Do you have one of those rooms in your house that just feels…meh? No matter what you do, it just seems like it’s kind of blah and boring, and you can’t seem to make it all come together – and sometimes you wonder if you should just scrap it all and start over?
Yup, me too. Our living room has always been like that for us – we didn’t go into decorating it with much of a plan, and things kind of just came together randomly. But, it didn’t come together well. It’s a room that’s always bothered me because it’s not like it’s ugly or anything, it just didn’t feel right. Something was off.
Well, we’ve made a few minor changes in this room that have added up to major change. We’re not done quite yet, but I actually smile a little when I walk in this room now rather than feel totally neutral, so I’d say that’s a plus!
Before I share the changes, though, let’s talk about how we got here. I recently preached the importance of creating mood boards for rooms and, while I didn’t actually formally create one for this room, I have a kind of “mental mood board” that has guided me in making decisions for this room. I spent a lot of time browsing the internet and magazines and putting together an idea of what I wanted the room to look like, and it wasn’t until I had a clear direction in my head that I was able to start making some good decisions.
I also went through the process of determining what mistakes I was making in the design of this room and fixing those mistakes. There were plenty of things that were contributing to the “off” feeling of the room, I just hadn’t managed to find ’em yet!
So, how’s it looking now?
Well, it’s still a long ways from finished, but it’s definitely a lot better.
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So, let’s chat about the changes we made.
The first big change that we made was replacing our ottoman. We loved the one we used to have in here, but dogs and children had not been kind to the white fabric over the last few years and it was looking pretty rough. The leather in the one we chose brings a fun new texture into the room and it’s also way more durable and easier to clean.
And you know I’m all about making things easier on myself.
Next up, we got some new curtains. The blue ones we used to have in here were fine, but the busy pattern created a cluttered feeling for me, and we wanted something a little more neutral. I am in love with the neutral gold color and the simple pattern on these, and I can’t get over how much they brighten the room up. Once we added these, I really started to feel the room start to come together rather than feeling totally disjointed, and I knew we were on the right track.
I love it when I get something right. Doesn’t happen often, but it’s a dang good feeling.
I always get questions about that cute black globe when I share photos of it, so if you’re curious about the details you can see the full tutorial for how I made it at the link right there!
And finally, we swapped out the ugly white blinds for bamboo blinds that match what’s in our dining room – and they really brought it all together. It’s one of those little projects that makes me wonder why in the world I didn’t tackle it sooner.
(It’s because I’m lazy. That’s why.)
I really love how the blinds tie into the ottoman, and the tones are similar to the wood on the credenza by the front door…ooh it’s just all so good.
Of course, like I said, it’s not all perfect.
We still don’t have baseboards in here (how embarrassing is that?!).
I want a new rug (this one is pretty but cheap, which means it holds onto stains and smells like nobody’s business).
I want to do a new accent wall (I know what I want, it’s just a matter of making it happen).
We probably need a new media console (even though I love our old gray dresser).
And I’m sure other tweaks will come along the way.
All that to say, this room is far from finished. I like to share the in-betweens with you guys, because I don’t ever see our blog as being one of those blogs where everything looks like it came right out of a magazine – this is a real life house with real life messes and real life mistakes and budgets. We will never get it all right, and I have a feeling we’ll never really be done. We’re just bopping along, doing the best we can with what we have. And we’re slowly but surely taking steps to get a little closer to where we want to be.
Speaking of things we still need to do, I would love to hear your suggestions on rugs. We’ve been talking about saving up for a new one for this room that will be a little higher-quality and hopefully won’t hold onto stains and smells quite as bad. I love the look of what we’ve got, so we’ll probably stick with something pretty similar.
What are your favorite sources for thick, good-quality rugs?
If you want more details about anything in this room, I’ve gathered up most of the things below for your convenience. Let me know if there’s anything I missed that you want more info on!