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Living Room Redo: The Plan

There’s a reason why you haven’t met my living room yet. I just haven’t been completely happy with it – so it’s getting a budget-friendly overhaul!  Here’s the plan:

can the tan and tone down the cyan!


(Sorry. At least I had the self-control not to try to fit “kazakhstan” in that lyrical, beautiful poem I just crafted.)

Let’s talk about the room. This is what it looked like when we bought the house:

And here it is today:
MUCH better, but still — tan, tan and tan, right? The couch, rug and fireplace kinda melt together in a giant gob of tan soup?

We bought this gigantic microfiber sectional when moved into the house because it was the most comfortable, affordable way to offer seating to an entire army of people. (Read: Andy loved it and I didn’t fight it.)

Plus it’s like a stain-fighting ninja, meaning even when Weston takes his greasy, eggy omelette fingers and smears them gleefully across the chaise section, it cleans up like a champ. (Suddenly when you have a toddler, “stain resistance” tops your list of furniture must-haves. *Tragic sigh for the carefree days of youth.*)

But it looks like a gigantic tan dinosaur fell over and died in our living room. I’m always trying to disguise the Tannosaurus — like by layering a white sheepskin or throw across the chaise, or using many more pillows than my husband can tolerate, or by using a giant pair of grouch glasses:

No tan here!

But it’s on its way out. More on that in a later post.

The rug is thick and luscious and it hides all kinds of sins, but it reads – you guessed it – tan, and in combination with a tan couch and a tan fireplace, it’s just too much.

Okay, ready to see the new living room plan?

My inspiration is this fabric – the one that we all loved or hated from this post:

(It’s definitely not one of the $100/yard fabrics from that post!) I’ll be using it in a small dose – just a throw pillow. I think it’ll go nicely with this pillow that I already have:

And – don’t freak out – those pillows will go on this couch – the highly-praised Ikea Ektorp. (“WHAT?! White? With an eggy-handed toddler?!”  Yes. More on this later.)

Then I’ll plop it all on top of either a natural jute rug or something with a simple pattern. (That hides stains. There it is again – the stain thing.)

And when you add in a little DIY curtain action I have in the works, I think it’ll look something like this:

I can’t paint the walls, because that blue goes through the whooooooole downstairs, into the two-story foyer and up to the second floor hall. And that’s a big job. And my marriage depends on keeping that paint color. So it stays. I’m hoping the jacobean pillow will tie it all in nicely.

And the fireplace wall? We have a little something up our sleeves to add some punch there, after the mirrors find a new home.

For now, what do you think of the new plan? Does it look like it will all work or am I headed for crazytown? Be real with me – I can take it. And to you other mamas – I can forget about stain worries as soon as my son turns about 3 years old, right? Then he’ll be well-mannered, detest dirt and value cleanliness? Tell me this is true.

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  1. I love the new plan. The curtains and pillows are really gonna change the whole room. Your sectional is a lot like mine and we got it for the same reason, tons of seating. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  2. I love it! Can’t wait to see it unfold.

  3. Fun! I think the plan is great. I can’t believe how much better this paint colour looks than the old one did though – the fireplace and especially the matle really pops with the blue. I think your new plan will look great but I am extremely curious about how you will deal with the white sofa!

  4. I like your photoshopped-how-everything-is-going-to-look picture. 🙂 Rather than repainting all the walls you could just do the one fireplace wall again. Can’t wait to see it all come together!

  5. I think you’re on the way to crazytown but not because of your livingroom plan. 😛 I really like your inspiration picture!! I’m a BIG fan of stripes lately.

    I also like that your marriage depends on you keeping that wall color. I’m there with ya! My livingroom is all tan but I’m going with it for now. It’s about time for tan to re-become the “it” thing, right? Nate wants me to ride it out until then…or I have to stop reading blogs…

  6. So I’m totally jealous of the jacobean fabric and Bo is going to be jealous of the jute rug. He has been begging me to get a jute rug in the living room, but I haven’t found one soft enough for baby knees. What have the children done to us and our ability to decorate as we please?
    Okay, now that the curiosity is killing me to see how all this turns out, hurry up and renovate!! =) But we can still find time to hang out right ;o) Haha!

  7. Oh, and I just added the toddler table and chairs from the add on your blog to my amazon wish list for the girls. It is from csn It is just like that table and chairs from daycare and they are awesome!

  8. I love your new plan! I have 3 boys, 11,2 and 1…and I’m actually thinking of getting the same sofa, but in a sectional! I think the removable cover is perfect to throw in the wash, so it won’t matter that its white..right?? 😉

  9. The plan is excellent! I already like the blue way better than the green.

    I’m not too familiar with that couch, but is the fabric washable? If so, a lot of parents with children say white is the best way to go simply because you can bleach it. Maybe that would work?

    Also, I don’t know how anyone could hate that fabric!

  10. LOVE the new plan! I am on a mission to rid our living room of some of the tan, too….

    We actually have the EKTORP sectional (in tan, of course) and love, love, love it. The slipcovers are totally easy to wash and it’s a very comfortable couch. Can’t wait to see how it looks in your room!

  11. I like where you’re going with this. Just so you know, it’s not toddler or little boy sticky fingers you need to be concerned about…it’s the teenage monster boy who makes the most mess. You’re good for at least 10 years with a white sofa. We had a white sofa while both my kids were babies and toddlers and no problemo!

  12. I love it! The colors are bold but you’ve balanced them nicely so it’s not like a crazy, circus-room. I can’t wait to see what you do with it! You’ve also inspired me to keep working on my living room. I was doing good for a few weeks and then I got burnt out and have stopped planning, thinking; doing anything in this space. It’s time to come up w a plan! Thanks lady!! 🙂

  13. You had me at Tannosaurus. I’m loving the new plan, hooray for changes!

  14. I think you have a great plan! It is really hard to decorate around messy little ones. I love the pillows you’ve picked out. 🙂 Visiting from the Haven FB page. 🙂

  15. yes yes the plan is perfect and the wall color will look great… and i always hear that white slipcovers are perfect with kids because you can just wash them. i used to have an ektorp sofa (leather) and it was realllly comfortable, great choice!

  16. dellababin says:

    You are crazy!!! The living room looks great just like it is, go pick on another unfinished room.

  17. Tannosaurus. Ha Ha. We currently have one of those in our family room too, and like yours, ours is going bye bye.
    I love your plan. The white couch, the black and white stripes, and the colorful pillows will be so fresh and fun. Can’t wait to see it!

  18. I am still laughing at your way with words! You are a breath of fresh air and I am looking forward to visiting your blog again soon to see what your room looks like now. God bless.

  19. No way, Kelly, I love your sofa! The end-chaise-lounge-thing is just way too much fun to lose!

  20. I love that paint color … What is it?


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  2. […] few weeks ago I showed you how my living room looked when we first moved in: …And how it looked a few weeks ago, after removing popcorn ceilings, […]

  3. […] the living room, its style has made less and less sense with the new pieces. We started with the giant tannosaurus sectional: Which I replaced with my slipcovered white sofas. (This is an old picture, but the living room […]

  4. […] chose the blue in my living room before I’d made any other decisions, plopped the Tannosaurus sectional in it and felt limited and lost, so I bought the first rug I could find that incorporated both […]

  5. […] here’s the deal on our sofas. We started with a microfiber sectional (“the tannosaurus“): We spilled all kinds of junk on that sofa. You’d be impressed at the quantity of […]

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