Pickens' Living Room Before & After

Happy New Year, friends! I'm excited to jump back into the blog and finish sharing #theshorttpickenshouse renovations these next 2-3 weeks! 

If you're new here, welcome! You can catch up here on a little bit of our lives which involved buying and renovating a small 1934 ranch house in 7 short months and than deciding to sell it and move back to Greenville, SC, a city we love.

I'm going to jump right in with the living room before and after, and explain some of my design choices as we go along. But first, here are the before's.

Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After

Cute, right? But just a little tired looking.

This room involved some serious and time consuming work. There were tons, and I mean tons, of holes and cracks in the walls that had to be mudded and sanded, as well as sanding all of the trim and woodwork around the fireplace. We shoved all of our living room furniture to the middle of the room and lived and ate that way for I think three weeks because for reasons I can't remember, our dining table was full. It was not fun or glamorous, and felt like it would never end, but the end result still makes me so happy when I see pictures.  But these pictures show some of what the process looked like. (You can read more of our renovation realities here and here.)

Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After

Now to the pretty stuff! When I'm approaching the design of a room, two of the first questions I ask myself are:

1) What is this room going to be used for?

And

2) How do I want it to feel/make me feel?

The answer to these two questions helps determine my color choices and what kinds of patterns and textures I'm going to use in the space.

With the living room, I wanted it to be used mainly for relaxing and hanging out with each other and friends.

I wanted for us to come in after a long day of work out in the business and noise and feel immediately refreshed and calmed.

A crisp white gives me that feeling. It feels crisp and cool and clean and uncluttered. (Read "Why I Love White" here and "5 Tips for Decorating with White Walls" here.)

Pickens Living Room Before & After

When it came to the sofa, I knew I wanted a bigger sectional so that we could seat as many people as possible or spread out when watching movies. Style and comfort were both really important to me. After months of watching Craigslist and online yard sales, I came across the Ikea Karlstad sectional, which unfortunately they don't make anymore. It had the simple, clean lines I was looking for and the grey tweed-like fabric adds texture as well as some warmth to the space as well as being extremely versatile with other decor.

Pickens Living Room Before & After

We painted all the interior doors black to add contrast and interest to a mostly neutral and soft color scheme. (Do you like how you can see all our stuff through the office doors? ;) ) I like contrast in a space because it adds energy and keeps the space from feeling sleepy and flat. (Read here and here if you want more info on using contrast in your home.) Since I had to forgo my original design plan once we decided to move, the black doors were my one design "splurge." Yes, it was a risk since we planned to sell or rent the house out, but I just had to do something a little crazy and get it out of my system. 

Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After

We moved the bookshelves into the guest room because they didn't fit the wall space in the living room and moved in this old trunk to set the tv on and I actually really liked it. 

Pickens Living Room Before & After

The rest of the room was pulled as much together as it could be with things we already had. Had we actually stayed to live in this house, I would have added a Persian rug with dark red and blue tones to the space to make it feel warm and cozy and to help tie it in with the blue we painted the exterior of our front door as well as added more and different pillows to the couch. I probably would have done a gallery wall around the tv to draw your attention away from that and also to cover up my bad mudding job, which you can't really see during the day time, but screams at you at night in the lamp light. Some plants would have been added to add some life and vibrancy to the room and I would have swapped out the lighting for something more modern, but still classy and timeless, probably in black and brass and natural materials. 

Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After
Pickens Living Room Before & After

So there you have it! Although, I didn't get to style out the space to my full vision, we sure enjoyed it for the time we were there and had fun having friends into our home to share it with!

PIckens Living Room Before and After