Nordic Living Room Refresh

We’re the first to say that we favor architecture over interior design for making a space come to life, but at the same time, you can have the most gorgeous space and if the furnishings aren’t up to snuff, suddenly the architecture falls flat. Conversely, if you have the perfect pieces in a room they can elevate the architecture and make the space truly come to life. In this space we focused on architecture first with lots of layering. But then took our time to curate the furnishings. Overall, this room underwent about an 8-year transformation. Let’s dive in.

BEFORE BEFORE

This room nearly doubled in size. We framed in 2 decks to be part of the living space (both 5’ deep, one outside the wall the tv is on, the other on the back window wall. The back wall is what you see in the exterior photo), leveled the floors, switched the staircase around so we could create an entry closet underneath them, and opened up 2 walls to make this room. It’s almost impossible to grasp a before and after reveal because of how much it’s changed. There was no real living room in the house. This was so long and skinny it was more like a bedroom with a closet under the stairs housing the washer and dryer and a gas fireplace wedged awkwardly in the corner.

Original House

Original House

After framing in decks

After framing in decks

Before - Narrow and long, almost impossible to arrange furniture to use as a living room.

Before - Narrow and long, almost impossible to arrange furniture to use as a living room.

Drywall is off

Drywall is off

Walls are removed, beams are in. Stairs are not yet flipped around.

Walls are removed, beams are in. Stairs are not yet flipped around.

Cement work progress

Cement work progress

BEFORE

Once the house was finished, money was tight for furnishings. Meaning they were good, but not amazing. This is how it stayed for about 5 years.

nordic living room white sectional couch

AFTER

We shifted the style of this room to be a bit more industrial, minimal and masculine. Isn’t it interesting to see how just a few key pieces can drastically elevate the style in a space?

Architecture First

As mentioned above, we always think of architecture first. It’s just how we’re wired. So this room has lots of layers that are all permanent pieces to the room. The floors are a mix of reclaimed hardwoods we had milled into flooring then sealed with a zero VOC oil that seeps into the wood as opposed to a poly, which sits on top. The fireplace wall, bench and hearth is all skim-coated cement. The headers above the windows are reclaimed beams and we did traditional nordic wood on the other walls. The stair treads are LVLs that we sandwiched together to make thick beams. LVLs are what’s used to make headers when you want to open up a wall that’s load bearing. Kind of neat, right? It was NOT affordable, actually. But it was a lot less than buying reclaimed wood beams.

Furnishings + Source Guide

The furnishings got amped up with a new brown u-shaped leather sectional, a vintage drafting cabinet used as the coffee table, and a reclaimed Russian white oak media console used behind the sofa. The sofa is very low so it was hard to find a sofa table that was low enough. We kept the vintage cow hide rug, black arc lamp and grey leather swivel chair.


Be sure to follow us on Instagram where we do lot’s of behind-the-scene updates on our projects! Oh, and Facebook too. And want lots of project inspiration? Head on over to our Pinterest.

Follow