An easy and low cost living room refresh! - LAURA'S little PARTY

An easy and low cost living room refresh!

March 13, 2018

I love a good makeover project. After creating a home studio out of my dining room last year, it was only a matter of time that I would be taking on another room in my house! The new year is the perfect time to tackle something that you've been wanting to do, and my living room refresh was just that project. Come on in as I show you the not-so-pretty "before" pictures, along with the super fun "after" pictures of my living room refresh!

I would love nothing more than to show you all the pretty photos of the finished project, but in order to give you a feel of everything we did, and for me to sit back and truly appreciate how far my living space has come, I have to show you all the embarrassing shots and ugly furniture that I once loved.

When we moved into our home back in 1999, my taste was a little different. Our decor was southwest with lots and lots of pastel colors. Then after that, we went with the trend of painting every room a different color! And because I loved the look of oak so much, I did what any other oak-loving person would do... I filled my house to the brim with all sorts of large, bulky, oak furniture! Fast forward 19 years (wow! time really does fly!) and I'm back to the basic white walls we started with and simple black & white decor. 

Our tv cabinet used to be on the opposite side of the room that it is now. Our layout was not ideal and at one point we sat on the couch with our backs facing the fire place. Whaaat? I know. It was strange. But it worked for that time in our lives.

Side note: Hubby and I don't always sit on our couch, dressed up in our Disney gear like this. We were actually making a video to surprise the kids with a trip to Walt Disney World, a couple years back. (Thanks to the Disney Social Media Moms conference!) As you can see in the background, that's our fireplace behind us.

See what I mean about the large oak furniture? And what's up with all that darkness? During this time, focusing on my home wasn't a huge priority. I was busy creating parties and trying to keep up with my 4 children. Now that I have things under control somewhat, I'm able to focus on things that I've wanted to do for a long time! Plus I'm at that point in my life where I want nothing more than my family and I to have a place to relax and spend time together in one room, on one couch, enjoying some down time! 

In January, I had my hubby paint the living room. Our paint of choice? Dunn-Edwards. Always! This was a straight white paint in low sheen. New paint is always a game changer, as you'll see, further into my post. Hubby had 4 days off during New Year's Eve weekend and we quickly started (and nearly finished) our project. We made this living room transformation a family affair and the boys loved helping out too. 

Such a difference already, right? That's the magic of paint. I spy more of that dark oak furniture that I loved so much. 

Once we finished two coats of paint, we moved our furniture into our new layout. Finally the couch would be facing the fireplace! Don't mind the tree skirt and left over tree lights - January 1st and we were still removing the last of our Christmas decor out. 

Now that hubby was done painting the walls, it was time for me to do what I love doing the most; painting furniture! We still wanted to use our old tv cabinet as it held everything we needed, perfectly. I started the process with priming the two cabinets, inside and out. 

This task took F O R E V E R! Well, probably not forever, but it sure did seem like it. It was back-breaking work and hard on these old knees. But I was super happy with it once I was finished!

Our little fireplace isn't real but it sure does have a pretty mantle, doesn't it? This was here when we moved in and the original owners did a quality job of attaching it. The stone is real and has held up very nicely. One of these years we might convert it into a working fireplace - it happens to be on an outer wall so that will make the process easier when the time comes. Until then, I painted the inside black and researched log heater inserts. I found a pretty cool, errr warm, alternative to our current situation and it's perfect for us!

One cabinet down, and one more to go. Look how nice the one on the left turned out. So glad I decided to paint them!

So here is the log insert I found. It's amazing! It's a heater AND has a projecting flame. It also has a little remote that makes it easy to control while sitting bundled up under your blanket. Here's the link to the Electric Log Heater if you'd like to check it out. Now all it needs is a new fireplace screen! 

Here the cabinets are finished and my electric log heater is properly plugged in (be sure to use the required appliance extension cord - lesson learned). Man, were we lucky! The TV, Nintendo switch, DVD player and all the other entertainment necessities were plugged in and ready to go!

Look! Here's my log heater in action. Isn't it cute? I also purchased this pretty fireplace screen, and a round woven basket from Target. I filled the basket with a blanket for each family member. And... because I hate cords showing, I ended up moving the basket to the other side (see below).

I knew once I painted my living room, I would want a new sofa. You know the story, 'If you give a mouse a cookie', right? Same thing happened here. If you paint your living room, you'll want new furniture, etc. Besides, I was trying to get away from all the brown tones that saturated our living space, and now that the boys are older, it was definitely time for a change!

To get the family used to not eating on the couch anymore, I opted for another seating option in our living room. I found a pub table set that fit perfectly behind our couch. Not only would it add more seating space in there, it would serve as a nice spot for having a quick snack, playing a game, checking email on the laptop and well, you get the idea! Remember: I'm trying to create a room/space where we can all be together, whatever our activity may be. I wasn't in love with the color of the tabletop, however, the legs and bar stools were black so I knew it would be an easy fix down the road.

Now comes my favorite part! I saved up my blogging/party styling money and finally got to purchase the sectional that I've had my eye on for a while. Before we brought the new couch home, I had to fix the pub tables. 

I found marble contact paper on Amazon and quickly transformed my tables into something great! Didn't they turn out so nice? The boys instantly took to them and made themselves at home. 

Without further ado, here is my easy and low cost living room refresh! 

I bought the Ikea EKTORP sectional in white. Yes, white! I didn't hesitate purchasing this white beauty because I was sold on the fact that this is a slipcover and it's all machine washable! 

I just love the change so much and can honestly say that I finally love my living room. This is currently my favorite room in the house. So far we've enjoyed hours of family time, movies, games and lots of laughs. 

I fell in love with this REGOLIT floor lamp from IKEA. It casts a nice soft light that is perfect for watching tv. The height is adjustable and its super fun too!

I added a couple simple black and white SKAGGORT cushions to the sectional. They work really well as neck pillows too. 

Soon I'll be sharing how I created the easy black and white art with IKEA frames and my Cricut Maker! I wanted something simple to add to this wall since it no longer houses the large oak entertainment center. 

I hope you've enjoyed my living room transformation as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with all of you - and yes, even those embarrassing "before" photos! 

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