Inspiration and sources for a modern traditional small living room.
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The living room is DONE! I mean, as “done” as you can ever call a house – it’s always a work in progress. But in terms of MAJOR renovation projects, it’s done!
It looks bigger in the photos, but this whole space – from the wall with the fireplace to the opposite wall (out of the photo) and from the window to the kitchen island (to the left of the photo) – is about 10’x13′. It’s a cozy space, but has definitely presented some challenges in terms of layout and finding furniture to fit. One of the biggest issues was that there was no focal point to the room, which actually made it feel even smaller. The hallway also runs right between this space and the kitchen island (on the left of the photo), reducing it from 10′ wide to about 7′ wide. For better reference, that rug is 6′ wide and 9′ long. It’s just been this kinda weird space that I couldn’t quite figure out. But I think I finally got it!
Before we get to more photos, let’s take a look at what it used to look like.
Here’s a photo from when we very first moved in:
It worked just fine for us like that, but I always knew I wanted to renovate and make it a little nicer. We’re also super short on closet and storage space in this house, so I thought I’d add some to the living room.
Entre big bookshelf with cabinets:
I built that bookshelf, repainted, and did all new trim. And, yes, it’s decorated for Easter – that’s the best photo I have haha!
If you’re visiting from Instagram – you see that missing piece of trim on the left in the hallway? Yeah … that’s the one that I FINALLY got to put back in this week. After 3 years.
It wasn’t exactly my dream home, but it worked well and we gained SO MUCH STORAGE with the cabinets in the bottom of the bookshelf. The whole thing was about 6′ wide and 8′ tall.
I was actually planning to just leave it like this. We had planned to move this fall, so I figured this would be great for the future homeowners. We had already done a ton of improvements, and I was happy to pass it along just so.
But, as per usual, the only certain thing in life is change.
The move fell through.
I’m not sure if it was the disappointment, frustration, (we’ve tried to make this move multiple times and it’s fallen through E-V-E-R-Y time) or just that I hadn’t done a big remodel in a while and was itching to take on another one … but, basically the same day we found out the move fell through again, I told my husband I was going to tear everything out and make the living room what I envisioned.
He was all for it.
So here’s our new small living room!
It was a JOB.
Joseph helped me lay all new floors from here through the kitchen, dining room, and hallway (to the left). I framed and finished a brand new fireplace (hired out the gas line, venting, and unit hookup so our house doesn’t explode), built the custom mantel, redid all the trim (AGAIN), painted that beautiful bookshelf in the corner and finished it off with furniture that actually fits.
I thought about adding a coffee table in the middle, but the kiddos love having that whole space for block towers and puzzles!
I’m pretty sure we’re both still in disbelief that this is actually our living room now.
Not gonna lie – it was a long haul of a DIY project. But it was SO WORTH all the time and effort.
I hope this gives you some good ideas and inspiration for your own small space!
The fireplace unit is from Heat & Glo. I found a local fireplace shop that carried Heat & Glo fireplaces and purchased through them. If you’re local to Minnesota, I went through Fireplace Creations out of Buffalo, MN. They supplied the fireplace and did the gas line, venting, and unit installation. They were wonderful to work with! Highly recommend them.
I’ll do a separate article for the whole fireplace tutorial, as well as a YouTube video. Coming soon!
Room & Board provided the loveseat for this project (sponsored). This is the 65″ Ian loveseat in the color linen. We have seriously been SO IMPRESSED with it. It was really stiff at first (not gonna lie – I was a little nervous), but after a few weeks it started to break in and it’s SO SO comfortable now. The performance fabric is no joke. I’ve tried to keep the snacks and drinks off of it, but inevitably the kids have ALREADY gotten chocolate on it, as well as spilling an entire cup of coffee … are you kidding me … they just move so fast sometimes! Anyways … the chocolate wiped right off no problem, and the coffee soaked up right away. I hit it with a little Folex cleaner and boom – NO STAIN AT ALL.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve never owned anything in performance fabric before, but this loveseat is AWESOME.
I’ve loved it so much that I bought the new bookshelf from Room & Board as well haha (not sponsored). The craftsmanship and quality is exceptional. I found it at one of their outlet stores and gave it a quick update with black paint. I love the contrast it provides against the white stucco fireplace and light walls!
Other than that, the rest of the items are pretty standard. I don’t have the exact links for all the items since some of them are old, but I did my best to find similar items.
Here are the links:
- Rug – Boutique Rugs Earlsfield Area Rug
- Chair – Verity Leather Lounge Chair
- Flooring – Bruce Hydropel Natural Hickory engineered hardwood flooring
- Lamp – Threshold Floor Lamp
- Greenery – Faux Eucalyptus Stems
- Curtains – Natural Linen Curtains
- Fireplace – DIY Tutorial Coming Soon
- Mantel – Hearth & Hand Arched Mirror
- Mantel – Candlesticks
Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Thanks for stopping by!