Thursday, March 31, 2011

Then and Now- Living Room & Office

Let's continue with the Nate and Michelle and cheap frugal story...

This is what our living room looked like when we moved in….


We lived like this for about a year.  No coffee table, no end table, the mantel was a work in progress.  I’m pretty sure that anyone who entered our house thought we were in way over our heads…..too house poor to furnish it.  Nope, just cheap.

Here is the living room after living in our house for about a year….

thenPicnik collage

We broke down and purchased a coffee table and end table from American.  We finally had a place to set our drinks and some magazines!!  Trust me, this was an exciting day! We added a little more detail to the mantel with an iron piece from Hobby Lobby.  Our rug (JcPenney), however, was a bit too small…but hey, it was a rug!

And this is what our living room looks like today…

nowPicnik collage

Our new rug is a better size.  The addition of pillows in different textures and colors helps lead to that cozy look that we were going for.  We added a few plants to bring some life to the room.

We eventually plan to add built-ins and a fancy-schmancy mantle.  It’s going to be beautiful.  Darn budget…(You can read more about our living room here.)

On to the office….

This is what our office looked like when we moved in…

Picnik collagethen

The couch was given to us from a pharmacy school roommate and we were using an awesome black office chair. 

Fabulousness all around.

After living in our house for a year, this room became the junk room…..


If we didn’t want to put something away in it’s proper location, it landed here.  Nate bought a television for above the mantel…because you can never have too many televisions…and you should keep the box in the room for about 3 months...just in case it doesn't work...

I thought I’d be all crafty and hang a gallery wall behind the couch.  The frames are crooked.  The pillows are loud.

Ike wants to know how we let this room look like this…


About 6 months after my awesome attempt to “decorate” this room, I got the brilliant idea that I would sew curtains…


I bought some fabric.  Measured.  Measured wrong.  They turned out ok….just don’t look too closely at one of the curtains behind the couch.  I made some coordinating pillow cases.  I started a globe collection.  Found the ottoman at the Salvation Army for $25 and I painted the frames to coordinate with the blue/brown scheme.  (Read more about the office here.)

This room needs help….suggest away!!

That concludes the Then and Now series.  What’d you think???


  1. I love the globe collection. Seriously such a fun collection. Can you do a giant map on the wall behind the sofa? (Have you seen the map that they trimmed around at Centsational Girl?) It may be better scale for the room. You could move the photo wall to another smaller wall?

    I think your living room is really nice. I don't know what I'd do with all that space, but you made it look really cozy. I'm so used to tiny rooms, that I'd probably go nuts trying to figure out what to do with those high ceilings! I love that you added a rug, that really makes a difference.

  2. PS - I think the curtains look good. Don't be too hard on yourself.

  3. Fun before and after pictures! Isn't it amazing how a room can transform in a year. Your curtains looks great and loving the color! Also really liking the globe collection! We have the same problem with that darn budget!

  4. I love seeing how your rooms have "grown up" over the past years! Great job! Love the Globe collection too! How fun!
    Oh what a sweet photo on the wall of your pup in the dryer!
    Dee Dee

  5. I like the globes, very cool idea. What if you did a map 'backsplash' behind your computer monitor? Or a fabric covered bulletin board back there, maybe?

  6. Great job on the redecorating! I love all the grey! I did a lot of the same in mine and posted pics about the same time! :)


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