Living Room Tour & Design Advice Needed

After our spontaneous trip to the Cincinnati IKEA last Monday, and finishing up my curtain project this week, our living room is finally pulling together. Here’s the grand tour:


I love all the natural light that we get in through the two windows, it’s such a nice change from the dimly lit apartments that we’ve lived in before.


We got our new rug at IKEA for only $30.


Our furniture is all free or thrifted. The couch and chair are from Steve’s parents, and the TV stand and coffee table are from a thrift store in Fayetteville, $12 for the coffee table and $20 for the TV stand.


The strip of pallet that’s leaning to the right of the bookcase is eventually going to go above the TV, probably with mason jars full of flowers in it.


We got this bookcase from IKEA, too. It was the perfect piece to fit our Keurig, which is something I’ve been looking for to go with this shelf that Steve got me for my birthday. Now our coffee bar is complete! And the bookshelf turned out to be deep enough to store our games as well.


Here’s the part where I need your help. Underneath this window, we have some space that I’d like to fill with more seating.


I have six of these wine crates, and I’m thinking of pairing them in twos and nailing them together like this:


This makes a seat that’s a little more than a foot square, and with three of them sitting under the window together, it would look like a three-foot-long a window seat. But the seats could also be split up to be used as stools, and they’d be the perfect height if we needed more seating at the kitchen table.

I want to top them with cushions, but I can’t decide what kind of fabric to use. Since the curtains are patterned, I’m leaning toward a solid color, probably a canvas for durability. Should I use the same chocolate brown that I used for the couch slipcover? Or would that be too dark?


There’s always the natural colored canvas, but that might blend too much with the light wood of the crates. White would look good, but Nike’s hair would show up on it pretty badly.

Here are Joann’s solid colored duck fabrics. They also have a good variety of upholstery fabric, and I really like the texture of this linen upholstery, which they have in several colors.

And there’s this striped fabric that I really like that ties in the tan of the curtains and the blue of the walls, but I’m worried that the stripes next to the curtain pattern would be too much.


So I’ve come to you, readers! Please help me decide what would look best, let me know what you think in the comments!

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Lisa Kieklak

Co-Founder at The Helpmates
Explorer & adventurer - mostly through scratches of ink on a page - I enjoy my husband, our twin boys, our boisterous German shepherd, and strive to live for the glory of God.

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6 comments to Living Room Tour & Design Advice Needed

  1. Becky says:

    I think depending on the stripe it might look really nice and add some subtle excitement. If you could find a blue and tan stripe either very thin or pretty thick I think that could look really nice together and then wouldn’t look blah on its own.

  2. Cara Kramp says:

    I agree with Katie on the beige color idea! I think matching the lighter color in the rug would look good! That’s a nice paint job, btw… ;)

  3. Katie says:

    It is looking great – we love our Expedit bookcases from IKEA (we have several …). And I love the idea of the mason jars above the TV. As far as the fabrics, I would go with the linen-y upholstery fabric – I just LOVE the texture. Probably a natural/beige color, or possibly the grey depending on how you think it will look with the brown couch. Coming in a close second would be the duck canvas in a natural color. I love the stripe, but I think it’s just too much with the other patterns in the room.

  4. Joe Kieklak says:

    Beautiful photos Lisa! Love the layout and design!



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