Monday, October 28, 2013

Living room redo

The new, finished living room

The living room was decorated in green, tan and brown.  I loved the idea of changing the color scheme to gray and white, but didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I was able to keep the costs down by keeping the sofa and two chairs rather than trading them out for gray or white pieces.  I brought in the white table from the other side of the room, only buying for furniture the end table and the coffee table, for very cheap money.

As for pillows, I saved a lot of money by removing the covers and making my own from inexpensive table linens.  Except for two of them that I purchased.  About a fifth of the budget was spent on curtains, with a quarter spent on frames and photo developing.

This is what my windows look like, with the valances from, and gray panels from HomeGoods. 

Fleur De Lis Pillow in Navy
I'm in love with this pillow and its fleur de lis pattern,
but at $61, I'm glad it's not offered in white

Love You More Pillow
Couldn't I do this with burlap fabric and a stencil?
This is something that I say to my kids.
I went to HomeGoods looking for pillows or fabric to make covers for existing pillows. I found a set of four Ralph Lauren white on white damask napkins for $10. When I got home, I found that two just fit over the 20 x 20 pillow forms that had been formerly covered in green. I sealed the edges with hot glue and voila, a new white pillow for $5.

There are also two pillows that I took out of my office/spare bedroom that are rectangular. They are a bit too big for the white linen placements I bought to cover them, so I removed some of the feathers inside to make them flatter.

While at AC Moore, I browsed the stencils, but didn't buy any.  I knew I had one at home that I used in the bathroom, so I reused that one.  I did buy two kinds of metallic silver paint. Thus the stenciled pillows:

With the extra feathers from the other two pillows, I made this pillow out of two round placemats.  It cost $7 for four of them.

I also took the same stencil and used it on the new lampshade (which ended up being free because the sales clerk apparently didn't ring it up).  I will add a border at the top and bottom when I get another stencil to do it.  The pillow was $20 and is covered with silver studs.  The photograph is mine of an anemone flower in my garden.

Another chair, another pillow and picture frame.  This photo is of a white rose of Sharon.

The chandelier I ordered from Home Depot, on sale for only $60

I like the photographs assembled over the sofa at Kristine's blog,, as seen below.  I thought I'd try the same thing, but wasn't sure what photos I would choose.  I ended up taking photos of objects in the room, then superimposing quotes over them. 

8/23/13 Update: Here are the six photographs with captions that I framed and hung over the sofa.

I've been looking for a tray to place on my coffee table, but haven't found the right one. Imagine my delight when I found this post about repurposing a picture frame as a tray.

She painted and distressed the frame, cleaned the glass, covered the original picture in fabric, secured it with duct tape, then laid brown craft paper over it to cover the mess. She then added screen door handles. As an alternative, I could also use paper instead of fabric for the design.


I liked this idea, but modified it.  While shopping at HomeGoods yesterday, I browsed the clearance aisle and found this picture frame for $15, perfectly suitable as a tray.  I removed the seashell pictures and replaced it with a really cool decorative paper I found at AC Moore for $1.99/sheet.  I don't have to refinish the frame, and I think I'll skip any handles.

Here's my version of a tray, placed on the coffee table
I like the idea of using clear glass containers to hold fresh sprigs of greenery as seen on Kristine's blog.

Dining Room
I also thought of adding artificial flowers but would need to buy the gel that resembles water.  That stuff is expensive, so I found a recipe online for making my own here.  But do I want to bother?  An alternative is clear glass balls to hold them in place; these were half off at AC Moore, so I bought a bag for $3.50.

The formerly brass end table

My yard sale frames with prints of flowers from my garden:
a knockout rose, dogwood blossom, daylily

My yard sale glass containers on the coffee table
The two frames to the right of the standing lamp formerly held leaf prints.  I carefully removed the backing, inserted a decorative paper in each, and stapled the backing on again.

The tally for the living room:

Paint and supplies at Home Depot: $25.46 / $31.56 / $65.12
Coffee table from craigslist: $30
Curtain panels (4): $33.98
Waterfall valances (4): $59.96
Photo frames for wall: (8) $71.92
Photo developing for above frames: $40
Metal and glass end table: $25.50
Small photo frames: $20
RL napkins for pillows: $9
Decorative paper and frame for tray: $17
Stencil and craft paint for lampshade: $7.40
Vases on tray and clear glass gems: $7.00
Decorative papers for frames above leather chair: $2.60
Gray weave placements for long pillow: $9
Round gray placements for pillow: $6
White linen placements for pillows: $9
Three frames and prints over metal table: $24
Pillows for chairs: $36
Chandelier (to be installed) $60

Total $550