Friday, May 7, 2010

Our Groovy Living Room for $50.50

When I first saw our living room I was overwhelmed...I've always had a square living room but this one was long and narrow, really long.

This is looking at it from the outside door, the other side is the kitchen.

Since the boys share a room and both are very easily distracted, we like to keep their room simple, no toys, they sleep so much better that way. So I decided to try to break the living room up into a play area and a sitting area. If you remember from this post, we ended up with some groovy furniture so we are kinda doing a retro look. In time I can repaint and recover everything if I want a more modern look but for right now it works for us.

We spent a lot on our living room because bigger items are harder to attain on freecycle - they go fast. But we were able to find what we needed at thrift stores and yard sales.

Our awesome couch from the Restore. If it doesn't blind you, you'll find out it's really comfy! The pillows I got at a free yard sale/swap a town nearby had. (You bring what you don't need and take what you do need - amazing concept!)


I found this table, glass top, tablecloth, and basket at the Salvation Army. Matches the couch perfect, in a scary way. $1 for each item. We filled the basket with shells from the beaches we visited in N. Ireland.


I got this chair along with the couch at the Restore. It matches the green in the couch, the pillow I got at the free yard sale.


This coffee table I got the thrift store for $4 and the lamp at a yard sale for $1.


This yellow bucket chair I found at the salvation army for $3, I covered it with an afghan I got in a dollar a bag sale, and threw a pillow on it that I also got at the bag sale.


I wanted a really, super, perfect, comfortable chair for ME. I came across this one when our car broke down and I had an hour to kill while Jason got it running again. (Fun day....) Found it at a second hand store for $15. I LOVE it and it swirls around so I can keep an eye on Alex in his play area or talk the Rebecca reading on the couch, or make sure Jarod isn't eating everything in the kitchen. lol The pillow my mom gave me and the scarf is from the free sale.


Total for our living room - $50.50!
More than I would have liked to spend BUT cheaper than most people spend for one chair so it will do.

I'm standing in the play area here - looking into the kitchen, I've rearranged everything a million times so far but I'm really liking this set up right now. Oh that little table the phone is on is from freecycle. In time I will get a shag run for in front of the couch, some wall hangings, and some curtains etc.

It's a great room to hang out in and relax, Rebecca and I can read while the boys play crazy games in the play area. If things were to get out of hand and something got broken....we'll no worries as it's not like we paid hundreds of dollars for anything. You're not going to walk into our living room and be blown over by how beautiful it is...but you'll have a comfy chair to sit upon and there will be lots of interesting chats and tea....and that's all a living room really needs - expensive furniture can't change that. 

And this is the playarea, all these items were either free from my MIL (their house used to be a daycare and lots of toys were left there when she moved it) or from freecycle so there was no cost as it was all items we already had. I'll repaint all the shelves and get curtains sometime. All the kids have fun in the playarea and since it's so big they are really good at keeping it clean - when there is a spot for everything it's easier to keep things picked-up. I'm standing in the living room, looking at the outside door.

And in the corner will be the kids computer area, right now the computer is sitting on a microwave cart but we'll find a computer desk for it in time.

So this is looking at the livingroom/playarea from the kitchen.
What do you think, is the 2 room thing working? Any other ideas for breaking up such a looooong room?



  1. I think it's working. I like the funky colors/patterns. It looks homey but organized, imo. Hope you're settling in well.

  2. Thanks Rachel!

    Have fun on your outing tomorrow - we have a few inches of snow here so we'll be staying inside! :-P

  3. Don't feel like furniture has to be up against a wall. Our living room is long(er), and I have our two recliners with a table in between out in the middle of the floor. The area behind, with a front door and entrance to the dining area, also houses a coat closet, toy storage, and our family computer desk. There's still plenty of room to move around the furniture, and it doesn't feel "weird" at all!

  4. Thanks Kristine!

    I think if we had a shorter couch that we could try that, the one we have now is really, really long. The next rainy day we have I'll try switching things around though - it's getting to be a favorite pastime of mine. :-P

  5. Hi,
    My name is Livy Anderson. I saw a link to your post and I got to reading and I thought of an interesting way for you to break up the space. In my daughter's room, I made some decals. All you do is put spray adhesive on the non-sticky side of contact paper and put fabric on it. Voila, decal made. There are a bunch of instructions online. Then you draw a picture on the paper side and cut it out. You could do a big retro design, with your couch, it would be very appealing. Maybe some silhouettes of your family pictures. Perhaps a pattern on the couch using the green color on your super cool wood chair. ( It comes off of my wall to reposition easily, so I assume it is ok for a rental) Just an idea.

  6. What a neat idea Livy! I've never heard of that, I could test it out down in the basement first to make sure it doesn't affect the wall.

    Thank you!

  7. I think that having rugs down really helps make the spaces seem separate. I think for the play room area it would be cool to keep little black table and the wood one coming out into the room like you have them and then put the 2 shelf book shelf over against the wall by the door (where you have the little blue chair) and then put down a cute rug (like one of those with the roads on it-or use some canvas or old laminate flooring and paint your own little roads or make believe "world" on it) (you should be able to find directions on how to do the canvas/laminate rug thing on-line) and you could do the same on the other side maybe a little different design for the rug. It would open up the traffic flow from the door to the sitting area a little more.

    Something fun-if your kids like to do dress up or do "plays" you could maybe figure out a way to do some sort of curtains from the ceiling on one side and they could use it like a stage (even if it's just a little bit out from the windows and then they could use ties to keep them open during the performance.) If you used longer fabric and it was hung up pretty sturdy they could pull it out over their little tables and use it to make forts.

    Have fun decorating!

  8. Thanks Jamie, I will google canvas/laminate rugs, sounds interesting!

    Bubbledumpter - we rent and out landlord does not allow the painting of walls.

  9. It's amazing how the colors come together in the furniture - you did great. The only things I would suggest are a few items for the walls and some valances or curtains. A mirror over the sofa would make the room appear wider (I have one in my living room.) A little more color would help everything to "pop out" more considering the lightness of the walls, door and windows.

  10. Thanks Lyn!

    I'm trying to figure out what colors to do for the curtains, trying to find a color that would work for both the living area and the play area.

    And the wall...bleh. So much white and we can't paint and are not allowed to put any holes in the walls but I'm working on a few ideas!

    I hope to go yard sailing in a few weeks and find something awesome for over the sofa! :-P


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