In April 2013, I moved into my own apartment. Through luck and the help of family, I was able to get this small apartment in a house over 100 years old, renovated. It’s taken me a couple years to get everything arranged (and then finally tidied up for photos!), but at long last, here are the after photos of my living room.
The Living Room
First, check out the before photos of my living room. To redecorate and reorganize, I divided the living room space into a TV seating area and a dining area.
I updated the fireplace with a few coats of the Simply White Benjamin Moore paint that I used for my kitchen and bathroom, in a semi-gloss.
The walls were painted a matte Simply White paint. Our contractor recommended a matte paint, since this finish helps to hide any imperfections in the walls. And since my apartment in general has a lot of imperfections (in the form of old paint, gaps in the plaster, uneven walls), we followed his advice.
The dining room set is originally from Ikea but I snagged it from Kijiji for a discount.
The couch is from EQ3, a Canadian furniture and design company based in Winnipeg. I pushed the couch against the wall to get a more open feeling to the room. My apartment is only 425 sq ft, so even an apartment-sized couch wouldn’t fit. My couch is actually a loveseat! I also bought myself the lovely grey Strandmon wingback armchair from IKEA, as additional seating.
I picked up the coffee table from Kijiji as well. The seller had repurposed a cast iron sewing machine treadle table by adding a new wooden top. The treadle and wheel still move!
The bookshelf combo is Billy from Ikea. It houses my most prized books and cookbooks – once I get my own library in my own house, all of my book collection will be reunited!
I am so so glad that we were able to cut a hole in the living room wall to open it up to the kitchen. This lets in more light from the kitchen, but also allows me to still talk with guests while I’m cooking/doing dishes. It makes my apartment seem much more spacious.
The curtains are from Ikea. I hung them high to make the room seem taller and the window seem wider, but I never close them. All the rugs are mine from Saudi Arabia, a pretty round one, and a silk one depicting the Tree of Life.
And finally, my hand-stenciled wall! I originally coveted the Cole and Son birch wallpaper, but was turned off by the price. Once I had discovered it, I started seeing it all over the design blogs and magazines! My fix was to buy a birch stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils on Etsy and a $5 pot of celery-green paint, and do it myself. Since the room is small, I wanted the birch mural to be light-coloured. I was going back and forth between the light celery green I finally chose, and a light tan and a light grey. The green obviously won out in the end.