Living Room Update [Inexpensive Gray Laminate Floors & Neutral Walls]

So, I tend to “overlook”, “ignore” or “turn a blind eye” to things in my home that I don’t love/hate, but just don’t have the time/energy/money to fix.
Scratch that – things that someone (hint: husband) doesn’t see a problem with and thinks aren’t worth the money to change.
As embarrassing as this is to share, this is how my living room looked for a very, very long time.

living-room-makeover-before-1

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I don’t even know where to begin pointing out the issues.
I can say that the color of the floor kind of dictated my choice in furniture & wall color. This was the 3rd wall color. (Proud to announce I now have a 4th color up – a WINNER).
And can we discuss these dying window shades?
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When I moved in, they were already there, but with a fabric I hated. I found the most frugal way to fix the stitch and bought fabric from JoAnn that I just laid over the fabric that was there and (judge not) just pinned onto the old fabric. All that heaviness was wayyyy too much and one of the cords broke. So, they sat like this for eight long years. Like I said….blind eye.
So while we had slowly made some great improvement to the room – this TV mantle upgrade, custom dog door and board and batten mirror wall – it was still a very sad room taking up over 50% of our downstairs.
Womp, womp.
Basically, I wanted a new couch, new flooring, and new wall colors.
But husband was like, “It’s fine the way it is.”
Tripple womp.
Then I strategized a bit and figured out the first step was to put in new floors (then the walls and furniture would no longer match (what?!? didn’t expect that!) and therefore need to be replaced…spoiler alert – my plan worked!).
I started talking about new floors about a year before I got anywhere. Then, I came into some unexpected money and headed straight to the floor store for some samples.
Here’s where things got interesting.
Matt (husband) said – and I quote – “I could care less what color the floors are.” Yet, as soon as samples started to appear in his living room he had quite an opinion, let me tell you. He even started going with me to the floor store to select samples. Wait, what?!
In the end, we each had a different “top pick” but since we was being such a good sport and letting me move forward with this project, I let him have the final say. I also compromised on how much flooring was replaced – I wanted the entire downstairs (there’s also tile) but only replaced the laminate.
Because we have a dog we decided to replace our laminate with….new laminate! Oh my gosh this stuff was cheap. But it looks ah-maz-ing and even after 8 months, not a scratch or blemish can be found.
This is Patina Design’s Phoenix Mint laminate flooring:
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The floors were installed through a local flooring company, and they did a fantastic job.
Immediately after the floors went in I painted the walls and the ceiling.
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This is Valspar Signature Frappe in eggshell:
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The wall color goes perfect with the flooring.
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I wanted an accent wall, so I painted this wall Valspar Signature Ashen gray (darker than Frappe) but you can’t really tell there’s a difference.
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The rug and most of the furniture still looked great, but the couch had to go. Not only is the the wrong color, but it’s looks way too small for the space.
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This couch wasn’t new by any means but was in SUPER condition. And I could not sell it to save my life. The consignment store wouldn’t even take it. Snobs! J/K. Ended up donating it which beat throwing it in the dumpster.
As I mentioned before, replacing the couch was on my mind well before the new floors went in. And around Christmas last year we went to a housewarming party and these friends of our had the most amazing couch. So we headed straight to the store they got it from – Sofas 4 Less – to design our new couch.
This store is so cool because you pretty much design your own custom couch. You pick the dimensions, the depth of the cushions, the softness, the fabric….literally every detail.
Here’s our new custom Sofas 4 Less couch:
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Overall, we’re super happy with the new flooring and color scheme. Orange-ya glad we ditched the old colors? 😉
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I was worried a much larger sectional couch would make it feel tight and closed in, but it actually feels much more inviting now.
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I just loved this bar table makeover before we re-did the rest of the room. But with the new floor, it really looks like it was meant for this space.
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If you haven’t seen this room before – check out this before bar table makeover when we didn’t have the wainscot or mirror wall addition up yet.
This is how this small formal dining section of the living room looked long, long ago:
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It seriously feels so much bigger now!
Hope you enjoyed this before and after living room update with neutral walls, laminate flooring and a nice big sectional sofa.
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You may have spotted those custom made white painted wooden window cornices we created – can’t wait to show you how we made those. Stay tuned!

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