See the transformation of our rustic living room and explore the design and decor items that bring charm to the space.
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The living room is the space in our home that has undergone the biggest transformation and it’s so fun to look back at the early photos and compare them to where we are now.
As I mentioned in the entryway tour, the home was originally divided into two spaces – a regular dwelling and a mother-in-law apartment. Looking back, it may have made more sense financially to keep the layout the same and actually use that space for rental income. But, alas, we decided to knock down the main wall and have one big open concept space.
After opening everything up, we had a few years of playing around with layout. And it didn’t take long to realize that yes, the upside with renovating is that you can do anything you want. However, it’s also the downside.
What’s great about having an open-concept is that everything flows together. But I remember having many a conversation with Brett about how the living room didn’t feel defined enough and didn’t make sense.
Because it is the central gathering area, we wanted to put a lot of intention into how it all came together. But also, because it’s the central area of the home, nearly every other space was affected by how it laid out.
The size of the kitchen determined the size of the living room. What we did with the hallway and the little bathroom and closet area determined the size of the living room. How we laid out the guest bathroom would also affect the living room.
So many catch-22 opportunities for one area of a home. And, to say it was a little overwhelming is an understatement.
Our rustic living room
Thankfully, after much debating and brainstorming and taping out different layouts on the floor, we finally agreed on a living room layout. Along with a layout for the kitchen and hallway.
It started with the idea removing the closet jut-out in the makeshift hallway and adding a staircase to the basement and a linen closet. This led to the demolition of the orange bathroom, the creation of a home office and the addition of a kitchen pantry and larger shower for our master bathroom (which is yet to be created…someday!).
From there, we installed a wood burning fireplace, replaced the windows and moved their location, to have one on either side of said new fireplace.
The space became even more defined when we added the half-wall in the entryway and the peninsula of cabinets in the kitchen.
In March 2021 we finally, finally, finally said goodbye to walking on subfloor (five years later). Brett found a listing on Craigslist for a low-grade wood floor (aka, lots of knots) that was under our budget – definitely a win-win.
We were a little nervous about the quality but the only downside was that they required a little more work up front. Because there was a lot of holes/knots, we had to use a black/tacky filler and individually go around to fill them all in. And, if I’m being honest, I think the abundance of knots actually adds to the charm. Yes, it was more work up front filling in all the holes but the look is well worth the effort!
With everything major complete, the focus this last year has been on decorating. We found the floating live-edge wood shelves at our favorite builder’s outlet store and have plans to do a large family portrait in the middle. Yes, we even got some photos taken last fall but of course, have yet to actually get one printed. Maybe by the end of the year?! 🙂
So, what’s left to do to finish this rustic living room?
This space is even more close to being finished than the entryway, but alas, there are still items on the to-do list.
- Touch up paint
- Install white baseboards
- Install linen closet door
- Paint the interior window frames white
- Finish decorating the walls
Once again, nothing major here that is pressing. But sometimes the least tedious take the longest to complete… wish us luck!
All our best,
Shop the living room
Rustic living room paint colors
Walls: Hazy Skies, Benjamin Moore (color matched, Dutch Boy)
Wood floor stain: Special Walnet, Minwax
Baseboards: Sherwin Williams, Alabaster