Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comWe are rolling right along in the One Room Challenge, despite some serious setbacks. We also got our hot water heater hooked back up over the weekend, which really tested our patience last week. I have never been more thankful for a hot shower. All of that to say- I’m happy to share our weekly progress because we have drywall! This stage always feels like the turning point to me. It’s the phase where the space actually begins to look like a room again. Click through to see our progress…

If you found me through the ORC site, hi there! I’m Sarah, a designer & blogger located in Salt Lake City, UT. You can see my current home renovation here, as well as my previous home tour here. My husband, Emmett, and I are renovating our third house. Join us as we tackle the formal living room. In case you missed previous updates, don’t worry! Catch up here: Week 1 (before images, floor plan, and design plan), Week 2 (demo).

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comWe spent every bit of a week installing, hanging, taping, mudding, and sanding drywall. It’s the messiest process and the entire house is currently covered under a blanket of dust. As frustrating as the dust and mess can be, I always have to remind myself that it’s 100% worth it.

We also wrapped up the plumbing and electrical in this space. You’ll notice the junction boxes that flank the fireplace for our sconces. We’ll also have three hardwired lights on our built-in. However, you won’t see any electrical on the ceiling. That’s because when I was laying out the lighting plan, I opted against having recessed can lights on the ceiling- or any type of light fixture, for that matter.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comIf you’re wondering why I decided not to add overhead lighting, it’s because of the following…

  1. Being a formal living room, we’ll have wall lighting (sconces & picture lights) hardwired on switches.
  2. This room gets a LOT of natural light with the windows and french doors.
  3. We typically only hang out in this space if we’re entertaining, and I prefer soft lighting in the evening.
  4. I ordered quite a few lamps (floor lamps & table lamps) that will also work on a switch with floor outlets.
  5. We’ll be installing a coffered ceiling, and I didn’t want lighting to compete with the millwork.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comI just wanted to share that little tidbit about the lighting, because I think all too often, we get in the mindset of “we HAVE to hang window treatments, we HAVE To install light fixtures, or we HAVE to put down area rugs on hardwood floors”…

Each room is unique and there is not a one size fits all design solution. You have to think of how you use the space and what works best for your scenario. Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s necessary.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comThings really started to look nice after we began mudding and sanding the drywall. I was SO excited to see the textured ceiling go. That was a big reason we demoed the entire ceiling… it was easier to install new, smooth drywall rather than skim coat the entire thing. Drywalling a ceiling is hard work!

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comI ordered our paint and I’m excited to start priming the walls and painting while Emmett works on installing the hardwood flooring and built-in next. We have a big week ahead and lots on our to-do list these next few days!

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comWe’re trying to cram in as much as possible before leaving for vacation later this week. We also have friends staying at our house to housesit and watch the dogs while we’re traveling, so I want to make sure our construction zone (and house) is CLEAN, safe, and somewhat organized.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 3 - roomfortuesday.comI’m not going to lie- our vacation couldn’t come at a worse time since we’re pretty behind on this renovation, but I’ve never been more ready to check out, get some much needed sleep, relax with our friends, and celebrate my birthday in Europe! I’m hoping after some R&R, Emmett and I will return home and kick it into overtime for the One Room Challenge. We’re determined to get this room finished on time. Emmett thinks it can’t be done, but I’m the optimistic one in our relationship. Ha!

Check out the progress and updates from the other featured designers below… all of the spaces are looking SO good (I suddenly feel like we’re wayyy behind). I’m also really impressed with the guest designers! Have you looked at their rooms yet?

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge - Week 1 - roomfortuesday.comlinked below…

At Charlotte’s House | Design Addict Mom | Erika Ward Interiors | Erin Kestenbaum | Girl & Grey

Gray Malin | Hommeboys | I Spy DIY | Jewel Marlowe | The Learner Observer | Making it Lovely

 Nicole White Designs | Old Brand New | Oscar Bravo Home | Place of My Taste | The Rath Project

| SG Style | Undecorated Home | Veronica Solomon | Media BH&G | TM by ORC

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  1. Yay for hot showers and smoooooth ceilings! It’s totally taking shape. I forgot about the coffered ceiling! I am now dying to see what you do with that. So curious how it will transition into the dining room (isn’t that next to it?). I have complete faith that a wonderful restorative vacation will allow you to return refreshed and ready to wrap up this reno in record time! Piece of cake.💪🛠💖📣

    1. I’m definitely not taking the hot water for granted anymore! Whew! We’re wondering if we’ll have time to get the coffered ceiling done in time at this point… that might have to be an “after the challenge” addition. Our vacation is really cramping our One Room Challenge style, but we’ve had it planned for over a year now, so we’re kind of just rolling with it :) and- of course my perfectionist self is trying not to stress. Haha! Hope you’re having a good week!

  2. I can’t wait to see the final reveal, you guys do such beautiful work! I’m curious, do you think it’s important to follow the natural set up of a home or is it ok to change rooms around? My husband wants to flip flop our living room and dining room but I’m not sold on the idea. When you walk into our home you’re greeted by the staircase (our house is old, 1890) and you can go left to the living room/hall or right to the dining room which is open to the kitchen. I think it might be weird to have the dining room separate and the living room adjacent to the kitchen.

    1. Thank you so much, Kate! To answer your question- I think a little bit of both. You definitely have to consider the existing layout, architecture of the home, and existing environment, but it’s also perfectly fine to update and switch things as you see fit. Personally, I prefer to have the dining room close to the kitchen for practicality purposes :) Hope this helps! xo

  3. Looking great Sarah! Can’t wait to see the reveal……It’s going to be beautiful ✨ Hurray for smooth ceilings, what a difference it’s makes. If anyone on this earth deserves a vacay it’s you two 😉 Don’t worry about finishing everything on time for the ORC, with the level of detail your renovations entail 6 weeks is a little crazy……It’s done when it’s done and it’s going to be fabulous!! Have an amazing vacation 🥂

    1. Thank you Colleen! I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear these words- seriously. You sound just like Emmett! While we’re trying our *very hardest* to pull all nighters and get things finished on time, we have to live in this house and don’t want to sacrifice quality for the sake of a deadline. It’s a tricky balance, but we’re trying to be honest with ourselves. I’ll have something ready for the finish line, but it might not be the entire room as I pictured it… that may have to be revealed once it’s totally complete. Thanks for following and cheering us on for the long haul :) xox

  4. Hi!! Im curious how tall the ceilings in this room are? I’ve loved all the millwork you use, especially in this room and am wondering how to envision similar types of design in my home. I’ve got 8 foot ceilings throughout my entire bottom floor of my home and there’s not a single open or vaulted area downstairs because the entire upstairs floor covers it. Would love to update with similar things like coffered ceilings but don’t want it to feel like a cave.

    1. Hi Jaylyn! The ceilings in here are 9’6″. I think you could still do beams, just with a lower profile.