Sunday, March 23, 2014

Living Room Progress | Decorating on a Tight Budget at a Snail's Pace

I am SO behind on posts on this blog, its unreal. I have so many projects finished and/or in the making that I could share. Or overshare? But as I say on a daily basis, there just isn't enough time in a day. I don't sleep much. But still, I could use about 8-12 more hours per day. But I'd have to drink 3 more cups of coffee per day and that's not good.  At this point in my life its hard to believe that a few years back I went three years without caffeine. And now I might as well have an IV. Oh well. Enough about that. Time to talk living room progress.
I have taken my sloooooooow, sweet time on our living room...and that is actually a really good thing. I had a totally different vision in my mind for our living room when we first moved I am pretty glad I took my time. This makeover is three years in the making and still not quite finished.

Let's take a look back. This is how this room looked when we first laid our eyes on this home. Not my thing, but it worked for them. And we bought the house so that worked for them too. Except we got a sweet deal. Yay for us.

Then here was the living room right after we moved in. EEK! No better than their version. We had no plans of it staying this way....this was just a temporary arrangement while we completed our family room makeover. Look at little Coop! I can't believe he was that little when we moved in.

Yikes. This is pretty bad too...but honestly....this was just where everything landed temporarily.

Here are a few shots of the then unappealing entryway. Eww. I have had plans to put a gallery wall here since we moved in and three years later it still hasn't happened. I may have changed my mind now.

One of the first things I did in that space was add this skinny little bench. I found it on craigslist for $20. It was dark wood and had giant feet that stuck out of the front and back but a friend I work with cut those off for me and I painted it white. Spray paint and Safecoat Acrylaq are my friends. You can also see here I got a new rug. I pulled the new wall color out of that rug...I actually don't think it will live there much longer though, because now I want something bold and bright!

In this next shot, you can see the light fixture. Brass. And crystal. Not my favorite. That will go sooner than later. I want something funky like this but smaller. You also have a view here of our old, dated front door and a tiny glimpse of another furniture steal scored through a cyber-friend who I met on craigslist. I know. Kinda weird. But in this day and age is it really that weird? Anyway...Kirsten is an uber-creative furniture painting gal. Check out her stuff on her blog. Unfortunately she doesn't live here anymore, but if you happen to be in or near Fargo, you could snag up one of her fabulous upcycled creations. 

Next is the view looking toward the entry and down the hall toward the bedrooms. Sandwiched by these two areas is one of my treasured family heirlooms: my great-grandmother's piano. 

After this dresser found a new home in my bedroom and the dresser from the master bedroom ended up in the girls' room...this old heirloom from my other grandma, affectionately named Gigi, by my kids, ended up in the entryway. A few years ago, I actually found a photo of an identical dresser in Lonny Mag, one of my favorite magazines to shop for design inspiration.  The dresser was being used as a bar in a dining room, which reassured me that repurposing this dresser as an entry console was a great design choice. On the right you can see our new and improved craftsman style front door. 

Last spring, I finally got around to changing the paint color in my living room, entry and hallway. I went with a grey, one shade darker than my dining room. Don't have the name right now but I will come back and update soon.  I can tell you its Olympic Brand from Lowe's because they have low VOC paint at a great price. It turns out to be a bluish gray, which wasn't necessarily what I was going for...but it works... and when I found this beauty staring back at me at one of my favorite consignment shops, I knew the bluish tone was meant to be. We also purchased a new rug from Joss and Main around that time which you can see here.

I found these cute metal tables at Target.  I tried out a few different lamps and shades from Target and Marshalls before deciding on the sleek, mod white lamps from Target and a plain white drum shade with teal stripes along the top and bottom edge.

I found the ikat storage bench on Joss and Main, which I loved because it pulled in the blue from the couch and offered so much storage for our sheet music and even a few blankets.

Then I found these curtains on overstock and I was thrilled, because I had originally planned to hunt down that material and make them myself.  When I came across them on overstock, I knew it had to be fate. Right? Now if you are a design blog stalker like me, you will start seeing this print everywhere, but that's okay. I love it anyway.

Next came these white chairs, that I scored on craigslist for a steal. Its all starting to come together, don't you think?

Here's the view down the hall, before I updated my hallway gallery wall. More on that later.

And here we have the view from the door, with a photo bomb by my baby and my fur baby.

The final touches in this living room makeover happened in the last two months, and although its not completely finished (am I ever really done?)  I finally feel like this is the livable living room that I've been dreaming of.  I found the marble coffee table on JCPenny online, of all places.  I also got it for a steal. Its originally $675 and on clearance for $299. I bought it when they were having a site wide sale, so I think I paid $219 and had free shipping too. Booyah.  The moroccan ottoman poofs are really popular right now and the real leather ones usually go from around $200 each on sites like One Kings Lane and Joss and Main or $275 on  I found them through a private seller in Morocco and got the pair for $80! They came unstuffed and smelled like an animal...I think they were seriously directly off the animals' back.  But a few weeks in the cold garage later, the smell was gone. I ordered the stuffing on Amazon prime and Voila... Just like their high-priced friends for less than a quarter the cost.

So there you have it. My living room makeover. Let's take one more look at the before and after to see how far we've come.






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