A look inside my living room, the details that make it entertaining-friendly, and tips I followed to decorate it on a budget.
About eight months into homeownership, the living room is finally to my liking. I'd describe the style of this room as feminine, warm, and bright. Unlike my guest room, I didn't create a mood board before diving in with the living room decor. The rationale I followed here was to set a light neutral foundation via large pieces like the sofa and rug so that I could fill in with color and patterns without treading into tacky territory. If you know me, you know I love leopard, so incorporating that was a must along with some ankara for my culture. From there, I looked for stylish, functional elements that jived with these existing pieces. With only one window, bright white, metallic, and mirrored pieces help to reflect and maximize light in this room. It also doesn't hurt to be able to do mirror checks at multiple points throughout your house. 🙂 I added a few lamps for even more brightness.
Tip: Playing with light allows you to still add color to a smaller or darker space.
As you'll notice from the sources at the bottom of this post, I found many things on sale or clearance and I also DIYed a few things in this room. Specifically, I added nailhead to the sofa, re-covered the poufs behind it (tutorials here), and made the throw pillows (tutorial here). I also took some gold spray paint to the mirrored tray on the coffee table as well as the curtain rod. (More ways I've used spray paint here and here.) I found some of these pieces for unbeatable prices as early as a year before purchasing my home and just tucked them away in my parents' hall closet until their time arrived. On moving day, my daddy was shocked at how much furniture and decor I'd been
hiding storing, and how little I'd spent on it!
Tip: Take your time and make friends with the clearance aisle.
The living room is the entertainment hub of my house. For intimate gatherings, this is where all the tea is spilled. 🙂 And even with larger parties that flow into the dining and cocktail rooms, the living room still sees a lot of action. Insecure and Game of Thrones are two of the few TV shows I watch and their summer premieres are what motivated me to finish getting this room in formation (meaning get the TV mounted) for watch parties! Due to my penchant for playing hostess with the mostest, I had sought furniture and decor pieces that are both pretty and practical as far as entertaining goes. For example, I picked these white nesting tables to provide an area for serving and snacking off of. Here's an example of how I used them to create an at-home wine bar. Similarly, I picked the nesting side tables because they provide two surface areas for guests' wine glasses but take up the space of just one table at all other times. In addition to surfaces, I wanted ample seating, and the poufs behind the couch help with that but don't take up much space and are easily moveable from room to room. Another piece that is helpful is the coffee table tray. I can organize and display knick knacks like coasters and magazines on it and pick up everything in one fell swoop whenever I need the surface for entertaining.
Tip: Look for furniture that does double-duty.
Odds and ends like coffee table books, vases, and coasters are what help add character to a room. Just as jewelry and other accessories complete an outfit, these home accessories are the finishing touch. Also like jewelry, these little things can add up! So, I tend to focus on clearance aisles and thrift stores for things like these. The HomeGoods checkout area is also a good place for little trinkets. That's where I found the marble coasters and magnifying glass on my coffee table. Coffee table books are my favorite way to add color and reflect my interests around the house. I find deals on them at Half-Price Books, Amazon, HomeGoods/Marshalls, and even the dollar store.
Tip: Pay attention to details but don't overpay.
Although I'm sure I'll update and add pieces to this room as time goes on, I hope y'all find my tips and the current state of this living room tour to be helpful and inspirational. My next area of focus will likely be the dining room. All pieces from this room are sourced below. Thanks for reading!
Painting: by my sister. More of her work here. Sofa: (The Dump clearance find) similar | Pillows | Shag Throw | Nesting Side Tables | Mirror: (Target clearance find) similar | White Nesting Tables | White Urns: (Tuesday Morning) similar | Lamps: (Target clearance finds) similar | Orange Chairs: (Kirklands clearance find) similar | Leopard Pillows | Coffee Table | Mirrored Tray: (HomeGoods) similar | Marble Coasters: (HomeGoods) similar | Marble Candles: (sold out) same scent in stock | Pineapple Dish: (HomeGoods) similar | Magnifying Glass (HomeGoods) similar | Curtains (Marshalls) similar | Rug (Target clearance find) similar | Media Cabinet: (Ross) similar | TV Mount | Mirrored Console Table | Wifi Sign | Poufs: (Target clearance find) similar | Watercolor Vases: (HomeGoods) | Coffee Table Books: Green Kate Spade, Pink Kate Spade, Gardenista, Something to Food About, Nasty Galaxy, How to be a Domestic Goddess, Forgotten Ways for Modern Days, Sex and the City the Movie, Sex and the City Boxed DVD Set Fresh Food Fast, Savory Sweet Life, Carla's Comfort Foods