It has been ages since we did an update on our remodel in our home. Partly because life was just too busy, but partly because our remodel has turned into a season of patience building for me. As I have said before, since my husband is a builder, we have to fit in where we can with the subs. This means that we have great discounts on the work and materials! But it also means we have to wait until they can fit our remodel into their schedules. I know that every one says that remodeling always take longer than you think they will, but this has really taken MUCH longer than I would have liked!
This is what our living room looked like at this time last year. We had already given our plans for the remodel to our cabinet-maker, and we were in the midst of waiting for them to schedule the install of the cabinets. It was a LONG wait!
I have scoured my pictures for a better view of this room, to no avail. But this is the basic look at our living room. What you see pictured here will all be changed except for the coffee table (it was new at the time of this picture), the hanging light fixture in the corner and the leather chair in the corner. Pretty much everything else in the room is gone, gone, gone. Or changed. This set of pictures gives you a little bit of an idea of what was on the right hand wall of the living room. We have an alcove for the entertainment center and a short wall. We used to have a bench (peaking out of the bottom of the picture) sitting at the outer edge of the living room to define the room. Again pretty much everything in this room is different, except the alcove.
Our plans for the living room, sketched by my husband, were basically:
- Build and install bookshelves, with a bench on the bottom on the fireplace wall
- Install stone veneer around the bookshelves and fireplace
- Paint the bookshelves and mantle
- Create a hearth and wrap it with granite
- Remove carpet and install wood tile
- Create shelves for the right hand wall of the living room and install.
The project all started with the bookshelves. It took a tremendous amount of time to get them installed. We went away for a trip at the end of April and they came and installed them while we were gone. I thought I would lose all my patience before they got them installed. But as it goes with remodels, once they were in, I was just happy to have them!
Tile and Stone
Once the shelves were installed, we quickly had the tile floors installed and then had the guys put up the stone veneer on the wall. We got the stone veneer as a leftover from one of my husband’s jobs and purchased the stone tile from my husband’s tile lady at cost. You can see in the picture that we also created a hearth beneath the fireplace with stone block. That would get wrapped with granite from another of my husband’s jobs. As you can tell, we get a lot of leftovers and my husband is good at spotting when they will work for our home.
Electrical and Paint
After the major projects for the floors and the wall, we needed Myles, our painter, to come in and paint the shelves and the mantle. But then my husband decided we needed to make a couple of electrical changes to the living room. He wanted to install a plug at the top of the bookshelves, so we could have light at the top, should we need it. And he needed to move the outlet next to the bookshelves away from the bookshelves, so it looked right. This was a move of not more than 8 inches, but my husband is a custom home builder, so it had to be right or it would bother him.
We waited for the electricians to get those basic things done and then had Myles come in and paint the shelves and mantle. Progress was abounding at this stage!
We also had our friend, Kurt at Jaeger Metal, make some metal shelves for the right hand wall. We found some shelves we loved at Restoration Hardware, but the price was not something we were willing to jump on. Kurt was able to make all three shelves for what it would have cost to purchase one at Restoration Hardware. He came and installed them with hidden brackets and we relocated our leather chair from the corner of the living room to this part of the living room, creating a cozy little reading nook.
While we were doing all these things to the walls of the room, we were busy getting together all the furniture and softwares for the living room, too! We ordered a custom leather couch from Plummer’s in December of ’13 and it was ready in March. We got a great deal and paid for it by our usual saving method of $5 bills and garage sales. We purchased a coffee table from Urban Home and an entertainment center from Restoration Hardware. When World Market ran a big sale on their lamps, I snatched up the lamp we had been eying for months. And then it was down to the rug.
The rug was a HUGE leap for us. As you can note by our decor, we are pretty basic. We don’t do a lot of color and the ones we do choose are usually pretty sedate. But my husband and I knew we needed to make a statement with the rug we chose. And we LOVE, love, love the one we found at Living Spaces. It was one of those, “I knew it from when I saw it across the room,” moments. The kind of connection I felt immediately with this rug was indescribable; I just knew it was the one. It took my husband some convincing. Thanks to my husbands guy friends, who both picked this rug between the options he showed them, I got my rug! And I LOVE it!
I also did a quick project for the benches at the bottom of the bookshelves. I had my husband’s carpenter cut pieces of plywood to size, added some foam and batting and upholstered them in a fabric I found while shopping in the Fashion District in LA with a friend. I love the color of the fabric and love that we have extra seating for when we have more guests than usual. As we add items to the shelves, we are looking for pieces we love that can infuse a bit of color to our room.
Check out this ta-dah shot of our living room!
We still have a few finishing touches we would like to change once we find the right products. We are hoping to change the window coverings, the fan, and the baskets for underneath the benches. But for now, I LOVE my living room makeover! I sometimes just sit and revel in the changes. It feels so good to love the spaces you live in.