The house is looking put together again!  After the total plumbing re-do of a few weeks ago, and the subsequent drywall patches, sanding, and painting, it took a while for our place to become photographable once more.  Let’s get going.

After receiving some professional advice, I was re-inspired to try again with making our living room pleasant and inviting.  As you may recall, the traffic pattern was stumping me and the lack of color was getting me down.  The living room is SO much better now!   It’s time for my favorite kind of post – a Before And After.

The crux of my inspiration was the bookshelf along the back wall.   This is one of the first things you see upon walking through our front door.  Basically I realized I needed something bigger and more substantial, which I accomplished by buying a second shelf of the same design (Ikea, via Craigslist) and doubling them up.  I switched out a large rectangular mirror in place of the small round one, and edited the shelves so they looked more attractive while remaining functional.   I also came up with a creative way to wrangle lots of electrical cords and our internet router.


early living room

Another early version that didn’t work


After painting the back red, I cut a hole in the cardboard backing of the shelf so that the electrical outlet and cable/internet connections could be accessed.  All the wires were then hidden in a banker’s box which I decoupaged with pages from a book no one cared about.

Internet Box

Shelves completed but empty

 Looking good so far!


The books are a mix of mine and my husband’s.  I am going to grow that ivy into a round topiary, and I made the little aqua bowl in the middle when I did pottery regularly.   The neat champagne bucket is vintage and was a wedding gift. 

Here’s a shot from farther back.  You might notice a few other changes to the living room here :) which I will be explaining in a second post.   As for the bookshelf wall, it’s practically done.   We just need to hang and frame the large mirror, and I have to figure out how to get the little brass lamp’s shade to sit higher, which will probably involve a coat hanger in some way!


– second bookshelf: Craigslist, $15

– paint for back: already owned

– styling items, books, lamp, etc: already owned

– plant:  blue pot, Ross $6; ivy, already owned

– mirror: free, inherited.  Mirror hangers, $4. 

– moulding for mirror frame, TBD but hopefully around $10

TOTAL COST: About $35