Real Rooms: Charm + Thrift Living Room

Today's guest blogger is the amazingly talented Miss Mustard Seed. I read a lot of blogs but this one is so packed with fabulous hand crafted projects, it takes my breath away. Case in point this Union Jack dresser which just might be my favorite furniture paint treatment evah. (She is also one of the artisans who sells at Lucketts.) So its no surprise that her home is filled with charming pieces she made with her own hands. I'll let her tell you all about it.


I am so honored that Mrs. Limestone herself asked me to share a before and after with you of one of the rooms in my home. Her style is so amazing and refined. It's a treat to be here.

My entire home (built in the 1940's with a modern addition) has undergone a lot of change since we first moved in almost five years ago. Most of those changes have included paint, hard work, and yard sale/thrift store/flea market finds. I am all about creating a beautiful, custom look on a realistic DIY budget.

This is what the living room looked like before we moved in. I snapped this picture during the home inspection. It was dark, dreary and suffered from a bit of an identity crisis. With the addition of a modern family room, this living room/parlor became a glorified foyer.

The first thing we did was rip up the carpet. We closed on the house and then ripped up the carpet that same day. Seriously. I just couldn't handle having stinky, stained Berber carpet over hard wood floors. I didn't care what the condition was. We also painted the ceiling Dove White by Valspar and the walls Blue Stone by Eddie Bauer. After much thought and debate, I painted the original pine trim white. I was very limited by budget (which was $0), so I put a room together with mostly free furniture, a carpet remnant found in the basement and about $20 in fabric for curtains. I knew this room would hold me over until I had a some more money to spend.

And here it is today...

Although I love Blue Stone, it was just too dark and overwhelming for this small, poorly lit space. It was also too heavy with the dark walnut floors, which look extremely dusty in these pictures! My apologies! I opted for soft, creamy walls that would provide a neutral backdrop and reflect light. While I had more flexibility with my budget, I still spent less than $1000 on everything, including refinishing the hardwood floors. Almost all of my furniture was given to me for free or purchased inexpensively at yard sales. The antique sofa is slip covered in drop cloth fabric and the curtains are made out of indoor/outdoor fabric, which was a quarter of the cost of its indoor home decor fabric counterpart.

I don't think I'm ever really "done" with a space, but I'm really happy with the bones of this room and can change up the accessories when I'm getting the itch for a new look. For now, it's one of my favorite rooms for photo shoots and to go when I need some quiet.

Visit my blog, Miss Mustard Seed, to see more of my home or get other budget-friendly decorating ideas.


  1. Londen9:17 AM

    Love that Miss Mustard Seed!

  2. Lisa Rozario10:08 AM

    That is quite a transformation! The blue/green touches are a winner with me!

  3. Lisa Rozario10:09 AM

    That is quite a transformation! Love the blue/green combo-a winner in my book!

  4. I LOVE the blue, wooden mirror in the back. Did Miss Mustard Seed make that? I want one!

  5. What a sad little room to begin with!  But the final transformation?  So light!  So cheerful!  So homey!  Love a good thrift redo - very nice job, Miss Mustard Seed.  I think my very favorite part may be those awesome drapes with indoor/outdoor fabric!

  6. Alandval201111:36 AM

    LOVE the final pic!  Love it!

  7. Ashley Dascoli1:03 PM

    ahh what a transformation! just lovely.


  8. Nichola5:17 PM

    Beautiful and inspirational. 

  9. Celeste Coffman9:04 PM

    It's gorgeous!  I love that it has a very collected feel.

  10. Her room (and house) is just amazing!  Loving that transformation.  :)

  11. the balanced libra11:36 AM

    this looks like it is out of a page in a magazine! it is stunning! I love the cream colored walls it make everything look so FRESH!


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