Posting about raising the curtains in my living/dining room the other day made me realize I should really make a post showing how the space looked before we bought the house and what has changed since. And I mean who doesn’t love a good before & after, right? Except I am calling this a “before and now” because saying “after” would imply that it’s done and in its final state, but as any interior design/home improvement enthusiast would tell you, a space is never really “done.” My tastes are constantly changing, my style is always evolving, and new ideas are incessantly running through my head. What a space in my house may look like now could be vastly different in a month. Here’s what this particular room is looking like now in comparison to before, and what exactly I did to make it a better use of space (click to enlarge images):
Like many older homes, this room has no ceiling light (something I’d like to change in the near future) and is on the side of the house that doesn’t get as much sun. There was no question that the first thing to do was make the room appear lighter by going with a more subtle paint color to replace the lackluster beige. (However, I am now wanting to go in the direction of a warmer gray shade vs. the light blue like I had originally chosen. See, I told you my tastes are always changing!)
The living area needed to have its own identity which was accomplished by grounding the couch with a rug to distinguish the living room from the dining area.
Opting for a dining table with a bench that sits facing on the side of the living room gives a slightly less formal feel and creates better flow between the spaces. (The oak hutch behind the dining table stores table linens, placemats, coasters, etc., however, I would like to paint it to make it more cohesive with the other furniture pieces, or simply replace it down the road with something more like this.)
The main difference between the before and now of this shot of the room is the the mantel which I painted to match the built-ins. It’s currently hosting a bit of fall decor (which will be complete with the addition of a few pumpkins!).
I would love to replace (or paint?) the fireplace hearth with a rich slate color in place of the current light marble tile that looks like it has veins running through it (gross) and is washed out by the light-colored carpeting.
So to sum up what I’d like still like to do to this room to improve upon its current state (in order of likelihood of happening): paint the walls in a light wash of gray to make it feel a bit less “icy” and to make it so the sitting chairs don’t disappear into the walls like I feel they do at present, replace (or paint) the fireplace hearth, have ceiling lighting installed (I’d love a chandelier like this over the dining table), knock down part of the wall behind the hutch (this is what I have in mind), and cover the popcorn ceiling with white planks.
*Item source list: dining table + chairs + bench: HOM Furniture / circuit wall candleholder: thrifted (orig. from Crate & Barrel) / oak hutch: gifted / couch: HOM Furniture / sun burst mirror: Target (gifted) / coffee table: antique library card catalog (gifted) / jute rug: IKEA / arc floor lamp: Target / sticks & vase: IKEA / chairs: HOM Furniture / faux sheep skin rug: IKEA / curtains: IKEA / round side table: Home Goods