Design Home

Dream living room.

July 11, 2013

I recently scored a pair of totally awesome mid-century modern chairs from an Orlando thrift shop (they have the same shape as the ones in the first photo above, but with arms and different fabric—like this), and am so excited to get them down to Sarasota, because my living room is in dire need of some help. My lovely furry roommates have clawed up the single chair in it, and while I have a pretty large sofa, if more than three people come over, someone inevitably has to sit on the floor (it’s usually me, and I totally don’t mind, but others might). So among other things, more seating is required.

And actually, when I first saw the new chairs, they immediately made me think of Bri’s amazing living room makeover, shown above, and how I want to decorate my future home. I seriously think hers might be my dream living room—I am smitten with mid-century details and the bright colors and how each piece has so much personality.

My house and putting effort into decorating it is something I struggle with, and something I’ve gone on about ad nauseum before. It really does look like I’ll be moving again sometime within the next year, hopefully to a bigger place (fingers crossed!), so I often think it makes more sense to wait to do anything, but at the same time, I want to love my apartment now, you know? Also, while moving is likely, it’s not like there’s a date set, so there’s no guarantee, you know?

I guess furniture can always move with me, so there’s probably no harm in looking for cool pieces that can easily be painted or refinished at local thrift shops and Goodwills (Sarasota’s are legitimate treasure troves—you can get amazing things on the cheap). And maybe it’s time to start (slowly) saving up for a new sofa, which would make a huge difference.

What’s your decorating philosophy? How do you renters choose when and how to invest in your places?

P.S. In addition to the chairs, I also recently got my paws on an awesome vintage bar cart—this actually a present from my mom; it just needs glass—from the same thrift shop. I may not be able to do the whole vintage clothing thing, but I’m kind of proud of my furniture-hunting skills right now.

Photos by Laure Joliet for Designlovefest

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  • Reply
    July 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Ahhh, bar cart! They are the absolute best, so much fun.

    • Reply
      July 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Yes! I have more vintage cups and glasses than I know what to do with, so I’m super excited to put them on display. Yay!

  • Reply
    Rachel Sedaker
    July 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I love this living room! Pretty sure I pinned it a while back because I was so in love- it’s all about the details. And the light and the plants. Indoor plants just feel like home to me.

  • Reply
    eileen ragan | leaner by the lake
    July 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Not one but TWO fiddle leaf figs?! WTF! And on the furniture front, I’d invest in some classic mid century pieces (etsy, thrifted, even replicas from West Elm and such) and start building with the things you know you want and love. Trust me, if you move, you’ll find a special place for them.

    Can’t wait to see the chairs!

    leaner by the lake

    • Reply
      July 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Good advice as usual, friend. Thank you! I’ll definitely take pix of the chairs when they come home, too. xoxo

  • Reply
    Adri Enne
    July 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I’m a big fan of bright, colorful, interesting pieces, so I just love those photos! And yep, if you smarten up your current places with things that can move with you, you won’t have to wait and you’ll get to enjoy your now place in the mean time. Win win.

    I just recently decided to put off buying a bigger house until I have a full time job that can better support that sort of upgrade. ; ) So I’m full steam ahead with making my current home the best it can be (which, let’s face it, is an ongoing process.)This is exciting, of course, because I just love decorating! I could (and do) spend ages online getting inspiration. Isn’t the internet the best?!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Yes, hooray for the Internet! And you and Eileen have convinced me to start making minor tweaks now. Way more affordable, anyway. Goodwill, here I come! (Sarasota is seriously the best place for that kind of thrifting–rich people donate their furniture, which is often in really great shape–and you can get it for nothing.)

      Can’t wait to see what you do with your house! Post pics on IG!

  • Reply
    Alicia Johnston
    July 12, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Woah, those pictures are beautiful! I don’t think any home I kept could stay that pristine for long. What I’ve learned from my recent move is that if you have pieces you love, the moving will be worth it. I’m trying to decorate my new apartment and bedroom, but I also have to move all my current things in…I decided that rather than keeping my old decorations boxed up, it’d be better to just rehang them now so I can slowly (and very frugally) redecorate later.

    • Reply
      July 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      I think you’re totally right, Alicia. I’m going to start paring down the stuff I have that I don’t love (I still have a lot of hand-me-downs from my early 20s, when I moved into my first place) and sloooowwwlyyy replacing it with newer stuff that will stick with me for the long haul.

      Can’t wait to see photos of your new place!

  • Reply
    Regine Karpel
    July 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

    It it is dreamy!
    love the lamp!

    • Reply
      July 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Me too–and the Navajo-inspired fabric on the chair! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. Seems like you’ve done well with thrift store finds for furniture.

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