When we buy another house, whenever that may be, I’m going to force myself to decorate slowly, even if it means bare walls for months or years. When we bought our current home (7 years ago) we owned little more than an over-sized bean bag and a bed. Since we had so much work to do on the house (we ripped up all the old tiles, wood, and carpet ourselves!), by the time we moved in, I just wanted to be done.
Our living room circa 2010
When we moved in, we tossed up paintings and curtains as quickly as we could. I figured we’d swap them out as we came across things we liked more, but it never happened. For 7 years, nothing changed because it was really hard to convince ourselves to spend money on something we already had, even if it wasn’t something we really like.
living room “before”
So for longer than I cared for, I loved our house, but never really liked our living room decor.
living room “before”
Then at a ladies Christmas party I got into a conversation with my two friends, Brittney and Bekah, about home decor. These two ladies know their stuff and have quite the eye for design. They don’t typically do anything beyond their own homes, but I all but begged them to help me out. A month or so later, they came through and completely over-delivered with aid! They made a vision board, listened to me about what I loved and what I wanted to change, they got a sense of my style (if I have one?), then they WENT SHOPPING FOR ME.
Talk about my dream come true. They literally walked into my home with arm fulls of knickknacks and blankets and plants to try. My heart exploded.
I am working within a rather strict budget (again, home decor is not high on our “spend”) list, but the changes they’ve implemented thus far have made my living feel completely different. It’s an incredible feeling to actually like walking into a room in your own house.
So while there are things still to change in phase 2 (new rug, add a chair in the corner of the room with table and lamp, an over-sized basket for blankets, etc), I am absolutely thrilled with the progress we’ve made so far and I wanted to go ahead and show you around the “in progress” pictures.
The most noticeable change is the curtains. I am so in love with the curtains. They are the Aina Curtains from Ikea (in white) so the price makes me love them even more.
They really brighten up the entire room, yet still are solid enough to diffuse the sunlight on hot days and offer privacy when we need it.
I need an updated family picture, but like having a canvas as the centerpiece on the mantle. They took the lanterns I already had and added height with books that I bought from Goodwill (turned backwards so it didn’t matter their color = brilliant!). We also have flameless candles in the lanterns that are on timers, which makes our living room so cozy every evening!
One plant is from Ikea (again, they have a ton of cheap and cute pots and plants– both real and fake) and one from HomeGoods.
I didn’t want to budge on our coffee table. We bought it 9 years ago from a Goodwill in Charlotte and I absolutely adore it. It’s a little beat up, but since David and I both love dark wood and iron, it fits our style perfectly. Bekah brought over a couple items from her home to fill it up.
I loved the basket (and the clock and copper pot), but since stealing from friends isn’t a nice thing to do, I did what I could to recreate it.
I found the small pot at Goodwill and the little artichoke thing at HomeGoods. The large shallow basket is replaced by a placemat I had sitting around, and I’m the lookout to replace it with something more like Bekah’s basket, but it works for now.
white lamp (from Walmart!) / pillows from HomeGoods / fern painting on wall from Kirklands
Three other dramatic changes beyond the curtains was pulling our large sectional back into one piece (should have done it sooner!), moving the bookcase into the office and centering our TV consul, and adding large pictures on either side of the TV to fill up the wall a bit more. Such. A. Difference.
I’m thrilled with the way the room looks right now. Sure there are still things to add and swap out, but it feels so much more pulled together.
I know so many of you have an incredible sense of style and I’d love to hear your input on trends you are loving right now or how to make your rooms feel more pulled together.
What small change have you made to a room in your house that has made a big impact?
I think curtains make the biggest difference!