These past few weeks I decided to take some personal time. I was feeling overwhelmed with responsibility both at work and in my personal life. And how had I been in my current place for nearly 9 months and not have finished decorating a single space? I was starting to feel unhappy coming home to a mess.
So I stopped everything. (Except going to work, obviously.) I took a different approach.What made me unhappy? Coming home to a bare living room. Not having enough lighting. Doing everything in the dark. Not feeling comfortable when I sat down on my couch. Having a home that wasn’t a home.
Based on that, I formulated a plan and got to work. This tiny room was getting done, and it was getting done in my tiny budget.
- Coffee Table: I made my own coffee table that was actually small enough to maneuver around. (Again, 450 sq. feet home I’m working with here.) Thanks to hairpinlegs.com for the perfect solution to my coffee table problem. They didn’t pay me to mention them or give me anything for free. I’m just thankful they’re in business! The wood came from Lowe’s.
- Seating: I went on the hunt for a comfortable accent chair — I simply didn’t have enough seating and the arrangement with just a couch was awkward. I found a tiny upholstered chair on sale at Target.com and ordered it immediately before it went back to regular price. I nabbed it for $140 instead of $199 with free shipping. (No longer on sale, sorry!) Target stores are very limited in stock, check their website for even more options and frequent sales.
- Lighting: Hey all my vintage lovers out there — don’t buy vintage light bulbs as your primary source of light. It’s silly and it made me feel like I lived in a dungeon. How depressing! I switched out all the bulbs in my living room to nicely priced IKEA energy saver bulbs, going from about 80 brightness to over 1,000 in bulb brightness just by switching. Turning on a light switch never made me so happy. I also added a lamp given to me by a friend and bought a pendant shade at IKEA for $13. The pendant cable itself came from Home Depot, as I needed an extra long one to hang from my exposed ceiling.
- Bike: I moved my bike to the opposite side of the window, allowing me to now open my window without tripping on anything. The new coffee table doesn’t get in the way of maneuvering my bike to its new home after I’m done using it.
- Pillows: I orginally wanted a bunch of pillows to make this space cozy, but after recently picking up a B&W leaf pillow from IKEA, I’m satisfied. It’s just the right amount of cushion without drowning in pillows on the couch. The smaller polka dotted pillows are custom made from a wonderful little company on Etsy called ILovePillow. (Aptly named.)
One of the biggest changes for me is still to come… I’ve finally caved in to buy a television. My space is actually very small and I wanted to live without one, but after nine months in this place I realized something… I’m going to watch cheesy horror movies on my laptop all Friday night long no matter what. So I grabbed a TV when it was on sale for $170 and it’s arriving next week. It’s not very big, but it’ll do just fine in my tiny living room. Let the marathons begin!
I’m typing this from my couch and my space has never felt so cozy. After all the living room envy and slow progression, I finally finished my tiny living room. I love it.