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I don’t know what it is, but it seems like it takes me about a year to feel like I’m finally at home in a room. Before that, it can be a very frustrating time trying to cull a collection of furniture and accessories that makes a place feel right.

We’ve been working slowly room by room to get furniture upcycled and arranged to our liking and I think I finally hit my groove in the living room when I did some rearranging and art hanging last weekend. I’m actually amazed that almost everything in there is something that we already had in our house!

Now for some embarassing before photos. The floorplan came to me in a vision and when I got home from work motivated to start it I was not so motivated to clean.

I am warning you to be prepared.

That little wood side table was a gift from my mom and has become a catchall/eyesore in the living room. As you can see, it has a drill, a bouquet of flowers that Kyle gave me, a Wii case, some magazines, and a bra. You can’t even play a game of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other with that assortment. Unless the tie that binds is that only the bouquet of flowers belongs in the living room.

This view of the living room isn’t so bad. Other than the part where it’s also not that clean. In this case, most of the mess is leftover productivity from the night before.

Now for what I did:

  • Swapped the small side table by the TV with the big side table by the couch
  • Moved the big side table to the wall to the left of the tv
  • Dragged the TV shelf out just a little so it would be the same depth as the big side table
  • Moved an arm chair in from upstairs to the space next to the big side table
  • Switched the couch and the loveseat
  • Painted some paintings to make a vignette to the left of the tv
  • Hung a gallery wall with some square photo frames we’ve been holding onto since Memorial Day

Are you following?

Of course not.  But here at SoEclectic we don’t have a production budget that let’s us do sweet step-by-step animations so let’s just look at the after photos.

This is the gallery wall. We need to add some pictures to the frames but this is motivation enough to do that.

And the new chair + vignette that draws a little focus away from the TV. I’ll probably change that ampersand painting. Kyle’s not sold on it yet.

And the whole room.

What an incredible change! We’ve already been so much better about spending just a little bit of time in the evening cleaning it and last week I was so excited just to get home to it.  Now to add photos to those frames and keep plugging away at the rest of it.

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Gutting and rebuilding significant parts of a house is a big project. I’ve said “Things are really starting to come together” several times.

First, it was in September when we didn’t have lath and plaster anymore and again when we had drywall. In October, I said it when we had carpet and flooring. I repeated it when our furniture and boxes showed up later that week. In February, I said it as the bathroom got painted and new flooring for President’s Day. Last month, it was my excitement as our boxes started to move around and get unpacked. Earlier this month, I said it again as the last two bedrooms got finished, painted and furnished.

Now, things really are starting to come together. We have paint on most of the walls, furniture in most of the rooms, linens, and colors and things chosen. Books on shelves. We really are just down to the details. One of these pesky details is our walls. They’re blank except for a good coat of paint. So blank, in fact, that we now write off any discomfort we feel about furniture arrangement as a byproduct of it all looking like it’s in some kind of showroom where no personality graces the walls of the staged furniture sections.

I have some ideas for arrangements of wall hangings, but I need something to fill the frames or lack of frames in my mind. That’s where I Need Nice Things comes in handy.

“I Need Nice Things was created to make contemporary art collectable, changeable, and most important of all, affordable. It’s breathtaking art without the price tag.” —I Need Nice Things

I haven’t made a purchase yet—I just like looking through the prints and getting some inspiration—but it appears that they do ship internationally even though they’re based in Australia.

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So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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