Advice: Living Room Decorating Advice | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

September 20, 2012

Advice: Living Room Decorating Advice

It's official: we lived in our house for longer than any other residence in our entire marriage. It has been 2 years and 3 months. In that span of time, Chica has aged into a rambunctious preschooler (although with her insane height, she is often mistaken for a first grader) and we welcomed Bug into our family. We've been through the plight of a crappy central air conditioner, a war on bugs, hosting parties with friends and a multitude of holidays and celebrations that formed amazing memories.

This house, despite myself, has become our home.

And now that I'm not hating every second of living here (have I mentioned my struggles?), and actually enjoying myself, I feel more inclined to spruce up the place. Hubby and I are not interior design-inclined. I envy my friends like Jen and Carrie for their design savviness. We make our house feel "homey," but we are not gifted at knowing what looks good where and how to make a wall "pop."

Walls are supposed to pop, are they not?

I shared this video about our Master Bedroom a few months ago:

The bedroom has been painted but never properly "dressed up." Our walls are bare, no curtains hang. It's blah.

Blah blah blah.

We're still in the "thinking" stages of that room.

But other rooms in the house are more visible to guests. Our kitchen, dining room and family room are cozy and sufficiently decorated. Maybe not to a Design Star's standards, but we feel reasonably good about it.

Then there is The Living Room.

And it needs some major love.

The previous owners were pretty chic, and had a great decorating style (despite having 3 kids!!) that we have clearly been unable to replicate. We did not have to paint, because we loved the colors they had already put on the walls (well, except the Master Bedroom - which was white and needed some color).

The living room is a patchwork mish-mash of randomness. The wall color suits us just fine: a grey, with one accent wall that is a darker grey. But our furniture is just kind of there. We have a poang chair from Ikea, a great futon from Hubby's grandparents (which is super comfy but has a red, green adn gold southwestern pattern on the slipcover), Ikea bookshelves, a bench from my Nana and one or 2 wall features that aren't really features at all (rather, we needed a place to hang them).

Let me give you the pictorial tour:

Here is a picture of the living room look up from the dining room. You can see from this picture how bare it is (and in case you were trying to measure things, Bug has kindly placed herself in the picture for reference):

This is the wall I like - I like the bookshelves (although they are a MESS and in desperate need of arranging. David? Help?). The bench was my Nana's, so it has sentimental value. And the print is of Boathouse Row in Philadelphia, a gift from my mom. What you CAN'T see is the 2 guitars hiding behind the poang chair on the left. (::shaking head at Hubby::)

Here is a view of the living room from the upstairs landing. It makes me ache for curtains, which I am capable of making but too lazy to go to the fabric store to choose. And what color? Pattern? From this view, the pattern of the futon slip cover is blaring (and despite having little style, we know southwestern is not our style). And the centerpiece of the room has become the BigJig's Train Table, which fits no where else. Can we say this room is going through an identity crisis?

We do have this nice picture window, but it is not displayed well :/


We need help.

What are your thoughts?

How would you focus the room? How would you decorate? What color palate would you choose (as we don't want to paint the walls if we don't have to - unless you have a REALLY good suggestion. In which case we might reconsider)?  What would you do with the walls or how would you rearrange the furniture?

Leave your ideas in the comments, send me an email, or tweet me up!  Share links, pins, or smacks over the head to knock some decorating sense into us.

Have I mentioned you all are awesome?

I look forward to your design advice!


  1. I think I'd start by moving the couch to the bookshelf wall and moving the bookshelves to either side of the smaller window. Then get curtains for the picture window - but hang them from close to the ceiling and down to the floor to make the ceiling look higher and the windows look bigger. I think I'd put the chair in the corner between the two window walls. Not sure what to do with the bench - maybe under the picture window? Can you slipcover the futon matress? That shouldn't be too hard to make - like a giant pillow? For colors, what about pops of yellow - I've really been liking the things I've been seeing in grey and yellow recently. Not sure about the train table - could you make a cover of some sort for it so that it can be used as a coffee table too?

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Hey! Share a thought or two - I'd love to hear from you! ~ Steph

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