Three weeks ago, I decided to get serious about doing a home tour for you guys, and then it rained FOR. THREE. WEEKS. STRAIGHT. The sun finally decided to show itself this morning, so I quickly grabbed my camera and got to work. Interested in a tour of my living room? Follow me.
We live in a Craftsman-style house that was built in the 1920s. It has a little over 1600 square feet of finished space. The front door opens directly into the living room. This is part of what you see when you enter the house.
The hutch on the far left wall was a college graduation present from my parents. I saw it at a Montgomery Wards store that was going out of business, and they snuck back to buy it for me. This is the third home that I’ve had it in.
It houses my MyFrugalHome binder system, plus a bunch of recipe and how-to books that we reference regularly. I love books, but I only keep the ones that I know I’ll go back to again and again.
The top of the hutch holds an assortment of boxes that I’ve picked up at yard sales. They’re good hidden storage.
I scooped up this pineapple garden statue at a yard sale for a buck. I’ve used it throughout the house, but it now lives on top of this antique newel post that my husband gave me on our anniversary a few years back. It was in our friend’s antique shop, and I fell in love with it when I saw it.
These two arm chairs were a bit of a splurge. (Yep, even we frugal types splurge on occasion). Blame it on the mattress ticking. I have mad-love for mattress ticking. And upolstery tacks. Upholstery tacks are also pretty fabulous. Put the two together, and what you get is a girl ordering two over-priced chairs from Pottery Barn. But did you know that if you pair them with a grey down-stuffed throw pillow from a thrift store, it all balances out? Yep, that’s how the frugal lifestyle works. Spend as little as possible on most things, so you can afford to splurge on the things that matter to you. And mattress ticking … it matters to me.
The end table that sits next to the two arm chairs was a far better deal. We found it in a thrift store in Manhattan, while we were on a business trip. It’s a French antique, with a marble top and bronze metalwork around the edge. It also has four drawers neatly tucked into its skirt. The front one holds drink coasters. Very handy.
It reminds me of a table that my great-grandmother had, which makes it better still.
The milk glass lamp that sits on top of it was a $2 yard sale find. I found the brown lampshade at another sale for $1.
And take a look at that gorgeous marble top! The table was an absolute steal at $50, but getting it home was no easy feat. My husband had to carry it back to our hotel through the busy streets of NYC, and it weighs a ton. But, it’s not the biggest or craziest thing that we’ve hauled back from New York. That honor goes to a piece of furniture in our dining room. I’ll save that story for another day.
If you’re standing back at our front door, this is what you see when you look right.
The downstairs has a surprisingly open floor plan, given the age of the house, so you also have a nice view of the dining room from the living room.
Our sofa is nothing special, but it does the job for now. When our previous sofa started to get thread-bare, I sold it at a yard sale, and bought this one from another yard sale with the proceeds. It was an even trade.
I plan to keep this sofa until we can afford to replace it with a really nice, down-stuffed sofa. Something that will never have to be replaced, only reupholstered every couple decades. That’s pretty far down our priority list at the moment, though, so I’m making this one work.
I dressed the sofa up a bit with these floral pillow covers from Pottery Barn. The fabric is a reproduction of a 1920 bark cloth. I loved the pattern as soon as I saw it in the catalog, but I waited to buy the pillow covers until they went on clearance.
Now, I’m thinking about making new mattress ticking covers for the khaki-colored pillows. I already have the fabric, so it would be a free project.
Tip: Buy good-quality pillow inserts. Then, switch out the pillow covers when you get tired of them. It’s cheaper than buying new throw pillows (especially if you make your own covers), and it saves you from having to store a bunch of bulky throw pillows.
I look for throw pillows with down inserts when I’m out shopping at yard sales and thrift stores. They can be fluffed as needed, so they never develop that worn out look.
We made our coffee table out of a yard sale find. It’s a vintage Coca-Cola pallet. We’ve been told it was used to hold glass-bottled Cokes. We’ve also been told that the old Coke freezers used to sit on top of them in stores. I don’t which of those is true, if either. I just know that’d we’ve never seen another one (before or since), so we snatched it up.
We added casters to give it height, and to make it easy to move around.
The white box sitting on top of our coffee table holds all of our remotes. It was a $3 World’s Longest Yard Sale Find.
This leather storage ottoman was a lucky Ross clearance find. I paid $20 for it. Similar ottomans sell for over $200! We keep blankets inside of it.
Both of the pillows sitting on top of the ottoman, are second-hand finds. They both have down inserts.
Tip: I throw second-hand pillow covers in the wash. I stick the inserts in the freezer for 24 hours before we use them. In a world with bed bugs and other creepy crawlies, it’s just a good preventative measure.
The plant sitting in front of our fireplace is another yard sale find. It’s a Mother-In-Law’s Tongue. We bought the flower pot with some of the earnings from one of our yard sales.
The fireplace is flanked by two built-in cabinets. They hold all of our board games, movies and CDs.
This unusual chair was a $10 estate sale find. I’ve never seen another like it. Usually this style of chair has a tall, rounded back. I’m not sure what the story is with this one, but I love it.
Because this is a frugal home tour, please also note the TV antennae behind it. Yep, this living room is cable and satellite free, and we love it.
And that completes the tour of our living room. If the weather plays nice, I’ll give you a tour of our dining room soon.