Then and Now- Living Room & Office

Let's continue with the Nate and Michelle and cheap frugal story...

This is what our living room looked like when we moved in….


We lived like this for about a year.  No coffee table, no end table, the mantel was a work in progress.  I’m pretty sure that anyone who entered our house thought we were in way over our heads…..too house poor to furnish it.  Nope, just cheap.

Here is the living room after living in our house for about a year….

thenPicnik collage

We broke down and purchased a coffee table and end table from American.  We finally had a place to set our drinks and some magazines!!  Trust me, this was an exciting day! We added a little more detail to the mantel with an iron piece from Hobby Lobby.  Our rug (JcPenney), however, was a bit too small…but hey, it was a rug!

And this is what our living room looks like today…

nowPicnik collage

Our new rug is a better size.  The addition of pillows in different textures and colors helps lead to that cozy look that we were going for.  We added a few plants to bring some life to the room.

We eventually plan to add built-ins and a fancy-schmancy mantle.  It’s going to be beautiful.  Darn budget…(You can read more about our living room here.)

On to the office….

This is what our office looked like when we moved in…

Picnik collagethen

The couch was given to us from a pharmacy school roommate and we were using an awesome black office chair. 

Fabulousness all around.

After living in our house for a year, this room became the junk room…..


If we didn’t want to put something away in it’s proper location, it landed here.  Nate bought a television for above the mantel…because you can never have too many televisions…and you should keep the box in the room for about 3 months...just in case it doesn't work...

I thought I’d be all crafty and hang a gallery wall behind the couch.  The frames are crooked.  The pillows are loud.

Ike wants to know how we let this room look like this…


About 6 months after my awesome attempt to “decorate” this room, I got the brilliant idea that I would sew curtains…


I bought some fabric.  Measured.  Measured wrong.  They turned out ok….just don’t look too closely at one of the curtains behind the couch.  I made some coordinating pillow cases.  I started a globe collection.  Found the ottoman at the Salvation Army for $25 and I painted the frames to coordinate with the blue/brown scheme.  (Read more about the office here.)

This room needs help….suggest away!!

That concludes the Then and Now series.  What’d you think???

House Tour- Living Room

Today we will tour the living room....

This is the room where we spend most of our time watching tv, reading, blogging, napping, etc....
you know, the living room....

When planning this room I wanted something that looked like grown-ups lived in the house (even though they don't) but was still warm and inviting. 

Please note the dog located in his usual position...

View from the front door

View from the kitchen/eating area

Room info
  • Wall color: Macademia (Sherwin Williams)
  • Furniture: Ethan Allen Retreat sofa, love seat, and chair
    • (This was before I knew furniture shouldn't be so matchy-matchy but matchy-matchy it is. I kind of like matchy in certain this one...because I have no choice...)
  • Shelves: JCPenney Leaning Shelf
  • Coffee table and end table: American Furniture
  • Rug: Pottery Barn rug bought at Tuesday Morning for over half off (BONUS!)
  • Accessories on shelves: thrift stores, Gordman's, gifts, TJMaxx, Marshall's
This is one room that I am pretty much done with.  Weird, right?

We do eventually plan to add built-in shelves and a fancy-schmancy mantle but that is a ways away (pesky student loans) and I am always changing out pillows and accessories on the shelves but overall...done...sort of...

What are your opinions on matchy-matchy furniture?

Linking up to:
Thrifty Decor Chick

It's Just a Sweater...Pillow

I've had my eye on Pottery Barn's Sweater-Knit Pillow cover for awhile...

Sweater-Knit Pillow Cover, 26"
Image found here
Unfortunately, Pottery Barn and I don't agree on pricing. 

I kept thinking about the pillow covers and debating if it was something I could tackle.  I then decided...what's the worse that could happen? I would ruin a $1.50 sweater I got from the Salvation Army.  I can handle that loss.

So, I headed to the Salvation Army and picked out two $1.50 sweaters (along with a pair of $3 Express Editor pants in perfect condition....yeah, awesome. I know!).

I suck at "how-to's"...especially on this because I didn't know what I was doing.

I shoved (technical term) the pillow form into the sweater. 
I cut off the arms.  I placed pins around the pillow so I had a general outline of where to sew. 
I used a large, zig-zag stitch to sew where I had pinned (on 3 sides of the pillow).  I left the 4th side open because I change my mind with decorating as often as some people change their underwear (you can decide how often that is). 
To close the last side, I tied some bows with ribbons. 
And wah-lah...........sweater pillow cover for $1.50.

 Take that Pottery Barn.