When we moved, we had to store our livingroom furniture (two heirloom ironwood tables - too heavy; a large l-shaped sectional - too big; a steel and glass display cabinet - too heavy and too big; and a restaurant shelving entertainment center - didn't want to disassemble it), so we had nothing for the living room when we got here, except some pillows, some boxes, and some blankets.
We had planned to get some replacement furniture from Ikea, but they were out of all the cushions the day we went, so we didn't get any of it. And we ended up spending the money budgeted for that living room on other things in ensuing weeks. While the rest of our house was furnished, the living room sat empty and forlorn. Nothing but an area rug, boxes, sad and battered pillows, blankets and a big tv. It looked like a 'first apartment' story when you walked in the door, without the motorcycle on the carpet.
Later, I freecycled a loveseat, chair, and ottoman, which were originally white/yellow damask but had become ugly, dirty, ... and smelly. Cleaning was ... ineffective. We covered them with the blankets and used lots of Febreze for a couple of weeks. I got 20 yards of navy blue brushed microfiber, imprinted with a tiger-stripe pattern (invisible unless looked at closely) for a dollar a yard at Valdemart, which, when combined with my staplegun, worked just dandy to do a quick and dirty re-upholstery job on the used furniture.
At some point, we figured out the tv would fit nicely on top of Chris's footlocker. It looked okay for awhile (interestingly, this living room was still iffy enough that the only images I have are focused on my kids). We also got a torchiere from Valdemart and some wire grid shelves from Tarjay. It began to come together. The boxes began to leave the room.
Then, I freecycled a nicer, but still used, (and green) comfy chair and had to work that in, too. The same week, I ran by Ikea and bought 20 yards of end-of-season fabric (4 different, semi-coordinating fabrics). I love the end of season fabric. I made new covers for my pillows and even made drapes. I made a throw for the sofa, and I have enough left over to make all kinds of other stuff.
Then, later the same week,I discovered that the nearby daycare center was tossing lots of old, school quality, furniture (I'm guessing they got a grant to replace their old stuff), so I asked, got permission (crucial when dumpster scoring nice stuff!), and picked up three low storage shelves and a kids' workbench. The low shelves became a sofa table, a television stand, and the base for a wall unit also made up of a small chest of drawers and some of the grid shelving.
Here we have the curtains,
and some art I made to fill the large, empty wall.
So, now we have a living room full of furniture and I think we have spent 60 bucks. there's still a large box draped with extra fabric pretending to be an end table between the two chairs, but the rest are gone.
I want to do a really pretty, magazine style shot, but that requires a lack of cookies on the floor and good light. Maybe tomorrow.