house tour: living room

Hi friends!  This post is a long one, so get cozy as I tell you all about my favorite room in our house!  The transformation of this room from when we first saw the Casual Cape to now…wow. So different.  Here is a little peek of what it looked like with the previous owners.



The very first thing we did when we closed on our house was getting the floors refinished. They were in really bad shape and had to be sanded and re-stained.  You see that big rug in the living room?  Yeah, that was hiding a massive black stain from water damage, which we didn’t know about until after we closed…let’s just say we learned so many lessons as first time home buyers! Luckily our amazing floor guy worked some magic and the majority of the black stain disappeared. The next thing we did (beside the curb appeal project, which you can read about here) was painting the walls.  The hubs, my MIL and FIL, and myself spent the weekend before we moved in painting!  We used Kilz to prime the walls and then Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Silver Drop.

I cannot recommend these two products enough.  Seriously, they both save so much time and work like a charm.

And the after…

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Crazy, right?!  And look at how beautiful the floors are!  We went with a natural stain with a matte finish.  Originally I wanted to go with a dark color, but the hubs sold me on the natural, and I’m so glad he did.  A dark floor would have been tragic in the Casual Cape. A little side-by-side comparison for ya!

The room is so much brighter, open, and airy!  I can’t get over what a good paint color can do for a room!

Decorating this room was so fun!  Of course, it would be lovely to have unlimited budget and buy whatever you want any time you want it, but being that both the hubs and I are teachers we have to keep it real.  We used a lot of what we already had, things that are special to us, and we looked for deals!

For example, this little Moroccan inspired table:

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I found it at Kohl’s five years ago on sale for $20!  It was a flat red color and it lived on our porch in our previous house.  When we moved I spray painted it a glossy navy and plopped it right beside this chair.  The books belonged to my grandma, who was my most favorite person on this Earth.  They still have her magazine and newspaper clippings in them, which always makes me smile.

Another bargain/using what you have, this table and lamp.

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This lamp (and the matching one on the other end) I’ve had for four years from Pier1- I don’t remember how much they were. They used to be in our bedroom, but when we moved I knew I wanted to use them in the living room.  The hammered and silver metallic finish feels airy and coastal contemporary to me.  The side tables are from HomeGoods on sale for $40 each- originally $100 a piece!  They were on sale because of some scratches on the legs, but once again, some spray paint can fix that!  The black greek key pillow was actually made by my mom a couple of years ago.  I made curtains that matched for the living room in our rental house- sewing pillow cases I’ve haven’t figured out yet.  The small lumbar greek key was from Target $20 back in April!

And this little cozy corner (ignore the little part not painted over the dining room doorway)

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Well, I just can’t get enough of it!  The chair belonged to the hubs prior to me.  It’s the best chair, perfectly worn in and so soft!  I sit here every morning and drink my coffee.  The ottoman was a birthday gift from the bestie from Target (4 years ago).  The pineapple pillow (insert all the heart eye emojis) was an impulse/couldn’t resist/need it so badly purchase from my favorite place HomeGoods, only $20 though! I still need something for the wall between the two windows.


The sofa from Ikea was my first “big girl” purchase when I got my first teaching job.  I have a love/hate relationship with that store, but this sofa I love. The coffee table was given to us by my MIL.  She was getting rid of it and I absolutely love it! The seagrass rug I got on an amazing deal at The sunburst mirror was actually my first purchase for the Casual Cape.  I bought it for the guest bathroom (see I told you I’ve changed it a million times!)  but it was too big, and the round shape didn’t work.  It became the inspiration for the living room, establishing the white-washed, driftwood, coastal aesthetic.

A little close up of my most special, favorite things in our living room.

  1. My brass partridge bird I’ve had for six years!  When I was in graduate school the sister came to visit me, and we went on an adventure to a nearby town.  Literally, sitting on the sidewalk was this partridge and a smaller identical one.  Someone just left them on a sidewalk!  To this day I wonder the story behind that.  Who left them and why?! The sister has the small one and I have the big one.
  2. The owl print in the middle was a made by my bestie (she’s an artist) and was given to us for a wedding present. I love it because it feels like she’s watching over us, protecting the Casual Cape. Half the artwork in our house was made by her.  She’s for real talented.
  3. The bread bowl on the hearth was a wedding present from my cousins.  It was handmade in the tiny town in SC where all my mom’s side of the family lives.  The back is branded with our wedding date and location.  And I put some more books that were my grandma’s in the bowl.


To me, what makes a house feel like a home is decorating with things that mean something and have a story. I’m not the type of person that keeps a lot of stuff, I love to get rid of stuff, but the things I do keep, mean something.  For me it’s about taking those things and using them in your space.  So when I sit in our living room and I see those things, it makes me smile.  It’s like a memory book in a way.  And yes, sometimes a pillow is just a cute pillow.  I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest that made me smile.


If you’ve stuck around this far, thanks for reading.  I love sharing the story behind our little house!


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