Great Room - Before & After

We are blessed to have a large 18 ft x 20 ft Great Room that was built on to the back of our home {somewhere in the early 90s I'm guessing}. Check out the floor plan for more info:

It really is by far the most spacious room in our home with vaulted ceilings and 3 large windows and a large sliding glass door overlooking our wooded 1 acre lot. There's even a working wood-burning fireplace in one corner. This was always our favorite room in the house, so when doing our whole house makeover over the past few years, we were determined to accentuate the positives of this room.

Here are some icky, yucky before photos. At that point in time, we used our front room as a TV room and had a dining area, piano and sitting area set up in this room. There was a lot going on.

We had purchased the couch and overstuffed leather chair and ottoman when we got married but practically everything else in the room was free/gifted from friends/ family members. Looking back, I cringe because I do not like all the patterns we had going on along with the dark wood trim. And the clutter and trinkets. That's the part I really don't like.

We went on a Bungalow tour of homes in Broad Ripple (a part of Indy) once and that day forever changed my perspective in decorating. I remember going into the homes and being amazed at how there was nothing sitting out. Now, that could be because they had 100's of strangers wandering thru their homes those days and they took their personal effects out, but....Dave & I were both struck with how much we loved the simplicity and peaceful feeling that no visual clutter evoked. So we set out on a 5 year journey of purging and decluttering in an effort to achieve that sparce look.

Nowadays we have our home staged to try to sell it so that explains why we pretty much have NOTHING out, but honestly, I love it. There's so much less for our 1 year old to get into, there's less to dust around, etc. I have just found that I'm a lot more apt to dust the top of a piece of furniture if I don't have to first unload 15 things from it!

So, getting back to the Great Room.... The walls were painted off-white with a flat paint by previous owners so over the years with normal wear and tear, they were beginning to look rather dingy and there were some nails and seams popping out of the drywall that needed to be repaired. We knew we wanted to choose a warmer color for the walls that would make the room feel cozier. We chose Valspar "Arid Plains" for the walls, from Lowe's. We painted the ceiling white and the trim and mantle a high gloss white.

The old flooring was cherry laminate. It had several areas that had gotten wet and bubbled over the years so it needed to be replaced. We opted for a speckled frieze carpet. The speckles make dirt seem less obvious and the soft carpet and pad are great for our little boy to play. Not to mention it is very comfy underfoot.

After 3 years of this room looking like this (it acted as a storage space as we worked on all the other rooms), it is so nice to have this space back!

This room formerly had 1 ceiling fan in the middle of the room and it was always too dark and sometimes a little stuffy since it was added onto the house so we added in a second ceiling fan and now the room stays nice and cool on hot summer days and is very well lit. We also ended up replacing the 3 windows and the patio door for more energy efficient models. That also drastically improved the heating/cooling in this added on room.

We purchased brushed nickel curtain rods from Lowe's and white IKEA Ritva curtain panels for a nice floor-to-ceiling look.

David purchased the N.A. Noel painting, "December" over the fireplace off ebay from someone all the way in Canada and reframed it with ancient oak barn siding from his parent's corn crib in Ohio that was damaged in a wind storm. The irony of that is the artist's gallery is located just 10 miles from our home! I think the frame adds so much to the painting. I just love it! There's chipped white and red paint on the wood that brings out the colors in the painting.

I purchased the woven storage ottoman shown below from Garden Ridge for just $25. It is extremely nice to have for Levi's toys and it forces us to edit his "collection" so that we don't end up with way more toys than we need in our living area. And even though he's only 13 months old he already knows how to clean up and put his toys away. He did it this afternoon without me even asking him to!

We reused our plaid sofa although I'd replace it with an IKEA Ektorp slipcovered sofa in a heartbeat if money were not an issue. We also reused our leather chair and ottoman. And we scored the dark brown leather loveseat from my parents' garage. Mom purchased it a few years ago then decided she needed a wider sofa rather than a loveseat.

The armoire in the corner, shown below, houses our home office. More can be found on that here. The straight back chair next to it was inherited from David's Aunt who got it from David's Granny.

I also hope to someday refinish the coffee table and matching end tables (that are currently in our guest room). They have dark wood tops and hunter green legs. You know their type. You probably saw them in many a home back in the early 90s. But I will wait for now until I decide more what color I want to go with and if I have a new couch or something.

And here's my attempt at doing what "The Nester" recommended on InCourage one day. Her idea is GENIUS! I placed this drop leaf table in the room with basically nothing on it. And I love it. It is very handy if I need a place to sit down and write a note or do the bills, or even I would ever have a chance to scrapbook or work a puzzle (ha! with a 1 year old I don't see that happening...). Once again, like with dusting, if I have to take the time to clear off a space to use it to work/play, it just won't happen! I don't want knick-knacks to get in the way of living around here.

It is SO nice to have a table other than the one we eat our meals at so we don't have to pick up what we're working on just to eat dinner.

Here's a rough breakdown (estimated from memory) on what we spent on this room transformation:

Drywall repair - we hired a professional to speed up the process due to the large size of this room and the vaulted ceilings - $1,500

Paint (for walls, ceiling, trim, primer also) - $165

Carpet - $820 (I definitely recommend shopping around - this was my 3rd stop, a local store, after estimates of $1600 and $1200 - and they installed it 3 days later as opposed to Lowe's schedule of 3 weeks out!)

New windows and door - $700 materials + $320 labor = $1020

Storage ottoman - $25

Computer Armoire - $100

And that's pretty much it since the rest of our furniture we already owned!

TOTAL - $3,630

Holy cow. Once again I'm pretty amazed at how much that cost us! But I still feel we were being pretty frugal. I need to figure out how other people do things cheaper! Cuz I already have so many other things that I'd love to do such as get a new sofa, a storage ottoman as big as our coffee table, new arm chairs, a rug, etc, etc, etc. Hhhhhhh....patience....But for fun, I did create a mood board here that helps me keep up hope that someday I can do a bit of a makeover.

I'm linking this up to the Roomspiration blog hop and link party at View Along the Way. Check it out for lots more living room inspiration.


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