knitting it up in a big way

Tag Archives: before & after

cheap daffodils from the grocery store

before: stool
i decided to pull the old paint splattered burgundy canvas off of this little stool.

after: stool
ah, much better! this picture makes me want to re-paint the trim in the kitchen, though. okay, let’s be honest. looking at the trim in the kitchen makes me want to re-paint it.

i made smitten kitchen‘s tomato and italian sausage risotto the other night. it was incredible. i’d never made risotto before. i could barely believe that i had made it, it tasted so good! ‘surely,’ i says to myself, ‘this is beyond my culinary ken!’ ‘apparently not,’ i responded, ‘and don’t call me shirley.’

… sometimes the oddest things happen when i sit down to type up a blog post.

the days are getting warmer and sunnier, but i just got an exciting belated birthday present that has me wishing for some rain! but i’ve been so pleased to just throw the windows open and let in the fresh air. i’ve been doing some spring cleaning, which also feels great.

what’s been going on with you lately?


i’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now. and it’s gonna be a long one, and fillllled with pictures. now you know!

living room
waayyyyy before. this pic was taken a week after we moved into the apartment.

when we first moved into this apartment (august 2009), our furniture got dumped in the first location that popped into our heads, as is frequently the case with moving. i probably knew that it wasn’t going to stay like that forever (growing up i would rearrange my bedroom annually). we painted the living room a pale blue, and the slanted portion of the wall a paler blue.

Before- Living Room
a more official before picture

in october of 2010, i decided that the time had arrived! even more importantly, i had a plan! i’m pretty sure young house love inspired it, but i can’t remember how. since i was totally hooked on home design blogs, i decided the whole thing should be documented, of course, so i got the room nice and tidy (which is not a default, sadly), and took some pictures.

Before- Living Room

these were my priorities:
-having the couch on the knee wall meant that the ottoman was directly in our path from the bedroom to the kitchen. there were a few late night stubbed toes on quests for glasses of water which were not appreciated.
-we have a fairly small apartment, with shortish ceilings (around 7 ft, or 213 cm), so i really wanted to make the best use possible of the space, and hopefully make it feel as large as possible.

Before- Living Room

-i wanted to maximize the amount of natural light. having the TV, especially after we acquired a much much larger one, on the same side of the room as the window made it feel smaller.
-this apartment has a decent amount of storage built into it, which i did not take proper advantage of (i’m still working on that, honestly)
-we did not have adequate seating for the times when we have guests over.


i moved many of the books to the built in book case (documented in this post as well). i was amazed at how much filling up the space properly and putting them in color order did to visually de-clutter the living room. i’ve become slightly addicted to putting things in color order now… i might still do that to the dvds, but i would have to keep them separated by genre so that we could still find things.

living room

you can’t really tell in the before picture above, but the tall blue wingback chair, while comfortable and reclinable, made our short ceiling-ed living room feel much smaller. it got donated to a friend who moved to an apartment with quite tall ceilings. for a while we had a stand-in chair, which wasn’t terribly comfortable, but it was free and easy, hanging around while i kept my eyes open for chairs. i was imagining & shopping around for a pair of slipper chairs, when i got the incredibly generous offer of these two beautiful mid-century style chairs from a friends parents who were downsizing. and i la-la-love these chairs.


we do most of our eating in the living room (watching venture brothers or veronica mars at the moment), so we swapped the ottoman out for a coffee table (on sale from world market). our drink spillage has gone down significantly since we now have a flat surface to place glasses on.


there’s many small things i would still like to improve in here over time:
-touch up the paint job where patches have been made or there are marks on the walls
-get a better side table for the couch.
-hang the duck hook for keys.
-the couch has gotten beat up in its time with us. ideally, i would like to make a slipcover for it, and possibly get new cushions for it.
-paint the ceiling a bright white. i didn’t realize that it was a warm-cream color until we painted the walls a cool blue.

oh look, the baby blanket is blocked! but still no official FO shots…

that list was as much (okay more) for me as it is for you. despite the list, i looked around the other day and i was like ‘whoa! this room is almost done!’ in general the functionality of the living room has greatly increased. there’s more light, more seating, and it feels much much more finished. have i mentioned that i love it, too? there’s more pics of after in this photoset, if you’re interested!

have you been undertaking any major rearrangements recently? have any of your home projects taken a year and a half?

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