Thursday 7 November 2013

A Lesson in Compromise

I wanted to share this gorgeous room makeover with you, because I think there are some really important lessons in it (and it's beautiful). The home belongs to Sarah Yates, a photographer and author of lifestyle blog, A House in the Hills. She blogged about her living room makeover, which I totally love, and here's why...

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.

VoilĂ ! 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!


  1. Great post, Vic. Too easy to see the 'staged' interiors in all the magazines, where I am quite certain they tuck the less than perfect things behind the sofa (ie the no-longer on-trend coffee tables!!). So many things in life would be easier if we didn't have to consider our husband's opinion (naming children, art, tv programmes etc - I could go on).......... BUT - you are so right - they do also occupy the space with us.Compromise is a small price to pay!!! Just agree to disagree, and work around it. Rx

    1. You wouldn't believe the amount of compromising I have to do with my hubby Rachel. He's not quite as adventurous as me when it comes to interiors, so I often have to play it down - we always find a happy medium though. x

  2. What a clever idea and it works. I love to see other bloggers interiors and I agree with Rachel, sometimes its nice to see a home that has not been staged by a designer.

    Lee :)

  3. wow, sach a gorgeous and comfortable bed sale UK

  4. I love A House in the Hills - Sarah is really inspiring. Love her style and oh, that mirror - yum! x

  5. This is a gorgeous room! Can I ask where I could find some similar large cream shaggy cushions? I am in the process of buying the same kind of sofa and ive had these ideas for cushions in my head, but unfortunately cannot find them anywhere! Thank you.

    1. I went back to A House in the Hills and discovered that those cushions were from Anthropologie, but they're not there anymore. Cali Shag pillows are similar and you can see some here - If they don't ship to NZ, you can sign up NZ Post youshop, and have it shipped using them.


It's lovely to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. Best wishes, Vic xxx

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