Keith the Fireman’s Living Room Reveal

Remember Keith the Fireman?


If not, let me get you up to speed before I share the before & after photos of his finally-finished living room! 😀

We met Keith at church at the very end of 2012. He was playing drums with Centerpoint‘s worship team, and that was when Kevin auditioned for and was invited to be a part of the team, too. A few months later, in March of 2013, Keith posted this photo and message on his Facebook page:


I was so excited for him!! 😀

He also posted some interior pics that day, and although it looked like the place had great bones & several rooms had already been updated, I felt really inspired to reach out to him about adding some personality into the living room. I didn’t know him super well at that point though, so I decided to ask a mutual friend to run it by him for me. (Thanks again, Ashley!) I was so pumped when she reported back that he was totally up for the adventure!

The next time I bumped into him at church, I told him all I would need from him was an extra set of hands (or two) every now and then, and that I’d put together an inspiration photo for him so he could see what I was visualizing for the space. He gave the inspiration photo a thumbs up as soon as I had it finished, and Kevin and I have had so much fun surprising him with every little update over the past year!

Ok, are you ready to see the before and afters? Here we go! 😀

First up, BEFORE:


Next, here’s the inspiration photo I Photoshopped together for Keith so that he could really see the space I hoped to be able to pull together for him:


And finally, here’s a photo of the finished room that Kevin and I snapped yesterday:

Rustic Modern Contemporary Living Room | The Lettered Cottage Blog | Fireplace Makeover | Barnwood Wall

We snuck over there and put the finishing touches on everything before Keith and Lauren got home from work. Yep! SURPRISE! The living room isn’t the only thing that changed in Keith’s life since last year- he also got engaged and married to his girlfriend Lauren! 😀

Keith and Lauren photos

They are both so sweet, and I loved seeing their faces light up when they walked in yesterday!

Keith and Lauren

Truth be told, I didn’t really know exactly how I’d pull everything together when I started this thing, but like all the makeovers we jump into I jump us into (ha!), I had faith that it would all come together in the end. (Thank you for always going with the flow when it comes to my spontaneous decorating schemes, Mr. Palmer! You are SUNSHINE. XO)

Rustic meets Contemporary Living Room | The Lettered Cottage | Flor Carpet Squares | Airstone Fireplace | Wood Wall

Once I had the green light from Keith, I reached out to SkimstoneAirstone and Southern Accents at various points last year. They were all excited to help and ended up giving us the faux concrete for the hearth, and the faux stone & rustic wood around the fireplace, free of charge. Southern Accents also donated the coffee table, which was made from a slice of a fallen tree and a couple of heavy metal parts they were creative enough to put together as a base. (Thanks again for your help with that, Lucy and Garlan!) The carpet tiles were a gift from the folks at Flor, and I just love the way they look in there!

TJ Maxx Throw Pillows | Neutral Sofa | Gray Walls | Rustic Contemporary Traditional Living Room

(I left that photo box on the table empty so that they could add their own pics!)

We helped Tommy & Shelley re-do their kitchen last Fall, and they let us take their old-but-solid-and-in-perfect-condition upper kitchen cabinets so that we could turn them into a shallow TV stand for Keith and Lauren in December. The unit is painted with Graphite-colored chalk paint and what a functional piece that turned out to be!

Kitchen cabinets turned TV Stand | The Lettered Cottage

Kevin and I threw in a few things we weren’t using/didn’t have room for any more, too: a couple of extra bookcases, a table and tablecloth, some lamps, pillows & decor items, and our previously-loved-but-still-super-comfy sofa & chair-and-a-half. (They weren’t the right size for the shape of our new living room, but they fit perfectly into Keith & Lauren’s- yay!) I gathered up the rest of the decor, pillows, plants and curtains, little by little, over the past year, and stuck firm to a budget of 200 bucks.

Coffee Table Decor | The Lettered Cottage

Add all that “stuff” together with the manual labor that Brian the Carpenter, Matt the Magnificent, and Keith & Lauren and their family & friends all took part in, and BOOM. It all came together just like I had hoped! It took a while because of everybody’s busy schedules, and waiting for things to arrive from the sponsors, and other jobs, and other makeovers, and dry times, and shopping times (some things came from Ikea in Atlanta and we only go there a few times a year), and weddings, and honeymoons, etc, etc, etc…but we did it! 😀

Throw Pillows | Rustic Contemporary Living Room | The Lettered Cottage

We didn’t take any photos looking back at the front door because the wall behind the chair-and-a-half is still completely blank. I’m hoping to help them do something fun over there this year though, and I’ll be sure to snap some pics from that angle once we’ve got it all decked out!

For now, happy weekend and thanks for swinging by today!

PS- If you have any questions or would like to go back and read about each step of this makeover journey, click this link to be redirected to all of the posts I published about it: Keith and Lauren’s Living Room Makeover. 😀

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  1. Sandra says

    This is so beautiful, Layla! I much prefer your take on the mantel and that coffee table is so cool! What lucky friends you have!

  2. says

    What a fabulous transformation – from a boring box to an inviting, warm, interesting room. Great job!

    And congrats to Keith and his bride!

  3. Sherri says

    The makeover is gorgeous and amazing. What is even more amazing is your heart for God and for blessing others. Jewels in your crown in the heavenly realm for sure. ” The Lord bless you and keep you.”

  4. Sandy says

    Stunning makeover! Love the fireplace wall and the coffee table is very unique.

  5. Jessie says

    Of all the blogs I read, all the makeovers I’ve seen — this is by far my favorite ever!

  6. Heidi says

    What a stunning makeover! I love the fireplace block and mantle and the bookcases are beautiful. Also love the coffee table. The colors are perfect. This is one of your best yet!
    So generous of everyone to volunteer and donate items. You work great miracles. Blessings to both you and Kevin. And Sweet P!

  7. Julie B.[Holland] says

    Job well done! I love that table, and the pillows! The room looks so peaceful and relaxing. Congratulations to Keith and Lauren.

  8. Dianne says

    Layla, you do such beautiful work! You are one talented lady! Everything looks gorgeous in Keith and Lauren’s living room!

  9. Kandy says

    You guys are amazingly talented! Wish you lived in Denver! I am thinking of selling my home and would love help with staging and making a few inexpensive changes that would help sell this place at top dollar.

  10. says

    I really love the fireplace, the barn wood backdrop and the stone bring such great natural aspects to the room. I also love the plants spread throughout, I think I need to add more of that into my decor, thanks for the inspiration!

  11. says

    Amazing and gorgeous!! I had to scroll up and down a few times to believe the after was the real picture. great job as usual!

  12. Anna says

    LOVE! You have an amazing style that I wish I could replicate :) And that coffee table, my favorite!!

  13. Sunny says

    Just lovely…I love the feel and coloring of the barnwood, a hint of blue? And the sunburst mirror…where did you get this one Layla..the originals are so expensive and others look cheap…I love your visions..

  14. Lori S H says

    Wow!! This is an amazing transformation. Your after is so much better than your design. I love it. Most of all, I really think your generosity and well being just shines right through. That is a true gift to others.

  15. says

    Oh, I love it so much!!! You are so inspiring. My favorite thing (besides the looks on their faces!) is the little surprise pops of green in the pillows and plants. That detail totally makes the room for me! Love it!!!

  16. lyndsey says

    I’m always so impressed with how well you stat within budget, and the rooms always look lovely. That’s real talent!
    What is the light blue wall color? I have four samples on my bedroom wall right now, but the one in this room is what I want!

  17. Candace Petree says

    Loooove this room & love your blog!! Your design but even more importantly your perspective & outlook on life are very inspiring! I always look forward to reading your posts:) Quick question about this room…I read that you used Gray Owl darkened by 50% for the walls, is that correct? Thanks so much!!!!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Candace! I think we used Comfort Gray in Keith’s living room. (We used Gray Owl lightened by 50% in our living room) :-)