A peek at Elsie’s living room…

Metal Crate Coffee Table + Thrive Furniture Couch (via A Beautiful Mess)Hi friends! I am so excited to share a little peek at the decor progress I'm making here at our new home. I still have a mile-long to-do list. But since we won't be sharing an official home tour for a while, I thought you might enjoy some random updates on our process. I spent this past weekend working on our TV room. Our goal is to create a space that is comfortable and relaxing. Here are a few peeks: Metal Crate Side Table IdeaI love the idea of making tables from unusual objects! For this side table, I stacked two metal crates that I found at flea markets and stacked books inside the bottom crate. 

Our Nixon sofa set arrived last week, and we are in love with it. Jeremy picked out this color and I think he did a great job! The couches are bigger and comfier than I imagined they would be. Now we just need some more fuzzy blankets and pillows! Living Room Progress (A Beautiful Mess)Here's the room looking in from our bedroom (the two rooms are connected by a large, open arched doorway). When we first looked at the house, we loved the idea of having a more private area to watch TV and movies and a separate living area (downstairs) for entertaining guests. This room still needs a lot of detail, so it will hopefully look very different next time I share photos! I'm still hunting for some personal wall art and a really special lighting fixture (maybe a chandelier?). Living Room CornerLiving Room CornerDecor Sources: Nixon Couch Set/Thrive Furniture, Metal crates + small lamp + bar cart/vintage, floor lamp + pillows/Urban Outfitters, Rug + curtains/Ikea. More to come!

I'm loving the decorating process in this new home. I think I'm the kind of person who needs to do all the basics and then add small details over time. I find it easier to choose large pieces than small details. How long did it take you to settle in to your current home? xo. Elsie 

  • I’ve been searching for the perfect metal crates to do something just like this! Is your couch from Thrive? i love it!


  • Q: I LOVE the wicker baskets for your plants! Where did you get them?
    A: Hi! I thrifted them. They are regular baskets with plastic lining inside. 🙂

  • I LOVE the wicker baskets for your plants! Where did you get them? Are they regular wicker baskets repurposed as planters? If so, how did you do that?

  • I love your couch.. and those metal baskets for storing magazines. Look forward to seeing which artworks you go with in the end.

  • Pretty! Although I have to ask…. why are your books backwards? How do you find the ones you want?

  • Very cute! I love the couches especially–great colors 🙂
    I just moved from CA to Holland to live with my boyfriend, and we find ourselves trying to decorate a 3-bedroom house on a -very- small budget. Over here, you have to put in everything yourself, even in a rental home, including floors, lights, stove, fridge–all of it. So it’s taking a lot of time just to get the basics in. I’m looking forward to being able to add the details! Especially when it comes to my studio room 😉

  • Hi, Elsie! As ever, I am swooning at your posts today!

    It just occurred to me that if you are looking to add some personal art to your room(s), you could perhaps ask your readers to each send beautiful cards or postcards, and make something – e.g. a collage or something – from them. Could be cute!


  • Beautiful! I adore your couch (I must admit I have couch envy hehe)! I also have that ikea rug and I am loving it too 🙂

  • Hi! For me, I have it more easy to choose all the details, but the big parts are always tricky for me, because a detail can be changes easily but the big parts cannot be change and it has so much importance in a room! I love the fact that you both (Jeremy and you) manage to create something together, I really like to create decors with my boyfriend, it is always inspiring!
    Olive xox

  • I am so in love with your popping Mid-Century Modern sofas! So chic!


  • I see you have some need for art! I am a 24 year old artist living in Nashville and I think my paintings might be the perfect thing- check out my website at www.longneckedladies.com. Thanks for your daily inspiration- A Beautiful Mess is my homepage 🙂

  • I would also like to declare my love for your couch! I love that style and have been eyeing a similar style for a while now. The colour is magic. Absolutely stunning. The metal crates really set it off beautifully with that lamp too. Love the mix of textures, colours and materials. Beautiful. Beautiful.

  • Elsie!, Emma!
    I´m Julieta, a graphic designer from Argentina, and a “beautiful mess” Fan!
    I love your blog and all your stuff in it!, i´m actually trying to start my own blog, so all your recommendations and tips are very useful.
    I moved 2 months ago and still can´t finish decorating it. It´s really small but cozy. Right now i´m looking for some nice prints to put on the walls!, check out this blog: farfarhill.blogspot.com has beautifull high def. freebies to download (vintage magazine posters, and biological drawings, or vintage maps, etc….IT’S GREAT!).
    Well congratulations! i love your blog and hope one day mine could become like yours (sorry about my english).
    This is my online portfolio, so you can check it out: www.behance.net/julidominguez


  • This is looking really lovely. Simple, yet really stylish! It goes to show you need a few well-coordinated items as opposed to loooooads of expensive items to create a gorgeous space.

    Alli xx

  • I am loving the colors FOR SURE! If you are looking for wonderful mixed media pieces to add color to your walls I think I can help! I am a mixed media artists with lots of pieces for sale. Just go to my blog and click on “My Creations” and you will see all that I have to offer. And if you dont see one you like completely I do special orders! 😉 Trust me… its worth taking a look!

  • The color of the furniture adds more vividness of the place. I love the design, theme and arrangement of the objects. It’s really a good job. Keep it up.

  • I have that same rug and just love it. It is piece that everyone comments on and definitely looks worth far more than the price!

    Dani // Andbubblegum.com

  • Hello!

    As a semi-regular reader of your blog (ever since my best friend, Judith, aka Rusty Cuts on Etsy, told me she sent you a Star Wars dress), I’ve been wanting to tell you about the art at the gallery I work for. It just seems to fit so much into what you guys are into, aesthetically and with the same kind of soul. For this post in particular, y’all needing art and what not, I just want to suggest you look at our website! It’s amazing and fun to look at even if you weren’t in the mood to buy art. I especially think you might like the fashion illustrations by Marjorie Ullberg!


    Anyway, I love what you guys do, my beeswax candle is burning as I write this 🙂

    xoxo Michelle

  • looks amazing! we have been in our house since Jan. and I have a really hard time deciding on the perfect pieces for every room. It’s slowly coming along.

  • Wow! What an amazing space. I love that its connected to your bedroom. But what if you want to have a movie night with guests? Will you have another tv downstairs?

  • If you’re looking for a statement piece of lighting, check out my feather chandeliers! They work in almost any setting.


  • I moved into a new apartment recently (after having to back home with my parents for 3 years). It was so refreshing to have my own space to decorate and style. Although I did a number on my parents’ house while I lived with them! 🙂 I have difficulty decorating with patience, but my apartment definitely feels like my sanctuary now. Enjoy the process!

  • I. Seriously. LOVE. that. couch. The metal crates are amazing as well. I can’t wait to see your home tour, Elsie. I’m sure it will be beautifully inspiring 🙂

  • WOW! Elsie, your living room is amazing! I hope I am as talented and creative as you when I grow up!:)


  • I love your decorating ideas, Elsie, and your husband sure knows how to pick a couch! It’s been 7 months and we are still settling into our house, but it didn’t help we were planning our wedding for 6 of those months 😉

  • I love how this looks Elsie! So cute.


  • You have so many pretty details! I adore the color of your couch and the chill vibe this room has 😛 Im living in a dorm so it took me about 1 day to settle in ha!

    xoxo missdottidee.blogspot.com

  • Finished decorating??? Never! My husband and I bought our 1931 Florida Cracker Shack 16 years ago. Honey, you’ll never be “finished!”

  • This is the most beautiful and attractive living rooms I think I’ve ever seen! I mean it’s honestly just gorgeous! The colors are so bright and the blue pops and yet it isn’t overwhelming. It’s so calm looking, I’m in looooove with hte style! Sweet!!

  • Such a gorgeous living room! One thing driving me crazy, though– why are the books all facing seam side in? :p

  • Love it already!! The metal crates are a great idea bye the way! xx


  • love this! we just settled into our place n are busing making our rental feel like home! (thx for the post about small spaces it totally helped!) n we have the same rug in our dining room but in brown! =)

  • You are inspiring me so much to redo my entire apartment. I do not know if it is a good thing or a bad thing haha!

    Jessica Nichole


  • It’s looking great Elsie! I think you should definitely go for a chandelier in that room – it’s like adding jewelry to your space.. and every space needs a little jewelry! 😉 It’s always easier to work in layers when designing and decorating your space, so you’re definitely on the right track! Can’t wait to see it finished 🙂

  • Nice! I can’t wait to do some home-decorating of my own.


  • The Nixon set!!! I’ve been saving for the Nixon set- well, the couch and chair. one day, one day. Hey, you should do a Nixon giveaway..?

  • Lovely! I felt settled as soon as I had painted the walls and brought in my bed and my sofa, but it took a good year before the place stopped looking a bit on the bare side. I’m with you, though – I much prefer taking my time finding the perfect finishing touches; they all feel much more special that way.

  • Susan,
    Yes- it’s just for the look. I was using the books to add neutral texture, didn’t want them to be a focal point. 😀

  • Elsie, this is amazing! I´m having exactly THIS RUG on my shopping list – plus i wanted a couch in THIS color! I just had no idea yet what color my pillows/ accessories shall become. I was thinking of mustard or dark violet or lime. I LOVE that color scheme!

  • So adorable! I’m very jealous of the couch.


  • I have a very obscure questions? Why did you add the books into to the metal crates with their spines in and not out – is it a ‘design’ option???

  • your living room looks very cozy. i love the simplicity of the space. the baskets with greenery is gorg….can’t wait to see what else you pick up!


  • If I could have that blue couch and throw pillow, I somehow think life would be better! Seriously though, I love this! Great stuff so far!

  • Jade,
    It’s actually a swimsuit from the 50s. My grandmother bought it on her honeymoon and it’s one of my favorite things. 😀

  • Kirsty,
    I might make some art. I have been looking on Etsy, but it’s not as easy to find bigger pieces (that aren’t photo posters). I will definitely post about this if/when I find some good stuff! XOXO.

  • Nat, we call them Snake plants. I have also heard people call them “mother in law’s tongue”. They are an air purifying plant & easy to find 😀 XO!

  • Fantastic couch and pillow! Love the colors so much! Thrive Furniture definitely makes me happy!

    Also the crates are a great addition! Can’t wait for more sneak peeks!

  • Great pictures, Elsie! I agree that Jeremy did a great job choosing your couch color. I have lived in my apartment for more than six months and have yet to finish decorating. It’s my first time living without a roommate, so I have total decorating freedom. But I have too many ideas, so it’s difficult to narrow them down. haha.


  • It looks fabulous so far Elsie! A little at a time and it all comes together especially for the art work….it takes me a good three to six months when I move houses before I can say “okay we are almost there” thanks for sharing with us!

  • Be careful putting plants on hardwood. When I purchased my home it was full of dark black circles due to the previous owner putting her plant pots directly on the wood floors.

  • Elsie i LOVE the colour scheme….well the orange and blue…really retro. Ah cant wait to see it all done and dusted, j’adore xxxx

  • I’m obsessed with those lamps. When I was redoing my bedroom over the summer I was looking for a lamp exactly like that but at an affordable price point. I could never find one that was perfect so I chose something different entirely. But I still love them!

  • You have such a great eye Elsie! Such a great room. I really like the colours – and that rug! Swoon. We’ve been in our place 14 months now (renting) and we are still faffing around decorating! I’ve actually posted about it on my blog yesterday 🙂

  • So beautiful! I moved in a new home just a couple months ago, but since it’s an University flat I don’t think I am allowed to bring in many changes.. such a pity, your pics are so inspiring! 🙂
    Big hugs from Sweden,


  • Turquoise and Orange – my favourite ever colour combination – looks brilliant 🙂

  • I cannot wait for the full home tour!
    I have been loving all your little tips on interior design. My boyfriend is hoping to buy his first house soon and I plan to help decorate tehe!

    PS the archway leading from your bedroom to the TV room sounds DIVINE!

    Sarah x

  • I absolutely LOVE your couch! It’s really nice to have a pop of color but because it’s not really a bright color I can’t imagine getting bored of it easily. I wouldn’t add a lot of pillows though, I love this combination with just one pillow! The only thing I was wondering about was why you stacked the books that way. Wouldn’t it be easier to pick a book if the front was visible? Your flooring is absolutely incredible too!

  • Those couches are beautiful!
    I also start with just little decorating and try to add up over time 🙂 It makes flea markets so much fun!

  • It’s looking gorgeous already! Really love the sofa colour – looks very comfy and cosy 🙂

  • Elsie, the room already looks so great! Where will you be looking for art for the walls? I always give up empty handed after trawling through etsy for hours. Do you have any go to websites for really great affordable art?

  • Usually three or four months for the basics and for the details… a life
    I am falling in love with your sofas are really amazing ! I dont think that can found its here .

  • I like everything about your living room already, but especially your blue couches. Love to see your progress.

  • After 6 weeks we still haven’t put our wardrobe up and our (rented) magnolia walls are in dire need of some extra details…but one of these years I’m sure we’ll get round to it :)I love the colour of your sofas!

  • Oh I am totally the same way, I love to slowly gather things and prolong the process 🙂 But even with that I like to plan things out and even start gathering stuff before I move. I just recently moved into my first apartment on my own, and I am loving the process of being able to decorate an entire space without having to ask anyone else what they think. Here is a little sneak peek on how my apartment is coming along so far : http://adventuringnymph.blogspot.ca/2012/09/settling-in.html. Let me know what you think 🙂

  • It looks amazing!!! I just moved into a new home and have the exact same carpet in our living room 😉 in yours, it creates quite a different look, though!

  • Love your living room, esp. the couch. We’ve been in our home for 12 years and things change here all the time. I can’t decide on a theme and stick to one thing. I add new things and take things away all the time.

  • I like the metal crates and vintage lamps that give the room the vintage look. The nixon couch adds a pint of great color to the room. Would love to see more small details you would add for the place.

  • I’m still in process, I’ve been for four years at my currently home but till last year I didn’t decided to decorate…
    Unfurtunatelly I don’t know about any places like the ones in your town so the process has become a nonstop search.
    Have a nice day!



  • Your house will be so beautiful when everything’s done! I love the couch, it looks so comfortable. I’ve also seen the fireplace is a previous post and I would just love to have something like that! You are truly lucky.

  • It looks GREAT! Although I was curious as to why you decided to put the books in the crates backwards?

    Maria xx

  • Wow! Love the vintage style! That coach is gorgeous
    and love the carpet! Great living room! Would love to have one like that:).


  • Beautiful! 🙂


  • Your living room looks lovely! My living room is so crammed full of stuff, it’s a higgedly piggledy mess! Living room envy right here! x

  • Love, love love the colors in your living room. The orange and blue are so vibrant and lively. Truly beautiful together

  • Love it! GREAT sneak peek! 😉



  • It all looks so together already.
    I find choosing light fittings takes time too.
    My Nana was called Elsie btw xo

  • It looks amazing so far! I would definitely vote for a chandelier for the lighting… they add so much whimsy and awesomeness.
    Beautiful! <3

  • I think it took me about a year to really, really feel settled 🙂 and now i am ready to redo it!

  • LOVE your space and your blog! I would love to help you fill your walls with some custom portraits. All I need is a photo and I can create a painting in any color combo you like! Check out my work here (still working on my etsy site, so my business is only on Facebook for now). http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.301325243250329.63106.121906634525525&type=3

    Hope you like them! <3

    Pitter Patter Creations

  • Looks great Elsie! Can’t wait to see what “fun art” you hang on the walls.

  • I love your living room so far! I can’t wait to see your official house tour!

  • Hi Elsie! Love it all- where’d those plant baskets come from? Need them! 🙂

  • love the new couch! always love getting to peek into others houses and observe decorating styles 🙂


  • I love how it’s coming along! It looks so personal and unique, especially the colors together. I think the metal crates as a night table are my favorite part so far, but I can’t wait to see the final room!
    You have to buy a chandelier! Or better yet… make DIY chandelier!

  • I just LOVE the couch set!! I love the color and the orange pillow!! So beautiful!!!

  • I love this!

    I love the color of the sofa and the romper on the wall. How did you get that idea? Will you change it from time to time?


  • Love those stacked metal crates! What a cute idea. And, that color of the couch is fabulous!
    Isn’t That Charming.

  • Beautiful! cant wait till we have a home to decorate, but will make a home out if apartment life for now.

    We have a Nixon too, we had some manufacturing flaws but Thrive was quick to fix. Love that blue! We have the grey sofa but I’d like to get a chair.

  • I’m in love with that couch!!! Sadly I could never had something similar as my cats would love to scratch on it!! 🙂

  • Beautiful! I love creative decorating! Cute bookshelf/end table idea!


  • Your decorating is so, so inspiring. I’m also in love with the colour of your new couches – good pick Jeremy! 🙂

  • I love those plants and I also really like the stacked metal crates too!

  • looks great! we have lived in our(tiny) home for a little over 2 years and it wasnt until about 3 months ago that we really discovered how to utilize our space. its just now starting to feel like home! happy decorating! xoxo Jess

  • I like the piece of clothing hanging up. Fashion can be art, especially if you have a gorgeous dress you don’t get to pull out and actually wear often. What a nice idea.

    As for settling…2.5 years and still not settled. I change my mind a lot 🙂
    Your place looks great so far! That bar cart/side table. Very nice!

  • Two years later we’re still settling in! I think I was so excited to move into a house we hastily decorated and now I’m going back and carefully moving things and taking things away. It already feels cleaner! I love the molding on all the doorways and windows. Something that’s on my dream home wishlist!

  • Elsie, I absolutely adore your decorating style! I really love those wood floors and that couch. I cannot wait for more of your house; I’m only 15 and won’t have a house for a while, but I love doing little things to my bedroom. 😀 I emailed you a couple days ago about visiting your local store, too. Thanks for all the interior design inspiration!

    xo, Ella


  • i looove the way you decorate. can’t wait to see it when it’s all finished!
    ~niki <3

  • Love the stacked metal crates, and the colors she used in the apartment. So simple!


  • Love your space! Looks awesome already. Can’t wait to see it when you are finished.


  • Oh my goodness … I LOVE your sofa and chair. It’s really nice that it looks so cool but is still brand new. While I am a huge fan of vintage furnishings, the thought of soft/fabric things that I’m going to snuggle up against, being second-hand kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies. I wish we knew about this manufactuer when we were buying our sofa and chair! And Jeremy did pick a great colour.

  • i love the living room! it has a great feel to it (:


  • ARGH your couch is amazing! I am so jealous. My boyfriend has recently purchased a 60s home and I am trying desperately to convince him to go modern retro for the interiors, but he is so boring and cliche. I would LOVE to have a couch and rug like this! (He is scared of colour…).
    I will keep at him, and maybe I will have progress like this one day.

  • Leigh, Are you using a tablet? It always helps me to zoom in. Also, try different brushes- some are more jagged than others. 😀

  • I’ve been in my apartment for 3 years now and I still haven’t settled in yet. So I think you’re doing a great job with your house! 🙂
    I just seem to be getting around to deciding where everything goes and I’ve been through an decluttering process after I read your article in this blog about your wardrobe! 🙂 So thanks for the encouragement and the inspiration.
    I am really enjoying being able to follow the transformation of your house on here!

  • How do you do such smooth arrows?! Mine are always shaky!
    And I love coming up with decorating ideas! So fun!

  • I love love love the space you created! The pop of color on the couch to the cool book crates are all so unique! You are doing a great job making this space your own–such a good feeling 🙂

  • My husband and I have been in our house for almost a year and we’ve barely settled. Every room in the house is getting a complete makeover, as well as the exterior. I think it’s safe to say that not a single update was made since the 70s. But, we love it and the character it has and no matter how exhausted we get repairing plaster, painting, and digging up the yard, we know its totally worth it to make it our own.

  • I love the blue color of the couches and the vibrant rug! I have lived in my apartment for a year but I still have quite a few pieces of artwork that I need to hang.

  • I absolutely love the blue couches with the orange. It would be cool if you were able to find a chandelier painted orange or light aqua. But I absolutely love it! beautiful

  • I love that rug! I just added the same one to my ikea wish list along with the black and white striped one. Can wait to get to my new space and decorate! I’m glad you’re loving your new place!

  • Love the retro sofas (color is fab!) … And loving the vintage bar cart. Funny, sometimes I find the little stuff the easiest part. Have fun & enjoy the process.

  • A year and a half later and I’m still settling. I often forget I’ve been here that long and mistakenly tell people I’ve only been here maybe 7 or 8 months. I’m so bad with time.

    I do like to take my time decorating. It keeps me from making too many regret purchases.

  • I’m happy to hear your couch is comfy – I’ve got a Thrive couch on order, and I can’t wait to get it, but it’s so nerve-wracking to buy something like that online! I got the amber color, but I love the color he chose too 🙂

    We’ve been in our new house over a year, and we’re still decorating and landscaping and adding more “grown-up” furniture (aka NOT alley or thrift store finds, haha). It’s a fun process!

  • Elsie, I absolutely love your living room! I’m sure when you’re done decorating it, it will look beautiful! I mean it already is beautiful! I love your style, it’s very unique! I’m attracted to the color of you’re sofas. Oh, and I love that orange pillow, super cute! You’re such a talented person! God bless your heart!

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