A childhood friend from Wisconsin recently reached out to me on Facebook and asked for my help. She (Heather) and her Fiancé recently purchased an old farm house. It was built in the early 1900’s and still has a lot of the original features including the wood floors upstairs!
Heather asked for my help in decorating. Heather and her fiancé both like a country style to match the farm house. I developed a design plan based on their very conservative budget (as they did just buy a house!). My plan allows for use of their current furniture, but reworking it with chalk paint to match the new (old) home. My plan is just for the living room today to get started.
After doing a bunch of searching online I decided to just go to my local Walmart and Target to get pics for the design plan, that way I could see colors and styles in person and know that they matched. It’s hard matching things on a computer screen, as colors vary on different screens.
Let’s get started with the living room. Here is a pic of the empty room:
She sent me some pics of the furniture she has for this room. She has a couch and a chaise lounge for this living room space. She is looking on Craigslist and Buy, Sell, Trade pages on Facebook for a coffee table and side tables to go on each side of the couch. She has a dresser that she didn’t know where to use and my suggestion is to use it in this room as a tv console. My other major suggestion to pull everything together in this room and make it all match is to paint the coffee table, the side tables, and dresser (aka TV console). Chalk paint specifically (which is not the same as chalk board paint). Chalk paint has a chalky finish to it, and is very easy to use since you don’t have to strip the finish off the furniture. You paint right over the current finish. You then use a specific wax (also painted on) to seal and harden the new paint. The wax comes in clear or antique finish. I like antique for their style, as it will go with the farm house/ country style of the home and overall look we are trying to achieve.
Below are some examples of furniture that has been painted with chalk paint furniture. Chalk paint is really the key to achieving the country/ farm house look for their home’s interior.
Here is her furniture for this room. The couch, chaise, and dresser (tv console):
Here is my suggested layout for the room, it includes the side tables and coffee table she will be looking to purchase second-hand:
Here is the decorating plan for this room. It all starts with the curtains as they bring color to the room. Both Heather and her fiancé had specifications regarding color, so I picked something that worked for their preferences. Green was the primary color, as that was her Fiance’s choice of color. The Waverly moss paint I selected was as close to a hunter green as they had. I like it because it is a rich green, but not quite as dark as hunter, which is good because Hunter can go too dark and drab.
One thing I like about these curtains is that the golden tan color matches her couch.
These curtains are only $13.94 for the pair and they are of decent quality too, as I examined them myself. They need to be hung so that they are 4 inches above their floor heat registers (I looked up online the required distance). Heather does not sew, so I recommend she get some no-sew bonding tape. It can be purchased for about $1.50 in the sewing section at Walmart. You simple fold up the curtains to the desired length, apply tape, and iron to set it. No sewing required!
Here is the curtain rod that I selected:
The chalk paint for the living room furniture I recommend is Waverly’s Moss (as Heather’s fiancé likes green best). This green matches the green in the curtains as well. The chalk paint is $5.97 per container. It goes a long way, so she should be able to get the entire dresser done with one container. Even if it needs to be double coated. After the paint is dry then she will apply the wax. I did a project using chalk paint and I provided the instructions on my blog previously, here they are for Heather’s reference: Chalk Painting
Here is the moss paint from Waverly with the antique wax I also recommend:
Below is an example of a piece of furniture using a similar green color (not exactly the same) that Heather will use on her furniture. They used an antique finish on this as well.
Here area rug I selected for the room. It is $49.84 for a 5″x7″ size rug. The grey color matches the grey in the curtains. It is also made of synthetic materials which is good when you have lots of kids.
When placing the furniture on the rug you want the majority of the rug showing and not to be under furniture. I suggest placing the furniture so just the front legs (of both the couch and the chaise) are on top of the rug.
Here are pillows that match the decor that I chose. They are 14.99 for a pair! Good deal! The color matches the rug and curtain panels too.
She will only need one pack of the pillows. I purchased a pair of the curtains and I will be making throw pillows and a runner for her coffee table using the curtain material (shhh…it’s a surprise).
For wall decorations I am keeping it simple in the living room. On each side of the fireplace, I suggest having this item below. It is large, and only $19.87. Candles can be bought at the dollar tree (3 for $1).
Above the fireplace there used to be a mantle, I suggest they find a piece of rustic wood to cut to the exact length and use it as the new mantle. They have 2 bricks sticking out on the fireplace where the mantle used to be. So the new mantle can rest on these bricks. Heather’s fiancé is handy, so he can attach the mantle to these bricks. Above the mantle I then suggest having a black and white, gallery wrapped canvas in 24″ by 36″ (landscape position- meaning hung horizontally). It would be great to have a photo of their entire new family together- all 7 of them! Having it printed in black and white will go with the theme we are doing. Easy Canvas Prints www.easycanvasprints.com has some great deals and often free shipping. Here is the price I got when I uploaded a sample pic using the 24″ by 36″ gallery wrap in a depth of .75″ ($38.44!):
To go on top of the coffee table, I like an idea I found online.
They can achieve this look quite easily with some mason jars, faux floral from Walmart, and chalk paint. I suggest using Waverly’s chalk paint in the color plaster. I also suggest 4 magnolia stems from Walmart, one for each jar ($3.00 each). She will need to cut the stems down, so just the tops of the magnolias show and not stems. Below are pics of the magnolias and chalk paint that I picked at Walmart. She already has the mason jars too! Here is a link on brief instructions on how to chalk paint mason jars:http://yarner.blogspot.com/2013/06/painted-mason-jars.html
Now they just need to do some shopping and painting to achieve this look. Good luck Heather! I can’t wait to see photos of the finished project!
Shopping List at Walmart:
Mainstays 84″ Light Blue & Cream Mini Damask Panel Pair $13.94
No-sew bonding tape for shortening curtains $1.50
Mainstays 48 in- 84 in Decorative Cafe Rod $9.44
Waverly Moss Chalk Paint (5.97 per container) 4 containers: $19.88 (I am suggesting this many containers as this paint will also be used to do the dining room chairs).
Waverly Antique Wax (5.97 per container) 2 containers: $11.94
Mainstays area rug 5″x7″ in grey: $49.84
2 Pack of Trellis pillows in grey: $14.88
2 of the metal wall scones (for each side of the fireplace) (19.87 each): $39.74
1 container of Waverly chalk paint in the color plaster (will be used for the mason jars and candle holders): $5.97
4 faux magnolia stems (3.00 each): $12.00
GRAND TOTAL FOR WALMART PURCHASES: $179.13
The only other piece I recommended was the gallery wrapped canvas which she can order online at Easy Canvas Prints in 24″X36″ for $38.44.
Here is gallery of the Walmart items I recommended buying (and no, I do not have any affiliation with Walmart, I simply like their prices):
I love your suggestions. It shows that one can have a well put together room on a budget. I too would love to see the end results. Nicely done!
Absolutely love what you came up with. Your friend is so blessed 🙂
Thank you Susan!