Living Room Inspiration

Ever since the post on the living room updates back in January, I have made zero changes to the space.  {Well, I did manage to take down the life size Call of Duty cardboard cutout off the useless nook just before the Halloween party; it’s sad that I let that fly for over 9 months…}  Regardless, it’s feeling kind of blah to me.  I read design blogs on a daily basis, watch all my favorite HGTV shows on DVR, read a handful of shelter mags, and yet I can’t seem to pull a full room together.  I know what styles I like, but I’m just not willing to spend the money on furniture and home decor that many of my favorite spaces do.  It’s easy to create a gorgeous room on an unlimited budget; the challenge arises from curating a stylish room on the cheap.  I rely on scouring thrift stores and Craigslist to find the best vintage pieces as well as waiting until my favorite things go on sale before I purchase them.  It’s a slooooow process, and the main reason why my house is barely decorated!

All this said, I really want to finish the living room since it is the space that we spend most of our waking hours in.  I want it to have the layered, collected look that I love, and not break the bank.  We recently bought an entertainment center and brown leather couches, so those will obviously stay in the space, but I really want to work on the finishing touches and accessories to make the space complete.  So, here is the plan; a plan which I reserve the right to modify at any time… 🙂

I’ve been contemplating for a long time on whether or not to bring a rug into the space.  In an ideal world, I’d have hardwood floors throughout the house, but since the carpet was new when we moved in and is good quality, it’s not worth ripping up.  I know many people are against rugs over carpet, but I really think I’m going to buy the rug I’ve been coveting from IKEA, the Alvine Ruta.

It has a great pattern and a low pile, so I don’t think it will be too obtrusive over the carpet already there.  It’s priced at $199, which is at least a few hundred dollars less than any other 100% wool rug on the market.  I’ve also seen it in two inspiring spaces, both placed over carpet, and it still looks fantastic:

{via / via}

I also think I might bite the bullet and make my own curtains out of the now infamous kalah blue fabric.  I don’t think I’ve ever loved a fabric so much.  I first saw it on a pair of curtains in Lonny magazine back in the day.


Later, I saw it in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine feature of budding interior designer Amy Meier’s apartment.  {Her entire place is to die for; check it out!}


As if these two didn’t convince you enough, I later saw it in an Apartment Therapy feature of 6th Street Design School’s house…


Last but not least, when I finally got it out of my mind, I saw a pin via Thrifty Decor Chick of Edie Wadsworth’s new living room last week…


Her whole house is to die for, but unfortunately the ottomans are over $500 a piece at Horchow; that’s definitely not in the budget. It does reaffirm my love to this fabric, however, so I think I may need to splurge and make some curtains from it.  I’ve already ordered a sample to make sure it really is as awesome as I think it will be.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the color scheme I’m going for is navy and yellow.  Here is one of my favorite spaces I’m using as inspiration…


The good thing is that I already have the brown leather pieces.  The only substantial thing I’d really have to “scrap” in the room are the maroon curtains we currently have.  {I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought those; luckily, they are of good quality and I can probably re-sell them for what I paid for them…}

I’d like to find a different chair for the corner, perhaps a wing back chair in navy.  I also want to tile over the existing green marble fireplace surround which I’ve hated since day one.

I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect chair for my campaign desk in the nook by the stairs; I’ve currently got an extra dining chair sitting there.

I’d love to find something on Craigslist or at the thrift store to makeover, similar to this one, but possibly painted navy with a yellow and white patterned fabric…


Here is a {poorly made} mood board I whipped up to show the pieces all together…

What do you think? Keep in mind that the accent chair will need to be more navy than teal {and much less than $1200!} and that there will need to be quite a few accessories added as well; I just have to find them!

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One Response to Living Room Inspiration

  1. Jess says:

    Loved reading your blog. I relate to your comments of trawling for bargains (takes sooo long!!) on interesting pieces. Sometimes I see something I love but it doesn’t fit with my other pieces. I’m the queen of returning things :). Love the rug – I think I’ll get one of those too.

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