I’ve lived in a few homes with a small living room before, but the one we’re living with now definitely takes the cake. Not only is it teeny tiny but it has a very awkward layout. The front door opens up right into it, as well as a guest bedroom and the basement. Really, we only have one “good” wall to put our furniture on but that’s being generous.

Small living room makeover on a budget.

There’s not much we can do to change the layout, so we need to make little changes to add comfort and functionality for our family. Of course by little changes I mean paint and and decor, things that don’t require major construction. That’s just what we did for this living room makeover.

I’ve already shared a few of the projects and improvements we’ve made during the living room makeover. Now that all of the projects are done, it’s time for a final reveal.

Before we get to the reveal, let’s look back at the improvements we made. 

A long overdue improvement was the DIY fireplace mantel. This one was a must-do because it’s the only place we could put our behemoth tv. Men and their tv’s.  

Beefing up a skimpy fireplace mantel with a piece of chunky, painted pine.

Once we finished the mantel, I did a quick and easy makeover on the fireplace. Now we just need a thorough cleaning of the chimney and we can actually have a fire in it. 

Change the look of a fireplace with a little bit of elbow grease and fresh paint. A quick and easy makeover.

Next, it was time to tackle the disgusting basement door. We switched it out for a door that we found in the basement and now it looks good as new, especially with the new glass doorknob

Changing out an old dirty basement door, with a cat door in it, for a freshly painted door found in the basement.

The side of the room with the fireplace was looking pretty good so it was time to move over to the window wall. After I painted the wall (we’ll get to that in a minute) I could see that something was missing. I am so not a curtain girl, but adding the DIY curtain rods and shears was the right thing for this space. 

Adding DIY custom curtain rods, made out of galvanized pipe, to the living room window.

DIY custom curtain rods and linen sheers add style to a small living room.

The last project crossed off the list was painting the walls. I ended up painting a wall at a time, when I had time, so it took a while to finish.

Giving a small entryway and living room a makeover to turn it into a welcoming and comfortable space.

I ended up using the same paint color that’s in the kitchen and dining area, Benjamin Moore Paper White. We did consider trying a different color, but the living and dining room are connected so this made the most sense.

Making little changes in a small living room to make it a cozy and comfortable space.

It’s amazing what a few changes can do to a room. When we moved in last year there were gaping holes all over the yellow walls and broken window blinds. Now I feel like we’ve created a space that is comfortable and cozy…more “us”.  

Making little changes in a small, awkward living room to make it cozy and comfortable.

Sometimes it’s hard to see what a small, awkward space could look like when there are so many projects to do. I think that this one turned out just fine. 

We’re onto the next project and it’s a big one.

What are you working on now?

Living Room Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.) 

  • All black pipe and curtain rings – The Home Depot (affiliate link)
  • Linen sheers – Crate and Barrel (affiliate link)
  • Coffee Table – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Wooden stool with dipped legs – Serena and Lily (affiliate link)
  • Blue Washed Velvet Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Floor lamp – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Striped Pillows – Etsy
  • Round woven tray – Target
  • Woven Shade – Blinds.com
  • Sunburst mirror – Target (from a few years ago)
  • Black cabinet in entryway – Pottery Barn (bought years ago)
  • Round wood mirror – Home Goods
  • Black Lantern – Terrain
  • Wall hooks in entryway – Restoration Hardware
  • Wood tray in entryway – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Brass floor lamp – Home Goods
  • Brass lantern – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Knit ottoman – Grandin Road
  • Black and white pillow cover – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Sofa – the Holmes sofa by Taylor King (bought at the Furniture Mart in Hickory, NC)

Make sure you also check out the kitchen and dining area makeovers.

Using paint to give a small dining room a makeover on a budget.

Dining Room Makeover on a Budget

Adding open shelving in the kitchen area for under $50 using old barn wood and metal shelf brackets from Home Depot.

Open Shelving in the Kitchen for Under $50

 

 

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There’s been a lot of changes in the living room the past few months. Some projects are complete, like the basement doorthe mantel and the fireplace, but there’s still some work to be done. The last project I recently completed was new curtains, which included DIY custom curtain rods.

If you’ve followed me for a while then you may have noticed that I’m not really a curtain kind of girl. I love to look at them in other people’s homes, I’m just not a fan of them in my own. Part of the reason is that I like to keep things pretty simple, including the windows. Another reason I don’t like them, if I’m being totally honest, is because they get dusty and it ends up being something else I have to clean.

Nope..curtains are just not my thing.

Empty living room before furniture was added and the DIY custom curtain rods and curtains were installed.

This isn’t only about the curtains though, it’s about the DIY custom curtain rods. So let’s get to it.

The picture above is the room right before we moved in. The previous owners had blinds in the window that didn’t fit properly and blocked a lot of light. So, down they came and up went a lined, woven shade in their place.

Here’s the living room after the new shade was hung. It’s certainly simple but a little too simple for me.

The window, and room, needed something soft, like curtains. I tried to live with the simple look for months but I just couldn’t deny it any longer…this space needed curtains.

Living room window before the DIY custom curtain rods and curtains were hung.

I still wanted to keep it simple, and not block any precious sunlight, so I decided to try sheer linen panels. Once I found panels, I had to decide on a curtain rod. This room is tiny, but the window is pretty large, so I knew that I didn’t want the distraction of big, long rod. We would never close the curtains anyway, so there was no reason to put up a full rod. DIY custom curtain rods (half rods) were the solution.

I knew what I wanted, and I knew that I could easily make them, so I went for it. 

 Supplies to make your own custom curtain rods

  • 2, 1/2″  floor flanges ($4.96 each)
  • 2, 1/2″ elbows ($1.87 each)
  • 2, 1/2″ x 12″ black pipe ($4.98 each)
  • 2, 1/2″ iron caps ($1.87)
  • 2, 1/2″ x 2″ nipple ($1.84)
  • 4 wood screws
  • 2 packages curtain clips ($7.47 each)

The supplies needed to make DIY custom curtain rods, black pipe and curtain clips

Once I got all of my supplies home, hanging them was pretty easy. Just remember…when you work with this kind of pipe, you need to wipe it all down really well. It’s pretty greasy and will turn anything it touches black, including your walls and your curtains.

When I hung the rod I made sure I hit a beam with both of my screws to keep everything sturdy and secure. 

I’m still not finished painting the room but here’s a sneak peak of the color and the new rods. 

The completed DIY custom curtain rods hung over the living room window in less than 15 minutes.

It literally took me less than 15 minutes to hang the rods on each end of the window, as well as the curtain panels.

Simple DIY custom curtain rods and curtains hung over the living room window.

Simple.

It took me a while to get used to the look but I like it so much better. It softens this area without blocking the sunlight. And I love that there isn’t a black rod going across the whole window.  

How to customize your room by making DIY custom curtain rods for the living room using black pipe and fittings.

I’m still having one issue in this room (besides the fact that it’s too small and has an awkward layout). The sofa isn’t centered on the window. We’ve tried removing the hubs’ favorite chair and moving the couch down but we really need the extra seating. Remember, this is a small room and the window wall is the only space for furniture. It’s not perfect design-wise but it is comfortable for the two of us. Comfort is more important than design aesthetic. 

How to customize a living room by making DIY custom curtain rods using black pipe and fittings.

So, in the end, I’m loving the new curtains and my DIY rods. Will I hang curtains in more windows around the house? Probably not.

But I guess I should say…”never say never”.

How to easily customize a living room by making DIY custom curtain rods using black pipe and fittings.

Are you a curtain person, or do you like to keep your windows simple?

Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.)

  • All black pipe and curtain rings – The Home Depot (affiliate link)
  • Linen sheers – Crate and Barrel (affiliate link)
  • Coffee Table – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Wooden stool with dipped legs – Serena and Lily (affiliate link)
  • Blue Washed Velvet Pillow Cover – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Floor lamp – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Striped Pillows – Etsy
  • Round woven tray – Target
  • Woven Shade – Blinds.com
  • Sunburst mirror – Target (from a few years ago)

 

Some of my other living room projects…

Adding a wood mantel to an existing mantel so a tv can fit on top.

DIY Fireplace Mantel

Easy makeover completed on a brick fireplace using paint.

Quick and Easy Fireplace Makeover

Easy DIY custom curtain rods for the living room using black pipe and curtain clips.

You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing Court, Savvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage

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Mondays are the worst so I thought we’d brighten things up with part 2 of our brick fireplace makeover. You can read about part 1, where we gave the mantel a makeover, here.

With just a little bit of paint and a few hours you can freshen up a builder basic fireplace by doing this easy DIY brick fireplace makeover | Chatfield Court

I was excited to have a fireplace in the living room but that excitement quickly faded when we realized it was in the only space that could hold our tv. After a lot of discussion, we decided that the only place for the tv was over the fireplace. Not my first choice but, when you live in a small space, you do what you gotta do. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover www.chatfieldcourt.com

The mantel was not wide enough to hold our tv, so we did what any good DIYer would do…

We slapped a piece of plywood up on the mantel, hooked the tv up and called it done. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover www.chatfieldcourt.com

It stayed this way for 6 months until I couldn’t stand to look at it one any longer. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover www.chatfieldcourt.com

I won’t go into all of the details again but after a bit of sleuthing for a solution and then for the perfect piece of wood, the mantel was looking 100% better, the tv fit and we were able to ditch the plywood.

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, new mantel | Chatfield Court

Now that the mantel was done, it was time to give the brick a makeover.

When we moved into the house the brick surround was painted black and there were propane logs hooked up (with about 20 years of dog hair and dust). It was dirty, dusty and completely gross. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew it needed to be cleaned up so I took away the screen, removed the gas logs and gave the firebox a much needed cleaning. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, before www.chatfieldcourt.com

I lived with the surround painted black for months, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, inspiration never hit. Once the mantel was done, though, I knew I wanted to freshen up the surround, if only temporarily until a better idea popped up, so I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint.

Before any paint went up on the brick, I donned my snazzy yellow rubber gloves and gave the surround a thorough cleaning with hot water and TSP. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, cleaning www.chatfieldcourt.com

The rest was easy. A couple coats of the paint we used on the mantel, SW Alabaster, and the brick fireplace makeover was done.

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, surround www.chatfieldcourt.com

It only took 6 months and a little bit of paint but it’s looking so much better and brighter. 

A super easy DIY brick fireplace makeover that can be done in a few hours with just a little bit of paint | Chatfield Court

The walls are on the list for paint (eventually) so that will change things, too. 

I still want to do something fun to the surround but I can live with this…for now. 

An easy DIY brick fireplace makeover that can be done in a few hours with just a bit of paint | Chatfield Court

DIY brick fireplace makeover that can be done in a few hours with just a bit of paint | Chatfield Court

Check out a couple of other projects we’ve been doing around the house

DIY floating shelves in the bathroom using reclaimed wood | Chatfield CourtDIY Faux Floating Shelves

An easy DIY makeover on a kitchen island using paint | Chatfield CourtEasy Kitchen Island Makeover

 

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We are moving right along with our projects. I still have 500 going at once, and my house is currently a disaster zone, but we are making progress. It’s slow but it is progress. 

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Today is all about our DIY fireplace mantel. I haven’t shown this side of the living room very much because we had to do a rough modification on the mantel when we moved in. Now that it’s finally done though, I can share it.

DIY fireplace mantel

We had a very shallow mantel on the fireplace when we moved in but, once we figured out that our big flat screen tv would have to sit on that shallow ledge, we knew that it would need some work.

The tv placement was a huge discussion between the hubs and me when we first moved in (although every project seems to be a huge discussion). 😉  The previous owners had a tv on a small stand next to the fireplace but I knew that would’t work for me. We did discuss hanging it on the wall above the fireplace but the hubs didn’t want to do that and we still would have had to find a place for the cable box (why do they make them so big in this day and age?).

DIY fireplace mantel

Unable to come up with a solution, we used a rough cut piece of plywood that was wide enough for our tv to sit on the existing mantel. 

DIY fireplace mantel

Since this is the only spot in this room for a tv, we were going to have to make this work.

This is what it looked like for 6 months while we searched for an inexpensive solution. Not pretty.

DIY fireplace mantel

In the end we decided to try to add another level to the mantel with a wider and longer, solid piece of reclaimed wood. The goal was to make it look like it was always there while giving our tv a place to live. No fancy moldings or corbels were in the plan, we just wanted to preserve the original look and keep it simple. 

We looked everywhere to find a piece of budget-friendly solid reclaimed wood that was thick enough, long enough and wide enough. 

Everywhere we went, we looked. After a few months we knew that if we were going to get a thick solid piece, it would have to be new wood…from a lumber yard…and more money than we wanted to spend.  

DIY fireplace mantel

With a new plan I went searching our local lumber yard. I found a beautiful piece of white pine, exactly what we needed. It seemed thick enough so it wouldn’t warp (fingers crossed) and wide enough for our tv. The cost was more than I wanted to spend but the lumber yard planed and smoothed it out for me. In the end it, was well worth the $91 we shelled out.

Since it was cut to size, we just had to attach it to the existing mantel using some well placed screws from underneath. No ugly screw holes to fill and it’s very secure. 

DIY fireplace mantel

I caulked and primed and painted, with leftover trim paint, and the new mantel looks like it’s always been here. Plus the tv fits perfectly. 

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.com

I’m still not thrilled with the tv sitting on the mantel, but this is a small house with limited space so we had to make do.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Finn’s favorite pillow in his favorite spot. I think he loves the fireplace.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood, caulk and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.com

The fireplace is still a work in progress, it’s one of the 500 projects I’m currently working on, so I’ll do a full reveal when it’s done. Hopefully next week.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood and paint. www.chatfieldcourt.com

I think we accomplished our goal with our new DIY fireplace mantel.

How do you feel about putting a tv on a fireplace? 

Catch up on a few of my other recent projects

DIY open shelving in the kitchen using rustic reclaimed wood. www.chatfieldcourt.com

DIY Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Tips for getting a designer throw pillow look without paying designer prices. www.chatfieldcourt.comWho Doesn’t Love a Good Throw Pillow

 

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