Post by Jeran of Oleander and Palm
Hi friends, I’m excited to be here and share a little living room makeover I worked on for my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew’s house. I think this may be a common issue that a lot of folks have. I know I’ve seen it in more then one home. So, you buy the biggest, comfiest neutral sectional for your living room. It’s practical and you’ll love it for ever, right? But, then you get it home and it’s really just a giant grey (or whatever color you chose), personality-less blob in your home. It doesn’t really say anything about your personal style. I’m going to help you out. I’m going to share with you how I helped my sister-in-law, Jess, who lives in Idaho, give her new grey sectional a little personality.
Jess already had a couple great furniture pieces. The mid century credenza that serves as the media console was purchased really reasonably at a local thrift store in Idaho. And the mid century coffee table I found for $25 at a thrift store in California. We had 4 main goals for the room:
- Give the sectional personality
- Create a gallery focal wall
- Rethink the mantel
- Accessorize the surfaces
We started by giving the sectional personality. Pillows are the best place to start. If you can add COLOR, TEXTURE and PATTERN you are guaranteed to wake up a room. I love Nod throw pillows. There is nothing boring or neutral about them. Even if the color is calm, the pillow will definitely have some sort of amazing texture, like the grey Basketweave throw pillow. Jess already had some fun black and white pillows, so I added a pop of green and shiny gold to the grey palette. It’s a color combo I go back to over and over.
For the gallery wall we started with one main statement piece, the giant letter M. I love the unexpected size of these letters. I made a couple pieces to go along with the things Jess already owned and had in other places around the house. I painted a water color of Idaho, leaving a little heart where they call home. This added a pop of green to tie to the pillows. I also made a circular yarn hanging to add a little whimsy and fun to the room. It gives the space a relaxed and not-so-stuffy feel.
For the mantel, we kept it simple and clean. Hanging the mirror to the side feels less traditional. By adding tall framed images on the other side of the mantel, some balance was created. Accessories do not have to be expensive. The items on this mantel were mostly thrifted or found in nature. My father-in-law is a rock hound and cuts and polishes rocks, so the gorgeous agate came from his garage. And the birch branches were found on a walk. We cut them all to the same length and spray painted the tip of one with metallic gold paint.
And finally the details. Yes, almost everything on surfaces is thrifted. You can find fun stuff for pennies and you’ll have a look that no one else has. I love the thistles on the coffee table that my mother in law painted three different metallic colors. Jess followed this tutorial to make a himmelli wreath for the wall. And I refinished and stained a little plant stand to give the fiddle leaf fig a place of honor.
A former elementary school teacher, Jeran has added her unique voice to the modern maker culture through her blog Oleander and Palm. She loves helping people find attainable beauty in the lives they live. Her creativity and industriousness were honed through years of living in third world countries, that challenged her to find novel solutions for creating livable spaces. Now a mother of three, settled in sunny California, her skills and styles are evolving in exciting new ways. Her focus is Simple California Living, designing and making livable spaces that incorporate vintage finds, handmade/DIY pieces and global inspiration.