One of my favorite transformations in the beach house is the living room. The living room was kind of a funny "pass through" room with not a lot going on. The combination of a wide entry to the dining room, french doors into the game room/den, and a non-working gas fireplace that encroached into the room left few options for actually living in the living room.
Some things that the room had going for it were the vaulted ceiling and the open staircase. I wanted to really play up the spaciousness above by lightening the dark wood of the ceiling and drawing the eye up the stairs with the line of the vintage badminton rackets. And how could I forget Big Sexy? (The 4 ft. tall lamp next to the couch I got on Craigslist for $40! Score!) Big lamps are a great addition (the lamp in the before picture is a regular size floor lamp...but look how puny it looks.).
We reused the coffee table and just painted it white and covered it with glass. The couch was $250 on Craigslist and I had the AMAZING Mr. Moon (of Moon Sewing in Williamsburg, Virginia) redo the foam and make washable slipcovers out of a dark denim with aqua piping. The octopus throw pillows are from Tuesday Morning ($20 a piece? Definitely no more than $30.) The mid-century, split level end table is from Cabin Point Mercantile (I split a pair, so I think the one was around $30). The rug is an indoor/outdoor that I got at a clearance store called The Dump. It was just over $200 because it had a frayed corner. Hid that right under the couch and saved somewhere in the neighborhood of $500!
The fireplace was extremely dark and bulky....especially for something that didn't even work, so we replaced it with a custom built-in entertainment center (again, done by our friend Keith Mueller who did the dresser I showed you in the Master Bedroom. His prices are extremely reasonable! Probably somewhere in the $1500 neighborhood for the entire entertainment center.... 8 ft. tall and 7 ft. wide, all wood, bead board backing and doors, and we painted it. Seriously great deal!).
We also replaced the garden window (which had cloudy glass and leaked when it rained) with a standard window. Much better! The curtains were $10 from a local consignment shop. I think they might be a shower curtain, actually. Ha!
The blue chairs were another great Craigslist deal--$20 each--and after much fabric drama (which I told you about HERE) the slipcovers were made by Moon Sewing. The chairs have casters, so they can easily move around for movie watching, board games on the coffee table, or a big puzzle on the floor. Versatility is key!
The items on the entertainment center shelves are a combination of items I had and things I picked up at Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Cabin Point Mercantile. The two aqua rope knots (under the ship) are dog toys from Target! Most everything up there is in the $20 range.
The stereo/DVD/Blu-Ray player is a half priced, display model from last year at Best Buy. Everything works great, and Sony sent us the missing owner's manual, remote control, and iPod dock free of charge. Saved over $200!
As you can see in the picture below, another problem with the living room before was that the couch was largely blocking the entryway to the dining room, and it made the room feel very closed off. By swinging the couch over to the wall under the stairs, the space flows and feels like one big, open area. AND we could tuck a little desk and ottoman on that wall (even more versatility with seating). Win/win!
The desk is a beautiful antique I picked up for just over $100 at another local shop, Nature's Acre. The fish was already in the house, the beach sign is from Farmer Joe's, the lamp is from TJ Maxx, the chair and ottoman are from Home Goods. Our guest book, a map of the island, a binder with restaurant menus and island activities, and pens and pad stay organized in an office organizer from Target.
The stairs were previously a dark red color with a natural wood railing. We painted everything white with a turquoise "runner" (Behr's Jamaica Bay, if memory servers). A few gray pinstripes....and viola! Total transformation.
So there you go! Without spending thousands and thousands of dollars on designer furniture and decor, you can really pull together a cute look. I spent a lot of time perusing Pinterest for ideas and using it to plan the decor for this house room by room. I also scoured my local Craigslist and Buy/Sell/Trade groups on Facebook. There are great deals to be had! You just have to be patient and keep looking. And don't be afraid to get a little creative.
Hope you are enjoying the before and afters!
P.S. Linking up at Between Naps on the Porch
P.S. Linking up at Between Naps on the Porch