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Home Staging and Design: Living Room on a Budget

We bought our current home about a year and a half ago.  It was on the market for quite some time and we kept watching the price drop and drop.  Finally we decided to take a look at the property.  The house itself was in great condition and it was actually waterfront property for a reasonable listing price.  It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on with this property upon entering the front door.  Aesthetically the home had nothing going for it.  It was a bachelor pad in every sense of the word.  For me, this was exciting!  We could get a wonderful home on the water for a good price and fix it up the way we want it.  We call it our “Diamond in the Rough”.  By just doing some simple and inexpensive changes, our home is coming along quite nicely.  Eventually, we will be able to do some more extensive remodeling but for now, just painting and using what we have will have to do.

IMG_3185The first room we tackled was the front room just to the left of the front door and foyer.  The seller had the space set up like a billiard.  There was nothing inviting, warm or practical about the space and it did not set a good first impression of the home.

The first order of business was to get the heavy window treatments off the wall and just simply get the room cleaned up.  The molding and woodwork in the home is a beautiful architectural feature, so we simply painted the room to make it really stand out.  We used a nice neutral beige paint, (Behr 7400) above the chair rail and a nice off-white on the chair rail and everything below.  We have used this particular beige color in most of our homes and I love it.  It’s the perfect warm but neutral base color for any room.  When using beige paints, try to stick to one’s with grey undertones so that it doesn’t look too pink or peachy when you put it on the walls.

I ordered a large brown and white striped rug and we simply used the furniture we had to fill in the space.  I can’t stress enough how important furniture placement is.  It’s important that a room is open, airy, comfortable and inviting.

IMG_3342 I wanted to capitalize on the sunshine that spills into the room all afternoon and wanted the room to be as light and cheery as possible.  Using what we brought from our old home, I placed the white armoire and bookshelves on the opposite wall of the room flanked by the windows to create a focal point.   I then chalk painted an old pine coffee table, distressed it and used it with a couple of old rattan chairs I already had on hand.  Some day we will replace the furniture in this room, but for now it’s all about making the most of what we have.  Adding some home decor items, cozy throw pillows and plants helped bring it all together.  We haven’t gotten new window treatments up yet, but I will get something light that will allow for optimal sunshine.  It’s a wonderful sitting room that’s perfect for a cup of coffee and good book or your favorite magazine.

IMG_3177 Remember, don’t be afraid to use what you have if you have a strict budget!  Maybe some paint, updated rug and fresh accessories will do the trick.  We are enjoying our new sitting room and the bright, warm sunshine that pours in each afternoon!  It’s a great quiet place to start the day with coffee or unwind after a long day at work.  Let me know if you have any budget friendly tricks to updating your home in the comments below!

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Fun with Fall Decor

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Fall has become easily one of my favorite seasons to decorate my home.  Using cues from the natural elements of this time of year is my number one priority when decorating my home.  The warm colors of autumn are so inviting, it’s a great time to take advantage of the beautiful shades of oranges, golds and browns.  I can hardly pass by a pumpkin patch without stopping to take a leisurely stroll, inspecting the alluring bounty of it’s perfectly plump gourds. “Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.” – unknown In the spirit of being content and using what nature has blessed us with and what I already have, I put together some simple fall arrangements as well as using the colors of autumn to dictate my accessories in each room.  Here are a couple of examples of what I did…

Look around your yard

Last year my hydrangea was absolutely going crazy into the early part of fall.  I was able to pick some of it’s last beautiful bounty and incorporate it with some other fall finds.  The pumpkins were purchased from a local farmer’s market but I never find myself in need of pine cones.  We have a gigantic loblolly pine that is not my preferred species of tree but it provides us with free pine straw and endless pinecones, I am thankful for that!
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Ater collecting my backyard treasures, I dusted off an old wooden bowl I had stored away and placed it all together for a welcoming display in the front room of our home.  I found an old burlap table runner I wasn’t using and cut it down to fit on my coffee table. Last fall I painted an old pine coffee table that we bought when we were first married, many, many, many years ago… I used good ole’ chalk paint and did some quick distressing.  I was very impressed at how much I liked the finished product.  

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For my fireplace mantle, I just cut some overgrowth from my Heavenly Bamboo Nandina bush that had started to turn gorgeous dark greens, browns and reds at some of the tips. I flanked the distressed picture frame with the clippings.  I then placed pinecones and a few berries throughout the foliage.  There is no right or wrong way to do it, I just placed the leaves, pinecones and berries to make a festive mantle that took me all the way through Thanksgiving.  And it was FREE!  It’s so fun and easy, just take a little nature walk and collect some of the following things your may find in your yard.
  • Pinecones
  • Berries
  • Pines straw
  • Dried flowers
  • Limbs and twigs
  • Any kind of greenery
  • Produce from your late summer or early fall garden
  • Leaves
  • Nuts
Don’t be afraid to just plop these natural elements in a repurposed jar, with a candle or as a simple centerpiece.  Part of the fun is going through old containers, vases and jars I have stored away to repurpose.  It’s a great way to be creative and an activity to do with little ones that will get you outside on a nature adventure!!!
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