! Pam

  1. It is so beautiful! You should be so proud of yourself. I hope you give yourself a little reward and can relax sitting in there. I very much love all your color choices and I too struggle to not to be swayed by current trends and not making everything too feminine for my poor husband who has to live through all my failed attempts. He doesn’t understand how I can choose something I like but then change my mind when the room comes together because it doesn’t “go” with everything else. I just tell him I am an artist and I am greatly affected by color, light and mood. He always loves the end result though, which is always better than what we started with. He knows I have a vision and appreciates that.

  2. Absolutely stunning! This is an Architectural Digest home! You’ve done such a fabulous job showcasing your beautiful style and talent!! 😍

  3. Absolutely gorgeous. Love everything about that room. (And I loved your first version way back when). I can’t believe it’s been that long.

  4. Kristi, you have a SUBERB eye for color, this room is gorgeous. You’ve assembled a room containing pink drapes, purple chairs, and a “sherbet mix of hues” rug…and (somehow) it does NOT come off as frilly or overly feminine. Brava!

  5. I love this new furniture arrangement. Moving the sofa away from the windows allows even more light to come it to the room and I’m sure even brighten up the kitchen. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the reveal!

  6. STUNNING!!!! Makes me want to redo my rooms with color!!!! I am selling my home so keeping it safe and neutral now but with the new place, who knows??? thank you for sharing. I am a new and devoted fan!!

  7. This proves it pays to ‘thine own self be true’. Lots of color to be sure but they’re all quiet and not competing for attention. Well done, Kristi, very well done.

  8. FANTASTIC, Kristi! I love how this turned out (and I’m one of those neutral farmhouse kinda gals). It looks so comfortable and inviting. I’m glad you found your groove for this room.

  9. You should repost the map of areas that are finished in your home again. That’ll make this progress feel extra rewarding! It looks so fresh and inviting – just perfect!

  10. This is the best, happiest, and at he same time serine room! Sometimes it takes effort to see who we really are and let everyone know without fear. I am sure you are incredibly proud of this room, and you should be.

  11. I am not surprised at how gorgeous this is. I cannot tell you how impressed I always am with you. I must be your biggest fan!!!

    1. “Good things come to those who wait” I think it was the pink curtains that was the turning point. Congrats! Great use of color and an amazing before and after. I am glad your doing better and back to blogging.

  12. You’ve come a long way baby! as they say. 🙂 That room makes me smile, the pink drapes are my fav with the purple chairs, two color combos I have always loved. So happy you found your groove and decorated for “you”. After all who else is there that matters more! Enjoy your new space looking forward to more pics. The colors are just beautiful together.

  13. congratulations on creating a serene room without using beige! more designers should think like you do.

  14. Kristi, your room is fab-u-low-so !!! I really love the chandelier…perfect. you have such a knack for using color and connecting it room to room without it feeling overwhelming…..a real talent.
    Now it is time for you and Matt to sit back, enjoy some wine or iced tea and revel in its completion.

  15. I love it all. Looks fab. Love the purple chairs. I have looked for the painting you have over the fireplace or something similar, but can’t find it. I bought a different one with bright colors, but so disappointed when it came because it was so colorless and nothing like the picture on the store page.

  16. It’s a pretty stunning room to come into in your home. I love it and can’t wait to see other photos of your music room and how everything flows together. Your color choices are so smart and pretty. they make me smile. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  17. Your living room put a smile on my face. There’s something so genuine about the entire room – I can’t explain it but my goodness, it just leaps off my monitor and floods my heart. It’s gorgeous – well done!

  18. My favorite “thing” is the pink drapes, the rug, the purple chairs, the painting over fireplace, the bamboo blinds, the throw pillows, ceiling light fixture, the wall color, the teal accent color, the lamps, the sofa, the floors, the fireplace, the coffee table, the throw, the original artwork, the end table. I hope I didn’t leave anything out. Beautiful and amazing don’t even begin to describe from before to after. You have a special gift!❤️

  19. PERFECT! This is truly the prettiest room I have ever seen (and I am OLD)! Fantastic job. You should have your own television decorating show.

  20. What a happy room! I am one who does not like all the grays and cool neutrals currently in style. The colors in your home are bright and cheerful. Way to GEAUX, Kristi!

  21. It’s really, really, stunning! Love the colors, furniture, drapes, artwork, and every single thing in the room!

  22. Beautiful! I am glad that you let yourself into that room. I love color and don’t let anyone or anything deter me from splashing it all over my home. I have a bright turquoise kitchen with orange and lime accents. My dining room is green and turquoise! I love them, they are me!

  23. Kristi, it is SO beautiful. What a lovely feeling the room has. I adore every element. So much gorgeous color, but it still feels very light and airy. You need to really pause and give yourself the appreciation that you so amply deserve!

  24. You have done a beautiful job. I love the mix of colors tied together with the rug and fireplace picture. Pure talent!!

  25. My husband (he’s “known” you for a long time – I showed him your posts about pouring concrete counters WAY BACK) and I are starting the process of searching for a home/building a home. Last week we were out driving around looking at houses and I was telling him how much I admire the fact that you decorate for YOU. The online world of home design and decorating is so NOISY – and most of that noise is telling you to decorate your home in one of two or three styles. My favorite thing about this room is the amount of determination and WORK that went into fulfilling YOUR vision. It’s an absolute delight to see the finished product!

  26. It’s a feast for the eyes, truly! So many beautiful selections and ultra compatible with adjoining rooms! It’s funny to think about the critical comments that came when you created your entry wall. It’s easy to see now, how even the ottomans, which seemed to draw the most criticism at the time, fit in so perfectly with the room as a whole. Everything is stunning and cohesive but not in a matchy-matchy way. Congratulations on completing project! It’s gorgeous! I want to be in that room!

  27. I love this room! The arrangement is so much more esthetically pleasing than the former. I love the combination of colors. My only change would be to paint sconce shades purple rather than lime green and remove the lime throw pillow. Not that this is bad, but not my taste. You have a room to be proud of my dear!

  28. From dirty and depressing to bright, cheerful, colorful and unique! It’s dazzling and so you! I hope you can relax and enjoy dreaming up new plans for the next do over. I can’t wait! Congratulations Kristi

  29. This is SO HAPPY! color and happiness. I love it. I want to be there, that’s how happy it is 🙂 Great job and what a wonderful end to this long journey!!

  30. Oh wow – I never saw that tan/brown/gold room before…it truly does NOT look like you! How much more beautiful and comfortable, yet colorful and sirene your new living room is! I would love to curl up in that room…the other NO! So happy for you for the progress you have made just recently, and excited I am for your start on the gym/master bath/bedroom. You must be feeling really good about all you have done!

  31. I love it and it looks some comfortable. A lot of decorators decorate for people to just look at their design not to live in it. Yours is exceptional!! I love the design and all of the physical work you put into to it to make it yours.

  32. I like the redone placement of the furniture, although I bet the cat is not a fan! LOL! I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t do the sofa like this, but those of us who have had a room like this will fight to create an entryway by placing the back of the sofa perpendicular to the entry! It makes so much sense! Good for you for finally going with what pleases you! I LOVE it!

  33. Kristi!! You took this room from neglected 70s, to old guy’s library, to VA VA VOOM! It’s gorgeous! Love the color, warmth and design. This is fabulous!

  34. Kristi, this room is gorgeous! I will admit, I never could figure out how you thought those pink drapes would work, but you have proven me wrong! They look lovely! The artwork over the fireplace is soooo perfect, and might be my favorite thing in the room!

  35. Looks amazing! I feel like it finally “feels” right! I have loved all of your projects in this room and somehow something still felt a bit off. Now it feels right! Congratulations on a beautiful room!

  36. Kristi you played musical chairs for awhile in this room but you finally won the game. If I came for a visit to your home I would know right away that you were someone special. What a delightful vision this area of your home greets the eye. Can’t wait to see the completed breakfast/ TV room. Your gym and master bath are next on your program. Maybe the addition for the Master Bath and back room will be in the coming year. Your posts always bring a big smile to my face. Thank You for sharing you life, home and talent with all of us.

  37. Kristi, I have followed you these 7.5 years and so I do remember what you began with and so it is truly amazing what you did with it all. I absolutely love everything about these rooms and the colors are so happy and pleasing. Looking at them must be inspiration to you each day. Will continue to be with you along this amazing journey.

  38. There were some lovely rooms along the way but in the end, the room turned out fabulous. The rug and the art really tie it all together and I love the bold use of multiple colors. I am however coming over to steal those pink velvet curtains.

  39. My eye always goes back to your fireplace. I adore everything about it. How is the electric fireplace connected? Did you have an outlet put into the back of the “firebox?”

  40. Perfection!
    Perhaps it’s time for a video walk through your house. Wide angle photos are fine, but I’d love to see a video again.

  41. The room made me smile. The previous decorations made me sad. You did a beautiful job. Be very proud of yourself.

  42. Everything is so beautiful!! I like it better than all of the other ways you’ve designed your living room!!
    I also love the white birds on the wall by the window. Please tell us how we can order some too.

  43. The room, and the home, is just stunning! I can’t hate your first attempts too bad, because it was the blue tufted ottoman tutorial that brought me to your blog and I’ve stayed ever since! And I still have never upholstered my thrift store coffee table into an ottoman!

  44. Kristi I want to add, I hope this revelation to embrace YOUR personal style, colors, design (because it is jaw-dropping and special and fabulous) and not fit into what is currently deemed acceptable and stylish will help you in making choices and trusting your instincts in other rooms. Stripes over the gym ceiling is coming to mind right now….
    Go for it!! Don’t let them sway you back to boring and usual.

  45. Kristi! It looks just beautiful! And it feels like you! I know how you love your color and I’m so glad in the end you stayed true to yourself. You have such a knack for decorating ( as well as so many other things) and it truly is a gorgeous area now! The before and after pictures are shocking! I’m not sure I could have waded through the original to see the potential! But that alone is one of your special talents.

    I’m still trying to finish up here… waiting on doors (that have been on order for months), which is holding up the door trim (exactly like yours!), which is holding up the baseboards, which is holding up decorating the walls! I just want it finished!

    Anyway, Kristi, beautiful job… as always! xo <3

  46. That has really come together – nobody says you can’t be colorful AND grown-up! You definitely pulled it off and it looks amazing – a room you can enjoy being in. Well done!

  47. I echo everyone else’s comments! The end result is wonderful and so special – kudos, Kristi!!!

  48. It is so bright and fresh and happy! I love all of the little details. I’m probably wrong but this might be the first room you have shared that has all of the final touches (books, candy, candles, etc.) that make the room personal and full of life and character. Great job!!!!!!!!!! By the way, when my husband and I first got married, I decorated all of the rooms in dark neutrals in an effort to blend our styles. It was nice but it didn’t have our personalities. After awhile, I started experimenting with color and now the house looks so happy and suits us so much more. And my husband loves it!

  49. Hi,
    Your living room looks beautiful!!!! I know you are going to enjoy it so much!!
    You are so talented. I love getting your email!

  50. You have nailed it, such a feeling of completion, lacking nothing. This feels like such a JOYFUL place – warm, loving, welcoming, personal. I want to say it feels like laughter, but without silliness – just a bubbling happiness. Wow!

  51. Oh my gosh, I remember the painted sofa! The difference! I know when you put the 2 chairs backed up to the kitchen, I thought it wasn’t just perfect, but watching all these changes to get to this! So so beautiful. And, I love your bright colors, they are you!

  52. Kristi,
    While everything isn’t MY taste, it’s very beautiful and cheery!! As I envision you would be! I’m a little surprised at how expensive those purple chairs are/were? And I don’t know if you realize it or not, but half the items you listed, are no longer available – you should get a commission!!

  53. Oh. My. Goodness! This is truly my favorite room that you have completed thus far. I just want to cozy up on that couch and read a book! It is so, so lovely, inviting, colorful, and comfy looking in there!

  54. I’ve been away from your blog for a few years and the first thing I noticed today was was how much more advertising you have! That’s spectacular! You are really finding your audience, which to me seems like a Sisterhood. Love the design decisions you’ve made to change some things, How far off do you think the new bedroom/bath addition will be?

  55. It is beautiful! The kitchen doorway makes a huge difference as does all the detail/colors. Again I love how you’re changes affected the final product..