Well, I’m not done yet…never will be!  But here is how it stands now, and where I’d like to go with it.  Always the dreamer. 😉  The before is tiny, but will give you an idea of what it looked like when we moved in:

had to take a screen shot from photobucket; thus the clothespin at the top. we don't have a clothespin hanging from our ceiling!

Like I mentioned before; someday we’ll rid ourselves of the yellow recliners…but they were hand-me-downs from mom and dad..thus, free.  We by no means have a designer living room, but it’s not bad for freebies and handmade; we like it!  This is our “summer” layout; during the winter we have the rug turned and the couch facing the fireplace; it’s a little cozier.  But I like it this way; opens everything right up. Some of the pictures are a bit grainy; too much light and a lazy photographer.  Sorry about that.

view from our dining room

The Mantle is an ongoing project; the Amo Dei means “Love God”…one of my favorite phrases.  The hurricanes on the end are filled with sand and seashells; lacking the candles…and my plan for the mirrors?  To apply them to some mdf and trim around and inbetween them…kind of like this picture, but a single row, obviously.

I'm not sure what color I'll make the trim. Maybe white? Haven't decided yet.

 Mantle will change often to suit my whims. 🙂 One of the biggest impacts was painting the brick surround and getting rid of the brass enclosure thingy.  Love the fireplace much more now!

I love the ottoman in our living room; I found a similar one for a little over $2000 (yikes!) but I had some plywood, dad had some legs…I bought some foam at Joanns for 50% off and a $12 canvas floor cloth at Lowes.  Mom and dad whipped it up for me; we love it.  It’s soft, *so* great for kids, and the boys go wild on it, of course.  It’s been incredibly useful.

As for my plans?  I invested very little in the paintings on either side of the couch; 5 dollar canvas’s and my own supply of paints.  Once Little Mister arrives, I’d like to have some casual family pics blown up to put in the frames…maybe black and white.

We need matching lamps for our end tables; I’m crazy about these Ikea fellas…

And these little Ikea beauties would be more than welcome to take the place of the recliners!  Cheap, too…$200, and they are slipcovered (aka, I can wash and bleach instead of deal with the perpetually dirty recliners.  I tried slipcovers on the recliners…no go, unfortunately).  And I say $200 is cheap, which it is, but it will be an *eventual* dream for this no-debt family!

And this rug; it had me at hello.  I’m so in love with it!  I think I’d switch it out with our current one seasonally; give them both a few more years of wear.  It’s a Dash and Albert.

Anyway, those are for the future; no rush.  Everything matches my entryway well; I moved our coats to a coat tree on the porch and added my totes/purse to the coat tree in the entryway; saves floor space in my bedroom! 🙂

Yes, I like blue!

I tell you what; I’ve really had a struggle with the decor issue…when it comes to what is truly important.  Do we give away all of our money and live in a bare bones house?  Would that be the wisest use of our money?  I think I’ve come to a conclusion, though; we do give, we love to give.  It’s “gives” us great joy, and that is usually the first priority; tithes *and* offerings.   And by inexpensively decorating our house, we are living debt-free…but by purchasing things when we are able, we are keeping people in jobs (a way of giving!) and creating a nice environment in the house; something to keep us feeling comfortable in the home God has given us.  What are your thoughts?

Next up?  Dining Room!  Mom and I are going to start on it tomorrow; big plans.  Big inexpensive plans, that is. 🙂