When we moved into our house from the townhouse, I realized that there were a few extra rooms that we were gaining that I didn’t have in the townhouse. A formal living room was one. So, I started buying a few pieces here and there and storing it in the townhouse. There wasn’t a lot of room in the townhouse to begin with so you can imagine I was looking forward to moving ASAP to get the extra furniture in their proper rooms and out of our way (there were a lot of bruised hips and toes for a couple months). Our formal living room is one of the first rooms I started designing in my head, and buying a few pieces for, even before moving.
I wanted to have an eclectic living room and I really liked the below living room designed by Elaine Griffin published in Better Homes and Gardens:
Using my inspiration photo I came up with this living room arrangement, which seeing them side by side, I realize that they are very different, but I think the flavor is similar. I’d like to take down the wallpaper that came with the house and paint the walls either a soft blue or soft green.
I used a lot of layering in this arrangement mirrors, stool, chair, side table. Everything is layered. I think that’s important when you have a small room that is essentially just a rectangle with no real architectural features except for the bay window.
The piano occupies the other side of the living room.
Side couch view
Close up of the side of couch
Coffee table objects
Pics of the kids above the piano (I still have to put a photo into the gold frame)
And finally the teal dresser that the website is named after!
There’s a space next to the piano that I need to fill with a comfy chair, but I haven’t seen one that I like for the right price. In addition to tearing down the wallpaper and painting, I’d also love to replace the carpet with hardwoods and find a beautiful area rug to add even more color.
Creating this room was a lot cheaper than the designer room that I based the room off of. The teal dresser was a free piece of furniture that a friend was going to throw away. It was sort of an eyesore since it was old (it belonged to her grandfather) and it was dusty, but it was well built so I asked her to have it and a few coats of paint later, it was fit for the living room.
Most of the knick-knacks were from Target, Pottery Barn or West Elm (when I had a coupon), or Michaels with a coupon (the vases on the teal dresser) so I saved money there. I got the two light blue chairs with a Groupon for a furniture store in my area and the mirrors were either from Home Goods (the large brownish mirror) or from my childhood (the gold mirror). The end tables and little bee stool near the mirrors were from Ballard Designs (it was one of their “Bring Home Ballard” deals).
Curtains were from Pottery Barn (again on sale). The only truly costly items were the couch (Ethan Allan) because I wanted it to last a long time and I knew it could withstand the stomp of our family since it was in the “formal” living room which is used a whole lot less than the family room. The piano also cost a boatload but my kids all take piano lessons weekly and Sofia has a “gift for piano” (her instructor’s words, not mine… I don’t know diddly squat about playing piano) so I wanted them to have a nice instrument that they could grow with. Our first piano I got from Salvation Army for $100 because I didn’t know if the kids would be interested enough to stick with piano but then we upgraded when I saw the motivation kick in. So, oddly enough, our current piano is actually the most expensive piece of furniture in the house which doesn’t say a lot! Good luck truckin’ off with that robbers!
Still working on what color to paint Sofia’s room. She’s thinking green and purple. I’m thinking not… but it’s her room. We’re off to look at paint samples after school today and hopefully it will be painted in the next few days.