Home Sweet Home on a Budget: Living Room Linkup

Hi!  It’s Ruth from A House in Holland.  I’ve had fun this month showing you great ideas from around the web to help you improve your living room, no matter how big or small your budget.  Cassity and I are super excited to take a peek inside your homes and see what you’ve done to improve the space you call your living room.  We hope you’ll share your ideas with all the Remodelaholics out there by linking up your living rooms below.  (feature image source)

At the moment, I don’t have a living room…unless you count the minivan filled to the brim with three kids, a dog, enough snacks to get us through the 2400 mile drive to California, and all the stuff those kids couldn’t bear to let the movers load into the van.  In the past few days as I’ve packed up our home in Indiana, it’s been fun to think back on the memories we’ve made in that home.  It’s also been interesting to think about how our home evolved over time.  Do you mind if I get nostalgic and share my former home with you?

Here are a couple of pictures that we took of our home during our buyers’ inspection, before we moved in seven years ago.  You can see how the former owners decorated it.  They were really into the shabby country look.  It’s interesting to note that the only lighting in this large room came from the two spotlights over the mantle, and those Christmas lights in the branches over the window.  (At last count, we had added over 100 different lights to the house since moving in.)

We moved from a tiny Connecticut cottage into this spacious Indiana home.  The small-scale furniture from our little cottage never looked great in this room, so for the first few years we lived here, it was empty.  Eventually, we learned a terrific secret for getting fantastic furniture at a great price: auctions.  We discovered that many of the builders in our area sent the contents of their model homes off to an auction house after they closed the models.  We could get practicallynearly new furniture at a fraction of the retail price, there.  That’s how we were able to afford a nice leather living room set.

We’re fans of unfinished furniture stores, too.  We bought unfinished shelves and stained them to match our mantle.

One of the things that made it hard for me to decorate our living room once we had furniture was the paint color.  I found the sage green color to be drab and dreary, especially in the wintertime.  It wasn’t easy to find colors that looked great with this shade of green, which made it really hard to select fabrics and artwork.  Red was one of the few colors that looked good with it.

Because of the sheer number and size of walls that were painted this color, it was intimidating to paint over it.      The green turned out to be darker than we thought, and it took gallons and gallons of primer and paint to cover it with a fresh, buttery neutral.

But we were glad we did!  The lighter wall color really opened up the space and my decorating options.  I had never really liked the fireplace brick until we painted around it, and then I discovered that the brick was flecked with colors that I really liked:  rust red, turquoise, and yellow.

I found fabrics with those same colors for curtains and pillows.

When potential buyers came to visit our home, they entered a completely different space than we did seven years ago.  The lighter, brighter space was so appealing that we sold our home for our asking price just 14 days after it went on the market.  (You can read more of my tips and tricks for selling a home quickly HERE.)

Now it’s your turn to share your living room with us!  Cassity and I are excited to see what you’ve done to make your living room a place you love to live in.  Big or small, we can’t wait to view your projects.  Remember, this is a themed linky party–please share budget-friendly ideas that go along with this month’s theme, living rooms.  Grab a button for your blog post, and join in the fun by linking up below.  Make sure you check back next Saturday to see if your living room is featured.

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3 Comments

  1. I like the image you used as your inspiration! the picture has a beautiful rug, the rug adds texture to the entire room. I love what you have done so far, have you considered using a brighter paint colour to brighten up the room?

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