before & after: living room

Here are my thoughts from March, 2011:

“Blogging is harder than I thought it would be. At first I thought it would be really easy, just throw up progress photos and post a how-to if I created something cool and easy to make. Then I started to get traffic. It was no longer just my mom and my sister only reading my posts. Then I started really studying other Shelter Blogs and I started to freeze up. “Our place doesn’t look that perfect!” “My photos really suck!”

Then I start taking this blogging course and it reminds me that blogs are only cool if written from the heart. This is easily forgotten, remember how I discussed this same paralyzing feeling then pushed myself to just blog it how it really is. And also to go ahead and share what’s only partially completed or what is in progress or what we’re going to have to live with for awhile.

This is just our reality until the stars align and make the following happen:

  1. we get a mortgage — need occupancy permit — need stairs and floors
  2. I suddenly get a high-paying job so we can pay someone to finish miracle #1
  3. the stairs and floors finish themselves
  4. we win the lottery, thus negating the needs for #1 and #2

So instead Team Harpole trudges along in sudden bursts of energy here and there, which seem to be farther apart these days going into our 3rd year of “DIY-Own Damn Home.”

It appears that the hubs and wifey are tired. So, in order to keep from killing ourselves or each other, posting progress as it truly is might just save some unsuspecting, energetic family from embarking on a similar Odyssey. Building a house is sometimes easier than it looks, and sometimes harder. Your house someday will be a page turner (like a spread in Architectural Digest), but until then, you feel like you’re living in a Clean House: Messiest Home in America marathon (I don’t think that show is on anymore, it was so horrifying).

Seriously. Construction. Is. Messy. Why. Would. Anyone. Live. In. A. House. While. They. Are. Building. Or. Remodeling.

Because we are lunatics.

So. Without further ado, here’s our living room tiling job almost, 90%, just about there, near done.

b&a living room.jpg

b&a living room2

b&a living room3

b&a living room4



This is a very reasonably priced little lamp base from Target. As you can see, everything is temporary until one of #1 through #4 above happens. But on the bright side, we have 90% of the first floor of tiling done!

“Don’t DIY-Own Damn Home”

So recently I have been focusing more on the positives in life and it’s really helping. Before I started this work, probably in August, it felt like nothing was getting done on the house. But I have some great “after” shots, or rather, “current” shots, because it’s still not quite done. It’s very hard to invest in furniture when you’re not finished with the stairs or the floors. Please refer to my living room moodboard to dream along with me.

Now for some positive “during” photos. We’ve actually come quite a long way, now that I see it in these beautiful shots from today!

b&a living room5b&a living room6b&a living room8b&a living room7

Now that I see my living room in the photos, I’m really noticing all of the wood. I just don’t notice it anymore walking around day in and day out. I kept thinking that there was so much coldness with the stone and that I should bring in big plants and more textural, earthy elements. For example, the leather sofa in my moodboard. What do you think? Should I try to warm it up more? Have I gone overboard with the reds and oranges?

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