Ideas on how to decorate a living room while allowing it to change and evolve over time to fit your life and personal style.
If you joined the Facebook Group, The Decorating Panel (invite here), then you know this week is all about living rooms. When I went to look for a post to share in the group that showed how my living room looks now after living and updating the house for 5 years, I realized I didn’t have one.
All of my more recent blog posts with photos taken in my living room are focused on a project I have done in the room or around holiday decorations.
It was time to gather up a few photos in one post all about how the decor in my living room has evolved to what the room looks like now. It has gone through many changes – floor to ceiling.
When I think back to how the room used to look, I realize just how much the room has evolved to make it fit the setting of the house and my personal style of decorating.
I liked everything I did in the room over the years and don’t regret anything. The longer we lived in the house, the more I could see just what the room needed. The decor became more in tune with what is most important in the room… the view out the sliding glass doors to the lake.
The Living Room – BEFORE
If you have been a long time reader, you may remember how the living room looked when we first saw the house with our real estate agent. Here is a photo of the room with the previous owners furnishings.
Once we moved in, I started removing and updating right away. The process has been ongoing ever since. One that I enjoy and will never be done doing as life changes, so must the spaces we live in.
The first big change was removing the wall with a pocket door between the kitchen and living room.
We removed it with the help of a contractor.
It took some time, but was worth the effort.
With the wall removed, the view to the lake was doubled from both the kitchen and living room.
After this everything else we have done in the room, we have done ourselves to save money.
On the opposite side of the room, we covered up this brick wall with…
The mantel is from the top of a dining room hutch that was in our previous house. We no longer had a place for it and nobody wanted it so we had to break it apart, but saved the top to use as a mantel.
I wasn’t sure yet what style of furniture I wanted for the room, so we brought the outdoor furniture into the room until we bought new furniture a piece at a time.
On the long wall is the only place for the sofa. I have always had a slipcovered sofa. This one was a tie-on slipcover over a navy blue sofa from our previous house.
I bought a new console table and placed it behind the sofa. It gave me a surface for a much needed lamp and decorative accessories.
Eventually I bought a new Rolled Arm Slipcovered Sofa from Pottery Barn, made an oversize Fixer Upper Wall Clock and began to change the decorative accessories out every season. Blue pillows means it’s summer. :-)
Getting The Hardwood Floor Refinished
When the hardwood floor was refinished is when I began to like the room. Up until this point, I always felt no matter what I added to the room, the orange floor always stuck out.
The only time the floor looked OK was in the fall when I added fall colors to the room.
The new grey floor stain made a huge difference. I finally felt I could do what I really wanted decor wise and not have to deal with the orange wood-tone anymore.
How My Living Room Looks Now
My house is on a point lot with the lake on 3 sides and tall pines all over our property. With nature all around us, I wanted the living room to reflect that so the two felt seamless. About a year ago I came up with a name for the decorating style of my living room.
I call the style, White and Woodsy. It is a little bit traditional, not quite rustic, but has a nod to it. It’s casual and laid back, but overall has a bit of polish and uniformity.
After going back and forth on ways to make the clock pop and add more of a cozy feel to the room, I chose to accent these two walls with Barnwood paneling instead of painting them a color.
Adding it made the room come together instantly. I wouldn’t want it everywhere, but as an accent it works well.
It is cozy, yet bright and cheery. Cozy is more than a look, cozy is a feeling and I wanted it for this room.
I created the gallery wall to create interest and to see the people I love the most on a daily basis.
I change what is on the mantel seasonally, most of the time restyling items I already own in new ways.
I looked for a long time to find comfy chairs that not only recline, but rock and swivel all around. This allows us to face the TV, the lake or swivel around to look at the fireplace.
Full Room View
The size of the room is 15′ x 16′. Not large, so I like to keep the furnishings minimal and cohesive.
To create a conversational grouping of furniture in the room, two chairs across from the sofa would have made the space feel cramped and the chair backs would block the view to the lake.
Instead, for more seating that visually doesn’t block the view, the pair of ottomans works perfectly. Extra and moveable seating when needed while adding to the decor.
I painted the existing ceiling fan white.
This wide-angle shot kind of distorts the room and makes it look larger than it is, but you can get a better overall feel for the space.
Sliding Glass Doors & TV Wall
I semi-made the extra wide drapery panels on the sliding glass doors by sewing two pre-made panels together. The TV is on a swing arm mount so we can easily change the angle to the kitchen or living room.
Decorative Details Around the Room
Coffee Table Styling
One reason I like neutral walls and seating is that I can easily change out the decorative accessories to seasonal colors and not worry about having things match or coordinate. No matter what color I place in the room, it goes. No set color scheme to have to work with.
The view from the kitchen to the living room. My latest project was creating this plate rack wall. It provides a nice transition between the two rooms.
I know that was a lot of photos, but they tell the story of how the room has evolved over 5 years we have lived in the house.
The room will never be done as I enjoy changing the decor seasonally. I also know that my life and tastes may change, so will this room.
Do you like to change things up in your living room for the seasons or as your tastes and circumstances change?