About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

Living Room Decor


Well guys, our living room is our one and only finished room.  Finished for now, at least.  You may have seen the before/after photos of our living room on our home tour page last weekend, but in case you didn’t, here’s how it went down.

We started with this…

living room - empty - before (2)

Made some progress…

Living Room - Before (JPEG)

And ended up with this.

Living Room After

As for the details, here’s what we did:

1.  Disguised a door as a window:  One of our two front doors opens into the left side of the living room – right in back of one of our couches.  So, the door went undercover.

IMG_2523   IMG_2524

2.  Added floating shelves, trinkets, and paint to the wall next to the fireplace.  We chose to paint the wall a light grey color to contrast the white shelves, and some of the white items on them.  It adds a nice little pop without being too much.

iPhone Photos - 3.23.13 125       iPhone Photos - 3.23.13 126

3.  Embraced the remaining white walls, and filled empty space with a big picture.

iPhone Photos - 3.23.13 138

4. Refreshed the fireplace tile.  We really didn’t like the old red tile that was at the base of the fireplace, so we took it out and replaced it with a combo of white/grey mosaic and marble tile.

IMG_0806 (2)

5.  Borrowed (stole?) some awesome antique crates from my sister.


6.  Painted the bottom of the fireplace white.  Here’s the deal with the fireplace.  The bottom part was redone by the previous owner in a different color brick than the top.  We didn’t like the mismatch (ironically), so we decided to paint it white.  We started with the bottom, stepped back, and were like this hmm… looks kind of interesting.  We still haven’t decided whether or not to paint the top, or leave it exposed.  What do you think?  Does it look silly, or artsy/unique?

iPhone Photos - 3.23.13 124

7.  Bought lots of new stuff.  We were moving from NY, so we didn’t have much to work with as it was.  We bought the basics before we moved in, and kind of pieced together the rest as time went on.

Sofas – Crate & Barrel “Lounge” Sofas in Linen (one is 83″ and one is 93″).  The best part about these sofas is that we got them super discounted at the Crate & Barrel Outlet in NJ (best place ever!)  These couches should have cost us $3300, but instead we got them both for $1200.  They are seriously amazing.

Two tone club chair – Crate & Barrel Outlet (CB2) – $200

Ottoman – Frontgate Outlet Chesterfield Tufted Ottoman in Natural – $199 (Since we ordered it from the outlet instead of the catalog, they gave us 10% off.  Score!)

Rug – Overstock.com Handmade Soho Chrono Grey/ Ivory New Zealand Wool Rug – $300

White Pillows – Crate & Barrel Outlet – $15 each

Curtains – Target Farrah Fretwork Curtains (Tip: We cut each curtain in half because our windows are narrow, so we really only purchased 1 panel for each window instead of 2)

Floating shelves next to the fireplace –  Ikea LACK Shelves – $15 each

Shelf Accessories –  Home Goods / West Elm / Handmade

Dog Bed – Home Goods

Side tables – From family

Corner boat shelf – Gift from my rowing days

Big B&W picture – Ikea

That’s it!  Do you like the way it turned out?

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  1. atkokosplace says:

    Gorgeous space! Wowzers. Love the colors and your curtains rock!

  2. Jen Altrogge says:

    I love this blog, gorgeous living room! Your living room came a long way from where it started. That empty space is really tempting to decorate. It seems like the dog is having a good time sleeping in your living room so I assumed it’s dog-approved. 🙂

  3. J Belk says:

    This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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