Living Room Mood Board

Our living room has been giving me fits since the day we moved in.  It’s long and skinny, running across the front of the house, and one side has a fireplace, one side has the giant arched entrance into the dining room, one side has the entryway door, and one side has a big picture window.  There’s not a lot of places to put a couch and a tv, is what I’m saying.

I think I finally figured out approximately how it should go, although this room won’t be done for ages anyway because even after we lower the baseboards or add quarter round, I figure all this new furniture is going to cost at least 1000 dollars, although I hope to find a lot of it on sale.

I’ve been trying to shove the color palette of this room towards blue and aqua and yellow for two years, and I didn’t even realize until I made this mood board that I should just give that up.  Somehow this room was meant to be yellow and orange and red.  I’m hopeful though that all the blue and green stuff I already own will help to keep from doing that weird thing where I make every single thing in the room yellow, orange, and red.


1. I already own the white Hemnes mirror, which I have hung horizontally over the couch.  I used to have a skinny table behind the couch, and I loved that, but it pushed the couch too far out into the room.   We need all the space we can get in this narrow room.  I think the mirror needs to be higher, but Erik is not excited about that project.  I would much rather put cool art over the couch, but I don’t have any.  Also, the mirror does make the room look larger.

I currently have a brown nubbly couch from Macy’s which I cannot stand.  I guess I thought brown would hide stains? I don’t know.  All I know is that it’s a magnet for crumbs and it shows EVERYTHING and I have to vacuum my couch about forty times a day.  Plus we have way way way too much brown going on with the brown floors and this couch is not helping matters.

So I want a new couch.  I really love this gray couch from Cost Plus.  It’s velvety and stuff can be brushed right off of it. It’s $599 and a few times a year their furniture goes on sale for 40% off.  I am sure at this price it’s not an heirloom, but at this point I’ve decided that investing a lot of money into a couch is stupid.  They never seem to last no matter how much they cost, so why buy a $3000 couch that I’m terrified to let anyone sit on that I will tire of in four years anyway?

2. Even when we get everything loaded in the room, there’s always this weird blank area over the tv, and I need something to put in that space.   This art is from 20x 200, it’s sort of generic, but I like the colors, and I can’t find anything I like more.  I plan to buy the $50 size and then frame them in some large frames, hopefully I can thrift some for a good price.

3.  I already own this bookshelf, from Target three years ago ish, and it’s nice, but it reads very Mid Century Modern which I am trying to get away from.  And it’s brown and black, of course, like all the other furniture we own. I am considering sanding the frame to see if it looks better with more a natural wood vibe. I also discovered when we were moving that it looks A LOT better when it has fewer books on it, which means I need to get rid of some books and get another bookshelf for somewhere else in the room.

4. I can’t find a picture of my coffee table anywhere, but it’s a Thonet three legged sort of oval table.  I’ve always loved it, and it works so well for this space, but I would like it to be the only “retro” (hork) looking piece in the room, otherwise we look like Mad Men loving losers.

5. I rescued a $5 ottoman from a garage sale and I want to cover it in this fabric. I was originally planning on buying some sort of modern yellow floral, but I can’t get this fabric out of my head. I need it. I just need to decide if I’m going to tack it down or if I want to make a washable slip cover.  I prefer the look of the tacked down style, but I have children. Filthy ass children and a filthy ass husband.

6.  I really want some kind of crazy blue and red rug.  At first I was all about the “beige neutral rug” but something about these indo patterned rugs really do it for me.  I feel like they’re graphic, but in a sense they’re so traditional that they almost read as a neutral anyway.  Does that make any sense?  This is not quite the ideal one, (that’s this one from Manhattan Nest) but I have my eye out.

7A and 7B.  I have that white Ektorp chair from IKEA already, and it’s huge, so I don’t know.  It is comfortable, though.  What I would like to do is flank the fireplace with a bookshelf on either side, against the wall, and then set two chairs in front of the bookshelves.  So the Ektorp in front of one, and then a cheap Home Goods Anthropologie or Crate and Barrel knock off on the other side.  The ottoman will sit between them, in front of the fireplace.  (which we don’t use anyway.)

8.  I need one more bookshelf for my “one bookshelf on either side of the fireplace” plan.  I have a brown one from IKEA which I am planning to paint, from the no longer made Markor line, but the Hemnes bookshelf appears to be basically the same thing.  I’m hoping I find one at Target or something first though, because $180 for an IKEA bookshelf strikes me as a little high. I hope I am not making a mistake going white for these bookshelves. I don’t think I am, but I…am a little bit unsure.

9.  I think if we have white bookshelves and a lighter colored couch, we can get away with a darker colored tv stand.  Right now our tv is sitting on a random $10 Craigslist table, which is impressive, let me tell you.  I want one with glass doors, because I am a glutton for punishment and don’t have enough things to clean fingerprints and dog slobber off of.   If at all possible, I would like to avoid paying almost $400 for a tv stand, but they are stupidly expensive, so who knows.

10.  I already have a parsons desk, in dark brown.  I was planning on painting it white (so much brown!) but then I wonder, since we do have a desk in the living room (not ideal, but no better place to put it) maybe it’s better for it to blend with the floor.  For now I am going to leave it brown.

11.  And then we have the infamous orange file cabinet, which slides under the desk, which is the sole reason I bought this desk.  And yet I still have to prop it up with four wooden blocks.  Fun casters might be in order.
























One Response

  1. Pretty! I can’t wait to see it in the room! I love the chair in 7a. And that target bookshelf is very cool. As is the sofa–what a good price. We did the same with our new sofa–the old one had survived 2 rounds of potty training and my husband’s inner ear infection that meant if his eyes were open, he was vomiting, all over the sofa, and when we got a new one I went with a middle of the road one I liked, rather than the expensive one I really wanted. (Next house, there will be a formal living room with plastic covers over everything, where no children are allowed to go. My expensive sofa will be under the plastic covers, just in case.)

    Right now I am drowning in a hot mess of a dining room, master bedroom, office and kitchen. I have such an enormous to-do list that I am running away from it and reading blogs all day long. My new bed is here, in boxes behind my sofa, and my curtains also arrived, but are also in a box, waiting for me to convert them from duvets to curtains.

    In two years, when we move out of here, this place will look great. Please send decorating fairies to get something done around here.

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