Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Living Room: A Work in Progress

For the past five years, my living room has been dominated by a very large television. Everyone who comes over for the first time comments on it. Our house sitters love it; after all, she got to watch the Royal Wedding practically life size. And I have to say, I am thankful for it. Nolan bought it just after he graduated college, and then after we met and dated and it came time to buy me a ring, he determined to spend more on my ring than he’d spent on his TV—he wanted to make sure his priorities were in order.

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(Just ignore the incredibly messy living room all around it.)

So while I appreciate its entertainment value, it has really cramped my decorating style. It’s also cramped our space. A whole wall had to be devoted to it and we only had one furniture arrangement option around it.

A while back Nolan and I started talking about how we could make our living space more enjoyable, and I suggested a flat screen above the fire place. Nolan was surprised I’d be willing to give up that decorating space but was open to the idea. I was surprised he was willing to give up his giant screen. He began saving his fun money little bits at a time, thinking it would take a year or two to save enough for high enough quality TV. But with his old job ending, he was going to end up with left over vacation and comp time cashed out. And so, on Friday my five year old dream came true, and I was able to rearrange my living room! But first, let’s take a peak at the VERY MESSY space before (we’re keeping it real here, right?)…

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Our living room is long and somewhat narrow to begin with, but how we had to arrange the space made it feel even more so. I never liked how the fireplace was essentially ignored and anyone who sat in the love seat was distanced from a conversation.

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A view from the kitchen.

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From the entry way.

It took SO MANY tries at finding the right furniture arrangement once we hung the TV on the wall, but in the end I LOVE it. The new arrangement makes the room more square shaped, which opens it up a lot. We have so much floor space for Jace to play, and all the furniture is placed for nice and easy interaction, and it doesn’t feel like it’s centered around a TV anymore.

My new view from the kitchen. I think I’ll enjoy washing dishes more now since I can watch TV at the same time. (Ignore that the TV isn’t centered, silly wall mounts and studs not sitting where we want them to. We’ll be able to adjust things eventually when we open up the wall to do hidden wiring.)

New view from the entry way.

View from the fireplace (like all the mess beyond the living room?).

I like the way the couch divides the space without blocking off the dining room. I do want to add some additional bright colored pillows to the couches.

From behind the couch.

Since we got rid of the entertainment center with the TV, I needed to find a new piece to hold all the electronics and DVDs—a challenge I was happy to take on! I found this AMAZING antique radio cabinet. There’s quite the story behind it and I’m excited to share that with you tomorrow!
***UPDATE: You can see the cabinet post HERE.***

I’m looking forward to changing the d├ęcor style in the room. I always felt held back by the sleekness of the big TV and its entertainment center. My new style is going to be much more antique and distressed. I’m not sure what I want to do with this wall yet. I’m thinking a neat quote painted on distressed boards in a somewhat subway art meets wood pallet type of style? I also want to make a sofa table like this one for behind the couch.

***Update: I ended up doing a gallery wall. You can read about it HERE.***

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This wall will change quite a bit too. The shelf and speaker will be coming down and when we add the new room upstairs we’ll be painting the entire downstairs a new color. So far I’ve thought a gallery wall would be cool in this space. I also bought a lamp at Goodwill that I need to paint and find a shade for.

***Update: I ended up making a fabric sign for the wall which you can read about HERE, and a lace covered lamp shade which you can read about HERE.***

I also want to get new, neutral, floor length curtains. I sewed these ones when a love seat sat in front of one window and a couch the other. Floor length didn’t matter at that time.

So that’s my living room. I like the new set up so much I’m motivated to keep it clean! Come back tomorrow when I share more about my new favorite piece of furniture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thrifty Decor Chick


  1. Your livingroom looks so nice now - good job! Tone

  2. So much better! I agree, rearranging really opened up that room a lot.

  3. That looks so lovely! Like a showroom, I really like how the space works with the kitchen and dining room too. Hoping when we have our own house that our space is as nice.

  4. It looks great! Wow! I did think to put the tv up by the fireplace while I was reading. Great idea!

  5. Wow, that looks like a whole new room! Love it! And the mess? Our house is like that most of the time, too! No judgement here!

  6. wow! Your rearrangement REALLY made a huge difference! Looks great!

  7. Jill! It looks fantastic! I love it!! It looks completely different!! :)

  8. It looks great! I love it and cant wait to see the new changes you plan on making.

  9. great changes.
    looks fantastic.
    cheryl xox.

  10. Looks awesome! I love the refurbisher cabinet~

  11. Looks great!!! I love simple transformations :)

  12. Wow! Seriously, the place looks pretty fantastic. Opening the windows kind of makes the room feel more spacious and bright, don't you think? The TV above the fireplace looks good, and size doesn't really matter as long as you feel entertained. The furniture look good too.

  13. Wow, what a change! Isn't it crazy how much a difference placement makes? I've always enjoyed seeing how other renters in our same building set up their furniture differently--even with the same (or similar) floorplan, everyone ends up with such different looking spaces. Your living room looks wonderful! The new arrangement is SO nice!

  14. What is the color of the paint on your living room walls?


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