March 11, 2019

Living Room Makeover: Before and After Photos!

If you missed it, I shared photos recently of our completed dining room transformation. You can find the makeover pictures on this post. Moving on to the living room...

I'm doing the home makeover in three different parts, one for each room, because I have SO many pictures. So, I broke it up into each room. I'm saving the kitchen for last, because it was definitely the most work.

Unfortunately, I don't have any great photos of our living room "before". I searched and searched through my photos, trying to find any at all where you could see much of the room. I'll share the ones that you can see it the best, but I apologize that it's not great.

A description of "before":
Rectangular shaped living room
One white exterior door and one brown door that leads to the master bedroom
One of the long walls is almost completely open between the living room, dining room, and kitchen
"Stomped" ceilings (a textured ceiling like popcorn)
Crown molding (that we discovered was to hide the gap between the wall and the ceiling)
Deep green walls
Two large windows
All oak-colored trim, crown molding, and baseboard molding, window sills, doors, EVERYTHING
Light multicolored Berber carpet
Large brown ceiling fan

Furnishings "before":
HUGE brown leather sectional sofa (we loved it, but it definitely needed to be replaced)
Yellow-ish accent chair
Electric fireplace/entertainment console
Three dark brown end tables
One large square coffee table
Joey's dog bed

We wanted to do everything the same order with all three rooms at the same time, for simplicity. For the living room, here is what we did:

1) Scrape off popcorn ceiling (I wrote a tutorial for How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling here)

2) Use drywall compound to fill in the visible seams on the sealing after scraping the texture off

3) As I was doing that, I decided to remove the crown molding

4) To my surprise, I discovered WHY the crown molding was there--it covered a large gap between the wall and the ceiling. I had to "tape and mud" all along the ceiling in order to get nice sharp edges. I had never done this before, and it was a big learning experience. It's this part that I think I am most proud of from the entire project.

5) Fill in any holes in the walls, cracks, etc.

6) Remove the baseboards around the floor

7) The mess: Sand the entire ceiling. Apply more drywall compound as a "skim coat". Sand, sand, sand. There was drywall dust EVERYWHERE.

8) Clean the dust really well to avoid getting it on paint.

9) Wipe off the ceilings to remove dust.

10) Apply caulk to any gaps or cracks in the trim/molding (this made SUCH a huge difference in the final look! I wish I'd known this trick years ago)

11) Prime ceiling x2 coats

12) Paint ceiling x3 coats (I do not recommend Sherwin Williams' ceiling paint--we used so much of it, and I still am not totally happy with it)

13) Prime the walls (I used Kilz stain blocker latex primer)

14) Paint the walls with two coats of Sherwin Williams' Cashmere Finish latex in the color "Cityscape" (dark gray). Because we no longer had crown molding, I had to learn to "cut in" the paint at the ceiling. This was really fun to learn and practice! It's not perfect, but I am pretty impressed with how well it turned out.

15) Tape off the paint around the window and door casings and jambs

16) Prime the wood for the casings with Kilz oil-based primer

17) Paint two coats of Sherwin Williams' oil-based paint in "Spare White" color on the door jambs, and the window/door casings. All trim, basically.

18) Remove the standard "trailer" door from the master bedroom and replace just the door slab, and paint it "spare white".

19) Remove carpet and replace with luxury vinyl planking (we bought this one from Home Depot)

20) Replace furniture--I sold some things on Facebook Marketplace, and I found a few treasures on there to replace what we needed. I bought a very cool mid-century modern sofa and a chair that looks like it should be part of a set, but they were totally separate!

I bought a very nice quality and comfortable Sherrill sofa for $50. I bought a wool Pottery Barn rug to match the sofa and chair for $50 as well. I was going to replace the dark wood with lighter colors, like we did with the rest of the house, but I rather like it. So, we decided to go with the dark stained wood in the living room only.

I also found a Pottery Barn bench/console--I was going to use it for our shoes, but it was WAY too nice to do that--the original price on it was $599, and I paid $60 on Facebook Marketplace!

21) I hung a couple of my dad's paintings on the walls.

22) We arranged the furniture in a new way that was able to get the treadmill out of the way. The treadmill is an eyesore, and we always used to keep it in the dining room (and the dining room table was in the kitchen).

Since we got rid of the huge sectional, we cozied up the living room by pulling the far side coach inward, and then putting the treadmill behind it. You can still see the treadmill, but it's not nearly as noticeable, and it's in a great spot. We kept the three end tables and got rid of the coffee table. Joey got to keep his dog bed ;)

23) Replaced our old ceiling fan

I think that about covers it! This was the easiest room to do, believe it or not. Just wait until you see the kitchen.

Here are the "after" photos I took of the living room (it is nearly impossible to keep a husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog from messing things up! My house is never this clean.) My brother, Brian, let me borrow his "fancy" camera to use a wide-angle lens so that you can see more. So, if anything looks slightly warped, it's because of my non-existent photography skills.

I can't even describe how much I love it! It's still taking some getting used to. But the kitchen is the biggest change of all, and I'm super excited to share those pics!

Here are some photos of the process of making over the living room...

And for the grand finale... Jerry finished the floors! After that, I just had to cut, attach, and paint the baseboards along the floor. 

LIVING ROOM BEFORE (Jerry was about to do a cartwheel here, haha):


I did start keeping a list of all of the projects and the whole process from start to finish... you can find that page here: DIY Home Makeover


  1. This all looks so amazing!! You guys did such a great job!! Looks so bright and open!

  2. It looks great! Very modern!

  3. I am IMPRESSED! It looks awesome.

  4. It looks great! Must feel like a new house!

  5. You are awesome! It looks great!

  6. Absolutely awesome!! Way to go!

  7. Great job... I love seeing home improvement projects that just involve creating rather than full demolition. I've been doing the same at my house... Oh yeah... And great taping job on the seams. I did the same and doesn't it make all the difference 😀... I know your joy. It was my favorite part too especially after I got all the dust off of me lol. Looks fantastic enjoy.

  8. This is amazing! I really love how it's all come together!

  9. This is awesome! I love it! Well done girl!

  10. So awesome!! I LOVE the colors so much!

  11. I'm obsessed with your colors and flooring, so pretty!

  12. I love it! I especially love the combo of the wall color with the orange of the furniture. Looks great!

  13. What an amazing difference! It's like having a brand new home I bet!

  14. It looks amazing!!! I love it!

  15. Wow - it turned out great. You guys either have a knack for this or are REALLY good at following directions!

  16. Katie, it all looks great! Kudos to you and Jerry on all the DIYing, very impressive. Did you post a pic of the new kitchen counter/island installed? I think I missed it. So what's next on your list (a vacation)?!? ~Janet

  17. Love it! So much to show for all of your hard work - you should be very proud!


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