Living Room Makeover in Texas!

I hope and pray that you are all safe and doing as well as you can during these times. As we are housebound I am currently doing FaceTime redesigns for anyone who needs a pick me up. It is a very small way that I can help or encourage someone. So if you are struggling and want some fresh eyes on your home, please contact me and we can play around with a room for an hour or two over FaceTime. In the meantime, I am finally getting around to posting some room makeovers that happened in-person. I hope you enjoy it.



My hubby is a pastor and he went to seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. We were newly married, with no money, and so happy it was ridiculous. We lived in seminary housing surrounded by people who were all in the same situation and it will always be one of the happiest times of our lives. One huge reason for that is our dear friends Todd and Jenn Gwennap. We met them the day our moving van pulled up. They helped us unload our whole truck. We invited them over for dinner a few weeks later and there was a crazy thunderstorm that took out the power to the whole city. So began a week without power in 100+ degree temps where we ended up eating dinner and hanging out with them the entire week. That was the start of a beautiful lifelong friendship that has meant the world to me and my husband. Even though we have lived 3300 KM away from each other since we left seminary, we have been privileged to get to see them around once a year. This last trip brought me to Dallas, TX.  They had just bought a house and they asked for my help setting up the main floor. In October I jumped on a plane and spent a week working my butt off to get the main floor feeling like home. The house had a lot of great things going for it like fresh paint, a fireplace, nice big windows, and pretty-looking floors. Let’s look at some before and afters.

Before:


After:



From the after picture you can see that while the fireplace is in the centre of the room, it is flanked by a niche and a doorway. Because of that, the original layout was centred in between the fireplace and niche. I suggested we change that and make the fireplace the focal point. We drew the furniture away from the back wall and anchored it with a big rug. Now the room feels grounded with a true focal point. One of my favourite changes is the niche. They had their TV on a stand in the corner, and we thought it would be great to get an armoire to hide it. We searched Craigslist for an option before realizing that the one they owned could be made to work. Jenn loved this piece of furniture so to be able to use it in the main space was amazing. It also balances the doors and is pretty to look at. Above the mantle I used what they already owned to style it.

Before:


After:


We placed a sofa table behind the main couch and styled it with Jenn’s cookbooks and plants. They have an island to eat at and a huge dining room just across the main floor, so they didn’t need another dining table in the living room space. Moving it out gave us so much more breathing room. We moved the bookcase into their powder room and hung a mug rack that she already owned by the back door. It gives them some storage options without encroaching on the room. We also changed the curtains. We had to leave the blinds because it’s TEXAS y’all and it gets hotter than Hades in the summer. But during the rest of the year they can pull them up and just use the curtains. It made a really big difference in the room. Thankfully Jenn had already bought the curtains so I just had to hang them. I love me some white curtains.  

After:



Two things we did buy that week were the rug and the coffee table trio. Y’all, the rug shopping was an adventure. We may have bought and returned four other rugs before we brought this one home. I think the ladies at Tuesday Morning were going to kill us. I may have abandoned Jenn when she returned the last one, which was not my finest friend moment. I spotted this one at Home Goods our first day out; it had a lot going for it. It was wool, the weave and the coloursJenn was looking for, and it was on clearance for $199.99, but she had her heart set on one with a design pattern. So we tried four others before we thought, “What the hey, let’s try it and see how it works.” So we strolled into Home Goods 25 minutes before they closed to get it. The manager was amazing to work with, and while we were there we spotted these stools which I thought would work perfectly for a coffee table.  They are easy to move when the kids want a dance party or if someone wants a stool close to where they are sitting but they fill out the space perfectly. While Jenn was checking out, I may have fallen asleep on the couch Home Goods had set up at the entrance to the store. Guys, we worked hard that week! When we set the rug up, it worked so well in the room. After thinking about it for an hour or so, Jenn agreed. It’s hard when we get our hearts set on something and then realize we have to make a different choice. I think it worked out really well, and it ties the room together beautifully.

The other spot we worked on was the dining room. Jenn had a lot of it set up so it mostly involved tweaking and styling the different areas. Here is a before and after:

Before:


After:



This is such a great-sized room. It’s their formal dining room but it’s also their homeschool room. So a lot happens in this space every day. Jenn had built the chalkboard by herself! So it was all ready to hang. They use it for school and I love that they can change it and make it whatever they want for different occasions. The day I left, Jenn was throwing a baby shower and she had made it into a really sweet decoration for the shower.

After:


All the time I see people on Instagram or blogs saying, “Forage your yard for greenery.” It is not as easy in Edmonton, but I’ll tell you it was a breeze in Texas. I styled the top of Jenn’s black china cabinet with things she already owned and some greenery from her yard. It was fun and if you live somewhere that is not constantly winter, I highly recommend it. We also added curtains in the dining room which soften the space and give some nice texture.


Her IKEA cabinets made a great sideboard and have tonnes of storage for homeschooling. Using what Jenn already had, I styled the top. It’s such a fun homeschool/dining room. In my dreams where I’m a totally different person who homeschools, I would love to have a room like this. The final space I worked on was the piano area. Jenn and Todd already had their piano set up in the niche by the stairs. I hung the banjo and guitar, both of which Todd plays like an angel, and I styled it out. Now they have a little music area and it’s such a nice spot for the girls to play piano. I forgot to take a before pic but here is an after.

After:


The picture that I hung above the piano has been in all their houses since I met them and it just reminds me of them and our friendship. This might be one of my favourite spots in the house.

I had so much exhausting fun while I was in Dallas. I even got to do some pure fun things, like eat my face off at the Texas State Fair, and wander through all the antique shops in downtown Waxahachie. I was so glad to be able to do this for my friends. If you are in ministry and are interested in doing something like this, please contact me! It was such a blessing to me to be able to help in this way, and I would love to have the opportunity to do again. I hope you all stay safe and home while we all ride the virus out. 





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