Living Room Makeover Adventure Begins

I love the beginning of a room makeover almost as much as I love the beginning of a vacation, maybe even more.

The thinking, the planning, the anticipation of the surprises that lay ahead.

Because even though I always have a plan, I never know what might happen along the way. And I’m always open to new ideas that will make the journey more fun.

I’ve been thinking about the living room makeover for some time now, but just wasn’t feeling inspired to get into it.

turquoise and pink flamingo pillow for living room inspiration

Then I recently found this pillow, and the creative juices started flowing into overdrive.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean a kajillion pink flamingoes everywhere. (Maybe just a few. lol.)


Living Room Before pics

So to give you the back story… last winter I got fed up with my red living room walls, and one day I just woke up and decided to paint them… just so I didn’t have to look at them anymore.

Does that ever happen to you?

It was such a sudden thing, and I don’t have any red living room pics.

This happens to me sometimes. I think about something for awhile, and then one day I just have to do it.  No ifs, ands, or buts.

We lived with the red for 6 or 7 years, maybe even longer (you know how time flies) and I just couldn’t live with it another day.

living room blue before 1

I painted the walls in an Oooops blue paint that I had on hand, and I felt so much better after the red was gone… even though the blue was not really what I knew I was going to keep. It has a grey undertone so it’s just not light and bright enough for me, but for $1o it did the job.

So then I could relax, and I turned my attention to the kitchen makeover which was in line before the living room.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have  anything against red. My recently made over kitchen is aqua and red, but the living room red walls had become too much red for me and I really really really needed a change.


living room blue before 1a

Our living room has always suffered from an inferiority complex because we have a family room at the back of the house off the kitchen and, quite honestly, we spend most of our time in there. That said, we do love to read in the living room in front of the wood stove.

The living room has a weird layout because of changes that were made to it over the years. Sometimes it feels like a very big hallway because we walk through it so much to go upstairs.

In the above picture you can see in the ceiling where a beam was stuccoed over. This is where an original wall would have been when the house was built in 1890. There would have been a hall between that original wall and the stairs to go to the back of the house. The living room door would have been the main front door, but we rarely use it. We use the kitchen door all the time.

You can also see that there’s also a heat vent in the middle of the floor, which is a little awkward but we’ve gotten used to it. When the wall was there the vent would have been in the front parlour.


living room blue before 2

Another clue that this was considered the front parlour is that the moldings around these two windows are larger and fancier than in the rest of the house.

So this is where the owners would have received their guests way back in 1890 when the house was built.

I just found that desk and chair at the Restore for $40. The desk was an orangy wood that you’ll see when I share its complete makeover. I’ve painted it white, but it’s far from finished.

I’m setting myself up with a little office here so I can write on my laptop while looking out the window at the front gardens and the birds. It’ll be nice to be out of the creative chaos of my craft studio when I don’t need to be in there.

The old cedar general store cabinet will be going into the shed when spring gets here. We’ve had it for years and I think it’s pretty much been in every room in the house except the bathrooms, but it just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere properly. It’s so heavy and clunky, but will make for great tool storage.


living room blue before 3

Here you can see another beam behind the wood stove which is where another wall would have been. Because of that beam the wood stove isn’t centered between the two windows. When we first moved in 20 years ago that really bugged me for quite a while, but I’m cool with it now. I love having fires in the winter so I got over it. 🙂

At some point someone took two small rooms and made the living room bigger, and added a small bathroom in behind the china cabinet.

In the above pic you can also see that the window moldings are not as fancy as the other two. So this window was definitely not originally in the same room.

My hot pink china cabinet that holds my silver collection is staying as is.


living room blue before 4

Whoever put in the bathroom, and that was a great idea, didn’t bother to match the door size and height of the original kitchen door beside it.

It would have been so easy to do when that wall was being put in. Now it’s a much bigger deal, and I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that.

It would look so much better though, so we’ll see.

The floor will be getting a makeover. This is the painted plywood floor that was underneath the laminate that I recently removed in a flurry one weekend.


living room floor before

Here’a pic of that click together floating laminate floor. It was super easy to remove, along with the underpad.


living room blue before 5

So, that’s the tour of the before of my weird and quirky living room. Pretty wonky right? lol.

The chairs, the china cabinet, and the wood stove (stone hearth and all) will be staying the way they are, so I’m hoping this makeover adventure won’t be as long as the kitchen one was… where I think everything got a makeover except the appliances.

So far I’ve painted the ceiling, walls, and most of the trim… and the room is already looking so different. I’ll be showing that too you soon, and I’m excited to start sharing projects with you.

I hope you’ll come along for this makeover ride. Decorating adventures are always more fun with friends along. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


I sometimes share my projects and posts at these fabulous parties.



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  1. Oh, my word! Where do I start? First, that cabinet! I saw that in the first pic and almost swooned! I LOVE that! And the room is so interesting! Love the way you described all the changes that were made! How lucky you are to have a house with charm. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home, but it’s a housing development home. You have to put in your own charm. Yours is one that comes with it! When you very first mentioned the pillow and the do-over, I had really hoped that the chair the pillow was sitting on would be included. The look like they were made for each other!! Oh, this is gonna be fun! Dona P.S. Keep the cat. It’s precious.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Dona! You’re so right, Monkey is definitely precious and my best helper. lol.

  2. I’m getting a bit of a tropical vibe….love the flamingo! I actually visited a bunch of live ones on Saturday at Flamingo Gardens just west of Ft Lauderdale! I helped with a cleanup in another area of the park, but got to wander a bit afterwards so of course had to visit these very cool and unusual and such colorful birds. Love that pinky salmon color!

    good luck with the makeover…looking forward to your journey!!!!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks so much Linda! Wow, I’ve never seen a real flamingo. That would be fun. 🙂

  3. I love ❤️ what I’m privileged to see of your charming house Tuula! I love the old homes. The fancier window trim, the stove , the layout, even the mismatched door isn’t too objectionable. Your staircase! Did you add that decorative trim to the steps? It’s so pretty! Looking forward to seeing what you’ll do with your space!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Florence! The staircase decorative trim is original to the house and seen often in old houses around here.

  4. Your living room looks like my old farmhouse living room. A wonky layout keeping you guessing where to put the furniture! I am excited to see what you do with it all.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks AnnMarie! It’s wonky all right, which is why it doesn’t really work as a main living space. Thankfully we don’t need it for that. It is nice to have the room for reading and writing. It’s the quiet space, with no TV.

  5. Deborah Bell says:

    Tuula, Hi there. I was scrolling thru your front room parlor post, and I have a suggestion for the 2 doors that don’t match in height. I’m really into decoupage, and I thought that you could easily disguise the height issue with a strip of decoupage, or possibly an embellishment on top of the shorter doorway. I couldn’t help responding, I too went on a huge makeover in my house preparing for a large wedding reception last October. That’s actually how I got into decoupage, disguising all the picture frames in my house. And my home looks awesome for all the work I did do. Anyway, good luck with all your fun adventures in decorating.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      That’s a really interesting idea Deborah. I love decoupage too, and it would save me having taking apart and redoing the doorway. I’ll put on my thinking cap and give it some serious thought. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  6. I like quirky things too so this living room is right up my alley, I can’t wait to see what you do with it! How about beefing up the molding around the little bathroom door to give the illusion that it is the same size as the kitchen door, you could easily fool the eye and no one would even notice!


    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Tania! We quirky girls have to stick together. lol. That’s a great suggestion, and I think it’s pretty doable. I’ll have to think about that one. 🙂

  7. Mary Boger says:

    Buckling my seatbelt and waiting for where your redo takes us! Exciting!!

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks so much Mary! I’ll try not to take too many bumpy roads. lol.

  8. Laura Crumm says:

    You’re amazing!!!!! Where do you get the energy? I like the blue walls. We don’t use our living room either because we have a family room off the dining room. I call the LR. our front entry. I grew up in a house built in 1912 so I have good feelings for old houses, but hubby was never into remodeling. He built 3 houses for us. Said it was easier than remodeling. He came home one day and told me he was going to build a house. I said, “OK”, even though he had never built a box before. I have no idea how he knew what to do, but it was a really good house and he built 2 more. For the first one we drew a house plan on a piece of graph paper, took it to the bank and got a loan . Can you imagine that now? That was in 1963.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks Laura! You and your hubby sound pretty amazing too. Building 3 houses? Wow! I come from a diy family, and when I was young my parents built a cottage and we got to help. It was such fun, and I’ve had the diy bug ever since. My dad always said that you don’t know how to do something until your learn, and we were led to believe that we could learn anything. I don’t think a bank would give you a dime for a house designed on graph paper these day. Sometimes, I miss the simpler times.

  9. LINDA N. SCHRADER says:

    I LOVE the piece beside your front door. Where did you find it?

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks so much Linda! We got it at an auction about 15 years ago for $75. I’m sure it’s antique, but it’s pretty awkward. I think it’ll be perfect for tool storage in our shed.