Living Room Makeover

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Our living room was in need of a serious change.  We were longing to be able to seat more than 3 people in our living room. Between the hodge podge collection of hand-me-down furniture, we were lacking a cohesive look. Living in an apartment has its drawbacks; not being allowed to paint the walls, limiting the number of holes in the walls and being stuck with floor materials and color.  Making the best of of the situation, we were able to modernize and make our living room a lot more “us” with updating furniture and artwork.  Ready for a sneak peak of the before and after?



I am so happy with the transformation :) Sorry the before picture is so awful!  I got so excited with starting the makeover that I forgot to snap a picture before throwing out the old couch and recliner, and had to rely on an old photo from Alex’s phone when we first moved in.  Not much had changed in the look since then, except for 3 photos we hung on the wall behind the couch and we had updated the coffee table by decoupaging photos on it.

First on the list for our makeover was finding the right couch to fit our space and seat more people.  With the love seat and recliner combo we were sporting, we could fit 3-4 people max, and that was a tight squeeze!  We researched sectionals online and found the perfect option, the Karlstad sectional from Ikea.  We both loved the modern look and clean lines of this couch, and an added bonus that it can be taken apart and arranged in different directions or added to with even more seating down the road.  Plus it is completely machine washable in the Sivik dark grey covers.  We were so excited when it arrived (at 9:30pm) that we stayed up assembling it and drinking wine until after 2am.


Wezley was not as excited about the building process.  We just wanted his spot on the couch to curl up and sleep.


Before we even got our couch home, I knew there was one change that had to happen.  Those boring birch colored legs had to go.

Living room in progress

I grabbed some Flat Black spray paint and a couple days after getting our new couch I went to work re-finishing the sectional legs. It is amazing what a difference the black paint makes!  It looks so much more modern and high-end :) We also painted the tray on the ottoman and bought black side tables (one is hiding in the corner behind the couch with our laptops on it)


Being that the couch is dark grey and the ottoman light grey, we wanted to tie the room together with throw pillows in greys with our accent color being yellow.  I just love the look of grey and yellow together! You can find out later in this post where we got all the pillows and a complete cost breakdown.


With the couch in place I went to work on the artwork for the wall.  It is such a big, blank wall, that we needed more than the 3 frames we had spaced out. I went to work created a 3 panel vintage world map piece and then dug through our closet for extra black frames to add a few photos from our travels. It looks so much better, balanced and complete now :)  I love the yellow of the vintage map playing off the throw pillows.


And for one last pop of yellow, I painted a common terracotta pot yellow and we bought a houseplant to go in the corner.  Our first houseplant together :)


The Cost Breakdown:

Grand Total: $1,173.78

Not too bad for a living room transformation.  We are so excited for our first adult living room :) With the versatility of the this couch we will be able to re-work everything we did in a new living room once we buy a house of our own!

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12 thoughts on “Living Room Makeover

  1. Great Job! The map panels are amazing! I just would like to suggest that you definitely lower the artwork. They look like they are literally floating in the clouds. Just try it….I read your post and realize your ceilings are high, but there is a huge void. You want to tie in the furniture with the wonderful art.

  2. The makeover looks great! Nice job. Just a thought, if you lower the artwork over the sectional it will look give a more cohesive look. I may create your map art for my home to chart all the places we’ve visited.

    • Thanks Wanda. I went back and forth on the height on my art, and ended up going a little higher since the ceilings are pretty tall, even though the couch back is lower than our previous one. Thanks for the advice :)

  3. Holly – the living room looks amazing!! Want to come to Chicago when I move into my sis’s condo and redo it for me? Pretty please :)

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