I'm going to concentrate on our front closet, which was our most obvious upgrade.
This is the "before" picture. Wall paper peeling off to the right, nasty unused closet by the front door on the left.
We ripped everything out. Here it is partway done--the closet doorway still exists.
Closet doorway has been removed and pinkboard/insulation put in place.
Sheetrock installed. Because we wanted a bench in the former closet area, the dudes were able to switch around the existing floorboards to fill in where the closet door had been. All gaps would be covered over by the bench. Note we have a new front door now.
Painted, trim put up, and bench with coatrack has been built in.
Here's our beautiful boot-bench. We don't have space for a mudroom, but this will be a tidy way to stow boots and extra shoes.
Custom coatrack that goes above the bench--before finishing paint.
The former closet area, still some weeks from completion. We still need to do 1. floor refinishing 2. bench refinishing 3. wall touchups.
Here's the same spot today. We love it! I painted the bench to match the other trim and gave it a coat of matte sealant. That thing is full of boots and sneakers and a diaper bag, but it looks tidy!
In an insomniac moment recently I started plotting out the rest of the living room using Polyvore. It's livable, but we could still make it prettier. From this "Living Room Look," we already have the fluffy rug, black couch, and pinao. I would love to get my hands on a large-ish ottoman, a credenza, and a metallic Moroccan pouf. A little gallery wall area would also be cool.
Here is my Polyvore mood-board for the imaginary built-in I envision on our "entertainment wall." Dare to dream!