I love how changing 3 things in a room can make such a big difference – yeah, just THREE. An American friend of mine, Tina Fussell from the Traveling Mama blog, is now living up in Denmark and loves to do DIY projects and to decorate on a budget. Recently she wrote in with three quick changes that she made to her living room that I think made a pretty big impact — all for under $100!
“This cabinet was just washed out and too country for our home here in Denmark. This was one of the few pieces I brought from the States, so I was in a near panic about painting it because it was going to be hard to replace a solid wood piece, but I love the result! I’m so glad I didn’t let fear stand in the way!”
Tina also decided to change up something else in the space, “I didn’t like all the little things on the side tables in our living room and it just didn’t feel pulled together.” So this is what she did…
After (below), “By pulling the tables to the center, we have a place to prop up our feet, but also somewhere my little guys can race their cars!” But that’s not all, Tina decided to change another element in the room…
Before (below),”This wall just felt a bit blank and out of place. The chair was too big for this room and couldn’t recline the way it was suppose to. The table was full of too many little messy things…”
After (below),”I created a new piece of art and exchanged the chair for one that was a better scale. Shopping in my own home, buying a can of paint and a canvas, and moving things about gave me a mini room makeover for less than $100!”
What a great job Tina, thank you for sharing this! What a difference shopping at home and a fresh can of paint can make!
(images: tina fussell)
I was thinking that it would be fun to share 8 Great Living Rooms and detail why because it may inspire some of your own decorating ideas over the weekend. Please note that in each of the photos below I’ve actually listed what about each of these looks I love since in some cases, the entire room itself isn’t one I would copy piece-by-piece but there are certain elements about it that I like. Okay let’s go! Ready? Here is the first…
I’m cravin’ me some: Crushed velvet old-fashioned grandmother sofa action. This is such a dreamy couch. I love the pillows but I also hate them which sounds funny but it’s true – they are bad but oh so good! The wall color is also quite amazing. This photo is from Shitery.
I’m feelin’: The minty green brick walls, the orange-y leather sofa that is definitely vintage, the spacing between the art work on the wall – it’s not tightly grouped, it’s relaxed and very no-frills. This photo is from New York stylist extraordinaire, Lili Diallo, via google images.
I’m likin’: The shelves, the art and the unexpected pattern on the sofa. This is Shelley Street’s home in Real Living magazine, scanned by Dust Jacket Attic. Photographed by Martin Hahn.
I’m swoonin’ over: The light in the left corner – I keep seeing them in German magazines – must find source! The concrete floors which is currently a love of mine… I like how easy breezy this place feels – it’s totally beach cottage meets urban industrial. Love the furry yeti-ish chair and just about everything else going on in this space. Sometimes a room has more of a mood happening over anything else that attracts me to it. This place says Style Without Effort. I like that. Photo from Home is where the heart is.
I’m diggin: The whole moody energy here – the wall color, the sofa style and color, the shot of fuschia and the painting leaning against the wall. Of course, this is a styled shot – you couldn’t live with a painting propped against the wall on the back of your sofa because it would fall but you could also hang it on a wee nail just a bit higher but still keep it very low to the sofa in the off-centered position as it is currently. Photo from Fey Handmade.
I’m all for: The gray walls and the wall they’ve nestled that L-shaped sofa into to make a cozylicious corner, it’s very nice there and the white shelf with the art makes for a lovely gallery-in-rotation, which is perfect for Etsy print collectors to move stuff around without hammering into the wall each time I decide to change things up! Like the yellow accents, too. Photo from Angelica Gonzalez.
This is kickin’: Okay how cool is this anything goes approach to decorating, huh? I’m liking this eclectic bohemian mama look a lot. This is from Matchbook magazine. This place is rockin’ out some major ‘tude. It’s like, “Yeah, I live here and I love all of this stuff so deal with it.” I’m happy to deal with it – it’s quite pretty.
Major love here: This is Bri Emery’s living room loft space in L to the A. It’s nice, right? I love the sofa style and fabric and the wall behind it – so much personality! It was shot by the super amazing Bonnie Tsang, who I have a major girl crush on at the moment because Bonnie downright rocks it out with her whole great eye camera goddess thing.
When I taught mood board workshops for Anthropologie stores last year, I stressed that when building a style file to always make notes in it detailing exactly what you love about the magazine tear that you’ve pulled. That’s why I’ve done this as an example with each of my tears above. Sometimes you’ll find that there are only a few elements and then you can start to notice definite themes which then lead to finding your personal style or at least what you’re into at the moment. From my looks above it is obvious that I have a real thing for gray walls at the moment and pretty sofas and gallery walls.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend! I will see you soon again on Monday… Loads of hugs – I’m off to Paris soon until Tuesday night so I’ll be blogging from Paris for a few days next week. You can also follow me on Instagram while I’m there, my Instagram user name is decor8.
For the past year or so, I’ve been completely smitten by the trend of loose-fit covers for sofas and chairs but it’s mostly being done by expensive furniture companies in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Italy and I couldn’t seem to justify the expense.
Lately, I’ve been trying to “save” my IKEA KARLSTAD sofa which is currently sitting lonely and sad in my storage room. I’ve been dying to make the time to actually make my own loose slip to cover it, but I never seem to make the time to actually do it plus it’s a big undertaking for someone who has never covered a sofa before – I’m guessing it would take me about 3 days of non-stop work and another week or two to source the fabric at an affordable price. While I love to make my own stuff when I can, I was thrilled to find out that Swedish company BEMZ, who ships all over the world, recently releases their own loose slips for IKEA furniture. I’m thrilled beyond words and plan to order one as soon as possible so my IKEA sofa can come out of storage and play with me again!
This is my favorite one above…
You can also find some that fit more snugly if you love cleaner lines…
What do you think, do you like this look?
I rarely feature kid’s spaces but this one is so pink and adorable that I couldn’t resist when the Sissy + Marley team sent it over to me today. They are a fab NYC-based design firm who specializes in children’s spaces. How cute is this???
It’s quite spare for a kid’s room, I know, but I’m sure their little client Ava changed that the moment the photography crew left. :) Speaking on kid’s rooms and decorating, here is some advice from me from a recent interview from the Little Party Goers site. Perhaps some of my advice below will inspire those of you who are parents. :)
LPG: What makes your approach to decorating children’s rooms so unique?
HOLLY: I am not decorating as much as styling as I have no time for private clients right now so my styling work is mainly for books and commercial work. My approach to decorating a child’s space though, is that it really needs to reflect their taste and interests and there needs to be a place for everything – hair bands, dolls, cars, crayons – all need a bin or box or something to store it. Growing up, I had a place for everything so cleaning up my room was always fun for me since I liked arranging things as they were, stepping back to view it clean, then feeling a sense of accomplishment. I loved lining up my dolls perfectly on top of my toy box, for example or neatly folding all of my barbie clothes or putting them back in the Barbie closet on little pink hangers. I took care of everything that I owned. Ideally, you teach your child to respect others and themselves but also material objects through setting an example as a parent so if you help them to organize their room and show them how to maintain it and explain and show why maintaining it benefits them, it won’t be so hard for your child to want to be organized, too. My mother would often come into my bedroom and help me clean up and make it fun – she’d play a song and we’d have to clean it all up by the time the song was over in order to “win”. She didn’t always help me, but on days when she noticed I wasn’t motivated, she would come in with her usual high energy and enthusiasm and turn cleaning up into some kind of magical, fun game. After I was finished, I could then go outside to play or she’d take me to the beach or I could watch television or something. It made me happy as a child to have a neat bedroom too, I enjoyed that.
I’m always seeking out fresh ways to be more creative at home, especially when it comes to decorating. I also love to browse for ideas that I can share on decor8 that are inspirational on some level. You never know when you may see something and have that light bulb moment, right? We all need inspiration but often I find that this inspiration gets dropped into a folder never to be found again. I decided that starting this week, I will pick one small project from my inspiration folders to actually experiment with at home – one per week. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?
Here are 10 creative ideas that I found to be quite out of the box. I wonder which one will resonate with you? Or perhaps several?
Idea 1: Wallpapered Door Panels from Martha Stewart, Idea 2: a Polaroid heart made using tons of Polaroids of course from the portfolio of Warren Heath and Idea 3: Stack magazines in an unused fireplace as a design element but also quite a practical storage space from French by Design. This also works because the spines are neutral and the magazines are the same width. Bear this in mind if you try this at home.
Idea 4: Frame fabric or wallpaper that you love (especially practical for renters!) and mount to the wall for a bit of pattern and color, this photo comes from BH&G.
Idea 5: Using chalk, sketch an rough outline of something that you admire (like a chandelier) on a wall painted in chalkboard paint OR on a chalkboard mounted or leaning against your wall. This clever ideas is from Velvet, a cafe in Croatia designed by owner Saša Šekoranja that Sania Pell photographed recently for her blog.
Idea 6: Why not wallpaper a wooden headboard from BH&G? Of if you don’t have a headboard, try tracing an outline of one on your wall with pencil and cut wallpaper to size and mount directly onto the wall.
Idea 7: Change up your eat-in kitchen by mixing up your chairs – things don’t always have to match! If you have wooden floors and want to change things up, stain them in a very deep chocolate brown for a more rustic “French bistro” look. It’s not nearly the huge commitment that painting floors black entails, but the darkened wood elevates the space in my opinion and looks quite stunning. This photo is from Alvhem, a real estate agency and interior design firm in Sweden.
Idea 8: Group lovely things together that have special meaning to you. This is from graphic designer and knitter extraordinaire Sandra Juto in Berlin, a Swedish lady whom I’m very fond of for her authenticity, wit, courage and amazing eye for style. Here she shows that you don’t even need to use frames in the correct size to make a stylish statement. Love this!
Idea 9: Pick a palette and layer from there, on my own dresser at home I’ve placed all of the things that I use and love and they happen to work rather nicely together!
Idea 10: Paint your fireplace in a bold color and group art from mantle top to ceiling and forget the glass, just find frames and paint them all in the same color, inserting art inside fixed to the wall so the focus first is the art and grouping, THEN people notice the frames. This is exactly what Regas NY did in their studio and I love it, via Brooklyn Bride.
See any ideas to try at home?
(images linked to their sources above.)