Magnolia Cottage: The Living Room

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As most of you know, July was all about moving, unpacking, and painting at Magnolia Cottage. So far, I’ve painted seven rooms, the stairs, and the front porch floor (my hand literally hurts from all of that painting!), but everything is coming along so nicely and I really love the charm of this sweet old house.

Just to refresh your memory, here are a few “before” pictures of the living room. The yellow was brighter than it appears in these pictures.

Magnolia Cottage-living room
Magnolia Cottage-living room

Magnolia Cottage-living room

I decided on Sherwin-Williams Rock Candy for the paint color on the walls; it’s a very, very pale blue/gray (almost a white) and a great neutral color. Then I hung window treatments (I absolutely love them and will link to them below) and decorated.

If you saw this video, here’s what it looked like in mid-July:

But a few weeks later, my husband came home from deployment (yay!) and then a couple of days after that, his things that had been in storage in Kansas were delivered. I kind of forgot about his recliner! Also, while I would be perfectly happy without a TV in our living room because I’m a bookworm, a television is essential to his happiness. Marriage is all about compromise, so I rearranged a bit in order to accommodate the recliner and the television.

Here’s how it looks now:

Magnolia Cottage Living Room


The recliner is to the right of the French doors.

The antique dresser that I always use in our living rooms is now just to the right of the front door:

{Read more about the bergere chair}

I almost always have lilies in the living room. I can buy them for $4 a bunch at one of our grocery stores and they smell heavenly.

I wanted to keep the couch centered in front of the double window; I tried it in a different spot but it just looked wrong.


I feel like the fabric of my husband’s recliner has yellowed a bit over the years that we’ve had it, but it’s still an almost perfect match to our couch and I would absolutely, positively buy it again. You can read more about “the perfect recliner” in this post.

The built-ins are a great feature of this room; we have photo albums and games stashed below out of sight.

I was originally planning on doing a stencil over the tile of the fireplace surround but since I have quite a few teal accents in the room it honestly seems to work just fine for the time being!

We did just buy a new TV, not the one you see here. It’s one of the ones that have a frame and show art on the screen when it’s turned off {available here}, so I’ll post a review and pictures of that soon. I think it might be the perfect compromise for us since I always hate having a big black TV on the wall.

Here’s a close up photo of the curtain rods, rings, and panels that I used. They’re IKEA panels that I added pleating hooks to and they look great! I’ll link all of my sources below and if something is vintage or thrifted I’ll try to include a similar item as well.

Curtain Rods | Curtain Rings | Curtain Panels HERE or HERE | Pleating Hooks


It’s always a work in progress so I’m sure it will change again soon, and I’ll be back with the TV details once we get that set up.


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Paint color: Sherwin-Williams Rock Candy

Curtain Rods

Curtain Rings

Art Frame Television

Curtain Panels HERE or HERE

Pleating Hooks


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  1. Linda Liles says

    I would like to know how you added the pleating hooks to the curtain

  2. I love that new shade of paint in the living room. It goes so well with your furniture and the blues you’ve used. May I ask where the blue check pillow and the floral blue pillow came from?
    Glad your hubby made it safely home from deployment and you’re together again. Thank him again for his service. I so appreciate our military.

  3. It looks terrific! And serene.

    Your curtains look like they are hung differently than in the video from the Grit and the Polish. Could you explain more exactly how you attached your curtains? Thanks!

    • I should probably write a separate post on them at some point. I think the main difference is that she used four-prong pleating hooks and I used the two-prong ones that IKEA sells (I think they’re called RIKTIG). It gives a cleaner one at the top. In my den I used the four-prong ones and they look more like hers do at the top. Either way, I think it’s a custom look for a great price, don’t you?
      Thanks for writing, Caroline!

  4. The paint color is the perfect back drop for all of your pieces! I love everything about the room and how you’ve put it all together. Your antique dresser is a gem!

    • Thanks, Liz! I love that dresser. It’s always been in the living room and I think it works well there, but I’m keeping an eye out for a nice one to put in my bedroom, too.

  5. Oh how nice, it is looking so good. This seems to be a quite roomy house, so that is definitely a plus. Can’t wait to see more.

    • Thank you, Marty! Yes, it’s roomier than the MCC House, but it’s still only about 2000 sf. I know that’s plenty big but it’s still smaller than we’re used to. I have continued to downsize, though, and the nicest part is that there’s less to clean!

  6. Welcome home to your husband!! The living room looks beautiful, and I see that wood ceiling beyond the doors to the Dining room which makes me want to see more! PS good compromise on the TV! Love the idea of art on display!

    • Thanks so much, Lori! It’s great to have the band back together. 🙂 I’ll keep you posted on how the TV works out; I’m looking forward to seeing if it looks as good in real life as it does on Amazon.

  7. I am curious: how are you always able to convince the landlords to let you paint–and to paint your choice of colors? Also, Do you need to absorb the cost of the paint itself? You always do a great job,, so that is not the issue. It is the “permission” aspect of it all.

    • That’s a great question, Linda! If we’re looking at renting a house that needs to be painted, I make sure to get permission from the landlord before we sign the lease. No one has ever refused, especially when I’ve shared photos of our previous houses, but I wouldn’t sign a lease if I wasn’t allowed to paint.

      Some of them will reimburse me for the cost of the paint and I comp them for my labor. This usually works well when the paint colors are obviously detracting from the market value of the home (bright children’s rooms, sloppy paint jobs, etc). Sometimes I’m able to find a sponsor to cover the cost of the paint in exchange for a blog post; that obviously benefits the owner, but it helps me as well because we’re always looking for room updates to share with our readers.

      I’ve had at least three landlords who have wanted us to rent from them enough that they’ve offered us a reduction in our rent (this is definitely where it helps to have a blog and some magazine features to share with prospective landlords!!).
      I hope that helps!

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