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Renovation: Entryway and Formal Living Room

Welcome to my home renovation blog series! This house was purchased in September, 2021 and began renovations immediately. I've already shared about the major renovation we did to the kitchen and den (taking them from three small rooms into one open space), plus the re-design we did in the dining room and office.

When I walked in the front door of this house for the first time, I was drawn to the stairway, wide entry hall, and large living room. It reminded me of houses I often saw during the years I lived in South Carolina.

Our living room in our other house was starting to feel pretty cramped with our daughter practicing gymnastics and accidentally kicking us in the face. That must space for her shenanigans was going to be amazing! I had walls this green color at the farm and really liked them, but this was a LOT of olive green.

One of the first things I did in this space was repaint the front door. It was black with American eagle décor on the inside and outside. The black door and brown walls made this area very dark, and since I'm a big fan of sunshine and color, it needed to change. I didn't want anything that would clash with the red brick exterior though, so I felt like the options were limited.

The dark colors, combined with some outdated electrical, made the house very dark. We had to use bright work lights to see to paint. We needed to do a major update to the electrical panels to bring everything up to code. I'll spare you those photos.

There were also dark brown oak floors and a brown stair runner, which added to the darkness of the space.

A fresh, navy front door and light wall paint makes it seem like a completely different house. We also removed the eagle hardware and replaced the light fixtures to a more modern look.

Walls: Silver Shadow (Behr color) custom mixed by Benjamin Moore

I found a huge, antique mirror in a local shop, along with this small blue dresser to add dimension to the entry all. The first set of doors is to the dining room, the second is to the hallway, and the last doors on the right are a nice, big coat closet. At the back of the hall is a half-bath.

The refinished floors are a matte, espresso color.

I also added a new carpet runner down the steps. The refinished hardwood floor was beautiful, but this is a very high staircase. We have three small children running up and down these stairs every day. I could just picture them falling, so this is mainly for safety. I also had fun hanging family photos and inspiring wall hangings to the tall wall to the right of the stairs.

This was the original formal living room. The original owners left the baby grand piano and we decided to keep it for now. We did take down the window treatments and fox hunting painting above the fireplace.

In the beginning, this room was a staging area for the entire project. It was a very good day when we removed the last of the paint cans, stools, and other supplies.

All this room needed was fresh paint and new carpet. We added curtains, furniture, decorations, and some meaningful artwork. I chose window sheers to keep it fresh and light. I found this table and the matching chairs at the local antique store. It actually expands to seat 14 people. When we aren't having large gatherings, it's a perfect game table.

This blue couch was the first thing I purchased for the new house. It's from, and it was a really big decision to buy it without testing it out. I read all the reviews though and decided to risk it. It was a great decision! This couch is so fun and comfortable. I love it. I'm still looking for a large piece of art (36"x48") to place over the fireplace, but my rule is that I must LOVE it, and it should be meaningful to us in some way. And not cost a bagillion dolloars. So, we wait.

I have touches of gold around the room to mirror the fireplace accessories that came with the house. The little rocking chair was handmade by my husband's Uncle Dale. It is well-loved by our children.

My goal is to have many more pieces of art on this wall, but again, the rule is that I must love it and have some meaningful connection to it.

That finishes up our renovations on the bottom floor of the house. Up next week, the upstairs bedrooms that we had a lot of fun making into cozy, fun spaces!

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To see the bedroom renovations, click here.


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