French Farmhouse Living Room Reveal And A Fabulous New Rug

January 30, 2018

French farmhouse living room budget thrifted estate sale decor

Renovation. In some circles that’s a dirty word. In others, it’s a word that represents life and change and all that is good. My renovation story represents the latter. I’ve got a living room renovation that’s been 8 months in the making and I’m bursting at the seams with joy because it’s finally finished. A labor of love to say the least. Come along to see the progress and how I’ve managed to decorate my home beautifully in French Farmhouse style on a serious budget. I'm very excited to be sharing all the changes and the before/after photos with you today, along with my tips and tricks for using frugal, yet awesome, home decor to achieve the look you love. (FYI this post is LONG -- so sit back and relax with your favorite beverage and enjoy!) 

I was compensated in the form of product for this review, however, all opinions are my own.This post also contains affiliate links. A purchase of any of these items helps to support this blog and its creative efforts at no cost to you. To read more, please see my disclosure page.

This is the listing photo of the living room when we had the house up for sale around 5 years ago. And yes, I had to keep it looking this neat and clean for over a year. Obviously we were not successful in selling it since we're still living here. The housing market at that time was in the toilet, and the housing market in the Chicago area was exponentially worse. Unfortunately, it still has not fully recovered, despite decent recovery in other parts of the country. 

The whole "renovation" was the result of a leaky roof that caused damage to a number of rooms in the house, including this one. I had already started migrating toward a white color scheme by covering my floral couch and chair with Pottery Barn slipcovers from A few years ago I actually won the couch slipcover in a giveaway, and loved it so much that I purchased the love seat slipcover from them as well (which I finagled to fit onto our chair-and-a-half).   

Much of the mess/clutter that you see is overflow from the dining room where I home schooled my son. That room would be undergoing an even greater transformation than this one and it had to be completely emptied of all its contents.

I think the "before" photos pretty much speak for themselves. When we first moved into our house 14 years ago I thought it was a perfect fit for our family of five. My taste was still very much traditional, and the two story brick colonial was the epitome of traditional. The living room was a deep wine color which was very popular in the 90's, and had custom window treatments. Ironically, the colors perfectly matched the furniture we already had. What could be better than that?

Fast forward 14 years and suffice it say my tastes have changed. Big time. Today I'm a huge proponent of modern farmhouse style. Funny, I think "farmhouse" has been used to replace "country" in many circles. And I'll admit I used to be a country decor enthusiast as well. Perhaps this is just a more modern version of that. 

So here's the clean slate I finally got to work with. Needless to say I was pretty excited with the transformation. So bright and light -filled! Paint colors used were Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray on the walls and Behr Ultra Pure White for the crown molding and trim. I am so happy with the Agreeable Gray! So are you ready to see the furnished space? Drum roll, please.    

French farmhouse living room budget thrifted estate sale decor

Here she is! I still find it hard to believe it's the same room. And look at that rug! (More on that later.) For starters, gone is the dark paint AND the dark trim! Best decision I ever made. Insurance did not cover painting the insides of the windows (or mullions as they're called) or window trim, so they remain dark wood. I actually think I kind of like it. What do you think? I can always go back and paint them white if I change my mind. And curtains have yet to be hung. But even when they're hung it won't make too much difference since they're plain white sheers. But I do think the white shag rug makes such a huge difference!

It's the Grandeur contemporary style shag rug from Natural Area Rugs. I was offered the chance to use one of their rugs to style a room and do a review, just as I was in the throes of decorating this room. Um, yes! The timing couldn't have been more perfect! 

This 5'x8' rug truly surpassed my expectations. It arrived quickly, wrapped in protective material. It unrolled flat and beautiful right out of the package.

I couldn't believe how soft it is under your feet. Seriously.

AND it comes with a free rug pad! Natural Area Rugs carries a ton of styles including seagrass, wool, sisal, jute, shag and vintage oriental. They even carry stair treads. It was very hard for me to choose just one. Oh, and all rugs SHIP FOR FREE in the U.S.! You can also follow them on Instagram for weekly giveaways and promotions!

It truly is gorgeous.

French farmhouse living room budget thrifted estate sale decor

French farmhouse living room budget thrifted estate sale decor

French farmhouse living room budget thrifted estate sale decor

My goal was to create a serene, comfortable place where my family and I could feel right at home. While I'm a huge fan of white decor, I understand some of the detractors of that style. White can indeed seem cold if not for some balancing elements. I believe that by adding natural elements like green plants, baskets, flowers (albeit dried) and dark wood it can help to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.   

wood slice candle boxwood olive bucket

Here's one example of that.

wood slice candle boxwood olive bucket

Mr. OHH gave me this wood slice for Christmas. I added a few vintage-inspired mini olive buckets filled with green plants and some remote-controlled candles for a warm and welcoming centerpiece on the coffee table. I got the coffee table at an estate sale a few years ago for $45. A bit steep for me, but it's absolutely gorgeous with great lines and was perfectly distressed so it had to come home with us. 

wood slice candle boxwood olive bucket

sheep canvas olive bucket boxwood ball

I was thrilled to now have a place for my sheep canvas wall art! I collected a number of floating shelves from Goodwill and painted them all with the same chalk-like white paint. I distressed them to look adequately time-worn and this one is the largest of the bunch. It cost me $3.99. We had a few glitches in hanging it but that's fodder for another day! I hope to hang a few more around the room. That way I can change out what's on the walls as often as I want without making more holes in the walls!   

I made sure to distress all the shelves just enough to get that vintage look. 

Actually it was faux distressing with Plaid layering block! Super easy and looks great. 

sheep canvas olive bucket boxwood ball

I've really become enamored with these three guys. I can't wait to get another shelf hung so that I can place my canvas cow wall art on it!

mini olive bucket boxwood ball farmhouse decor

I'm also in love with these mini faux olive buckets. While I love those "found" olive buckets with the great time-worn patina, I most definitely can not afford their extravagant price.  

olive bucket planter boxwood

That's why I got my full sized ones from Wal-Mart three years ago. They were ridiculously inexpensive then. Now, not so much. Today they're the same price as Amazon's galvanized buckets. Still cheaper than most, though.  I picked up the smaller ones with 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby.

thrifted basket stencil storage pillow

Here's my DIY stenciled thrift store basket that I move from room to room as needed, filled with pillows and throws.

thrift store whilte lamp base

Here's another thrift store find that fits perfectly into this peaceful space. 

thrift store whilte lamp base

I got these lamps at Goodwill, sans shades, for $2.99 each. They were already painted white!

thrift store whilte lamp base

And chippiness was their middle name. I got the shades at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, they are no longer inexpensive (online anyway) but I found similar (if not the same) burlap shades here

slipper chair white Ikea blanket boxwood ball olive bucket

This slipper chair is one of my most favorite estate sale finds, ever. I think I paid $25 for it.

slipper chair white Ikea blanket boxwood ball olive bucket

The ethereal white blanket I have draped over it is from Ikea. I believe it's no longer available. The large potted boxwood topiary in the olive basket is from one of my favorite local pop-up estate sales. I paid $9.00 for it. I actually found one online for $385.00. Yeah. But you can also get something similar for less than $100.00.

This is my $30 flea market vintage ladder along with my $3.99 French country wall basket filled with dried hydrangeas from the garden. The blanket is from Tuesday Morning.

Speaking of blankets, here's my Pottery Barn Cozy Pom Pom Throw I got on major sale with a gift card last year. I think it was $16.00. It's peeking out of a vintage-inspired French "antique" crate that I picked up at another pop-up estate sale right before Christmas for around $8.00. The large linen pillow with French typography is one of my all-time favorite Decor Steals purchases from a number of years ago. Right now it's out of stock but I believe they get it back in from time to time.

I couldn't be happier with my French farmhouse living room that was put together with mainly thrifted and estate sale finds! I hope that some of my many ideas have given you inspiration for decorating your own home, no matter your decorating style. And I want to thank Natural Area Rugs for partnering with me on this one. Seeing it all come together made me realize that I really did pick the perfect rug!

Well, that's it until next time, friends! 
I hope you enjoyed reading about my
French Farmhouse Living Room Reveal
And A Fabulous New Rug
and that I've inspired you in some way.

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Leave a Comment! said...

It's awesome Kathleen! Love your living room much ROOM! Great idea about the floating shelves giving you the ability to change wall decor at will. The rug is beautiful and complements your space so nicely. Love all your timely thrift store & estate sale finds too! Everything has come together so nicely. We have been waiting a long time for your big reveal!!

Junkchiccottage said...

Oh my gosh Kathleen this is a gorgeous re love of your living room. Opening those windows and the new paint color brighten the space. You know me I am a neutral girl so I love this transformation. The light filtering in the room with all your pretties is beautiful.
Great job and I love that rug too.

Cecilia said...

Wow, Kathleen! What a transformation. I love how bright it looks. Can I agree with you on how beautiful a color Agreeable Gray is? I used that for my studio walls. It's the perfect shade! And I love how you used thrifted items to round out your space. Great job! (That rug really sets the stage)!

Grammy Goodwill said...

I love all the changes in your living room. It looks great. I wish I had bought those olive buckets when they first came out at Walmart. I put it off and have regretted it ever since.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Your room is beautiful, Kathleen! I love everything you've done...and the rug is AMAZING.

Decor To Adore said...

What an amazing transformation. I would love to sink my toes into the soft fluffy rug.

Kathy said...

If I was one of your kids, I would be sprawled out on that rug with a book! Your room is lovely and restful. I love the thrifted items as they give the room some "history" of collection, not just brand new stuff out of a designer's showroom. I am not a neutrals person and prefer pops of color but I can appreciate the restfulness of your room; you did an excellent job. Congrats!

Jan said...

It's a beautiful room! I would leave the windows just as they are, unless the finish on the dark part of the windows is too deteriorated. Even then, I would redo them dark - the contrast adds a much needed note of contrast in the room. I love the area rug, I can literally "feel" it underneath my feet right now. Isn't it amazing what a great rug can do to a space!

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