Creating a Hygge Space on a Budget
Those who subscribe to my email list know we've been doing some renovating on our home. Since moving in two years ago, we've completely replaced the blue 1960's bathroom, put in knock down ceilings, installed new farmhouse trim, cleared the lower part of our property, added gardens and walkways, refinished the hardwood floors, and painted every room in the house (some of them twice!).
Living room transformation
Today, I wanted to do something a little different and share about our living room facelift. Prepare for a ton of pictures, a cute puppy who insisted on being in all of them, and tips on how to decorate without breaking the bank.
Before (two years ago)
When we first moved in the house, the living room was red and the hallway was mustard yellow. To make matters worse, we had this busy orange oak trim and baseboard on the walls.
Before (one year ago)
I painted it a green-gray to try to tone down the crazy orangeness of the trim but I still didn't like the room. I considered painting all the trim white, but when I calculated the hours it would take me to do so, it made more sense to replace it.
This past spring, we decided to pull the oak trim and install white farmhouse-style trim in the upper floor of our house. It made such a big difference that I instantly felt inspired and excited to paint the walls and redecorate.
I didn't want to imitate what's trendy or Pinterest-y right now, because trends are expensive to keep up with since they're always changing. Instead, I wanted to create a space that truly felt like us.
I love the Danish and Scandinavian concept of hygge. It isn't so much a decorating style as a mindset or feeling. Hygge is defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being” - Oxford Dictionary.
"Cozy" is just about my favorite word in the world. As a champion of introverts everywhere, there is nothing more justified than a night in, curled up with a book and a mug of something hot. So I wanted to create the coziest space possible for winter writing, fall entertaining, puppy snuggling, Audible listening with the hubby, and book club meetings.
I approached the project with two words in my mind: hygge and plants!
I like to mix the old and new. I love natural wood and wanted to use them to add pop to the neutral palate.
Paint - Paint will always give you the biggest bang for your buck. It transforms a room completely! Wanting warm colors, I chose Sherwin Williams Pearly White for the trim and Behr Silver Ash for the walls.
Windows - I'd been looking for old (unpainted) windows and finally found these six paned beauties at an antique shop in Northern Minnesota. I thought $9 each was a terrific deal. I'm thinking about hanging some fall eucalyptus wreaths from them soon, and perhaps some botanical prints behind. I have to add little things like that in stages, so we'll see.
Wedding canvas - We got the wedding canvas from Easy Canvas Prints four years ago. We want love to be on display in our home, our love for each other and for the Lord. It's been neat to engage in all the conversations that have been sparked with clients, friends, and neighbors over that picture which represents so much more than just a day in our lives, but a daily commitment to love each other as we invite others to share life with us.
Initially, on the focal wall, we wanted to install shiplap and put in a fireplace but because that would require changing the crown moulding (not the mention MORE construction! Uggg!) we decided against it.
I still wanted some wood texture on the wall, so found a 1/4'' thick piece of 4'x4' plywood at Home Depot ($8). I stained it with Danish Oil, secured this to the wall and hung the picture over it. I love how it makes the whole wall pop!
Throw pillows - I love Amazon Prime and my Jes&Medis pillows! The super awesome forest silhouette pillow covers were only $7 each. Coming from someone who likes to change throw pillows seasonally, the price was right! I was also shocked by the quality, they are made from a sturdy, woven fabric and seem like they'll hold up well.
Rug - The rug was the hardest item to settle on, I searched for hours online, but couldn't find the pattern I wanted with the soft, high pile feel we needed. All of our floors are hard and so our feet crave softness from time to time. I settle on a Home Decorations Collection rug. It's like stepping on sponge cake that's been covered in the softest fuzzies.
Rocking chair - Keegan and I love to entertain, so I wanted to have at least six permanent seats in the living room for company. I acquired the antique rocking chair ($10) from an estate sale several years ago. It was stained and had this hideous rose print all over it. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it at the time, I just knew that it had good bones and I liked the simplicity of it. A month ago, when I found a beautiful curtain panel at a thrift store, I knew it was exactly the fabric I wanted to use to reupholster the chair. I love the sage stripe and the woven texture of the fabric. The chair is so comfortable and I honestly could not love it any more!
Antique botanicals - I found the antique bouquet botanicals for $9 each from a neighbor's yard sale. She used to own an antique shop in Becker, MN and still has several storage units to liquidate.
Coffee table - I found the mid-century Lane coffee table at a garage sale for $15. It was very scarred and smelled musty so I refinished it.
Buffet - The buffet was given to me by my cousin. I refinished it last summer and love the storage for games and photo albums.
You don't have to remodel your house in order to hygge, simply put on your fuzziest socks and light a candle or two!
How are you getting cozy this fall? Have you been working on any projects?