Maybe Matilda: Living Room Updates

Friday, October 24, 2014

Living Room Updates

How’s that for a riveting post title? Reeeeaaaally drawing you in with that sexy, irresistible little tidbit.

I don’t claim to be any sort of expert on home design/d├ęcor/what-have-you, but I’d sure like our home to be a comfortable, cozy, welcoming place. And I am definitely not willing to spend very much, so it’s a bit of a project to make any sort of decorating dreams come true, but we have made some little changes lately in our front room that I’ve been enjoying. You can see the previous version of this room HERE, if you’re so inclined.

The main things that bugged me about this room:
- I thought (still think) the old rug was really cute and fun, but the color was too light and it was impossible to keep clean. It always looked dingy and dirty.
- There is no overhead lighting in this room. It boggles the mind that builders think lights are optional in any room. No amount of lamps were making much of a difference in here, but considering our very high, sloped ceiling, recessed lighting was the only option we could think of, and much too expensive for us right now.
- The gallery wall felt much too small for such a big wall space above the couch. It needed to spread out a bit.
- I also thought the gallery wall was too light in color. It’s hanging above a black couch, but the frames and photos were all white and pastel, and I thought it looked weird. A new couch definitely isn’t going to happen anytime soon, though, and the gallery wall seemed like an easier change to make than a new couch.

Rustic gallery wall //

Rustic gallery wall //

Rustic gallery wall //

I switched out our old rug for this one from American Rug Craftsmen, and it has been a much much much much much better fit for this room. It doesn’t show messes at all (a must-have for our family), it’s incredibly soft and comfortable, and I like that it deepens the room’s color scheme a little bit. It’s been a winner, for sure.

We also had an electrician install two barn-style sconces for some lighting, since there is no overhead lighting in this room. It makes a huge difference in the evenings, and I love how they look. They are outdoor lights from Home Depot, and I love how they coordinate with the Barn Light Electric fixtures in our kitchen. For those of you in Utah County, we’ve used Mark from Hugh Electric for quite a few projects around the house, and cannot recommend him highly enough. He does a wonderful job, we love him, and he puts up with Forrest’s nonsense/‘help’ with amazingly good humor.

Finally, I updated our gallery wall. I spaced things out a little more, added a few non-photo items gathered up from different parts of the house, and swapped out the old photos for our most recent family pictures. I knew before we had those photos taken that I wanted to bring some darker colors into the gallery wall, so I took that into consideration when planning our outfits, and made sure to toss some navy and green in there.

Gallery wall //

I hope no one has any questions whatsoever about the arrow, because I slapped it together myself on a whim, was (still am) utterly amazed that it came out looking as I’d intended since I had no idea what I was doing, and doubt I could put together any semblance of usable instructions for anyone else to make something similar. #problogger

If money were no object, there are all sorts of things I’d do differently in here, but considering our budget and the amount of time and work I’m willing and able to put into it, I’d still like to do a small handful of things in here.
- Maybe figure out a coffee table or end table situation? I think it looks a little empty/unfinished without one, but I also don’t want to purchase furniture just for the sake of purchasing furniture if we’re getting along just fine without one, you know? I’ve seen some styles I love that I think would be great in here, but I’m holding off for now. Dang budget.
- Different chairs. I hate those stupid wicker chairs in there. We bought them purely because they were so incredibly cheap at Ikea and we needed to get something, but I think they look so dumb in here.
- Roman shades for the windows.

Baby steps.


  1. Have you tried putting the wicker chairs together under the round mirror, maybe kind of turned toward each other in the corner with a little round table between them? I really don't mind them, but maybe that would make them seem more like a planned seating area and not just stuck in there when the home teachers came over because you needed more seating. I hope that doesn't sound mean, because I really do love this room! Especially your gallery wall. LOVE it! I didn't think it was bad before, but now that you changed out the pictures, I can see what you mean about the old ones being too light.

    I just have one question though. Can you please provide a detailed tutorial for making that arrow? J/K It really is cute though :)

  2. I agree about the no over head lights... Who thinks they aren't needed? We ran into that in our building process and well jeez the money we spent to put overhead lights in... just to likely change out quite a few later.... oh well.

    Love how your room looks so cozy & I love your arrow on the feature wall. :)

  3. love the lights! and i actually like the wicker chairs also. but
    what if you spray painted them? maybe you'd like them a little more or they'd fit for a while longer???

  4. We found a nice, wooden coffee table at a garage sale for $20. I love getting furniture like that cheap because then I don't care if it gets a little scratched by kids playing or dogs playing, plus its not a huge investment and we won't feel that guilty if we decide we want something else down the road. All that to say maybe check out garage sales/thrift stores for a table?

  5. I've got my eye open! I like the idea of getting something inexpensive and painting it, then I won't get so mad when it (inevitably) gets scratched by Forrest's toy car wheels and splattered with juice. Now for the perfect shape to fall in my lap :-)

  6. That is a really good idea--see, why don't I think of these things myself? We are currently (very slowly) un-upholstering a set of older chairs that have been wallowing in our basement for a few years in the hopes of reupholstering them to fit the room better. I swear, reupholstery is the very worst sort of DIY project. I'm hating this.

  7. Totally not mean! I think that spot's too small for them, sadly (although it was an awesome idea!). But we're working on reupholstering some older chairs to replace them, so hopefully I won't have to be annoyed by them for much longer ;-)


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