Open Concept Almost Done

I have a project update to show you today.  Back in March, I shared how we had a professional builder put in the needed support beam in the house where we removed the wall and pocket door that divided the living and dining area so that we could create an open concept space for better visual flow and lake viewing.

open concept living

In my last post about the project, I left you with this photo after Ed put sheetrock over the newly installed beam.

Adding a ceiling beam when removing a wall

He completed the sheetrock and added crown molding to each side. With this done, it was my turn to take over and paint the beam and the living room that still had green walls.

Before and after open concept living

You may remember this before photo. This is what the room looked like when we first looked at the house with the real estate agent. See the wall and doorway leading to the kitchen?

Open concept living room

It is gone. Lots of changes have been made over the past 5 months.  :-)

With the wall and pocket door removed, the beam done, the dark green wall color gone and…

How to decorate an open concept living room

….the fireplace wall totally transformed, the space is looking more to my liking and decorating style.

I still have a few details to take care of…like painting the ceiling fan white and getting white screen doors.

Removing a wall in a house to create an open concept space

This week I am going to start painting the brown trim in the kitchen.

How to create an open concept living room

I also am in the process of patching the floor where the wall once was. I found oak planks that were a close match to the flooring. We fit them into the gap in the floor.

We need to sand them so they are level with the rest of the floor and then add a few coats of polyurethane. It is a patch and not going to be perfect. We will wait to redo the entire floor after we makeover the kitchen.

It feels good to have this project almost done. I will post about how I patched the floor soon and how we hung the swiveling wall mounted TV later this week.

Did you see my post on how I transformed the fireplace wall? If not, you can find it here. It is part of a Mantel Makeover Contest. If you have the time, I would love your vote. You can vote, HERE once a day until May 2oth.  XO

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  1. Hi Diane,

    I have read your blog and loved it. All Arrangement looks perfect. Everything is beyond gorgeous, so overall you did a fabulous job.

  2. Harish Sheel says:

    Hello Diane, I just love the way how you transform the living room looks. This is just amazing transformation and for me, now the room has come alive. I like your choices, as well each and every aspects that you covered in your creativity. Let me know about your next post. Well, I’m a home decor lover and always looking for new ideas and creativity. Recently, I have been searched a site where one can explore the home decor products. For more –

  3. Gayatri Mantra says:

    Looks completely different. I still have a powder room that has green paint just about that color. I’ve needed to repaint it for at least ten years, maybe more.

  4. Diane,
    I love how open and bright the living room looks. Great transformation and now the room has come alive. Beautiful!

  5. Hi Diane,
    I love love love your lake home. I live on a lake in Louisiana. Your pictures and posts have inspired me to “take a look” from the lake. I work full-time at a library and tend to be an “inside” girl. Thanks so much for sharing your home and life with us!! Hope you have a blessed day!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – Thanks for taking the time to say hi. It is hard somedays when I need to work on projects and my computer not to be outside. I am thankful for WIFI that lets me at least take my computer outside to work. What lake do you live on in Louisiana? That is one state I have never been to and hope to visit soon.

      1. Hi back, Diane,

        So nice to hear from you. I live in northwest Louisiana on Lake Bistineau. We are about 30 miles east from Bossier City/Shreveport. I must warn you that Louisiana is like two states in one; the northern part is very different from the southern part. Lol The northern part is part of the “Bible Belt”: peas, cornbread, etc. The southern part is Creole/Cajun: crawfish, beignets, etc. (This is meant for amusement only! Some of the traditional south Louisiana like Mardi Gras and crawfish boils are now enjoyed and celebrated in the north also.)
        Seriously though, Shreveport/Bossier has a lot to offer visitors to our part of the state. The twin cities are separated by the Red River. Bossier City offers a gorgeous Louisiana Boardwalk with all kinds of stores, restaurants, etc. My husband and I love living on the lake in the country. Bossier and Shreveport are close enough to visit, shop, etc., but always good to get back home.
        Sorry…I write like I talk. Anyway…I hope to continue to receive emails from your website. I feel at home when I visit In My Own Style!!
        Thanks again for the inspiration!
        Hope you have a great day!

  6. Diane! Your house looks beautiful!! I know it was a lot of hard work for you and Ed! But the results are so worth it!! Little by little it looks just
    Like your own style!!
    Go Navy!!

  7. Terri/Houston lady says:

    Hi Diane!
    You and Ed have done a great job! I look forward to see what you come up with next ? thanks for sharing all your progress.. So inspiring!

  8. Wow! What a difference taking out half that wall makes! We have a funky wall with many openings between our family room and kitchen and need to do something like this, and I think it’s time we start saving money for it. Great inspiration!

  9. Your blog is quickly becoming my favorite. I love to watch the progress of turning your vision into your dream. I wonder if the old owners are following along. They must be so envious of the new look! :)

  10. I love your table! Did you sand it to be the weathered look? I love it!

  11. Elaine Williams in Baltimore says:

    Diane! Your waterfront home looks so beautiful. So bright and light and a major improvement in opening up the wall. I love your use of painted furniture – particularly the white chest and mirror. What a surprising concept! Really neat.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine – The white chest was in my bedroom in my previous house, the white mirror was over the piano in the family room. I paired the two pieces together when we moved to the lake house. They fit very nicely on the short wall.

  12. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Gosh the living room looks SO much better now! Looking great Kids.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Sheryll. I know you like fur babies. Did you see my daughter’s dog Kindii in the one photo in my post? She and her brother the cat, Trax are staying with us while our daughter is traveling. :-)

      1. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

        No, I did not see Kindii and looked again and could not find her! Kind of voids the old paint me a picture, huh? I don’t know what is wrong with me. I just voted again for your fireplace makeover. It is the best one for sure!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          If you look in the 4th picture down in the post you will see her looking out the far sliding door. She is in the bright light and is a little washed out, but there. :-)

          Thanks for voting…you are the best XO

          1. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

            Yes, I found skinny, little Kindii. She reminds me of one of my baby fur girls. My little, skinny Scarlet (only one t, cause Scarlet is the ONLY one). Check out my FB. Boring, but you can see my (or some of) my babies..

  13. Darla from HeartWork Organizing says:

    Lovely changes! Miss you here, but so glad you are building a new nest that you love there.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Darla –

      Thanks. I do miss my connections in PA, but we are loving it here and so happy that we moved. Are you going to Haven? If so, looking forward to seeing you there.

  14. So gorgeous. Love your use of color and your eye for detail and flow. Would you come and tell me how to make my house as pretty? ;)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Liz – Thanks :-) I wish I could help you out. Since I can’t in person, I would suggest you edit what you don’t want, like, or need anymore and then build back one layer at a time until you like what you have created.

  15. As everyone has said- so beautiful and what great teamwork!
    I love to start, but can never stay focused to finish.
    My husband can’t start, but will stay and work until the bitter end.
    If only he loved to paint! But I’m sure he wishes I was more interested in weeding.
    Ah well. You’ve made so much progress in such a short amount of time.
    Well done.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Kat :-) You and your husband sound a little like Ed and I. I do all the painting, Ed hasn’t picked up a paint brush in 32 years. :-), but he is one excellent weeder. :-)

  16. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    Really loving the makeover! This is what lakeside homes should look like, IMO. :-) Dark colors (like the former LR’s green) are just too visually weighty for a lake home.

    About the ceiling fan…. I’ve painted several fans. Take off the blades and paint them and the brackets. Sometimes I’ve used the same color as the ceiling so they ‘disappear”, sometimes I’ve made them a stand out color. Using a small brush (or sponge brush) paint the housing while its still installed. It worked great and a time/money saver too!

    Still, you may have a more updated modern-styled fan you have your eye on ;-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Connie – I have 9 ceiling fans in the house and they are all dark. They all work very well, except for the one in the living room. I do plan to paint the others. Thanks for sharing how you painted yours. When I do get one painted, I will post all about it.

  17. Linda Weeks says:

    you sure know what you’re doing! I love the way everything looks, a great place you have there! Enjoy the summer!!

  18. Your house is looking like your home. So nice to see how far you and Ed have gotten in a short time. I enjoyed your love story. A happy couple makes a happy home. Congratulations in every area.

    Enjoy your summer at the lake.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Nancy – We are planning to slow down a little bit over the summer and enjoy the lake. Ed turns 60 in July. I am planning to have a big party for him with all our family and friends coming. I will be posting about it come July. XO

  19. Susie @ The Chelsea Project Blog says:

    The progress you’ve made is totally amazing. I love the open space between the kitchen and den. It really makes the space fresh and airy. So thrilled for you and Ed. XO Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Susie – When we first looked at the house, we knew that that wall would have to go. It makes such a huge difference in how we live in the house now. Even though either room is big, with the wall gone, it gives us the feel of a much bigger space. The two sliders out to the deck help expand the visual space, too. :-)

  20. Deb Wostmann says:

    Diane, it looks fantastic and so much more like your style. I know it is a lot of work, but the results are so worth every step. We have a very old home and completed a kitchen remodel last year. Now I live in my kitchen. We tore out a wall to combine two rooms and then took everything down to the studs and started over. Lots of work and dust – oh my the dust – and I’d to it all over again for the outcome we achieved. Keep up the good fight so to speak!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb – I agree with you 100% about doing it all again if we had to. It is all worth it to live your vision of what things should be like. When we have the budget to redo the kitchen, I think we will be taking it back to the studs, too. Not looking forward to the dust and life without a kitchen for a few weeks, but like you said, it will be worth it.

  21. Michael Wurm Jr says:

    What an amazing difference Diane!! I love it. Bravo!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michael – Thanks so much. My love of style and home keeps me set on my goals to make the house truly our home.

  22. Melissa Leach says:

    So happy for you and Ed. You can really see all the hard work paying off with such a great sight line and all that wonderful light. The woven furniture/wicker looks really nice! I love to see the texture in a room.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Melissa – Hard work does reap rewards for sure, although sometimes when you are in the middle of a big project and living with a big mess, you may not think so. :-) I agree about every room needs to have some texture to look interesting.

  23. I love how bright it is in there now! You must too! Before, with the previous owners, it looked like a cabin in the north woods. Now….bright and sunshiney! ;)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donnamae –

      That is a good way to describe the a cabin in the north woods. :-) It was very dark. I like bright and sunshiney much better, too.

  24. Gloria gawa says:

    Looking great! Have been comparing progress since we moved about the same time. My hubby still works with an hour commute, so I only have him on weekends to help. I just finished painting the sunroom in BM simply white matte, ceiling in BM polar ice flat(a very pale sky blue) and trim in snow cloud semi gloss. First time I have painted a ceiling a color other than white and I must say I love, love it. Doesn’t it feel good putting your stamp on your home? Love following your progress especially since we have similar ideas and taste.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Gloria – I remember when Ed had an hour commute when we lived in NJ and our daughters were preschoolers, it was hard to get anything done. He did it for 4 years. Now he works from home and I usually can pull him away from his work to help me when I need it.

      It does feel wonderful being able to put my own stamp on the house. Your room sounds beautiful. I have always been tempted to paint the ceilings a light blue. I remember it was a signature of Alexandra Stoddard. Have you ever read her books? I will check out the color Polar Ice in the BM fan deck of colors.

  25. Amazing what you have done! So fresh and happy!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Chris – That is the best compliment ever, since that is the style I strive for…fresh and happy. XO

  26. Deb Brennan says:

    All I can say is…can you please have Ed speak to my husband about the benefits of helping ones wife with ” beautifying” ones home? Our house has half a dozen unfinished fixes that have remained that way for years….yes I said YEARS!!! :(

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb – I told Ed what you wrote. It made him smile. I know I am lucky that he has the skills and doesn’t mind helping me with all the projects I want to do in the house. He is super organized and likes to cross off things from his to do list. I think that is why things he starts get done. He loves to golf which I make sure he gets out to enjoy every week so he doesn’t get too overwhelmed with all my projects. :-)

      1. Deb Brennan says:

        You are very fortunate, and you make a great team! That is very evident in your blog, and by the way , in describing your early days together..loved reading about how your love story began. I mentioned a while back, that we purchased a summer getaway just over a year ago, and it has become the priority over our home. You have inspired and guided in me in breathing life into this 80 yr. old traditional Muskoka cottage. I’ll send some pics to you of some of my finished projects in the next few months…yes, Ed gets a thumbs up from me!

    2. I know several couples who start projects and take years (if ever!) to finish. All I can say is it not only creates undone things in a room/home but it also creates a certain kind of ‘nervous tension’ for the people who live there. When one sees that undone project, it often creates a feeling of unhappiness and sometimes even escalates to anger. “Why won’t you finish that?” or “He/she never helps me with things that are important to me.” You get the picture…. ;-)

      Try to set a goal to tackle one project this month (or year) and get it done. Little by little, it will be. Like Diane says a ‘to do’ list is a wonderful tool! There’s nothing like seeing that list get smaller :-) (Of course we know that usually as one thing gets checked off, another appears. But that’s still better than never even attempting to finish.)

      My hubby is like Ed: he does many projects and helps me with mine around the house/yard. I think after so many years of seeing the results, they get excited about it. Or as my hubby says “Making stuff, fixing stuff using power and hand tools, wood, metal, etc. is like playing with big boy Legos and erector sets.” It’s a mind set :-)

      Best of luck Deb Brennan! Hang in there :-)

  27. Diane, I am in awe of how much you and Ed have accomplished in just 5 months. Beloved and I would still be scratching our heads wondering how to cope with the gap it would leave in the flooring and that’s without all the red tape and number of tradespeople we would have to employ before we even got to that stage. Wall demo aside, the paint job (which I am just about capable of doing!) makes such a huge difference. It looks fresh and modern and well… Just beautiful. Such fabulous work. Huge respect to you x

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue – Thanks for the nice note. We have done a lot in the past few months, but will be slowing down a bit so we can sit back and enjoy the summer months and the lake. I think my display background helps me figure out a challenge, like the gap left in the floor. In display we always had to be resourceful to come up with fixes and ideas when decorating the store on a teeny budget. I always go back to thinking “what if” to come up with an idea and plan.

  28. You guys have accomplished so much! Your home looks lovelier with each project completed…

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Phyl – Now that we have the main living area pretty much done, I will be slowing down on my big project list to enjoy the summer and life around the lake.

  29. catpainter says:

    Because you have one in kitchen area in line of sight from the one in your family room, you could spray your fans, after a light sanding, with white enamel, satin or gloss. I did it in our old home and was pleased with the results. A little work but if the fan is in good shape, it’s worth the time. We had a remote for our fan and light and wanted to keep the functionality of being able to operate it from our bed. So nice if it gets too cool at night to just reach over to the nightstand to turn off.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Maggie – It is good to hear that you successfully painted your ceiling fans. Did you remove everything from the ceiling or only parts? I have painted the blades before, but not the entire fan. I plan to paint the other 8 fans in the house which are all dark. The fan in my studioffice has a remote so I understand your reasoning to keep yours. It is a really nice feature to have. I plan to paint that fan first. The fan in the living room does not work well, so we will replace it. It only stays on low speed which we feel on hot summer days will not be enough movement.

  30. Krista @ the happy housie says:

    It looks great! It must feel amazing to be almost there and to have the whole space so much more open and functional for you:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Krista- Thanks. Opening the wall was the first thing we knew we wanted to do to the house. It really doubled the view of the water from both rooms. Over the next few months I will be following your footsteps in painting the louvered bi-fold doors and kitchen. I will be happy when I have successfully banished all the 70’s brown vibe. :-)

  31. Congrats on your new home! Everything looks great!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lauren – Lots of love and work to get the house the way we like, but worth it. We still have lots to do, but are so happy that we made the decision to make the move to live in a house on the water.

  32. My goodness how time flies! 5 months since you and Ed bought the beautiful house. So glad the green is gone. Not a fan of or yellow as my kitchen and bathroom are. Every other room is brown. Summer coming and I think I have chosen my colors. lol. I have been in here for a year.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jody – When I was counting how long we have been living in our house, I was surprised it has been 5 months already. Time does fly. :-) It sounds like you have lots of painting ahead. It does take time, but once you start and see what a big difference you are making as you paint one room, that will get you excited to to the others. I have lots of brown trim and doors to take on over the next few weeks…months. Happy painting :-)