Remember that awkward living room that I could not figure out how to stage? It’s a huge room- which is an asset, but how it’s arranged makes part of it awkward and potentially unusable. So I put out the plea for your help, and many of you gave the same suggestion: make it two rooms in one! That seemed so obvious, and I hadn’t even thought of that!
There was so much potential in this room! The hardwoods, the built-ins, the beautiful windows…so much potential! But the opening to the dining room actually split the living room into two areas, making it awkward to stage.
Once so many of you suggested two rooms in one, it was a light bulb moment for me! Then I got started planning! I wanted to go full eclectic, vintage because that’s my personal style. And I think it fits for this house.
I had so much fun with this room! Sooo much fun! I shopped thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets. Almost everything is second hand. Except for that amazing rug. It might be my favorite part of this room– and it was SO affordable!
The fireplace area just seemed like a natural sitting area. And it’s where I spend most of my time– lounging on the couch. The built-ins and fireplace and stonework are great focal points, so I created cozy chat area that centered around the fireplace. I found the couch second hand, and I used it at Flip 3. It was a good $150…I love that couch! I picked up the knitted pillows on Amazon and accented with a southwestern throw I’ve had for years. Simple and sweet!
And because I’m still on cloud 9, I keep my Citiscapes magazine featuring me on the coffee table. Is that too much? Ha! And then of course the brass trend had to make an appearance with some vintage brass birds, vintage FLW book, and a target faux succulent. I always struggle with how to decorate coffee tables- is that just me? I picked up the beautiful brass coffee table on Amazon, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to assemble and the affordable price!
I have an eclectic style, and almost everything I use in my own home is 2nd hand. That started out years ago at Flip 1 due to necessity- I was so broke. I couldn’t afford a stove, let alone a nice couch or throw pillows. So I’d pick up things I liked at auctions, thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales…even the curb. My style (and my finances!) evolved, but my love of second hand and the thrill of finding something I love that isn’t a dime a dozen in the design world, that keeps me sourcing at all my favorite 2nd hand stops. Not only in houses, but in decor, I try to see beyond the item and see it in a new life- new place- new use.
Of all the houses I’ve flipped, of all the rooms I’ve designed, this house has so much of me. And if I’m being really honest, this is my favorite purchase yet. I see so much potential with Flip 5– so much in fact, I’m considering hanging on to it for a bit. I love old houses- even with all their quirks, flaws, and risks. And my eclectic design and love of midcentury pairs perfectly with Flip 5. I mean doesn’t the $5 Army desk look like it was made for the space?!
By creating a main living area in the largest portion of the living room, I was able to create a separate area on the other side of the living room. That was the space that had given me so much trouble before, but many of you suggested creating a separate sitting area and making it a music area. And that’s when it dawned on me, it was the perfect place to house my record/cd/ipod player. I got that as a gift for Christmas, and I LOVE it. I get to play old school vinyls like Elvis, Cash, and Patsy. I have a tendency to collect random signs and vintage things, and I wanted to display those things in a fun gallery wall. Old real estate signs, baskets, my This Old House free art, and even a leftover basket from the bicycle basket project. What started as an awkward confusing space has become a favorite spot of mine.
What I love about design is that you can do whatever you want. Would most professional designers decorate a room like this? Probably not. But design is such a fluid term, and it’s whatever you want it to be. Thrifted, inexpensive, and unique is design to me!