Saturday, November 7, 2009

My low-budget living room makeover

This post should be alternately titled, "One woman's garage sale stuff is another woman's treasure".

A few posts ago, I showed off the buffet I inherited from my grandmother. It's been a beautiful addition to my living room and I've been working to make the rest of the room look worthy of such a grand piece of furniture.

When you walk into my house, you walk right into the living room. It has a 2-story ceiling and white walls and I wanted to make it look warm and cozy with browns and oranges and reds and I wanted to do it without spending a fortune. Like what it would cost to paint the 2-story tall walls in here and the adjoining dining room. Or buy new furniture. I worked with what I had.

What I had was a black modern futon and a set of tables in dark wood. I had rich red-toned wood floors, two heavy dark gold lamps, and a few pillows, a few knick-knacks, and a beautiful antique buffet. What I had was no budget to work with so anything else I got had to be cheap.

And this is what it looks like tonight.

When my parents were down last month, we decorated the buffet and my mom was wonderful enough to buy a few decorative items to use there and I found a few inexpensive additions.

I wanted some trim to dress up a small lamp, so I went to the fabric store where I found some wonderful fabric heavily clearanced that would be perfect for drapes. Sure, it was a little more floral than my ideal, but at $3.50/yard, I wasn't going to be picky. Buying the hardware at Wal-Mart saved a few dollars and the rods are still pretty.

The next day was The Nester's yard sale and even though she swore she didn't have many cute things, I came out with a huge bag full and I only spent $8.50. So, Nester, do you recognize this pedestal?

A little spray paint and some furry trim and it's a completely new creature. Then her bird found a new home on top of my wire house.

Some old pillows and fabric remnants from that garage sale became new accents on my couch.

I even made small pillows for the extra dining room chairs that wandered away from my table.

The Nester's old pillows were far cheaper than buying new pillow forms from the craft section. When I was recovering the pillows, I decided to iron the edges under and topstitch them to make it easier to fit the pillow in and sew it closed. Mr. at Home came in and he knows enough about sewing to know that I was "supposed" to sew it inside out. I was trying to explain the different design and he exclaimed, "Oh, like a ravioli!" Why, yes, exactly. It's like sealing a ravioli.

The Nester lives way around on the other side of town and I had trouble getting back out to the loop after I left her house. I ended up shooting over it and I had to turn around in a neighborhood. Where there was a yard sale sign. And I figured, hey, why not. I could ask the quickest way to an entrance ramp AND see if there was anything else I *needed*. That's where I found this mirror.

Which I brought home and spray painted and hung on the wall. And paired with this little spray from the 75% clearance shelf at Target that I enhanced with a few orange-y flowers I got from The Nester.

In addition to making 6 pillows today, I edited Mr. at Home's paper for business class and took the girls to a local fall festival. It was in a town center filled with little shops, one of which was going out of business and I found this little bird house on "going out of business" clearance.

I love how the little birds hung out a fall wreath and I have a feeling they'll be putting out a different one for Christmas.

And those sticks in the vase? Those were in my backyard. Add a couple of sticks of berries left-over from a project years ago and it's a free version of the latest in home decor.

So a whole new warm and cozy living room filled with not-so-new stuff that I love.


Nancy said...

Great job! I love what you did. The mirror you found is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to make a room of white walls look warm, but you've done it. Well done!