Our living room has gone through a ton of changes in the 3 short years we’ve owned our home. When you first buy a home or move to a new place, it’s hard to resist the urge to try to quickly find pieces to fill up every room, and hang a bunch of cheap wall art so it looks “done”. I was guilty of doing just that. I found a few things off of Craigslist that were “ok”, and scavenged a few super clearance sales at Hobby Lobby for some inexpensive decor accents and wall art. In a few short weeks my whole house was “done”. I also quickly chose paint colors and painted 3 rooms (different shades of dark beige-y taupe).
Even though all of this looked fine, it wasn’t really my style at all. Everything I chose was dark, overdone, and had that outdated “Tuscan flare” feel, I’m sure you are all familiar with! (Just think of tons of espresso brown, dark reds, golds, prints of Tuscan landscapes, fluer de lis, and damask print everything! haha)
I craved a style that was more timeless and classic. I wanted a more neutral pallet. I wanted a look that could be easily developed over time, without worrying about things looking too trendy or outdated.
So, after about a year of living with the furniture and decor I didn’t like, I decided to just go for it and make some changes! (I’m so thankful that my hubby lets me do whatever I want to the house!) My only challenge was to not spend any money while making these changes. Luckily, I was able to swap out our couches, coffee table, and dining room furniture through buying and selling on Craigslist. I didn’t spend an extra dime since the different items I bought were equal too or less than the profit I made from the older furniture. I also sold some miscellaneous decor pieces and wall art to get some money for a few gallons of paint.
(Again, sorry for the low quality iPhone pics!)
Here is how our living room looks today. I wish I had a before pic! Overall, it’s not exactly what I want, but it is so much closer than before! One day, I would love classic linen couches, or a chesterfield, with some amazing vintage side chairs… But this set up isn’t too bad considering we didn’t spend any extra money!
I’ll list the cost of the items including the original money spent on the older furniture we had.
•Couches: $600 for both (Craigslist)
•Coffee Table: $5 (Garage sale, two legs were broken)
•Faux Fireplace: $30 (Garage sale, was chipped and painted yellow when we bought it)
•Chandelier: $10 (Habitat ReStore, was originally brass with old wiring)
•Old windows and stacked wine crates- Free finds
•Accent shelf above TV: DIY- free, I used a scrap piece of wood from the garage and we already had the wood stain and shelf brackets.
•Tufted linen chairs (I have two of these side by side): I only paid $50 for *both* chairs! The legs were damaged on both so they were heavily discounted, and I used part of a gift card.
• Wine cabinet turned serveware storage cabinet: $75
Overall, I’m much happier with the way our living room is coming along! It’s been so much fun to find quality vintage pieces that I truly love and mix them with newer inexpensive pieces. I hope to create a look that is collected over time and evolves as the years pass by.
My Advice: If you are really unhappy with the decor and furniture in your home, don’t be afraid to sell the pieces you don’t love and slap some fresh paint on the walls. Those changes can make a huge difference, and give you renewed inspiration for the direction you want to head with the style of your home! Go for it!