We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Our Farmhouse Living Room/TV Room Reveal

Oh man, you guys, just saying this makes me so happy: Our TV room is officially 100% done.

This was a tough one, and we really weren't expecting that for whatever reason. We always know to anticipate set backs, of course, and usually tack on an extra 3 months of time to any deadline we set for ourselves, but we seemed to have a lot more unexpected things pop up than normal in this room. Thankfully, nothing major went wrong, and the last few months, we hammered quite a bit out and were really cruising along, which helped a lot. But somewhere in the middle, we ran into a lot of delays. Our fireplace was probably the biggest issue, and installing the french doors was also a lot more time-consuming than we thought. But, it's done now, and because of all that, we're even more proud and appreciative of the project, and really thankful that everything turned out exactly how we wanted it.

Here's a breakdown of everything we did to get this room where it is now (not factoring in past mini renovations, which included converting the plaster walls to sheetrock):

- Removed the wood stove to open up the room a lot more.

- Removed all the stone on the fireplace to expose the brick, and then realized we needed to re-surface the entire front of it anyway.

- Had a seriously intense chimney cleaning. This was a major time set-back for us. We had a few people out to inspect our chimney after removing the wood stove, and we were told that the chimney should have never been used with a wood stove by everyone that came out to evaluate our situation. It took a lot of cleaning to get it functional as a traditional wood-burning fireplace again, and we left all that to the pros. But thankfully, we're now good to go!

- Ripped up all the existing floors, exposed the original hardwoods, pulled those up plank by plank, refinished them to their former glory, laid down new subfloor and re-installed the original hardwoods.

- Tore out the bookcases that were on either side of the fireplace and opened up those walls to install the french doors.

- Opened up our entryway walls to install the pocket doors.  

- Installed transoms that Josh made himself above each set of french doors. 

- Custom-stained and poly-ed all the doors, which took a looooong time.

- Installed a new picture window, which will also help us a lot with heat retention in the winter. 

- Reorganized a lot of our electrical lines to ideally position all our outlets and light switches. Also added smart switches to enable voice command with Google Home. 

- Re-painted the room (again).

- Installed new floor, ceiling and window trim.

- Installed new built-in bookcases along the back wall as a custom design. Josh built them all himself from scratch. We also included a space for all our firewood storage. I decided to line it with thin bricks so we didn't worry about ruining the paint job with all the firewood.

The only thing we weren't able to make happen that was on our list were ceiling beams. We really tried and thought of every solution possible, but long story short, they ended up accentuating how uneven the room is, and they would have looked really bad (old house problems). So, we had to say goodbye to that. But everything else we wanted, Josh made happen. 

Aaaaand, I think that about does it. So, ready to see a before and after? Okay, here goes.

The room when we moved in.

The room when we moved in.

The room after our mini-renovation 2-3 years ago, which included drywalling the entire room, and painting the bookcases.

The room now.

The room when we first moved in.

The room after our mini-renovation 2-3 years ago.

The room now. The glass paneled door is a pocket door that helps us so much with heat retention in the winter.

I love this little TV room so much now. I love how it overlooks our back yard, and our pond. I love sitting in here during all the seasons, now being able to open the windows if I want to (the old windows couldn't be opened). Watching the snow fall from back here is incredible. Opening them in the summer to hear all the birds and critters outside has been amazing. I especially love sitting in here when it's raining with a good book. It's a small room, but super cozy, and now that the wood stove is gone, it feels so much more open.

We ended up getting a new TV stand that was more in proportion with the wall, and I'm really happy with it. Once we did that, we decided to also get a new TV because our old one looked so small in comparison. Plus, it had been past time to upgrade anyway. Our old one came from Circuit City, which has been out of business for years, so clearly, it was a bit outdated. I had no idea that TV's were so inexpensive now - we got this smart TV from Target and it ended up being under $180 I believe, and it's a 55-in screen.

Can you see my reflection in the TV screen? :)

The wall above the TV stumped me a bit, but this is the solution I came up with. I didn't like all the empty space above the TV, and I also wanted a statement piece up there. I designed this massive sign to hang on that wall, but it needed something else because it was just two giant rectangles stacked on top of each other and looked weird. So, I made the shelf to break up the clunkiness of the two pieces, and I like how it came out.

We used to have two lanterns that hung on either side of our TV, and I've always loved that idea. I decided to take it to the next level, and hang two much bigger ones on either side of the window. I'm not a big fan of drapes in our house, mostly because we don't have a lot of privacy issues, and also, our house faces South so we never get direct sun that interferes with our TV screen. Plus, I like being able to look outside all the time. To frame the window, I hung the lanterns on either side with more industrial-style pipe brackets.

We had one casualty during our renovation, which was our coffee table. A giant piece of stone we took down from the fireplace crashed on the top of it, and completely destroyed it beyond repair. So right now, we're borrowing this table that we had in other room that will eventually go back there, but we plan to build a new one ourselves for this room since we haven't found another style we like. We'll eventually get to that, but probably not any time soon.

I'm so, so happy with the work Josh did on our bookcases. It took me a while to design them and give him the specs, but I'm glad I took my time with it because they're exactly what we needed. I love the firewood storage, and the brick we used inside because it ties in with the fireplace. And in the winter, we do fires all the time, so having a huge wood storage pile inside, right next to the fireplace, is so nice. We also have a lot of cabinet space for our always-growing DVD collection, as well as all our board games. On the back wall, we did a faux shiplap for texture since the room is all white, and we did alternating shelf heights to allow us to display some artwork and break up all the books. We added the sconces above the bookcases as well for additional lighting in here.

This whole design will be replicated in the other room, so if we open the french doors, the back wall will be one long built-in that repeats itself in pattern (including the fire wood storage because the other side also has a fireplace). 

The fireplace in here was a beast. The chimney cleaning was a bit scary because we weren't sure if we could get it clean enough to actually use. At one point, we had accepted that it may just be decorative. We've had it cleaned a few times since moving in, but the real problem wasn't exposed until we removed that wood stove. 

Anyhoo, once the chimney was taken care of, we had to address the bricks. As we were taking down the stones, we were thinking we got really lucky and could leave the original bricks that were underneath, and just give them a good cleaning. Once all the stones were down, we realized, unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Some bricks were super cracked, some were missing giant chunks, and oddly enough, someone had put wood pieces in randomly throughout the entire surface in place of bricks. We just knew since this was a huge focal point, it had to be done right. So, we bought all the bricks, and resurfaced the entire front side, and built the exact style hearth we wanted (which was a plus to the whole thing). I chose to do a white mortar treatment to it since we couldn't match the old and new brick colors exactly, and I actually prefer the way it looks now anyway.

We re-did our mantle a bit and made it look more reclaimed by, well, wacking the crap out of it with a hatchet. We also did hidden brackets for the mantel, so it's floating now, which is awesome.

Finally, a decision I mulled over for, like, five years, was a rug in here. I'm not sure why, but I hate picking out rugs. I don't like most of them that are out there, and since I love our hardwoods so much, I have a tough time covering them up. But I knew we needed one to help with acoustics in the room, and to keep it feeling really cozy. I finally found this one on Boutique Rugs, and just decided to go for it because at the time we bought it, they were doing a huge sale and the price was right. I've always loved those thick, chunky-weave rugs, but a lot of them on the market have horrible maintenance instructions or customer reviews. This seemed easy enough to care for, even with our pups, and I'm hoping that's the case. It's worn really well so far, but we've only had it out for a few months. I'm just crossing my fingers that it holds up over time.

Emma is a huge fan of the rug. We find her laying on it all the time since getting it.

Close-up of the rug.

And there it is! It's finally done. And now, we begin to do everything we did in here to the other room next door. The good news is that we've completed a lot of the time-consuming things because they were a part of the process in getting our TV room done. The french doors and transoms are up, the hardware for the pocket door is installed, the electrical is done, and we've removed the stone from the fireplace in there. We also got the window installed. We just need to drywall, do all the floor stuff, resurface the brick on the fireplace, paint, and build/paint the bookcases. You know, that's all.

Because of COVID, and knowing we'll be spending a lot of time at home during the rest of the year, we also decided to tackle a lot of projects outside. We've already ripped out our deck railing to install a new white vinyl one, and we've been landscaping our little hearts out. So, our front living room will likely not get done until closer to the fall season so that we can finish all our outside projects and be done with them while we actually have the time. We're just bouncing back and forth between the two, depending on the weather, and we're really excited to get our next few projects crossed off the list. 

Room details you may want to know
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White
Floor stain: None - We used a clear floor sealer by Bona
Wood stain on doors: Minwax Weathered Grey as a base, layered with Special Walnut
Wood stain on fireplace mantel: Minwax Special Walnut
Wall shelf: We made it ourselves, stained with Minwax Special Walnut

Links to products featured
TV Stand: Ballard Designs
Coffee Table: Old by Pottery Barn (Sicily)*
Side Table: Old from Pottery Barn (Camden)*
Ceiling Fan: Birch Lane
Sconces: Lamps Plus
Hanging Lanterns: Pier 1
Table Lamp: Home Depot
Candles in Lanterns: Pottery Barn*
Knit Pillows: Target
Cotton Pillows with Trim: Old, from Pottery Barn (Cotton Basketweave in Ivory)*
Cozy Pillow: A custom design from PCB Home
Throws: Old from Target & West Elm*
Botanical Dahlia Pillows: PCB Home
Ceramic Vases on Wall Shelf: Magnolia Marketplace
Black Vase on Wall Shelf: Magnolia Marketplace
Large Frames in Bookcases: IKEA
Fire Tool Set: Old From Pottery Barn*
Fatwood Storage Box: Discontinued from L.L. Bean
Botanical Prints in Bookcases: Etsy
Ceramic Vases in Bookcases: Pottery Barn*
Bicycle Bookends: Both sets are older from Birch Lane
Black Candlesticks on Mantel: Pottery Barn*
Ceramic Vase on Mantel: Pottery Barn*

Anything not listed above is either from an antique store, Homegoods or too old to even say.

*I work for Williams-Sonoma, Inc and purchased these products with an employee discount.


  1. Oh Sam, it is just beautiful. I can not even recognize it as the house you purchased. I love the fireplace and it looks like it should have always been that way. I have been watching Paige at Farmhouse Vernacular and between the two of you and your renovations, I am quite delighted to watch the magic happen. I admire people who know what they want and are willing to put in the sweat equity to get it just right. Kudos to you and Josh on a beautiful room.

  2. All beautiful. You have such an eye & Josh is, well, a genius. So sorry the coffee table got destroyed - I loved that table.

  3. I'm here from Nanaland where she talked about your blog today. I love what you've done here! It's just beautiful!

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