Living Room Refresh, and A Lighting Hack!

Shortly after we added the darker plank wall to the living room, I started craving something lighter on the floor. Although we still really LOVE our indigo Baxter rug, we rolled it up and put it in storage for now (maybe it will be a fall/winter thing? We’ll see.) and unrolled this beautiful, moroccan-inspired, budget-friendly rug out. You can a lot of different places, but we ordered the 10×14 size right here.

For the price, we are all beyond impressed with the quality. It feels soft and cushy underfoot–soft enough to for the kids to roll around and play on–even though it’s a synthetic material. We’re using a standard waffle-like rug pad underneath (the same one we had before), but if you wanted even more cushion, you could definitely add a rug pad designed to do so.

We also did a little rearranging. We moved the full-length mirror that has bounced between our bedroom and the entry in here for now to balance out how the left side of the wall is much longer than the right. Because you can’t step back too far in the entry, and see your full body, the mirror makes so much sense here anyway. I love how it bounces light and reflection around and makes the whole room feel larger, taller and airier.

Someone on Instagram asked if we plan on adding any contrast to the room. Looking toward the couch (which is the photo I posted over there on Friday), I can see why that question would come up. The rug, sofa and wall color are all very similar tones. However, when you’re in the room, it’s anything but one note. Opposite the couch, we have our two large dark leather chairs and you can see that dark paneled wall come into play, too. (The art print can be found here.) It feels a lot more balanced now, and it’s nice to have a place for eyes to rest, too.

One, not so obvious, update we made was connecting all the lamps! There’s no overhead light in the living room area, so before, we would have to manually turn on all the lamps, and worse–before bed, turn them off. Typing that out sounds so ridiculous, because it really isn’t that big of a deal. Although it was a simple task, it was one of those annoying things. Last week, Chris connected all of the lamps so we could turn them all on and off with the click of one button that lives under the end table nearest to the door.

First, he snipped a small hole in the rug under one of the leather chairs so that we could feed that lamps plug to the other side of the room (We don’t have any floor plugs, and although we have wall plugs on this side of the room, we thought it best if all the lighting plugged in behind the sofa so there weren’t any rogue cords). We actually did this with our last rug, too. Cutting a hole in an area rug feels scary and wrong, but sometimes it’s necessary and it’s okay–great even if it means the room looks less riddled with cords and all the lights can be on one switch! I was surprised when we rolled up the blue rug, you couldn’t even tell where the snip was!

We purchased one of these flat extension cords and taped it along the edge of the rug so it’s undetectable walking over it. You’re definitely going to want to get a flat cord though.

Behind the couch, this extension cord picks up the arc lamp and both connect into another cord connected to the foot switch, where the third lamp plugs in, too.

So when the time comes….

The whole thing makes me ridiculously happy. Our friends came over and complimented the new rug and I embarrassingly showed them the new lighting situation, too. I can’t help myself. It improved the quality of life we experience in here. Ha!

So that’s how we breathed new life into our living room with minimal money and effort. Winter was long, dark and cold around here and it feels good to walk into something light and fresh these days.

 

LIVING ROOM SOURCES



33 Comments

  • Reply February 27, 2017

    Lisa

    Do you mind writing an update in a few months letting us know how the rug has held up?

    I wanted something similar so I bought the Kenya rug in cream from Target. But, within a few months, it is very matted and old looking. I’m already daydreaming about new rugs to buy.

  • Reply February 27, 2017

    Ann

    Yep – total fire hazard. I know because I got busted by a fireman. You need to invest in a CABLE PROTECTOR – about $25 on Amazon. This is a rubber channel specifically used for running electrical cables through areas were people walk to avoid trip hazards and to protect the electrical cables.

  • Reply February 25, 2017

    Jen

    Hi there,

    I’ve been wondering about a source for the side table between the two leather chairs? I’ve tried the “shop our house” feature as well. Do you happen to know a source? I really like the dimensions of it!
    Thanks!!

    • Reply February 27, 2017

      Julia

      That’s an old small coffee table from Wayfair that we whitewashed ourselves many years ago. Check out this post for more details.

  • Reply February 21, 2017

    Staci @ My Friend Staci

    Winters can get so long, can’t they. Glad you were able to breathe life into your main living space, now comes the home stretch ’till spring!

  • Reply February 21, 2017

    tracy

    We also don’t have any overhead lights in our living room. We got a echo dot with smart bulbs, so all the bulbs are networked together. Now we just Alexa lights on !!! It works really well.

  • Love the new rug, I just might have followed the link and ordered one for our guest room. The price was just so good that I couldn’t help it – thanks for the share! Also, totally impressed by having the guts to put a hole in your rug, seems like it’s worth it to get those lamps lit with one switch!

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    ELise

    I love the tree ring print! I’m thinking it would look great in my kids’ room. What size is the one on your wall?

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      We got the biggest size they offered and had it framed locally, since they don’t frame that big.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Janette

    I’m super surprised you guys didn’t go with the awesome ge blue tooth plug ins that are timers and switches. We have them at our house and they go on and off as planned and can easily turn them on/off through our phones. With the av-ion app. They are through Lowes, but any hook up is better than turning each one on by themselves!!!🙌👏

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      We did the cheapest, quickest update right now, but eventually maybe we’ll make our whole home “smarter.”

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Amanda

    I’ve always loved this room and love the new changes too! Did I miss the post on the lighting above the art on the plank wall? Love that!

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      Thanks! You can see that post right here.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Lynsie

    I’ve been looking at this rug to help define different zones of our open concept floor plan. We already have a heathered wool rug that has a mixture of off white/creams and grays (West Elm Mid-Century Heathered Basketweave Wool Rug). It’s hard to tell from the pictures on different websites how dark a cream color the rug is. I prefer a slight off white and want to avoid beige. How would you describe the color of it?

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      Definitely not beige. It’s an off white, really light oatmeal color.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    susan

    Love this! We’re working on a living room refresh at the moment and I didn’t even think about how convenient having all the lights on one switch would be. Thanks!

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Emelia

    I love small changes, that might sound nit-picky, but make a huge difference in your daily life!

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Gaby {lifeineight.com}

    I absolutely love how the new rug is looking in your living room (even more than the blue one ;) but hey! I have a whole white house so no surprise there! lol Funnily enough this weekend we painted our blue home office white so there might have been something in the air ;) I’ve posted a sneak peak in my instagram account in case you fancy having a nosey :) https://www.instagram.com/lifeineight/

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Lynn

    Do you have a Tv in the room or do you need to go into basement to watch?

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      No TV in here. We have one in our bedroom and downstairs.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Ryan

    Just a word of warning, extension cords shouldn’t be run under rugs but if you do, check it regularly for signs of wear. The friction from the rug can wear out the casing and expose the wires inside which increases fire danger.

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      Good tip! We ran it at the very edge, on our lower traffic side, for that reason. A lot of the reviews the cord was used for the same purpose.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Sara

    Love that you can control all the lamps, and I don’t want to sound like a nag, but last I read it’s a fire hazard to run an extension cord under a rug. The heat can build up I guess and walking on the cord under the rug. Maybe you have a special cord, I don’t know, but it’s something to consider.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    kim

    Absolutely invite Alexa to that party! I use WeMo in my house, but there are a ton of options now. There is NOTHING so fantastic as being able to turn your lights on and off with your voice. I still giggle every time.

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      Hahaha, I probably sound like such a grandma with my push button switch.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Jessica Dvorscak

    Oh girl, you need SmartThings, stat! And the Amazon, Alexa, too. We have SmartThings hooked up to Alexa and at night we tell Alexa to “Turn on Night” and that one command turns off the TV and all the living room lights, as well as turns on our bedroom lamps on dim. It is so awesome!

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      That sounds dreamy!!!!!!!

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Jennette

    I love this lighting hack! I don’t have overhead lighting in my living room either, and I’m actually even lazier than you guys…we got the phillips hue lights on wifi timer, so they come on automatically, start to dim when we are usually watching tv or getting ready for bed and are off by the time we go to bed. It’s amazing :)

    The rug looks beautiful too!

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Amber

    I love the lighter look! I have been scheming to lighten up my living room since I saw yours on instagram.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Britt

    Oh I totally understand the lighting situation. We have no overhead lighting in our downstairs level, and it’s the most annoying thing to go around turning off each individual lamp at the end of the day. Like you said, not the end of the world, but having them all connected makes a huge difference–especially when you understand how many light sources you have to have to make a space actually feel lit up with no overhead lighting.

    Thankfully many of our rooms’ outlets are connected to a light switch, but a few of our outlets aren’t done this way. This year after Christmas, I plugged in all of our Christmas light timers to those lamps. I typically only need the lights on between 5-10pm–so now they come on and off like clockwork! Definitely makes me smile at the end of the day to have them all click off on their own.

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Kira

    I love it Julia! The new rug is such a bright and airy refresh for spring! Looks so good! And I’m totally a fan of using mirrors to bounce around natural light – such a good trick!

    xo,
    Kira | http://www.theimperfectionistblog.com

  • Reply February 20, 2017

    Katy

    Where did the black pottery barn cabinet go? The mirror has replaced it there so I’m curious if it found a happy home in another spot or if it’s in storage for now.

    • Reply February 20, 2017

      Julia

      It’s in the entry! It’s a little deep for the spot, but it’s nice to have a landing spot when we walk in too.

Leave a Reply