Living Room Home Tour

MFH Home Tour: Living Room

By Erin Huffstetler | 11/12/2015 | 7 Comments

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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.

View from Front Door

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.

Mattress Ticking Arm Chairs

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.

Book Shelf

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.

Top of Book Shelf

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.

Mattress Ticking Arm Chairs

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.

Marble End Table

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.

Marble Table Top

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.

Living Room - View Facing Fireplace

If you’re standing back at our front door, this is what you see when you look right.

Living Room/Dining Room View

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.

Coffee Table and Sofa

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.

Sofa Pillows

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.

Top of Coffee Table

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.

Side of Coffee Table

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.

Leather Ottoman

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.

Mother-In-Law's Tongue

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.

Built-in Cabinets

The fireplace is flanked by two built-in cabinets. They hold all of our board games, movies and CDs.

Antique Chair

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.

Sherwin Williams Red Cent

And this is the color that we used on the walls. It’s Red Cent by Sherwin Williams. For some reason this chip reads kind of red/mauve-y. I don’t think it’s a very good representation of the color at all. It’s more of a deep terracotta. Go by what you see in my pictures. That’s a pretty accurate representation of the color.

Well, that wraps up the tour of our living room. If the weather plays nice, I’ll give you a tour of our dining room soon.

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  1. Love love love it! Keep the tours coming! Gives us inspiration for our own frugal homes! I like the idea of the pillow inserts especially and changing up the covers! Thanks for inviting us in!

  2. Very cozy and rich looking! Nice job, it’s wonderful seeing how you have so nicely assembled your “finds” and I can’t wait for the rest of your tour.
    P.S. Your “nothing special” yard sale sofa is exactly the English rolled-arm style that I am hoping to purchase someday in that “really nice, down-stuffed” version that will only need to be recovered every few decades. 🙂 It’s worth it to by that kind of furniture. My mom has a pair of love seats that are very good furniture (and likely not cheap at the time!) that my grandmother started with in the 1930s and which have been used literally daily all that time; they are currently on their 4th or 5th set of upholstery, still comfortable, solid, and stylish. Now, THAT’S a frugal deal!

  3. Beautiful living room, Erin! There are so many unique items. I really love the hutch that holds your binders. The white milk glass lamp (which I have always called hobnail) caught my eye because I have a similar, smaller one that I picked up at a rummage sale.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your home.

  4. Thanks for sharing your home, it is lovely. I too love the mattress ticking chairs & upholstery tacks. The round table with the marble top is another favorite of mine. The porch is beautiful. I am looking forward to the kitchen tour, I can only imagine the unique objects.

  5. Thanks, Dee.
    The kitchen definitely has a lot of unique items, and it’s the most colorful room in the house. It also happens to be unfinished. When our neighbor’s tree fell on our house five years ago, we did as much work as we had to to get back in, and paused the kitchen reno mid-way through. So, we’ve been living with the sub-floor and no kitchen cabinets since then. We’re eager to finish it, but decided to focus on paying off the rest of the renovation project first. We didn’t have any debt aside from our mortgage when that tree fell on our house, so getting back to that point is a huge priority for us. But my husband is now talking about building the kitchen cabinets himself, so we may not have to wait too much longer. Either way, I plan to do a tour of the kitchen in its unfinished state. There are still plenty of things to show 🙂

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