Okay, first of all, I would like you to know that I very carefully read the blogging by-laws before proceeding with a living room reveal on Move-it Monday. But no matter how closely I read, all I found was, “It’s your blog! Post whatever you darn well please on whichever day you like!”

So, while I will usually stick to my themes, today is about whipping my living room into shape, not my body. Although I must say that, with an average of 170 calories burned/hr. of cleaning/straightening up and 400 calories burned/hr. of furniture-moving, I burned a considerable amount of extra calories working on the living room this weekend (see? I can make it work if I do enough mental back-bends…I wonder how many calories those burn?).

Let’s start with a few before shots, shall we?


The reason there are no “workers” in these shots is that we were the workers! We built our entire house from the ground up (and by “we,” I mostly mean my amazing husband).


This is a shot from right before we moved in…or maybe we already had. Either way, finishing up a house (ha! as if it’s finished now) with two (at that time) toddlers running around was quite the pain in the tushy adventure!


I nabbed these pics from a before/after email I sent someone, so you can just ignore the text (or, if you want, you can make a game out of trying to decipher it by holding your hands around your eyes like binoculars and squinting…maybe a magnifying glass will work…just don’t burn a hole in your screen).

The last shot is the closest to what our living room looked like for about a year out of the two that we’ve lived in our house. The one difference (and it’s big) is that, right before I took these shots, we had two full-sized couches—one where the loveseat is and one where the open space in the foreground is—in the living room. But we sold them on craigslist within 6 hours of posting them (they were either really great couches or I priced them too low…oh well), and I was in such a tizzy that I forgot to take pictures of the before (the color on the walls was Benjamin Moore’s Sunrise, in case you were wondering).

And now for the after:


The paint color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. I made the tufted ottoman from a $40 craigslist coffee table (tutorial included in that link). The TV console is a vintage find from a local barn sale.

I’ll also go ahead and answer the most commonly asked question I’ve gotten since first posting any pics of my living room before you even get it out of your fingers and into the comment box: I got the rug two years ago on Ebay. It’s the Pottery Barn Moorish Tile rug (color: Clementine), and it was pretty much sold out when I bought it.

Yeah, I know. It doesn’t do much good for me to tell you where I got something if they don’t have it anymore. I did find this alternative, though. Not exactly the same, but similar. And I’m pretty sure Overstock has some similar options as well.


This is a view from the opposite direction. I got that bench at Hobby Lobby a couple of years back because I loved it with a passion true and deep and it was 66% off. I remember that I brought it home on the same day as all our carpet (we don’t have much carpet in our house, so it all fit in the back of my dad’s big truck).

The day started out sunny and fine, but pretty much as soon as I got the carpet/bench loaded, a torrential downpour started and lasted the en-tire 45 minute, gear-stick grinding drive home. At the time, it was miserable. After months of hardly a drop of rain, I’d do the whole white-knuckled ordeal all over again if it would guarantee another gully-washer like that. Too bad we don’t need any more carpet.


I found the mirror at Goodwill for $10, then primed and painted it black.


I cut and stacked 2” foam to make the bench cushion and then covered it with some polka-dot fabric I found at Walmart. The pillows are from Walmart (they still have the gathered button pillow) and Target (the cream pom-pom pillow, which they currently carry).


I’m a huge fan of Moravian star pendants but I just about choke on my own saliva every time I look up the prices. So when I found that Pier 1 alternative on sale for $10, I did a happy dance all the way to store (which burned a lot of calories considering that the closest Pier 1 is 30 miles away—see? Move-it Monday references all over the place, I tell ya) and waltzed away with my very own knockoff star…tealight holder (there’s a reason it’s 1/17 of the cost, folks).


It’s really pretty at night.


I got the Mitchell chairs from Target for $99 on sale (it’s still on) + free shipping—not too shabby considering that they are well-made, comfy, and cute as a polka-dotted baby bug’s ear.


Oh! And meet Geoffrey, the giraffe. My mom bought him for me, and I love him!


In case you didn’t read Friday’s wall feature, the chubby bird is from Hobby Lobby (4 months ago or so), and the teensy birdcage which only wishes it could house a bird that substantial was free from Goodwill (the lady held it up and said, “I’ll just throw it in with the rest since you’re such a good customer.” : )).


This is a view of the shelf that wraps around from our kitchen cabinets (which are the same deep teal color). The books are from Barnes and Noble’s leather-bound classics collection, and I bought all ten of them together (including the complete works of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, and The Chronicles of Narnia, among others) here. Almost everything else, including the Van Gogh print, is from Goodwill.


The sofa table vignette, complete with yet another Jones Design print.


The sofa table holds some of my favorite pictures of Shaun and me. That’s a picture of our first kiss (which took place at our wedding…no, I’m not making that up…have I mentioned he’s ah-mazing?).


This one is at my 22nd birthday party, a few days after Shaun proposed (on my actual birthday…I’ll have to tell that story someday. He did gooooooood). It was a swing-dance complete with lessons, dancing, and costumes!


A funky little storage box from Goodwill ($2) with some snapshots of Simon, my easygoing, snuggly middle child. He has dimples so deep you could happily get lost in them (and I have a feeling many girls will someday…oh dear).

The lamp is another vintage Goodwill find ($7). It’s ginormous (at least three feet tall)! The shade is from Target from a couple of months back.


I saw a room once on Houzz (if you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you do!) that had a built-in shelf on the wall much like this one, and Shaun replicated it for me.


I love this little chair from Goodwill. Fortunately, none of my children has tried to sit on it yet.


More Goodwill (Amazing Grace letters), some Walmart (the silver mirror), and the star mirror is a find from the same barn sale I mentioned earlier.


I bought these beautiful books for a $1 each at a garage sale. I tried to get the lady to come down on the price, but she almost cried, and I felt terrible for asking. : \ I also covered some paperbacks with pretty scrapbook paper.


More Goodwill (goose, candle), Marshall’s (vase, which isn’t actually pink but turned that way from the fuchsia flowers…weird). The black and glass hurricane vase is a gift, and I think I stole the lantern from my mom (Hi, Mom!).


A view of the “other couch” (which is how I actually think of it since it doesn’t have the pretty Target flower pillow or the sofa table). The pillows are a collection of ones that came with the couches (the brand is Corinthian), Marhall’s, Goodwill, and made-by-moi.


I spent about 8 hours painting my French doors using Jones Design’s painted wallpaper method. I just shrank my template to scale for a door instead of an entire wall (the color on the door is Sherwin Williams Quietude, and the stenciling is done in blend of white/ivory craft paints that I mixed up).


The dish is a Goodwill find that you can see up close on last weeks 5 Things Thursday. The bowl is from Anthro, and I bought the side table from my bestie and then added a Hobby Lobby flower knob. The mat is from Hobby Lobby.


Another shot toward the backyard (sorry about the low light, it was getting late).

Finally, I have a question for you. It’s super-important. Are you ready?

If you read about my undecoratable wall (and elves!), you know that I had a Dickens of a time figuring out what to do with the space behind the TV (options considered included an eclectic gallery wall, my Love Letters banner, which, as you can see, did get incorporated when I decided to frame the letters instead, and anything else involving art, picture frames, and other decorative doodads that possibly could be considered in an 8 hour time-frame). I finally had a brainstorm when I dug those matching white shelves out of a forgotten pile in a closet, but what I really want to know is…

Do you prefer this version:


or this one:


And did you even notice the difference (other than picture quality; I know, the first one’s better)?

Here’s a close-up of what I added:


So…whaddya think?

Okay, I’m starving, my children are really tired of Mama being on the computer (they need me to build a hill in their car-track), and the baby has discovered the stairs in a major way, so I’d better head back to real life now.

I hope you enjoyed this Feature Friday on a Move-it Monday (you can blame me if you have trouble remembering what day it is for the rest of the week). If you ate too much cake last weekend and were counting on me to help you work it off, I apologize. I have a HUGE Move-it Monday post planned for next week to make up for it!

See you tomorrow for Try-it Tuesday!

Monday ~ The DIY Showoff Project Parade ~ Made by You Mondays ~ Embellishing Life Everyday ~ Just Something I whipped up Monday ~ The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T. ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ AQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride ~ Lolly Jane

Sundays ~ Homemaker on a Dime ~ Sunday’s


  1. Love all that you have done. I too just painted my LR/DR combo the same color. My room is more towards. The blue grey hue. What color are your couches? Mine is sage green and I am afraid that it clashes…..thanks.

  2. oh my goodness, I LOVE this room! I have a 1920’s house with all natural woodwork and have trouble trying to find styles that would work….if you have any suggestions, I LOVE your style!

  3. I’ve been wanting to find something similar to use for our TV stand. Question for you though – where do you store any other electronic components? Thanks!

  4. I really like the shelving! I checked out houzz.com, but didn’t find your inspiration (LOTS of stuff on that site)! Is there anyway you could pick your hubby’s brain to get some additional details of how he built/installed those? Thank you!

  5. Abbie, I think I am your middle aged sister! I found your site searching for a tufted ottoman, and I can’t believe there is someone else on the planet whose passions are Jesus, their family, and really good grammar! Also, Joshua 24:15 was the verse on our wedding invitation, and it remains our inspiration for ourselves and our 4 kids. When I was looking at these living room pics, I realized that the wall color is almost identical to that of my dining room (Sherwin Williams nonchalant white). I have dark brown/black accents and I’ve been hesitant to incorporate coral, but I’m going to give it a go! I’ve been persistently searching Craigslist for the perfect coffee table for my upcoming ottoman project. Thanks for the inspiration; do you think it would work with a used quilt for the fabric?

  6. Oh my goodness. I am LOVING your doors. I have a backdoor just like that in my kitchen (but only one not double) and I have been contemplating painting it. But my kitchen is butter coloured (which i love) and I wasn’t sure what colour to do. Now I know… not a different colour but a different pattern! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  7. holy impressive! you are one busy chick… with a great eye! the rug is an eye catcher for that room but the little details just sing!

  8. I am loving your blog and this room redo is great…the wall color, the stenciled door, rug, tufted ottoman…and you are so great with accessories! I’d love it if you would share this at my linkup party and giveaway, going on now at the Delectable Home. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I just visited this morning thanks to a link from The Shabby Nest. I liked the first version of the room, except I found the yellow a little too bright for my eyes and would have gone with something a little softer; and I like the second version of the room, too. Always decorate for yourself, NEVER for what other people think! (For instance, I am a book fanatic; being an amateur historian, I have books EVERYWHERE in my house. That built-in bookshelf your husband created for you — in my house would be packed with a couple hundred books, with maybe a family portrait or two thrown in for an “artsy” effect, LOL!) Yes, it’s always good to get a variety of opinions because they can help you see things in a new/different way; but in the end, it’s you and your family living in the space and you need it to be something that makes you feel comfy and cozy, and is “doable” in terms of upkeep/maintenance/weekly cleaning. I love blogs like yours, because I always get ideas. I think your rooms are beautiful, and not overdone (you know what I mean) — how do you like my use of parantheses? I have added yours to my growing list of budget decorating blogs with useful content. Keep up the good work!

  10. Oh my! I just love it! Every little detail is just perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing! Your room is filled with so much inspiration. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

  11. Visiting from Met Monday….

    I LOVE your French doors! What a great idea to stencil them 🙂 Also love how you’ve incorporated so many inexpensive pieces into your room and made it look like a million bucks 🙂

  12. It looks amazing. Seriously like something that would be on Houzz. Great layout and use of color. Gorgeous!

  13. Wow, you have a beautiful home and I LOVE how almost every piece in your home has some story behind it… I truly hope I can capture a small portion of this in my home. I vote for version 2. It looks more ‘complete’ to me 🙂

  14. Wow! I just found your living room on the Roomspiration Link Party (mine was room 101). I was just drooling majorly over all of your pictures. You did a great job! It’s a wonderful ecclectic mix filled with objects that are meaningful to you. And just for the record, I vote for version #1 for the wall behind the T.V. It’s all so beautiful!!!

  15. I love the room! I pinned it on pinterest, hope that’s okay! I like the LOVE wall with the fam, after all that’s who you love! Ties the wall theme together nicely. I saw your pear “fruit of the spirit” a few weeks back on pinterest and thought it was so cute! Never knew there was a chair one to match. I love those! Did you make them or purchase them? Anyway, thanks for the awesome blog(s). I’m a new reader of both of them :o)

  16. Thanks, Alina! I haven’t watched the video yet b/c we live in the boonies and don’t have 4G yet, so we have to watch our bandwith usage (ours starts over the 24th of the month, so I will watch it then). Thanks for sharing! I’m intrigued!

  17. Ooooh, good to know! I actually didn’t recognize this as your username or I would have responded more personally before! ; ) And I will replace the link that I gave to your fb page with the updated blog one. : ) Thanks for the compliments!

  18. Hey Abbie – It all looks great! My favorite are the shelves, rug and ottoman! You go girl! Thanks also for the barn plug…did you know we now have a new blog?…check it out in all your spare minutes….www.vintageandco.blogspot.com

  19. Well it looks as though my opinion is going to differ from everyone else so far. I like the arrangment WITH the family photo. I think it ties into the blue vases on the TV stand. But I’m no decorator, so what do I know, except that I vote for arrangment #2!

  20. It looks amazing! I really love the little details, like the door stencil, the “I love you” in the frame and how well everything on those shelves blends together so well!

  21. Ohh, I love it! It’s so beautiful! Seriously great job tying everything together!

    P.S. I was just watching some old episodes of Cash & Cari (an HGTV show…I don’t have cable, so I watch occasionally watch online)…anyway, I watched this episode last night: https://www.hgtv.com/video/rich-pickings-video/index.html (just watch the first minute and a half and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about)…and the guy who lived in the house made those little metal chairs out of tin cans! I wonder if yours has a similar story? Funny coincidence and timing. 🙂

    Happy Monday!

  22. Love. Love. Love.
    The French doors. Love. The new chairs. Love. The giraffe. Love. (There is a 10 foot giraffe for outdoors somewhere that I really want!)
    I do think I like it without the family photos. I do love family photos but I think the arrangement looks better w/o it!

  23. AWESOME job!!! I think the corner with the bench is my fav part 🙂 You’ve got some mad skillz! Any my vote is for the wall without the family photo….just looks better to me. Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve been up to!

  24. It is so motivating to read an interior design post that seems so doable – I mean, I’m not going to be building my room or anything, but your items are affordable, many of them thrift store bought (a favorite of mine) and so beautifully done. I love the room and I like the addition of the family pics on the wall. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to pin this so I can remember to go back to some of the design elements you included when I happen upon things at thrift stores or Target or such! 🙂

I love hearing from you guys!