Before and Afters

Great Room Renovation

The season of family togetherness, love, laughing, gifts and stuffed bellies is upon us. Everyone gathered in living rooms, family rooms and for us, our great room. I’m an open concept kind of lady, so when I first saw the openness of the main living space, I was sold! Well, that was just one of the many things that sold me. The bulky, cat pissed sofa set and full length ballerina mirror didn’t discourage me either. There was a gem hidden behind all that stinky blandness.

I must admit, the space had me a little intimidated. I was worried my living/dining room combo would be too tight to flow well. We measured that room probably about 30 times and even cut out approximate dimensions of living room furniture from newspaper to determine how the layout should look. My favorite layout technique was using Homestyler. Its a free online 3d layout planner that has oodles of real furniture from retailers in 3d form. You measure and layout your space, then add the furniture.

Combined living room, dining room spaces can be challenging to create a nice flow while showing a distinct separation of rooms. I actually changed my layout 3 times before it felt comfortable and cohesive. The trick is to unify the space while maintaining the identity and particular beauty of each area. There are a couple ways this can be done.

Rugs

Rugs can define separate living areas like little islands. They contain each space into its own area. Rugs are so diverse and varied giving each space their own personal style.

Furniture Placement

How you group your furniture together can define separate spaces. Pay attention to unique architectural elements and use them to your advantage. A fireplace or mantel can be the focal point for your living room furniture. Use your sofa, chair or a long chestĀ  to separate the areas.

Color

Color can connect the living and dining room without taking away their distinct areas. Coordinate colors between spaces. You like that yellow bowl on your dining table? Pair it up with yellow pillows on your sofa. How about the aqua blue that pops in your living room rug? Give your table a nice aqua blue runner! There are many ways to tie your two or three spaces into one while still maintaining a nice separation.

Thankfully, there wasn’t too much that had to be done as far as major construction to the great room. Just removal of the full wall mirror. The rest was cosmetic. Paint, new flooring, new window and a good cleaning.

The style I ended up going with is beachy bohemian. I’ve always loved the bohemian look and often gravitated to shops like World Market and Anthropologie. There’s something really cozy about a multi-colored, foliage overloaded room adorned with artifacts from the around the world. Very hippyish! The beachy or coastal look is a common theme for the Triangle house. So blended together, we got this….

Before

After

Before

After

Click to Enlarge

Now, the dining room end chairs were a quick DIY job because we had a party coming up with no end chairs. So my thrifting Momma found these chairs for a mere $10. Some aqua chalk paint, distressing, top coat and there you have it!

I will be replacing them one day. What!? Why?! Well, this was a quick substitute for the chairs I really wanted but the budget said, “Not today lady”. This is what my heart is leaning towards…

In due time! At the moment we’re in the beginning stages of renovating our gutted guest bathroom, so my wicker wonderfulness will have to wait a bit longer.

So there you have it! What styles to you like? There are so many to choose from, just to name a few.

  • Contemporary
  • Traditional
  • Transitional
  • Modern
  • Eclectic
  • Rustic
  • Coastal
  • Mediterranean
  • Craftsman
  • Scandinavian
  • Farmhouse
  • Mid-century
  • Industrial
  • Tropical
  • Shabby-Chic Style
  • Victorian
  • Southwestern

They all have their own charm!

 

 

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