Before and After: Smart Swaps Make This 1943 Living Room Feel Twice as Big

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About this before & after
Home Type
Historic Home
Project Type
Living Room
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: dark living room with beige carpets and beige walls

Hardwood floors are notoriously finicky to clean and maintain, but they can also add beautiful character and warmth to a space. And releasing hardwood floors from a carpeted covering can be a daunting task—one that DIYer and YouTuber Delaney Hoskins and her husband, Cameron, took on with glee.

Delaney and Cameron have been living in their 1943-era home for one year when they decided they didn’t love living in their living room. Delaney said it had a “dingy, stained, tan carpet from 2004” and she didn’t like their cream-colored walls or the original, single-paned windows.

“The previous living room felt small and outdated and we knew we would be spending most of our time in it, so we wanted to make it a space we could enjoy,” Delaney said. “We also knew we wanted to be able to entertain people in the space.”

Delaney wanted to make the room feel “bigger, brighter and more welcoming.” Her first step was to clean and paint the walls with a fresh white, which Delaney says made a “huge difference in opening up the room.”

Delaney knew there were hardwood floors hiding underneath the old carpet, so she and Cameron ripped out the existing carpet, nail strips, and stables from the floors. Once it was cleaned up, they rented an orbital sander and sanded it down, which was “by far the most exhausting and messy part of the project.”

“The hardest part was sanding down the floors,” Delaney said. “Dust was flying everywhere, and it was a lot of moving the sander back and forth.”

Once she had everything sanded, she hired someone to stain and seal the floors with a clear polyurethane. She added sheer white curtains and black curtain rods over the windows and a jumbo modular couch. The rest of the room is decorated with wood and wicker furniture that has a boho-modern feel.

“My favorite part was challenging myself to sand the floors,” Delaney said. “I was so intimidated beforehand and was convinced I would ruin our floors. But with some research (thanks, YouTube) I was able to do it!”

After about one month’s work, Delaney says she loves “basically everything” about her new living room. “Our floors turned out beautifully and it is such a warm and inviting space to watch movies or have friends over.”

“Be brave and try new things,” she says. “It’s easy to self doubt, but when you push yourself, you’d be surprised what you can do yourself.”