Before & After: An Apartment Therapy Writer's Loft Living Room Makeover

Before & After: An Apartment Therapy Writer's Loft Living Room Makeover

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Melissa DiRenzo
Oct 25, 2015
(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

I'm super excited to share my very own living room Before & After with you. Once I finished my kitchen makeover earlier this year, things snowballed a bit and I suddenly wanted to change everything. I've also lived in my loft for seven years, and the itch is for real—the redecorating itch, that is. That's a thing, right? This loft is the first place I've ever lived on my own, so when I moved in, not only did I own very little, but I was just finding my home decor style. Fast forward all these years and you can see how far the living room, my plant, and my style have come.

(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

Here is my original plan. The idea was to give the living room the same modern, vintage-inspired feel as the kitchen (it's an open concept space), with a few more boho and handmade touches. Did I end up sticking to the plan?

(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

I did—here's the final look! I think I stuck pretty close to my plan, and I love it. I'm a huge color lover but I wanted to scale things back a little and incorporate more neutral main pieces, while still having lots of fun with color in the accessories and art.

As you can see right away, I'm a huge Emily Henderson fan and was inspired to make my own version of the stunning piece of string art by Nike Schroeder that she has hanging in her living room, which is featured on the cover of her brand new book. Mine isn't quite as delicate and fabulous as hers is, but I'm pretty in love with it and I literally just strung a whole bunch of thread over this curtain rod I bought at IKEA. Easiest DIY art project ever! My windows are so long that I ended up making my own curtains; the details are all on my website, The Sweet Escape. Con: I had to make my own curtains. Pro: I could make them absolutely any color, using any fabric.

(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

There are a lot of vintage and thrifted pieces as well as handmade DIY touches, so it was a pretty budget-friendly makeover. My splurges were the leather sofa from Leon's Furniture and the Adler rug from Loloi Rugs. The teak credenza (an old record player) and the chairs were major Craigslist scores, and the coffee table was a garage sale find. Believe it or not, I found the set of lamps at the thrift store and then made my own shades using this DIY lampshade kit so they fit perfectly. The pink pouf was a gift from a dear friend that came all the way from Morocco.

(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

This corner is full of personal touches, including the simple $20 string lights that I glammed up with gold leaf, the pillowcase I printed using vintage sewing pattern packaging graphics, and a blown up shot from a photo series—check it out on The Sweet Escape—I did with my talented photographer pal Maya Visnyei.

(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)
(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

There's plenty of evidence of my thrifting addiction in the small details sprinkled throughout the room, including my growing milk-glass collection.

(Image credit: Melissa DiRenzo)

And that's my budget-friendly living room makeover! I'm loving my new space, and I feel like it really represents my style and personality in this moment of time.

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