This post was sponsored in part by Wayfair, but all creativity, photography and copy is my own.
If you’ve been following along here for a little while, you know that we bought a house in 2016, worked our butts off to decorate it to our liking (we were featured on Apartment Therapy!) and then wound up having to sell it due to some very unfortunate circumstances the following year. We’ve lived in our current rental house for a year and a half and I kept saying “I’m not even going to bother decorating, we will probably just move again” (hello 6 moves in 7 years!) I’ll be honest – the beige walls were completely uninspiring and I was bitter about losing all the natural light that came with the house we owned. Earlier this year, a switch flipped and I’ve been intentionally decorating our space ever since.
Our Living Room Makeover
Our living room was the last room to tackle and I’ll be frank – decorating the living room felt overwhelming. It’s a big space that is more or less two rooms made into one big one, which in theory, sounds great, but it stumped me from a decorating perspective. I wanted it to be a cozy space that felt happy, but when we sold our house, the new owners bought nearly everything in it, so that left us with very few pieces of living room furniture. It’s kind of hard to believe that for over a year we sat on antique pretzel chairs instead of a couch in our living room! Here are a few before shots of our living room:
Our Living Room Makeover
The first order of business was getting a couch! I chose the Jack Sofa by Birch Lane in a neutral shade so that I could swap in colored pillows, blankets, etc as time goes on. I originally thought I wanted a retro couch in a punchy color, but opted for the neutral after really giving it some thought and seeing the design style. So far, we love it!
To note: If you are ordering a couch from Wayfair to Hawaii, expect to wait around 3 months for delivery. I would also be remiss in not mentioning that getting it delivered was a bit of a debacle. Since it had to come such a long way, the first couch we received was damaged. The Wayfair team was incredible about getting a new couch out here and even donated the damaged one instead of scrapping it. I was impressed! It wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but definitely something to know ahead of time.
I knew that in order to make our living room decor reflective of our own style, I needed to incorporate more color and pops of white to distract from the beige walls. Unfortunately, we can’t paint and getting enough peel-and-stick wallpaper to cover everything was going to be too much money, so I relied heavily on frames to do the job. Because we’ve moved so many times, I’ve collected a decent amount of photo frames over the years. I initially thought I wanted a long photo ledge (6-8 feet) to go above the sofa, but when I couldn’t find one I loved, I thought “How about I just use a mantel?” And so I ordered a mantel!
I ordered the mantel in 72″ and the “Aged Oak” color. It was really easy to hang, once we figured out the tools we needed (a drill bit suited to go through metal studs!). I am the first to tell you that I love uniformity in frames; my grid style gallery wall is a testament to this! But when I originally saw the layered frame look on Pinterest, I knew that’s what I wanted. Plus, I love that it adds a little bit of character to the mantel that showcases everything from old love letters Dane and I wrote each other when he was in Ranger School to photos of grandparents who have since passed away, and all the friends and family in between. Even better? I had all of them on hand already and the only thing I paid a bit of extra money for was to update photo prints at Costco.
My goal was to get a few new key pieces (sofa and mantel) and then work with what I already had to pull the space together. Some of the items I kept from our old house included copper end tables, colorful throw pillows, our tv stand and my DIY Copper Ladder, so I knew thoes items would be incorporated into our space.
I was shocked to unbox frames and art I had completely forgotten I had, so arranging a fun gallery wall behind our television was pretty easy. Before I hung it all up, I laid it out on the ground and arranged it until I liked what I saw.
I’m still working on a piece for above the “Hawaii” print, but I have something in mind. Just a matter of finding it! The colorful baskets you see throughout were picked up on our travels to Kenya, the watercolor dog portraits were done by my dear friend from Cards for Canines and the large pastel poster is from a brilliant artist in Iceland. You’ll also notice some of our favorite family portraits as well as Dane’s wedding vows.
To the left of our TV is one of the dog beds. While I’d love to say our entire living room looked so stylish, I need functionality! Having two big dogs in a not-so-big home means that they need to have access to their beds and toys, too, so one of the beds has a prominent space in our living room, sandwiched between our TV stand and bar cart 🙂
Overall, I could not be more excited with how our living room turned out. Simply put: It finally feels like a space that makes me happy by just being in it. Two new pieces are what motivated me to haul all our living room decor out of boxes and get to work giving our space the living room makeover it deserved. Now, when I walk in the door, I’m greeted with bright colors and surrounded by feelings of happiness and love.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like our bedroom makeover transformation!
Now let’s chat — have you ever felt like you were in a decorating rut? What room in your house makes you the happiest?