Before: Historic Bungalow Living Room Makeover


historic austin bungalow living room makeover inspiration

Over the past few years we’ve been saving almost exclusively for a house (and travel). We haven’t finalized our house plans yet, and they may be on hold for another year or two, so we’ve decided to do a living room makeover in the meantime. Our cute little house is a rental in Austin, so we’re limited on how much we want to spend on permanent upgrades here – but we can totally take new furniture with us, right? 🙂

Memorial Day gives us an extra day to get shit done, so we’ll be painting the walls, trim and ceiling white this weekend. The original wood floors are beat up, but a pretty color to contrast the white walls. We’ll also begin planning our new gallery wall with the art I picked up in Spain this spring.

BIG NEWS – we’re working with the amazing Raena of Raena Interiors on bringing our design dreams to life. We’re focusing on the signature California bungalow vibe of the amazing Amber Interiors, with a little bit of the polished layers from Studio McGee. Our space is small and rectangular, so to optimize seating and functionality, we’re definitely going with a sectional. We’re also thinking a long mid-century sideboard with a combination of drawers and cabinets for storage as our media cabinet (so we can reuse it in other areas of a future home). 

Beyond that – it’s all in Raena’s hands. We trust her aesthetic entirely and know she’ll make our space chic, functional, an transitional for future spaces. You can follow along with what we’re coveting over here on Pinterest.

Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite inspiration pics and pieces we’re coveting:



We have a serious mud problem, and our sofa may or may not end up with puppy paw prints on it. So – we’re going with a deep blue/gray sofa instead of a white one. I think it will anchor the room, and transition as our tastes do as well. Chrissy over at Harlowe James has this beautiful West Elm one in a perfect chambray hue, but I also love a more saturated version like this.

So -huge confession here. I hate media stands. Why are they always so short? Who wants to watch TV on the floor? I just don’t get it. So – we’re splurging on a dining room sideboard instead. They are usually 10 – 15″ inches taller than a media stand, and they have cabinets with doors. Another confession? Because we totally store shoes in our living room cabinets because our closets are so small. Here are a few of our favorites we’ve been checking out. I wanted something oversized for the space, longer than what someone would typically go for. I’m investing in pieces to have long term, not just upgraded college furniture.


While the hardwood floors in our living room are lovely – we’re definitely planning to add a beautiful rug to help brighten up the space. Again – I have no idea which direction to go, so I’ll once again be leaning on Raena to guide us. The room gets a lot of traffic since the front door is right there, and again, puppy paws. So… good luck Raena!

Follow along on my Insta Stories this weekend to watch the progress of the painting project and before photos. Also worth watching to see whether I’ve murdered my husband during the painting process. Because, honestly, it’s up in the air.

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  1. Cassandra says:

    I love all the ideas you’re spinning out — and like you, I tend to repurpose pieces to fit my needs instead of settling for what’s available. I use an antique dressing table as a desk in my kitchen, and it works beautifully for that purpose! Loving the look, and I LOVE that you’re sharing this!

  2. Rory says:

    I pretty much relate to everything here… I have a craftsman cottage, and between the limited space, including ONE closet!!! I have to be very intentional with my design. I love what you’re doing here – you just have such great style! <3







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