A clean slate

Where were we? Oh, right, the living room was in ruins. Let’s take a step back and look at the space before the project started. Awful red, awful tan, half-painted duct work on the ceiling, a lovely green border at the base of the wall, negligible lighting… basically nothing good going on.


Ba Bam!


It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. The space is so different, so much cleaner. I usually photograph this room without the lights on. The single bulbs stuck between the duct work didn’t do much for the space. For the sake of comparison, here’s the room with the lights out.

But you probably noticed that we added a lot more bulbs and a cool fixture to the space.


It literally floods this room with light, which is a very dramatic (and welcome) change, especially in the evening.


Everything is looking a bit more fresh. Before:


Lovely, lovely after:






Oh! Did you notice the rug? Can we stop and talk about how amazing this rug is?

Once this room was in progress, we started to think about what we wanted to make it a bit more liveable. A rug was high on the list. Initially, we were leaning toward something with a pop of color, but those plans were derailed when we realized the non-white couch would have to go! We have some fun plans to inject color with a new-to-us sofa (We JUST picked out fabric and I’m so excited! More to come!)


We casually kept an eye out for a neutral rug and found this one (Tahoe Sunset by Loloi) on Gilt. We fell, and we fell hard. We love that it runs from dark to light and back again. It also gives us a chance to inject some brown into the space, which can be hard with a black and white palette. We even like that it makes the floor feel a bit more intentional.

It’s a nice natural element in the space thanks to the cowhide material. We even love the rectangular blocks and the stitching that becomes more evident in the lighter squares. I’ve never loved a rug more.



Overall, we are in love with the space. (Ugh. I need to stop saying “love.”) This may be one of those times where pictures don’t do it justice. What used to be a slightly depressing cave is now a light-filled sanctuary.



Now that the bones are good, we’re already planning more changes. The tan couch (could it look any worse in this space?) and coffee table (Ditto. The green in the glass, the fact that it’s blocking THE RUG! Boo!) are definitely on the chopping block. The media unit might not be safe either…

We’re also looking for art to add some interest to the walls. We definitely want to bring in some color and use the space to print some of our photographs. The stairwell is still in progress.

In the meantime, I’ll be back with a tutorial for the light fixture and more details on the new couch.


  1. HOLY SMOKES THAT RUG. And the white/lights totally transforms the space! I’m eagerly awaiting the lighting tutorial.

    1. I know, right. It’s probably the fastest buying decision of that magnitude that we’ve ever made! The lighting details will definitely be the next post!

  2. oh sweetness. love it. love love love. use the word as much as possible.

    1. Hahaha! Thanks. I clearly need to break out a thesaurus 😉

  3. “LOVE”… looks great! Where is the lamp by your credenza from? It’s fab!

    1. I think it was a flash sale site like 3 years ago? I’ll see if there are any markings and let you know.

  4. Fantastic! I love how the lights add some curvy, natural notes to the rectangular space. Really softens the room without interfering with what does work in the space. And that rug is killer. Love adding earthy browns to a black and white palette. It’s really coming together. Oh, and belated congrats on your Alive feature! You guys are on a roll!

    1. Yeah, the duct work was a lot to work around, but the draping seems to elongate the space and really allowed us to spread the light around.
      Ugh! That rug! I just want to lay on it…


    1. Thanks!!

  6. Just watched your HH episode & had to see if there were any updates. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome & amazing project!

    1. Thanks for finding us. You’re here at a good time. We’re ramping back up after a winter of slow progress.

  7. so excited about the light tutorial! those are fab!

    1. Thanks! That should be up next! It’s really, really simple 🙂

  8. Love how the light just bounces around in there- so much space! And that rug is so awesome and huuuuge!

    1. Seriously! I wish I could have invited everyone into the space before hand and then had you back now. It’s just happier.

  9. SO GORGEOUS. Love love love the light installation! [and I may come in while you’re gone and steal that rug….]

    1. Thanks! While you’re stealing the rug, I’m moving into your gorgeous house. So be careful!

  10. Umm, in love! It’s amazing what a coat of paint (and lots of mudding) can do!! P.S. I’m going to start having my hubby read this blog to get some points from your man 🙂 #ithinkivesaidthatalreadybefore

    1. Thanks! It really is a dramatic change. You have to come out and see the space in person sometime 🙂
      Ha! You should! Aaron keeps pushing me to do more tutorials. Hopefully they are well received.

  11. YES!! I’m so glad you guys are back to updating regularly. Your blog and space are one of my favorites, and the living room looks ah-mazing. So excited to see what you two have in store for the space in the future.

    1. Awww! Thanks, Ally! We’re glad to be back in the swing of things and we’ve got a very full agenda for the first half of this year.

  12. Wow, such a difference! I just love seeing the changes you’ve made and that living room is one of my favorites yet! LOVE those lightbulbs.

    1. Thanks! I wasn’t sure if it was translating well in images. It’s amazing in person. I also love the lights!

  13. […] As you well know (because I’m apparently torturing everyone by dragging out this reveal), the decor in the living room needed a bit of an overhaul thanks to a fancy coat of white paint and a stunning new rug. […]

  14. […] paint but ignored? If so, we should submit our stairwell. I think we would win. Remember when we painted the living room way back in March? Well, the stairwell was part of that major project too. Here’s the best […]

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