Steph Yiu

Before & After: Living Room Move-in

Before we moved into our apartment, there were four guys in their twenties living there. The previous owners had converted the living room into an extra bedroom. Here’s what it looked like, with makeshift closet:

The day that we closed on the apartment, we got to work ripping out the closet. That day, I discovered that our dog Fritz really likes eating drywall.

We were eager to tear down the closet because we knew there were pocket french doors hidden underneath (the makeshift closet didn’t do a great job of hiding that). Here it is, with the faux-closet finally down!

Here’s one detail that one will ever notice or care about except us: Corey’s dad helped save the crown molding from the front of the closet and carefully matched to the wall. If you were to look at the living room today, you’d never know the careful jigsaw puzzle work that was required for the seamless crown molding.

This project also helped us discover the beauty of The Bagster, a soft-sided dumpster that we set up in our driveway. It would have been hundreds of dollars to get a permit and “real” dumpster to remove closet debris. Bagster was a small and manageable way to get rid of trash from a small house project, and the pickup was fairly easy to schedule.

With the closet gone, the kitchen, dining room, and living room were finally all open to each other, creating a much more spacious area to entertain! Below is a photo taken at my bachelorette party, looking from the dining room into the living room. I can’t even remember what a “closed off” space looks like anymore.

Here are some photos I took standing at the french doors, looking into the living room. It’s pretty incredible what a coat of paint can do. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

True story: Taping, edging, and painting a round room is no easy feat! I never want to tape round trim again :)

A fresh coat of paint made the living room look like an entirely different place. Here’s another picture with furniture moved in. Fritz is all dressed up because it’s right before we hosted a costume party…

And here’s another photo from my bachelorette!

With the ladies at my bachelorette!

Where stuff comes from: Paint – Sherwin-Williams Passive Gray | Rug – Gift from Corey’s mom | Coffee Table and pillows – Crate and Barrel Outlet in Kittery | Couch – Lovesac Modular from Craigslist Maine | Floor lamp – Everett Walmart | Media center – Wayfair | Vermont sign – Made by Corey’s dad | Window treatments – Blinds.com | Accent Table – IKEA


Another quick before & after… while we were picking up paint at Sherwin-Williams we discovered that they sell “mis-tints,” basically returned paint. There was this lovely dark gray and we snapped it up for our landing. Here’s a photo before we painted…

And here’s another of us “testing” the discount paint to make sure we liked it.

And here’s the landing all done! The dark gray was a nice contrast against the light gray.

If you liked this post, I’ve posted a few other before & afters on this blog. Here’s one on the back patio cleanup and another on building a back deck.

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