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Welcome to my cozy and comfortable living room! I’m excited to share this room, it has been completely transformed. Not only was it dated with loads of white tile and pale pink walls, but this area where the fireplace and two chairs are was once the formal dining room. It was walled off from the rest of the house and even though this house was spacious, it didn’t feel that way. We just needed to rearrange the spaces so the flow would be better.

Standing near the built-ins looking at the other end of the room you can see how this space opened up. It gave us a grand room which is perfect for entertaining. We often have family gatherings in our home and we needed the space that could easily accommodate twenty or more people.

This is the before view of the two spaces that we turned into our living space. The formal dining room, wasn’t very formal with the white tile. It did however have grandma lace curtains, yikes!

The former kitchen didn’t have a lot of cabinetry or counter space and I knew that it would need to be relocated to be more functional. To see how we transformed the dated den into our dream kitchen, click here.

The first step was getting rid of all that white tile. We estimated that we removed about 1000 square feet. Lucky for us when we announced that we were doing demo, we had lots of volunteers to help. It seems that everyone loves to destroy things with a hammer. We had rented a machine that was supposed to help remove the tile, however it didn’t work because our tile was laid on a wire mesh that was stapled onto the sub-floor. It was a job for muscles and a lot of hard work. Even my 78 year old dad wanted in on the action as well as 2 of our grandkids. We found the best way to remove the tile was with a sledge hammer and shovels. We did finish it up in one day, thank goodness!

Next on the agenda was removing the wall that had separated the formal dining from the kitchen. Luckily it wasn’t a load bearing wall. We first removed the dry wall, then relocated the electrical and finally removed the studs. This was actually a pretty quick project, it was finished in just a couple of hours. Once the wall was down the space looked huge!

We replaced the drywall in the area that was once the kitchen. We did hire professionals to come in and mud and tape areas where we had new drywall. We did have other areas that needed to be taped and mudded also, so we had it all done at the same time. That’s a job best left to the professionals. They came for about 1/2 an hour for three days and it was finished.

I did have the job though of mudding the ceiling where the wall came down. It wasn’t a very fun job, as you can see.

I love a fireplace in the living room. It adds such a nice architectural feature. We saved the gas fireplace insert that was in the den and installed it in our new living space, with custom built-ins. I came up with the design and my sweet hubby, Steve implemented my design. I wanted to mimic the design that is on my custom kitchen cabinetry. I think we did a pretty good job at it too.

The photo on the left shows the profile on my kitchen cabinetry. The photo on the right is a detailed photo of the profile of the trim on the fireplace. I think we were able to replicate it really well.

Make sure you see the complete tutorial of how we built the custom built-in bookcases as well as the fireplace and mantle.

We refinished the railing as well. The dated maple stuck out like a sore thumb. I was told that you can’t stain maple, but I did and I love the way it turned out. To see the  complete tutorial and video of how we refinished the railing click here.

Initially I had a large piece of art above the sectional and I just wasn’t happy with it. I loved the art, but because the wall and sectional were so large it just needed more. So I relocated the art to the opposite wall and decided on a gallery wall above the sectional and I couldn’t be more happy with it. Click here to see how to hang a gallery wall the easy way.

I have gathered a collection of vintage photographs of family homes. Each one has a special meaning to me. The frames were either ones I already had or I picked them up from yard sales or thrift stores. Unifying them with black spray paint, I then created a piece that says “HOME is where your STORY begins.” 

Gallery Wall

My rule for photos on this wall is that they must have people in them as well as the family home. One of my favorites is the double wedding photo of my Great-grandmother and here sister in front of their North Dakota farmhouse. That is just priceless to me. I also have a photo of my grandparents who homesteaded some land and build a cabin in 1916. They are pictured with 6 of their children.

For Christmas my hubby made me this industrial sofa table with reclaimed wood from a Montana hog farm. I just love it and it’s a great way to separate the dining room from the living room. 

Another piece on my gallery wall is my blanket ladder. I had been looking for an old ladder to use for this and one day I just decided to make my own. Click here for the complete tutorial for how we made our own blanket ladder. You won’t believe what we used to make it!

Mr. A. loves to cozy up by the fire and read to me. He just finished preschool and he is already reading so well! Love this little guy! If your observant you will notice that my July decorations are out, yes it is June and Mr. A still thinks we need a fire to cozy up to. That’s what happens when you can light it with a simple push of the button on a remote. 🙂

Family room with Fireplace with built-in bookcases

There you have it, a 360 tour of my cozy and comfortable living room. Did you find the transformation amazing? What elements do you love? What would you like to incorporate into your home?

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Followgram

    Don t be afraid to add art to your design, or even to let it take over! A single sculpture or painting can become the focal piece of a warm, inviting living room.

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