Before + After | Living Room

We bought our house about a year and a half ago at a point of desperation. We had previously sold a house in Fort Collins, moved to Waco, TX for a job with Magnolia, lived in a hotel with our 8-month-old at the time, moved back to Fort Collins and lived in a family friend’s basement for a month while we looked for another home. Like I said, desperation.
Looking back on before photos of our house, I’m sure our parents thought we were crazy. But somehow we saw beyond the old blue carpet and beige walls. We saw how well the previous owner took care of this house. We saw how unique it was compared to a lot of newly built homes today, and we saw the potential of what it could be for our family. So we made a low ball offer, and it was accepted! We dove in head first removing popcorn ceilings (still have a few rooms to go), painted every wall, replaced the old blue carpet (who puts carpet in a bathroom!?), and now we’re slowly renovating room by room. Below you’ll see the before and afters of this room (and cute little Jude in the corner!).

Before

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After

living room 4
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living room 2
living room 1
living room 3
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The fireplace and the natural light in the living room were two of the things that sold us on this house. I mean, you just can’t find a room like this very often unless you’re building a custom home. We made mostly cosmetic updates in here, the most noticeable was painting the fireplace (we used Sherwin Williams pure white). I was so hesitant at first, but now when I look back I’m glad we decided to paint it. We eventually will sand and re-stain the floors once we renovate our kitchen, but I love that the floors are real hard wood. Something about keeping old/original things in a house but modernizing for our style is what I’m drawn to. Because the fireplace is such a statement piece, I like to keep everything else minimal starting with a neutral palette and pulling in texture from the Article sofa and chair, pillows, baskets, rug, and plants to make it more inviting and warm.
The question I get asked a lot is “how do you keep your house so clean and have two kids?” The honest answer is that it’s not always clean. Let’s be real. Kids make messes, and I’ve learned to be ok with that. However, I have found a few things help keep it clean for the most part…
1. Baskets are queen. You’ll notice I have a lot of cute baskets everywhere, and if there’s a basket, most likely it has toys, shoes, coats, etc. in it. It’s an easy way to throw everything in quickly and tidy up since this is the first room you see when you come into our house.
2. We intentionally don’t have a lot of extra stuff. The less stuff we have, the less we have to clean up.
3. After the kids go to bed, we’ve made it a habit to do a quick sweep of the house and put things back where they belong. This usually takes like 5-10 minutes, and that 5-10 minutes is worth it to me to wake up to a clean house.
So there you have it. The first before and after of our living room. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Are you in the “paint the brick” camp or do you think we’re crazy?! ;)

living room 7
living room 6
living room 9
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living room 10

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