Shore files: Living Room Foufing Follow-up

Whoa! Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions on how to improve the living room. I would have never guessed that I would get such an overwelming number of suggestions!

For those that didn't read all of the 80+ comments, I'll pull out some of the topics and great suggestions that are swirling in my brain right now.

Lots of comments about the television (this seems to be a reoccuring theme!). I agree it draws the eye but I'm not so convinced that its possible to really do much to make it less of a draw. I liked vanessa's and cathryn's idea of adding some framed prints around it but I'm torn about whether that will help or hinder the cause. It might just make that wall more of a feature which is not my intention. Shelia had a great idea of using a much lower piece of furniture to put the tv on but Im just not willing to invest in big piece of furniture and I do love the gray console I have already. (Im not worried about medical problems from hanging my tv too high - I don't watch THAT much!) To put it another way, the tv just doesn't bother me that much. I'm okay that its there - its not that attractive but the reality is that I watch it so I want to be able to see it. As soon as they make that wallpaper tv, I'll be the first person in line. Until then, I'll be having a black rectangle.

Several suggested (anon, never a plain jane, teller all about it, mudrick, design love, pamela, L. Duncan, Teresa) a ceramic garden stool as a side table. Now why didn't I think of that? Good one.

What I was really in love with was the suggestion for using a tree stump as a side table from Erin (and seconded by Stacey, Dana and anon) . Will you believe I have several tree stumps I made poor Mr. L donkey home for me last year? (Inspired by Kara Paslay)I'm not sure if they are quite big enough for the task but its worth a shot. You would think that with these bad boys waiting for me in the yard I would have thought this up on my own but I didnt connect the dots. Duh.

A few other great side table suggestions as well but I'm hoping I can make the stump thing work out.

Quinn and a few others suggested painting the room a different color. I see what you mean but I really like this color and the open airy feeling it provides. Its not the most striking but its intentionally meant to be plain - I don't want it to be too dark and heavy (even though I absolutely heart gray and darker paints, its just not what I want in here).

Shelia hit the nail on the head by pointing out that everything in here looks like it was purchased yesterday. I definitely don't want to go overboard on the old stuff (that is what the limestone is for!), a few well placed items will add some personality.

Another mysterious anon poster suggested a vintage trunk near the stairs. LOVE! Being a realist Im not going to hold out much hope for finding one anytime soon but its going in my head for future flea market shopping trips.

Hillary pointed out these fabulous customizable beach signs. I don't the scale is right to use them in the area over the stairs but I like them. Maybe I can use them elsewhere?

Cathryn and Vicki suggested putting a long low bookshelf under the window while political exile suggested replacing the stair railing with a built in bookcase. I like both ideas but they might be projects for another day (or year or decade) because I'm too cheap to make that investment.

And who knew there is a website that sells books by cover color. While I would be way too anal about these things to ever use that service, it could make for some fun decor projects. Thanks Claire for pointing it out.

And it seems loads of you love the big trees indoors. I'm not trying to convince anyone else to be a hater like me but the only thing I would hate more than an indoor tree is a fake indoor tree.

Pam is totally right that the pillows are too formal. I need something a bit more laid back.

Red Manzanita Bird and Branch (inspiration photo)

And I definitely agree the coffee table needs something on it. I'm just saving that til last. I'll probably spray paint a big branch kind of like the photo above.

You've all given me soooo many options on the window treatments. I was thinking of using drop clothes to do something but now I'm torn by so many of the pretty options out there. (Thank you willoughbywhimsy, never a plain jane, mudrick, heather spratt, Honeyed Hashette, Just Beachy, Missy, Teresa, Laura, and everyone else who provided links!)

In case I didn't mention you specifically, please know I did read every single comment carefully so I haven't missed you. Thank you all for taking the time to comment. And feel free to add anything else you think might be helpful.

So now I have to get to work! This is just giving me a major shopping itch.


  1. Oh this is so exciting! I LOVE your blog so it is really a treat to get to participate in some of your home decor exploits! I was going to post this on your previous post but couldn't get the UO website to work. I know it sounds like you have the stump thing worked out but if that doesn't work I love this little guy:,+product.marketingPriority&navCount=91&navAction=jump&color=&pushId=A_DECORATE&popId=APARTMENT&prepushId=&selectedProductSize=. He seems small and a little funky. And not too terribly expensive! GOOD LUCK!

  2. All of yesterday's suggestions took the words right of my mouth!

    Good luck with any future changes. Your attention to detail let's us know that you'll get it up to snuff in no time.

  3. You had mentioned a stack of books as a side table to the chair but didn't have a bunch of blue books. My suggestion would be to pick up some really cheap books from thrift stores (or use some that you have) and cover them in maps/colored paper. I did that in my "library" and I love the outcome (on the shelves, not as a table). I kept some books uncovered, covered some in maps (I found an old atlas at a thrift store), and covered some in white craft paper. The covering options are pretty endless. I think it would be really inexpensive to do too (even if for temporary purposes). Love watching you put it all together!

  4. Wow. so many ideas! Can't wait to find out what you're going to do.

  5. those customized beach posters are pretty cool. I love a little whimsy in a space!

  6. This is why I blog! I love how we try to help each other out!

  7. BTLover2 that was a grat suggestion! And I love the tip about adding new pillows!

  8. Your blog is one of my favorites and one that I go to first each day. After reading your post yesterday, I was trying to why I found the room so-so. Last night I realize that it is because it looks like a rental beach house devoid of a sense of fun, summer, beach and that special feeling of being away on vacation. I mean stuff that you use in a beach house that you would not usually have in your every day home whether it is fabric, such as burlap or pictures that say beach fun, or candles in sand etc. None would cost alot of money especially if downloading and printing old travel posters from the Boston Public Library which you can do for free and print them yourself. These old travel posters have beautiful muted colors. For instance this one or this one I just download the ones I want and then use photoshop to crop to the size I want.

  9. Wow! Tons of great ideas! I love the ideas for side tables, everyone is so creative!

  10. I've seen white garden stool at Big Lots lately for $20 each.

    One Kings Lane has some g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s ones on sale RIGHT NOW but they're going quick!

  11. Definitely the garden stools. Also you must look at the Somethings Gotta Give living room (I know very over used but it is a classic). While it looks visually busy it really isn't. A large pop of color in the art and dark wood pieces along with pillows in great colors. Curtain panels would draw your vision away from the tv.

  12. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Thanks for the shout out! I'm still totally diggin' my garden stool as side table :-)

    Tell'er All About It

  13. Well of course we all know that funiture doesn't need to be expensive. Find some old low bookcase/console/cabinet (cut the legs off someting from the 70's) for $35.00 and paint it white. (Even though it scares me to death that before the next trend comes in, all the vintage furniture in the world is going to be painted white, in your case here it's appropriate!) Please move the t.v. off that big wall! It really would make it less a center of interest if it wasn't the first thing you see when you come in. No really! You could, too, actually build a whole big bookcase thing all the way around the console and t.v. or at least put two large tall identical bookcases going up either side of the t.v. This could make it less important. Then with the bookcases going up very high on either side, hang pictures in the center over the t.v.
    It wasn't my main point that the t.v.'s high on the wall cause neck problems and I know it sounds funny, but it's true.

  14. I just saw an awesome idea in Southern Living that might work for your room. The couple used a picture on a track to cover the tv. It sounds random but check it out-the magazine explains it much better! :)

  15. Shelia - appreciate your input but if I put cheap bookcases there, people are going to sit on them. Im all about pretty but it has to be safe too. Totally see what you mean about taking the focus off the tv but I just don't want to go adding a bunch of pieces in here with that sole purpose. Rather spend my time and money on other projects. The tv just doesn't bother me that much.

  16. Thanks Brittany - cool idea but Im not that bothered by the tv. Just like with the limestone, I don't see the point of hiding a television unless its only used once in a while. In my house, we have it on a lot.

  17. Off topic, but have you seen this:

    HILARIOUS and reminds me of you (and me too since i am also catalog obsessed)


  18. Thanks so much for summarizing, I couldn't get through all the comments. And thank God you hate fake trees! :)

  19. I'm not bothered by the TV at all and I love that console its perfect, and I totally understand the hating of indoor plants live or fake , ewww , I guess my family and I dodged a bullet there as we seem to have no medical conditions caused by our higher than coffee table tv , never even had a sore neck , so funny people really thing this , I guess if you sofa was 4 feet away from a high tv there might be a cause for concen , hehe
    Keep it simple that is who you are ....can't wait to see how you go for drapes

  20. Oh and can we rent this lovely pad ....?

  21. The bookcases I was thinking of would flank the t.v. in it's present location on both sides and go almost to the ceiling so they wouldn't be sat on.
    The inexpensive piece I was referring to for the t.v. is a totally different idea and would be low-lying and under the window with the t.v. on it over there if you did go ahead and move it. It woud be not really much wider than the t.v.; it would not have room to sit on.It is solely for the t.v. on top and any peripherals on bottom shelf. Then you could put bookcases along the entire large wall (very tall and wide, painted white, would look like built-in) or anything else on that wall that you desire.
    Guess I didn't explain my thoughts well enough; I was talking about two different ideas, one leaving the t.v. where it is and one for moving it.

  22. I'm not sure, but I think Just Beachy called you simple!

    Anyways, I hate tree plants, and I have this one that I'm trying to kill, but it won't die. My hubby tries to save it, and it's actually very funny!


  23. This is one of my favorite posts by the blog Cottage and Vine. Rene painted her drop cloth curtains and they look faboulous!

    I'm working on a little dining room makeover and now I'm frozen, so I know how your feeling. Maybe I should take pictures at this point and get a different view of the room.

  24. Steph, I have been on vacation for the last 12 days so I am way behind in visiting all my blog friends. I had not internet service while gone and I was okay with that. Anyway, I am all for the tv. You and I are kindred spirits when it comes to all things tv. We have a 55 in. hung on the wall in the basement and girlfriend it makes me happy;-) No advice on the room and I love the gray console!

  25. What great suggestions. You have great taste so I'm sure whatever you end up doing will be great. I'm completely with you on the fake trees and the TV. I watch a lot of TV and I'm not ashamed of it. At my house there's no point in trying to cover the TV because if we're home it's on. I do think the TV wall needs something else on it. The TV and console feel a bit scimpy all by their lonesome on that big wall. I would just keep your eye out and see what you see. There's no need to jump into anything if you don't really love it. Who knows you may stumble upon a pair of great bookcases, some great prints, or even some awesome mirrors. I think once you add some window treatments your room will feel a lot more complete. I can't wait to see what you decide.

  26. The way you integrated shells and other accents with the vintage trunk is just stunning. The pin-up poster is quite tasteful, too, if you ask me. It blends perfectly with the other vintage stuff you have around the place. Keep those cool ideas coming!

  27. Missed your previous post but looks like you got all the help you needed! Janell

  28. Yay for stump side tables! Thanks for the shout out! Let me know if you need any tips! :)

  29. Ashley11:10 AM

    I really loved this room and maybe you could take some inspiration from it to punch up your room and make it a little less formal feeling. It has an open beachy feel to it and has your base colors.

  30. Anonymous11:35 AM

    I can't wait to see what you do - you're so creative and stylish!

    The more casual pillows idea is genius - I couldn't quite put my finger on the issue with the pillows but Pam is right that they're too formal. Especially love that pillow from your example photo that is shaped like a life preserver - how cute.

    After looking at the photos again of the living room, I think I see a large branch behind the slipper chair. Is that driftwood? Makes me think it would look really cool to have a 4 or 5 of those big branches behind the chair to give the room some visual height and add another texture.

  31. Old House Lover12:55 PM

    Here's one more idea for your TV. Find a print or painting, etc. that is as big or bigger than the TV in all dimensions. If it doesn't already have some kind of a frame, then frame it. Now, get some lumber and buid a 4 sided box, as deep as the TV sticks out from the wall plus 3/8" - 1/2" more. The box should match the dimensions of the back of the framed print/painting. Paint to match wall color. Attach the box to the wall centered on the TV. If the framed print/painting, is light weight attach some velcro to the back of the framed print/painting and the front surface of the box around the TV. If the framed print/painting is heavier, then attach it with something sturdier like hook & eyes, or picture framing hooks etc. Hang framed print/painting over TV and voila the TV is no longer a focal point when not in use.

  32. Glad I could help with the pillow idea. (Thanks for the props, Shelley. I don't blog but enjoy reading them and contributing where I can so I appreciate the shout out. :)
    Mrs. Limestone, reason I mentioned pillows was because I was very impressed with your tea towels from New Years. I could so see you coming up with something really inspirational and unique for this seaside condo. You have done an incredible job so far and I'm constantly in awe of your Brooklyn Limestone projects.
    Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out!

  33. Austin-ite2:42 AM

    Three words - texture,texture, texture. It would do great things im this space just by adding texture in fabrics, finish types [add some thing other than painted wood in your furniture finishes], and add depth with a few more shades of your blue.

    Start layering and add some true personal items and this space will begin to come to life.

    And don't forget to bring the eye up in more places than the shell prints and the tv.

  34. A few minor notes - I definitely agree with you on the no trees thing. As for the frames around the tv - I think its a cool look if your tv is smaller and can kind of blend in with the frames but you have a large tv so I think it will definitely just make that area even more of a focal point - we've both commented on this topic before but its a tv, you're going to watch it a lot - leave it be. Plus I love that console/shelving unit below with the white accents.

    I think drop cloth drapes would be fine - but I'm really loving the chevron sheers from west elm right now - they would probably add some nice texture/pattern. I think the drop cloth would probably be great to use for some pillow cases to give a more casual feeling - and maybe some pale turquoise pillows as well.

    and finally - love that book website - I never knew such a thing existed - great find by your reader!

  35. I apologize if this was already suggested as I did not read through all the comments . . . you could consider hanging an arched top shutter behind your tv to help breakup the wall.


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