Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting a Grown Up Living Room!

I get the itch to clean, cull, and decorate my house right around this time every year. In the past that's meant doing something crafty to spiff up the place or perhaps cleaning out the junk drawer.One year I even did the Apartment Therapy January Cure (link is to my blog posts during the process)!

Unfortunately, until this point, we haven't been able to do anything BIG! I moved into this house as a single mom over three years ago, and having been a nomad most of my life, I had to buy second-hand (third, fourth?) from my landlords just to have a couch, tables, etc.

I can't complain...my old furniture has served us well, but I've long dreamt of actually having furniture I LIKE. This year my husband and I made a plan. We bought a desperately necessary king-size bed a few months ago, and now that we have it paid off, we are ready to move on to real, grown-up furniture!

But before we get to the new stuff, let's review the old...


This was my living room at its newest, and cleanest, right after I moved in. I immediately ordered this slip cover because I detest the couch. It's scratchy and the colors are not ideal. In fact...


This is what our living room (ugly couch!) usually looks like because 1) the cover slides around and gets all wonky 2) we're too damn lazy to keep it looking nice.

So yeah. Our living room...between the rented-home, knotty-pine paneling and this ugly couch, kind of looks like a dark, unhappy hunting lodge. Not my jam AT ALL.

While we are planning to buy this house in 2016 if all goes well, we're living with the paneling (still), and we made some of our new furniture choices with an eye toward brightening the room. In future, I'd love to paint it a light gray to match our office (which connects to the living room through an open walkway), so we had that in mind as well.


I've been stalking this chaise lounge "sectional" for years. This is the Cindy Crawford Madison Place sofa in "peat", and it will be here on Wednesday. It was also on sale, so SCORE! I am super excited that the chaise can be positioned on either end for my reading pleasure, and it's structured and clean but also very comfy. And the microfiber will make it easy to vacuum the dog hair. Oh, the dog hair. 


Every man needs a recliner, or so I'm told, so we picked one very similar to this. I'm not sure it's the exact right one, but my husband had a look of ecstasy on his face when he tried it out. The upholstery is structured and stitched enough not to look like a complete marshmallow, so I'm happy with it.

We have a gawd-awful wood entertainment center and an ooooold tube TV. I ordered this new TV stand from Target, and we'll be upgrading to a flat screen TV. I love the white to brighten the room, and the mixed wood doors and handles are just quirky enough, and it will provide some storage for DVDs and Greyson's art supplies. 

As for the rest of the room, I'm keeping that under my hat. We have a lot of things in the room we like already...a beautiful, white-washed antique mirror, a lit marquee, plenty of books, lots of owls and candles, and Basket the cow. We plan to keep our curtains, grab a new rug, finally hang our mountains of artwork, and I want to snatch up some pops of color from Marshall's or Homegoods. 

I love mixing neutral colors: in our case brown, tan, gray, white, and black with pops of color, and I adore that it's easy to change out pillows and art with the seasons. 


If you ask me, this is a near-perfect color palette for what we have going on currently, and something to guide me in my pillow choices, naturally. We have blue touches already, we love plants (hello, green!), and I've never met a purple I didn't like, so I think we're off to a solid start. I don't anticipate buying much more!

When you hear the squeeeeee on Wednesday, that's the furniture arriving, and you can be sure I'll post pics when we finally get the room put together. Cross your fingers that all goes well!

If you're into this sort of thing, maybe follow me on Pinterest! Especially the "Room Inspiration" board! 



46 comments:

  1. Ah the paneling. Can't think what our ancestors (yes, them) were thinking, but I've certainly seen a lot of it in my time. You'll love the lighter colors and your selections are great! Good luck. Enjoy!!

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    1. Yeahhh, I don't know why they thought paneling was a good idea. It's soooo horrendous. lol Definitely looking forward to the lighter pieces and getting it all put together!

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  2. We had a slip cover once and I hated it for all the same reasons you listed. I LOVE that sofa! Vance has one similar to that and, I must warn you, everyone fights over the chaise part of it when he has guests over. I can't wait to see how everything looks!!

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    1. Thank you! Like I said, I've literally been stalking this thing for years and thinking it's perfect, so the fact that it was on sale was practically a SIGN! I can imagine people do fight over the chaise! Between Greyson, the dogs, and me, it will be very well loved. lol

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  3. Love the new furniture! We are currently renting a place that we're hoping to buy this year too and it has paneling on the walls in the living room very similar to yours....with the great addition of one wall being done in a slightly lighter paneling with animals, birds and trees etched into it --- talk about the hunting lodge look!!! Ugh! As soon as we buy, I'm painting that wall at the very least.

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    1. Thank you! Oh no, re: animal etchings! That sounds very...special. Painting is definitely in the cards.

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  4. I hate slip covers - at least the ones in my budget - because of exactly what you describe! I love your color palate and that TV stand is fabulous! And I love that couch! Enjoy your grown up living room and the process of getting there!

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    1. Me toooo. They never stay on, or we're especially wiggly. I cannot wait for this to arrive! We're practically bouncing in our crappy chairs everyday.

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  5. This is going to look great! You will love it. I totally agree with you about the neutral colors. I have a mix of sand and sage colors in my living room, and use accent colors and accessories to change things up. Have fun!

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    1. Ahh yes! Your living room sounds gorgeous! I'm going to have a blast playing with a gallery wall, pillows, and some other things here and there. :)

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  6. Love that sectional! Beautiful color palette. Have FUN!

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    1. Thank ya! We're both SO impatient!

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  7. Yay! Your choices are all fantastic! I wanted to do more with furniture in my apartment, but all my favorite cheap-furniture places in town have closed down, one after another. So my project is slightly stalled. Also because I keep spending potential-furniture-money on other things such as going to India (it was great!) and seeing Hamilton (fiscally irresponsible but I AM SURE IT WILL BE WORTH IT).

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    1. Thank you! I love cheap furniture places, but there aren't too many around here either. There are a few antique/junk shops where I can get reasonable lamps and furniture to upgrade, but that's about it. IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

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  8. Changing the decoration is great for cheering oneself up!
    I have to say I like your current sitting room, but I'm sure your new arrivals will make it less dark and I'll like them too :)))
    Enjoy your new house!

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    1. Thank you! We've done the best we can with it, and there are parts I really like now, but this will be like the cherry on top. :)

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  9. Oooh love all of the things you're teasing here! I hope you share pictures of what it looks like when it's all pulled together. We lucked into a lot of great hand-me-downs and are fortunate to live close to approximately 1,000 junk, antique, and re-store like shops, so I was able to outfit most of our place for fairly little money. But it can be so hard to save up for big items (like sofas... WHY ARE SOFAS SO EXPENSIVE). I'm so excited for you!

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    1. Thank you! I can't even imagine how it'll come together right now. I kinda sorta know, but there's still some things to figure out. I love junk/antique shops, and we have some good ones nearby, but I've just about picked them clean: lamps, wall decor. I have no idea why sofas are so expensive. They'd better be stuffed with fairy dust.

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  10. Yay for grown-up furniture! I understand your excitement quite well, and we're also cleaning, purging, organizing right now... in fact, my husband is painting a little-used room in the basement as we speak! We're converting it into a craft/storage space for me, and I am SO excited about it. All this freshening up is a great way to beat the January blues, too!

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    1. Ooh, your craft/storage space sounds wonderful! I hope you get many happy hours out of it! And so true re: January blues. It's nice to clean out and start fresh.

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  11. Oh, I have done the slip covers in the past, and they always looked rumpled and untidy for me...probably because we slouch around on the couch. I am excited for you with new furniture coming. When I got my current couch and love seat, I had been through the nomad thing for years and had numerous "stand-in" pieces.

    I have also had the paneling...and even though I lived in that house I owned for thirteen years, it never got changed. The people who bought the house removed it, though, yay for them! LOL. No paneling in my current place, but it is a rental, so there are other issues....sigh.

    Enjoy the process....

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. We do, too. Just doesn't work! At least you don't have paneling now! Hopefully the other issues aren't too bad. Thanks!

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  12. Ooooh - that couch looks fantastic and I'm of the mind that every bookworm needs a chaise! Of course I don't have one at the moment (we're in a rental house), but when we finally buy a place and I put effort/money into furniture, I will definitely get one! And - my friend who runs her own interior design business uses Homegoods for accents all the time.

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    1. Yes! That will be my reading space, for sure! I just love Homegoods. I am more than willing to let them have my money. lol

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  13. Oh how fun! I love that chaise and I'm sure you'll have lots of wonderful reading hours ahead of you sitting in such comfort.

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  14. Cannot wait for the After photos. Honestly I think your Before looks very good too but I know what you mean by wanting to change things about and also the slip cover always coming off. I am so bad at visualizing what I want any room to look like but the pictures you have here show a lot of promise.

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    1. Thank you! I'll be sure to update you guys when we get it done. Or at least mostly done. :) I really use Pinterest a lot to help me visualize and narrow down what I like. From there, I just try stuff until it works! lol

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  15. How exciting! Looks like you're going to have a lovely room when it's all done!

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  16. Looking forward to seeing photos of your newly done up place! I do kind of regret not getting a chaise when we bought our sofa!

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    1. I used to house sit for a professor who had a couch very much like this one, and I fell in love with it immediately! So comfy, and this one can be moved to either end, which I love.

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  17. Sometimes I pine for our old couch. It was much better for naps than what we currently have. Hope you enjoy your new furniture! Happy New Year.

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    1. Thank you! Gawd, I hope this one is good for napping. I was a little worried about the sloping arms, but I think we're gonna be ok. :)

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  18. This is awesome! I really want to do some room makeovers some day, when we finish fixing all the things of our house that need to get fixed, haha. I love that couch you chose. We got one like that, except it was a cheaper brand that turned out to have a flaw, and we had to return it (and a second one) after they both broke within a week (like the full board underneath broke!). But I'd love to get a sturdier version one day!

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    1. Yeahhhh, once we buy the house we're going to be doing the fixing. Not necessarily looking forward to that part. lol That sucks about the two bum couches! I have that in my head as a big fear, but this one, thankfully, has a 3 year warranty. Crossed fingers that we don't need to use it.

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  19. It looks great! You are going to ADORE your chaise!!

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  20. Love the new couch you are getting - so nice! And that TV stand is so cool with those mismatched drawers - I love it! Your living room is going to look so awesome!! Enjoy your new furniture!!

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  21. Oh Andi that's so exciting! Nothing like the joy of getting those new things and even more when they're paid for! Enjoy! My hopeful right now is when we move I get new matching kitchen appliances I love!

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  22. Man, I'm so jealous; and my furniture isn't even old - ha! I love this entertainment center and that chaise is going to be THE BEST. I'm excited to see how it all turns out, Andi!! CONGRATS!!

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    1. Thank you!!! I can't wait to lounge all over these! Well, except the entertainment center. lol

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  23. Your room is going to be so beautiful! You absolutely MUST show us pictures when you are done with it!

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  24. Love everything you've chosen and the color scheme is awesome! Saw a sneak-peak on Instagram and am loving your choices, Andi. Hope you can paint that paneling some day soon. We had some in living room in our first home and wound up painting it white. It looked awesome! Looking forwarding to seeing all your "after" pictures.

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