This house in Navarre Beach, Florida is one of my favorite design projects. Since it was a second home for one of my clients, and it would also be used as rental property, we were working with a budget. This was new construction, and we needed to furnish the entire home. Some of the items I wanted to use in the Living Room included:
A large piece of art on canvas for over the sofa
A large, square wood plank coffee table
Tall end tables with glass tops
Oversized area rug
I found lots of options for all the items listed above that looked fantastic…and were WAY over budget. I had to be creative and think of ways I could get the look without breaking the bank. Here are my solutions:
1. A large piece of art on canvas for over the sofa
I knew the budget would not allow me to select an original painting, so I searched for art that looked like an original painting but was actually a copy of an original printed onto a canvas. You see them at places like Pottery Barn, Ballard, Homegoods, etc. I still couldn’t find what I was looking for, until I searched the art aisle at World Market. I found this piece and the colors were perfect. The problem was one would be too small, and there wasn’t a similar canvas that went with it to make a pair. Since it was an abstract piece I decided to buy 2, but turn one upside down. You get the look of a pair of paintings, but it is really the same exact piece of art.
2. A large, square wood plank coffee table
We needed a large coffee table that wasn’t a typical, standard size. A custom-made table would have been too expensive, so we used 2 smaller rectangle tables and pushed them together to look like one large, square table.
3. Tall end tables with glass tops
Just like the coffee table, we needed end tables that were not a typical, standard size. I found dining table bases at Pier 1 that gave me the height I was looking for and ordered glass tops in the size we needed.
4. Oversized area rug
The price of a rug jumps significantly when you need something over an 8 x 10. I ordered FLOR carpet tiles to create the exact size we needed. They are 19” squares of carpet with a rubber backing that you attach together with adhesive dots. A benefit of carpet tiles over a traditional rug is that if there is a stain (which is more likely to happen with rental property), you can cut the adhesive dots to remove the stained tile and clean or replace the one tile, versus cleaning or replacing an entire rug.
Sometimes you have to think outside the box when looking for furniture. Get creative and don't get stuck in how a piece of furniture is labeled. A desk can make a great console table or even a beside table. Dining tables can be end tables. For the entry hall in my own home I took an old console table with a scratched top, cut the legs down to make it 18" tall, and then upholstered the top. It is now a great looking bench. For my daughter's bedroom I took small scale china cabinet that once belonged to my grandmother, removed the doors and painted it. It is now a bookshelf.
Smaller items used together can give you the look of one large piece and make a big impact in your room. And even artwork can be hung upside down. Here is one more photograph of a bathroom where I used the same trick with two canvases of the same piece of art.
Be creative, have fun, and don't be afraid to cheat!