At Home With Mandi Johnson

At Home With Mandi JohnsonOur next guest is one of our long-time friends, Mandi Johnson. Mandi is here to share her amazing living area with us! Beautiful living space"Last winter, I was ecstatic to find out that I was pregnant! But I was a little less excited about the thought of having a baby and living in a third-floor-walkup. So my husband, Phil, and I thought, hey, why not look for a house to buy? We looked at a whopping 3 houses before we found this small 1950s ranch that was just what we needed and even priced lower than our original budget. I loved the brickwork throughout, the two fireplaces (there's one in the dining room too!), and efficient floor plan. But probably my favorite feature is the large living room. We love to entertain friends and family, so we were lucky to find a small ranch with a large space we could fill up with our furniture and friends."  Love the blue print copy over the fireplace! Gorgeous living room!"I've collected a lot of fun art and furniture through the years of thrifting and antiquing, but my most treasured possession in our living room is the blue stool that has magazines stacked on it right now. When I was a youngster, I spent lots of time at my Grandma Graber's house, and whenever she cooked for me, I sat on my favorite blue stool at her kitchen's bar. When she hosted large gatherings of family and friends and put a leaf in the dining room table to fit everyone around it, I still sat at the bar on that blue stool next to my cousins. I thought it was so much fun, since we didn't have a bar in our kitchen at home. My mom told me years later that it freaked her out when I always sat on that stool—apparently I would tip it about and wasn't too careful as a little one. Now, probably thanks to me, it needs tightening up, but I just use it as a plant stand or end table. It's something that I treasure and will never get rid of.

The hutch behind our sofa is also a family treasure. It was rotting away in my great, great Grandma Graber's fruit cellar when my dad rescued it and restored it as a wedding gift to my mom. I was so excited when they gave it to me this year, and I am currently utilizing it to store my fabric stash. Hopefully I'll have a grandchild to pass it on to some day." What an amazing sofa"Everyone thinks we have the coolest couch in the world! And would you believe a friend actually gave it to us? Have a seat on its sagging cushions, and you'll believe it—it's prettier than it is comfortable. But I do love the character it adds to our space! Back at our apartment we had it arranged as a standard sofa, but in this space, we figured out through trial and error of room arrangements that a sectional was best for social interaction. We haven't saved up the pennies for a new sectional sofa yet, so we rearranged this two-piece sofa as a sectional for now. I don't love it this way, because I think it looks out of balance without a corner piece. And I really hate that the beautiful coffee table I made is hidden. But we do what we can, and since debt-free living is important to us, we'll probably live with this sofa for a couple more years before we can get a new one and put the coffee table in the front so we can finally prop up our feet again." At Home With Mandi Johnson via A Beautiful Mess Gorgeous living room art"Phil and I have lived in this house for almost exactly one year and one month. We're just now starting to figure out how we want to utilize the space, and have compiled a list of things we'd like to buy and changes we'd like to make. Since, as I mentioned before, we're doing it all debt-free, it's going to be quite some time before we're able to do everything we want. But the next project will probably involve changing up the flooring. I don't mind the terrazzo. It's easy to clean, and in the summertime it cools down our non-air-conditioned home. But I can't stop envisioning little Lucy taking tumbles on the concrete when she's learning how to walk or falling off the sofa and cracking her head! Not good. We're considering sacrificing our dream for hardwood in exchange for more affordable berber carpet with padding for the kiddos. We'll see what we end up doing after we've saved enough money to realistically make a decision." Mandi Johnson via A Beautiful Mess Incoporating childrens toys in living room decor Vintage photos used for living room decor Thank you so much, Mandi, for sharing your lovely home with us!  You can see more of Mandi over at her blog Making Nice in the Midwest or her vintage shop Fine and Dandy.  xo.
  • Gorgeous, every inch!

    Please please please don’t tear out the beautiful terrazzo! Lay carpet & pad over it until your babies are bigger, but you will be glad you kept it one day. Ditto the next caretaker of your lovely home. 🙂

  • I don’t see any plants! Maybe your friend can make a corner piece arrangement of some lush big green plants? 🙂 On the ground of course, so she can use her coffee table again.

  • That white chair. Whats that style called? These are really growing on me- those styles of chairs.

  • I just love the mix of colors in this. The white with the pop of colors is something I would love to master!

  • These “At Home With” features are my favorite!!! I get so excited when one pops up. I love Mandis style. 🙂

  • I love her vintage style, the whole space just flows really well together. Thanks for the inspiration!


  • Beautiful decor, i would love to have a place like this.

  • Love Mandi and love this space! Her taste is so fun and whimsical and I’m dying over her fireplace wall.

  • Gorgeous, and SO much character! I am getting so many new ideas from these posts, I hope to someday have a tour-ready home that is full of unique details! She’s right…I LOVE the sofa.

  • I’m in love with that couch and rocking chair! So cute.

    xo Sara from

  • ABM – thanks for showing off homes that are more practical than what you see on the usual design blogs. These homes are the types of spaces that your average reader could live in, but beautifully decorated. Inspiration that you can actually apply to your own place. . . Thanks!

  • What a gorgeous place! Those seats are fabulous!

  • Oh, this is beautiful!

    I find it really difficult to find lightning that I like. So thank you for sharing your home and those tips!

  • I love Mandi!!!! Her house is such a dream, I don’t know how she did it! xo Deanna

  • I really like your style, such an eclectic selection and it all fits perfectly together.

  • I love her blog, they space she lives in is just bautiful.


  • Amazing style!!

    Gelolasvintage (online vintage store)

  • That sofa is a total dream!! I can understand that it might not be the most comfortable piece, but there is no way you could find something with so much personallity nowerdays! xx
    Alice Barton ♥ The Mow Way

  • What a lovely space! I can definitely relate to doing decor on the cheap since my husband and I are trying to live debt free as well. LOVING that couch and how you arranged it as a sectional! My husband and I are in the market for a larger couch but like you we’re trying to embrace a debt free lifestyle.

  • Oooh PLEASE dont change the floor! Babies take tumbles of course but an area rug would be extremely affordable and removable! I love the concrete floor! And that couch—eeek how amazing is that color! You guys are so blessed to have such a cute home!

  • I have two kids, and while i couldn’t afford real hard wood, I got “wood” flooring through out my home and the kids have been fine. It is more forgiving then straight up concrete floors when they tumble, and momma likes the way it looks!. I would say… get the wood floors and some nice heavy area rugs to cover the spaces in the middle of the room where your baby will most likely be playing… !!! 🙂 love your decor

  • Oh, this is so sweet. Thank you for allowing us a peek into your beautiful home. I love the stories behind your furniture.

  • Such a pretty, pretty space! Love everything about this place!
    xo Heather

  • So beautiful! I love her couches and the artwork; it’s a very simple color story that is still fun! But seriously…those couches…couch envy…

  • that ‘ice cream art’ would be
    daaaaaangerous in my house!


    xo – heather

  • Impeccable style! I love the story about the blue stool from grandma <3


  • Love the couch! Reminds me of these chairs.. They’d look so happy together. 🙂

  • such a lovely home with a nice design!
    i like how most furniture and things have an “old style” or “vintage” style, but the entire place still looks vibrant, fresh and modern!

  • beautiful decor! i love the floors too…ahh the sacrafices to make for our children 🙂

  • This is such a beautiful space. I love how there is so much color yet it is still so fresh and not overwhelming. I love it!

  • I love love love the colorful rug, and that fireplace is something I have never seen before. Have you heard of Flor tile carpet before? That might be a easier solution than completely redoing the floor.

  • The art work on her walls is so cool!

    xo Jennifer

  • Such a beautiful place! I love the picture with her small baby!

  • I adore her aesthetic! i love her shelving, rug choices, and that great lounger, and the brick is very cool!

    haley @

  • Mandi has a lovely home! I’m in love with the brick wall around the fireplace. I’ve never seen anything like it!

  • lovely home…

  • Hooray for green velvet couches. I have one, too! –

  • So pretty and eclectic!
    I have the same stool in white given to me from my grandmother! I’m using mine as a night stand. Lovely room!

  • omg i loved almost everything about her home (the artwall of the bull just made me sad)

  • I love everything about your home. It has a vintage yet sophisticated feel to it I find. Thanks for sharing!

  • wow! what a great space. I’m kind of in love with the funky sofa. Props to you for doing everything debt free!

  • I love the combo of the neutrals & colors. So fun!


  • I’ve always loved the way Mani’s style. It’s so great to see her here and too ogle all her lovely things at once! A great choice!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  • I love her style! the brick walls are gorgeous, and I love the story behind the blue stool 🙂

  • The Large Ice Cream Print is AMAZING!!! Just Love it!
    Thanks for the inspiration…I might have to print me a large format;)

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