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4 Apr

living room makeover: before and after!

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?!

  • Alexandra K.

    Beautiful, Ali! The space is gorgeous and I love all the personal touches behind each choice 🙂

    Mon April 4 at 3:21 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Thank you, Alex!

      Mon April 4 at 5:18 pm Reply
  • Mary Teague

    Love it! The light colors open up the space, and your accent pieces are wonderful. I also would recommend Marie Kondo’s book. You should see my clothing drawers with everything rolled or folded into little packets. It’s so easy to find things. And a belated Happy Birthday!

    Mon April 4 at 4:16 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Crazy, isn’t it?!! Thanks for the kind feedback!

      Mon April 4 at 5:18 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Beautiful !! Love that cozy chair…….:)

    Mon April 4 at 4:45 pm Reply
  • Katelyn

    Living room looks amazing Ali, so excited to see your blog re-launched!

    Question for you … how long did it take you to de-clutter after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Did you set aside an entire day as Marie recommends?


    Mon April 4 at 5:12 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Katelyn – thanks for the kindness! I didn’t take her advice and do it all in one day, I did it at a pace that worked for me. I know she discourages against that, but I’ve maintained a tidy space since I did it, so it worked for me! I did my bedroom + bathroom, then I did my living room, and then I did my kitchen. Life-changing, really!

      Mon April 4 at 5:18 pm Reply
  • Shelby Dwyer

    The space looks amazing!! Bravo, girl! I love that you took your time buying quality pieces. We are currently all Ikea’d out and I’m so over it – I grew up always having antiques and vintage pieces as furniture, and I do still have some great pieces but definitely want to start purchasing for quality versus trying to get something affordable. Like, a capsule wardrobe but…as furniture, if that makes sense! Good quality solid pieces that will last a lifetime, even when I may have a desire to change my aesthetic.

    I’m reading that book currently (although I’m literally juggling like 3 books right now haha), and I am looking forward to really getting organized and detacthing from things that just clutter and stress out my space. I’m happy to hear you found it helpful!

    Mon April 4 at 6:04 pm Reply
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul

    Beautiful makeover! I love it!

    Mon April 4 at 11:52 pm Reply
  • Shannon

    Beautiful! I love all the personal touches throughout the space.

    Wed April 6 at 10:20 pm Reply
  • elle.p

    beautiful job, Ali…Its not easy to make big decisions around home furnishings- your look is very comfortable, organic and inviting

    Sat April 9 at 9:50 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Bart is, of course, my favorite part 🙂

    Sun April 10 at 3:06 pm Reply
  • Jenna

    I’m currently in the process of redoing my living and I’m in love with that leather butterfly chair! Is that from West Elm too?? Beautiful space!

    Tue June 21 at 11:27 am Reply
  • Abbey

    I love your couch. Where is it from?

    Tue May 16 at 4:00 am Reply
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