how we updated our living room in three easy steps

I’ve gotta tell you….we should have pretended like we needed to get ready for a home study YEARS ago. Projects are getting worked on left and right here on West Street!

One of the things that becomes blatantly obvious in an older home is how dingy the “old” paint in one room looks once you refresh the paint in another room.

Take for instance, our living room. The paint wasn’t terrible, but the more we looked at it, the more we realized it should probably be a bit refreshed prior to a home study. Especially the trim. If you are looking to refresh your living room then you should pay a visit to see if some of their selection would help improve the aesthetic of your home.

before after

One of the other big reasons for trying to spruce up the space {other than getting ready for the home study} was given the fact that {for now} we are not refinishing the floors. This is definitely something we want to try and tackle before selling the house, but it is not something we can feasibly get done {with all of the other projects that do need to get done} prior to the home study process. Something that we might consider in the future is installing Multi-Room Audio Video as this is likely to be an enticing proposition for any prospective buyers.

It is amazing, however, how a little carpet, paint, and new molding can change a space! We transformed our living room with essentially three steps:

1. Painted the walls and trim

2. Added a rug (read more here)

3. Installed new crown molding

For the wall color, we spent a great deal of time agonizing over the perfect shade.

Ummm…, not really.

After realizing we had 29 {yes, you read that correctly} more-than-half used gallons of paint, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Menards recently had a rebate deal on a plain, flat white paint. It was FREE after rebates. So, we picked up three gallons and a couple of five gallon buckets.

The new color you see in the living room is part guest bedroom, part studio, and part previous owner’s leftover paints {from who knows where…we still haven’t figured it out}!

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And this isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to mixing leftover paint. I guess I should do a blog post on my top tips!

Along with the walls, we also needed to paint the base trim. When the previous owners tore up the carpet {we are guessing they did this prior to selling just to show the wood floors}, it left a band across the base trim where the quarter round used to be – but this band also included bits of carpet and the paint was all chipped. It has been awesome to look at, as you can imagine. So I sanded/cleaned off the carpet bits prior to repainting the base trim!

We painted the trim in a high gloss enamel white….paint from right off the shelf, not mixed.

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{although the wood floors seem okay in this before picture, once you move that rug away, you are better able to see the poor condition on the current finish}

Where did we get the new rug? Bazaar Velvet, thank you very much! Since we weren’t going to refinish the floors I wanted to cover them as much as possible, but still show that there was hard wood under there. That way, if we do not actually get to refinishing them before we sell, the new owners know they have the option. As an added bonus, we get to take this carpet rug with us when we leave!

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Installing the crown molding was actually a decision we had to think about for a bit. On one hand, technically speaking, there was already crown molding installed. But, whomever added texture to the ceiling also added it to this molding. It looked terrible.

I mean, who has textured molding? And at the very least, we were going to have to repaint it, so we just bit the bullet and got new {smooth} molding up.

We did decide to match the molding we have been installing elsewhere, such as the guest bedroom and the kitchen, but we opted against adding the corner pieces.

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{our kitty kept guard while I took both the before and after pictures}

Some of the other small touches that I changed in the room:

1. Painted the curtain rods.

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I love this bronze metallic spray paint and use it whenever possible!

2. Added some new decorations.

The “new” curtains {where there were previously no curtains on the smaller window} are actually just ones I had in a guest bedroom upstairs. Initially, we were just going to have some custom blinds as our window coverings. But we soon thought that this wasn’t going to give us as much security and privacy than we would like so that’s why we decided to hang these curtains up instead. If I don’t say so myself, I think this looks pretty good.

The sconces are from Goodwill. I only spent $6 on all of them!

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The Paris sign and fun new coasters are from Hobby Lobby.

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And, finally, I actually put pictures into the picture frames on display {for those that have visited us over the past couple of years, you know how much I love to keep the “photo families” in frames}.

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3. Even the “Home Sweet Home” wall got a new makeover.

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{do you see the change on that little hallway hall? Those are picture frames that we had on one of the living room walls — now replaced by the Paris sign}

There is still a ton of decorating I want to do in this room {and update things like the ceiling fan}, but for now we are considering this room HOME STUDY READY!!

How did we do and what are your favorite ways to quickly update a room?