Modern Farmhouse Living Room Design Ideas

Hello Friends! I am struggling with room design ideas for our living room. Do you remember our relatives traditional living rooms? A bit more formal compared to todays style. When you google living room inspiration the decor is all over the place!
I’m not sure people even have living rooms anymore. Currently our living room is filled with pieces from our leftover apartments and condo. It’s ok but not great.

Our current living room. We are also missing fresh paint and baseboards!

We want our living room to be warm and inviting while also staying on budget. Similar to our discussion on when to splurge versus save on furniture I feel the living room is a save! The room won’t be used much and if we decide to have kids I have a bad feeling it will turn into a playroom. Here are some living room decor ideas and pieces I’m inspired by right now. Let us know your thoughts or suggestions!!

Photo from Homepolish


Photo from Pottery Barn

Tufted Leather Sofa – We have heard mixed opinions that leather should not be used in a living room but I feel like it doesn’t matter anymore. When most people don’t even have a living room why limit our selections. I would love to splurge and get the Pottery Barn tufted sofa but for a room we will rarely use I’ve been eyeing this look alike from Target.

Ikea SofaThis sofa looks just like the Pottery Barn sofa but for half the cost! I’m torn since we are using Ikea parson’s chairs as accent chairs (they also serve as extra dining room chairs). When mixing inexpensive pieces I find using a set makes the space feel cheap.

Photo from Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn Rug Layering Trick – Have you noticed people are layering their rugs! We have a great medallion rug from Pottery Barn which was used in our condo, unfortunately in our home the rug is too small. Then we went to Pottery Barn during one of their 25% off sales and bought their sisal rug to layer underneath!

Photo from

Accent Curtains –  I tried to add color guys I swear! I even saved this photo of green curtains with a sisal rug and leather sofa. But then Home Goods happened and I found great grey black out curtains for dare I say two panels for $20! Ahh that’s cheaper than Target and they look great! My new strategy is to bring in color with gold accents.

Photo from Cupcakes & Cashmere

Tables – This photo from cupcakes and cashemere sums up my table goals! The gold west elm side tables and marble coffee table are exactly what I’m thinking for our living room. It has been tough to find similar pieces from Wayfair or Target so any suggestions would be great! My husband defiantly won’t let me buy that gold side table full price. For now we have the gold target bar chart and I can’t wait to decorate!

Let me know what you all think! Have you used a leather sofa and gold accents in a living room??

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How to Maintain Your Personal Home Decor Style with Hand Me Downs

When its time to leave the nest and have a place of your own its easy to fill your space with pieces your parents left in their basement. The hard part is when to start creating a space that reflects your personality. How do you incorporate these timeless pieces into your decor? We have received fantastic pieces from our relatives but sometimes it can be hard to incorporate into our modern farmhouse decor. See below for some of our favorite hand me downs and how we made them our own.

  • Farmhouse Kitchen Table – Ok this one we got really lucky! I grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and my mother had this custom farm table made. My parents recently moved and no longer needed this gorgeous custom piece. Then YAY! it was mine 🙂 Be sure to read our previous article on how we incorporated inexpensive chairs.
  • Leather Lazy Boy – Alex’s parents had moved this chair countless times and finally gave up. Luckily I had seen this picture on Pottery Barn’s blog and felt we could incorporate the chair into our modern farmhouse theme. By pairing the char with a light rug and neutral sofa we created a cozy space that is perfect for our personalities.
Photo via Pottery Barn

  • Bookcase – Our bookcase was handmade by Alex’s great grandfather and we felt it had real sentimental value, as a result we styled it with other items like coasters, baskets, books, and framed items from our wedding. It was so cute Alex’s grandmother couldn’t believe it was the same bookcase!

  • Formal Chair – This chair is just too beautiful! Since the chair is older it’s a bit smaller than our other guest chairs  but once reupholstered it made a great addition to our formal living room.

  • Side Table – We find its easy to sort of hide side tables. While this table is gorgeous it’s a bit traditional for our taste but with a modern farmhouse lamp, coasters and wall clock I sometimes forget the table is even there.

  • Foyer Table – Not sure if I took this from my parents or it was given to me but it is a beautiful foyer table that we like to style based on the season. During the holidays we have a santa and holly, for fall gourds and pumpkins. Right now this is our typical decor, tall arrangement with a lantern and candles.

How do you incorporate home decor and furniture hand me downs to your style??

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When to Save vs. Splurge on Furniture

When we first bought our home we scrolled through Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Elle Design for inspiration. I wanted to buy everything! When we purchased our home we paid the full 20% down payment (which you should totally do!) but that left us a tight budget for renovations and furniture. We sat down and set a strict budget for ourselves and it became fun hunting for similar items we saw at furniture stores but for much less. I always say to our friends its bad when you start to believe Target is expensive! We searched the aisles of Home Goods and Target and found some amazing items. Once you have the inspiration in your head it is incredible how you instinctively find items that go together.

We did let ourselves splurge on what we call forever items such as a Pottery Barn sofa and dining room table but then paired those expensive items with lower priced pieces. I think my favorite is to pair an expensive table with inexpensive chairs. Similar to pairing that LBD you found at H&M with expensive shoes. We love Target’s black X chairs and Ikea’s parson’s chair’s. Maybe someday we can upgrade our chairs but for now they look fantastic in our home!

Ikea parson chairs paired with Pottery Barn Banks dining room table.

Target farmhouse chairs paired with Crate and Barrel art and family farm table.
Pottery Barn Sectional with HomeGoods pillows
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Dining Room Makeover Bar Buffet

Have you noticed a trend so far with our posts? We loove everything Pottery Barn the chic neutral cozy style of the brand just fits our style as a married couple perfectly. When we first lived together in a condo we wanted to incorporate a piece of Pottery Barn to our small space but also have a lasting effect to our first home. We fell in love with the modular bar buffet and liked that we could buy the pieces as we went through our home journey. When we moved into the condo we bought one piece and two shelves.

Then when we bought our home we had a base for a bar buffet with the one piece and our family was happy to gift us the other pieces for wedding, birthdays and our house warming. Now we have a chic bar set in our dining room that consistently impresses our friends.

Next up for is a bar chart for our living room renovation!

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Coffee Table Books

Have you noticed at furniture stores or friends chic apartments there’s something extra making the space feel special.  Finally after a weekend of visiting friends, family, and cashing in that Christmas money at Pottery Barn I figured out what it was, coffee table books! Coffee table books make the perfect stand for faux florals, figures, or any accent piece. Our favorites include The Big Book of Chic and Vogue Living. Coffee table books make the perfect house warming gift!

You can even use your favorite cook books such as those from Barefoot Contessa. How easy is that.

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Holiday Hosting – Decor

Hi Friends! Christmas is 5 days away and we want to share with you our favorite Holiday hosting décor, appetizers, entrees and desserts.  Our holiday suggestions include quick and elegant solutions to your crazy holiday!

We just renovated our dining room with a grey/navy décor accented with mahogany furniture for a modern cozy feel that really comes alive during the holidays (promise to share the entire renovation after the holidays). We like to accent our décor with gold by using leftover Christmas ornaments and our modern china. Each year we like to find what I call a “bottom heavy tree” and there are always leftover branches to cut once we finally fit the tree into our home.

The branches make an excellent center piece surrounding the gold ornaments followed by a lantern we normally use outside during the summer.

Our modern wedding china from Vera Wang looks stunning against the gold ornaments and we utilize silver chargers underneath to bring out the navy in our walls. Our friends were super impressed with our décor but when you think about it we used items we already had around the house. The ornaments were an old set from Home Depot, tree branches came from our voluminous Christmas tree, lantern from the summer and chargers were leftover from our wedding.

If you’re running out of time and Christmas is around the corner (like it is!) take a step back and look around your home for items you already have. We bet you have a few Christmas Miracles left in that closet.

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Mud Room Part 2

Welcome to Mud Room Hack Part 2, click here if you missed part 1.

We pick up our Mud Room renovation with our trip to the lumber yard where we selected the wood for the bench.

At the lumber yard it’s important to be selective as you do not want a warped or flimsy piece of wood, additionally it’s important to pay attention to character in the grain.

After selecting the right piece that would serve as our bench

  • Check to find if there were any deep scratches in the wood. Luckily, for us there were only minor scratches to the board. So we began sanding the bench using #150 sandpaper,
    • Note the lower the grit number the coarser the sand paper, if we had deeper scratches in the board we would have started with a grit closer to #100 or lower.
    • Remember to sand with the grain of the board, going perpendicular will result in scratches that will be brought out when staining.

  • Once the board is smooth, grab a piece of scrap wood and clamp it to your bench.  Use this piece to practice your router cuts before using on the bench. Make sure the depth and edge of the cut is the one you’re looking for.
  • Use the router to cut the edges into the bench, lightly sand the routed edges with #150 grit paper until its smooth.
  • Once finished cutting the edge into the bench and sanding smooth, wipe the bench to remove all dust. It is important to maintain a dust free environment when staining!

  • Using a rag or a brush, apply the stain to the bench and be sure to get an even coat over the board. With a clean rag, wipe the excess stain off the bench. Should you want a deeper finish let the stain sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping down the bench.
    • We repeated this step 3 times before we got the finish we were looking for!
    • First time staining? Check out this site for helpful tips on how to do so: Tips on Staining Wood

  • Once the desired stain was achieved we finished the bench by applying Minwax Fast drying Polyurethane Clear Semi-Gloss. The polyurethane finish acts as a shield and will protect the wood during future use. When applying the finish follow the grain of the wood and use a nice brush.

  • Once the bench was complete we then framed out three cubbies, similar to earlier step when we mounted the media stand, by first identifying the studs.
  • After measuring the width of the opening, we divided the space into three cubbies by lightly marking up the wall on how we wanted them placed.
  • Following the markings, we first mounted a piece of trim that would serve as the coat hanger in the cubbies. Then by using the identified studs, we made sure this piece was screwed into several studs for strength purposes. We then completed framing the cubbies out.

  • Afterwards we cut the beat board to the widths and heights of the openings that we had framed out. Then mounted it in each individual cubby.

  • The beadboard was mounted using finishing nails and construction adhesive (insert adhesive)

  • Following the framing of cubbies and mounting of bead board. We turned our attention to the top shelf. We weren’t as selective with the wood for the top shelf, since we would not be staining the wood, we grabbed a shelf piece from home depot.

  • We painted the shelf before putting into place,  This step was done because of the available space it would be hard to paint in the given area.
  • We then cut the shelf to the appropriate size and put in place. We did not screw the top shelf in place.
  • Once the top shelf was in place, we installed the shelf hangers. These were found at Home Depot in the moulding section (we had trouble finding link online sorry!). Now that the shelf supports were in place, we screwed the shelf in place.

  • To achieve a more polished look we outlined the entire mud room in quarter round.
  • After the shelf and quarter round were installed we sanded the nails smooth. Always remember to vacuum and dust afterwards!
  • To finish the unit we then caulked gaps that could not be hidden. Then painted the entire mud room Ultra White from Behr.

  • Finally it was time to DECORATE!! Rather than building individual cubbies in the top shelf we thought even sized wicker baskets would be a great alternative.

  • At HomeGoods we found wicker baskets, grey pillows and a wreath. Additionally there are extra cubbies at the bottom of the unit for our outdoor pillows and the Hunter Boots have a new permanent parking spot 🙂 .

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A Good Ole Fashion Neutral Christmas

Christmas is here! Christmas is here! My husband loves Christmas, I like it too but I struggle since my love of neutrals can make decorating for the holidays challenging. Luckily there are so many great options at places like Target, HomeGoods and Pottery Barn neutral minded Christmas lovers like me can rejoice. We try to stick to our theme of modern farmhouse by choosing Christmas decor that sparkles with neutrals.






We finished our living room renovation just in time for Christmas! More time come but in the meantime we loved the chalk board cocktail sign from our wedding that we currently use as a piece of art for our living room. Paired with the chalk board are Ikea parson’s chairs and a neutral snow flake pillow from Target.

For our first holiday in our new home we received the cutest front door ornament! If only I were so clever to think of such an adorable gift

What’s your favorite Christmas decor!?


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Mud Room Ikea Hack – Part 1

My husband and I are still recovering from 2014. In one year we planned a wedding, got married, accepted new jobs, and bought our first home. Pinterest was our best friend during that year and whenever I say I found a new inspiration on Pintrest my husband knows to head for the hills! Prior to this knowledge we had just finished the kitchen and I was studying every design magazine, catalog and Pintrest page I could get my hands on. We found this great article from A Charming Nest and were immediately inspired. The project took more time and effort than we anticipated but we learned ALOT from the experience.

We decided to turn the closet off our laundry room into mud room by using an ikea media stand as the base. With some strategic planning and late night painting the result far exceeded our expectations. See below for steps we took and some take away advice 🙂

  • Have a plan! While we wanted to just dive into the project we took some important first steps by measuring the opening width length and height. Additionally, we took a visit to Ikea’s website to understand the stands size. Try avoiding going to store and buying whatever you find to make it workimg_1620
  • Then we took a glorious trip to Ikea to meet our media stand in person (we chose the two drawer Hemnes Media Stand). While there we measured the gap from bottom of tv stand to see if our trim would be tall enough. We wanted our new trim to be 4.5″. Article to come on the importance of updating your trim!img_1618
  • We bought the TV stand even though we knew the piece would be too tall, we then trimmed legs of stand to ensure trim would not overlap with drawers.img_1622
  • This is when we really get into the meat of the project. After the legs were trimmed we then mounted 2/4 in opening of front to give more space to nail trim, we needed to nail the trim to the base of the stand.img_1623
  • In order to ensure the seated bench of the mudroom would be secure we needed to mount the tv stand into the studs behind the dry wall of closet. We located all studs on wall of closet then indicated location of stud with a pencil. Additionally by identifying studs at the beginning of project this ensured the cubbies and hooks of the mudroom would also be stable. img_1625
  • We then framed out the opening space to fit my Hunter Boots (I hope those stay relevant for years to come). After we framed out the boot cubby we then painted and framed out length of tv stand and boot cubby
    for wooden bench.img_1639
  • Part 2 will pick up with tutorial on wooden bench and framing out cubbies!
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New Homeowner Christmas List

Our first Christmas in our new home was also our first Christmas as husband and wife. We had just come off our wedding and received amazing gifts from our friends and family. It felt as though only a season went by and people were again asking what to get us! We told people check out our wedding registry. Then I got the idea why not make a first home registry for Christmas. made the holidays so easy! Our families were not forced to coordinate what to get us and we could constantly update our registry when we would think of new items.

A first home registry is important, we found it was difficult to register during our wedding as we had not lived together and did not understand our style as a married couple. Once we bought our first home it was much easier to tell friends and family what we needed. We are not suggesting have a big party to celebrate you again (the wedding was enough!) but during christmas or the next big holiday get a list together of some things you need for your home. You will be shocked how many people want to contribute, we felt blessed to have such amazing friends and family that wanted to help.

See below for our favorite first home registry items!

The tools we have listed below may seem expensive, however they will last a lifetime and are a great investment for any new homeowner.

*Post does not include sponsors or affiliate links we just love these items

Crate and Barrel Paper Towel Holder – There are other french marble pieces in this collection and they are inexpensive
Shop Vac – Essential tool for clean up and minimizing dust during renovations
Pendant Lights Pottery Barn – These light fixtures were a perfect addition to our modern farmhouse themed kitchen
Food Processor – Once we started cooking daily we realized how much we need this!
Cordless Drill – We use this for every single home renovation project. High power and high quality tool, the kit also comes with two battery packs.
Target basketweave curtain panels look exactly like the Pottery Barn curtain panels for half the price. The additional color options make these curtains a must buy.
Sawzall – This tool can cut anything! We use the sawzall to cut wood metal and everything in between. Our backyard had an awful chainlink fence and we were able to cut it down in one day with the sawzall.


Utensil Holder – A stunning utensil holder helps provide more drawer space and looks stunning on counter tops. Our family spoiled us with the William Sonoma stainless holder but the french marble holder from Crate and Barrel is beautiful as well.
Threshold Floor Lamp – These lamps are part of Target’s Threshold brand and they look amazing in our home. We are currently renovating our living room and cannot wait to use them.

What are some of your favorite gifts for the home?

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