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Our Updated Living Room

We’ve been in our home for just over a year now and are starting to make a lot of progress. This summer, we removed a closet and dated wet bar to open up our living room to create a more open floor plan, add a lot of light and make the room feel a bit larger. When we moved in, I decided that our living room would be the smaller of the two rooms because it had a lot more character and was adjacent to the kitchen. I’m so glad we did, because it feels a lot more intimate and allows me to feel more connected with our family while I’m cooking dinner. We still have some painting and decorating to do, but I wanted to share our living room progress with you today.

Beautiful and functional built in bookcases without books

Before we moved in, we had the walls painted, but I wasn’t convinced whether we should leave the wood or paint it white, so we waited. After a lot of thought, we decided we should paint the bookcases and trim, but leave the fireplace. We painted the bookcases, crown molding, trim and walls in Sherwin Williams Zurich White. For a little variation we painted the walls in eggshell and moldings in satin. I love how warm it makes the room feel. While it looks “white”, it is much softer and creamier than most whites and slightly darker.

Simple fall decorating ideas to infuse into your home

One of the easiest ways to update a room aside from paint is new hardware. The pretty brass pulls restored a traditional look. We added relaxed baskets in our built-in bookcases to add function and storage to them. As time goes on and our family has grown, my style has become more and more utilitarian. I want everything in our home to have purpose, meaning, or function. Our old bookcases were filled with things we loved, like heirloom bibles, but they didn’t serve as anything more than decoration. With the elimination of the wet bar which included cabinetry, we needed to add storage somewhere. The baskets are filled with remotes, dvd’s, batteries, games, etc. and are all easily accessible. Other accents can be updated seasonally.

Simple fall decorating ideas to infuse into your home

Seasonal bookcase decorations

Our furniture is from our previous home and includes a brass table from Anthropologie and another from Birch Lane. I’d love to add lamps, but it seems like a horrible idea with toddlers running around. The chandelier floor lamp offers a lot of stability {it’s heavy} and another layer of lighting. The sofa, chairs and coffee table ottoman are from Restoration Hardware in Belgian Linen Sand. For fall, I accented them with my favorite wool blanket, chunky throw and velvet pillows. The basket stores all the magazines I hope to find time to read.

Simple living room decorations

To define the space, I used our traditional wool rug that’s filled with blues, deep pinks, and grey. I repurposed the linen curtain panels from our dining room and paired them with glass finials and a brass rod. Our DIY painting of Carmel is the only art to date, but I plan on working to add additional pieces soon.

We added heavier molding and replaced the carpet with sand and stain hardwood floors. You can read more about them here.

Here are a few before photos so you can see the how the room has changed…


The closet and doors were removed to open up to the living room.


A view from the other side of the closet/doors just after we moved in.



The bar is to the left, with a standard 2 1/2′ doorway {before above, after below}

fall decorating ideas for bookcases


This is a realtor photo taken with a wide angle lens.

ideas to make your home feel cozy for fall

layout copy


Simple living room decorations

unconventional fall colors

I hope you enjoyed this little before and almost after. I enjoy sharing the process with you because we all know that home doesn’t happen overnight. I look forward to sharing more later this fall when the construction is complete.

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19 comments on “Our Updated Living Room”

  1. It’s all beautiful Julie!! I love the paint colors – white but warm. The floors look perfect!

  2. Your home is just beautiful! Simple, clean and elegant. I love it. =)

  3. I love what you’ve done to your house. I’m always been partial to white, painted woodwork. I think it lightens everything up and looks so clean and crisp!

  4. I love your style. Thank you for sharing sources in this post. That Anthropology table is on my want list, but I followed your link and read some negative reviews. Is it as pretty in person as it looks in your pictures?

  5. Thank you.

  6. Just discovered your blog, Julie. I love it! Excellent choice for a rug! I have the same rug in two rooms. One a big 12×15 and the other in a 6×9. This is the rug # surya-caesar-cae1005. You can buy it from several different sources. I purchased one from payless rugs. They were wonderful to deal with. I think Costco also sells the same rug in very limited sizes. It is all wool and wears like iron. My big rug is in a high traffic area, we have to walk across it to get outside. My grandkids play on it all the time.

  7. It’s beautiful. I like that you find things you love and can live with for years.

  8. Hi Julie,
    I really like the idea of painting the molding the same color as the walls but in a different sheen. Did you do this in any other areas of your home?

  9. Dear Julie, thank you so much for answering my question. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you another question that came to mind. When you said you painted the moldings in satin, were you meaning all the trim, including the baseboards? Or were you just meaning the crown molding? I’m sorry if this is a silly question! The painters are coming tomorrow to start and I’m so excited! I’ve waited 5 years for this! I definitely like this idea and think I will try it out in our living room.

  10. Love the curtain rod. Where did you get it?

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