• Brittany Lownsbery

Living Room Inspiration

I’ve decided to hold off on the decor series that I was doing throughout our home. We hopefully have something fun coming soon and I can’t wait to share what we have going on. So instead of taking you through our living room, which was next on my design series, I decided to show you my process of designing a space on a mood board.



I’ve been mulling over the better part of this past year about wanting to update our living room furniture and decor, but I hadn’t set a budget or put a design on paper until very recently. When I started budgeting and putting together the mood board, I thought it would be a great idea to write a post on it and actually go through some numbers and how I decided on the items I chose. I’m trying out putting real numbers in here because I think it’s important to be upfront about things you want to purchase. Budgeting is such an important part of design and decor and it's something that I would like to be open about.


So here we go: my overall budget for this update is $1,200. Now that may seem like a lot to some and little to others, but I feel like this is a good number for what I want to accomplish. I came up with this number because of two very beautiful chairs that I would like to replace my old ones with. I’ve had my eye on these chairs for over a year now and I feel confident about taking the plunge on them. A little backstory on our current chairs: we got them at a really good price from Costco and it was a last minute decision because we needed more seating. We definitely like them and they have worked well for the last 4 years, but my design style has changed and I have been wanting to replace them for over 2 years now. I’ll note here that I think with big purchases like this I find it helpful to wait and actually see if you want to buy or replace something for awhile. For me, I like waiting a year or so to make sure I really want to replace an item and spend money on it. I know that seems like a long time, but I don’t take big purchases lightly and would rather think through it. So back to these chairs that I love, they are $600 for two. And for me, who spent only $250 on my last two chairs and only $400 on our couch, that seemed like a lot. I did a bunch of research on them and have seen them styled in other living rooms and I was still sold on them a year later after I found them. Because I want to update the living room with more than just the chairs, I evaluated the room and furniture and decided on what I wanted to upgrade and add and that’s how I came up with $1,200.


Another big update I want to do is get a bigger rug. I’m not willing to buy an expensive rug, because we have kids and they spill everything, but I do want a nice big rug. I did some shopping around and found that I could spend about $250 on a 7’x10’ rug. We currently have a 5’x7’ rug and it’s really small and doesn’t flow well with our furniture. Our furniture borders the rug because it’s too small to place the furniture on top of it. Our current rug also slides around and is also not the style I want in our living room any more.


After those two big ticket items, I decided that I did want to add another side table, two more lamps, replace the cover on our current couch, and buy some different pillow covers. If there’s room in the budget I’ll add a couple of throw blankets in as well. All of these items range from $20 - $100.


I chose a neutral color scheme because I have two pieces of furniture that have beautiful dark green paint on them. And because I want those pieces to stand out, I have decided that natural fabrics and light colored decor pieces were the best fit. I did a lot of researching for products that I liked in the color scheme that I chose. I combed through my favorite blogger's homes, Pinterest, and all of my favorite decor and furniture shopping sites. It did take a lot of time over the course of a few weeks, but I think putting in the effort to really dig up decor and furniture that you like is worth your time. Now I know that colors online don't always appear true as if you were seeing them in person, but I find that if you stick with colors that go well together online, it usually turns out fine when you actually see it in person.


Creating a mood board is a great way to get a good visual on what you have envisioned. It helps you rule out styles or decor that you thought would look good, but then when you put it all together it doesn't actually flow well. It also decreases your chance of having to return items and find something else. I also find it helpful to pick a focal piece of furniture and then design around it - mine were the chairs. They gave me a modern, coastal, and farmhouse vibe, and I really tried to choose the other items based on that style.


Also a note on creating a mood board: I used Procreate for mine, but you can use Canva as well. Layering is key to creating a beautiful mood board. I'm not great at it yet, but I am definitely working on my skills there. I also think having a picture of your space that you are designing will help your with your mood board. For instance: I decided to add a picture with a piece of green furniture and my kids' kitchen that I made over. It helped me envision what colors I wanted to go with as I planning this design out.


And remember, a mood board that you create can also just be a guide to finding a style that you like. If there's a lamp that you placed on your board, but you find a different one in the same style that you like better, it's totally okay to buy that different lamp. Mood boards aren't really a hard and fast rule as to what you should buy. They are great at helping you think through item's that you really like and rule out ones that you don't.


And one last parting tip: you don't have to buy everything all at once. I know it's satisfying to have it all, but if your budget doesn't allow for you to buy all of your items then you can spread out your purchases. I know I won't be able to buy everything at once, but that's totally okay with me. Designing and decorating doesn't have to be super fast and I think it can be beneficial to take your time acquiring your items.


I hope this post was helpful on how to design a space and that I was able to inspire you with using mood boards! Are mood boards something that you use already or are willing to use in your next design project? Let me know below!


Thank you for reading!


With love,

Brittany


Click the image for the links to the pieces in the mood board:



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