Living Room Progress And To Do List

I shared the plans for our living room here a few months ago, but here’s a refresher:

This isn’t a cheap room redo – there are a few new pieces that will be investments, for sure, which is why it’s taking time. That said, I do want to get it to a point where it looks mostly put together, which is why I’m joining in with the #1Room30Days challenge hosted by Alaya at Behind the Big Green Door. I’m bored of having tassels hanging on the wall in place of real art, and having a lamp shade sitting on the sideboard with no base, and having way-too-long curtains, and all the other little things that highlight how in-progress this room is.

I’m going to focus on getting as much done in here as I can for the rest of June, and I always work better with a deadline. I never took a good before photo, but here’s one from the listing:

I’m not starting from scratch though. I’ve made a bit of progress – here’s where I’m at right now…

I’ll spare you all my gripes about this room for now and focus on the positives, because it is headed in the right direction.

I found a new (to me) sideboard on eBay right when we moved in. Like, I was hunting on eBay that night and picked it up the next day. It pains me to post these pictures with all the wires and mess, because I freaking LOVE this sideboard, and I’m really not doing it justice here. But these wouldn’t be true ‘before’ pictures without the mess, so here we are.

It’s a teak “Circles” sideboard, made in the late 1960s/early 1970s by Nathan Furniture. They pop up quite a lot on eBay and on vintage sites, ranging in price from about £150 to about £400 (some are listed for much more). I paid £200 for mine. I need to tweak the doors. I bought that lampshade months ago, and it still hasn’t made it out of it’s plastic wrap. It’s waiting for the base to be rewired, which is also on my to-do list (well, my Dad’s, actually).

Don’t talk to me about the size of the telly. I happen to share my house with a techie (who I love very much), and this was a huge (in all senses of the word) compromise on my part. Rant over. Moving on…

I went through a few pairs of curtains before I found some I really loved. These are from West Elm (here’s the UK link) and they’re the prettiest linen with a flocked star print on them. They let in a lot more light than the heavy, lined curtains that came with the house. They still need hemming – it’s on my list.

Sometime after that listing photo, the landlord replaced the curtain rod, and had the room painted magnolia. The rod is fine…not so sure about the magnolia. It was all painted right before we moved in, but I’m still tempted to ask if we can repaint. Nothing crazy, just something less yellow. I’d like to refresh the trim too.

My other new favorite thing is the bookcase. I’d had my eye on it for the last two years, although I was hesitant to pull the trigger because it’s £245, which seemed a lot for what honestly doesn’t look like a terribly substantial piece of furniture. In person though, it really is lovely quality and much more solid than I’d thought.

We had a cheap Ikea thing as a stand in before, just because we needed something to hold all the books, and I am blown away with what a difference the new one makes. This huge mess was the before:

And now – not styled beyond the top three shelves, but still a huge improvement:

This bookcase doesn’t hold as much stuff as the old one, but I’m on a KonMarie kick so that’s not an issue. There is just enough space for a little lamp on here. I almost want to stick googly eyes on him and give him a name, he’s just so cute.

I also have to mention the trinkets – I found that little brass lamp in a charity shop for £2. I am amassing quite the collection of brass shiznit. And the little bone-inlay box is a cigarette case I found on eBay. It’s really pretty and not remotely functional. I love it. The Chicago flag print is from this Etsy shop, and the faux succulent is from West Elm.

One last little update in here – I got a couple of new covers for the cushions on the sofa, although I want to replace the inserts with ones that fit better. I bought them with the navy Chesterfield in mind (still saving up for that!), and although I’m not convinced these will all make the final cut, having them in a more consistent colour palette already makes a big difference.

I put the tassels up for E’s birthday party four months ago and then left them there because I couldn’t stand the big bare wall. Finding something more substantial to go here is high on my list of priorities.

I blogged about my progress at the other end of the room not long ago. It’s not done either – I want to add pulls to the cabinet doors and maybe change the picture frame and plant by the door. I did just bite the bullet and order a bench though! If you read my ramblings about seating, you’ll understand that’s a big step. I’m still not totally decided on chairs, but I’ll probably keep three of the wishbone ones here for now.

So that’s where I’m at so far. There’s still a lot to do; here’s my phase one to-do list, with my progress so far as well as the bits I’m hoping to get done during the #1Room30Days challenge:

Hang something above sofa
Curtains – replace old ones, hem new ones
Update cushions (in progress)
Replace bookcase
Style bookcase (in progress)
New media unit
Straighten doors on media unit
Hide wires
Rewire lamp & replace shade
KonMarie everything!
Hang something above desk
Fix toy chest
Replace Pax storage
And, more for my benefit than yours, here’s the rest of the to-do list – phase two:
Frame oil painting
Replace sofa with sofa bed
Add a cosy throw/blanket
Replace rug
Replace photo albums with matching photo books
New mirror?
Slipcover poofs


  1. June 12, 2016 / 11:37 am

    oh wow! first, I looooooooove that sideboard! Wow it's beautiful! I feel like your room is already so nice! lol. I can't wait to see what you come up with and thanks so much for joining the challenge!

  2. June 12, 2016 / 11:38 am

    Thanks so much Alaya! And thank you so much for hosting and getting my @rse in gear, lol 🙂

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