Do you take progress photos of your home?
Honestly, I usually forget to photograph things. Vacations, holidays, and special events will go by with little, if any, photographic evidence on my part.
But the good thing about running a decorating blog is that I do tend to religiously document things, although you definitely don’t need to be a blogger to do the same!
That’s one of the best things to come out of my favorite social media platform, Instagram, in my book. It can give you a bite-sized visual peek into someone’s life and home and I so enjoy following along with so many like-minded friends and watching their stories unfold.
I think seeing where someone is today can be even more inspiring when you look back to where they were a few months ago, or a year ago – the timeframe doesn’t really matter; I just adore a good “before” and “after.” I know in my own home, looking back at how a space has evolved over time is definitely energizing!
Take our living room, for example. We’ve been in this house for a year and a half at this point, and here’s what it looked like the day we got the keys:
A few weeks after moving in, I filled the space with the rug, sofa, coffee table, faux fiddle leaf fig, lamp, and sideboard from our old living room and brought in two channel-back leather chairs I found on Craigslist, landing on the furniture arrangement that has stayed to this day.
Uncharacteristically, I was in no rush to paint the creamy beige walls and ceiling, and present-Brynne is extremely grateful to past-Brynne for taking some time to live in the house before making any rash decisions. I’ve come to love the warm tone on the walls (I apologize in advance, I don’t know what the paint color is!) and the neutral backdrop it provides to my colorful, eclectic decor.
Over Christmas 2016, I did pull up the beige carpet and lay a medium-toned laminate flooring throughout the main living areas of the house (find everything you ever wanted to know about DIY laminate floors here!) and it worked absolute magic in the space. It was the biggest DIY project I’ve ever taken on!
Once I finished with the flooring and moved everything back into the room and zhooshed it up a bit for the spring, I loved the space so much that it’s stayed almost exactly the same ever since.
Can you spot the subtle differences in the photo below?
I was finally able to add in some finishing touches I’ve been dreaming of for the last year and a half and I’m thrilled to call this room officially finished!
I’m so glad I have these photos showing every step of this journey. It really feels great to look back at how far this space has come in less than two years!
If you aren’t currently documenting your spaces, I highly encourage you to start snapping a few progress photos so you can look back over time and see your progress as well!
Here’s what’s new: Curtains, to begin with
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Purchasing eight curtain panels for the four windows in this room was a daunting task, but I ended up hitting a huge sale on the JCPenney website and getting some simple ivory rod pocket panels for about $12 each!
I also wanted to keep the curtain rods very basic and found these black curtain rods with modern end caps on Amazon at a fantastic price too. To me, they’re a sleek and modern style you might see at West Elm, but I only spent around $80 for all four curtain rods.
The curtains really blend into the wall color, which is exactly what I wanted — something airy and dreamy to filter the light and soften the edges of the windows.
A Sleek Ceiling Fan
What a huge difference replacing the ceiling fan made in this space! It might look a little familiar to you, because it’s the exact same one we recently installed in our master bedroom too — the MinkaAire Artemis ceiling fan in Distressed Koa.
I’ve dreamed of adding this sculptural propeller design with its gorgeous faux wood grain in here for so long! I was so thrilled when my friends at Build.com wanted to partner with me on this finishing touch for the living room as well.
The Serge Mouille Style Floor Lamp
This is another finishing touch I’d been pining over for such a long time! “Serge Mouille” (the French industrial designer of this fabulous Mid Century design) was a permanent saved Craigslist search for months, but I never did end up finding anything like it.
When I started my new job this summer, I splurged on a version from Overstock (the same as this one here from Amazon) with my first paycheck.
The rest of the new touches in the room are just a few thrift and secondhand finds sprinkled around…
Including this little ham who joined the family this spring from the local animal shelter and has become my inseparable shadow and snuggle buddy:
I found this enormous Chinese luck dragon pot at my favorite thrift store for $20. I don’t even know how much it weighs but it took both me and Bryan to carry it in from the car and we were both straining! It has this beautiful celadon glaze inside and ended up being perfect for the faux fiddle leaf fig tree in the corner.
Next up: this draped knot plaster lamp! I absolutely fell in love with this lamp at my friend Rosie’s house when I was shooting her Gathered Home tour and was kicking myself for months for passing up a similar pair I felt was overpriced.
Imagine my joy when I stumbled across this one at Goodwill for $7! It was a dusty cornflower blue, straight out of the 80’s Santa Fe-phase, but that was easily solved with a little flat antique white chalk paint. I topped it with this gorgeous gold-lined black shade from Target.
This copper fireplace screen made an enormous difference to the mantel area! You can find it at Horchow for $460, but I snapped it up at that same fantastic local thrift store as the giant pot for just $40.
It wasn’t quite tall enough for my firebox, so it’s perched on two bricks hidden behind the arm chairs. Never be afraid to make do, you guys!
Every fun little trinket I find is almost guaranteed to make a rotation through this tray on the coffee table at some point. Detailed little boxes are my current obsession, like this one with a gravel pattern and this swirled homemade pottery piece. They’re practical too — I stash things I don’t want the cats to get into, like a box of tissues and my earbuds, inside!
I found the little ceramic cactus trio in the clearance section of IKEA.
I love my beautiful books! They’re fun to pore over and they’re the perfect pedestal for finds like this studded metal orb.
These soapstone hands were another recent thrift find. They weigh a ton and are supposed to be bookends, but I already have more vintage bookends than I know what to do with, so I just display these as objets d’art.
The vintage fold out bar has hardly changed at all – I just hung a new (thrifted) vintage oil painting over it, since I moved the old piece of art to the master bedroom gallery wall. I’m such a creature of habit, friends; when I land on something I like, I tend to leave things just so!
I do have a feeling this room will be staying just the way it is, by and large, moving forward. Before, when I looked around the room, I always knew just what was missing. I saw curtains that weren’t there, I envisioned a lamp in the corner, I dreamed of replacing the old ceiling fan, etc.
Now, I look around and I’m just so happy with the view! I know that I’ll always be picking up new odds and ends and trying them out in the space, but I feel so content with the way everything is in here now. I don’t foresee any large changes coming down the pipeline in the future! (Except for the current Christmas decorating overhaul that’s happening in here as we speak 😉)
If you’ve been following this room’s journey from the start, thank you so much for tagging along! If you’d like to catch up on past posts, you can do that right here:
I’m already knee deep in planning the next room to makeover, but you guys know me – I take it slow! What space are you currently working on in your home?