A cheap living room makeover.

Last week I was bitten by the decorating bug. In my spare time, I’ve been cruising design blogs, flipping through old issues of Domino (sniff), and scrutinizing our living room with an eye toward making some changes. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when there’s not a lot of spare cash to put toward home improvements. So, I decided to try moving the furniture around (a great free decorating trick!) and shop my linen closet instead.

My living room is small and has an awkward wall layout that is compounded by an air vent on the middle wall and a cable connection that can’t be moved.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take “before” photos until after I had already started moving things. So this looks a little cleaner/simpler than it actually was.

It wasn’t a terrible furniture arrangement, but everything felt sort of cramped all the time. Plus, I could only see the problem getting worse as more and more baby stuff migrates down the hall from her room into the living room.

Old apartment arrangement.

The couch had to stay where it was, but I pushed the two bookcases together to form a sort of library side to the room. We don’t even have that many books, but I feel like they are so distracting and un-simple looking….at least this way they’re all in one place. I sometimes half-heartedly consider covering them all in brown paper (but don’t worry, it will never happen).

The pillow cases have got to go...

I moved the reading chair next to the shelves and hung an unused Marimekko print behind it. It’s hard to see, but there’s a Japanese lantern overhead, my one new purchase. Moving the chair freed up space next to the tv that will probably eventually be filled by a toy bin or something of that nature.

New apartment arrangement.

The desk now takes the space right by the door. Maybe that will motivate me to keep it tidy! We sent the gigantic (and comfortable) leather office chair to school with husband. I miss sitting in it, but it didn’t fit into the desk opening and was thus always protruding into the room. Annoying. Those white cabinets on the right hold our cds, dvds and videos. We got them at Ikea and I love them so much — I can close and lock the doors so baby can’t get at everything when she starts to walk!

Probably should have emptied the waste basket!

The room isn’t “finished,” but I like it sooooo much better already. It makes me happy to see it, even during those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. :) I’m now looking for a new area rug, a taller magazine shelf to go on the right side of the couch, and a picture to go above the entryway shelf (I’ll probably shop my closet for this). I’m making new pillow covers to replace the grey striped ones from some black and white Ikea fabric I already had that I’m painting with fabric inks. They’re not turning out quite like I had envisioned, but I think I’ll finish them anyway.

Marimekko fabric, Dwell studio pillow. 

I may also look for a new piece of art or fabric to go behind the chair. What do you think? Do you like the leaf?

I can’t sign off without posting some of the new baby cuteness that we’ve been seeing lately. Camilla is just now getting steady enough to give her new (used) Johnny Jump Up a try.

Not smiling, but not crying either.

I tried to catch her smiling, but she had this kind of worried look the whole time.

Careening in the jump-up.

It seemed to be a reasonably big hit for about five minutes, though, so I am looking forward to when she gets the hang of the whole “jumping” thing…for now, her feet stay in one place and she careens from one side to the other.

More fun with Jingle Pig.

Thank you, Lauren!

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2 thoughts on “A cheap living room makeover.

  1. I like the leaf a lot! The combination of the leaf, the chair, and the lantern are my favorite part of the room– especially with the splash of color that the green pillow brings.

  2. LOL! Isla doesn’t jump either. She just leans and jerks about. It is especially hilarious to watch her lunge for objects on the floor. If you remember that Mike Meyers and Nicole Kidman SNL sketch where Mike is harnessed to the jungle gym…you get the idea.

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