The living room space in our house was in desperate need of a makeover! It had good bones with a large front window, wood-burning fireplace and vaulted ceilings. But it was also extremely dated and in need of a facelift! We transformed it on a budget with a little creativity! Here are our best tips and tricks for a small living room renovation…
THE SCARY BEFORE
The fireplace insert was old and leaky, and the mantle was just plain ugly! There was no built-in storage or character in the room.
The house was built in 1993 so it was full of strange angles and walls that didn’t reach to the ceiling. I don’t know what they were thinking in that entire decade of home design. But it sure makes for impressive before and afters!
The first thing we did was paint the entire room a soft cream colour, and replace the extremely pink carpet with hickory hardwood flooring. Then we redid the fireplace and added lots of storage and cozy furniture and soft furnishings! It’s almost unrecognizable as the same space!
Here are the steps we took in this small living room renovation to transform it from dated to bright & functional!
We decided to take out the old insert and replace it with a wall-mounted wood-burning stove unit. This was the only major renovation work that needed to be done. Everything else was cosmetic.
I fought Mark pretty hard on putting in a stove insert because I had visions of a beautiful & traditional open wood-burning fireplace. Mark wanted a freestanding wood burning stove that would heat the entire house (and take up the entire living room lol).
We ended up compromising and putting in this wood-burning wall insert! It doesn’t take up the entire living room, but it’s still capable of heating the entire house in the winter and will slow burn for hours.
The insert weighed over 700lbs and it took us forever to get the thing in and hooked up! It puts out so much heat that we had to mount the wood mantle higher than usual. I may have had a slight temper tantrum over this, but I’m used to it now lol!
We added tall bookcases on either side of the fireplace since there were no built-ins. These are the Ikea Liatorp bookcases . They are inexpensive and come with these pretty glass doors and crown moulding.
The bookshelves have closed storage on the bottom so that pretty shelfies can be arranged on top and clutter can be hidden below!
For tips on arranging bookshelves check out:
We built in storage into every nook and cranny of the space to create as much storage as possible. For example, in the corner by the front door we built a shallow bookcase for magazines and favourite books!
And of course, there are lots of baskets for pillows, blankets, firewood etc…You name it… I probably have a basket for it!
Since the room is narrow, we added two love seats to the space instead of a regular-sized sofa . Extra-long lumbar pillows add coziness without making the small seats feel cluttered.
A solid fir mantle and corbels, waxed to maintain the natural wood color, add warmth to the white lantern tile used on the fireplace. And the french country style mirror, found at Homesense, adds some elegance. This mirror looks just the like the coveted Anthropologie Primrose Mirror, but it was a fraction of the price!
We created a board and batten wall on the strange 3/4 height wall between the living room and kitchen. And we mounted a Samsung Frame TV that looks just like a piece of art! I love this TV and would highly recommend it! you can choose from a variety of frames and it comes with its own art shop. You can choose the art it displays when it’s not in use!
Mark made the extra long console table under the TV using reclaimed barn wood shelves and metal brackets. We added simple white lamps and accessories to keep the room feeling light and airy.
I hope this small living room renovation has given you some ideas for your own living space. To see the rest of The Ginger Home’s transformation check out:
To save this post for later PIN one of the images below!
You may also enjoy: