Sarah's front door opens right into her living room, which can be kinda awkward. So she wanted to create an entry way for her home and eliminate that awkwardness. She came up with a clever plan which you can see the beginnings of in the photo below.
A console table would be an obvious choice, but with the narrow space between the wall and sofa, it could look cramped. Also the grate at the base of the wall doesn't want to be covered. Instead Sarah designed a gorgeous set of floating drawers. After agonizing over the wood and stain options, she hired a carpenter to build and install it.
Voilà! Doesn't it look beautiful?! Subtle but effective, and the plants at the base soften the clean lines of the drawers, while also distracting the eye from the grate. It creates the entry way Sarah wanted. Of course, the massive round, gold mirror helps too - making the small room appear bigger, and it's a lovely juxtaposition with the drawers. Sarah hunted high and low for the perfect mirror to add some 'wow' and a healthy dose of glam. That hunt was successful, but came at a price!
The mirror was expensive, but this is where the lesson in compromise comes in. Sarah had to have that mirror, it was perfect. So to compromise she bought her stunning, but very inexpensive side tables from Target (wow, love them, I wish we had Target in New Zealand).
Another money saver was keeping the coffee table Sarah longed to replace. Her husband, very manly and lover of minimalism, was very happy with the current coffee table, especially when it was kept fairly bare and minimal (see pic 2).
Sarah's second compromise was keeping the coffee table, but zhushing it up by adding some of her pretty 'girly' touches. I, of course, love all the pretties she's added. I had to laugh because my husband sounds a lot like Sarah's, and my coffee table looks quite similar, complete with the surfing book (which is my way of saying 'yes, my husband lives here too!').
So there you go... get creative with your design solutions; invest in one or two 'must have' expensive pieces that just make you happy; balance that out with some gorgeous bargains; and let the Mr have a say too, after all he lives there too!