Before & After- Living Room Part Two

Hi folks! For those of you stopping by for the first time, glad to have you! This is one of my very first posts on the blog last July, when I was still learning and developing my blogging style. Needless to say, it's a little rough around the edges, but filled with lots of heart and soul. : )

Anyways, glad to have you and please stop by and check out my recent posts!

Well, we've painted. Next up? We had to furnish the room. And if you know us, then you know that the first step here was to contemplate our budget. We're definitely not the kind to up and spend full price on any item, whether big or small. Of course, we wanted to spend some time shopping around for the best deal. We wanted to start the room by focusing on a couch, so off to shop for couches we went. Havertys? Not for us. Bassett? Just not right. Adcock? Yuck.

And then, as fate had it, my dear husband fell in love with the gigantic proportions of the PB Comfort couch. Big enough for a giant with it's extra-wide proportions, yet cute enough for me! While you (along with every other visitor we've ever had over to the house) may ask- "um, a white couch with two dogs... are you crazy?" let me point out that... this brilliant couch is a slip cover! That's right folks, I can throw my couch in the washing machine. Well, kind of- the slipcover at least! Easy as pie. So we splurged on the PB Comfort couch (well of course I used a 10% off coupon I had AND waited until it was on sale!) and then I tossed on a couple of TJ Maxx leaf print pillows (which, I'd like to assure you were about half the price of these very similar Pottery Barn pillows which is reason number one million why I love TJ Maxx!) and we've got our main sitting area.

Then we grabbed a couple of side chairs from Target (we got them on sale for less than $100!).

Dolce Lounge Chair

Next, it was time to get some storage-type furniture into the room. While I shopped and shopped, I couldn't bring myself to spend $200+ on any retail furniture to hold the TV. And yes, after four years of an old school 20" tube TV and saving our pennies in anticipation, the hubster got a new (slightly too large for my taste, but what are you going to do) flat screen with the big move. But where to put it?

Enter: Craigs List, where we found a used dresser being sold for only $60. Unfortunately, I didn't do a great job at getting any before photos of the dresser (this was pre-blogging!), but let me tell you, it was a beauty! And by beauty, I mean... a pastel painted nightmare. We purchased the dresser from a very sweet lady (after driving to her home in Middle of Nowhere, Georgia) who just didn't have the best taste in the world. Apparently she had "refinished" the dresser on her own by painting it pink, green, yellow, white, and blue. This is where we Southerners say "bless her heart!" instead of anything negative, so I'll leave it at that!

The worst part? David and I didn't have the heart to tell her we were planning to refinish her "refinished" dresser, so... when she asked where we were putting the dresser, we may have led her to believe that we were using the dresser in a pink, green, yellow, white, and blue pastel bedroom. True? Not so much. But I could't let her down! We laughed the entire way home about that one! There were some great details on the front and the size was perfect (and we haggled her down to $50), so we loaded it up and it came home with us!

The side of the dresser as we painted the living room.

The front of the dresser drawers (yellow and green) to give you an idea of how it was orginally refinished:

So did we change our living room to reflect the pink, green, yellow, white and blue pastel color scheme? Ha! Not so much.... We pulled out all of the dresser drawers and then stripped all of the paint off. (Shhh! Don't tell Ms. Middle of Nowhere!) Next, we stained the dresser with the same Minwax stain as the front door and, once dried, sprayed it with a polyurethane lacquer. FYI, I stained both the outside and the inside of the dresser. Why? When I pulled out the dresser drawers to stain, I intended to keep them out permanently and use the space where the drawers were as shelves for our some of our electronics.

I then covered these makeshift shelves with some good ol' scrapbook paper. To make the paper stick, I covered the shelf with Mod Podge glue. Ever used it? It's the bomb. It could make anything stick!

 Mod Podge CS11202 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Gloss Finish

We also added some new hardware- bronze finished knobs bought for less than $10 at Home Depot.

Amerock TPK1586-ORB Inspirations 3-Ring Knob, 1-3/8-Inch Diameter, Oil Rubbed Bronze, 10-Pack

And the finished product?

Here are some close ups of the Modge Podge shelf lining.

And here it is in the living room.

Here's the price breakdown:

Craigslist dresser: $50
Minwax stain: FREE (had for front door)
Lacquer: FREE (had for other projects)
Sandpaper: $5
Scrapbook Paper: $1.50
Mod Podge: FREE (had for other projects)
Knobs: $10

I think that's pretty good if I do say so myself!

We also pulled double duty (well, at this point, triple duty!) with the Minwax stain and lacquer by refinishing two peices of hand-me-down furniture that we had, including a side table + lamp combo (thanks Kelly!) and a coffee table (thanks Mom and Dad!).

The last furnishing we had to do was to pick a rug. This was actually very difficult for us, as we really didn't have any clue what we were doing. All of the flooring at our old house was carpet and, aside from an occasional bath mat, we had never purchased a rug before! So we went on a rug hunt... we tried a synthetic tan rug, a rust colored hook rug, a faux jute rug, a large 8x10 size, several smaller runner sizes... and, after lugging a bunch of gigantic rugs to and from stores, I thought the search turned hopeless!

Then, I came across some inspiration on one of my all-time favorite home blogs: Young House Love. Ok, ok, let me be honest. It was less inspiration, more like I stole their rug idea! I noticed that they had a similar neutral vibe going on in their living room and, even though they don't really have any dark wood accents, they have a very similar color scheme as well (not to mention the same Target chairs!). Their rug was funky but simple and brought a little splash of color into the room. It was perfect! So, I bit the bullet and found the Young House Love rug on Ebay. You can search for the Pottery Barn Moorish Tile rug in yellow, orange or brown. And now it's in my living room! Call me a copycat, but I love my rug.    :)
As for decor, we'll get to that on another day, another time. But we've hit the main higlights, as these were the main essentials- the paint and the furniture. Put it all together and you've got... our living room!

Lets not forget the before.

And here we all are in the after, living it up in our living room!

Another before.


Check out our house tour for pictures of the whole house in before/after mode!


Linked to:


  1. Love the rug! And the rest of your living room! Happy decorating (and blogging too)...

    s (& j)

  2. Hi, I'm a new follower. I love what you've done with your house so far.

    Looking forward to seeing what else is up your sleeve!


  3. Hi! I found your blog through YHL. I like that you have some similar style elements in your home, but also I love your unique touches (like your blue sunroom ceiling and your fun brick treatment in your breakfast room!) I stumbled upon YHL AFTER J and S had done most of their renos...I am so excited to see your rooms as they progress!


  4. Thank you guys, so much! We are so excited to get this up and running and share our work/ideas/projects/inspirations with so many of you talented people out in the blogging world! Your support means so much. I will certainly head over to each of your blogs to check them out :) Happy reading!

  5. HI, Michelle, you're off to a running start! I love this post & the rug you stole from YHL. They've got great taste, how can you go wrong. You're doing a great job with your LR. I'm in the market for an old piece I can paint for a flat screen TV stand too. Still on the hunt!

    Happy blogging & thanks for the note! Can't wait to see that coondog pic. :)

  6. Hey, Michelle, here's another tip for you. I said this in my Top 10 Tips for new Bloggers. Take off your comment word verification. It drives people batty! Really, you don't need it. If you need to moderate, then do that, but you don't need the letter verification. Just an FYI!

  7. Great advice! Thank you! I think I got it off... please let me know otherwise! :)

  8. Michelle! The living room looks fabulous!! We need to come over to see your adorable house in person, and ya'll need to come over for dinner and drinks one night, too! Let's set a date sometime after the wedding when life slows down a bit ;) Looking forward to more from 10June.

  9. Great makeover. Mod Podge Rules!

    Love this! You have to link this to my Upcycled Awesome Linky party at

  10. Your room looks great. I love the re-purposed dresser. It is perfect!

  11. Your living room looks amazing! Who would have thought that was the same dresser?!?!

  12. I love your redo, it's gorgeous! And just so you know, I'd steel that rug too!!! ;>
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  13. Thank you, ladies! You are all too sweet! :) And thanks for stopping by Ten June!

    xo- M

  14. Holy cow that turned out so cute! I love the rug too its awesome! Partying w/ you from CSI

    love your guts

  15. super cute blog you have here...I'm a fellow Georgian and somehow stumbled across your blog tonight...your house looks great!

  16. You did a fantastic job on that room!!! AND.....when you copy someone I think it should be considered flattery!

  17. i am kinda obsessed. visiting from remodelholic. can't wait to look at your other projects.

  18. Wow, you have a knack for this! Can't wait to check out the rest of your site.

  19. Your living room looks great! I was wondering what brand of carpet that is? I am making over my living room and love the pattern! Thanks!

  20. Wow, you guys have done a great job with your remodel. I have been looking for a way to refinish our fireplace, and I think the black marble on yours is just ideal. Is it tile?

  21. Thanks everyone for the sweet comments!!

    Blair- the rug is from Pottery Barn (it's the Moorish tile rug). I found mine on Ebay!

    The fireplace does have black marble tile on top of the brick. The previous owners did the treatment, so I can't say I know too much about the process, but it's definitely just tiles laid on top of the existing brick fireplace.

    Hope that helps!! xo

  22. Your makeover is beautiful!!! I too love young house love and wouldn't mind stealing that rug from them and now from you too;0. GREAT JOB!!

  23. What a great home transformation! I am just blogging around and came across yours via Mackey Madness. I love how fresh and airy everything looks. I hope to be blogging about my DIYs, and room transformations soon. Love your starburst mirror!

  24. I feel so inspired after reading your blog!Thanks

  25. Very nice! Your living room looks great.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear what you think. I ♥ comments.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...