Piece By Little Piece

Our living room has felt very unfinished for long time. Having lived in this house for seven years, I have had eight roommates moving in and moving out, taking things and leaving things (both their own and otherwise), and my house has hardly felt like home. On top of all that, being a live-in landlord is a tough job. Although I’m sure the roomies had no intention of doing so, all of the house maintenance and cleaning was often left to me, even if it was beyond the scope of a traditional landlord’s duties. It felt like a constant game of catch-up. When Bill moved in, two roommates had just moved out, and in order to keep the cost of living here financially feasible, we had another move in three months later. She moved out two months before the wedding, when we were in full nuptial-planning mode. Needless to say, the house was always changing, chaotic, and sufficiently lacking in design.

Since our wedding, Bill and I have been trying to keep the opportunity to live just the two of us a real possibility. With the new living situation, we have been able to put some TLC into the space. The most exciting and labor-intensive of these improvements are most prominently ripping out the old college-house carpet and replacing it with faux-hardwood laminate, as well as installing new baseboard and crown molding. These things made a huge difference, but something was still unquestionably missing.

One day a month or two ago, I stood in the middle of our small but semi-open concept living and dining area, and I decided to just take down anything and everything that I was even in the least bit unsatisfied with in terms of decor. It had taken me awhile to figure out my design style during the wedding registry era, and once I discovered Apartment Therapy’s Classic Glam style (major epiphany), I have been looking for and slowly gathering different elements to transition my house into our home.

Here is the before picture of our living room:


Complete blank slate.

This overwhelmed me for a quite some time. I’m no interior designer, that’s for sure. But once I realized that the real fun is not in everything coming together in one impressive overhaul like in all the HGTV shows with which I am disgustingly obsessed – but rather in the element of surprise and the unexpected discovery of certain treasures piece by piece – I started to enjoy the process. First, it was new pillows I was on the hunt for. After that, coffee table lovelies. And most recently, I have been entirely consumed with finding the perfect area rug.

Well, finally… found. After scouring flash sale home sites like Joss & Main, One Kings Lane, and Gilt Home, I had almost lost hope. Then this beauty from Pottery Barn caught my eye several weeks ago, but the price tag was a little more than I had hoped. It took some self-convincing that I had, in fact, done my research, and a rug is an investment piece that should last for years if you are smart about it. Oh yeah, and it was marked down 15% for PB’s fall rug sale so… SOLD.

I’m not in the least bit sorry.

Here are the (still in progress) afters:


As you can see, the wall behind the couch continues to be in desperate need of some art, but I’m so happy with how my little finds are coming together!

Arguably the best part? Even Indy approves.


3 thoughts on “Piece By Little Piece

  1. katie says:

    I didn’t know you were a blogger Ashleigh. I enjoyed reading this piece because it was just what I needed to hear, about things coming together slowly. What if you were to get one of your favorite wedding pictures that highlights the details/decorations of your wedding and you two off in the background and have it blown up to go above the couch?

    • dohotmessticated says:

      That is a beautiful idea, and I think the vintage/slightly feminine feel of our wedding would really bring out the classic glam when mixed with the bold purple and the delicately graphic rug. Now I have to use all my willpower not to mine through all our wedding pictures while at work!

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