I’ve said this a couple times, but the biggest reason Chase and I took the leap on our house was for the neighborhood. We loved the area and wanted so badly to live in it, but we couldn’t afford a ready to move in house. Renovation never scared us, in fact it was one of the things on our list. Ya know, that list that every potential homebuyer has. Some people have a pool or lots of closet space on theirs, we knew we wanted something that we could make our own.
So when we saw our house on Realtor.com and then drove to creep on it (which, by the way, was only “okay” because nobody lived in it), we were basically just hoping for a house that we could work with. While we got unlucky with a lot of things: termites, rotted flooring, bad plumbing…..We did get lucky with the floor plan. As we were in the backyard with our faces pressed against the living room windows, we fell in love even more. Our house was built in 1958, but somewhere along the way the previous owners added on a great room, which is our living room, and is connected to the kitchen. Can you say, “Open floor plan?”
Our ceilings are the standard 8ft. Which isn’t bad, but tall ceilings really make a place feel bigger and more open. Well our living room has 10ft ceilings and is completely open to the kitchen. Chase and I knew all it needed were some beams and it would be the perfect living room. The only problem with the living room, other than the hideous wood paneling and blue carpet, was that it was one giant square. It had zero character.
When we started demo we knew right away that we were going to take down the upper cabinets in the kitchen. I wanted complete and total view of the living room from the kitchen and those cabinets were the only thing in my way. We also knew that we wanted to shiplap the entire living room. If you’ve been following along then you know our love for shiplap, and we knew this giant space needed some texture.
We got to work. We took down the wood paneling, ripped up the carpet, and then walked through with our contractor to start finalizing some things. As we are chatting about our design he mentioned how great it would be to have a gas fireplace in the corner. Chase just rolled his eyes and looked me because he knows how much I love fireplaces. We have one in our dining room(the original living room when the house was built), which I love, but I was also bummed that it was in the dining room. How are you supposed to relax on the couch with a good book in front of the fireplace when your fireplace is in the dining room?
Although it really wasn’t in the budget, we decided on a fireplace for the living room. The plan was that our contractor was just going to build out the spot for the fireplace and we would add it later. As soon as he framed out the corner of the room we knew we made the right choice. Bringing in the corner and just putting a hole in the wall gave the room a focal point. You weren’t just walking into a giant square and looking around aimlessly. Then, Chase’s parents gifted us a gas fireplace for Christmas. We were ecstatic. Soon the fireplace was in, then the shiplap was in, and I wanted to cry with joy every time I stopped by the house to see progress. I’m telling you people, the fireplace makes our living room.
Okay, enough of my rambling, here are some photos! We still have a little ways to go in here. We need to brick the hearth(by the way, what is the correct way to say that word? I never know), we need to stain our mantle, and eventually we want to build bookshelves across the entire back wall.
I’ll start us off in the entryway to the living room. I love all the natural light we get in here. That back wall with the window is the where we want to eventually put floor to ceiling bookshelves. As usual, you’ll be able to spot all the animals in this post. It wouldn’t be our living room without our lazy pets lounging around. Murray is on the floor by the couch. Our coffee table is from World Market, the side tables are from Target, and the couch was a hand-me-down from my mom. Chase found the cowhide rug online years and years ago. It has lived through a lot and still looks brand new, they are definitely worth their price tag.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a blog post without a plant close-up. This guy is a Maranta Lemon Lime, nicknamed the Prayer Plant because at night its leave fold up like its praying. He is awesome and has so much character, yes I realize he’s just a plant.
Directly in front of the couch is the fireplace. Thanks to our good friend Corey, we just got the TV mounted and I am pretty excited. We picked up the candlesticks at an antique store, and our mantle came from our contractor! I love it. It’s the same kind of wood as our front door so we are going to stain it the same color. We are hoping to brick the hearth in the next month or so.
Here is Mister’s favorite spot in the house, and one of mine. The typewriter we found at an antique store and used for wedding decor.
This guy is one of Chase’s favorite plants, a Rattlesnake plant.
Chase is also a big fan of Kickstarter, which is where he found this fun gadget. This is a lightbulb that floats above its base. It’s all done with magnets and you turn it on and off by tapping the square base it floats over. If you look in the window you can see the plant one too.
To the left of window is a little reading nook of sorts. Chase bought me a GIANT beanbag for Christmas one year, and has regretted the decision every day since because it is huge and difficult to find a place for. BUT it’s filled with pieces of memory foam and is the comfiest thing in the entire world, so I can’t give it up. The framed poster was a graduation gift from one of my best friends. It is a collage of the Harry Potter cover illustrations from different countries. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and this is hands down one of the coolest and most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.
To the right of the window is an empty corner. I’m hoping that if I keep it empty it will motivate us to get our bookshelves up faster….I’ll let you know how that goes.
Directly across from the empty corner is what we like to call Murray’s corner. Our ZZ plant, who’s name is Lizzy, lives in this corner and so does Murray’s food bowls and toy basket. Murray can usually be found napping under Lizzy’s branches. The photo on the wall is a picture of Chase’s grandpa from WW2. He is on an island off the coast of Japan, and yes that is a beer he is holding in the air. It is one of my favorite photos ever.
Here is a view of the living room from behind Lizzy’s leaves.
That is our living room as of now! It is always changing because I can never make up my mind. If any of you have ever DIYed bookshelves before, please leave me some tips in the comments! I will leave you now with a picture of the cutest puppy ever:
Until Next Time,