Quality Over Quantity
At the end of last year, we decided to aim for minimalism – in our home as well as our lives. This meant clearing out a lot of things which were either unwanted or just did not suit the direction in which we were heading. We always heard that less was more, and we’ve found that it definitely is!
We wanted to brighten up our living space and our lives by decluttering, keeping things nice and bright and only allowing things which we absolutely love to enter our space. Our aim is to purchase more wisely for our home, investing in quality pieces which we love. In brightening up our home, our space just looks bigger than it is. We wanted to create a lighter, more positive mood within our space, somewhere where we love to hang out and entertain in!
The only remaining black items are our electronics. The tv, stereo and speakers. One day we’ll replace them with silver items. The fish tank, sleek as it is, draws attention because of the lovely greenery we have in it. We wanted this specific frameless fish tank because of it’s clean lines. Anything else was just too bulky for our room.
Let It Go – Minimalistic Style
The living area was the first to get a face-lift. There were a lot of dark pieces which made the room close in on us. Functional furniture was what we went for when we purchased things. Furniture which would house all the stuff which we had collected along the way. Unnecessary, unused stuff! Why on earth were we holding onto it all? It all had to go. We removed pretty much all dispensable storage areas in the living room – just the media board and 8 drawers in the sideboard are remaining to keep the space more minimalistic and less cluttered.
The only thing which would stay was our lounge suite which we purchased from Freedom Furniture. Hubby still thinks that it’s too big to this day, but I just love how only my feet dangle off the edge of the couch when I’m sitting on it! The colour is a timeless grey. Grey is a colour we’ve really fallen in love with lately. There’s a silver-grey rug and grey throws to compliment our lounge suite.
Woodwork – Add a homely feel
Timber gives any space a warm and earthy feel so we chose some pieces, starting with our recycled wood dining table from Provincial Home Living. This table is fabulous for a family with young kids. It’s a piece which just gains more character with wear and tear. The recycled timber sideboard came next. We found this lovely piece for a very reasonable price at Swan Street Sales. It has enough drawers to hold some stuff, but not enough to allow us to hold on to too much.
The Balinese coffee table was an eBay purchase. The shade was darker than desired but we invested a few hours into sanding it down to a very natural, lighter finish. The legs on this table are beautiful and the drawers houses our little man’s things which wander out from his bedroom. We also had two floor lights, from Freedom, which was sitting in storage for a while and now nicely complements our decor.
Wall Art – Cheap but striking
Our wall art resulted from time spent trawling through Pinterest. Originally, I was going to create a painting on a large canvas for the wall. I’m in no way an artist but I would be capable of producing some form of abstract artwork! After some uncertainty about my artistic capabilities, hubby and I decided that we’d cut down our dead trees at the side of our house, sand them down and attach them to our wall. We love our timber wall art and it was made with love by us!
The back wall of our living room is covered in photos of us. Again, inspired by Pinterest, I collected white photo frames from second hand shops and painted them white. This is a very cheap way of creating a photo wall as some of these frames are quite pricey when bought new! There are good intentions to put more up – we just need more time!
This is something fabulous for any home. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the living room, some have covered their hallways with photos in frames. If you don’t have the patience, purchase the white frames. Every time we have guests over, this photo wall is gazed upon. We often catch ourselves gazing upon these photos! You don’t have to be photographers to produce lovely photos for your photo wall, just make sure that the photos are co-ordinating in colours to keep it clean. A wall of black and white photos can be quite striking.
Keeping It Warm
This winter, we’ve gone a little throw-crazy. While we were on holiday at Byron Bay just a short while ago, we fell in love with the throw which was in our hotel room. We searched for this particular throw when back down in Melbourne and realise how expensive these things were!
Anyway, after some looking around, we found three different ones from the same brand at reasonable prices. One was ordered from Barney’s in the USA as they had them for 50% less with free shipping! It’s hard to find these throws on sale here in Australia. Bemboka throws are probably one of the most luxurious throws around. They’re made of Angora and wool and are super soft and warm. The best things about these wonderful Bemboka throws is that they’re machine washable! When you’ve got kids, everything needs to be machine washable!
Finishing Touches – simple ornaments
Ornaments are kept simple as well. Buddhas and elephants are our first choice when it comes to decorative pieces for our home. Why not have something of significance when it comes to ornaments for the home? Elephants have been hubby’s hobby since he was very young. He must have known that he would end up with an Asian lady!
We have lots of elephants all over our home! Buddhas represent peace, harmony and keeps us mindful of others who are less fortunate than we are. My parents are Buddhists and I’m a Buddhist at heart. We have a few Buddhas around the house as well.
Style On A Budget
Our living room was furnished on a fairly affordable budget. Doing some shopping around definitely saved us quite a bit of money and so is investing some time into creating our own pieces. One day we’d love to exchange our dining table chairs with higher quality chairs of a similar style. We picked the replica Eames chairs up at a ridiculously low price (below $35/each), since we couldn’t bring ourselves to fork out for the nicer ones which were approximately $500 each! These replica chairs look the part and will do us for a quite some time.
Transforming your home into a stylish space which you love doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Look through design magazines and websites to get inspiration and recreate the looks you love with similar pieces which cost a lot less. Where you can, create your own pieces. Keep in mind that second-hand pieces can look great with some transformation or restoration – it’s easier than you think!
Our Creative Space
So there you are. We love our living room when there aren’t any toys strewn around the room (which is most of the time). It’s not high-end living but it’s comfortable and functional and it looks great. We’ve collected pieces which are timeless and will add and subtract from it when we feel the urge. The house is kid friendly and no item will be greatly mourned if damaged beyond repair. The more minimalistic you keep your room the easier it is to clean – when you have kids you know how messy it can get. A powerful hand vacuum helps you to keep your space neat and tidy.
This is a space where we spend the most time, where we can express our creativity. It had to be light, bright and tranquil. Do you have a space you love? If not, create one!