living room makeover: before and after!

since starting Inspiralized and working and living in the same space for almost 3 years...

since starting Inspiralized and working and living in the same space for almost 3 years now, I became extremely conscious about my surroundings. also, as a blogger, I was always reading other blogs, following accounts on Instagram, and slowly became more aware of my own style and preference.

I think that’s a natural progression – in your mid to late 20s, finally starting to find your style, your vibe. unfortunately, all of the furniture and decor we had in our apartment were from Lu’s first apartment that he bought when he lived in New York City years ago.

the furniture was all very, very dark wood. It seemed very moody – even the couch slumped and didn’t “uplift” you when you sat it in it. you’d sit on that couch and never want to move, because it was so low to the ground and dark. of course, I was happy enough to have furniture and couldn’t really afford to spend the money on new furniture. so, slowly I saved up.

I’ve always been inspired by the all white laid-back chicness of California, but secretly have always wanted to live in a Brooklyn loft space. after Pinning like crazy for months, I settled on a style that was both feminine and light, but masculine and chill.




one of Lu’s biggest concerns is that by getting rid of his [atrocious] ottoman, he wouldn’t be able to comfortably sit on our couch and prop his feet up. I told him that we’re adults now and we should have a proper coffee table with a proper coffee table book. thus, I bought him Hartwood as one of his Christmas gifts (we honeymooned in the Tulum area and fell in love with it, so Hartwood felt appropriate.) he couldn’t be happier! he loves the “pop of color” it adds.



the only item we kept in our living room was our black bookshelf because a) I was too lazy to move the books out, b) it added a bit of depth to the room, kinda like a focal piece, and c) I kinda like the idea of having one furniture item from our beginnings together.



I also have to give a shout out to Marie Kondo for her seriously – for lack of a better word – life-changing book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” seriously, I won’t go into more detail, but you HAVE to read it. I threw away 80% of the junk in my apartment and I no longer treat my home as a storage unit, but instead, a place where I keep things that I love and love to look at each and every day (well, I’m sure there are a few books I could get rid of, like the 50 Shades of Grey series.)

we even used some extra books that wouldn’t fit in our bookshelf to add height to our lamp (which is a West Elm lamp with an old lampshade recycled from an old Target lamp and turned upside down for a little bit of Brooklyn funk):


my favorite part of our living room is of course, Bart. if you follow me on Snapchat, you know that I consider Bart (a cactus we got at The Sill in NYC) a part of our family. Bart reminds me of our trip to Sedona, AZ where we fell in love with the gorgeous sunsets in the desert. we stayed at the Enchantment Resort and can’t wait to go back!



I’m also all about nooks, especially when you’re dealing with small spaces like our less-than 900 square foot apartment. luckily, we have a little corner in our living room and I found the perfect comfy-yet-chic chair and accented it (to Lu’s dismay) a faux-fur throw and a poof. it’s the perfect place to wake up on a Sunday morning and read the weekend New York Times and bask in the sun. we often fight over who gets to sit in “the chair.” Lu usually wins.




another part of the room that I consider special is the artwork above our insanely comfortable couch. I picked out this painting from a street vendor at a fish market while we were spending New Year’s with his family in the Dominican Republic (his late father was from the Dominican – his mother is from Columbia.) it reminds me of my childhood, since my father is in love with fishing, boating and the ocean. it’s a gorgeous painting and adds texture to our room.


and you may have noticed the gold knobs on our media console. the console actually came with black knobs and I wanted to give the living room a little something special and continue to lighten up the space, so we unscrewed the black knobs and swapped them in for some from Urban Outfitters, which adds such a hip chicness, I think!


now that I’ve rejuvenated and revamped our living space, I feel more inspired than ever. working from home is a treat, I’m proud to show guests our home, and I feel more energized and excited to be at home.

you can read a little recap of this makeover here, on the West Elm blog, Front + Main.

so… what do you think?!

with love, Ali

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