Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most

Living Room Makeover: Phase 1


living_room_full_with_textUhhh, so this is awkward.  Wanna know what literally came within hours of each other?

The following email excerpt from The Hubs (who is currently at A school and not privy to my decorating shenanigans): ”  I finally saw your website yesterday and “cowhide”? Well, i hope you are not planning to put a cowhide rug over our carpet.”

And this:rug_packaging

Oops!  My appreciation of cowhide rugs began long before The Hubs shipped off for military training.  I found a cowhide rug on Craigslist for $50 (!) but The Hubs, a trained agroeconomist who actually put up his own livestock business, assured me cowhide would be coarse and unhygienic for the bedroom.  Me, being the [insert-adjective-that-implies-I-am-not-completely-hard-headed] wife that I am, listened to his sage advice… and put the rug in the living room instead :P  In all fairness, he was able to view the rug within the 30 day return policy window so returning it was an option.  Update: He didn’t hate it!

rugs_shopping_cartIt might be hard to see in this screenshot but I got a heck-of-a-deal on these rugs.  I staked out Rugs USA for a coupon (75% off, nice right?) and got my cowhide for $172.  That was the final price, no tax, no S&H.  Lemme put that in perspective, Ikea sells cowhides for $199 and you still have to pay tax and lug it home.  I got this puppy for less and it arrived right on my front door step.  Cheaper and more convenient that Ikea, people!  That’s the first and probably last time I’ll ever make that statement.

I also snagged a 5×8 jute number for $67.  The intention was to layer the rugs but the cowhide turned out to be a bit larger than I expected so I added the jute rug to the dining room.  Side note: I was impressed with the packaging.  Totally minimal yet effective.  Just something I personally think about when ordering merchandise online (I try to minimize my “footprint” as much as possible) so I’m passing on this tidbit along in case you do, too.living_room_makeover_phase_1_cowhide_rugThe verdict!  I lurrrve it!  And Anak does, too (he immediately took to lying down on it).  It’s soft and luxurious and better than I expected and did I mention I love it?living_room_fullGetting back to phase one of the living room makeover, here’s the before.living_room_makeover_phase_1_left_cornerAnd here’s some progress.  I think I’m doing fairly well of staying within the guidelines of the mood board I created.  And yes, that’s a fiddle leaf plant!  I had all but given up the prospect of ever owning one (my local nurseries never have them in stock and they go for well over $100 online) but I spotted Lilly Filly (I really should refrain from my plants given their mortality rate) at Ikea for $12.99!!! living_room_makeover_phase_1_couch Our couch.  I think I’ll be moving on to the space above the couch very soon.  And swapping out the coffee tables.  And getting pillow covers.  And, and, and…!living_room_makeover_phase_1_love_seatThe loveseat.  My mama gifted me the Ikea laundry basket I had on my wish list.  I feel like I need to find a better way to position it so it’s not so hidden.living_room_makeover_phase_1_curtains_bunchedAnd as promised, here are some shots of the drop cloth curtains I created.  Here they are all bunched up.  The masking tape was where I had planned to hem them.  It’s almost a good thing I didn’t because I would have been waaay off!living_room_makeover_phase_1_drop_cloth_curtain_close_upA close up of the fabric.  It was pretty easy to get clean lines.  Christina had asked the color of the stripes I painted and while I don’t have a paint name it’s almost the exact same color as masking tape (sexy, I know).living_room_makeover_phase_1_curtain_rodThese curtain rods have gotten a bit dinged up with all the moving but honestly I’m really enjoying the weathered look.  living_room_makeover_phase_1_messAnd here’s the other side of the living/dining room cause you know I had to stash my junk somewhere to get some photos of a clean room!  Most of it is actually Christmas decorations that I’m still in the process of putting away.

Recap of New Additions to the Living Room:

  • Cowhide Rug
  • Striped Drop Cloth Curtains
  • Fiddle Leaf Plant
  • Five Down Pillow Inserts
  • Laundry Basket

(This post is not sponsored by and is in no way affiliated with Rugs USA).

Linked up to Shabby Chic Cottage, Somewhat Simply, and Joyful Stamper.

Other than the items I already pointed out (pillow covers, art above the couch and a new coffee table), any other glaring updates I’m overlooking?

Author: Jennifer @ Brave New Home

Hi! I'm Jennifer from Brave New Home ( I blog about overcoming fear and transforming a house into a home one DIY project at a time.

13 thoughts on “Living Room Makeover: Phase 1

  1. Pingback: Pillow Palooza | Brave New Home

  2. These look great, Jennifer! So happy to inspire a DIY and I love the lighter painted stipes. Tres chic!

  3. LOVE this! Thanks for linking up to my link party! :)

  4. love the look (and the price) of the cowhide!!

  5. I love it! It’s amazing what it takes just to take some before and after photos eh? I swear to you every time I think about writing a post about some of the decor changes I think Ok am I really in the mood to clean right now? Those curtains are amazing!

  6. Your living room is looking GOOD!! Great job on the curtains and I really like the cowhide, which kind of surprises me. They’re not always my “thing”, but I think it really ties the room together and Anak looks very happy on it watching TV ;-)

  7. Jenn!!!!!!!! This transformatio s is amazing!!!! I couldn’t comment quick enough to tell you how great this looks and here is why.
    1. Your cowhide rug is amazing… And a pretty gutsy design move that many would fear going for… KUDOS! It looks terrific!
    2. Your drop cloth curtains look fabulous and I know the excitement that comes when a DIY project actually turns out the way you envisioned it and something you can be really proud of.
    3. Your before and after pictures are so encouraging for novice home decorators in showing that you don’t have to transform and entire room to give it that designer edge… That a few contemporary pieces like your rug, curtains and a some affordable wall art can make all the difference. I know so many people can relate to your ‘before’ and now people can see how their family room can really come to life with a few changes… And as always you’ve done them with a budget in mind!
    Fabulous fabulous fabulous!

    • Thanks, Christina! What kind comments : ] I’m so glad I went for the cowhide, too (and even more glad that The Hubs let me keep it!). Before and after photos are the most inspiring pieces I usually take away from the other blogs that I frequent. I love looking at them and thinking, Hey, I could do that, too!

  8. Pingback: How To: Drop Cloth Curtains « Brave New Home

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