Posts Tagged ‘living room’

The Worst Room Makeover Post Ever

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Is it possible I could be nesting even though I’m not pregnant? Maybe it’s less nesting and more getting ready for winter hibernation. I’ve been living on a steady diet of HGTV while I edit photos, and nothing makes me hate my own (pretty nice) house than watching people turn their horrible basements into super useful space. Why can’t someone do that to MY basement?! It’s disgusting! The before and afters would be amazing!

The current first floor makeover started when E moved our cheap, old, Walmart desk downstairs so I could carve out an “office” corner for my business stuff. Need a lamp for one ugly desk was the gateway drug to a Target trip, which lead to a HomeGoods trip, which lead to an Ikea catalog with half the pages marked and a Pinterest board full of links to more furniture than I could ever fit in my house.

Last weekend I went shopping alone to “just look” for a little tiny couch to put in the living room. I didn’t end up finding the couch of my dreams, but that didn’t stop me from dragging the rest of my family out at 7 pm to look at the couch I DID find. It’s probably for the best I couldn’t find the one I wanted – I’m not sure a white tufted fabric couch is the right thing for a room that is currently full of surfaces the children are allowed to write on. The tan microfiber that was delivered yesterday will DEFINITELY survive more Play-Doh mishaps.

Part of the deal when E agreed to come look at “my” couch was we would also look for “his” new couch, which was basically the total opposite of that white one I had in mind. Think of the ugliest, most ridiculous man-couch you can. Now make it a) bigger b) uglier and c) add more cup holders. THAT is the couch he wanted. If a dozen cows didn’t have to die to cover his own personal reclining seat with built in beer fridge, he was NO INTERESTED.

Fortunately, our budget couldn’t support that couch, so it is NOT what I am sitting on while I write this. Unfortunately, the store’s huge sale item that weekend was a big, squishy sectional complete with cup holders and power recliners at each end, so that IS what I am sitting on. I’m not going to lie…it’s pretty comfortable. And this cup holder is very convenient for my Diet Coke. And it’s nice that it takes up basically the ENTIRE ROOM so we had to move most of the toys upstairs and I have most of my house back. The kids are both old enough that I can send them upstairs to play without me and I only have to occasionally shout at them to stop hitting each other. It’s pretty amazing to go from having 3 seats in this room to at least 7…and that’s not counting MY couch in front of the fireplace. A couch in front of the fireplace! For sitting on while drinking mulled wine and eating sparkling brie bites and having adult conversation without the TV on!

That will probably happen once. Right after we put the Christmas tree up. Then someone will say “We should watch Love Actually!” and we’ll move back to the giant ugly couch and that will be that. But when we have people over, there will be SO MANY PLACES TO SIT DOWN!

I realize I just wrote 500 words about two couches and I’ve posted no pictures, but that’s because I’m not done with the rearranging and redecorating. Plus I haven’t finished cleaning the old couch to put on Craigslist, so we actually have THREE couches in two small-ish rooms. I’ll be sure to do an underwhelming reveal if I ever get this part of the house set up the way I want – but I sort of suspect we’ll get busy and never actually sell the old couch or move this bookcase that’s basically blocking a doorway or buy a coffee table or patch the holes in the walls. So for now, just IMAGINE I live in a Pinterest-looking classy yet casual house. That’s what I’m doing.

Pinterest Living Room Makeover

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

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