The Inspired Hive

Inspiration for a creative home


Living room makeover plans

A vintage modern farmhouse living room makeover

As a stay at home momma to two toddlers in an old house that doesn't have an open floor plan, I am learning that we are going to spend a lot of time in our living room during this stage of life. The kids are still too young for me to leave alone while I am doing something in the kitchen on the other side of the house. So the living room is our spot. It's right off of the playroom, but the living room is still overflowing with toys by the end of the day of course. 😉 Since we spend so much time in this space, it needs to serve many purposes, be functional for all of our needs, and be pretty and comfortable.
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I haven't really loved our living room since moving in last year. It has been a random compilation of items from our previous home, which I learned very quickly would not be the decor style that worked in this old house.

Living room before

We did refinish the floors almost right away. They were an orange golden color, and we stripped and stained them a warm brown.

Living room before - refinishing pine floors

Then I painted the newel post black and hung some art a few months later.

Black painted 100 year old newel post

Then it sat for a while before I finally gave the walls a fresh coat of paint. Just a shade brighter than what was there. It finally felt fresh and clean.

White and grey farmhouse living room

But it still didn't feel like ours! Here's how it sat for so long.

Living room with built ins

Those old slouchy couches are often pushed together to keep my youngest son from knocking the lamp over all day. But even when the loveseat is centered, it is a very awkward layout.

The built ins help balance the chimney in the center that is closed into the wall, but it all makes for difficulty arranging furniture. I think that's why I have felt stuck for so long.

Someday, I would love to expose that brick chimney, put two chairs on either side of it with a small end table between them. It would be the perfect set up.

But I can't justify buying new chairs or couches while my kids are tiny. And messy. 😉

So I am working with what I have. And I think I finally have a vision for this space!

Vintage farmhouse living room plan and progress

When we first moved in, I thought I wanted to continue with modern farmhouse style. But I have since learned to listen to my house, and that's just not what she wants 😉

I am slowly learning how to find the balance between her inherent traditional, early 1900s vibe, American farmhouse style, and a touch of modern and minimal.

Mood board design plan vintage modern farmhouse living room


It took a while for me to figure out what that looks like in this space, but I think this design plan does a pretty good job of depicting the vision I have for our home.

Traditional furniture, some clean lines, neutrals with green and black accents, and a touch of antique brass. 😍

It will certainly take time for this to all unfold as I search for the perfect items for this space. I am learning to take my time hunting for the right thing rather than accumulating large amounts of decor that won't last long term stylistically.

I have already made some good progress though!

Black and white living room built ins

My first step was painting the built ins. They got a coat of black paint on the backs (Sherwin-Williams Greenblack). This made an instant difference and helps accentuate all of the decorative items.

I also hunted down antique accessories for the built ins- books, candle holders, etc. I'm still looking for a few more items to fill the space vertically without looking too cluttered.

My next move was adding an antique secretary desk. I had been searching for one for months to create a workspace for me downstairs so I can squeeze a few minutes of work here in there while the kids play.

Antique secretary desk with brass hardware, brass and marble task lamp, and green painted french door

One day, my dad's friend remembered his mom's desk was sitting in his garage. He offered it to me for free! It is damaged and is missing the drop down front, but it still accomplishes the job. I'm sitting there typing this as we speak!

It also brought in more of the antique look that the house was craving. And I added a more modern style brass task lamp to keep it from looking too dated. I'm hunting for the perfect artwork to place above it.

There is still a lot of work to be done and pieces to be found, but I finally feel like this room is heading in the right direction and feeling more like home.

I will keep you posted as we make more updates! Thanks for following along on our house journey 😊 To see more real time updates, make sure you are following me on Instagram!

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Moodboard for Vintage modern farmhouse living room design plans

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