Brooklyn family.

Catskills double-wide.

Wildlife, design, food & drink, travel, real estate, country characters, adventures, waterfalls.

Our Living Room: Before & After

Our Living Room: Before & After

Everybody wants an open-concept living room these days. If you watch any HGTV, you know that an open-concept home has a floor plan with few internal walls. In many open plans, the living room, kitchen and dining room are all in one big, airy space. Manufactured homes can be designed with open-concept plans, too. Here's how our double-wide looked when we moved in:

BEFORE: The dining room, living room and kitchen of our manufactured home.

And here's how it looks now:

AFTER: The amazing open-concept living space in our double-wide trailer.

You've already seen our dining room redesign, so let's get a little closer.

We decorated our open-concept living room on a budget, combining old with new.

Everything looks fresh and new in the photo above, but we made use of a bunch of furniture from our old double-wide. We salvaged the puzzle table in the lower left-hand corner (the perfect spot for this awesome Vinyl Collection Puzzle), the guitar on the wall, the coffee table, the end tables, the tall white table lamp, the 2 dressers and the mirror.

IKEA's Karlstad sofa (which seems to be discontinued in the L-shape that we have) is the cornerstone of our living room, though it didn't look totally promising at first:

BEFORE: IKEA Karlstad L-shaped sofa

Archer on the not-yet-upholstered cushions.

Archer on the not-yet-upholstered cushions.

IKEA's sofas were considerably cheaper than anything else I could find. The quality is great and I love the modern, streamlined look. The catch? You're getting a price break because you have to build and upholster the thing yourself. We are very thankful to our friend Mike, who transported the massive L-shaped sofa from Brooklyn to the Catskills and then helped us assemble it with while our children climbed all over it. It took 3 adults and 2 children several hours to put it together. Speaking of children, how do people take glamorous interior photos without their kids constantly photobombing/dumping toys everywhere?

IKEA Karlstad and Klippan sofas, paired to create a U-shaped seating space on a budget.

The Cotton Canvas Mosaic Medallion Curtains in Blue Lagoon from West Elm really make the space. And I scored a bunch of sale-priced pillows from West Elm and Target to break up the big, dark couch.

Our double-wide sleeps 20 (plus room for a few more on the sofa), so we need a ton of living room seating for waking hours. We added the IKEA Klippan loveseat (only $249) to complete the U-shaped seating space. We also added a narrow table behind the couch with 3 more chairs -- perfect for extra TV-viewing seats or extra dining space.

Narrow table behind couch for extra seating

This 96-inch folding seminar table is only 18 inches wide and fits perfectly behind our couch without blocking our door. (Our front door is actually in the back of our house because we parked our double-wide backwards on purpose.) A long runner hides the table's industrial-looking iron legs. The scooped seats of IKEA's light blue Leifarne dining chairs create some surprisingly comfy extra seating. And I love the Clint Mini Task Lamps from West Elm that make great reading lights for the table and can pivot toward the sofa when you want to curl up on the couch with a book.

The perfect U-shaped seating space for movie nights or late-night board games.

My sister found us some great storage when she picked up the rustic Carson Bookcase from Target. And the Magic Carpet from Land of Nod, a 100% cotton woven rug, really brightens the room from the bottom up.

Living room opens up to dining room and kitchen.

I took about 100 more photos, but my people are walking through the other 90. Ramona is a particularly sneaky photobomber. Not sure if this illustrates how big the room is or how tiny she is:

Pete decided to lounge with her in the middle of my photo shoot, at which point I started yelling at everyone. But, I mean, this is actually really cute.

We still need to add some more art on the walls and, you know, a lot more toys and books and empty beer bottles and bowls of Tostitos and other crap thrown around and at least 10 friends and/or relatives to make ourselves feel at home. But we're definitely ready for a lifetime of happy memories in this cozy space.

Seating Behind the Couch: Pinspiration vs. Reality

Seating Behind the Couch: Pinspiration vs. Reality

Carson City for Sale: The Wild West of Upstate New York

Carson City for Sale: The Wild West of Upstate New York