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Throwback Reno : Long & Lean Living Room Edition

This month has been crazy at The Elliotts’ so we are throwing it back to our first home. As I am sure you are aware by now we LOVE transforming spaces. This month is no exception. Follow along as we completely renovate our dated, stained and just plain sad living room into an inviting space full of color!

This picture is actually one they used to list the home. No wonder it had been on the market for 2 years! It also had a disadvantage of being classified as a 2 bedroom 2 bath and apparently people were missing the obvious potential for a third bedroom. Yes, we did convert it and the space quickly became our favorite piece of the renovation. I will save that for another post on another day!

This was our first home purchase and I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time so keeping costs down was a must. Our list included new flooring (I’m sure that went without saying), fresh paint, new air vent covers, actual lighting AND a space-saving entertainment center if possible.

As I mentioned before, I was pregnant so that ruled out most of the manual labor and paint fumes (oh darn!), but I was responsible for coming up with the materials and design. We had plans to replace the carpet throughout the entire house and opted for laminate. It is budget friendly and supposed to hold up after extensive wear and tear. The carpet was ripped up by my husband and sister-in-law the day we closed on our house (as I supervised, of course). We applied a fresh coat of Glacier Ice (purchased at Lowes) to the walls and installed a light fixture (with an actual light source).

Next we had to tackle the flooring! Lucky for us, as I have mentioned before, my grandfather is a contractor and instructed us on how to lay the flooring. We all have our strengths and this ended up being mine! Easy to do, but time-consuming and requires you to be a bit OCD (which I am). While my husband painted the entire interior of the house, my grandfather and I worked on installing the flooring. As you can see below, it made a huge difference in this room alone.

All of our boxes had been checked off but one: the entertainment center. I had a vision for a built-in that was narrow enough to not take away from the already long and lean living room. After discussing the design with my grandfather and purchasing materials we started. It took us one evening to assemble and nail in place.

I know I know, let’s get to the finished product already. I’m dying to see it too! Haha. As you can see, the built-in was able to hold our TV and gaming systems, while tucking away the cords. It also served as storage for toys, a small portion of my book collection, and plenty of knick knacks.

In case you were wondering how much this update cost us… let’s see the breakdown below.

  • 2 Gallons Glacier Ice Paint $50
  • Laminate flooring/underlay $350 (this is a rough estimate taken from the total for entire home based on the size of this room)
  • Built-in $100
  • Ceiling fan $75
  • Labor FREE haha

Our estimated total cost came in right around $575 for this room. We obviously saved a lot of money by doing the work ourselves, but I wanted to show you that it is possible to refresh your space on a budget.

I love “before” and “after” pictures, so here is another one with the listing photo when we purchased it (on the left) and a photo I took the last day we moved our stuff out as we were packing for our new home (on the right). Bittersweet, but it was a wonderful learning experience and plenty of practice on our renovation skills.

Thanks again for stopping by my little corner of the world. I hope you found inspiration and motivation to tackle a project of your own!  If you have any questions or comments feel free to shoot me a message.