Living room before and “after”

These photos might be nominally referred to as “before and after,” but “after” is not an accurate description of where we are.  Let’s go with “in progress.”  

Fireplace Before:

Fireplace in progress:

Other living room Before:

Living room in progress:

Apologies for the bad lighting and overall messiness.  If you can overlook those, I think you’ll agree that the new floor plan (which we’ve been anticipating for well over a year) is much more open and makes the new fireplace the focal point of the room.

New features: 

  • Mantis fireplace insert (with new hearth).
  • Wall-mounted TV over the fireplace.  Also got cable after not having it for the past 2.5 years.  Which is proving to be a bit overwhelming for me.
  • New Ikea Manstad corner sofa (yes, both sofas would look better without blankets draped over them, and I have a solution in mind for that, but for now this is how we roll because we enjoy having dogs on the furniture)
  • Rearranged most of the furniture in the room and gave away or sold several items including the TV stand.
  • When guests enter through the front door, they are no longer funneled into an awkward area behind the couch.
  • More room to do workouts in the living room.
  • New yellow shelf above and to the left of the fireplace - our friend and former (sniff!) next door neighbor Robert built this for his house, which is identical to ours, and since it’s a custom shelf for a space that only exists in the houses on our street, he had no use for it when he moved.  It was black until Matt painted it yellow.
  • Dog crates are now under the wood table, where they fit perfectly.  We gave the chairs away, which was a little bit sad for me.  I got the table and set of 4 chairs at the Salvation Army in my hometown almost 10 years ago right before I moved into my first apartment after college.  I’ve used them in every home I’ve lived in as an adult.  The table was my desk for the past two years, but now that’s not possible with the dog crates underneath, so I’m using a folding table which you might catch a glimpse of (see my laptop in the last photo?)  Also note to self: get some folding chairs so people can sit down if we have a dinner party.
  • New Ikea Ektorp Bromma footstool with a tray on top replaced our coffee table.

Many more improvements are still on the To Do list, but we are feeling mighty fine about this batch of changes.  We are ready for fall and winter: we will be so cozy snuggled up on our couches with dogs and our fireplace keeping us warm.