Our Living Room Today (Let’s Call this the Before)

August 31, 2021

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

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We never formally introduced our new living room, but before we dive in with painting and updating lighting and the fireplace, I thought it would be good to share some before photos. All the art on the walls have actually been hung on nails that were left behind. So, nothing is permanent.

When we moved in, we plopped the furniture we had where it is now, but I’m already considering two sofas facing each other on either side of the fireplace in here. I think it would allow the entrance of the room to stay clear and welcoming.

Speaking of entrances, this room has two. One from the dining room and one from the hall. It’s the first time that our living room is defined by cased openings which has me very excited because it can be its own space! In this post, I talked about color options I’m considering for the space. But we haven’t nailed anything down yet. I’m actually trying to choose the dining room and living room at the same time so they flow well together.

A lot of people have mentioned that our living room here has similarities to our previous living room and I definitely see it! We won’t be tearing out the chimney here though.

A moment for that tree picture hanging very high all by itself. Hahaha. Like I said, we tried to hang as much as we could to get it off the floor, but I should have probably just leaned it on the fireplace.

I’m anxious to one day put a beautiful stone mantel in on the fireplace, but as a phase 1, this room is going to get all new paint and new lighting. I think the paint will make a dramatic difference. I’d love to do the windows, trim and fireplace molding in a high gloss color and the walls in an eggshell of the same tone for contrast. May do the ceilings the same!

There’s a juliette balcony that overlooks the living room and our girls are already loving it so much. I was a little iffy about it at first, but I can tell it’s going to be a memory maker and I’m so glad we have it now.

We’ve never used this door to go outside. Ever. There’s one in the dining room that we use constantly. I think these are the kinds of things you only find out after living in a place. We will have to get all of the windows redone eventually (many of the seals are broken and they are foggy) and by that time, we may have a different way we’d like the handle the doors and windows in the living room.

Below you can get a glimpse at the two entrances into the living room and the molding that accompanies them. We feel so excited that this is our before. We’re getting so many large things out of the way right now, but that is not going to stop me from putting samples on these walls ASAP.





SofaLeather Ottoman, Lounge Chair, Floor Lamp, Navy Pillow, Swivel Chairs, Plaid Throw, Side Table, Tree Art, Ladder (vintage), End Table, Table Lamp, Black Art, Console Table, Large Vase, BowlWoven Cube Ottoman, Reeded Chest, Brass Table Lamp


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What do you think?

  1. Thanks for the tips! Im planning to rearrange our living room to give a new vibe!

  2. Nan Jorgensen says:

    Just flip the sofa and two white chairs aiming later for slightly larger scale chairs. That will open the space a bit. Add some plants or/texture and lighten whatever is over the firebox, lower and add to your art.

  3. Grace says:

    How are you feeling about your Arhaus sofa? We are looking at the same one and have small kids and I’m worried it will always look rumpled.

  4. Bonnie Clark says:

    Loved it all!!!

  5. Julie Lay says:

    I painted my trim in high gloss and wall in eggshell, both the same a dark greenish blue in my kitchen and people thought I was MAD until they saw the result! LOVE it! And love this room and your plans to go dark and moody here and upstairs!

  6. Addie says:

    Lots of great ideas! Just wanted to mention my designer friend pushed me to do my entire office one color despite my fears. It’s BM Gentleman’s Gray (which reads like a fab deep moody blue to me) and I did high gloss /eggshell, too. Even the ceiling! Your LR can pull it off regardless of light or dark paint color. Love following your progress and hope you and the girls are settling in nicely!

  7. Molly says:

    I can’t wait to see what you do!! Two couches facing each other seems PERFECT – and maybe you’ll eventually get rid of the door & create two big, matching windows facing each other instead (making the one across from the door a bit bigger)?! It’s such a lovely room & your CLJ magic touch will make it even better:)) xoxo

  8. Monica says:

    Surprised you have not added a rug- kind of funny since you have an actual rug line! Maybe you are holding out for an authentic Persian ? :)

  9. Gigi says:

    I LOVE this space!!! Snd the floor color is perfect! Can you tell us the name of the stain you used?

  10. Dianne says:

    I have always loved two same-size sofas or loveseats flanking a fireplace. Can hardly wait to see all of your color and fabric choices.

  11. Ream Shoreibah says:

    How do you plan to dress the arched windows? Seems so tricky!

  12. Isabel says:

    I like the idea of two sofas facing each other! Until then, have you considered swapping the sofa and pair of white chairs? That could help open up the flow of the room, using the furniture you already have.

  13. Deborah Orsillo says:

    Love all the ideas you have for this space. Excited to “tag along”.
    We are new to our home, new city after 35 years in another. Understanding the need to wait and give thought to how to decorate. 😊

  14. It’s a great room with wonderful light and bones! I can’t wait to see where it ends up!

  15. Laura Roberts says:

    Beautiful room…and it will only get better. By the way, your floor color is perfect!

  16. Mary Dryden says:

    This old house has a couple rooms full of tone on tone paneling you would die for!

  17. Judith Alford says:

    I would live in this room, even if I had to sleep on the floor. The space and volume give room to breathe. The huge windows bring the outside in and sunlight that is just amazing. Please don’t fill it with stuff. The wonder of this room is that it doesn’t scream for attention. It is so peaceful that for me it almost has a church sanctuary feel.

  18. EP says:

    Have you considered paneling the whole room? Eventually, of course, not phase 1. I feel like that would lend a more traditional feel than having just the fireplace paneled. I can’t wait to see what you do with the room, you have a great starting point!

  19. Karen F says:

    Such a gorgeous home. I can’t wait to see what you do!

    • Sarah C says:

      I really like your idea of carrying the color onto the ceiling. It bugs me when the ceiling is lower on two sides of a room (unless the ceiling has beams or something). I like to make it less noticeable by carrying the paint up. It works for rims with weird angles and cutouts, too.

  20. Erin says:

    The two sofas facing each other is a great idea—that will look wonderful!

  21. Karisa says:

    The first thing I love about this room is the ceiling and it’s the only room in the house that has it.

    I know you’ll give it all the love it deserves 🙌🏻

  22. Diana says:

    We’re also trying to decide if we should do two sofas facing each other. Would you mind sharing the dimensions of your living room?

  23. Amy says:

    We moved into our current house about a year ago. It was built in 1973 so does have some ornate crown molding in the foyer, dining room, and another front room. However, the rest is the house just has plain molding. I was admiring the detailed molding above the doorway. Is that detail carried throughout the home or only on certain doorways into other rooms etc.

    • Karisa says:

      From following the photos posted thus far, all first floor openings are trimmed to match. Door casings are different than the openings.

      The second floor is not as ornate (typical) but mostly focuses on keeping all the door trim the same.

      There are no wall treatments throughout the house (such as chair railing).

  24. Robin says:

    You didn’t list the wall paint/color. I love the contrast.

  25. Michelle says:

    I love your idea of 2 sofas facing one another off of the fireplace. I simply adore that arrangement. Makes for the best gathering spot. Can’t wait to see you bring your vision to life!

  26. Carrie says:

    The molding is gorgeous!! It adds so much character to the room. Can’t wait to see what you do! I actually love this house more than your last, if possible– it seems so much more homey with the more enclosed spaces!

  27. Jay says:

    Love what you’ve done already and your plans for this room! The “after” is going to be stunning! Know it’s further down the road, but when you have time would love to see some inspiration for what you’re thinking in regards to the stone fireplace. Sounds beautiful!

  28. Julia says:

    Seeing the magic you guys make I’m sure you’ll transform this space into something even lovelier. We’re actually doing the opposite in our livingroom, going from a muted midtone blue to a light sandy color. I’m looking forward to having a neutral color that will work as a backdrop for all the pops of color that we will be adding throughout the seasons and years.

  29. Susan Gryson says:

    Your before is beautiful but also can’t wait to see what you do with paint! Also y’all have inspired me with how quickly you unpacked and hung things after moving; in the past I’ve gotten stuck on worrying about perfection and haven’t hung things for months. Thanks for sharing your process and making us realize you can change your mind!

  30. Kate says:

    Can’t wait to see what you pick!! And selfishly, I’m loving your east coast posting schedule!!

  31. Eileen says:

    We have a somewhat similar layout for our family room and the way we use that door on the left is for the Christmas tree…so nice to bring a fresh tree in and especially out without dragging needles through the house. I don’t recall if you usually have a real tree or not, so that might not be an issue for you. During the rest of the year we have a very large ficus that resides in that corner, and it’s great to be able to easily take it outside for a few days of fresh air and sunlight and to give it a shower. Just saying that doors aren’t just for people! Looking forward to seeing what you do in this room,!

    • Isabel says:

      Such good points! My mother-in-law has the same: French doors in the living room leading to her yard, which is *so* handy for taking the Christmas tree in and out!

    • Michelle says:

      This is !such! a good point!!! Maybe the Olive Tree will love moving in and out and getting NC sun when needed without too much hassle.

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