We moved in last summer as they had just finished building the property. It was brand spanking new, and I had all these ideas and plans and visions for every room and area of the house. But, not being a homeowner, I’m always at a constant battle between designing the space I live in, or saving my time and money for my home down the road. Some people think it’s not a very reasonable way of spending money. There are very good arguments to both, but my rational is that I want a home, not just a shelter. I want to enjoy and love my home especially after long tiring work days, or when I finally get to relax on the weekend or for a night in. There is no rule that says we have to spend a fortune to make our home beautiful, nor is there a rule that says we shouldn’t make a space unique to us if it’s not permanently ours. So, over the last year I reconfigured my living room layout and carefully planned out all the details to style that space. Here’s the look so far (not complete yet)
As you can see, it’s very simple, and not a very large area, but it’s super cute and cozy, just enough for the 3 of us (I soo cringe that it’s not a central air unit, shhh).
Sectional – My focal point, I wanted to place it here because it was the best piece to measure up to the largest wall in the room. The couch was actually part of a 7 piece sectional that we purchased from Hom Furniture a couple of years ago. This is one of the few furniture pieces that we didn’t throw out during our move. I couldn’t justify buying a new set not knowing what and how our living situation was going to be like. It’s light beige in color and the material is microfiber. This little number has survived 1 baby, 1 across state line move, and this is what is left from 8 months of storage. We were able to salvage these remaining pieces, the other 2 sections were unfortunately ruined due to mold – and yes, I cried. We paid a lot for it and the couch just doesn’t look complete without the other 2 pieces, plus we used to be able to build a huge fort to sleep in for family nights and now we can’t. Although, I am pretty proud that we’ve kept it in great condition given how long it’s been with us. I attached our ottoman to the left side of the couch as a way to draw a finer line of separation between two spaces, the living room and the kitchen. Also, it may seem like it but neither the sectional or console table is pushed up against the wall. There’s still a decent amount of space back there. 1 tip, you don’t always have to push furniture up against/along walls. Price = free
Accent pillows and throws – I love3 them, who doesn’t? It’s the cheapest way to add color and design without a lot of work and money. I usually coordinate these little accents to compliment the seasons so I rotate them out 2-3 times a year. They were all purchased at Home Goods, not all at once of course. I acquired them over a 2-4 year time span. When I envision Spring, I think of soft colors and blossoms and light and airiness, perhaps it’s because I’m not a very bold person when it comes to color. So I thought I’d bring in a range of light pastel colors which I think is beautiful. It’s also nice to incorporate a range of size and shapes as well as various textures and complimenting color palettes. Price = free through accumulation (original prices range between 14.99 and 29.99)
Now right behind that sits our console table. It’s actually very basic, but pretty. It’s about the same height as the couch and a hair longer than one of the sections. It has a cherry like finish and comes with one large drawer that’s about the length of the table. The bottom piece is also finished and serves as another flat storage area. And the best part about this table? It was FREE! Originally, I purchased it from Joss & Main for the purpose of my entryway, however, the first table came damaged? Two of the legs were chipped and the holes didn’t line up for assembly. The CRS was so kind, they sent us an entirely new table! So we drilled new holes into the legs and wa-lah! Good as new, paying no mind to the minor details, which is probably why it’s hiding behind the couch. Price = free
The first item is a beautiful mixed blue vase I picked up at Hobby Lobby, luckily, because they usually don’t have vases I like. My vision was actually to have a vase with a wider body and smaller neck to fit 1 stalk of yellow blooms but no such luck. However, considering the limits of a small town and hating the hassel of online ordering and returning. I really wanted tall/long stems/flowers, preferably cherry blossoms, to stick out of the vase to give the illusion of branching and growing, and also to balance out the tall lamp. This didn’t turn out too bad though and I still enjoy looking at it. Flowers were also from Hobby Lobby. Price = 24.99 & 7.96
Can we talk about that lamp for a minute? Isn’t it beautiful?! I’ve been in and out of Tj Maxx for months trying to find the perfect lamp for this area and I finally came upon this little gem a couple weeks back. I wanted something taller to heighten the look of the space (we have short ceilings), and this was perfectly chic! It’s not too glitzy, but not too masculine either and has very clean lines. I opted to position it on the right side because, you can’t tell, but the layout of our home is a small open concept. Guests will get a straight shot of most of our kitchen right into our living room from the entrance and I think it’s easier to see the lamp behind the vase versus the other way around. I just think that first impression would be more appealing on the eyes. Price = 49.99
In the middle, is a picture of my Son when I shot his 6 month old photos, oh the memories – we definitely need an updated photo. I wanted this area to look neutral but also to have a sentimental feel as well because..well, it is our “living” room after all. I believe the frame is just a basic one that I bought from Wal- Mart years ago. Price = free
You’ll spot a ton of candles around my house, and it is no exception here. It adds a nice touch (especially when I get the fancy ones) and also allows for efficiency when I need to quickly light one. This one is “Rustic Lakehouse” from Wal-Mart. It is surprisingly a lovely scent, a bit masculine and cologne like, but very clean. I’ve compared it before to the bath and body candles, the smells are very similar, but for a quarter of the price. Price = 4.95
Rug – It’s still growing on me. We’ve been in desperate need of a living area rug. Our floors are faux dark wood tiles, very pretty, but hard and cold. My son LOVES to roll around and play on the floor and that was my number one concern. This was probably one of the most, if not the most difficult pieces to find. None of our local stores had anything that I liked. And when I did find one, it was always gone before I could snatch it. There were a lot of contemplating that came with the decision though, the size, color, design, price, feel, etc. Anyway, on one of our outtings, this particular one happened to catch my eye and we kind of bought it on a whim. Overall, it does fit pretty nice in this space. The light teal blue color along with the white kind of ties everything together; I’m definitely happy about that. My only complaint is probably the feel – it’s pretty tough? I mean that’s a good sign of sturdiness for such a high traffic area but I just hate the thought of my son playing on it. Can’t win. Price = 129.99
Last but not least Minka – my fiddle fig tree. A long time ago when I would browse magazines for home décor inspo, I’d always see these towering plants chic-ly placed in design spaces and knew I had to have one. I bought her from the nursery (Bachman’s) when she was just a baby, about 1.5 feet tall, but because there were 2 branches it was pretty expensive ($49.95). After many years of nurturing she’s grown beautifully and usually sits by my door because feng shui says that greenery by doors ignite positive energy and allows money to flow (also because she likes light). She is getting pretty tall, and because I haven’t trimmed her into a top heavy tree, or transplanted her into a bigger pot, she’s residing strategically behind the couch for now. Price = free
The other side of the room
TV Console – When we moved in, it took a couple of days for us to decide where we wanted to permanently position the console (because it’s pretty dang heavy). After weighing our options, we settled for this side of the room because 1) it won’t be the first view guests see as they enter the house, it’s pretty much hidden from the entrance, 2) the other side of the room is where the AC unit is 3) it would have to compete with a very large blank wall. But – this little beauty has a special spot in my heart. I was browsing the web when I found her probably 7-8 years ago. It was so expensive! I think the highest price I found at the time was $595. So, obviously, it wasn’t happening. Then we moved and left our old console behind and needed a new one. I didn’t want to waste money buying something cheap or something that I couldn’t stand the sight of so we waited and used a make-shift coffee table to sit our TV and items. After about a year of contemplating, money saving, and searching, I went back to this console and snatched it when I saw that the price had dropped during a special for $495. It was so beautiful, and still is. I love that it has a cherry finish (as do all my furniture) and that it has the little glass doors to add just a touch of modern design to compensate for the wood on wood on wood! We’ve maintained it very well so it still looks like new. Aside from the typical entertainment console items, if you look to the left side storage area, that’s also where I store all of my candles. Makes for pretty decor as well. Price = free
The little items on the sides of the TV do change seasonally, especially during the Fall and Winter. This is as spruced as things will get for Spring and Summer. The bouquet, I picked up at Home Goods a couple of years ago. The picture frame was a wedding gift. Price = free
Oh and the elephant in the room – that tower, AKA our air purifier. It won’t adequately serve it’s purpose in a different area of the living room, so it just HAS to be here, I’ve made my peace with it. However, I did purposely purchase a white one to blend in with the scheme of our living room.
Another view of the room
I like that those doors give the illusion of French doors, which they absolutely are not, it’s still a nice addition though. I wish it wasn’t red, but I guess it’s not my place to worry about. I am still contemplating hanging drapes, just simple ones, maybe even sheer. It’ll definitely polish up the look for sure. We’ll see. And then the only 2 things left that I may add are wall decors for both sides of the room. For sure I want a large painting to sit above the couch, and perhaps a large ornament above the TV. Of course, these plans will only roll out if we continue to live here. Otherwise, I am pretty content with this space and design for now.
So to the people that say they can’t afford to make their home look nice and elegant, or that their space is too small to design, that’s not true! It’s doable, and the best part, it’s all about YOU; what you like and what you want to do with it, the possibilities are endless! Now, I’m not saying that I have the perfect house or that it’s elegant by any means the fact is people forget about the simple things, rearranging and placement of furniture and decor and adding accents = color and contrast. Also, you can borrow things from one area of your home to spruce up another area, get creative! You can always purchase consignment items as well, these things don’t have to be brand new or from expensive lines and stores. Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure right! Two simple advice and tips, when in doubt, go neutral because it’s easiest to work with and it’s always safer to aim for symmetry and balance in whatever you’re styling.
Thanks for reading!