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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Formal Living Rooms: What to do with them?

When I sold my old house and moved into an apartment for a year, I knew I wanted to have a formal living room and a formal dining room in my new house.  A year later, my new house was ready.  Way before moving in, I fell in love with this gorgeous brown couch.  After looking at the price tag, I knew I couldn't afford it; however, Star Furniture was having a huge sale one month before I closed on my house and the price was right.  I {had} to have that couch...we were meant to be together.  You know how loan officers ask that you not make any major purchases before closing on a house?  Well, I felt like I was stuck.  The lady helping me at Star Furniture was great.  I jokingly asked if I could put the couch on "hold."  She mentioned that the couch would have to come from the warehouse and it would take a week.  I explained my situation to her and she asked if I had any cash with me...I had $5.  She gladly took my $5 as down payment, put the couch on hold for an entire month and even offered me free delivery as a housewarming gift.  I was so happy that I was getting the couch I REALLY fell in love with.

The couch came with 6 pillows plus the ones on the side.  Here's my couch...

The close up picture shows the beautiful detailing on top.  It has wood, nailhead, leather, more nailhead and then the fabric.

I then found this coffee table and a matching end table...

For a couple of years, my living room looked like this...

I really liked my living room, but it felt way too formal.  Fast forward a few years and what do I discover?  Blogosphere!  Oh! Oh!  This is where it all started.  After reading many blogs and looking at beautiful pictures, I knew this living room wasn't working for me so I started changing things throughout my home.  I decided to make a few changes here and there...I started by adding crown moulding to the formal living. 

Here's a messy picture with the crown installed. 

Notice that ugly builder light?  Yeah, I don't like it either!  I changed that too...

I am making progress...slowly but surely.  Although the LR still feels very formal to me, I'm still not done with the changes!  I have a lot of work ahead of me.

  • The rust fabric on the chairs will be replaced with a linen upholstery fabric;
  • I plan on painting the wood...I am tired of the stain - looks too dark;
  • I sold my coffee table and end table; {I kinda regret it now}
  • I sold the chandie b/c it just wasn't working for the room...The room is a little big for this chandie.
I want to:

  • Add a slipcover to the sofa - what do you think?
  • Add nesting tables on each side of the sofa;
  • Add a brass, mirrored coffee table;
  • Paint a different color; and
  • Add wall-to-wall seagrass (I'll have to wait for this one).


  1. Your changes sound fabulous. I love the sofa, instead of a slipcover, how about just some wonderful pillows. A light colored paint on the wall, linen chairs, light drapes and the brown sofa would help to ground the room and not make it look formal at all. Hugs, Marty

  2. There's so much to consider when re-decorating a room. Your off to a great start and cant wait til the finished product is shown. Have a great night.

  3. Hey Sandra, Your comment is posted now. Sorry, I think I need to change my settings. Have a great night.

  4. I know how it is to change your mind about your decor. I do it ALOT! I like your sofa and can see why you fell in love with it. Slipcovers are a great way to change the look for less money and they usually make a room look more "lived in". That's a look that I like. I have lot of slipcovers and love that they are washable too. Good luck with your room redo. Sounds like you're going to be very busy, but I'm sure it will turn out great when you're done.

  5. Your room is beautiful. I have this sofa and I love it. I agree with marty pillows are a great way to change the feel of a room. I think of Brown as a neutral many colors will work with it. Thanks for sharing. Happy to be a follower.

  6. Such a beautiful, warm and inviting space ... while it's gorgeous as it is pictured, I love the changes that you have in store, too ... look forward to seeing the end result !!

  7. Hi Sandra, Great to meet you on my blog. Wasn't Joni's blog post yesterday amazing over at Cote de Texas with all the ideas on lighting up a space? Love your sofa, very unique! I agree with Marty in the earlier comment. Great ideas. Good luck with your project and hope to see more soon!

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