Real Life Home Design Board #1: Living Room

Looking for living room design board inspiration? Combine pre-owned furniture with a few vintage and new finds and – voila!

I’ve decided there needs to be a word/phrase for when you’re inspired by other people’s inspirations (like what happens on Pinterest all day every day and into the wee hours of the night too). How about inspiration squared? Ininspiration? Reinspiration?

Well, whatever you want to call it, I got it big time while recently reading the blog The DIY Mommy, specifically the Our DIY House series, which features the building and interior design process of a new foursquare-style home.
The blogger went through each room of the home and made up what she calls a “Mood Board.” Which essentially is the Photoshop equivalent of cutting images from a magazine and gluing them to some white paper. It’s a super fun way to think about what you want your new home (or old home, if you’re redesigning) to look like.

And when I say fun, I mean it’s pretty much the most fun a home design lovin’ gal with decent computer skills can have while their almost two-year old naps for three hours. Seriously. I had way too good of a time doing this. So much so that I’m limiting myself to just doing the living room until I’ve actually finished designing the house itself. Because no house equals no reclaimed brick fireplace.

You know the saying “blue and green should never be seen except for in the washing machine”? I don’t even remember where I initially heard it, but it’s one of those weird things that has stuck with me since childhood. You know, like my face.

Nowadays, previously unheard of colour combinations are de rigueur (meaning that if you don’t have unexpected colour schemes in your house you shall henceforth be known as a social pariah). I blogged about one of my favourite unusual combos, blue and orange, in this post. Another trendy hue pair I currently adore is yellow and grey (which I will be blogging about at a later date).

And, since one theme of this post seems to be limiting myself, I have decreed I am only allowed to go into detail about three – that’s right, only three! – of the pictured items or else I will carry on for always and forever about how much I love barnwood frames/how much I dislike leather couches (but since we already own one I’m-a gonna to roll with it).

1. Medium Toned Grey/Brown Wide Plank Laminate Flooring
2. Barnwood Framed Mirror
3. Benjamin Moore Paints Bennington Grey (field colour) and Mink (accent colour)
4. Green Microsuede Storage Ottoman (already own)
5. Reclaimed Brick for Fireplace (see below)
6. Sisal Rug with Brown Border
7. White Floating Wood Mantel
8. Bookshelves for Built-In Storage (see below)
9. Dark Brown Leather Couch (already own)
10. Woven Twig Lamp (already own)
11. Blue, Brown and Green Distressed Console Table (already own a plain brown one)
12. Blue, Brown and Green Striped Fabric for Curtains (already own)
13. Blue, Brown and Green Floral Fabric for Toybox Ottoman (already own)
14. Various Throw Pillows (already own, except for blue one)
15. Blue Microsuede Wingback Chair (see below)

5. Reclaimed Brick for Fireplace

Very excited about this idea. Reusing an old material is not only good for the environment, it also brings character and history to a space. A quick browse on Kijiji tells me that you can buy batches of recycled brick from various independent sellers, there’s also businesses like Architectural Clearinghouse where you can find used construction materials. While stock is constantly changing, I’m hoping I’ll be able to find some previously loved brick when the time comes.

(Image Credit: Liz Marie)

8. Bookshelves for Built-In Storage

I plan to put some sort of built-in shelving in pretty much every room in the house (even on the staircase’s landing). And, with the magic of Ikea (you know, the cheap European kind of magic), you can buy some plain old bookcases, slap some moulding on them and – voila! – custom cabinetry fit for your collection of first editions. Or your porcelain cat figurines… Because, as the saying goes, one person’s Orwell is another’s Persian.

15. Blue Microsuede Wingback Chair

When I was looking for furniture to compliment that which we already own I wasn’t planning on throwing a blue microsuede chair into the mix. But, when this photo came up in Google image search, it took me back to the many hours I spent sitting across from my grandma in her living room. Me in a black leather La-Z-Boy, and her in a chair that looked just like this. Although she’s no longer with us, the chair now resides in my mom’s dining room (and, knowing my dearest mama, perhaps one day it will be mine).

There you have it! It’ll be interesting to see how many of my ideas make it into the final product. But, truly, it doesn’t matter what does and what doesn’t. For me, the best part of this whole process is the dreaming.

What’s your favourite unusual colour combo? What are some of the features in your dream living room? Do you collect first editions, porcelain cats… or something else? Viva la comment!

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Posted on August 11, 2015

Living Room Design Board

2 thoughts on “Living Room Design Board

  • September 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Amazing way to plan, organize and then decorate your home room by room. I can see how it could be all consuming and for anyone who is computer challenged, aka me, Id probably not get very far. I love your board and like how some of the décor you already own is incorporated into it, good planning. Just because someone has owned something for awhile, or its old, doesn’t mean you get rid of it. If it works then its a keeper. For example: antiques-need I say any more. Looking forward to seeing more of your boards as you develop and post them


    • September 24, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      No you need not say more on the subject of antiques and we still need to go on an antique shopping mission before the bad white stuff falls…


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