Garage Makeover: Finishing Up the Space

It’s always been my belief that if your home is beautiful, in one way or another your life will be too. What’s that Martha Stewart quote on my About page?

“Your home should be a reflection of how you want to live right now and for the next phase of your life.”

I briefly blogged (like seriously glazed over) my 2 year depression since 2015 when I found out I could not naturally conceive (I have something called premature ovarian insufficiency–and it left me pretty broken). Being depressed makes it really hard for you to want to clean, decorate, or take pride in your space. When I was living with my mother last year, I had a snap realization that I needed to move back home with my boyfriend and get it together. So that’s what I did. And I blogged about how I was living in his garage apartment. I’ve been feeling pretty good ever since I made that decision (and I started taking medication).

Well, I wasn’t supposed to be here 7 months (like really, I don’t want to be here. I want my own apartment!) but here I am. And I never finished decorating. Living in a tiny box is so hard. There’s no storage. There’s no space for my beloved things. I only have 2 pieces of my own furniture in here. 2 chairs. Everything else is furniture from when Jim and his siblings were kids. Baby dresser, kids bookcase…I’m sleeping on a Jim’s twin size kid’s bed! 😐

I was watching one of my favorite instagram interior stylists instastories and she and her husband just sold their apartment. She’s stuck living in her mother-in-law’s house in one bedroom of the home. And what did she do? Made it her own. She’s inspired me to finish out the space.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in the garage but while I am here I can be more at home.

Here’s where it was before I came along.

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Unfortunately the bed is still over there. It has a trundle so Jim and I can sleep together. Ugh.

I cleaned it up and added my flair, but only to one front corner of the room. I deemed it the living room.

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This side/half of the room stays relatively clean and hasn’t changed other than the addition of plants and a few more knick knacks that I have no where else to put.

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Directly across from this is our fridge and microwave.  There’s also a pretty beat up old baby bookcase (which you can’t see, tucked in the recess near the door, but is shown in the top pre-move in photo). The bookcase ends up being a catch all for food, glasses, plates, towels, and JUNK.

Here’s what I’d like to do

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Okay, I know this doesn’t look like much of anything now. I didn’t go through the trouble of making a complete styled room like I normally do.

This is embarrassing and I’m ashamed to show it on the internet but whatever. I mean people live in construction zones. As someone who is supposed to love interiors it’s just shameful I didn’t try harder to make my own living space a better place. But I really didn’t think I’d be here this long. This whole thing was supposed to be temporary. It’s crazy how we learn to live with certain things. Over look certain things. Ah.

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So, I’d get rid of baby Jim twin bed and trundle. Seeeee ya! And center the bed on the window.

I already own the Wayfair headboard from when I was obsessed with iron beds. All I need to do is paint it black! I went to my mom’s house and picked it up from storage. I even began sanding it for paint. Woowooo. I always have the hardest time picking out bedding for myself. My best bet is to go to an actual store and see the blankets and such first hand. But I did like this Target quilt. I’m a sucker for chenille and I like the geometric lines.

Second, since this is a little room and side tables are not going to fit on either side of the bed (fullsize by the way), I thought why not a tray table floor lamp! I’d switch out the lamp shade but I love how gross and 60s/70s this one looks!

One dilemma is where to put my clothes. That rack was up here too when I arrived. It’s one of those metal deals. There’s actually a rodless closet behind it, but I don’t think the rack will fit. The hot water heater for the bathroom is in there. I can’t fold up all my dresses to put in the dresser. But that rack absolutely has to go.

Third, instead of the old baby bookshelf, I’d get this Pier 1 etagere. It’s not exactly the style I was hoping for, but do you know how expensive bookcases are? I mean lord, they’re as much a dang sofa. Haha. So, at $300 this one is good enough. Plus, I think it goes with my mid-century meets 70s vibe. In fact, here’s 2 vintage ones on chairish! Styled out with books, my record player, glassware and such…I’m digging it.

I’d also get rid of that little wooden table that is currently operating as a tiny desk. And I’d probably get rid of my white table that is serving as a nightstand. And we’d touch up the paint. Someone drew on the walls.

Annnnnd, if I can, I’d reallly like to replace those blinds. I’m not sure about that yet though. This is supposed to a be a fairly cheap makeover 😛

 

My chair is obviously a mustardy velvet yellow. As much as I LOVE color, part of me wants to do a neutral space. What’s wrong with me! Like creams and black and browns and brass. I don’t know you guys. Thoughts? But I’m totally digging that I can quickly and cheaply alter this room with a new bed, a new bookcase, and a lamp. 😀

 

 

 

*Similar white kids dresser to what’s in the room.

 

What’s That About Temporary Wallpaper?

Everywhere I look I see wallpaper making a big splash, with removable wallpaper being a major player. Genevieve Gorder has a line for Tempaper. Chasing Paper, a brand I found in a google search, has popped up on Emily Henderson and on the Today Show with Architectural Digest.

Wallpaper in one shape or form will always be with us. Here are 18 removable papers I fancied and hope you do too (I am really digging #1. You’ve seen #2 before, right!).

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Blues: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56,  Whites/Greys: 789, 10, 11, 12,   Reds: 13, 14, 15,   Greens: 16, 17, 18 

Neutral Living Room Makeover

In my previous post I ended with a drab photo my mother sent me from some kids she knows on facebook. I may have been too harsh (naaah) and decided it would be better as a post all its own! Let’s imagine everything I’m about to say to you actually happened.

Haley and her fiance Josh recently purchased a home in Tennessee. Through the glorious wonders of the internet, they stumbled across my work and asked me to help them spruce up their living room. They just couldn’t seem to pull it together themselves.

They sent me this picture of some newly acquired furniture and decor. Guys, I can’t. And I told them so.

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I could tell Haley and Josh were trying but really missing the mark. From the rug, to the matching sofas (which isn’t a bad thing but why do you need a sofa and a love seat in 2016? in such a small room?), to that clock (just no), to the too many matchy matchy pillows.

It’s obvious the couple was going for chic but not understanding you can mix in so many more colors and textures and still have a neutral space!!

I asked Haley to pull some images off Pinterest of her ideal dream room and together this is what we came up with:

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You wouldn’t know it at ALL from looking at their current design situation that they like a mix of 50s-70s, with a mix of woods, metallics, and heavyweight fabrics.. We decided we needed

  • A new sofa, Danish design, narrow arms,
  • A large ornate floor mirror,
  • 2 vintage chairs (to replace the loveseat),
  • A new square coffee table,
  • A more natural looking media center, more mid century,
  • A shag rug, still black,
  • A fun chandelier

The couple allowed me to lead the way, suggesting vintage pieces I know and love so much. There was no way to use anything they’d previously purchased. So out with the old and in with the new!

This is what I came up with!

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No room of mine would be complete without an animal. The sheep is a vintage ottoman! I need that for my own house!

I jokingly said “Guys, you already love drab paint colors, why not go all the way and paint your walls charcoal?” I mean…  So glad they loved the idea and decided they would go for it!  That paint color was killing me. What is that? No thank you. Please stop accepting all builder grade paint choices people. Paint your walls when you move in. Say no to “greige”. Nothing goes with this awful paint color. Look how sickly their furniture looks in there. Pitiful. I would know. As an apartment dweller I’ve seen this color time and time again. It is the literal worst.

Anyway, I really love dark charcoal rooms and light furniture. The dark walls make everything else POP.  Sunlight from windows doesn’t hurt.

So we’ve got a saffron sofa in a crepe linen. So nice. The luxury of this sofa is it’s a sleeper! So they can pull it out while they watch tv or have guests over. Sha-bang! Its Danish styling is just what we were after, slim square arms, boxy shape, skinny legs. This is not a crazy leap from what they started with. It’s still low to the ground and still boxy in shape (I was inspired to suggest this style because of the original sofas arms).

They told me they really liked their original black and white rug, so I made sure to stay within that color scheme. This cotton jute rug will be soft underfoot, and the graphic motif will give the room added interest. There’s grays, blacks, browns, and creams in the rug…plenty of neutral colors!

Needing an authentic vintage piece, I found 2 1970s cube chairs from a newly favorited Instagram source, Again & Again. The cube shape echos the boxiness and narrow arms of our sofa. The gray stripes from the upholstery pick up the grays and whites/creams in the rug. I liked the walnut base, adding a natural wood layer to our room.

I also found the marble coffee table through Again & Again. I chose a marble top Saarinen tulip table and vintage Italian arc lamp with marble base to sit by the sofa. Marble is fancypants and white always adds brightness. Especially since we have dark walls now. I forget who said something about layering on the white. Do you know? The arc lamp adds to our sexy 60s-70s vibe.  Aren’t they so fun?

Speaking of lighting, I originally thought about something celestial like this, but ended up with a Brutalist flush mount to replace what they already had. I haven’t really decided if I like that trend/style of chandelier. I think a lot of people that use them in their homes are using them in the wrong way — too small. If you have a gigantor room, you don’t want a chandelier the size of a light bulb sticking out from the ceiling. Just my 2 cents.

Anyway, love the Brutalist style. This adds texture through sculpture and keeps with our mid-century style, but not in a cheesy way. With a room as small as Haley and Josh’s, I think a flush mount is all we need.

So we’ve got marble and fabric, we need some wood! I went to West Elm for their console. They can put their tv on it or whatever they please. Just not that hideous clock (sorry, not sorry.) I think the hole in the middle would be great with books, or some sort of collection. If I had my way tv would not exist in any room. But I know that isn’t reality for the majority of American homes.

Lastly, I thought we needed something light in color and still something wooden/natural to occupy space opposite our cubes. I found this amazing Frank Gehry chair and ottoman on Knoll. Perfection.

I thought I was done but then I remembered we needed our mirror. I tried options behind the sofa but ultimately realized the space wasn’t balanced. I didn’t want 2 matching side tables for this room, so the other side of the sofa was empty.  I found a French Baroque floor mirror on Etsy. Now we’re set!!

This room is ready for major sexy party fun vibe let’s hang out all day and night times! And it’s neutral but still so interesting! So much texture and fun stuff to look at. Not just 2 boring sofas, blah blah blah.

All the pillows are from Mitchell Gold. The pillows in the chairs tie in the rug and the pillows on the sofa pull from the rug and the chairs. The fur lumbar is just a bit of fun and for added texture.

Major Players: Sofa, cube chairs, marble coffee table (2), 8×10 rug, floor mirror,  Frank Gehry chairwooden console

The Details:Sheep ottoman, white vase, brown vase, black and yellow vase,  arc lamp, Saarinen tulip side table (Calacatta satin), graphic pillows, circle applique pillow, black pillows, fur lumbar, ram bowl, mannequin head, Brutalist light fixture

Haley and Josh said we love this room! How much is all this?! Is this within budget? Let’s do it!! And I said, oh this room, without paint, is roughly $31, 075. I just wanted to pull a bunch of fun stuff and make you sad! Muhahaha.

But then I pulled a Property Brothers or whatever and gave them a similar room within their $5,000 budget.

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I found a very similar Danish style sofa at CB2, in the color sunflower. Similar to saffron. It’s a little more orange than green but I think it works. Orange is very 70s! The downside here? No sleeper.

I looked for cube chairs but couldn’t find anything comparable to our Again & Again chairs.  There were 2 identical chairs on Etsy but in a red floral pattern. We don’t have money for reupholstery. Skip it! And really we need a vintage item and they’re just so good! So we decided that $850 was a steal and went for the chairs. So happy we did that! They make the room for me. I linked some alternatives below but I’m really not in love with those choices. You don’t want every single piece to be up on skinny mcm legs.

I checked out the Nashville craigslist and right there for $75 was a gold floor mirror. Sure it’s not as ornate as French Baroque, but it’s $75, it’s within budget, and I think it’ll work just fine for these cats.

We got a much cheaper marble inspired tulip table ($188) and a fun arc lamp with large marble base ($256). Still maintaining our pricey marble look but with affordable pieces.

I wasn’t able to find a cotton jute with a fun pattern like the Anthropologie rug (for a good price!) but I did find this black one with great texture on Overstock for $354. The colors are black and browns.

After trying MANY white coffee table solutions, faux marble and other materials, I finally found this marble table on Chairish. Woohoo! I wanted to stay as close to the shape of the pricier option as possible. Atleast it’s a square? Ha! And marble! That was important. Nothing else looked right.

I really couldn’t find a console in reclaimed wood to fit the budget that didn’t look like industrial junk. I hate that look. Definitely not with our mid century-70s mood. So I found this dresser. When you can’t find a console/credenza, look for a dresser or top-opening storage chest. They’re always cheaper! However, it makes the room a little more casual/approachable.  Just depends on what style you’re really going for. Haley and Josh aren’t as froo froo as $31,000 and were okay with the trendy look of the classic MCM chest.

Finding the right wooden piece for the Frank Gehry chair was really hard. Like really really hard. I’m still not convinced I chose correctly. This chair puts us over budget with its $850 price tag. We’ll just have to hope the seller accepts a lower offer. I have linked to some cheaper alternatives.

The brass light fixture is similar in shape but not in the Brutalist style that is so shapely and cool. But this one is mid-century and also reminds me of the 70s. So it still fits with what we’re going for.

The Target pillows look a lot cheaper in comparison to the Mitchell Gold. Go figure. This room, as it is, with no lesser chair offers accepted, is $5,694. I really wish I could have found an affordable sheep ottoman. I think the room really needs it!! 😦

Major Players: Sofa, cube chairs (2, 3), 6×9 rug, floor mirror, coffee table (2), console/dresser (2), rattan chair, (2, 3)
The Details: Arc lamp (2, 3), tulip table, fur throw, black pillow covers, abstract pillows, gray loop applique pillow, faux fur lumbar,  light fixture, mannequin head

I can’t wait to show you the reveal!

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The sofa will stay where their old sofa was, but the cube chairs will go where that cabinet and clock was. The media console/mcm dresser will go on the far side of the room opposite the sofa. We’ll anchor everything with our rug, center our marble table between our sofa and chairs, and diagonally sit our rattan lounger. The mirror with lay against the wall on the right of the sofa, behind the chairs. The marble side table and marble arc lamp will flank the sofa. Isn’t that great!

Jk this wasn’t real. But it could be, if you scroll to the bottom, click the contact email, and let’s do business! 🙂

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Hope you enjoyed my stab at neutrals. I definitely prefer color but wanted to see if I could handle the neutrals. I wish I could have gotten a little closer to the expensive room when making the price comparison. I really like it a lot better. I would totally live in that room. Maybe if I looked harder across the internet I would have found a better rattan chair and a better reclaimed wood console. But I got tired of staring at this thing!

Would love to hear your thoughts on this neutral room.

Hughes living room refresh (but not a redesign)

I like to think of this as a step along the way to a makeover/living room redesign. A few weeks ago I surprised my mother by rearranging her living room. She loved it. Whew!

When you have 0 dollars to buy new furniture you can definitely breathe new life into a space by moving your current furniture into a better flowing/more logical floor plan! I also wanted mother to get a sense of how the living room might be once we get new furnishings for her. She saw the light and approves!

If you recall, the old space was dark and the full size of the room was cut in half because mom had the sofa sitting in the middle of the space!

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I opened all the blinds, moved the armoir, put in a rug, donated 2 chairs, and the space really opened up.

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I moved the sofa to its most logical position, on the longest wall between the 2 furthest apart windows. Just like mother is short on books for the built-ins (as written about in the entry below), she is short on art. But that’s okay…we’ll get there. I put what I could find above the sofa to fill the empty space. And guys, don’t look at those pillows. HAHA.

I also got rid of EVERY SINGLE fake plant. Now all plants in the room are 100% real. Whew!

The crystal lamps flank the sofa on either side (though the sunlight here washes them out).

This rattan/glass coffee table came from another room in the house. To add texture and mix things up a bit (be not so traditional) I switched out her old coffee table for this one. I could have styled the table with a tray of knickknacks. Lord knows mom has oodles of those fake fruits and those twine balls from Kirklands (anybody?)…but I didn’t care to bother. So…clean space it is! It’s been a few weeks and she still has the vase sitting there.

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The red recliner that was in the room was too heavy and dark seeming so I got rid of it! Having the daintiness of this chair (the open legs) keeps the flow of the room light and airy.

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The poo tv is still in focus but not blocking the built-in like before. The 2 new chairs provide much needed seating for guests. In fact, shortly after she had visitors! And they had a place to sit! How about that! 😛

There was some clutter on the mantle, which I removed, and like the coffee table chose to leave bare.

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Look how big the space is as opposed to before! The rug makes it so much cozier and now she opens the blinds every day. She never did that before. 🙂

Plenty of room for 2 animal print stools in front on the coffee table, switch out my high backs for Billy Haines brentwood chairs, get a new sofa, some sort of coffee table (burled walnut or acrylic), strip the fireplace so the natural wood shows, find a vertical mirror, paint the walls, accessorize, find a boat load of books, add a floor lamp, get new side tables, wallpaper the focal sofa wall, buy some art and presto!

 

 

Budget rooms: Walmart vs. Target. Living Room Price Comparison

 

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I went to Walmart over the weekend to get batteries. As I was walking through, I passed by a bunch of canisters and Tupperware storage items and thought “I bet I could blog about this.” It’s so easy to walk into Target and ooh and aah over all the cute Threshold or Nate Berkus merchandise.

Target has been under fire recently for its new trans-inclusive bathroom policy and many folks are claiming they will no longer grace the aisles of Tarjay. Well…that’s too bad. But this may be especially helpful to them. Can we pull off a cute room with ONLY walmart merchandise?

Of course, there are those who wouldn’t dare shop at walmart. That it hurts local businesses, its foreign child labor, its underpaid employees and poor healthcare offerings. I get it! But let us assume the reader, or you yourself do not care about such and are interested in budget design.

I have never been on walmart.com for anything more than a bedframe so I was shocked to find they operate more like a furniture listing site, carrying merchandise from a multitude of dealers/brands. Much of which is found on Wayfair and Overstock. It even tells you “sold and shipped through Wayfair”. How about that. Target operates the same way they just aren’t as transparent about it. Both sites offer some of the same product, like this sofa w/t).

I was interested in knowing if I could create an attractive room with only Walmart brand merchandise.

If money is tight or you’re a frugal Sally interested in design and having a beautiful living space, you do not have to compromise aesthetics (quality, yah. Not gettin’ that at WM). No matter how small the budget, you can create something beautiful. And don’t forget there’s always the thrift store!

Here is my walmart brand only room, using only Better Homes and Gardens and Mainstay brands. Those are the only brands I know for sure belong to Walmart (like Threshold is to Target). I’m assuming you can walk into walmart and buy most of this stuff right off the shelf.

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This was definitely challenging!! My goodness!! Especially limiting our selection to 2 brands. But hey, I think this room looks pretty good!

It was impossible to create an eclectic room like I would normally create because there really weren’t any vintage inspired pieces to choose from (I guess if you squint real hard, these folding chairs could be super dooper generic knock off Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs). So, this resulted. Bonus points if you know what movie is playing.

I hated all the coffee tables so I chose to use 2 accent tables. It’s a  pretty popular trick (1, 2, 3). Our color palette is neutral but we jazz it up with some fun throw pillows and a bright throw blanket. In real life the sofa is brown so you better jazz it up REAL good. The lumbar pillows are technically outdoor pillows but hey nobody has to know. And 2 come for the price of 1. The lamps also come 2 for 1! 2 lamps for $39. Duuuude.

The rug is walmart’s affordable attempt at a Moroccan beni ourain shag. Can’t pay $4,000? Pay $63! It’s only a 5×7 so in a real room you’d probably have all the furniture off the rug. Or maybe if you’re in a small space, the front legs on. I also liked these rugs: 1,2, 3. Not for this room, but in general.

I liked the BH&G runner a lot so I chose that to sit under our tv. I did not like any of the poopoo media stands so I went with a bedroom dresser. Dressers are beautiful and ever so useful/practical storage, why not put one in the living room!

The bookcases come in packs, ready to be assembled. I’m sure you’ve seen those in store.

We’ve got a diamond motif working throughout the room pulling all the pieces together. In the bookcases, the accent tables, the pillows, and in the rugs.

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Bookshelves/ sofa/ chair/ side table/ accent table (for coffee)/ blue pillow/ gold pillow/ blue lumbar/ throw/ drum shade/ table lamp/ bamboo floor lamp/ planter/ tv/ dresser/ rug/ runner

Does this look like a room created with walmart only products? Looking at this room I don’t think you’d ever know it came from Walmart! You don’t have to buy a futon or an mdf desk. So, there ya go…some affordable stuff arranged in a visually appealing way.

Now let’s look at Target in comparison. Using only Target brands.

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Dannnng.  This is completely different from Walmart. I really like the slipper chairs, chandelier (so trendy right now), and those parquet tables! Again, I didn’t care for the coffee table selection so I went with 2 end tables.

I’ve always liked lavender and yellow together. What a pair. And blue and yellow never hurt my eyes either. 😉 All tied together with a nubby 7 x 10 Nate Berkus rug.

Target’s sofa selection is slim pickins. I just don’t love what’s there. This was my first choice, in taupe, but ultimately I decided against it. Who says you have to have a full size sofa? A love seat and a room full of chairs would suit me just fine. I love chairs! Got a Manhattan apartment? You need a loveseat. Don’t have a gigantic boyfriend who complains about sofa size? Get a loveseat.  If you move around a lot, or live in apartments up flights of stairs, a loveseat is great. I wish someone would have told me that the 10 years I lugged around a massive sofa (literally needed 3-4 people to move the darn thing year after year)!

I really wanted more of a muted pillow color scheme of greens, purples, browns, and yellows but that wasn’t available. So, I went with blues and yellows. I also really wanted a beautiful buffet to hang a picture over but the only thing I ended up liking was the green cabinet. I couldn’t settle for any of the generic art so I cheated and threw in a self-portrait of Josef Albers. That and the bust are not Target but everything else is.

 

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Chandelier/ parquet side table/ mid-century table/ loveseat/ blue pillow/ stripe pillow*/ gold pillow/ peach pillow/ slipper chair/ ottoman/ mid-century chair/ blue wingback/ drum shade/ lamp/ mirror/ giraffe/ vase 1/ vase 2/ yellow vase/ basket tray/ tv stand/ cabinet/ tv/ rug

*Not sold in stores, oops.

So, for a difference of only $500 I don’t know why you’d choose to shop Walmart when Target offers a better product. I assume you have your reasons!

I am pleased with both rooms and welcome your thoughts and opinions! Which is your favorite?  Are you more traditional family-friendly with the Walmart room or like me more eclectic and vintage loving and into the Target decor?

Maybe I should have gone one step further and combined both sites! There’s an idea…best of both worlds.

 

 

For fun, and design inspiration for you, I took to walmart.com and target.com and created 3 more living rooms, utilizing the vast array of brands both sites offer (no brand filter).

Our first look is sort of Traditional, with mid-century elements..

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(Benjamin Moore Bridal Pink paint color)

I love those leather chairs, but I don’t know if I could get past the fact they’re not real leather. But the overall shape and cushiness has me weak in the knees. I also really like that peacock rug.

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Red pillow/ yellow pillow / blue pillow/ blue cheetah pillow/ floral slipper/ alternative flax slipper/ copper plate/ woven vase/ blue and white vase/ elephant table/ mirror/ end table/ club chair/ coffee table/ floor lamp/ curtains/ rug/ sofa

Next see a Hollywood Regency inspired living space.

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I am in love with this amazing wallpaper.

Imagine yourself in the 1930s. You’re a famous movie starlet, traipsing about your shiny Hollywood hills mansion in a velvet gown, stirring up cocktails for your nearest and dearest. But wait! It’s 2016!

The white chairs jumped out at me because they look like these Mitchell Gold chairs. But at $277 a piece, not $1000+! This chair style is seen in a lot of designer rooms.

I would totally have a glamorous party in this room, how about you!?

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Red crystal chandelier/ bar cart/ swivel chair/ alternative swivelpython side table/ blue floral pillow/ white fur pillow/ polka dot bolster/ black geometric pillow/ lucite bench/ shell/ bird/ peace sign hand/ chandelier lamp/ alternative gold lamp/ gold side table/ etagere/ lucite coffee table/ alternative coffee table/ wall mirror/ mirror pictured/ black highback chair/ alternative stool/ succulent art/ convertible sofa/ pink rug

 

Let’s see what Target’s got going on!

A Scandinavian Rustic living room.

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I’m digging the blue geometric chairs with the red floral rug. It’s important to have a print and color to balance out neutral pieces. I am not a fan of gray but I think the sofa and other chair work well in the room. I don’t understand Scandinavian style to be very colorful.

Target has a couple credenzas/tv stands (1, 2) but they did not go with this room so I used 2 media consoles pushed together. I was drawn to the long brass pulls and the mahogany finish.

I could spend all day looking at coffee tables but in this exercise I pretty much chose what I was drawn to first for each room and it pretty much worked out each time. This glass table is cut in an organic shape and is held up on hair pin legs. The glass is laid with teak, a popular danish/Scandinavian wood! Tralala! Also, this table is just like those chunks of salvaged/live edge wood coffee tables that are popular which lends to our rusticness.

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Wall mirror/ brass lamp/ side table/ alternative side tableconvertible sofa/ throw blanket/ blue pillow/ plaid pillow/ chevron pillow/ rhino/ wooden vase/ wooden bowl/ white vase/ blue bowl/ gray chair/ pouf/ marble tulip table/ coffee table/ floor lamp/ blue chairs/ red rug/ media console

This was a fun exercise in putting rooms together.

Hope it inspired you in some way! What I learned from the non-filtered walmart search is they list from sites like wayfair and overstock, and list an even lower price. Next time I’m hunting on those types of sites, I’ll be sure to price compare on walmart, too. I also learned Target does not offer much in the way of sofa selection. I was surprised by that!

 

Overall I’d say walmart appeals to a more conservative, older crowd (Better Homes and Gardens) and Target appeals to a younger, hip generation that is interested in current design trends (Threshold and guest designer series).

I personally will continue to shop Target for side tables and lamps. I’m quite a fan of Safavieh. And based on my own preference for mid-century, it is the store that suits my tastes. If only I could get them to send me those Laurel slipper chairs….:D

But I hope the take away from above is that with careful thought and consideration, a die hard walmart devotee could easily create a beautiful room on a budget. There is no need to purchase this or that!

Mixing Styles on a budget

bohemianmix

I was curious how cheap I could make a room, in the mid-century eclectic taste we know and love. So, I set out to find the cheapest sofa possible, keeping in mind the sort of furniture you may find in your local thrift, consignment, or on Craigslist. I give you the Bohemian Mid-Century Eclectic space. Just add more plants and textiles.

If I were to buy a brand new sofa, I would not spend ANY LESS than $1,000. You want to make sure you are paying for quality. It will be worth it in the long run. Make sure you’re buying from a manufacturer that uses solid reinforced wood frames. I would also find out what type of coil system they use (sinuous or coil/ hand-tied vs webbing).  There’s also things to consider like how much/what kind of fill is in the cushions, do you want down-poly blend, etc., to ensure your pillows stay cushy for years to come. Read more on this Good Housekeeping article.

Now, when you buy vintage you already know you’re most likely getting a top quality all wood piece. “They don’t make them like they used to” is a saying for a reason. And thanks to people not wanting their junk anymore, you can get it at dirt cheap prices.

While at the thrift, make sure you’re testing out how the sofa sits, and inspect the frame as best you can. If it appears to have good bones and a great shape, but you aren’t loving the fabric, take your wee investment to the upholsterer! You’ll still be spending less on new upholstery and still be getting a piece all your own.

When I set out to design this room, I knew I wanted a floral sofa. I thought about mid-century styles and French provincial styles. You can easily find floral or damask brocade sofas (I once had a beauty from the thrift store in perfect condition for $130!)

Check out these crazy deals on Everything But the Home. People are winning furniture for next to nothing. I am shocked at the prices these items are going for and eager to start bidding myself! Granted there is shipping cost if you don’t pick up the item yourself. But winning a $50 sofa, I’ll pay you $300 to ship across the country. Come on!

Floral sofa 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

“How do I pick my floral print without looking Country Grandma” you ask?

floralfabricswatch

Look for the bright florals, not the dingy ones. Sometimes there are really interesting prints with animals, too. The florals may look grandma at first but once you visualize them in your space with modern pieces next to them, they’ll take on a whole new feel.

Take for instance this sofa and lucite coffee table combo. I love the happy colors and all the florals of this room! Don’t you wish you had that coffee table! The closet I’ve ever seen is this CB2 tv stand. If only it had legs, not wheels.

meredithgermansofa

(Source)

Next, for texture and because I didn’t want wood with my tropical print sofa, I went looking for cool rattan side tables. I like these particular tables because of the shelf. Just enough space for a stack of books.

I don’t foresee you finding impeccable rattan side tables in thrift stores but you might get lucky depending on your area. This might be something you have to look in consignment and online for. These were only $101 for 2 tables. Really a steal! Also, flea markets. Yes, duh, of course. Get thee to the flea (but we already knew about that, didn’t we?)

Rattan side tables: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Next I chose a credenza for the tv that mimicked the look of the rattan. This particular piece is actually a chest, so you could have storage for things if you were lacking that. Mid-century credenzas can be hard to find in good condition with a unique look at an affordable price. This chest ticks off all those things.

Credenzas: 1, 2, 3. There are plenty of beautiful credenzas on Etsy (that’s where I got mine!).

For a cheap fix like the chest, actually much cheaper, look for record player consoles. In thrift stores they are always in abundance, with interesting detailing. They will be low too, so they’ll make great tv stands. The look can be a bit 70s sometimes but for the Bohemian Mid-Century Eclectic that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I personally like rooms with a touch of/nod to 70s.

I chose cane chairs to add yet another layer of texture. Again we have the square like in the chest and side tables. Repeating a certain style will pull the pieces in the room together, without being matchy matchy.

I am confident you can find these in your local antique store. Whether or not for cheap, who knows. If you find them at the thrift they may need re-caning. I would definitely check Craigslist for this item! Shouldn’t be hard to find at all. I went with blue upholstery here to match the blue in our sofa.

Of course in a mid-century room of mine I would have some type of mid-century chairs. I love the bright green of this upholstery. Blue and green will always and forever go together. And green makes sense with botanicals (tropical sofa print). You can find 50s style chairs in a lot of stores, from thrift to antique to Target to World Market and on up the price ladder. Though, keep in mind when buying vintage you’re getting a certain amount of quality over those poo Target chairs that will eventually break down. You could get dirt cheap thrift chairs and recover them in an awesome print to contrast with your awesome sofa! Cha-ching! Money! You so balla…

And ballers need shine in their rooms. So, we add a brass/glass coffee table. This particular one hails from the 70s but you can find them from the 50s – today. I’d stay in the mid-century to 80s.

Chairish is my favorite place to look for brass tables. I honestly do not see many out in the world. Is it my area? Might be tricky to find cheaply. Keep your eyes on the Craig!

1, 2, 3

And lastly, to keep the place bright and happy, an affordable World Market rug. This rug is jute which isn’t the coziest underfoot but whatever. We’re going for affordability here.

How much did the furniture cost?

bohemprice

Pretty dang good if you ask me. You could buy 1 sofa for that price, and we furnished our entire house! The sofa had a hole in one top cushion. If you found something like that at the thrift store, but otherwise the sofas was in great condition, I personally would go ahead and buy it. Let’s pretend this sofa was in the thrift store for $50-$150 with that mark on the top. Well 1, can you flip the cushion? 2, just throw a blanket/throw/fur over it and call it a day. 

Sofa, Green chairs, Side tables, Coffee table, Cane chairs, Chest, Rug

The art (1, 2) and lifesize Giraffe are Chairish, yellow pillows Target (1, 2), the lamps (1, 2) are Target, and pink Suzani pillows One Kings Lane.

Shall I price out another style of room? Let me know! I had no budget in mind for this, only to keep the price as low as possible. I started out making a Traditional room but it morphed into this lovely mix. If interested I’d be happy to put my spin on various styles like Traditional, Farmhouse, Hollywood Regency, Minimalism, etc.