There’s Furniture in our Living Room! [Bonus: Bright & Cozy Victorian Makeover Plans]

living oom paint benjamin moore chantily lace

It’s happened! As of last week, we have our first livable, functional, 75% finished living room!

Why 75%?

…cause although we sanded and stained the floors and painted the walls (3x because of getting the colors wrong), we still have crown molding, furniture, and decor to do. However with some more important rooms to get started on making livable, namely our master bedroom, we can easily take it slow in this room for now.

In fact we can’t help but smile every time we walk into this room.

For some perspective, here’s what it used to look like when the past owners still lived here:

living room before


living room before

…and now:

living room after


living room after

This is the first room in the nearly six months we’ve lived here that is finished enough for decor. Do y’all know how excited I am to DECORATE a room in the house?!

living room after

As one can see, it’s also in need of some furniture.

Given the difference between our last mid-century rental home and our current Victorian era forever-home, my decor choices are a bit different from what we had before. I have begun formulating the general aesthetics I want for the room: traditional antique furniture, plants, pops of color, airy and bright feeling yet cozy. For a glimpse inside what my brain has been dreaming up for this room, here’s what I’m thinking…

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living room design plan mood board victorian traditional

1. 96″ Velvet Drapes in Natural Gray: we’d like a bit of drama in the room, and these dark velvety curtains would also anchor the room. I’ll be finding similar fabric & making the curtains myself. // 2. Plants: they bring life into a room, and I want to have several varieties scattered around // 3. Coffee Table: very specifically looking for a Victorian wood with marble-top coffee table. Auctions, estate sales, etc. are my friends for finding one at a good price. // 4. Bookcase: an antique empire-style bookcase would be amazing. I’ll again be keeping an eye out at auctions, estate sales, etc. // 5. Green Tufted Chairs  or Loveseat: I would love for the piece/s to be forest or emerald green! // 6. Karastan Rug: I wanted something that you can’t find as easily at your typical persian rug outlet and also had lots of vibrant colors. Karl and I are both digging having a vintage wool Karastan, something perhaps like the Kirman 717 rug. I found one on Craigslist so far but haven’t heard back yet from the seller (boo). // 7. Velvet Pillows: Keeping it simple and moody again with gray pillows. I’ll be likely making pillow slipcovers with the same material I’ll use for the curtains.

Note: Wall art will be kept to black and white prints and photos.

For both those of you who are just joining in or have been here awhile, I am a big time budget-keeper and thrift-seeker. When we decided to have a budget of $5,000 for furnishing and decorating our entire previous rental house, we kept very well within our means and in fact by the time we moved 3 years later, we still hadn’t spent more than half of the budget!

Moving forward with furnishing and decorating our beloved Foursquare, we’ll still be working off of the same budget from where we left off, meaning half of the $5k. I will be selling some items that no longer work in this home and that will give us a little more pocket money to use toward decorating our current home, but otherwise it’s still going to be our $5k Challenge. I do plan to do a break-down of where we are currently with the budget and future strategies in another post soon!

I’m excited to get started on the living room and share any tips and tricks I stumble on along the way! Any of you beginning to decorate a room as well? Do share!

P.S. When working on the mood board for our living room, I briefly considered joining in on the biggest semi-annual design blogger linkup to hit the internet called One Room Challenge. However because so many of the pieces I’m looking for aren’t your usual off-the-shelf items and I like to keep to a strict budget (waiting for the right piece and price before pouncing), it wasn’t meant to be this season. However, if there’s one blogger I’ll be especially following and recommend to y’all, it would be Naomi of Design Manifest. She’s a fellow Pennsylvania gal situated in the Main Line who designs fabulous kitchens for clients, and now she’s tackling her own kitchen in a mere 6 weeks for ORC. Definitely hop over to her blog and give her words of encouragement! I know she’ll knock it outta the park!

Shared On: theinspirationgallery, diylikeaboss, diyvintagechic, diyshowoff

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