This modern living room has been a LONG time coming. It took us eight years to get the room to this point. When we first moved in, this room came with red painted trim, soot-covered walls, and overall a dark vibe with no flooring. This room has seen many phases since we started pulling it apart. We started by painting the red trim at the top of the room which was the crown molding, pulled the rest of the red trim off entirely to replace it, and scrubbed the walls down before giving them a good prime and paint job. Even after all of that, I couldn't quite figure this room out. I couldn't put my finger on what I wasn't exactly loving, but it took me years to figure it out and lots of trial and error. We went through pendant light after pendant light and different styles of mirrors and decor, until I finally decided to truly go bare bones with this room by starting over.
Our modern living room sets the tone for everyone walking into our home.
We finally removed all of the original trim including the crown molding that we initially left. We ditched the crown molding to give the room a completely modern look and it WORKED. We also had to take out several sections of the wall to give it the makeover it truly needed. To get to this point that you are seeing in the photos, it's been eight years, several shades of white paint to find the right one, and lots of different styles of decor including pendant lights until we finally stopped buying cheap items and invested in quality decor, and lots of different phases for our fireplace which will be a blog post in itself. In the beginning, we had no idea how we were going to make the fireplace look aesthetic with the rest of the room. I will be sharing our DIY concrete fireplace in another post. For now, let's talk about how far we have come with the entire living room.
Our Modern Living Room
Thing That We Changed In The Room
REMOVED CROWN MOLDING
There were several things that we did to change the feel of the room to make it more modern. One of the biggest changes for me was removing the original crown molding at the top of the room. We left it for seven years before finally taking it down. Joel liked it, and over time I realized that I hated it. It made the room feel less modern, more traditional, and a lot more of a colonial feel in my opinion. I finally convinced him to take it down and let me paint behind it. It really made a difference and even he is on board now once he saw it done. It made the room feel higher and it looks great next to our extremely modern concrete fireplace. Joel likes it a lot now and says that it gives them room straight lines, which matches the modern living room aesthetic that we are going for.
REMOVED ALL TRIM
As I mentioned earlier, one of the first things that we did to this room was removed all of the trim and started over. It was all dark red, which I was not about to paint. You can see the original trim in our before post. We also removed it because it was a more traditional style trim, whereas we wanted to install flat paneled trim without the curves of traditionally styled trim.
PAINTED AND THEN PAINTED AGAIN
Since we have been in the home for eight years now, this living room has seen paint coat after paint coat. We have stuck to all shades of white from Sherwin Williams, but I have painted the room several shades of white to get just the right shade. I think we landed on Snowbound which is one of my favorite colors from the Sherwin Williams HGTV line, but honestly, I have lost track. I found a white shade that another blogger made up called Mandy White which I have been using around the house as well. I have also come to LOVE White Dove from Benjamin Moore, so the living room is definitely one of those three possible shades!
The entire house needed new flooring because a pipe burst when no one was living here just before we bought it, which worked out in our favor. We put in hand-scraped Birch in an espresso shade. It's too dark and I wish we had gone lighter, but it looks beautifully modern. I went through an entire year of researching, making calls to flooring companies, and asking around about redoing the floors or replacing them entirely. I finally gave up for the time being. As a photographer, I NEED bright light and the dark floors suck up a lot of the light, but I am learning to work with it because our floors haven't been lived in enough to be torn up. That would be ridiculous and a waste!
As I mentioned before, the fireplace was a major change for us. We opted for a modern concrete fireplace, which we renovated ourselves. We kept the original brick as seen in this post, but we built the entire fireplace off of the wall to add dimension to the area and make it the focal point of the room. This project will be an entire post in itself so I'm going to wait on further details about our fireplace until we have that done.
We invested in the Samsung Art Tv. It is worth it and really does look like art on the walls while being functional and centering the room above the fireplace. This is another separate post that I will be doing because I need a full post to talk about our process for buying our Frame TV and all of our thoughts after having it for a while now.
We went through so many lights through trial and error to find one that we loved. It honestly came down to money and how expensive high-quality lighting can be. We tried many different lights from IKEA. We even tried DIYing a few. Nothing felt right and we got rid of every single one. I finally invested in lights for the entire house from Shades Of Light and I will not be changing it out anytime soon, if ever. Joel said installing the higher quality lights has been a different experience. He said the higher quality you get, the easier they are to install in addition to how nice they look.
I wanted a modern sofa, but they are so expensive! We found one that we love and have had for a few months now. I can officially say that it's both comfortable AND stylish. The sofa has made more of a difference than I thought it would. It ties the entire modern living room together. I will be sharing a post on our thoughts on the couch that we decided to get in another post as well.
ART & DECOR
We have a lot to do to add style and decor to the room, but for now, I am happy with how modern everything is looking. I did a post on our modern living room design plan here.