before and after

before & after: living room transformation

by Kate Pruitt

I sincerely hope I’m not offending anyone when I say this, but I think the “before” living room is my personal nightmare. I love me some burgundy, don’t get me wrong, but the oversized maroon leather sofa, white lace curtains, thick floral carpet and lacquered furniture are giving me a dusty, old dollhouse vibe that I do not enjoy. And don’t get me started on that clock coffee table . . . the famous coffee table scene in When Harry Met Sally instantly comes to mind: “It’s so awful, there’s no way to even begin to explain what’s so awful about it.”

The “after,” however, is like a breath of fresh air. I appreciate that Laura and Cully took pains to preserve the original character of the home, selecting beautiful historical colors for their walls and furnishing with a curated selection of thrifted pieces and antiques. They also managed to imbue the home with their own modern touches, like cinder block shelving, artwork and accessories. The result is a light, airy, welcoming space, with a perfect balance of old and new. — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: about 1 month

Cost: $4000

Basic Steps: The most important thing for us was to remove the carpet and have the wood floors redone. We asked friends, neighbors and coworkers who have wood floors we liked who worked on them. We ended up finding someone who wasn’t in the phone book but cost $1 less per square foot.

Second, we removed the wallpaper and picked historic paint colors that would have been used around the time the house was built. We also used kooler.com to find paint colors that would match with our furniture and woodwork. I was on a first-name basis with the guys at our hardware store; their wealth of knowledge and skillset at matching colors and helping with the right quality and gloss is amazing, but as with anyone else, a smile goes a long way in getting good service.

The best advice we got was from Cully’s dad, who said, “Don’t do everything at once — live in the house a while before making big changes because you may be surprised what will work best for you.” That’s why there aren’t before and after photos of the kitchen yet. We are still in the process of deciding how we want the space to work. In terms of working with your partner, I would say divide and conquer. With as many hours as we put in ripping up carpet, painting and moving in, I think I may have killed him if we hadn’t taken on different rooms at a time. Plus it feels inspiring to see the work each of us has done by the end of the day! — Laura

Paint: Benjamin Moore
Bathroom floors: Home Depot
Couches: Estate sales, Craigslist
Chairs: Ikea

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