29 July 2010

Living Room Reno: Before & After

1. After some new craftsman simple moulding,
2.  Removal of seagrass wallpaper (which of course is the thing these days!)

pause:  all of you young girls out there...save everything.  All that stuff in UO these days; the jellies, puffed sleeves, acid-washed leggings...are all things I have done before.  Whatever you are wearing now your daughters will want one day.  Trust me.  You have no idea how many compliments I get wearing my grandmother's clothing--not kidding!

3.  Removal of fireplace insert & increasing hearth's opening size
4.  Removal of carpet & installation of oak hardwoods
5.  Removal of '70s stone and addition of some local Tennessee rumble stacked stone
6.  Addition of red oak mantel (this was a doozie!  took several men more than one day...and loads of rebar)
7.  Addition of tongue & groove on the ceiling & 1x2s on the wall for texture & depth
8.  Addition of fireplace sconces ($5 each....Anisa found them on clearance at Progressive Lighting & I love them like they were $300 each!)
9.  Addition of articulating lights on the ceiling for mantel & recessed for rest of ceiling
10.  Loads of Ben Moore's White Dove semi-gloss...

We have this:

(most photos today are from Brad's photo shoot!  credit:  Crosby-Twiss Photography 

my photo

11.  Installation of my favorite light in the house...this antiqued mirrored number from The Paris Market in Savannah.  Our car was already packed since we were on a trip to Hilton Head, SC.  But Chris saw my face and knew I was gone--it was coming home with us.

tongue & groove

art by Anisa Darnell (bet she'll do one for you, too!  I got the idea from Blueprint Bliss 

More angles of the room:

Room before cut out from kitchen to living room

12.  Cut see-through

13.  Ripped down former railing and added new, custom one:

For this home, we loved everything to be thick & square

14.  Removed doors from entry to LR

15.  Added the interior glass-paned door that leads to bedrooms  (far left of picture above)

16.  Added new fiberglass paned door that leads to the walk-out (we wanted real wood, but they talked us out of it due to massive morphing over time)
no pic of door

more befores:

17.  Removed panelling and chair-rail from room

a shot of "during"....I can't imagine how some of you live through one of these without moving out!  We were so lucky to be able to stay at my kind MIL's lake house.

18.  Added recessed lighting, this birdcage pendant, and a sconce on the stairwell

(note to renovators:  Do as much lighting as possible when the electrician is there and on-the-clock.  If you say, "nah, we'll get to it"...you know how that goes.  Mark "x"s with tape all over the house so they can knock it out.  You can always switch out and change fixtures later, but it is nice to have the holes cut (and sometimes repaired) while the workmen (or ladies!) are there.)

a picture of the stairwell

And I leave you with this image of our picture shelf in the living room & a picture of our youngest.

If you do pray, please say a prayer for little Wyatt for he is getting ear tubes in the moring.  He is also having his 2nd birthday party this weekend, so I'll share some pics of the festivities later.  Thanks again for all your kind words about Dad.  Of course I am really grieving, but it is so nice to have this outlet to think about something else for a while.



  1. Julie, no words...I'm speechless. It looks like a completely different house. Wow! You're so talented!

  2. Julie..what a post! I love it ALL. So glad your blog is giving you an outlet and thanks for sharing your photos. You have done some job. You are spot on with the clothing - I cant believe I am wearing leggings again(I swore never ever again!!). Except this time its paired with lovely feminine dresses not oversized denim shirts like the 80's!!!aagh!Hope all goes well for your little Wyatt (btw love his name)..Sinead

  3. This is quite a transformation and your advice to the young ladies is correct. Save everything...


  4. Amazing. Love it all! And love your piece that you had made for the mantel. xx- Brooke
    *will say a prayer for Wyatt right now!

  5. What a transformation! Love the light fixture from Savannah! Will be praying for your little one too!

  6. Oh my word! It's gorgeous! I looove your mantle. I'll say a prayer for your youngest, and I hope the party goes well :)

  7. Julie, you continue to amaze me. You must have had such a vision for this house. I absolutely love the tongue and groove on the cieling and the stone you choose for the fireplace. Where did you find the birdcage light? I'll be thinking of little Wyatt this morning!

  8. Stunning! I just LOVE your style! Your house has such a nice flow and feel to it! Really - be so completely proud! Oh - your light fixture - I agree - that had to come home with you! Hope your day is good and that your little one does well. Poor guy!

  9. Incredible...no words...doesn't look like it could be the same house...you've done a wonderful job...amazing!!

  10. Julie - this is a beautiful transformations. I love your sense of design... you are very talented. LOVe the stone fireplace... beautiful. I am sure Wyatt's surgery will go well... He looks so adorable.

    Thank you for your interest in follow my blog. You can go to "manage your blog", paste and copy my address and add it to your list. Je vous remercie. Let me know if you encounter problems with it.

    Bonne Journee a toi et a Wyatt.


  11. Just beautiful, so classic. Best of luck to Wyatt, (love his name!) There is a reason little kids recover so fast, they are resiliant and loved, so there is nothing to fear.

  12. Hi Julie-
    I was wondering where you bought the rug that is in your kitchen? Thanks for sharing all of the lovely photos of your home! Best of luck to your little guy:)
    Stephanie O.

  13. Steph--the rug is from HomeGoods--$16! Isn't it cute? If you're in Georgia email & I'll tell ya how to get there.

  14. Hi Julie! Your living room renovation looks amazing :) I really like to see before and after shots. The room looks so different, and bright. It's amazing what white paint and beautiful flooring can do! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Beautiful transformation! I love how bright and white everything is. And the beams on the ceiling- wow!! I'm a sucker for beams. :) My mom's house is full of them. It looks SUPER! Great job! And good luck to little Wyatt. (He's adorable, by the way!) I'll say a prayer for him!

  16. This looks like a ton of work, but the effort paid off. If you had no furniture at all, that lighting piece would be enough-it's amazing!

  17. Thanks Julie. I am actually in AZ...but, I have a HomeGoods right down the street. I am gonna go and check it out, you never know:) It looks SO cute in your kitchen!!!
    Steph O.

  18. Julie, As always you have done an A-MAZING job!! The new photos are awesome. I'm continuing to send good thoughts your way.

  19. you have one amazing eye, so gorgeous. and yes prayers for Wyatt are being said.

  20. Julie, praying everything goes well for Wyatt! Your before and after photos are amazing! I love everything you do, so classy!

  21. this is awesome! you rock!
    sending good thoughts to your little one!

  22. Your home is b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l! We also gut renovated our home so I know all that goes into that kind of renovation. You guys did a lovely job, I totally want to move into your kitchen and living room! Such bright, clean, open spaces. I'd love to see more, I hope you'll share! Sorry to hear that your little one is getting tubes, I hope that the procedure goes super smoothly and especially that you are not too stressed about it! My son got tubes put in last September and I was a wreck but he was totally fine with it and the whole thing was easy and over in no time...and now he has not had a problem with his ears since! xo

  23. awesome job, Julie. I love your style, you know that. You have such a good eye and feel for what was right for your home. When I see your before shot then your after shot of your fireplace area, it almost takes my breath away. And don't tell anyone, but I love all that white....

    And you've changed your blog header! It looks terrific. so professional and stylish...

    Prayers for your little man. I know it's hard to see him go thru this. Don't you wish it could be you instead? I know that's how I always felt...But he'll be good as new soon and the tubes will hopefully take care of a lot of problems.

    Best wishes and love! Donna

  24. fab!!!! i love a colossal renovation, and yours fits the bill. everything looks so fresh, open and of course, stunning--great job!

    i wish i would've met you @ pieces--are you here in atlanta? maybe we can meet up for lunch/dinner?

  25. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I'm delighted that your family has these amazing spaces to enjoy. Hope to meet you in person at some Atlanta event.

  26. STUNNING! You did a fabulous job updating your home while still keeping it classic..yet updated and fresh. I just LOVE that fireplace!

  27. Girl the pics of the house are amazing!
    How's Wyatt doing?
    Miss you!

  28. Wow! THAT is a transformation. beautiful.