Open Layout Living Room and Staircase Remodel
Well, we’ve been living in our home for one year and SO FAR SO GOOD! Our previous homes all had 4-year expiry dates (excluding our ‘summer house‘ adventure), but I think we’re in this one for the long haul. And while I’m already pining for fresh new paint colours and some changes here and there (don’t tell Tim), I’m still loving our living room remodel.
But, before you get to see the transformation, we’re going to look at things from the entryway’s point of view…
The layout in our home is awesome as our living room, dining room, kitchen, and entryway are ALL open to each other, separated in the middle by an open staircase (shown above). Compared to our last home, which Maggie fondly calls, ‘a box on a box on a box’ (which is also what our front doorstep looks like thanks to my Amazon addiction), this feels SO much more like home! And it better, because Tim will divorce me if I even mention selling (just joking, he loves my neurotic tendencies and thinks they’re cute…right Tim????).
Now, let’s take a look at what we saw when we first looked at our home…
MAN was it was DARK. And while the north-facing exposure and 25′ rock wall that’s behind our home could account for a bit of this darkness, they weren’t the problem – it was the paint…and the floor…and the lighting…and…well, everything. And while I LOVE dark colours and am not afraid to paint a room black if that’s what it calls for – this was all kinds of wrong.
NOW, let’s see its fresh new face…
RIGHT?! Man, I love our home. In the above photo, you can also see a wink of the powder room which I’ll be sharing with you soon.
Now, you’re going to see two types of photos below – my photos, which are lovely, but perhaps not quite ‘tickey-boo’ and Jen Wynia’s photos, which are perfect. I had Jen come over a few months ago to snap some pro shots. And of course, because of my fetish with toss cushions, wine, Bradley Cooper, and pretzels (only one of those is actually relevant to this blog post), I wanted to change things up. And because I LOVE my new cushions and the energy they added to the room, I wanted to show you the BOTH versions mixed throughout!
This next photo is the SAME as the previous one, just different cushions and photography skills (although I’ll admit, I did pretty darned well for an amateur).
This space makes me ALL kinds of happy. It’s cozy, it’s comfy, and it’s my fave place to hang out with my girls.
Next, let’s take a look at that staircase. It was one of the (many) things that sold us on this home as it was a bit different from the norm (kind of like someone we know…insert awkward whistling here).
We didn’t have room in the budget to replace the railings, and sanding them down was NOT an option for basic sanity reasons. And besides, there’s NOTHING like a coat of paint (or 3) to freshen things up! And thankfully, there was room in the budget to cover up that ridiculous hole that was holding the TV components. Seriously, who does this?
Railing colour: Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze
And yes, I DID consider just putting a frame over that opening in the drywall and calling it a day (I hate drywall dust). However, in the end, I decided that doing it the ‘right way’, was the best way. I’m also a HUGE fan of gallery walls and loved that I could stagger the layout of this one with the stairs. Also, notice the round mirror down the hallway is the SAME mirror you can see in that VERY first photo of our entryway.
Now, let’s look at this gloomy little corner of the world…wah wah wah…
LOOK AT THAT FRIGGIN’ CARVING! I had a local fellow named Noel Brown Native Art make that for Tim’s 40th birthday. Noel is CRAZY talented and created a piece that is full of heart – perfect for my favourite man.
And let’s take a closer look at this happy little corner! The tobacco brown leather chair is a recent find from Urban Barn. It was regular $1900. Yup, you read that right, $1900 buckaroos. The floor model was on clearance for $799 – BOOM, sold.
In the next photo, someone thought that doing a cut-out for the TV was a good idea – you know, to match the cut-out for the TV components on the stairwell wall #itsagreatideasaidnobodyever.
Needless to say, we filled that in and left only a small space behind the TV for the necessary bits n’ pieces and the family jewels.
And now, it’s like a breath of fresh air! The fireplace is a BEAST, and with its 18′ height was a TON of work. It wasn’t just about getting those old 12×24 tiles off the wall, it was about prepping the wall and getting the new shiplap up and painted – but it was WELL worth it (says me, who stayed on solid ground the whole time).
In this next photo, if you’d gotten an eyeful of this wall close-up, you’d have seen the worst paint job ever. Delea of Details Painting did two and a half days of filling, sanding and fixing, just to get our home ready for painting – she’s practically part of the family now.
I will admit that the chocolate brown sectional looked DAMN comfy, but the brown-on-brown scheme wasn’t quite doing it for me.
And now, I just LOVE it! It’s bright and warm and has some beautiful contrast with the warm and cool colours.
Admittedly, I’m already pining for a bit more depth/colour on the walls (again, don’t tell Tim), but I might be able to hold off for 6
days months or so. Seems crazy, I know, but sometimes I just CRAVE change – Tim’s lucky I’ve kept him for this long.
And seriously, that sectional is THE most comfortable piece of furniture…evah. Coming in at a whopping 9′ x 11′ she’s one beast of a piece and is perfect for accommodating tons of family and friends. It’s called ‘The Bronx Custom Sectional‘, from Urban Barn – my fave local store. Almost everything I own is from there or Muse & Merchant (we don’t have a ton of selection in Nanaimo, other than online ordering, which as I mentioned, I am a fan of).
Now, back to that glorious gray tile fireplace and the great black hole of gloom…
SO much better!
I would’ve loved to do the whole 18′ feet of this fireplace in stone, but it wasn’t happening as this stuff is LEGIT expensive to install (in my next life, I’m coming back as a stone installer). Anyways, we did a more simple stone surround instead (K2 stone) with a wood mantel and the remaining 13′ in painted shiplap. I wanted a gray with just a whisper of blue-green undertone, so I chose Sherwin Williams Earl Gray to tie in with the fireplace stone.
Comparing the last photo with this next one, see how pushing the sectional away from the wall makes the room look SO much bigger. Also notice how the area rug helped to anchor the furniture so the pieces weren’t just floating on the floor.
And yes, that is a wicked awesome coffee table. It was a random find at Home Sense, and while it was the wrong finish when I bought it, Tim and our buddy sanded it down and restained it to work better for the room. I found one that’s pretty darned similar on Wayfair if you want one for yourself (here).
Here’s another shot from the top of the stairs…
It’s been one year since the railing was painting, and while I’ve had to do some small touch-ups, it’s held up SUPER well thanks to Delea’s careful work. It took her several days to get the whole staircase done and I’m pretty sure she’s sending us her Chiropractor bill.
If you haven’t looked at the stairs from the entryway side of things, you can check it all out HERE.
Now back to the bat cave…
The old oak flooring and was beaten to heck by the old owner’s two dogs. And because it was such poor quality, we couldn’t even refinish it, so it was out with the old and in with the new! Plus, I wanted a wider plank look anyway…
I know, I know, white oak floors with a natural finish are the most popular, but I wanted to make sure our flooring would last more than the trends and besides, I like slightly more medium-toned woods, regardless of trends. I chose a lightly stained, brushed, matte wood flooring from Goodfellow and it’s seriously…my fave thing ever.
And if you’re curious about the paint colour, its Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray…kind of. Because paint excites me SO friggin’ much, I didn’t just go for regular ole Edgecomb Gray, I lightened it by 50%. Hey, I’d way rather play around with MY home than with YOURS – I am my own guinea pig. And I LOVE how it turned out. It’s like an off-white greige with these super flexible undertones that change as the natural lighting changes. I partnered it with one of my FAVE white paint colours – Benjamin Moore White Dove.
When I post my living room photos on Instagram, I often get questions about the oversized artwork. Sadly, it was a random Home Sense find. I’d actually love to find a NEW piece to replace it, but it’s hard to find something that humongous that has all of the colours I love!
And for the FINAL reveal, seeing as you’ve seen my kitchen and dining room remodel, as well as the entryway, let’s look at the WHOLE kit n’ caboodle (and no, you’re not going crazy, these next two photos are from different angles)…
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