Living Room Makeover

This living room makeover is the second post in a mini blog series showcasing the progress we are making with updating each room of our little San Diego home!

If you missed it, check out our half bathroom makeover – It’s amazing how much of an impact a fresh coat of paint can have on a space (new countertops definitely help as well).

Our living room transformation was relatively simple – we chose to update the floors to a wood laminate, upgrade the baseboards, re-surface the fireplace with slate tile, and paint EVERYTHING white.

We also replaced the old, dark (and very low) ceiling fan with a larger white fan that blends in with the ceiling.

Living Room Makeover - fireplace before and after

For the fireplace, we had the old wood mantle removed that had been poorly mounted over brown painted brick. Then we tiled over the old brick (it was in bad shape) and the area surrounding the fireplace with inexpensive slate tile from Floor & Decor.

While this picture doesn’t show it, we also painted over the brass with black paint to make the whole fireplace look more streamlined and modern.

Still on the to-do list for this wall is to create a simple, natural wood box mantel to sit above the black tile – I’m thinking something like this. It will be a DIY project for husband + dad to work on together!


Floors: Garrison Collection Maui Laminate

Wall Paint Color: Droplets (DEW381) by Dunn Edwards

Trim Paint Color: White (DEW380) by Dunn Edwards

Fireplace Tile: Floor & Decor Black Natural Slate Tile


Our biggest investment in this space was the new laminate flooring – no regrets! It’s durable, affordable (we would have LOVED wood-tile however this isn’t our forever home and the labor cost to install that properly is $$$), and looks infinitely better than the dingy tile that was originally in this space.

Because we made this investment, we want to make sure it lasts. Here’s how we keep our laminate floors clean:

  1. Sweep or vacuum regularly
  2. Mop with hot water regularly making sure to dry it quickly afterwards
  3. If floors are extra dingy, add a few tablespoons of dish soap or 1/4c of vinegar to the hot water bucket before mopping
  4. Wipe up any spills immediately – if liquid seeps between the floor boards it can cause warping and completely ruin your laminate (same goes for engineered or hard wood floors)


As for decorating this space, we were on a fairly tight budget so most of the “investment pieces” you see here are from purchases made years ago (like our beloved sofa – SO comfortable). The rest is either from second-hand sources or inexpensive stores (hello HomeGoods, Target, RugsUSA).

Sofa: Crate & Barrel Lounge II in Taft, Truffle

Storage Ottomans: Crate & Barrel Lounge II Storage Ottoman with Casters in Taft, Truffle

Tray: Crate & Barrel Willoughby Large Tray

Chairs: Target Esters Wood Arm Chair in Light Beige

Side Table: Cost Plus World Market (circa 2012), similar option available from Wayfair

Rug: Rugs USA Edessa Tribal Medallion Fringe in Rust

Ceiling Fan: Home Depot Hampton Bay 60 inch White Ceiling Fan

Plants: Walter Anderson Nursery

Plant Baskets: HomeGoods

Artwork: Fairfax Flea Market (circa 2014)

Pillows: Second-Hand (from a former coworker circa 2014)


Half Bathroom

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