Our cozy cottage has gone through a lot the past two and a half years yet not enough, in my opinion. There are rooms that we did right away and rooms we haven’t even touched yet. There are rooms that are likely to get redone either through little touch ups and minor changes or through major renovation. And then there are rooms (maybe only just one) that just need one minor fix. So here’s the first house tour that I’ve done on The 256 Project to show befores and afters of what we’ve done so far and show you rooms you’ve never seen before (and for good reason!). Scroll down for the house tour and swipe through for the before and after of each room (or just the before, in some instances).
I’m a big believer in rugs and how they can make a room and really define the space. I’ve written about this before and so I was really excited to take on a project that I’m affectionately calling #ProjectConnecttheDots. The impetus for the project was to help a family – longtime friends of mine and their CUTE little girl! – outside of Boston find a new rug for their living room rather quickly with the larger goal of modernizing the space and connecting it to the adjoining dining room over the long run. The inspiration for the entire space was this bright and happy print the couple bought on a trip to Iceland several years ago.
And so here is how we are connecting the dots between the living room and dining room starting with a fabulous new rug.
So when I said we finally had the living room we were hoping for, perhaps I jumped the gun a little bit.
In truth, I thought the rug was boring and didn’t fill out the space, both in size and design, the way I wanted it to; the coffee table, a holdover from our Brooklyn apartment and one that anyone who has ever shopped at Ikea has purchased at least once in their lives, was way too big for the space; and the lamp didn’t end up being the design element we had originally envisioned.
This living room has slowly been getting transformed into what feels like our true living space. First, we gave it a radical color change by brightening it up with paint. Then we started putting up a few of the items we had had in our Brooklyn apartment, such as the concert and horror movie posters. But it feels like in the past two days, this room became almost complete. After our annual Valentine’s Day pizza date, we were walking through the East Village when we saw a thrift shop. Daniel knew what this meant for him and he begrudgingly entered. Within a half hour, we (i.e. him) were walking out of there carrying a vintage mid-century modern end table. Then we got a lamp from Target with a bright sky blue lampshade that we thought fit the feeling of the room. Then we mounted the watercolor painting of an elephant family that Daniel gave to me for our first wedding anniversary since the colors fit in the room. We got an industrial modern lamp from West Elm that we really like but were surprised at how underwhelming it seemed in the room. Slowly, the living room was coming together but felt like it was missing some oomph (brightly colored fireplace and all).
The first project we tackled was the dining room and then we moved on to the living room. When we were buying this house, we knew we wanted to immediately do two things with the living room: remove the 50-inch-long mirrors covering the wall above the fireplace mantel and paint the entire room a different color than the ugly off-white/beige/light yellow that the entire house is painted. So here’s how we tackled the living room makeover.