Living Room Reveal

03.23.15

Style Bee - Living Room

Well hellloooo there! Sorry for my slightly longer than normal absence. I’d love to be able to stick to a proper posting schedule but the days just aren’t always long enough. Rather than adding filler content I’m trying to only publish posts I really feel good about. This weekend was the first time our living room has felt complete and after resisting for so long I just had to share a few shots with you.

In case you’re new to Style Bee, about a year and a half ago my partner Dave and I bought a quaint little 1890’s house that had a ton of character and needed a TON of work. We decided to tackle it head on and complete all the work ourselves, starting with a full ‘gut-job’ on the second floor and a more superficial face-lift on the living room. Today I’m sharing a few photos of our allllmost completely finished living room. There are still a few finishing touches needed (and a new tv eventually!) but we love the space and it’s been a sort of sanctuary for us as we’ve endured the renos throughout the rest of the house.

Style Bee - Living Room

I think a lot of people have romantic notions about renovations, at least I know I did. Shows like Love It Or List It and The Property Brothers barely even scratch the surface of what it’s like to redo an old house and they certainly make it seem faster and easier than it ever is. But we’ve been living and learning about the process and trying not to lose our cool (entirely).

Dave is much better equipped to deal with the renovators lifestyle, ie: living in a constant state of disarray with an ever-present layer of fine dust on everything. Me, not so much. After a few months of living in a construction site I started to go crazy. Be forewarned that a renovation will take it’s toll on your bank account, mental stability and relationship! Luckily it didn’t push any of them past the point of no return, phew! People kept saying, “It will be so worth it when it’s done.” and while that sentence annoys me to no end, it’s totally true.

Style Bee - Living Room

Another (slightly annoying) tidbit we kept hearing was, “You can’t rush it.” and despite all our efforts we discovered this was also very true. Creating a space that feels complete and authentic to you and your family is not something you can do in one go. At least as far as I can tell anyway. You need to spend time in a room, make note of what you’re missing, what functional elements are needed and add to it slowly but deliberately.

It was the first time I’d ever really had cart blanche in a space to design, layout and style it however I wanted. This was both exciting and daunting at the same time. Some things like the furniture and large wall map came together easily but the carpet, artwork and other details have taken a long time to settle.

Style Bee - Living Room

Our house project has made me much more aware of how I live and what I need to enjoy and feel content at home or in a specific room. I’ve learned that while I’m not a fan of dressing with colour I like having pops of it in my interior surroundings. Things like needing to put my feet up when I watch a show, having a spot to put my keys when I come in the door or that mid-century modern style is my jam are all little insights that make me feel more at ease and at home.

We’ve also learned that if we can make something exactly how we want it’s worth the extra time and effort. Buying something that’s not exactly what you need will never fully satisfy. So with that in mind we’re building a custom, concrete and walnut coffee table but for now these tree stumps are place holders and I kind of love the unexpected and understated vibe they add to the room. We’re also finishing up a small floating shelf to sit under the mirror so our sunglasses and car keys have a proper home.

Style Bee - Living Room

The living room was the least labour and time intensive room we’ve worked on so far but the project still included:

  • Stripping many, MANY layers of old paint off the original 120 year-old trim
  • Sanding the trim
  • Repairing wall cracks (which involved drywall and taping)
  • Rerouting electrical
  • Adding pot lights
  • Fixing bad floor board patchwork
  • Painting the walls, ceiling and trim
  • Furnishing
Style Bee - Living Room

The whole process has been eye-opening, soul crushing, creatively invigorating, threshold testing, team building, pain staking and entirely life changing. I’ve seen how amazingly talented and hard working Dave is and I’ve had the chance to test my limits and learn to trust my design instincts more than ever. The renovation has been extremely hard but extremely rewarding at the same time. Some days I come home and a wave of appreciation hits me. I feel so incredibly fortunate to call this little work in progress home!

Style Bee - Living Room

So that’s room #1 for you! Stay tuned for the next room reveal, the bedroom, complete with before shots and floor plans! 

Have you done any renovating? If so, how did you manage to get through it?


Sources: Yellow Chair || Couch || Butterfly Chair || Rug || Cross Blanket || Geo Print Pillows || Curtains || Art Print || Map and Mirror (vintage) || Stumps (similar)

 

12 comments
03.23.15
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  1. I love it -You did a beautiful handiwork. It fits perfectly into your little space!

  2. Kudos, Lee! It’s such a challenge to live in a “work in progress.” But finally using and enjoying the space you renovated and designed is so very special. Excited to see more!

    Kira

    • Thanks so much Kira! It really is such an incredible sense of accomplishment when you sit down, look around and realize you made it all happen. Hard to see the forest for the trees when you’re up to your eyeballs in paint stripper and drywall dust though haha Thanks for reading! xo

  3. Emily says:

    It looks great! I love maps as decor (especially unique/vintage maps). The mixture of textures makes the room look very cozy and inviting, but also spacious and airy.

    This brings up memories of watching my parents’ house go through different renovation projects (it was also a pain at the time but worth it in the end!). My favorite part was picking out a new paint color for my room (though I hated the actual painting process).

    I think it’s much harder on our furry friends than humans–how has your pup been handling all the changes?

    • Thanks Emily! Sounds like you know the drill with renos too. They’re just so disruptive but pretty much unavoidable (unless you have more money than you know what to do with haha). It’s been tough on our little fella. He’s not keen on all the commotion, banging, hammering and just general craziness. But we try to keep his routine the same and give him all the love and kisses he can handle!

  4. Jodie says:

    Job well done Lee! Congrats to you & David!!! I’ve done small apartment projects and they’re always way more time consuming, and costly than you think. Hopefully we will be able to own. Home someday and do these kind of things. Can’t wait to see more. Just love it.

    • Thanks so much Jodie! So true, there is no home project that goes 100% according to plan. That’s sort of the beauty of it though. I’m sure one day you’ll have your own place and it will be just perfect! xo

  5. Shannon Buckley says:

    Love it all! Very excited to see the future coffee table, and definitely can’t wait to see the eventual bedroom reveal.

    Every time I see that Citizenry chair, I want to cry over how pretty it is, haha. It’s still on my short wish list of home items. Our living room is pretty short on space as it is, and all we have is a couch and a desk with a chair, so no armchair or love seat sadly. I just feel like that would be the perfect addition to the room since it could fold up and be moved out of the way if we needed the space. Your taste is too good, lady!

  6. Denise says:

    What a huge accomplishment! Maps are just the best – I’m trying to hunt down a nice (affordable!) constellation map for the space over my couch. When my husband and I were shopping for our home, our two basic options (for comparable) were more land, more changes needed or smaller lot/home, move-in ready. I love having a smaller home (~1000 sq ft)- since it’s just my husband, me and our pets, having a smaller home has almost limitless pros. There are times where I’d like some more space between me and my neighbors, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to withstand a renovation, in terms of my sanity and my pocketbook. We’ve been able to slowly change out some of the builder finishes, but after being in about 2.5 years, it seems like it’s not moving fast enough and I’m having “choice fatigue” (too many choices for everything)! A full gut job can really help shrink the timeline, due to needing to at least make it reasonably comfortable! Thank you for sharing – I think seeing style bloggers’ spaces give an even more holistic view of their style.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience Denise! It’s always interesting to hear about how others have navigated the housing market. We’ve found having a smaller place is great too. Luckily it’s fairly open and the ceilings are high so even though the footprint is small we don’t feel cramped. Plus with a small place you can really make the most of every little inch! XO