Before and After: Great Room

Our living room is 99% of the way to being done so I thought it was time to post some “Before and After” shots.  It’s more likely to be “After-ish” as I will likely swap things out and change things as time goes on.

Here is what the living room looked like before. 

Before Picture

Another Before Picture.  Dining area is in the rear of the photo.

Original Owner

The older gentleman you see in one of the pictures was actually the original owner. He and his late wife had the house custom designed and built in 1965 so I’m sure there was part of him that was sad to leave.  He was moving in with his “girlfriend”—or whatever you call your significant other when you are in your 80’s.  Lady friend?  They ended up getting married!!  Older people in love are just so cute. (We have gotten to know them a little because we meet them occasionally at neighborhood parties.)  Anyway, enough with the love lives of Octogenarians—back to decorating.

I hated that grass green carpet.  I knew that there were hardwoods underneath from when we toured the house initially.   About 2 seconds after closing I made my husband help me rip it all out (poor guy).  That wasn’t that bad but pulling up thousands of staples was a pain in the butt.  My hand hurt from gripping the needle nose pliers so hard.  And I  think I may have even developed a callous or two!  So sad for a women with a desk job:-)

But it was all so worth it—here is the reveal:

Looking towards the dining area.
Piano wall.

Bar cart found on craigslist.

Original sofa and coffee table.


Dining area.  Ikea rug.

Original furniture.  Authentic Saarinen table.

Buffet found on Craigslist.  Artwork by me.

Looking towards living area.  The screen porch is through the sliding glass doors.

Another view of dining area

As you can see, we bought some of the original furniture from the previous owner.  And we kept it in the same places in the room!  It just goes to show that good design and quality materials are timeless.  It fits perfectly and we love it.  We believe it has all been recovered once because the tags are missing from the sofa.  The upholstery is in great condition.

Here’s what we did:

1.       Tear out carpet to expose hardwoods
2.       Install shoe molding to cover the gap between the hardwood and the baseboard
3.       Paint—and repaint the room
4.       Scrape, glaze, and repaint the windows and trim
5.       Lubricate the sliding glass door

Still to do:
1.       Find art for piano wall

Sources: (most of this was owned, craigslist, or on a budget)
·         Ivory shag carpeting from local carpet dealer—custom sized and bound
·         Black and white carpet  and dining chairs are from IKEA
·         Living Room sofa, chairs, ottoman, and coffee table from  previous owner (vintage)
·         Bar cart—craigslist
·         Dining table--purchased at local furniture store
·         Piano—owned
·         Saarinen table--owned
·         Floor Lamp—Jonathan Adler from Interior Designer
·         Stereo—Geneva Sound L in Walnut
·         Lamp on Piano—Ralph Lauren (owned)
·         Buffet—Broyhill Brasilia—Craigslist (vintage)
·         Lamp on Buffet—vintage  found in retro furniture store
·         Artwork above Buffet—DIY
·         Metal Sculpture above fireplace—reproduction C. Jere
·         Owl Sculpture on fireplace—Jonathan Adler
·         Other art accessories—owned or found via estate sales or thrift stores
·         Throw pillows--etsy


  1. What a gorgeous job you have done, so much eye candy, I don't know where to begin! First of all, I was going to ask you where you got that beautiful painting - you painted it?!?! Also, I have the same brasilia buffet but the opposite design, with one cupboard set in the middle and drawers on either side. Love. The bar cart? So Mad Men lol! Great job bringing old and new pieces together and making it cosy. I personally know that isn't easy with such a large room and with high ceilings!

    1. Large rooms are so difficult, aren't they?! I'm still challenged with finding art on the piano wall. I love the Brasilia line, too. Thanks for your sweet comments!

  2. This looks fabulous - great job!

    Looking at your furniture, I was pretty sure I immediately recognized the lines of certain pieces - the coffee table, two end tables, lounge chair and I believe the sofa are from the Heritage Perennian line.

    I have the exact same end table from my Grandparents. They had more furniture (full Perennian dining room set) but other members of my family took them when my Grandmother moved out. I have the original Perennian catalog that you took home to choose your pieces - your coffee table is in the book, labeled as a "cocktail table of walnut and pecan," and your chair is definitely in here. The sofa looks likely to be Perennian and I see one like it in the book...the way to tell is the legs, they look like they have the six-sided leg (instead of a round or square) that matches the legs of the tables. Both the lounge chair and sofa have been reupholstered, too.

    Perennian was a line from Heritage that bridged the gap between their traditional furniture and mid-century modern without going overboard on the "modern," basically. It was released in I believe 1961 or 1962.

    They're not worth a huge amount of money, but they are well built and good solid pieces of mid-century furniture. If you ever decide to part with one of them let me know, I'd definitely be interested in it. :D

    1. Doug--how did you know that the origin of the furniture has been bugging me for the past 2 1/2 years???! It IS Heritage! Thank you so much for letting me know!

      There is a "HERITAGE" stamp on the bottom of the coffee table and there also is a tag from "Sibley, Lindsay, Curr" which was the old Sibley's department store. Sibleys was a grand old department store in downtown Rochester back in the day when people got dressed up to go shopping. So the furniture came from there. I googled "Heritage" many times but could not find anything about it.

      You are exactly right--the sofa, the lounge chair, and the coffee table have the same six-sided legs. We didn't get the end tables as his son wanted those but they look the same. The chair next to the sofa doesn't match so may be from another manufacturer. All of the furniture had been re-upholstered at some point.

      It's amazing how well-built furniture from that era was. The sofa is extremely heavy--my husband and I groan every time we have to move it.

      That is amazing that you have the Perennian catalog. Would it be possible to scan the pages with my furniture on it? I can send you my e-mail if you are up to it. I'll definitely let you know if we ever want to part with anything.

      Thanks again--that was a big mystery solved:-)

    2. I was going to scan the catalog at some point anyways for a blog post and so it's available to others online, but I can definitely scan the pages with your pieces on them. If you send me your email I'll send them along.

      Heritage is still in business, they are just owned by Drexel now. It's pricey stuff. Check out - notably nowadays they only have very traditional furniture.

    3. Drexel Heritage--that makes sense. I think the former owners had quite a bit of it. I'll look forward to when you post the whole catalog--maybe Pam at Retro Renovation would be interested in picking up your post? In the meantime, I really appreciate you sending me those pages. My e-mail address is


Post a Comment