before and afterDIYInteriors

Before & After: An Iowa Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover

by Lauren Chorpening

Liz Lidgett’s clever entryway re-do earlier this year had all of us at Design*Sponge wanting more. Liz’s background lends to art being the forefront of any room she decorates. The art advisor and founder of Adore Your Walls has turned her own living room into a beautiful display of favorite pieces. When she and her husband, Nick Renkoski, moved back to Des Moines, IA from Los Angeles last year, they had a specific neighborhood in mind — the same one Liz grew up in.

The home they found in their budget needed some love. Its stately rooms, hardwood floors and gorgeous windows has made any room makeover a bit easier on them. When the couple moved in, the living room was a deep pink with white trim and brass accents. Liz, Nick and their families have since put in time, creativity and handiwork to turn the living room into a sophisticated retreat where they can host and relax. Having a large home with a small budget has meant that Liz and Nick have had to be resourceful with their purchases. “We were on a budget since we needed to fill the entire house with furniture, so I looked a lot on Craigslist and at garage sales. The great thing is, because we DIYed so much of it, I know there’s not another room like it anywhere,” Liz shares.

The gorgeous results speak for themselves. The brightly colored artwork pairs beautifully with a graphic black and white rug. The sofas look refined while patterned pillows and furniture lines give a subtle playfulness to the room. The black trim creates definition and shows off the beautiful charm of the room itself. The space is a mix of contemporary, vintage and modern design that is unique to Liz and Nick. “I wanted the home to be full of pieces we loved, not just stuff we had bought to fill space,” Liz shares. “We want a home full of art and books and music. We want a home where people feel welcome to sit down, have a drink, and stay for a while.” The living room now reflects the couple that lives there and the life they were hoping to find in Des Moines. –Lauren

Photography by Rick Lozier

A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
When they purchased the home, the dark pink walls were a punch of color. Liz instead went with a more serene hue for the walls and added color with artwork and accessories.
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
"We've been working very hard for the last year. When we first moved in, we would work all day at our jobs, and then all night on our home. It was exhausting but we made a lot of progress in a short amount of time," Liz says.
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
"Our process included everything from painting, to a new fireplace mantel that my father built and updating parts of the ceiling to, of course, all kinds of fun decor and artwork," Liz explains.
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
Liz not only collects art, she creates it. The five framed pieces above the fireplace are her works.
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
"We bought the sofas from Craigslist and then had them reupholstered. We found the chairs on Facebook from a mid-century modern dealer. The coffee table was from a garage sale and then I added marbled contact paper to the top," Liz notes. "The large piece of artwork is by Kristi Kohut and I made an acrylic frame for it and found the bolts on Etsy."
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
Liz's business, Adore Your Walls, helps clients find the perfect artwork for their homes or businesses. "I love helping people find the perfect piece of art for their style, space, and budget. It was doubly fun being able to do it for my own first home. As a creative director, Nick is of course creative, too, but not as into the home design process."
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
The piano is Nick's from his childhood. Layered above it is a collection of pieces with sentimental value. "All of the artwork has come from artists and friends we adore," Liz shares.
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
The sunporch off of the living room was a blank slate when they moved in. Liz's father built them the swing. Liz decorated with a cushion from Pier1 and pillows from Target.
A Des Moines, IA Living Room Gets an Artful Makeover | Design*Sponge
"The most challenging aspect with an older home is that you never feel quite done. The before and after photos actually convince me though that we have come a long way."

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  • The whole room looks great, but I especially I love the piano area! Is that a floating shelf? Is it a DIY or can you share the source?
    And please, please tell me that you also put in the beautiful tile around the fireplace. I can’t imagine what kind of luck would be required for that to have already been in place.

  • Hello! I am a photostylist here in St. Louis and recently relocated from San Diego via Kansas City back to my home town. I am a huge fan of your design! I am currently painting my den Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore. I can’t wait to accent with gorgeous colors like yours. Bravo!
    Becky McFarland Cox

  • Thanks for the info! I look forward to seeing more before and afters from your house. The two so far have been wonderful. :)

  • What a beautiful room! Can you tell me where to find the colorful artwork you have above your sofa? Thank you!!!

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