Living Room Before and After Blog Hop

September 14, 2016 | Before & After, Design, Living Room

If you’re coming over from Up to Date Interiors, WELCOME!!!

Who doesn’t love a good blog hop?  You get to be a voyeur into other people’s homes and styles without being a total creeper and peeking in windows.  When Stephanie from Casa Watkins Living invited me to define my design style and show the evolution of it in a room of my home, I was 100% in!!!



It’s easy to forget that for every perfectly curated pinterest-worthy or instagrammed room, there’s a round-about path that lead to that place.

My style today is eclectic, modern vintage, but it didn’t always shine through like it does today.  Let’s take an awkward journey through my living room over the past almost 6 years.  I cringe so hard when I look at the first version of my living room.  Aside from a new tv stand, I tried to make the living room from my old apartment work in this new smaller space.  Spoiler alert: it didn’t!!  To recreate this amazing space, mix undersized artwork with furniture way to bulky for a small room, and add a big splash of brown (please don’t).




The next iteration of the room definitely had a bit more personality, but still had a waaaays to go.  The mistake I made for YEARS, and should have known better, was trying to make pieces that I previously owned (and they weren’t great pieces to start with!) work in this space as opposed to assessing the space, THEN designing it.  Are you all impressed with my perfectly lit night shot?  Oh the things you learn through years of blogging….



After years of tweaking small things and still not loving the room, I went back to the drawing board and decided to do what I should have done from the beginning and designed the room from scratch.  I coerced Hubby into a new sofa (huzzah!!!), painted the coffee tables gold, built a DIY corner bookshelf to fill the awkward space, and upgraded the boxy apartment left-over side tables with eclectic antique finds.  While I enjoyed this version, being the first room that you walk into from our front door, it was a bit of design overload in a small space.



Which brings us happily to the end of our journey and what my living room looks like today.  It’s a fun mix of modern shapes and patterns, vintage furniture and quirky finds: hence my label of “eclectic, modern, vintage.”






How can you get this look?  I recommend keeping staple pieces like a sofa and tv stand timeless.  In this case, I used a mid-century-modern inspired sofa and a vintage mid-century hutch-turned-tv stand to ground the space.



Especially in a small room like this one, think big to small: the bigger the piece, the more classic/versatile it should be, the smaller, the quirkier it can be.  This keeps the crazy-factor down to an interesting and intriguing level as opposed to sending your guests running.  For example- a hand-shaped vase as a book end: quirky.  a hand-shaped chair in a tiny living room: a bit too eccentric.



Shop this look:

Disclaimer: some sources below may contain affiliate links.  Shopping through these links will be at no additional cost to you, however will help support my design addiction so I can keep blogging about it.

While many pieces are vintage, finds from years ago, or HomeGoods finds that I can’t find sources for, here are some similar items to get you started:

Furniture: Sofa, tv stand, coffee tables (painted gold), pedestal side table, side table with drawers, antique chair (needs reupholstery)

Lighting: Tripod floor lamp, ceramic table lamp, schoolhouse ceiling fixture

Decor: Starburst mirror, yellow stripe pillow, ukulele wall hook, vintage teapot (planter), wooden shoe mold, textured cookie jar, hand vase (painted matte white)


Hop on over to the next home on the tour, Kimberly’s eclectic, boho, glam style on Swoonworthy.  Be sure to check out all the amazing style evolutions the rest of this week!








Casa Watkins Living

Polished Habitat

Lovely Etc.

Blue i Style

Organize Nashville


Roots North and South

My Life From Home

Monica Wants It

The Striped House


Pocketful of Posies

Up To Date Interiors

Copper Dot Interiors


PMQ for Two


The DIY Mommy

Boxy Colonial

The Happy Housie

Domicile 37

Willow Street Interiors


Cassie Bustamante

House Full Of Sunshine

Farmhouse 40

Iris Nacole























33 thoughts on “Living Room Before and After Blog Hop”

  1. “It’s easy to forget that for every perfectly curated pinterest-worthy or instagrammed room, there’s a round-about path that lead to that place.”
    Very true! I love that you shared photos from your journey to now. And that corner built-in! Would never have known it wasn’t native to the room.

  2. This is one of my favorite before and afters! You’d never know the same person put together both rooms. All your tips and lessons learned were great.

    1. Thanks Melissa!! I can’t believe it’s even the same room- it feels so much larger and brighter now than ever before. It’s amazing what a touch of good design can do

  3. What a beautiful room! Love the ikat fabric on the chair… I’m on the hunt for rugs in that color and pattern right now!!

  4. Wow, what a transformation! Your home is so peaceful but fun and energetic too! Love, love, love to see the evolution. Great job! xoxo

  5. Love your style Karen! Good tips on decorating a new space. Designing from scratch, repurposing, and finding “new” things are much better than just settling. That corner bookcase is amazing and your coffee table(s) look so great gold! (Love your new site design too.)

  6. I love your method of going classic for bigger pieces and adding smaller pieces with more personality. I also love midcentury pieces, so I’m so glad we were on this tour together! Oh, and that corner bookcase is perfect in this room 😉

  7. So refreshing. I love the tone down colors and how you kept the same furniture but used different items to give it a new look. Very classic!

  8. Karen! This is absolutely beautiful! I can’t believe that is the same space! I adore the changes to the wall decor the most. That medallion piece is beautiful!

  9. Just read your blog from start to finish! Your flips are SO INSPIRING. I really hope the new one works out, I think right about now you should be going through the final stages of the purchase. Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

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