I've had these pictures finished for about two weeks now. I've made it my mission to finally clear out all of the clutter since I upgraded to a larger apartment last Fall. I know... seems like eons ago, but really it's been about six months. When I first moved into my last apartment (you can see more here), I moved in with very little. It was a time in my life where I needed a fresh start and I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to decorate things. I started with pieces I owned (a dining room table, bedframe and this mirror). Slowly over time, my mom helped me find vintage pieces and suddenly I created a pastel and feminine oasis.
As time grew by, my grandmother passed down her antique glass to me and the emergence of adding cobalt blue into the space became a priority. I swapped out these sea green curtains for the ones currently shown. I added a blue floral throw and started pulling out many of my transferware dishes. My color scheme evolved to a blush, hot pink and cobalt blue theme with pops of aqua here and there. I believe in designing around the things you love instead of buying new things to fill a space. Most of the items showcased here have some sort of history. Although I've linked for you as many as I could or similar items, I strongly suggest scouring places like flea markets and antique stores for better quality items with history and charm.
I figured today would be a good day to post pictures of the living room, talk about the design, organization and aesthetics for you! I hope you find this post helpful and it brings inspiration to your own space. I want you to note that this is a rental, but you can still get a home like feel if you plan things carefully.
I began with putting the couch opposite of the TV and console. I wanted the space to feel open and airy with a path that leads straight to the patio. The coffee table is a little over-sized and the couch can sit 3-4. When I have more guests over, I easily pull the sugar cane brown chair over or a few chairs from my dining room/office. Most of the time it's just a few of us here and more seating is unnecessary. While I love to entertain, I don't do it as much as I'd like to so the layout works great.
On one end of the couch is a Queen Anne style end table courtesy of my other grandmother. On the other side I actually use the window sill for drinks or my cell phone to charge. During the day there's enough natural lighting I usually do not have to turn lamps on unless I want to create additional ambiance. The sheer curtains allow light to come in without sacrificing style.
I have a strong hatred for overhead lighting unless I'm doing something that requires and entire room to be bright. Honestly, it gives me a headache. So I opted for three lamps throughout the space. One sits on the left of the console. The second one is a floor lamp and sits to the right of the couch. Finally, another lamp sits on the end table of the couch. I used the same lamps shades for the two table lamps to tie the space together in a pale pink. You'll oftentimes see in my instastories the lighting looks blush, well it's because of the lampshades.
Having the option of turning on all three or just a couple gives the space flexibility. As I mentioned above I wanted to make sure I could pull in as much natural lighting as possible. Unlike my bedroom which is full of windows and has tons of daylight, the living room tends to stay on the darker side. I didn't want anything to obstruct light from coming in, but still wanted to add interest. I opted for these shibui printed sheer curtains to tie in more cobalt blue.
Decor and Accessories
I like to think of accessories as the icing on the cake not the cake itself. If you have a beautiful space that doesn't function or meet your needs, there's no point in making it pretty. Spaces should easily flow and work for everyone in the household. I have found if I design a practical space it makes it a breeze to keep it tidy. I decided for the decor to use these shelves I've had for a long time. They were such a pain to hang as floating shelves, so I drill a few holes into the bottom and hung them with brackets instead.
The art throughout the space was all paintings I did over the past few years. I rounded them up and decided to lean a few on the shelves along with sentimental pictures and then a set of three over the TV console. I've done commissioned paintings upon request for a long time and wanted to use ones in my own home that meant something to me. You'll see other pieces that I didn't paint in future posts, but for the living room I decided to use my own. Scour places that have prints, street vendors or even flea markets for pieces in your own home if you don't paint yourself.
For table top accessories I added pieces I've found from Hobby Lobby like the tray sitting on the coffee table with touches of rose gold throughout the space. I love copper kitchen items and since I have an open floor plan I thought it would be nice to tie similar tones throughout the kitchen dining and living room like the three votives on the tray on the coffee table or the bowl holding my rock collection.
Although I take thousands of pictures monthly, I rarely print them. I did however add a couple of family photos on the shelves above the couch for a few personal touches. You don't have to go overboard with pictures. Just add the ones that work with your decor and keep the rest in albums. Another trick is to place all of the photographs in large white mattes with white frames for a simple but elegant look or create a gallery wall. The couch is an antique couch in which I ordered a slipcover for. It's great because I can just throw the whole thing in the washing machine to keep it clean and rarely worry about spills.
The finishing touches were a few throw pillows from Target and Ikea, arranging my books in an aesthetically pleasing way and adding my floor mirror to provide an anchor in the room. I've included a video walk through of the space filmed a few nights ago if you'd like to check it out here.