Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Recycled Decor - Cottage Living Room


My cottage living room is furnished and decorated entirely with hand-me-down, garage sale, thrift store and otherwise recycled items. The first photo shows the living room as it was when I took possession of the cottage. The walls were painted blue and the trim was white. After painting the walls and trim "White Chocolate" and adding a cottagy border, I began furnishing and decorating the room. I wanted to achieve an "elegant but cozy" cottage look.


I found the green floral satin sofa at a local thrift store for $65, and the burgundy wing chair with matching ottoman (not shown in this photo) at a weekly auction for $35. The shabby off-white desk was a gift from my husband.....he had purchased it (probably at an auction) to strip and refinish but I loved the chippy painted look and left it just like it was. I hung my Guardian Angel picture, purchased for $45 at an auction, above the desk. Items on the desktop include a teapot that once belonged to my favorite teacher (my mom bought it for me when the family had an estate sale), an old smoke deflector from a hanging oil lamp (bought at auction for $5, and a bell jar bought at a fleamarket for $3. The throw pillows were all thrift store finds, ranging in price from $1 to $3 each. In the corner between the sofa and wing chair is an old radio cabinet (without radio) that I purchased at another auction for about $30. The wall shelf once held a turn of the century kitchen clock, but my husband kept the clock and gave me the shelf for the cottage. I fell in love with the vintage floral area rug and had to have it when I saw it at an was my most pricy purchase for the living room at $85 but it really added "cottage" to the look of the room. On the windows I have a double layer of curtains with the floral top layer pulled back to reveal the solid panels beneath. My mom donated the solid panels, and I found the floral ones at a thrift store for $3 each. The floor lamp belonged to my grandmother and I put a thrift store shade on it and added fringe for a total cost of less than $5. I just recently added the large ottoman which I use as a coffee table. I bought the ottoman from a friend for $10 and plan to recover it to match the rest of the decor with coordinating fabrics from my stash here at home.

On the other side of the room is the fireplace. Originally the cottage had no fireplace, but I created this faux fireplace to add a cozy look. One afternoon when I was on my way to the cottage, I drove past a house and there was an old wooden fireplace surround sitting on the front porch. Being me, I knocked on the door and asked if it was for sale. The owner first said no, but then relented and sold it to me for $35! I took it home and didn't even need to repaint just fit right in like it was meant to be there. I added a set of electric logs that I bought at a yard sale for $3 and placed some used brick around the bottom and voila! The Victorian fern stand on one side of the fireplace, and the stacked hat boxes on the other side were both purchased from a friend's antique shop, $10 for the fern stand and $15 for the hat boxes. The mirror above the mantel was donated by my mom, and the pottery and candlesticks on the mantel were all fleamarket finds, for a total of about $20.

On the other wall, I have a grouping of vintage art that is on loan from my mom, as well as an Eastlake armchair that belonged to my grandmother, and a television that I brought from home.

So this how I used recycling to furnish my cottage living room for about $350!


Le-Chat said...

Hi Girl!
I think your blog 'rocks', so I wanted to share my Rocking' Girls award with you. Read more on

Le-Chat said...

Hi Debbie,
Thanks for signing my guest book! I don't go there so often and I just saw it today. And thank you for the compliment; I could use one on my tea cozies...


Threat Assessment & Response Canada said...


What an amazing difference between before and after!

I think I need you at my house!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comments on the waitress story. You took the discussion in exactly the direction I was hoping... But you were the only person who picked up on that in a significant way!

When I saw your comment, I thought, "Yes! Finally!"

So, thanks so much!


stanaxe said...

Great job, the choice of colors for the walls complements it just right. I havedone a lot of recycling decor and I enjoyed it.