There’s something about being nearly a year into living here that makes it feel like we’ve accomplished a fair amount of “evolution” over the last 357 days (not that I’m counting…). I guess it’s because living somewhere for a month isn’t really a lot of time for tweak-age, but twelve of those in a row – well, it’s enough time to get things going. Like living with a floor plan for 11 months (just to be suuuuure) and then knocking out a wall that we’ve wanted gone from day one:
It’s also enough time to make a few furniture and accessory changes as we transition from working with what we have (like random stuff carried over from our first house) and first-instinct choices to a few more thought-out decisions. Yup, these things apparently take time – at least in our experience (remember this post on that subject?). So here’s the story about a pretty sizeable three-fer tweak of epic rug, ottoman, and chair proportions.
We haven’t made any major furniture/accessory purchases since the just-moved-in phase when we got our sectional, our first rug, our bed, and our big dining room table. Then we went on a building/DIY kick for the next almost-year (making our $104 console table and our $124 wall-to-wall double desk and saving nearly 4K by laying our own stone patio and getting a ton of estimates to save 3K on our kitchen wall-opening). We’ve mostly just been picking up super inexpensive secondhand furnishings since moving in (like our $35 desk chairs, $25 dining chairs, and four secondhand kitchen cabinets for our in-progress remodel for under $100).
So after many months of building up the savings account and waiting for things that we loved to come along, it felt nice to actually buy them. And since we had some “store credit” towards Joss & Main from curating a sale with them as a side gig (more on that here), we loved that we could put that towards our living room tweaks, especially because it’s one of our most used rooms, so we’ll definitely notice and appreciate it. But now onto what we tweaked and why…
For the last almost-year we have loved our fluffy green shag rug (it was great for a wiggly crawling baby and a wobbly toddler – and was so thick and inviting that many an adult found themselves sitting/lying on the floor). But there are a few issues that have popped up as Clara has grown.
# 1. Let’s just say that finding milk dripped and goldfish or cheerios crushed into our plush rug was less than pleasing. Yes, we’re one of those casual families who doesn’t have a no-food-in-the-living-room rule (I mean, peanut butter & jelly or a bagel with cream cheese isn’t living-room approved, but dry crackers and a sippy cup of milk are). That’s just how we both grew up and we really appreciate the this-house-is-not-a-museum vibe, so we plan to keep it that way. And although vacuuming or a bit of scrubbing (for spilled milk) got ‘er done (and Burger was awesome about hunting down the occasional goldfish before we even knew it’d gone missing) the rug was still a bit higher maintenance than a lower pile one would be now that we have an energetic toddler.
#2. The size. In our first house both our living room and den rugs were just 5 x 8′ since the rooms there were so small. So although we knew that our new living room was much larger, somehow an 8 x 11’ rug sounded like it had to be big enough for our 25 foot long room. Well… try as we might to “adjust” to it, it always felt a little small (we’re definitely still learning how to decorate a larger space). Like our giant sectional was just baaaarely contained on the boundaries of the rug:
So when I saw this giant (10 x 14!) 100% wool rug for $599 (down from $798) on Joss & Main I got excited. And nervous. That’s not exactly peanuts around here. But it’s a huge rug – and rugs that size that we like are usually 1-2K (which made me fake ugly-cry on at least three occasions). It almost felt impossible to find something extra large, low pile, and our style that didn’t end in three zeros. So $599 started to sound pretty good. At least good enough to contemplate for a little while.
After mulling it over for a few hours, I decided to show John to see what he thought (we have a full agreement agreement, so we don’t buy anything that we don’t both love). That way if he nixed it I could just close the window and stop thinking about it. But when I went to show it to John, he had it up on his screen (he also gets Joss & Main alerts and had clicked on that rug and left it open on his computer to “talk to me about it” a little later). Crazy, huh? We were both secretly mulling over the same rug. It was meant to be. So we gritted our teeth and put in our order. I’m not going to say that we didn’t have sweaty palms, but we went for it.
Since we’d been temporarily using a too-small placeholder-ottoman that didn’t have storage which used to reside in our first bedroom as a side table, we also found ourselves pining after this big tufted leather storage ottoman. Again, it’s not exactly a cheap addition to the room. At all. But nearly fourteen cubic feet of additional hidden storage was a huge draw (it’s almost 3 x 3 x 1.5 with an easy-open hinged top). Of course we also appreciated that it’s a correctly-sized counterpart to our giant sectional (as opposed to looking like a too-small donut hole) and that it isn’t hard and pointy for little toddler heads (but can be used for serving food & drinks with the addition of a nice big tray). Yup, she’s versatile. And we never could have sprung for it at 900 beans, but at over $500 off… well…
And then somehow this $169 chair (down from$339) said “how you doin’?”…
…which was especially convenient since the parson’s chair that we purchased for $70 from Target about four years ago was looking a little rough due to tons of use which led to one side of the faux-leather cracking so it looked like this:
So we waited patiently at the door for everything to arrive, pausing only to eat, sleep, change the baby, work on the kitchen, and blog. When everything arrived pretty much at the same time, it was sorta like Christmas. Literally, it kind of was (we declared these items to be our Christmas gifts to each other for last year, this year, and next year). Psst- pardon the rug wiggles, we still need to get a rug pad. And as for the art swap, I meant to blog about that a while back. It’s actually extra burlap-ish fabric that I used instead of the colorful paper. I love that it has more texture and doesn’t compete with the bright pillows and accessories.
Spending that kind of money on a rug and ottoman was definitely not a drop in the bucket for cheap-os like us. Heck even $169 for a chair isn’t usually our MO (we’re no strangers to spending $20-35 on thrift store or craigslist chairs). But it did feel nice to add up the sale savings ($199 + $521 + $170 = a whopping $890!). And more importantly, since we’ve worked our buns off to DIY so many projects over the last 11 months it meant that we were able to save a pretty nice chunk of change, so our bank account was thankfully just fine with the living room spree (we don’t like to buy anything we can’t immediately pay off – more on that here).
Of course we’re hoping to reuse the old round ottoman and the old living room rug in other still-evolving spaces (you know we’re use-what-you-got fans) and we might even try slipcovering the faux-leather chair in some fun fabric for another spot as well. So we’ll have to keep you posted on those cha-cha-cha-changes too. Of course we still have about a million other working-with-what-we-have items going on, like the wrong sized rug in the office, a too-small TV and media cabinet in the living room (we hope to build a nice media center to balance out our chunky distressed console table) along with many completely-missing elements (like a large buffet/console table with art and a rug in the entryway off of the dining area and an entire playroom and sunroom that have yet to be tackled along with all of our bathrooms). But we’ll get there someday.
Knowing that our first house took us 4.5 years to complete is a great comfort to us, because it takes away the we-want-it-all-done-now pressure. These things take time. But we’re feeling really good with our one-year-in progress (see a lot of that here). How about you? Do you have a “magic number” of months or years after living somewhere when you finally start to feel more settled and “evolved” (after feeling around in the dark for a few months while you get your bearings)?
Psst- To anyone looking to purchase the rug, ottoman, or chair – Joss and Main has flash sales (only lasting a few days) so of course by the time we got this stuff in the mail and took pics they weren’t for sale anymore. But lots of their stuff can be found on wayfair.com (though it’s not usually as heavily discounted over there) or you can get on Joss & Main’s mailing list here (that’s an instant invite, so you don’t have to wait). Hope it helps!
erin echols says
It looks amazing! Even better than before! Very upscale!
Courtney Foster-Donahue says
Is this the same Erin Echols I went to school with? :)
Julia @ Chris loves Julia says
Gah! Gah! Gah! Gahhhhh!!!!!! That room went from pretty to posh with those changes. What a difference! And can I tell you it is such a relief to know I am not the only one that changes my mind on decor decisions. This looks WAY better and I am hoping time in our new house is just as kind to us.
A-mazing! The new rug is seriously gorgeous. These tweaks took the room from pretty to magazine-worthy. Yay, Petersiks!
I am green’s biggest fan so I adore your new rug. The furniture is fabulous and, as always, I am in awe of the things you do and the way you save dollars doing it. You absolutely deserve to be called $herry!
Haha, but do I deserve to be called $herdog?
Thelma Musser says
seriously, i love it. I pretty much gasped out loud at the difference the rug makes. It looks fantastic. The other one was cool too, but this one takes the wow up another notch. Good choice. Love the lime/blue thingy’s on the desk too.
That’s exactly what I did! I liked it before but didn’t realize how that bigger rug would make such a difference! So awesome!!
Heather R. says
Guys, I won’t lie. I wasn’t crazy about your living room before. But I was patiently waiting for the style to mature and catch up with the level of chic of your previous home. And you didn’t disappoint! This is world’s different to me, and I think it looks fabulous. Kudos!
Same here! I knew you’d get there but it was hard waiting. Loooooove what the new rug does for the room. I’ve been in my new house since last Feb. and you are far, far ahead of where I am in the process. I’m always amazed.
I agree! I’m so happy to see the more subtle tones that I fell in love with you guys for. You managed to tone it down, but still include color. It looks fantastic!
Agreed! Pure gorgeousness can’t happen overnight, but it’s definitely happening in your living room now!! LOVE it!!!
I’m a day late commenting, but I totally agree. The puffy rug didn’t have the same sophisticated (yet still fun) look as the new rug. And switching out the colored paper for the burlap was a smart decision. The room is still colorful, but in an elevated way. Well done!
And in my opinion, low pile rugs are the way to go, especially in modern patterns.
Jessica P says
Same here. I wan’t digging the room, although I wanted to. It was just “off” somehow. But now the seating area is exactly where it should be. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the entertainment center. Good job!
We have two of those same parson’s chairs from Target only in the counter height for our kitchen island and they are falling apart in the same way. I love them but it is going to be time for an upgrade soon.
Aw man, so sorry to hear that! I used the heck outta that chair (it was my home office chair for years at our first house) but it’s so sad to see them fall apart like that!
Janelle D says
At first I was thinking, really? What’s wrong with the current living room set-up. But when I saw the after it all made sense. The living room looks much more proportioned & polished too. I really like it! Also, you switched out the colored paper in the frames for something a bit more plain, I see. Nice!
Oh yes I did that a while ago (when Katie B was visiting) just for fun- but forgot to blog about it. It’s actually extra burlap-ish fabric I had on hand, so there’s fun texture and it’s a little compete-y with the colorful pillows and accessories!
I knew something else seemed different but didn’t pick up on that! I agree, looks so much better now that it’s not competing with the other bright colors. Beautiful room!
I noticed that too, but assumed I had forgotten the post about it. I like it a lot! Room looks great. I am having a hard time finding the right shade/size/material for a rug in my kids’ room. Yours is close, but I don’t need one nearly that big!
I agree about the proportion, and I like the variety the pattern on the rug brings, but now I feel as if the room is almost TOO polished; I miss the disheveled texture of the old rug.
Can you scatter some of the faux sheepskins around to warm things up? Or perhaps toss back in some of the more 3D pillows you have? Or add a nubbly knit blanket? Or maybe Clara can just dump some more goldfish on the rug?
In other news, I am starving, and now I wish I had some goldfish.
Haha, don’t you worry, the room is definitely far from done (we need more art, a new TV and media cabinet, and a bunch of stuff against the kitchen wall, which is basically bare). Still more to do and more texture/dishevelment to layer in!
Emily @ The Diligent One says
Ahhh! I have a cavity from all the eye candy!!! Gorgeous! :)
Melissa // thefauxmartha says
Absolutely love the new rug! Still has a great pop of color but makes the room look more sophisticated. You guys are good!
Really looks great. Sophisticated but not stuffy!
Wow! It looks even more happy and yet polished than before! I also noticed you changed the mats in the frames behind the sectional-is it fabric or paper?
It’s a burlap-ish fabric that I had around. Yay for free tweaks!
It looks AMAZING! Seriously, so put together. Wahoo, you must be so excited!
LOVE LOVE LOVE the rug!!!!
WOW. What a change just swapping out a few pieces can make. I think it looks stunning. I love the simple pattern of the rug under the light ottoman and dark couch. Gorgeous!
This whole post makes me smile :-) I LOVE the new living room. What about the new art in the frames? And the pillows? And other new decor? Love it.
Aw thanks Maria! I swapped out the colored paper in the frames for burlap-ish fabric backing that adds texture and doesn’t compete as much with the colorful pillows and accessories! As for the pillows, they’re all things we already owned (I made the patterned ones from Crate & Barrel napkins a while back, got the green zebra ones from West Elm on clearance a while back, etc).
Melanie @ MailboxJourney.Com says
Absolutely loving the changes!
did i miss a post on the updated wall art above the console? looove the new look!
So sorry – I meant to blog about that a while ago (I did it when Katie B was visiting). It’s actually a burlap-ish fabric that I used instead of the colorful paper. I love that it has more texture and doesn’t compete with the colorful pillows and accessories anymore. So many tweaks, so little time! Haha.
Wow! When the picture of the new rug on the website came up, I was like “meh…. not sure….”, but it looks aaaa-mazing in your living room.. It opens up the space and makes it look a lot lighter and airier (and probably a lot easier to clean, yeah?!) I was just wondering the other day actually about your living room, as it hadn’t been featured for a while. Ta-da, I now have my answer! :) Sarah x
Haha, yes so far it’s a dream to clean since we don’t loose goldfish or cheerios anymore (Burger runs in the hoovers them right off the rug since they’re in plain sight). Haha.
Love that you used the word, “hoover” just the way they do in the UK. :)
Wahoo! I’m so exotic. Haha.
Christine Cummings says
Oh my gosh!! It all looks so great!! just a little more dressed up (in a not too formal sort of way) and so updated and classy. I was scrolled down as fast as possible to see the pics of the changes, then went back and read, haha:)
Melissa Breau says
What’s the white cylindrical thing to the side of the couch (not the ottoman)?
LOVING the changes!
That’s a ceramic garden stool from HomeGoods a few years back (it lived in our first house’s sunroom and then our guest room here until I yoinked it into the living room).
I hope this isn’t a backhanded compliment, but I’m loving this room soooo much better than the last. It all works so nicely together and fits what I see as your style.
Wow, what a difference! Looks awesome!
For me, your last house was your “20’s” house…cute, well put together, modest. This house feels more like your “30’s” house. Quality pieces mixed with cuter less expensive ones, mixed with made over pieces. Really enjoying the evolution of your style. Look who is getting all grown up!
Aw thanks Ashlee! Shucks, maybe being on the cusp of 30 is actually a good thing! Haha.
I completely agree with Ashlee. I am really loving the evolution of your style.
I also agree with Ashlee — I definitely see you two maturing, which I love because your style is constantly evolving.
Even when things look awesome as-is, you keep things fresh and try new awesomer dos.
Michelle @ Ten June says
Sherry, I love! Really, really love. I think the rug fits the space perfectly! Maybe old shaggy McGee can end up in the sun room or something fun? Great changes! And those (discounted) splurges are well-deserved!! Beautimous.
Aw thanks Michelle! Yes, we’re wondering if ol’ Kermit will be nice in the playroom or the sunroom! We’ll have to see where he ends up!
Before you put it in the playroom, think about legos! They’d be monstrous little buggers to get out of that rug! Just sayin’.
Haha, true. We’ll have to see where we end up!
Robin @ Our Semi Organic Life says
I did this too to a cheap IKEA rug and it totally didn’t work. You can’t feel the caulking through the rug when you walk (good) but it still slides around on our hardwoods. Perhaps I used the wrong caulk but I’d skip this DIY.
shanna o. says
OK this looks amazing. Far more sophisticated than the old rug, but still playful, fun and practical. Absolutely perfecto!
I LOVE all of those pieces! I am hoping to splurge on a new rug in a year or so for our living room…but first the driveway needs to be redone and the kitchen. While I wait, I will drool and admire your kitchen remodel!
Anyway, before you purchase a rug pad, you might want to try this easy/cheap fix. Flip the rug upside down and use caulk to draw lines on the back. Once it is fully dry it keeps the rug flat and from slipping around because it has grippy like the bottom of toddler socks. We did this because our rug kept slipping where it wasn’t under furniture. Problem solved!
Wow- never heard of that! So interesting!
Jill Stigs says
Oh, yeah………saw that on Pinterest. Very clever.
I actually just did this the other night (saw it on Pinterest too!). Might I suggest trying it out on an older rug first to see how you feel about the results? It may totally depend on the rug, but I found that I can feel the lines of caulk when I walk across it in my bare feet. My “rug” is actually a few carpet tiles so it’s a very flat weave. The lines don’t create a trip hazard or anything crazy like that and I don’t regret doing it, but I would hesitate before trying it on your big, beautiful, brand new rug.
Love all the changes, by the way!
Thanks for the tip Jen! I wonder if we’d feel them through it too…
Please don’t caulk the reverse side of the rug. If it’s the type of rug I think it is you can use either side up. This could be a big advantage if something disastrous happens to one side. Buy a really good rug pad, one with thick felt on one side and rubber on the other. It will protect your $599.95 investment.
Good point Pamela! I think it is in fact reversible, so that’s good to think about!
We get rugs made out of high quality carpet remnants from a local carpet store. We have them bound at another local place. We also bought a super nice rug pad from the carpet store and it ended up being less expensive than the waffle-y things you get from Home Depot. It’s got felt and rubber like another commenter mentioned. It makes the rug feel so soft and cushy! It’s very luxurious feeling, and we all love to lay on the floor now. :) It will also protect your rug in the long run.
I absolutely love those changes! I think it matches the scale of the room perfectly, while still maintaining your aesthetic.Bully for you guys!
BEAUTIFUL. i do not fault you one bit for the mini splurges– those were absolutely beautiful pieces and adds to that room!!!
Leigh Anne says
Seriously beyond gorgeous! Those tweaks really brighten up the space and make it look even more plush. Really nice work!
I LOVE IT SO SO MUCH! It looks ABSOLUTELY amazing! GREAT choices. I’m so impressed and happy for you guys. SCOREZO!
Lindsey d. says
Gotta say I’m glad Kermit’s gone. I’m all for a pop of color, but he made me green and not with envy. I’m guessing he’ll show up in the playroom one day?
Yup, we’re definitely considering him for in there since it’s not a place we’d have snacks and stuff- although playdoh and Kermit might not mix. So we’ll have to see!
I agree, never did like Kermit. Glad for the upgrade. :)
Duh-rool!! I am in LOVE with that ottoman and that is a fantastic price. The rug fits SO much better and brightens the space right up…and I love the color of that chair….everything looks beautiful. I absolutely love living room tweaks and updates, since that’s where we spend most of our time also. Now you just need a new TV console – get out the kreg jig, John! haha.
Haha, that’s what I said to him! I got an eye roll though. And some mutterings about finishing the kitchen first. Haha.
Everything seriously looks amazing!!! What an awesome improvement!
Rugs are so hard to bite the bullet on – so expensive and so tough to see in person – but everything ties wonderfully :)
Congrats and merry early Christmas!
PS – we too just bit the bullet on a great rug. Day 15 or so our pooch christened it with barfed up breakfast – do you have a good all natural spot cleaner you use?
Oh man, so sorry about that! We have some sort of eco spray that we got from Petco about four years ago (Burger’s pretty good about pottying outside so we haven’t used it much) so I’m not sure they still make it. It has an orange on the container and is all natural. Maybe it’s called Citrus-something? Hope it helps!
Try Nature’s Miracle. It at PetSmart and it’s an enzyme cleaner with no nasty chemicals. I think it’s in an red and white spray bottle.
I foster dogs occasionally so my – always some shade of cream or white – rugs get more than their fair share of “christening”!
After picking up everything I can with a clean towel, I use plain vinegar. Works every time!
I didn’t think you could improve much on your lovely, cheerful living room, but clearly I was wrong! It looks amazing :)
That dining chair is just gorgeous!
Looks much more polished with the new additions.
Pleather kills me, so glad that chair is gone!
Brandi @ His Shabby Her Chic says
It looks terrific! I was sad at first since I loved everything so much before, but what you have now is so great! It makes the room look bigger too!
Ann L says
The living room looks AWESOME. So much more well-balanced than before and the green rub is DA BOMB. ;) I also really like the little side-tabley round white thing next to the couch. I don’t recall seeing that before—HomeGoods? I’ve seen something similar in there recently, only in metallic.
That’s stolen from the guest room (it used to live between two chairs in there, so I just brought it in). It’s originally from HomeGoods though! Snagged for $29 I think!
Amazing!! Well worth the extra $$. Good Job!
Love the changes! We just got a plushy rug for our family room similar to yours but cream colored. We love it, but I started having a bit of buyers remorse after a niece spilled sparkling cranberry on it at Thanksgiving! Thankfully we got it clean, but the juice got down between those high pile pieces and took a while to soak up. Live and learn right? :)
Aw man, so sorry! It’s definitely a live and learn thing! But don’t beat yourself up about it, it happens to everyone! Thank goodness decorating is more of a marathon than a sprint!
Wow, I didn’t realize how much this room could be improved until I saw the latest photos. Love all the changes!
oh my goodness. I am in love. Great job you guys!
Kelly Jo says
No wonder you swooned over that rug! It’s b-e-a-utiful!
It definitely brightens up the space a lot. Who would have thought that adding just a few small lighter tones like the lines in the rug, the ottoman, and the chair would make such a huge difference? LoveLoveLove it!
Karen F says
wow, what a huge difference! I LOVE everything you chose. Seriously, could you just come decorate my house already? I end up buying things and then when I see them in the room, I hate them, or they don’t go together. I think I need some inspiration ala Sue the napkin to keep me on track, or to make a mood board or something before I buy things.
The rug reminds me a lot of the pottery barn rug from your old living room (which I loved).
Yes! I think that’s why we were in love with it (and both of us were secretly coveting it). We seem to love rugs with geometric patterns that add color to the room!
The room looks fantastic!! Good job. ;)
Lindsey d. says
Also, I’m curious as to how your couch is holding up. I’m a few weeks away from ordering a custom Rowe couch (on sale til the end of the year), but of course I’m second guessing EVERYTHING! How’s Karl holding up and how’s your Rowe couch after a few years?
Karl is doing awesome (no complaints, he still looks and feels the same, he’s easy to wash, etc). As for our Rowe sofa, we sold the slipcovered white one a while back (but loved it right up until we sadly sold him because we had no spot for him) so he was a great durable choice too! We still have the green Rowe sleeper sofa that used to live in our office/guest room (in the sunroom these days) but we’re not sure where he’ll land. He’s a great durable sofa too!
Colleen in MA says
Hey Lindsey – my husband and I bought two Karlstaad couches (in the same color) this summer and we love them. Like Sherry says, they are durable, easy to keep clean, and also they are holding their shape well. Our old couch was a huge, very soft, HUGE behemoth that was too big for the room but I was nervous that the Karls wouldn’t be as comfy and that I’d miss a high back. Turned out that neither turned out to be true. Napping *was* more comfy on the old couch but my back would hurt afterwards … my posture is better on the Karls. And I love that the color is neutral and grounding – we’ve been having fun will pillows like our friend Sherry. :)
Thanks! I think I’m going with the Rowe because I like the fabric choices better and the one I want has a tight back, also my closest Ikea is 8 hours away. I’m also checking out some Macy’s couches, even though I abhor going to the mall in December. My biggest concern is sagging back cushions, which is a huge problem with my current sofa. Here’s hoping that I find something beautiful and durable!
Can I just say Merry Christmas?! I looove these kind of purchases. I am, like, all excited for you. lol Everything looks fantastic in the room! I have purchased 2 Becca chairs a while back from Overstock and I absolutely love them!!! Now, of course, I want a bigger rug for our family room. I must not tell my husband where I am getting this idea from, or he just might block your blog fro me or something ;).
Haha- shh, don’t tell him!
OMG I love everything you purchased!
Stacy Weiland says
Love the new rug!