Finally... A Decorated Living Room

Our living room has suffered an identity crisis for a very, very, long time. It’s gone through many attempted makeovers. The kind of makeovers where you have guests coming for dinner on Friday, and it’s Thursday night so you decide to scour your basement for picture frames that you can quickly nail to the wall, and then you head out to the store 30 minutes before it closes to buy a new lamp and some throw pillows, and maybe a new kitchen towel, and of course some more picture frames because the ones from your basement were kinda blah.

That’s how our living room got decorated for the last ten years! On the fly, with absolutely no plan.
Our living room is the hub of our home – I walk through it 187 times a day -- so I should probably like how it looks. 

I finally put some time into creating a plan for the room, then shopped accordingly -- both at retail stores and secondhand. The couch, pillows, curtains, and large wall mirror were all purchased new. Nearly everything else was purchased secondhand at thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. Here’s how it looks today!



And for reference, here's a few before pictures:



Below I'm sharing 5 tips on how I finally got my act together and decorated our living room to feel much more modern and reflective of our style...while still being functional for three boys! 

1. GATHER INSPIRATION & CREATE A VISION
I pinned my little heart out on Pinterest to gather inspiration and determine what style of room I wanted to create. I pinned a lot of living room photos, but I also pinned specific colors, textures, and furniture. Here’s a look at some of my inspiration:


Top: Nesting Place // unknown // Plateful of Love
Middle: GardenLife // Bluetique // unknown
Bottom: unknown // Velvet & Linen // Ciburbanity

The common theme is neutral colors like gray, white, and black with pops of copper, pink and turquoise. Also lots of textures from natural wood, lace, baskets, and live greenery.

2. SHOP YOUR HOUSE
Given my love of thrifting, I always have a collection of housewares stored in the basement. I first pull items from my "stock" before buying something new. Like this three tiered table! This was one of the first pieces of secondhand furniture I ever repainted. It’s been used in our kitchen, hallway and now in the living room. 


To give the space above the TV a little life I used fabric bunting that I had made for my fleamarket booth. The bunting was made using a thrifted lace table cloth, pillowcase, and sheets!



3. CREATE A LIST
If I don’t have a list when I shop at the thrift store I either 1)get overwhelmed and give up, or 2) buy things I don’t need that don’t match my vision.

The corner of the room between the two windows originally just had a lamp, but I wanted to add some interest back there so I added to my list: shelving unit for corner. It took a few different visits to the thrift store, but I finally found this one at Goodwill Waterloo for $8! It was originally a brown faux wood laminate that now looks totally different with a coat of white paint.


Also on my list were copper accents, woven baskets and pink books – all of which I easily found at Goodwill.


4. THINK ABOUT FUNCTION
Our living room is small and I wanted to make sure there was open space for the boys to do their favorite things -- hulk smash each other, jump off the couch into a swimming pool made from every. single. cushion. and. pillow., and of course breakdancing. That said, I kept furniture to a minimum so that they have a big, open space to practice their Austin Moon dance moves.

To avoid having extra furniture take up space, like a toybox, I used a secondhand vintage dresser for our TV stand that could double as toy storage. This is the same dresser I repainted for the Thrift Challenge last year. See the transformation here.



I also saved room by taking advantage of the empty space below the coffee table. This thrifted wire basket stores our blankets and fits perfectly in the space.


Instead of filling this open area with unnecessary furniture that would take up space, I added a large mirror to the wall, and included a $5 re-painted kids chair from Goodwill that the kids can easily move around for extra seating and/or a diving board.


5. MAKE A STATEMENT
On the large wall above our couch we originally had 3 picture frames hung horizontally in a row. I was pretty bored with it so I searched my Pinterest boards for inspiration. I loved how people were using large, unique statement pieces above their couches. I saw maps, old windows, big mirrors, and oversized artwork. When I stumbled upon this huge, vintage chalkboard at Goodwill Streetsboro for $8, I knew I had found my statement piece!


Our plan with the chalkboard was to put new inspirational/motivational words up there at the beginning of each month. I took this first message to heart and approached all projects slowwwwwwwwly, thus this message is still up 6 months later. Time to switch it up for the second half of the year. Maybe a special message for the boys... "No Lifeguard on Duty. Swimming Prohibited." 


Hope these tips were hepful for anyone else stuck in a decorating rut. To recap: 
1 – Gather Inspiration and create a vision
2 – Shop your house
3 – Create a List
4 – Think about function
5 – Make a statement 


_____________________________

Are you a thrifter? Or do you want to try thrifting (but not do it alone?) Come hang out with Dina and I at 6PM TOMORROW NIGHT (Friday 8/21) at Goodwill Waterloo for a Thrift Night Out! We'll have a light dinner, we'll share tons of thrifting ideas for your home and wardrobe, and then the best part... we'll shop the store! Register here. Hope to see you!



No-Sew Patriotic Pillow Covers Made from Thrifted Shirts



I’m back with another easy no-sew pillow cover tutorial that uses fabric from thrifted clothes. Remember this one I made last Fall with the Aztec patterned skirt? It was so well received – even being featured on the national Goodwill blog – that I thought I’d give it another go with some summer-themed fabrics for our front porch.


I wanted the fabric to have a 4th of July vibe with stars and stripes, but not with the traditional red white and blue color combo. Our front door is painted a turquoise color, and I’m all about pink right now, so I went hunting at Goodwill Northfield with those two colors in mind. Here’s what I found:


No luck finding anything striped in my color scheme, but I was excited to find the two star patterned shirts!

To make the pillow covers, follow these steps:
1: Measure your pillows
2: Cut two pieces of fabric approx. 1 to 2 inches larger than the size of your pillow. One piece for the front, one piece for the back.


3. Place your fabric together (good sides facing each other).

4. Place a strip of stitch witchery in between the two pieces of fabric along the border.


5. Lay a damp rag on top of all three layers (fabric, stitch witchery, fabric) then place your hot iron on the rag and let stand for 45 seconds. I had my iron set to 5 on steam.


6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 on three sides of the pillow. Leave the 4th side open

7. With all three sides fused together, flip the cover inside out (now your good sides should be on the outside), and stuff your pillow inside.


8. The last step is to close your 4th side. This took a little bit of finagling, but you’ll want to fold those edges in a bit, and then repeat steps 4 and 5 while your pillow remains inside. I did this part in small sections using just 2” of stitch witchery at a time.


9. Toss the pillows on your furniture! All done.




**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Akron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Thrifted Pink & Gold Plant Display



Just a few months ago I started swapping all our colorful d├ęcor with neutral grays and whites. I was craving a clean, minimalistic, cohesive look after being brainwashed by Pinterest with rooms like this and this

It was good though. We removed a piece of furniture from our family room, we took down some excessive artwork, we removed some pillows, and I feel like things look more clean and put-together as opposed to a random smattering of “stuff.”

Buuuuut….

I MISS COLOR!!! And specifically, pink. Hot pink! 

Books are my go-to, inexpensive way to quickly add pops of color, so I dug around the book section at Goodwill Waterloo and found these two hot pink books.:

Hot pink books | Goodwill Waterloo | 87 cents each
I then came across these copper cups that I thought would be the perfect little planter for a succulent that I could set on top of the books.
Copper cups and stand | Goodwill Waterloo | $2

Then, I spotted this amazing faux bamboo gold plant stand and knew it would be the perfect place to display the books and copper cup. 
Gold bamboo plant stand | Goodwill Waterloo | $5

I needed one more plant to add some height so I bought a snake plant because snake plants are known for being extremely low maintenance with incredible survival skills -- a MUST for any plant entering my home...

...and then combined it all together into this little group of color happiness!


This is exactly the pop of color I needed! 

**This post was sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Akron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

8 Shelves decorated for ONLY $58.97!!

Recently my talented friend Lisa, author of several YA books, invited a small group of creative-minded girls to her house for a night of drinks, brainstorming and goal-setting. We plan to meet on a regular basis to share ideas, hold each other accountable to goals, and collaborate on projects.

At our get-together I shared the current state of Something to be Found; I dabble in re-selling (mainly at the Cleveland Flea), I have this blog, I write sponsored posts for Goodwill, and I host Thrift Night Out events with Dina.

We brainstormed some additional projects/ideas for me to consider, and one that I've thought about for a long time but have never done is to thrift/decorate for clients. I have a lot of doubts and questions on how this could actually be profitable, but like all ideas, the best way to work through those questions is to just try it! Test it out and see what works and what doesn't.

Turns out that Lisa had two brand new Ikea Hemnes shelves in her bedroom that were in need of some decorating so she offered to be my first "client."


 After seeing her the color scheme and vibe of her bedroom, I was sooooooooo excited to get started!

 
Her bedding and green furniture has a Lilly Pulitzer vibe, so I stuck to that color palette and theme when thrifting pieces for her shelves. I knew right away that I would use books to add bright pops of color, but I would keep all the other pieces like the vases, lanterns and picture frames in neutral tones like gold, whites/creams, black, and wood grain.

After visiting 8 different thrift stores and one estate sale over the period of about 5 weeks, here's the haul for her shelves:


These 50+ items came to a grand total of $58.97!!! If we shopped retail, we would've paid that much for just the bamboo tray, green striped basket, and faux palm plant.

Next came the fun part of putting everything together on the shelves:



I absolutely LOVE this juicy combination of the pink and yellow books: 










This green striped basket and faux palm plant were picked up at Goodwill when I was on my way to Lisa's house!! I was running a few minutes early so I just had to stop in. The faux palm was an ahhhmazing score, and then when I was checking out I spotted the green striped basket and literally RAN over to get it. (You're welcome. Lisa!) 




Luckily Lisa already had another potted plant so we were able to use hers on top of the other set of shelves to balance everything out.




The bamboo tray was saved for last, and we found the perfect home for it on this green bedside table. 


What a fun project!! Thanks, for being my first official "client," Lisa!

Local, Cleveland Friends -- want me to thrift for you!? If you have some shelves or a spot in your house that could use a fresh new look, and you'd like me to thrift and style it for you, email me at somethingtobefound@gmail.com