Welcome to the living room. This is the room in our house where we spend the most amount of time. I prefer to keep it pretty simple to allow for the influx of toys, people, and stuff. I love bright green and used it as the basis of most of the design. I’m constantly re-arranging the living room. I’m not even going to try to attempt to explain all the different arrangements I had: I like to change things up. It helps keeps things fresh and interesting.
The bones of the living room have stayed the same. Laminate flooring, peach beige walls, and even popcorn ceiling. I’ve often thought of changing any of these core elements. It’s a lot of work and money, and I’m just not sure If I would improve the situation enough to make it worth. The flooring, the paint color, and even the ceiling isn’t that bad. So I lived with it.
The living room is one long, narrow space. It’s easily separated into two separate spaces, as I have done many times. But I like it best as one big room, where many guests are accommodated and there’s room to get out a couple of yoga mats, build a massive train track, or run circles.
I’m always adding and changing the furniture up a bit. I’m not actively searching for anything: but have found many items just by chance and happily integrated them into the living room, like the piano from online classifieds and the tree stump from my neighbor’s dead willow.
The chest was a thrift store find. The boys call it a treasure chest. Joe called it a mini-tardis (we’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who). I love all the storage inside. It’s been a great place to store the blanket, pillows and stuffed animals that tend to get scattered in the living room.
The middle school replaced their desks and were giving away the old ones for free. I stopped by and found a couple of the oldest desks there. It’s been a great place for me to sit and work in the living room.
I took a while to upgrade the curtains. We had boring blinds and they worked, so that was that. I added a valance to the front window, with black burlap and scrap fabric. Later I added a white and sheer curtain to replace the blind.
Our main area lacks overhead lighting. I have never wanted to put floor lamps in there because, in my experience, floor lamps and young children don’t combine well. When we moved in, I bought a couple of wall lamps from IKEA. Because they were wall mounted, they didn’t take up any extra space, and the kids couldn’t knock them over. My mom also lent me a lamp that had been sitting in her storage for 25 years: an old hanging globe lamp. The globe lamp ended up being in the way of the Christmas tree…until I realized that it works wonderfully as a tree topper.
I’ve added more lamps through the years. One time I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to increase the lighting and shopping for new ones,until my husband reminded me we had an unused lamp downstairs that would work perfectly. It took five minutes and no money to solve a problem I puzzled over for quite a while. The best solutions are inexpensive, easy and quick, and they are often found by just evaluating what we have.
One of my favorite things in the room was a painting from my Grandma’s as she was cleaning out her storage room. It actually closely matches a lovely, vivid dream I had a while ago.
I had a bunch of mismatched cushions. Some were thrifted, others came with the couch. A super easy way to upgrade cushions is to buy new covers. It ended up quite cheap, and now I have a pillow that match!
Our front door needed to be upgraded…I decided to go with a bright green paint, not really sure if I would like it. I ended up loving it, and the door has changed to a feature in the room.
- Rug: $250, Flor
- Piano: $250, online classified
- Green Couch: $460, Home Reserve
- Blue Couch: $400, local furniture store
- Chair: $60, IKEA as is
- Recliners: Free, from grandparents
- Recliner slipcovers: Overstock, $100 for two
- Chest: $30, thrift store
- Side table: Free, from family
- Stump: Free, from neighbor
- Plants: Gifts or adopted
- Plant stickers: $15
- Lamp: Free from aunt
- Desk closet:$20, thrift store
- Desk: $20, Ikea, with $5 top, thrift store
- Office chair: $10, yard sale
- Floating shelf: $15 Ikea
- Wall lamps: $40, Ikea
- Desk: Free, local school
- Toy shelf: $60, Ikea
- Painting: Free, from Grandmother
- Coat racks: Free, repurposed
- Curtains: $90, Ikea
- Valance: $5 fabric, plus scraps
- Hanging lamp: Free
- Clock: $5, Amazon
- Leaf pillows: $10, Ikea
- Plant pillows: $15, Amazon
- Green pillows $20, Amazon
- Charging station: $5, Ikea