decorating your first place: books as art and the futon revisited

We’re back with more unsolicited decorating advice! This time we’re tackling the living room.
Let’s start with the BEFORE

Again, we’re faced with the multi-colored trim and masking tape colored walls. The lamp was a lovely welcome gift from the former tenant. We gave it a place of honor…in the basement. Another fun feature of this house were the mile long cable cords poking out of the walls in every room. A nice reminder that we’re too poor for cable.


Here’s the AFTER

I know I was hating on futons in my last post, and in doing so I left out a crucial piece of information- we don’t have a couch, we have a daybed. When I moved, my parents graciously upgraded my lowly twin sized bed to a full and since neither my roommate or I had a couch we decided to convert the leftover mattress into a couch. We scored a cheap daybed frame from Craigstlist, used my old Anthropologie quilt, and accessorized with tons of cheap pillows from Target, Pier 1, and World Market. Since our apartment is pretty small, it’s great that we can convert the space into a guest room when we need to. Plus, it’s much easier to convince friends to visit when you can promise them a real bed and not a sleeping bag on the floor. The walls are painted “lemongrass” and we painted the trim white (I’m going to keep bringing this up because you need to know that I painted all the trim. In the whole house. All of it. It was quite the undertaking.) The chair and ottomans are from Target and the shelves are from Crate and Barrel (although you can buy cheaper versions at Target now), the rug is from Crate and Barrel as well, but it was a floor sample so we got a great deal on it. And yes, we have the ubiquitous “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, but I really did have it before it was cool!

Books are one of my favorite things to decorate with. Nothing annoys me more then when I see people completely fill bookshelves without breaking them up or doing something interesting. It’s such a good opportunity to display your knick-knacks (which I own in spades)! I’ve seen color-coded bookshelves all over blogs, but wasn’t inspired to try it until I saw it for myself while visiting Andy and Lindsey’s sweet Chicago apartment. First of all, I was shocked by the number of orange and yellow books I owned- who knew? It adds some visual interest to the space and it’s easy to change if we get bored of it. That’s actually my favorite thing about these shelves, they’re easy to rearrange and it gives the room a fresh feel without rearranging furniture. The photos on the green shelf are old family photos I found at my grandma’s and the peacock feathers are Christmas ornaments that I taped up.

Hmm, what’s all that furniture pointed at,  you wonder? No surprise here, it’s our TV. (True story: When I was in elementary school a classmate told us he didn’t have a TV and another classmate asked incredulously “What is all your furniture pointed at?!” #America) You’ll have to check back next time to see that wall though. Until then, let us know your favorite decorating tips!


1 Comment

Filed under emily, life in the real world, we recommend you do this immediately

One response to “decorating your first place: books as art and the futon revisited

  1. bizzo

    holy moly. i love it! you are so creative!

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