Before & After: Living Room Remix In A New Home

When you move into a new home, especially after relocating from state to state, or even across the country, turning a new house into a 'home' can be challenging. What once worked together needs to be pulled apart, and sometimes that in itself can become a little un-nerving, but also exciting at the same time. There is no rush - Live in the space! Last Summer, in our rental home in Phoenix (you can read here), I started collecting blue & white Chinese inspired vases and jars (also known as Chinoiserie). Rather than put them away all year until this Summer, I displayed the collection in my study / office and loved it. But the collection grew! Since I was looking to create more flow in our new home, I pulled a few of the pieces out of my office, and brought them into the living room, striking just the right balance & updated style for our new home...

When I packed to move back east last Fall, I did a pretty major purge - letting go of accessories I had for several years, keeping only the true favorites. And even after unpacking, and living in the space, I still have loaded up the car to take a load to consign and donate things no longer fitting my personal style or new lifestyle - and that happens (in both fashion and decor!) Mixing old and new accents is a good way to stay grounded -- it feels familiar, and familiarity = comfort). Adding of a few new pieces is a way to breathe new life or re-energizing a space...

 Old bowl from Goodwill, now filled with 
new shells collected from our trip to Vero Beach, FL this year...

Old vintage gilded bamboo frames renewed with a quick DIY project 
(DIY details coming up in my next post!)

The same sofa got refreshed not only with pillows, but a new patterned rug, a fresh focal point on the wall, and  tweaking of a furniture arrangement. And for summer, rather than just fresh cut palms (because there aren't any around here to cut) I picked up two palms at Lowes (back in May - only 2 for $14!)

Boxwood spheres give a hint of (fresh/faux) green, but still look crisp & architectural in form. the blue bench (once storage in our master bedroom) was relaocated out of my office into the living room for a pop of color...

When I unpacked my shells, I first placed them all together inside the bench, so when it was time to "decorate",  I'd pull them out to use, and after summer, most will return to their storage area.

 My blue & white office / study...

Whether you're seeking to create an update for a new space, or refresh an existing room, you can create a refreshed home with these six styling tips:  

1. Get inspired not only from magazines & Pinterest, but also visit your local store displays for seasonal style inspiration. 
 2. Look no further than what you already have: Rethink a simple shift of lamp shades, side tables or chairs from room to room. 
3. Shop your own closets, cabinets, and garage for your style story. 
4. If you 'feel' like something is missing, follow your instinct - but check your local secondhand shops & your favorite home stores for that special treasure to pull together your look -- without breaking the bank. 
5. Think out of the box: Even a pretty patterned table runner can be reinvented into new wall art!
6. Paint existing accessory pieces in a new color or finish (a lacquered accent can be the equivalent to patent pumps amping up your LBD!)

The tv hole (previous owners filled with tchotchkes!) is still there, but I camouflaged it with an oversized blank leaning canvas - a Phoenix score, I'm still waiting to be inspired to paint :) Eventually, I'd like to convert this into a panel-hidden-hinged door, to keep it as hidden storage (especially for the next homeowner - storage value).

Pulling together your new home does take time -- it's not all about the weekend warrior makeovers tv shows feature - Those too are filmed over time, and with far more people than they sometimes lead you to believe. But just as you do with your wardrobe, enjoy your space living with the things you love, and that includes pets as well as people...

Sephora is VERY comfortable in her new surroundings.
This Fall, I'll be replacing this (seriously) old coffee table with a Ming coffee table I found at a local consignment shop. Since temps are to cool off this weekend, I just may have to work on refinishing it - and bring this table downstairs to the mancave! :)

IMO - the key to creating a collected space is to not buy everything all at once, and not from any one store plus also have a balance of splurge and save.

Below are a few Living Room Decor Details from this space
  • Various Blue/White & White vases / jars: HomeGoods, At Home, Consignment, thrift (2014 & 2015)
  • Boxwood spheres - HomeGoods + Michael's (2013 & 2015)
  • Brass & Acrylic lamps & black shades - HomeGoods (2013 & 2014)
  • Black & White Sofa Pillows (linen covers) $4 - Goodwill AZ (2012)
  • Blue & White Stripe Pillows - prize/free - Zinc Door (2011)
  • Blue Tufted Bench & Small Blue frames - HomeGoods (2013)
  • Blue White Black sofa pillows - Target (2015)
  • White Leather Barcelona Chairs (2) - free - old store display :) (2014)
  • White sofa - (1999)
  • White Alabaster pedestal bowl w/coral - Bowl: Goodwill AZ Coral: Florida Keys
  • Blue & White Garden Stool - $35 - etc Consignment, Winston-Salem (2015)
  • Brass Accent Table - Goodwill, AZ (2013)
  • Wicker tray - Habitat ReStore, High Point (2015)
  • Scented candles - HomeGoods (2014 & 2015)
  • Small wood table - $10 - Red White Blue Thrift, Miami (2000)
  • Orchids + Framed dock photo - HomeGoods (2014)
  • Stripe Window Panels - HomeGoods (2015)
  • Large blank brass framed canvas - $25 - Ultimate Consignment, AZ (2014)
  • Round mirror - JCP (2007) 
  • TV unit - Ikea (2009)
  • Tall white vases - $10 clearance Target, AZ (2013)
  • Greek Key Cement Planters (small) - $9 - the Red Collection, Greensboro (2015)
  • Greek Key Cement Planters (large) - Liberty Antiques Festival (2015)
  • Greek Fret area rug $149 - At Home, Greensboro (2015)

(previous owners)  LIVING ROOM BEFORE


and the growing pains in between...

 Painting before moving in...

week of Thanksgiving... ugh...

December (after Christmas)...


Summertime, May thru August...

I really didn't get to enjoy Fall decorating last year because of the move -- Super excited to live back east, and experience the true change of seasons, especially with all the glorious trees that are already starting to change color - right in our own back yard! 

There's no place like home...
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hard to believe this is even the same house!

  2. You make the blue and white fresh and contemporary I love the area rug. The only thing that I wish you change one day is your tv unit too out dated for me. Can't wait to see your (Fall Decor) Lynda you have a gift and I love that you share it with us.

  3. What is your paint color on the walls? Everything looks gorgeous!

  4. I love all the pattern, texture, and layering. Fantastic job! This is House Beautiful-worthy!

  5. Lynda, you write the perfect blog. Highlights of before and after through seasonal changes educate amateur decorators like myself into believing miracles can be accomplished with paint and thrift store purchases. Thank you.

  6. Wow, Lynda, you really do have an eye for design. The detail in your photographs are also really useful for aspiring interior design students such as myself. I wasn't even thinking about design from the perspective of a focal point, but rather from colors and materials, which now I see is lacking.

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals



Related Posts with Thumbnails