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My Living Room Update: Switching Old with Older

3 Apr

After doing a bit of an update to my Den in mid-February (read it here), I got the urge to attack another room in our house. The urge intensified when I noticed that our gigantic ottoman in our living room was starting to look super worn in the corners.

Here’s the before of the space, complete with Jack relaxing:

We love our super soft couch and had bought the faux leather ottoman when we moved into our home about 7 years ago. Over the years, the ‘faux’ part started wearing off on the corners because Jack likes to sit on the ottoman to watch TV.

It’s also kind of huge.

When Jack was learning how to stand and walk it was perfect, but now it just kind of takes up a bunch of space.

I did some online window shopping on Amazon, Wayfair and World Market. My initial thoughts were to switch the oversized square fake leather ottoman out with a smaller rectangle actual leather version. However, everything I found that I liked was super expensive.

Also, the carpet was kind of a mess once I moved the ottoman out of the way.

So, my first step was to go rent a carpet cleaner at the local Home Depot. For the 4 hour rental and a bottle of carpet cleaner (I already owned spot cleaner) it cost less than $60. I vacuumed the carpet and then went over the entire thing with the carpet cleaner.

It did a fantastic job and everything looked almost brand new, except a spot right in front of the couch where Jack had spilled an icy pop. That spot was stained a light orange color and no cleaning or spot cleaner would get it out. Sigh.

Good thing that was where I wanted to put the ottoman!

One of my complaints about our square ottoman was that it was so huge and I really wanted to open that space up. However, I do like having a little something-something so I can stick my feet up. I also like somewhere to put our remotes tray.

It turns out the answer was sitting in our den.

See that ottoman in the corner? It was from my grandparent’s house. I love it (and the memories associated with it), so when we cleaned out their house I took it home with me.

I decided to try the small circular ottoman in the space to see if it looked way to small and silly….

But, I love it!

It absolutely opens up the space, while still giving us a place to set the remote tray. After living with it for a few weeks, I’m still loving the change. Also, it was FREE. And it was a hand-me-down from family, which makes me love it even more!

Now I just need to decide which room is next to be improved…

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My Den Update: The AFTER

19 Feb

A couple weeks ago I shared my den with you (read it here). While it was one of my favorite rooms in the house, it needed some work with an undersized rug that I no longer liked, too much clutter, and a weird corner area.

To remind you, here was the before:

I was hoping to solve all my den issues with three “problem solvers” from Wayfair:

  • Susan Blue Area Rug (size 6 x 9), on sale for $83.99. (find it here)
  • Hillis Curtain of Fairy String Lights, on sale for $26.99. (find it here)
  • Tall Water Hyacinth Wicker Basket, on sale for $38.99. (find it here)

In addition to spending $150 at Wayfair, I also brought in a fake plant from another room and removed a bunch of clutter. I also finally put away my Christmas tree… in February.

Here is the after:

I couldn’t get Ollie to leave this photo…
A better look at the fabulous rug!

The rug is exactly what I was hoping for! It is a couple feet wider than the previous version and a foot longer too. The classic style makes such a difference in the room. I moved the rug a bit closer to the back wall so that it filled the space better, but still left a walkway from the laundry room/garage/bathroom. The other rug got rather dirty from all the foot traffic, so with a larger walkway we can avoid dirtying up the rug with our shoes. 

As for all that clutter, I moved Ollie’s crate into the sun room since he only uses it when he stays at someone else’s house. I relocated all the games that previously lived in the side table and also added a fake plant from another room. I also removed the pillow and blanket from the massage chair.

When it comes to that corner area, I removed the photo that was on the wall, the chalkboard, the random mirror, etc. Instead of a bunch of random crap, I hung the fairy lights on the inside of the overhang and moved our hand-me-down ottoman (a favorite from my grandparent’s house) into that area. When we have a bunch of people over, the ottoman rolls out and makes for some easy extra seating. For now, I stacked my new basket on top and it is used for snuggle blanket storage when we aren’t snuggling.

I am so happy with how everything turned out for a relatively low cost. I was also really impressed with the quality of what I ordered from Wayfair. In fact, I’m already eying the kitchen/dining tables for a replacement that won’t break the bank…

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A Redecorating Urge

7 Feb

I was originally going to do this blog post as more of a before-after kinda of thing, but I decided to take you all through the thought process with me. While I’ve done little bits of redecorating here and there, there haven’t really been any big changes in our house for a while. Part of the reason is that we have only been here 7 years and the other part is… money.

I like nice things and no matter how many times I go to pull the trigger on buying items like a new kitchen table and chairs, I just CAN’T spend thousands of dollars on a dining set when Jack is probably going to dent it with Legos.

So, I decided to start with my favorite room in the house… our den.

If you follow me in Instagram, I post lots of lazy weekend morning photos from the recliner in my den. It is my favorite place to sit in the morning with my travel mug of coffee in my hand and Ollie on my lap. When the weather is cold, my husband likes to build a fire in the fireplace… which makes it even more relaxing. My parents recently handed us down a fantastic massage chair, so that recently got added to the mix.

It’s hard to get photos of the space, but here are a few I took earlier this week:

And yes, I still have a Christmas tree up in February. It’s coming down soon (probably this weekend), but I left it up because when I’m relaxing in my comfy chair, I enjoy the twinkling lights.

The one view I won’t change is the fireplace. I love every single thing about it.

Here are the problems:

Problem #1: The rug is too small and no longer my style.

The current rug is a 5×7 and it is too small for the area. Also, I no longer enjoy the graphic design of it and it feels rather dated to me. I want something more classic/traditional but every time I look at options I get sticker shock.

Problem #2: Too much random junk.

Ollie’s crate (which he never uses), the accordion box (yes, there is an accordion in there), a photo perched on top, a half-dozen games piled up on the table shelf. All this has to go. The table and lamps are staying, but all the junk is getting redistributed.

Problem #3: The tree nook.

That little indent in the wall is super weird. Over the years I’ve thought about turning it into a bookcase, adding a desk for a little work area for my husband, building in a bench, etc. The problem is, that I love that area for our Christmas tree… so whatever I do can’t be permanent. Right now there is a beach photo I took years ago, a large chalkboard and a hand-me-down mirror just sitting there. This was not a conscious design choice; it’s just crap that accumulated.

My Problem Solvers (fingers-crossed):

My friend was raving about Wayfair over the weekend, so I decided to check out the website. {Note, this is NOT a sponsored post} I ended up ordering three things to help me redecorate my den:


Susan Blue Area Rug (find it here) I ordered the 6 x 9 version of this rug, which will hopefully be a much better size for the space. The original price for the rug was $229 and it is currently on sale for $83.99. I am aware that it is VERY blue and I already have a lot of blue going on… but I think that this might be perfect once I layer it in with the existing furniture.


Hillis Curtain 6 ft. 150-Light Fairy String Lights (find it here) I love the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree, so I was brainstorming a potential year-round option. These fairy string lights are super cool and I’m going to try hanging them in the nook. I feel like they could either look awesome or way too teenybopper… so we will see what happens! These were originally $39.99 and currently on sale for $26.99


Tall Water Hyacinth Wicker Basket with Handles (find it here) Original price was $59.99, currently on sale for $38.99. Along with adding the string lights to the nook, I’m thinking I’ll put this woven basket in there and throw in some snuggly blankets. It seems like a very Joanna Gaines thing to do.

I spent a total of $150 on my three purchases from Wayfair. I also have a few random things that I’ll be bringing in from other areas of my house. Lastly, I’ll be removing some of the stuff junking up the area. I’m hoping with this little refresh; it makes my favorite room even more special for us!

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Are you Obsessed with Tidying Up with Marie Kondo?

17 Jan

Netflix is brilliant. I mean, think of how many people have New Year’s resolutions to purge stuff out of their house and then BOOM Tidying Up with Marie Kondo shows up on their Netflix account. Brilliant!

In case you are in the dark, here is the trailer:

Isn’t she adorable?!

This little sprite of a lady comes into your house and helps you tidy up your life. It’s basically like Hoarders, but less hoarder-ish. And yes, it is the biggest first world problem to have too much stuff…

I LOVE purging, so this show totally sucked me in. I’ve only watched three episodes so far (and wanted to throw things at my television during the first one), but every time I start watching I find myself making notes in my phone like “purge DVDs” and “go through unused Christmas décor items”.

I’m not going to go full Kondo and start rolling my clothing, but I am certainly taking away some of the lessons from the show. Already I have attacked my pantry, my storage container cupboard and the great abyss of random kitchen crap that lives in my kitchen island. Oh, and I went through my underroos drawer and threw out anything that gives me a wedgie!

Next up on my list is:

  • The playroom (again). As Jack grows out of toys, I’m really good at donating them or giving them to friends. It’s TIME again.
  • The Christmas decorations in the basement. I still haven’t taken down our Christmas décor this year (it makes me happy and I need all the happy I can get this month), but we have some stuff that I haven’t put out for the last few years. I think it is time to go through the unused stuff for a purge while I’m packing things away.
  • Our DVDs. We basically never watch our old DVDs, so I think it’s a good time to go through and get rid of 90% of them. I’ll probably check eBay to make sure we don’t have anything that we could resell, but I anticipate I’ll just drop them all off at the thrift store.

How about you? Have you been watching Tidying up with Marie Kondo? Are you currently ripping apart your house in a purging frenzy?

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