My Living Room’s New Look

I am only showing you my living room, because I know you have imaginations and you can forgive the imperfections.  Sadly these photos stink.  One day I’ll learn how to take great pictures, but right now I’m too busy painting and doing laundry.  Since I’m not getting featured in a ‘Home’ magazine, these pictures will have to be good enough.

In my mind I’m formulating a DIY survival post and ‘good enough’ is a recurring theme; however, the gears of mind are working about as quickly as my coffee pot drips.  It will be a while.

Before the big reveal, I’ve got some splanin’ to do.

I still need a rug.

Would you believe that I actually found one on clearance in Lowe’s that incorporates all my colors.  Truth.  However, it’s not in the budget right now.  I am confident rugs will continue to be sold for years to come and my floor will be here for a little while, so no problemo.  Gives me something to dream about.

I also want to get those little ring thingies to hang my curtains from, but that’s also out of the current budget.

Now before you ask, I am not ready to commit to color on the fireplace until after we flank it in bookshelves.  I just don’t want to paint twice.  I’m getting painter’s wrist.

The television is absolutely temporary.  For me, temporary can last up to five years, but eventually a flat screen will hang on the wall opposite the couch and all the ‘equipment’ that goes along with the TV will live in an inset cabinet beneath the flat screen.

That was a lot of splanin’!

I’m sure you didn’t read a word of it, so I’ll shut up and get to the picts.

Living Room As Purchased

Yes, I’m starting at the beginning, because it makes the end product look better.  I need all the help I can get!

scraping layers of wallpaper off the walls and ceiling

FringeMan removed the paneling and drop ceiling.  Then I scraped a hundred years worth of wallpaper off the walls and ceiling.  I vowed to spare future generations and never hang wallpaper.

The Sterile Stage

For a brief moment during this sterile stage, I considered setting up a table in the middle of the room and performing experimental surgeries.  FringeMan did not approve.

With Furniture

This is my living room with furniture.  I showed you this photo and asked for suggestions.  You did not disappoint!  Your detailed comments and emails really caused me to think outside my box.  This furniture is mine for better or worse, but you gave me the push I needed to inject life, personality, and character.

I spent a minimal amount of money to revitalize the living room.  I purchased 1 can of black spray paint, two cans of red spray paint, and a quart of the aqua/turquoise color (don’t know the difference between aqua/turquoise).  I also purchased $30 worth of fabric and pillow stuffing.  Add one $9.99 poster frame with an additional 25% off and I was done shopping.  Everything else I had.  So all in all, it was a low-budget make-over.  The rug will be the budget buster.

current living room

I brought the curtains higher and it immediately made the room look huge.  You were all absolutely right on that one.  I couldn’t bring them wider, because we have some major plaster problems in the room.  After we took down all that wallpaper, we had giant chunks of plaster missing and falling out.  FringeMan spent a long time patching the walls so they wouldn’t all crumble.  The entire room has a textured plaster finish.  Keeping the walls white cuts down on glaring imperfections in the plaster.  Everytime I hang something, I need to make sure it’s in a good position, so we don’t have a nightmare on our hands.

The futon doesn’t have a cover yet.  I just removed the old cover and exposed the mattress.

This is a full-page newspaper article written by Amelia Earhart in 1929.  The title is “What Does the Airplane Offer the Modern Girl”.

Upstairs in our bedroom we had carpeting.  Under the carpeting was linoleum and under that was a thick layer of newspapers from 1929.  I saved the best pages.  It’s angled in the frame, because I didn’t have the extra money to buy a proper size matt.  I just used the black printed paper that came with the frame and I had to cover all the white lettering.


Yes.  Sometimes you’ve just gotta do the unlovely.

I should have turned off the light before snapping this photo.  Then there wouldn’t be a glaring shade in the picture and my reflection would disappear.  Live and learn.

I love the idea of putting a metal grate in front of the fireplace with some logs in it.  I’m going to look for one at a yard sale this summer.

Am I the only one who has a kitchen in her living room?  My daughter has a tiny bedroom and she needed some floorspace, so her kitchen is now in the living room.

You’d be surprised at how many boys come into my house and start playing with it.  I hope they cook as much when they are older and married!

So what do you think?


Thank you all for your help and encouragement.  I’m sure my livingroom will continue to change and hopefully improve.  If I stop blabbing and go wash my windows, it will be immediately better.


Over time, many more things have changed in our living room, so I thought I would give you a visual tour in photos.

My hubby made the bookcases on either side of the fireplace.

We still have work to do, mainly hiding wires, but time fixes all rooms.  I think.

We always had a vision of flanking the fireplace (old and does not work anymore) with built-in bookcases.  FringeMan made these and I think he did a smashing job.  Those bookcases are deep and will hold two full rows of book on each shelf.

built in book cases styledThese bookshelves are one of the things I love most about this room.

We also painted the floors with a Benjamin Moore floor paint in brown.

painted floors

If you paint your floors, please allow ample dry time.  It may take more than a week for your floors to cure.  Stay off them for as long as possible and keep the air circulating with fans.  That is my best advice.

new furniture - micro fiber couch

Finally, we purchased new furniture for our living room and added a throw rug.

Living room renovation micro-fiber couch

I painted that sign hanging over the love seat.  You can read the full instructions here.

That’s pretty much it.  The renovation of a living room, DIY style.  Hope you enjoyed!

before and after diy

I am linking this post to:

The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday,     It’s a Hodgepodge Life

Simply Sweet Home,   Remodelaholic, Beneath My Heart

Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Friday,  Keeping it Simple – Motivate Me Monday

Fingerprints on The Fridge,  Between Naps on the Porch – Metamorphasis Monday

Go visit for more great frugal makeover’s!

If you liked this post, please use the buttons below to share it. Thanks!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine


59 thoughts on “My Living Room’s New Look

  1. Pingback: Book Shelves – A DIY Makeover | the domestic fringe

  2. Pingback: On Life, Squatters, and Chocolate « the domestic fringe

  3. Mary @ TSGC

    I love the aqua/turquoise and red you have going on it there! I love those two colors together! Your living room looks great! (I have the same issue with aqua/turquoise by the way…most of the time I choose to use aqua..ha)

  4. Eileen

    FringeGirl!! Oh my goodness! Nice! I love the aqua/turquoise and the pillows! Love the fabric! Your budget…you are a DIY goddess! 🙂 Now that I see your futon white and without the cover… I’m wanting a white slipcover for my sofa!

  5. eamangini

    It looks fantastic!! And I LOVE that you are willing to wait and stick to your budget. What fun is there in having it all “done” (which we know we never are) and then having to pay the bills!?!

    Great job!

  6. Stephanie Lynn

    Amazing job! The white looks fabulous! I love all your neat and unique accessories. The Ameila newspaper article is super cool! Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the Sunday Showcase Party! I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful week. Hope to see you again next Sunday! ~ Stephanie Lynn


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s