Flip #3 · Uncategorized

The Midcentury Living Room Reveal

I’ve mentioned before, when I can cross a completed room off the list, it’s a huge sigh of relief. And when it’s a main, large room? It’s a double sigh of relief! I’ve actually had the living room done for quite a while, but I guess I forgot to share the update. This 1964 Ranch needed a face lift, but I didn’t want to rob it of its integrity. So, in keeping with the midcentury design, I tried to incorporate as many retro accents as I could.


This room has come a loooong way. The wood floors had a lot of damage, but I was able to get them restored. That by itself, made a huge impact. Even though I’ve knocked having wood floors, I will say, they are beautiful once they’re restored!


Mac’s living room just looked so tired. A LOT of life happened in that space. It really just needed some freshening up to restore it to its former glory. And I think, I hope, I’ve done just that.

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It took about a year to fully transform the room. Once the floors were done, I was able to get started on everything else. The walls look fresh with a new coat of gray paint. I love the modern look of dark stain floors with gray paint.

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My favorite part of this room is the large picture window. Replacing the windows wasn’t cheap, but it really was essential. Since the windows were larger than normal, I used my Amazon curtain rod to hang my thrifted curtains.


The little alcove area on the opposite side of the seating area makes the perfect entertainment center nook. Using my salvaged lattice panels to offset the large wall, I love how this little area turned out. If I was actually staying in this house long-term or if I wasn’t already tipping my budget, I’d love to build a built-in entertainment center/bookcase in this area. But, alas, it won’t happen while I’m here.

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There is no designated entry area in this house. So when you enter the house, you’re immediately in the living room. I’m not a huge fan of that- I prefer a mudroom or entry area, but I’ve made do with this. Using a thrift store frame that I roughly chalk painted, I wanted my security system pad to look a bit more aesthetically pleasing. And since I’m notorious for losing my keys in seconds, I needed a designated area for them right by the door. I found a key hook in my parents’ shop and gave it a coat of chalk paint. I’d say it helps me keep up with my keys about 85% of the time!

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I love my mismatched thrifted end tables. They add the midcentury charm that was original to this space. And my amazing $3 lamps are really just the showstopper in this room! But, I couldn’t update Mac’s house without keeping Mac near. I keep this picture of Mac and me (taken in the kitchen several years ago) on the end table. And in chilly weather like we’re having now, Mac’s knitted throw blanket is the perfect authentic retro cozy accent.

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Using some of Mac and Grandpa’s furniture in this house is really special to me. It doesn’t hurt that it adds to the retro charm I was aiming for. I also love that I got Grandpa’s radio. It still works! Mac and Grandpa used to have spats about which station it should be on. She would put it on her station, and he would come by later and change it to his station. I haven’t changed the station– so I’m guessing it’s still set on Mac’s favorite.

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My thrifted couch is my favorite! I love the lines and hint of midcentury flair, but I really loved the price of it! And my $2 curtain pillows are the perfect accent. Like the end tables, I was able to salvage Mac’s coffee table. I love those brass leg accents! And my $1 cabinet tray is a fun, unexpected useful design accent. And since I wish I traveled for a living, my DIY Postcard display has been so fun to constantly update with travel postcards. I even found a few postcards of Mac’s that I’ve added to the display.


I found two thrifted retro accent chairs from an elderly lady in the town next door. She was downsizing and moving out of state. I was so excited to find some authentic retro accent chairs. I know many designers are making furniture pieces with a hint of retro, but there’s nothing like the real deal. For less than $100, I got two matching accent chairs and an ottoman– all in terrific shape!

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I tried several different furniture arrangements before I decided on this one. Since it’s one big open space sometimes that can be difficult to create distinctive spaces, so I used the placement of the accent chairs to provide a “barrier” from the little entry area. To be honest, those chairs really don’t get used all that often (so maybe they’ll stay in great shape!). I found the dresser holding my TV on Craig’s List for $50. I gave it a quick couple coats of paint and left the original hardware. I love using a dresser because the drawers help so much with storage!

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I tried to incorporate as many sentimental accents in this house. The metal candy can is an iconic piece of my childhood. Growing up, when we’d visit my other grandparents, my grandpa would get out his candy can like that and let us pick out candy. I don’t have his candy can, but I found this one in a thrift store. It makes the perfect holder for my Christmas cactus!

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I’m still loving my Project Blah to Bold door. The door color is so cheery and bright! For Valentine’s Day, I added a simple thrifted wreath wrapped in leftover red yard and hung with some pink ribbon.

I spend a lot of time in the living room. I wanted the space to be cozy and functional–all while keeping the retro bones of the room. By thrifting some vintage pieces and mixing some sentimental pieces, the midcentury vibe came alive!

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15 thoughts on “The Midcentury Living Room Reveal

  1. I usually don’t like midcentury modern, probably because I lived with it the first time around, but this is beautiful. Very tasteful and well done. Love the color palette. The narrow end table is a piece that is often hard to incorporate successfully, but it’s well executed here by keeping it simple and styling it perfectly. Love the fabric on the chairs. The whole space is very inviting. Great job!

  2. You are doing a great job. I’m sure your grandparents would be very happy with what you’ve done and very proud of you. You go girl!

  3. Love it ! I especially appreciate a young person who respects and recognizes the value of
    retro furniture and decorating with things your grandparents used. Good girl !!!

  4. I think you did a fantastic job. How rewarding. An area rug would look great on those beautiful floors and add to the feeling of warmth and coziness. Just a thought. I’ve followed you for some time and have to say I was not only saddened but also angry at what happened to you with the deed situation. It seemed so unfair. You have worked hard on your flipping, paying off your student loans and learning as you go. Sometimes bureaucracy is cruel. Hang in there. You’re terrific.

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