Pinterest Living Room Makeover

Confession: I’ve taken the “before” pictures for this makeover no less than five different times. Every time I walk through the living room (which is every time I go upstairs or check the mail) I am underwhelmed by its boringness and uselessness. We live in an old house, designed for formal entertaining (you can see the house tour here, although we’ve changed almost every room since then) which is fantastic when it comes to throwing parties but not so great for every day life. We don’t use the front door and we almost never use the dining room, so the front of the house has become a catch-all for junk. There isn’t even a couch in the living room – the free one I got off Craigslist went out with the trash before Evan’s 1st birthday and I haven’t found something I like/can afford. Which means for the last year (and then some), our living room has looked like this:

From a few weeks ago. Just ignore the ball pit we just FINALLY took down from Little Evan’s 2nd birthday party. Also, that TV isn’t hooked up/attached to anything yet, so it’s just a big black light-blocking hole.
This is from Saturday morning. I moved some stuff to the mantle to try to make it more interesting. It didn’t really work.

I know it was built for afternoon teas and dinner parties, but living in half our house is stupid – why feel cramped when we have an extra 300+ square feet of EMPTY SPACE to spread out in? And why do I keep insisting on using it as a FORMAL living room, when almost none of our living is formal?

So my mission was two fold:
1. Make our living room both more functional and more fun and
2. Don’t spend any money

Enter Pinterest.

{handprint art, chalkboard table, bright colored room, fabric garland, covered canvas, button letter}

And here’s how it looks now:

Breakdown:
-I bought the canvases from Michael’s when they were on sale AND I had a coupon, to save for a day when I was feeling creative. The striped ones are tissue paper attached with spray adhesive.
-All the paint, felt and ribbons are from previous projects, especially Caroline’s Nursery.
-The bright colored pillow covers are from Life’s Candy, my wonderful friend Mae’s shop. I relocated them from our entrance bench.
-The fabric on the garland was tablecloths at Little Evan’s 2nd birthday.
-The plates are straight up dinner plates from our cabinet, purchased at Walmart in 2001.
6. The empty frame was in our basement.
7. I bought the vases at Target for $3.24 each back in March to fill in the empty mantle.
8. The coffee table was in the basement, the blue chair was in the attic and the toys were in the toy box.

Since the coffee table is black you can’t really see the chalkboard paint unless I’ve drawn on it, so all it takes is a quick swipe with a damp paper towel and we have our grown-up piece of furniture back. The baskets underneath neatly hide all the toys and the chalk.

So paint, buttons, fabric, and some repurposing turned our boring wasted space into a cute, usable room. Now I just need to find a small couch, some big comfy floor pillows and a DVD player for that TV and we might actually start spending some time in there!

Of course I finished this just in time to change it all again for Christmas. Maybe we’ll go with a rainbow theme for the holidays this year.

Thirty Hand Made Days

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32 Responses to “Pinterest Living Room Makeover”

  1. I love the coffee table. We have a wooden mission style coffee table shoved in the corner of our living room. I should paint it black and do chalkboard paint on the top. Looks great, it’s all so bright and cheerful.
    Amy @ babybabylemon recently posted… Crazy Days of Summer: Blue Skies (On the Road)

  2. Alena says:

    My goal for the next 3 months is to decorate our living room. What you’ve done is ADORABLE.
    Alena recently posted… Oh and a party she had.

  3. lady, this is FANTASTIC! i’m seriously impressed, especially seeing that you spent $0. amazing work! i want to come over and playyyyy!
    emily bilbrey recently posted… wordless wednesday, number eighty-two. (rooftop picnic at big sister’s new seattle condo!)

  4. Kyley Leger says:

    This is so awesome!! I want you to come make over a room in my house!

  5. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. That looks amazing! I’m pretty damn jealous, not going to lie. I’m not that creative. Sigh.
    Ashley @ It’s Fitting recently posted… Farmer Fitting : Update

  6. Amanda says:

    Everything came out so nice! The bright colors make it look so cheerful.
    Amanda recently posted… Photo Shoot- Backyard Style

  7. Mama Fisch says:

    Are you kidding me? I wish, just wish, I had 1% of your creativity! It is awesome and I am so jealous! I need someone to come to my house and do this for me! Adorable lady!
    Mama Fisch recently posted… Mornings Like These…

  8. TMae says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?! I have major design deficiency and so our house, which we’ve lived in for 3 years, has nothing hung on the walls and a bunch of furniture that’s really too big for the space, and that I hate. I want to sit in your living room and read. FOREVER.
    TMae recently posted… Gloria: In Her Own Words

  9. Jen says:

    your living room? AMAZEBALLS. WTG on spending $0.

    pinterest is definitely keeping me chalk full of ideas. my newest/next project? the kids room. get. it. done.

    pinterest rocks my face off as well as everyone else’s
    Jen recently posted… for the love…of wine

  10. Alison says:

    LOVE it! That letter out of buttons is adorable. I’m totally gonna try that.
    Alison recently posted… Picture (slightly less than) Perfect

  11. Kimberly says:

    That is so fun! I’m so amazed at your ability to pull it all together. I have so many ideas saved in Pinterest- it’s overwhelming!
    Kimberly recently posted… My 32nd Week in Droid Pics!

  12. Cole says:

    LOVE it! Sigh. Mommy has zero craftability, and only about a hundredth of your creativity so our house is probably just going to stay boring…
    Cole recently posted… Firefighter – Thousand Word Thursday

  13. I know I don’t comment much, but I read every day. You are way too hard on yourself. You are an amazing mom, an amazing wife, and an amazing person. I want you to give yourself more credit for everything you accomplish, because I definitely give you tons of credit over here.
    Britni TheVadgeWig recently posted… 30 Days of Shamelessness: Day 6

  14. Jen F (from Robinson) says:

    You amaze me. It’s so easy to just pin the pretty things, but you actually followed through.

  15. Suz B says:

    Come to NC & do my den next please?! I love everything! It’s functional & super cute & very y’all. Great job Suzanne!
    Suz B recently posted… Another Week…

  16. Ashley says:

    Love the coffee table idea! I would have never thought of something so clever!

  17. I loved this so much and was so inspired I shared it in my Monday Morning newsletter today :) Great job!!
    Jill @BabyRabies recently posted… My Baby Starts Preschool (A momAgenda School Years Review & Giveaway)

  18. Jennie says:

    I honestly believe you could make a tin shack look not only livable, but COMPLETELY ADORABLE!!! Awesome job!

  19. Sarah-Anne says:

    that is wicked awesome; such a transformation!! i want to have my own house now to decorate, ha!
    Sarah-Anne recently posted… beach trip {2011} : day 2

  20. ryan says:

    CHALK TABLE! The destiny of my sad set of IKEA Lak tables has been found.
    The room is amazing. I love the whimsical, kid friendly feel that doesn’t overwhelm with bubble gum grossness.

  21. Katie says:

    HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Katie recently posted… Weekend Pinning

  22. molly says:

    I love it, Suzanne! It’s so colorful! And I love that chalkboard coffee table. How fun!
    molly recently posted… Dear Sonic,

  23. kodi says:

    um. holy crap. i love that room and i wish i could just copy every exact detail, but dude- our attic is empty and we have no extra furniture laying around. ho hum.
    kodi recently posted… Fight Club

  24. becca says:

    how fun! i love the bright colors. and the button monogram? i keep seeing it on pinterest. and now that i see how cute yours turned out, i’m most definitely going to give it a go!
    becca recently posted… [wordless wednesday] sawyer’s first day

  25. I love how family friendly it is. My house is so damn tiny (seriously like at best 1010sq ft. ) So I find that it’s looking less & less like adults live in it & more & more like a kiddo decorated. Whatevs. This is real life, not apartment therapy. Super cute & on $0 is awesome.
    Kristi Maristi recently posted… That’s Me In The Corner

  26. Stephanie says:

    I love the new look! It is so bright and fun!

  27. jacquelyn says:

    dang. you are fabulous. AND. u make it look easy. u rocked that.

  28. Kim says:

    Cute! Love the chalkboard table so much. What a wonderful realization – using space the way it works best for you. Not necessarily how everyone thinks you “should.”. Great work! Very festive!
    Kim recently posted… The wife’s August goals – How’d I do?

  29. [...] new pinterest inspired living room makes me stabby jealous. (via [...]

  30. BRILLIANT!! It is beautiful! I love how you showed your pinboard and then wham bam…there is YOUR completed projects in the same configuaration – very cool! I’m impressed!

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