The Makings of a Living Room

Thank you everyone for the lovely comments about my little living room. It really made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

Now, as promised, here are some details about how I achieved the look.

When we first moved in we had nothing to sit on for a while. Then we borrowed my now brother-in-laws bulky 70’s setting. Then we decided to buy some sofas.
It doesn’t really look it in the photos, though our living room is pretty tiny so the requirements were: compact, decent quality, comfy enough and budget-savvy!
I was really craving some gorgeous vintage leather style sofas (not even close to in the realm of possibility for us back then) when I spotted these sofas on clearance in a furniture store.
Although not quite as classic in shape as I wanted they have a nice neutral palette and clean lines.
$900 (for both)

This is the third coffee table I’ve had in this space. The first was a glorified side table suitable for holding precisely one glass of wine at most (okay, exaggerating slightly) though it was ridiculously inadequate. The second was a big round ottoman I made and covered in blue and beige damask (now sold) and the current one was picked up on eBay. Sorry, I don’t have a before pic (had no idea I’d need one for a future blog back when I bought it) though it was jarrah stained. All it needed was a light sand, a few coats of black acrylic, a distress and a seal coat. The handle is original and I love the fact it has a drawer so I can hide the remotes.

As you can probably tell from the photos, it needed to have pretty perfect dimensions to look ‘just right’ in that space. I searched for a l-o-n-g time and was so excited when I finally came across an orange stained hall table. I lopped off the legs with my friend Mr Circular Saw, stained the top walnut and painted the base a soft antique white before distressing and sealing it. The handles were originally shiny brass so I scorched them with a blow torch (to penetrate the protective coating) then soaked them in some verdigris solution for an aged patina.

At the risk of sounding like some kind of eBay addict (okay, I may as well just confess now) that’s exactly where I picked up both the side tables.
The drawered table was sun-damaged and had unattractive veneered drawer fronts so I painted them black. I wanted to retain the remaining timber finish so freshened it up with a light coat of walnut stain. The gorgeous handles are original.
The elegant tray style table is as I found it. It came complete with a hall console which I didn’t require so on-sold for a profit which more than covered the original cost of both tables which basically made them FREE.

Okay, so these were reasonably affordable though not super-duper cheap.
We needed blockouts (for light filtering and weather reasons) and I certainly wasn’t going to make them! I had seen these ones at a homeware store and knew they’d be just right so waited until they went on sale. The day I chose to buy them there was also a storewide 20% off everything including sale items so I ended up saving a couple of hundred dollars.

Found as is on eBay (yes, I know, eBay…again!).

Both throw rugs were gifts (thanks Mum!).
The floral cushion is from Ikea ($30 when I bought it a few years back).
I got the faux fur one in a pack with a blanket from a local manchester store. It was mega cheap though feels quite plush ($8).
I made the dark brown one ($6).
The three linen cushions were bought on clearance from a local furniture store ($18 for all three). I added numbers to two of them using iron-on transfer paper. By cutting precisely around the graphics I was left with no shiny residue as can be the case with transfer paper.

The wrought iron grille was a gift (thanks again Mum!). The six timber frames above the sofa were found in a dollar store. I painted and distressed them before filling with ‘Cavallini and Co.’ postcards gifted by one of my sister-in-laws. I made the matt boards myself.

These are both old picnic baskets I’ve had forever. One was a gift and one is my sister’s (shhh, don’t tell her I’ve got it!). They were hiding away in the cupboard for a while then one day I had a sudden wicker craving so dragged them out and put them on show (not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner).
I added the numbers myself with a stencil I made and some black craft paint.

Tray – Another gift from Mum – $0
Wire Basket and Apples – I found two of these baskets (the other is in my entryway) at a local charity store. They were gold so I sprayed them. The faux apples are from one of my favourite stores: Provincial Home Living – $17
Pewter Jug – Yet another gift from Mum (hmmm, is it starting to sound like she’s accessorised my whole house?) – $0
Cane Basket and Hydrangeas – The basket (actually supposed to be a candle holder) is from Target and the hydrangeas are from the décor section of a local hardware store – $18
Books – The two large books were gifts. The little blue one was my Dad’s primary school dictionary and the green one was hubby’s Dad’s ‘How to Play Tennis’ book (I love little personal touches like that). The other two are vintage thrift store finds – $1
Birdcage – Dollar store find (I wish I’d bought more!) – $15
Topiary, Terracotta and Twine – I made the standard topiary by attaching a bought topiary ball to a stick I found outside (rocket science I tell you). The terracotta pots were bought cheap from a local plant nursery. The twine is from a hardware store and the spanish moss I already had – $16
Letter ‘F’ – Bought as plain MDF then painted with hammered metallic black – $3
Vintage Fan – Found at a local antique store – $15
Cane Basket and Pinecones – The basket is a thrift store find and there are millions of pinecones in the reserve behind my house. It’s always nice to go hunting for them with my little puppy – $2
Large Wire Basket – Wedding gift – $0
Decor Total $87

Overall Total $1624

  1. Stunning room. I love that it was all accomplished at a great bargain.
    ♥ Toni

  2. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for sharing how it all came together. You are one frugal chick and you wait for the pieces you love. That’s great. I have never shopped ebay..I am going to have to check out all this cool furniture you have been scoring.
    Have a blessed weekend.
    P.S. happy to give you a shout out. My pleasure.

  3. Love your room. You have an exceptional eye and have put together such a lovely room. Hugs, Marty

  4. Andrea says:

    I love it all! It is so bright and inviting! I have always been afraid to buy furniture off of ebay. I think the shipping costs are probably why. I love, love, love! your fan. I have been looking for one in my price range for a long time.

  5. Wow! You are really beginning to inspire me to keep a thrifty eye and have the confidence to re-do furniture! I bought a pine chair from Ikea the other day which is looking really plain. I might just have to paint it and give it the “distressed” look.

    You are really talented!

    Gemma X

  6. Sarah B says:

    That is amazing – I can’t believe you achieved such a great look for $1600!!! Incredible!!
    You have a real talent girl!!

  7. Thanks for the lovely comments girlies.
    Andrea, I don’t think I’d ever be able to bring myself to pay for shipping costs either. I make sure all of the furniture I buy on eBay is always close enough to home so I can collect it in person for free.

  8. chair up says:

    You sure do score some bargains, kind of makes me glad we don’t live in the same town cause I’d be missing out big time,lol.
    I will join you in the ebay confessional, can’t get enough of it!

  9. Happy Gramma says:

    What lovely ideas! I am so impressed!
    I am following from Welcome Wednesday! Please come visit me @

  10. Barbara Jean says:

    Everything is great!!!

    Thanks for coming by.
    Nice to meet you.

    Off to see more.

    barbara jean

  11. Kyandra says:

    Love love love that room..thanks for your comments and help re my kitchen..I did send you my email address so hopefully you can forward the kitchen photos…I too am an ebay addict but always buy close to home. I hope you saw my comment about the great place in Mornington…they had some of those fans there.You have a great mum too:) Kym X
    I think yo

  12. Kyandra says:

    Me again..don’t know why that came up at the end of the last comment.. sorry ! Kym X

  13. The Moerks says:

    Wow, just found your blog via My Sweet Prints. I love it! Your living room is just lovely. I would like anything done by someone else who’s favourite store is Provincial Home Living. I feel so calm and peaceful in that shop! Some great ideas. Thankyou.

  14. What a beautiful room. I’m on the lookout for a birdcage like that! Thanks for stopping by my little blog.

  15. Mara says:

    Oh Kristine, I will say it again, you living room is amazing!!!


  16. Beautiful room…it flows so well. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  17. wallspank says:

    wow, so affordable. The room looks amazing, well done!

  18. Wendy says:

    Like I said before ~ Beautiful! and it doesn’t break the bank! Thanks for the decor suggestions for my TV dilemma! Great ideas! We actually had someone make our mantel and have entertained the thought of having him come back and help us extend the mantel to try to get a better flow ~ sort of like it would all be built in, but not. Great idea to photoshop the pic! Thanks again!

  19. Nikki says:

    Wow, I am totally impressed. I love your style. Especially that painted cane chair. It’s a great room!

  20. your living room looks great!

  21. Mirela says:

    we have a lot in common when it comes to decorating i LOVE everything you have done to make this living space so adorable. i Love your cushions mostly :) ,the coffee table is gorgeous to. thanks for your lovely comment you left me today your always there with great opinions to take on ..thanks your a real sweetie.look forward to many more pictures of your wonderful home.have a great weekend my sweet friend XXXX

  22. Mara says:

    Hi Kristine! I’ve passed you an award! check it out on my blog!

    Have a happy week end!

  23. Denise Marie says:

    I love the easy, eclectic look of it all!! Love that big, solid, chunky wood table.

  24. I found this post this past weekend and stumbled on your blog again today. I LOVE this room! It is so light and airy feeling. It really gives me a sense of calm. I think I may just have to steal some of these ideas! Beautiful!

    ~ Michelle

  25. erinjamie07 says:

    I love yr living room! You should get into interior design. Wish I could keep my living area that neat and tidy….:)

  26. JaimeCakes says:

    I have a question, did you redo the flooring? The floors look different.. was it just refinishing them or a redo completely?

  27. JamieCakes
    We haven’t touched the floor. It just looks different in the poor quality before pics.

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