Organized Inspiration- The Living Room

I think, alright…I know that I said I was going to start working on our bedroom next. This sort of is true, yet sort of not because I think I need to re-prioritize. You see, some of the things (and by things I mean bathroom, dishwasher, and AC) haven’t been working too well lately, so I need to have the apartment maintenance guys come over and fix it. And for them to come over means for them to come inside my apartment- sooo not going to happen in it’s current state. There is IKEA stuff everywhere, random stuff that needs to get returned to Wal-Mart, and a bunch of other crap. It’s embarrassing. I need to get the living room back to being a nice, presentable space. Therefore, I am working on the living room AND bedroom at the same time.

Our living room is rather large, but unfortunately this means one thing- it can only be set-up a certain way for it to work. This saddens me, but it is what it is. The sectional is the bulk of the living room, and therefore Daniel and I decided to swap some furniture from our other rooms in order to make the living room look “new”. I won’t tell you exactly what got switched out- I’m sure you’ll see/recognize that for yourself when you see the after photos.

At first we had planned to do an earthy tone color palette, but Daniel LOVES bright colors. Yes, a man who likes bright colors. And he’s all mine! Back off ladies, back off. However, he didn’t want girly colors like in my office. Fair enough. I had trouble conceptualizing manly AND bright.

It always seems whenever I have an inspiration dilemma, a magazine always lands in my mailbox that will snap me out of it. Thank you Better Homes & Gardens August 2009 issue, page 44 to be exact. I don’t have a scanner, so here’s my iPhone pic of the photo that started it all.


It’s got bright orange, a sage-ish green, blue, khaki, white, black…and it all matches/meshes well together. I love it, Daniel loves it, and off we went in search of even more inspiration. We collected a few images from websites/stores, and here’s our inspiration board:


Curtains are from Pier 1, $35 each panel. They’re the honeycomb design, and they feature all of the colors in our color palette. The next picture is from Decor Pad– we love the pops of orange against the beige. Next is a random white coffee table I found via Google Images. The curves of the table are what caught my attention, plus I love white! Inevitably we’ll grow tired of this color scheme, so white is always good. The big living room picture is also from the Decor Pad galleries- isn’t the wall color drool worthy? And how about that chair? Fantastic! Up next, the Ung Drill frame from IKEA! I love this frame- especially how it’s used here by Mrs. Limestone.

*A note about this frame- it’s fabulous and HUGE. Looks can be deceiving. I read the dimensions online and all, but in person it’s way bigger than you ever imagined. I had wanted to buy 2 for the bedroom, and that would have looked simply awful. But, it is an awesome value for $25.

The sectional is the actual one we have ($699 from Roomstore about 2 years ago)- but we don’t have the ottoman. Which is fine because I don’t like it much anyway. Another IKEA piece I fell in love with because of the curvy details is the Trollsta sideboard. And finally, another random image from the Decor Pad galleries.

It seems like a hodge podge of stuff, but I promise you all that it will look good. Or good enough anyway.

Last night we decided to do some retail therapy at Goodwill after the whole accident thing. I know that doesn’t make much sense given that we should be saving money (darn you $500 deductible), but we wanted to see what we found. Daniel is going to kill me for saying this, but we had a heart-to-heart at Goodwill yesterday. Here’s how it went:

It was Daniel’s idea to go to Goodwill. That’s rare. He claims it was to cheer me up. Alright. We get inside, and we spot this chair (sorry for the blurry iPhone pic). Look at those curves and legs! (I totally just made the chair sound like a sex object didn’t I?) It is beyond comfy!


And then we spot this coffee table:


I looked at them, said they were nice, and went to go look at the home decor/accessories stuff. I did find beautiful wall vinyl stuff and shabby chic shower curtain rings from Target for only $6. Woo hoo!

I am about to go pay for my 2 items when Daniel decides to go look at the chair…again. He’s saying how easy it would be to reupholster it, yada yada. I then ask if he’s been bitten by the Goodwill bug. He says YES! Awww. He says it’s because DIY stuff is something we can do together. Awwww. Isn’t that cute? It is, I don’t care what you say.

$54 later, we leave with our chair, table, wall vinyl thingies, and shower rings.

What you can’t see on the coffee table (because I took a bad photo) is that the lines/curves are similar to the ones in our inspiration board. Can’t wait to start sanding these 2 pieces tonight.

And here’s a sneak peek at the chaos inside our living room:


See? This is why I haven’t called the maintenance guys yet.




  1. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger
    August 5, 2009 / 3:53 pm

    I love the inspiration board and I think your Goodwill finds are going to be AMAZING once you've Monica-ized them!!!

  2. Krys
    August 5, 2009 / 4:39 pm

    Those are some GREAT goodwill finds girl! I think I'm gonna head up to our goodwill today and look around. We NEVER have furniture in ours though. I'm not sure where it goes. The Goodwills in Tulsa where out of this world. I miss them. *tear*I lived in Apartments for a long time, and I couldn't stand the white walls.. so I came up with a trick. Ok, my mom did, but that's trivial. 🙂 Use fabric. Seriously. Get a fabric you like and tak it to the walls. Stretch it tight and over lap (and line up, if you don't use a solid) the seams and you can't tell it isn't paint or wallpaper. Then, when you move, you just take your "walls" with you. I've done it several times, and would get some many compliments!

  3. Naomi
    August 5, 2009 / 10:44 pm

    I'm excited to see the finished project. I know they will turn out FABULOUS!!! You diy minx! 😮

  4. Kimm at Reinvented
    August 6, 2009 / 12:49 am

    Hi Monica! I loved this post, your GW finds are fantastic. I'm a new visitor, here from Living with Lindsay, and am loving what I see!

  5. Embellished Bayou
    August 6, 2009 / 3:24 am

    That chair is going to be awesome when you re-do it! And I saw that mirror at Ikea last week & fell in love with it too….if only I could find a place for it!

  6. erin.mclarty
    August 16, 2009 / 2:46 pm

    That chair IS sexy. I wants it. That color palate is fabulous. Just this one little blog is making me want to switch up my living room (which has the too large furniture). Our walls are a pretty dark yellow-gold. Orange and green would look good in here. 😛 Gold and red, I've done it too many times. Our sofa is neutral 'taupe' or, according to Rooms to Go, 'putty' which is the ugliest name for a color, other than puce. Why do they both start with P?You're lucky Daniel wants to do projects with you. Jason doesn't, the bum. 😛