March 30, 2010

the living room reveal

- Finish curtain rods & hang

- Hang curtains

- Sew and embellish lumbar pillow

- Put furniture back in place

- Swiffer & vacuum floors and rug

- Purchase/find/arrange final accessories

- Photograph!

Since this room is a little larger, I thought I'd shoot it in sections and show the befores with the afters so you get a better idea of the whole revamp!

Before when you walked down the stairs, the first thing you saw was our tower covered with CDs, DVDs, and one two very puny beige carpets trying to pull together as one.

Now the tower is streamlined and ready for some pretty new accessories. The chocolate hand braided jute rug (Ballard Designs) adds some much needed warmth and texture to that linoleum floor.

Before the coffee table felt a little too ornamental, the couches were sagging, and the leaf pattern was tired.

Now my Pottery Barn-inspired drop cloth slip covers--made from simple painter's drop cloths--give me a clean slate to work with without breaking the bank (see more about the couches here). The Norfolk Bench-inspired coffee table looks crisp and is more visually soothing than its predecessor (see more of this project here).

My JoAnn tray got a much need make-over and is now a pretty catch-all for living room type items (because let's face it, it won't stay this pretty for long!). The mini-palm tree was just what the galvanized bucket needed (see the transformation here).

Blue linen button pillow from Pottery Barn, "grain sack" pillow by me (find the tutorial here). I buy all of my pillow inserts from Rick's Foam Products on eBay. They're comfy and his prices are unbelievable!

My once ruined pillow came together quite nicely in the end. I opted for the "Est. 1906" rather than the "No. 19" design. I just subtracted 100 years from the year Jason and I were married. Plus, I love the fact that 1906 breaks down into the day and year of our wedding: February 19, 2006.

Before there was a huge blank spot next to the couches, just begging for some company!

Now my make-shift side table fits that space like a glove (see how I made it here).

Before the curtains were sagging on the IKEA curtain rods. They just weren't long enough to span the length of the window without bowing!

Now my $2 PVC-pipe curtain rods add some weight to really anchor the windows and help them be more of a focal point rather than an after thought. I got this great idea from The DIY Show Off and A Little of This, A Little of That.

Before the wall unit was stuck in the past with it's orangey oak finish.

Now it's beauty-licious. The white bead board wall paper hides a multitude of sinful cords behind it and makes the entire thing look much more finished (see more of this project here).

The claddagh picture is actually a Saint Patrick's Day card. I thought it was so pretty I framed it!

The over sized monkey's fist is from Amazon (and only $15 because it's a pet toy)!

I love this galvanized bucket! I picked it up at Michael's for only $5 on clearance! And for those of you loving Pottery Barn's galvanized tin collection, Michael's is carrying some exact replicas for only a fraction of the price!

The mercury glass mushroom is from my sweet cousin Amy in Oregon.

I love the way it all turned out. The whole room feels more sumptuous, chic, and adult-like. I no longer feel like we're living with hand-me-down furniture (which we still are, for now) or that I'm confined to a single decor scheme because our budget and resources are limited. Sure the drop cloth slip covers don't look exactly like Pottery Barn's, but I didn't pay their price tag for them either! Besides, sometime this summer I plan to replace our old couches with the Ektorp line at IKEA, and it would have been a huge waste of money.

Stay tuned for that crafty giveaway! I'll be giving away one of my DIY French grain sack pillows (only yours will be an envelope closure, not a Velcro!), and one of my teeny tiny signs!

I'm linking my not-so-hand-me-down-anymore! living room up:
Trash to Treasure Tuesday @ Reinvented
DIY Project Parade #7 @ The DIY Show-Off
Make Your Monday @ The Twice Remembered Cottage
Saturday Night Special #25 @ Funky Junk Interiors


  1. I love your rooms! Your office is also one of my inspirations! Love the green you use! My new favorite color! I feel so lost when it comes to accessorizing our rooms...

    And what do you do with all of the book jackets you take off of your books?

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you've done to your living room!!! You've just inspired me to get off my bum and look at how I can redo our hand-me-downs! I've also got to add an "est. in" pillow to my list of to-do projects.

  3. @Gia--we actually have a wire basket in the office closet. We just toss them all in there. Thankfully they don't take up too much room.

  4. I love thrifty decor! I want your pillow! :) But my favorite things are your curtains and grain sack pillows!

  5. Just found you via The Shabby Chic Cottage blog - PB look-alikes. So glad I did! I've already learned a ton about painting larger furniture and slipcovers, decorating and color. Thank you! Will be sure to bookmark and come back.


  6. I think you did a great job and it is nice that you give details so about what you did. Thanks for sharing on SNS.

  7. Wow! What a fantastic transformation, it feels a lot cosier with the rug and slipcovers and I can't believe your curtain rod is $2 PVC pipe!
    I particularly love the coffee table, it's gorgeous!

  8. Beautiful job! I love the cottage vibe and the freshness of it. Thanks so much for sharing! ;)


  9. very nice! You did a great job:)

  10. I love how your dropcloths turned out! You'd never know that's what they were :) What a great idea!

    Come on over and link up at my Tuesday TALENT SHOW if you like :)

  11. This is beautifully done, especially on a budget! Thanks for showing us the transformation! You did a wonderful job :)

  12. I really like what you did in this room! Thanks for the inspiration ;-)


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