This living room! I don’t even know where to start. It’s amazing. But it’s also by far the most confusing room for me to decorate. Most of the time I can walk into a room and envision what I would do. But this one is a real brain teaser. And I’m still developing my vision for it!
Here you can see what we started with. A lot of the natural light was dimmed by the layers of heavy curtains. I knew that had to go. And I’ll spare you my rant about butter yellow. But that had to go as well. Since this is technically the “formal” living room (I hate to call it that, though), I initially felt pressure to make it more fancy. But after living with it for a bit I no longer feel that pressure. I’m just going to do my version of fancy (which is not all that fancy, but just a little more bold than the den, which is the more cozy/television space).
The first time we viewed it, the house was still being lived in and in addition to the piano, this room had two couches, four chairs, two coffee tables, two side tables and a glass display case. It was fun to see how much furniture could actually fit because if I had only seen it like this, I wouldn’t have believed it. We’re still deciding how we want to furnish this room and haven’t purchased anything at all yet. I’m really excited to get to that stage, though, sometime in the new year!
In the meantime, I think it’s good to be able to just live with it and learn what the room could actually be useful for in our real lives. So far we’ve used it for a lot of photos for the blog and Jeremy plays piano in there almost every day (usually when he’s ready to leave the house and he’s waiting for me to put on makeup or something…).
Here’s the opposite view. You can see here where this room is in relation to the entryway and front door. Besides the actual entry, it’s the first thing you see when you come in the house. You can also see here these two spaces on either side of the door, which I am not sure what to do with. Tables? Chairs? Bookshelves?
To the left is my future office (still currently filled with tiles and paint from all our projects!), and to the right is our dining room.
These ceilings where definitely a feature that drew us to the house. I love that they were already painted white. This room is medium sized, and it’s weird to me that it seems to either look much larger or much smaller than it really is when I photograph it.
Here’s the view looking into the dining room. That “window” to the right is actually a set of French doors that lead into the sunroom. I still have no idea how the furniture is going to lay out in the room or even what furniture I need to look for! Options are endless!
Behind those giant curtains is a beautiful, but badly damaged window. The double pane glass had trapped moisture that was molding and the wood was rotting. We knew it would have to be replaced semi-quickly, but when a rainstorm revealed that it leaked in heavy rain, the new window shot up to the top of our priority list.
Hands down, our favorite thing about this space is the baby grand piano. It’s something we negotiated into our house sale. Probably not something we would have prioritized buying, but we’re so glad it worked out. It fits the room visually, but is also something really special and functional in our family. Jeremy was a piano performance major in college, which means he can play those crazy fancy classical piano pieces that impress everyone. He also plays songs to make me laugh all the time, like songs from television shows we watch and what not. Anyway—I’m rambling! We love the piano and want to decorate the room AROUND it.
This big empty wall is begging for something big and bold. And that’s my little (future) office space you can see through the doorway.
These carpets had to go immediately. We knew that even if that was the ONLY update we did, it would make such a big difference in making the house feel more modern and fresh.
When we removed the carpets, we discovered a bad water stain on the hardwoods. It was the worst stain in the house and it couldn’t be sanded out. I share the whole story and our weird, but cool, solution here.
Alright! That’s the before. These photos are from the day we closed on our home in May. With many of the spaces in our home I feel an urgency to finish them quickly, but not this space. I am enjoying decorating it slowly in my mind. Besides the color washed floor, painting the yellow white and replacing that big window, we haven’t really done anything yet. If you have ideas, I’m all ears!! xx- Elsie
It is really awesome seeing all these befores! it’s going to be so fun seeing afters after seeing these!
I can’t wait to see what you do with this space! The ceilings are sooooo great. When you’re “decorating it in your mind,” where do you see the piano being positioned? As far as the life of a piano goes…being in sunlight AND near the sunroom (which you’ve said will have windows open often, which will mean a change in humidity at times)can be bad for your piano’s health, so it might be worth considering moving it to one of those other corners near the entrance, if it could fit/work there.
Hang in there! I’m almost done with these before posts and then it’ll be updates, updates, updates for the next two years!
Thanks for reading! :)) -Elsie
I will definitely share one in the future!
Thanks for sharing, the house is really interesting and I’m sure the after shots will be amazing! But personally I think I would prefer to see the before photos as part of the after post, or perhaps seeing all the before shots (from the whole house) in just one post.
I can see why this space would be a brain teaser. Love the ceiling, though!!
i’d love to see the room divided into two areas. one facing the piano for those watching the performance and the other area for sitting and chatting. maybe back to back couches. hard to say without being able to tell the room size. i know whatever you do you’ll make it awesome.
This space is great! Loving the ceilings! For your large scale art, I suggest looking at Minneapolis (MN) based artist Garrett Parry. I think you would really enjoy his color pallet and abstract subject matter. Some of his older work can be seen on his website: Garrettperry.com
Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you do with this beautiful space!
Absolutely love the ceilings! And I can’t believe you were able to get the baby grand! Swoon! Cant’ wait to see the after!
i fall a bit more in love with your house every time you put up a post!!! weird question… could you share a floor plan of the house? or have you already and i missed it?! it would make imagining the space and the before and afters so much more easier!! 😛
Maybe you could do a book shelf on one side and a reading nook on the other side!? A lounge area?
I think I’m going to leave it black since it’s a lot more valuable than our other (thrift store) pianos. :)) I LOVED the one we painted white though.
I see this too! And with the doors going out to the porch, it could be a really beneficial for summer parties and people going in and out to just stop at this bar rather than go through the house!
I seriously can’t wait for more progress pictures just to even see how you’ve painted, Elsie. This house is already so cool and unique as is, but the updates will make it so much more gorgeous and open.
I’m so excited to see how your space turns out, Elsie! The house has such a great structure, you’re renovations are only going to make it so much better!!!
I love the structure of the room.. the beams are so amazing. I can’t wait to see photos when it’s all done!!
are you going to leave that piano black or are you going to use your amazing paint skills and courage and paint it whit or a bold colour, hmm I forgot the floor is blue now so a bold colour might not be a good idea
Those ceiling beams are gorgeous http://www.hannamarielei.com
So much potential!
I love seeing the difference without those heavy curtains! It definitely made it feel brighter. I like the idea of book cases on either side of the entrance facing the front door. If they were clean white built ins with a bunch of colorful books, it would be interesting enough that you don’t need a ton of big and bold statements, since you also have that rad blue floor now! Anyway good luck! I’ll be closing on a house this spring and I can’t wait to get to your stage of renovations!
PS i just found your youtube channel and I loved getting to walk through the houses with you! You guys should definitely try to do more videos because I loved them! (in all your spare time of course haha)
We bought this house. :)))
Hi! I have a question, are you renting this house? Or bought it?
In case it´s a rental, does the owner pay for all the renovations??
Or do you?
Greetings from Mexico!