What else can I do to redecorate my living room?

meganlane90April 10, 2014

Hello all!

This is my first time posting to this forum. Anyway, I bought my first home 11 months a go. As much as being a first time home owner is amazing, it can also be stressful! When renting apartments, I was never too bothered if my living area was decorated nicely or not. Everything was always neat and tidy, but I didn't go out of my way to make it pretty, for lack of better words. Now that I own my home, I have became obsessed with making everything perfect. My house is a small, cottage style home..about 1,000 square feet. The house was built in the 70's, but the previous owner tore most of it down to the ground in 2007 and rebuilt and renovated it. He is a good handyman, so he did most of it himself. I think he did a great job!

Anyway, Upon entering the front door, there is a nice sized mud room where we keep our jackets and shoes. We have a medium sized kitchen, a small-ish living room, a medium sized laundry room/pantry, one full bathroom, a narrow hallway, two bedrooms (one big, one small) and a large wooden deck out back. Our yard is small, but big enough to fit several gardens, a play cottage, slide and swing set. One of the bedrooms is my 3 year old daughters. I turned the other bedroom into a playroom for my daughter. She has so many toys that they wouldn't all fit in her bedroom..not neatly anyway. Due to this, my husband and I had been sleeping on a pull out couch in the living room since we moved in. My mother had bought us a red leather pull out sofa a few months before we moved in. It was a nice couch, but not really my cup of tea. Not to mention, so uncomfortable. The springs felt like they were popping out of the mattress. The walls in our living room are a light green, sort of sage color. We plan on having them repainted sometime in the near future, but haven't had the time or funds to do so yet. The red couch didn't look so good with the green walls.. at least I didn't think so. All of our furniture (TV stand, dresser, side table, coffee table) is 100% pine wood. My mother also bought that for us as a gift. I'm not the biggest fan of brown wood. My style is more simple, shabby chic, cottage influenced.

Ok, so to the point: Two months a go, I got so sick of the brown wood, red couch and everything else that I decided to re-do everything. I couldn't afford to buy all new furniture so I had to figure out how to finish the job myself. I painted all the pine furniture with a ivory colored milk paint. It ended up coming out nicely, although not as great as I hoped. It has a nice distressed look, though, which is what I was going for. Not too bad for my first paint job. Then, I sold our pull out couch on Craigslist. I only got $150, but that's okay. I used that money towards buying something new. Now, it can be difficult making a bedroom/living room combo look nice. I wanted to make it so during the day, it looked like a living room but at night it looks like a bedroom. I went on Rachel Ashwell's, Shabby Chic website. I found an adorable "Russian Folk Bed." It looks kind of like a day bed, but it's beautiful. They had a bunch of mismatched throw pillows on it, and it gave it a great touch. It was a twin size, which is kind of small but I wanted it anyway. Well, when I went to order it I found out it costed $2000 plus $450 shipping! Way too expensive for me, so sadly I had to keep looking. I ended up buying a full sized platform bed made of wood with a white wash over it. I bought a 8" Memory Foam mattress to go with it. The bed + mattress only cost me $600. Already I was saving a ton compared to the folk bed. I set the bed up against the wall going sideways..so it looked more couch-y than bed-y. I bought one with no headboard, because I didn't want it to look like a bed. Next, I went to Target and bought 6 Simply Shabby Chic throw pillows. I was happy that I still was able to incorporate some of Rachel Ashwell's line into my living room. They were priced at $30 a piece, but they were on sale..buy one get one 50%. Couldn't beat that. I bought light blue, sage, light pink and ivory colors. Some have floral designs. They're beautiful. Definitely worth the money.

OK, so I am including pictures of the before and after of my living room. I have a lot more that I want to do but I can't decide what. I'd like to repaint the walls, but not sure what color. Maybe ivory with a light blue accent wall? I want to do more redecorating, but I'd like to keep the price down as much as possible. I've done a lot of research online trying to find inspiration but cant find anything that appeals to me. What else can I do to change the look for the better? Any tips, advice or inspiration is appreciated! Thank you all for listening to my long redecorating story! Once the living room is complete, I plan to move on and redecorate the other rooms in my house! If you have any tips on that, as well, I'd love to hear. Thanks again :)




This post was edited by meganlane90 on Thu, Apr 10, 14 at 8:30

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure if my original pics worked.. I'm trying again

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And the after picture. I'm not sure why it didnt work in original post. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You should re-post this on the Decorating Forum.

I'd also suggest you consider reclaiming one of the bedrooms for yourselves. Think about it - you've given your 3-year old TWO bedrooms and you have NONE? Not right at all. Your first decorating stop ought to be HomeGoods or someplace like that to find an armoire or something to store your daughter's toys in and then you should decorate the second bedroom as a bedroom (move the stuff from the living room), and then re-do the living room as a living/family room! (I grew up in a very small house - not much larger than yours - family of 4 and sometimes 5 when grandpa lived with us - but we still had a living/dining area in addition to 3 bedrooms. Of course, back in those days, no one had enough toys to fill up a bedroom :-)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sjhockeyfan has given you good advice, and expresses my sentiments exactly. You may be thinking you are being 'generous' but in fact you are teaching a 3 year old that her 'needs' (or wants in this case) supercede yours. This will be a lesson you will rue as she gets older. Cull the toys to fit comfortably in her own room, which over time will train her to live within her 'own means', and move into your room to claim your role as the grown-up parents she needs and deserves.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Being your first time here, you may not have expected the replies you got about your daughter's two rooms. Don't be offended. We mean well.

I tend to agree, tho. And not to get personal, but how do you and your hubby have any intimate time together if you're sleeping in the LR? I would at the most, give your daughter the larger room so she does have room to play, but would take the advice of others to store the toys in the same room.

Maybe it's time to go thru them and donate the ones she no longer plays with? Kids only play with half of the toys they own, anyway. Involve her in choosing which ones to give away and explain that she is helping kids who have no toys. Make it fun and help her learn that being charitable is a good trait. I'm sure if you google, there's an article on how to do that because I've read about it.

That being said, I think you did a bang up job on the white furniture. That is my taste exactly. Shabby-chic and cottage-y. I am single and on a disability budget and my home is about your size. So storage is critical. I do all my furniture shopping at thrift stores.

I bought a dresser that I use as a buffet, yet I keep my tools, gardening stuff, plastic storage bowls and seasonal linens in the drawers. I also bought a tall handmade shelving unit with cabinets below for storage and an old console with cabinet type doors for extra counter space in my kitcken (up against a wall) and storage for my crockpot, platters, bowls, mixer, etc.

That one I painted but have yet to paint the other two. Rule #1 - paint before you get it in the house and start using it or you will never get around to painting it due to the dilema of where to store all the stuff inside while it's being painted...lol.

I've also found new curtains, quilts, pillows, shower curtains, and even Ralph Lauren bed sheets at thrift stores. Target donates lots of stuff to Goodwill. Most of my decorative kitchen stuff and household knicknacks came from thrift stores.

Lamps are always cheap and can be spray painted. They make textured metalic spray paint if that's your taste. Just do a good tape job first. They always have lamp shades, too, and many of them are new.

I've gotten wall mirrors and done paint treatments on them to make them look shabby chic.

You can repurpose sheets to make curtains, pillows, and even a shower curtain if you're handy with a sewing machine.

I also got my two sofas from the thrift store. One for $40, the other a pull out bed for $50. For the first one (red checkered...UGH!!) I bought a white slipcover from Uglysofas.com. They sell Pottery Barn slipcovers pretty cheap (they call them Brand X since they can't advertise where they came from). I guess they're seconds but there was nothing wrong with mine.

The 2nd couch was actually in perfect condition. It came from a hotel remodel so there were several, along with club chairs to match. I liked the fabric, so it didn't need covered (but I still do...I like the white better).

Do you have a Restore Store (Habitat for Humanity) near you? They have soooo much stuff for remodeling, including paint. I buy my drawer pulls from there (which are very expensive at big box stores). Yes, it takes some digging around to find the quantity you need but they really update older painted furniture. And my store has started a thrift store section with furniture, mirrors, lamps, etc.

As for paint color....I like the sage green but that's just me. I see you have a blue and pink pillow, so you could pull off that. However, paint isn't cheap so if you can live with the sage, live with it for now and work on making a sanctuary for you and hubby and a nice new LR.

Ohhh...i forgot to mention. Are you familiar with Pinterest? If not, you MUST check it out. I've gotten so many decorating ideas from there. It's all visual. Pic, pics, and more pics. You just type in 'shabby chic decorating' for example, or 'cottage bedroom'.

I search by color since i have a beach cottage color scheme. So I type in 'aqua shabby chic.' Just saying....if you are thinking of blue, they use blue in your search.

You have to sign up to use it but it's no different than signing up for this site. And there are no ads, no spam, nothing !! It's addictive tho....trust me. Looking at beautiful picture is so inspiring.

And then you can pin a pic to your 'board' so you can save it. It's like a virtual scrapbook. I LOVE IT !!

Well, I've rattled on long enough. I do love your taste and wish you the best in your decorating !!


This post was edited by brit5467 on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 22:00

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tend to agree with the others that you need to designate one bedroom for your daughter and one for you and your husband. The current platform bed, while pretty, looks like a bed and thus a bedroom. Personally, I loved the red sofa. As a visitor, I would be uncomfortable in the current living room setting knowing I was sitting on someones bed. Your intentions were good. Love your decorating style.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Brit on many levels. You should have a bedroom of your own. Will your guests be comfortable sitting on your bed. Not me. I personally don't thing any 3 year old should have a whole entire room of toys. Again, it's going a little too far. Make a game of it to choose what to give away, that's real good advice. There are many ways to store toys. Ever seen a Hammock for stuffed toys? Good way to store them. Another good suggestion by Brit, hit the second hand stores. I have many things in my home that I bought at second hand. Wonderful pillows for my sofa, washed of course. Rugs, tablecloths, hand embroidered with napkins to match. Amazing things in those places. People pass away, the family doesn't want these items, off to charity it goes, and nothing wrong with it. Just unwanted. I just counted 13 different things in my kitchen I got second hand. Salt and pepper, stain glass hanging of fruit, wood wall plaques of fruit, resin table of food wall hanging, old brown glass cornucopia with glass fruit, square hand crochet table runner. And nobody knows I got them second hand, unless I tell them. I'm proud to show off my kitchen, I spend a lot of time here, and it took me a long time to find a lot of these things. I like them, that's all that matters, low cost is just a plus. Try a little thinking outside the box, for furniture. Brit again has some wonderful ideas. Good luck, and get a bedroom. :)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well carolssis....u just made my day (nite) with all the kuddos...lol. Thanx!!

Ur kitchen sounds just like mine as far as counting how many things are from thrifting. I love my kitchen too !!!

Bonnie (aka brit5467)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's very pretty, but looks like a bedroom. As others have said, I would not be comfortable sitting on your bed while visiting. Take back one of the bedrooms for yourselves. I lived in an even smaller home with two boys, and no way would I have given up one of the rooms so that they could have more room for toys.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I completely understand about the difference in owning your home (as opposed to renting) and wanting everything to be perfect! looks very pretty. Take a deep breath and relax -- take your time, and your home will grow organically.

I also must agree with the other posters -- if your daughter needs a whole room to put her toys in -- she has too many toys. Give away or donate most of them, and rotate the rest. It doesn't matter if they were gifts.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If one of the bedrooms is bigger than the living room you could always use that as a living room instead of the "actual" living room (unless there is no door on the living room then I'd use that as a living room). As it is, from the pictures, your living room looks very "bedroomy" to me from the picture because of the dresser.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the new look...but I would move it to the bedroom. Give daughter the smaller bedroom and add lots of storage to the other rooms for books, toys, etc.

Your house sounds very nice and I think you'll like having your own space again. Daughter will be happier playing with you in living room and it will teach her an important lesson. How to share :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the bed a lot. It looks great with the dressers. I personally did not care for the sofa. I think the redecorating you did is fantastic, except I would move it all into the larger bedroom and give your daughter the small room. I would then make the living room into a play room/living room. I would have some fun thrifting for some cute toy chests or finding something I can make/paint into toy chests to put the toys in for when people visit. I saw an awesome one the other day at a midcentury shop.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

looks nice, you could add some plants & mirrors to make
it look larger.

as to your daughter having two rooms & you sleeping
in living room...it really isn't my place to comment on this.
when we were all younger a lot of our men worked
nights, several of the young mothers shifted their whole
households of preschool kids. they slept in late, and spent
afternoon & evenings with the whole family rather than
kids being quite so dad can sleep.
no one was permanently scarred.
live to suit your life.

best of luck

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:48AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Learning to read plans and drawings
We are embarking on the design phase for a remodel...
Susan Taylor Brown
What kind of awning can I add with this roof line?
Hi All, We want to add an awning outside of our front...
How does a General Contractor work...do I need one ?
I am new to remodeling anything in my house. I have...
Milgard SunCoat vs SunCoat Max vs I89 x-post
x-posted in Windows forum We're getting ready to remodel...
1960 Ranch Remodel
We recently moved into a 1960 ranch home in Vestavia...
Red Mountain Media
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™