Living Room Makeover – Before

I’m trying to not go insane.  I’m trying to reclaim some space and not have to move in order to do it.  We have a decent amount of square footage in this home BUT it’s kind of awkwardly laid out.  900 sq feet on the main floor consists of the Living Room / Dining Room / Kitchen / Master bedroom and Kids bedroom…oh and a small bathroom too.  Then we have another 900 sq feet in the basement (below grade) which has another two bedrooms (one used as storage and the other is a guest room) a rec room / office and our laundry area oh, and a second small bathroom.

The kids have taken over.  Everything. Everywhere. Shocking I know.

It’s time to re-arrange and make things work better for us.  It’s time to divide the adult space from the kid space.  I hate having toys EVERYWHERE.  I love having one room that I can keep clean(ish) so when the rest of the house explodes I can go sit in there and be calm about it all.  Our living room used to be that room.  Yes…used to be.

When the baby came, it just became necessary to stay upstairs most of the time and so toys and kids stuff took over because that’s where we spent our time.  Now that he’s getting older and can sit and play, we need to be downstairs in the rec room.  Our grand idea was to take the computer area out of there to make space for toys and move it upstairs to our living room area.  This means we need to do a bit of rearranging.  So, what a fun excuse to do a mini makeover right???  AND I thought it would be fun to share the process with you and maybe you can avoid our mistakes and maybe we could give you a few ideas on maximizing your small living spaces.


So here we go!  Here’s my ‘before’ pic.  You can see how the kid stuff is everywhere! And my laptop mess is there too.  That will move to a more dedicated desk space.


In the next few posts I’ll show how we rearrange the furniture to do double duty as living and office space.  How we update the style just a touch for very little cash and how we create a reading corner (including a DIY lamp project).  I’m so excited to get started!  I love decorating and design and I believe that everyone can have a great space with a little thought and ingenuity!  Stay tuned for my after shots 🙂



  1. Oh I can’t wait to see what you do. I’m actually in the process of a makeover in every room of my house. I’m so tired of this place. can’t wait to see your makeover

  2. I think your room looks nice already. I am always trying to reclaim space. My house is much smaller and also laid out inadequately. We just built a small room in the garage for the kids to play in, hoping to keep toys out of the great room.

    • I do like the layout of the room like this but we had to change it around to find space in the basement…we are going to make the room seem smaller but I have some ideas on how to combat that

  3. Can’t WAIT to see the transformation; the best thing we ever did was get all the kid stuff out of our living room. We turned our dining room into a play room — So. Much. Better. (we have an eat-in kitchen, so we really didn’t need the dining room)

    Good luck!

    • that’s a great idea Rachel! It’s important we use the space in way that works best for living. What’s the use of a dining room that never gets used? You did the right thing!

  4. Can’t wait to see the ‘after’ photos!! I’m looking to do a living room makeover this summer too, I just don’t know WHERE to start!

  5. I love watching transformations like this, because decorating is one of my passions. I can’t wait to see what you do with it! There is a ton of baby gear in our living room too, but I know how quickly this season of life will pass, so I’ve decided to get over it and enjoy it! (Not that I won’t be happy to have my LR back.)

    For toy storage, I bought an ottoman off Amazon that open to hold things, but will fold flat when you don’t need it. Might be an idea for you.

  6. I can’t wait to see what you do with the space! Are you making changes to the rec room too?

    I must say I think that your living room looks pretty darn good for a house with children. Our living room is always a clutter of kids and baby toys. Our basement is unfinished and I can’t wait for the day that we have enough money to finish it off and turn it into a play room. Like you, I need a quiet, clean place where I can relax and unwind.

  7. I think the room looks nice already but look forward to the next photo. Your office is making me chuckle though:) I hope the remodel gives you more space to work.

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