before and after: the living room

Hello! I hope you’re all having a great week! My apologies for the radio silence last week. Ty and I traveled a little bit in September, which always throws off my schedule. Then it takes me a few days to get back in the swing of things. That tends to be the case with me when I work with self-imposed deadlines that I can change on a whim. Anyway,lLots of things coming up this month that I’m really excited about, so stay tuned.

This little blog may be but a wee babe yet, but by now you know I love fashion. I mean, that’s what this space is dedicated to, my lifelong passion of creating things to wear. But my love for pretty things extends beyond my closet. I’ve always loved creating lovely, cozy spaces in my home as well. I was that girl who loved cleaning and organizing her room, and I was constantly rearranging the furniture. I’ve never had a significant budget for these things, so I’ve spent years figuring out how to do the best I can with what I have. I’ve made more curtains and pillowcases than I can possible count, and I’ve spent many an hour sanding and painting side tables and furniture that I’ve rescued from a thrift store.

There was a block of time during which I completely neglected our home (ahem, the “business years”), and I look back on pictures before I put some time and effort into it with a mix of horror and sadness. That’s all behind me now, and I’ve happily put some love and attention into our living room. Now, I’m no expert at this and I’m very trial and error when it comes to interior styling, but I love how this space has come together.

With the exception of the TV, everything in this room was a hand-me-down or thrift store project. The couches, red chair, side tables, and TV stand came from my parents when they got new stuff, and the coffee table came from a neighbor’s garage sale. Makes me wonder what on earth we sat on before we got these pieces.



For Christmas a few years ago, my parents sent us the art you see on the wall. It is the single most incredible thing that’s ever hung on a wall ever, and getting it inspired me to decorate this room. Also, yes, the ironing board and rolling rack basically lived there for a long time. Yikes.


A sad, boring mess.



I knew I wanted navy striped curtains, and I found two sets and inexpensive rods at Marshall’s last year. They were a bit long, which was lucky because the stripe placement wasn’t the same on both pairs. I cut from the bottom of one pair and added that to the casing of the other pair to even everything out. If you see the curtains in person, you can tell right away which ones I fixed, because I used matching thread. Can’t complain too much, because for $20/pair you might run into this type of thing. Good thing I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine.




I bought new lamps ($30/each at Marshall’s), accent chairs (about $150/each at a local home decor store), and pillows (an insanely good deal at Ross, 2/$20), but everything else is an item we already had. I took the white shelves on the left from the guest room (I’ll worry about that room later), and the other odds and ends I’ve gathered over the last year or longer. The mirror on the right was hanging in Ty’s apartment when we met–I just spray painted it. The white tree was a clearance item at HomeGoods I snagged last fall for $40.

The couches are about 15 years old at this point, and they look it in some spots. Those poor couches. Man, have they seen some you-know-what in their time. Spills, dirt, coffee, food, filthy puppy paws, you name it. They’re still comfortable, but I spend a good amount of time cleaning them. That’s what happens when you have big dogs that you allow on your couches, so I’m not sure what we’ll buy when we’re ready to upgrade one day.


On the right is the hutch I found at Salvation Army last year and refinished.




Just ignore the clutter in the space behind the living room. It’s a weird layout in the front of the house with this odd half wall thing separating the two front rooms. We don’t even use them. The puppies run around and play in them! There’s literally nothing in there, but we do use the half wall nonsense for mail, dry cleaning, and odds and ends. It’s basically a giant junk drawer space.


My next project is the master bedroom, but we need so much new furniture in there that I might ignore it a little longer. I can, however, give you a tour of my studio. After years of making do, I finally have it how I want it.

Happy Wednesday!


  1. Maureen McKinney Olbrich | 4th Nov 16

    I just happened on to your site and love it! Your redo of your living room is great!!! Also, love your dogs – we re big dog lovers, our 12 year old golden retriever loves to sleep on the sofa. Sunbrella indoor fabric is great – cleans up easily. I have been sewing 50 plus years, so have seen many changes – I’m just getting back into sewing for myself. Can’t wait to make the cardigan coat.
    My husband is a Texan – just said goodby to his father last year at 97years. His dad was the oldest living letterman from Texas A & M in football and baseball at the time. (My husband came west – he played football at Colorado State). I know there are Baylor grads in the extended family, although most are Aggies.
    Am looking forward to following you!

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