LIVING ROOM: The Bare Essentials List

*I shared in this post how I realized I needed to quit changing and revising my to-do lists for the house if I ever hope to finish renovating and decorating it. 

Decorating and renovating our home has been much more challenging than I thought.  I’m not even talking about the costs – but when you’re not trained for this, you are bound to make a LOT of mistakes (as I’ve discovered!).  There was the mistake with the bar stool and the curtains (as seen here and here), for one – I can’t even say it was all rookie mistakes for both instances, because I should have learned better about measuring everything first!  And now, as I shared here, I think another mistake – a big one – was ditching the 3-seater sofa for the loveseat.

The loveseat did not go to waste because we moved it to the lanai-playroom and, thankfully, found that it was really better suited for that room.  But all this made me realize that I should first and always try to work with what we have before rushing out to replace something.  That’s pretty obvious I think for home renovations?  But I was young and foolish then, haha.

After we switched back the narra sofa for the loveseat, I finally feel that the living room is in a better place for moving forward (as I shared here).  Again: I keep chiding myself for dilly dallying – like with the living room curtains!  I was waiting to buy the replacement curtain rods, but in the meantime I lived with (and took photos of!) dirty curtains, argh.  I finally removed them, and had them washed.  I will live without curtains for now until I get the ones I like – and the place is suddenly much brighter:

Obviously there are so many things still so wrong with the living room, based on the photo alone!  I tried folding in the rug to see how it would look, and I know it looks ridiculous hahaha.  The emergency light is still sitting on the window ledge. The brackets from the old curtain rods are still up on the wall because Levis couldn’t figure out how to unscrew them.  Bo’s wooden play gym should be in the lanai. The front windows are filthy.   I need slipcovers obviously… BUT!  I am liking this starting point for the living room.  Yes, months after I tackled this area, I only just now feel that I’ve started, if that makes any sense.

All that being said (and yeah, I do get wordy I know hahahaha), here is my Bare Essentials List for the living room:


Start of Living Room Project: 06 October 2016 (the day the loveseat was delivered)
End of Living Room Project (or “essentially finished”): 

  • Repaint the baseboards, beams, and window frames to white
  • Replace electric switch plates and outlets, and cover unused electric sockets
  • Replace our old wooden couch with something smaller – but then I switched back the 3-seater sofa, so now I need to have new foam cut for the coach, and have slipcovers made
  • Get a small round white coffee table for the loveseat – now I am using our bench as a coffee table since we switched back to the larger couch
  • Figure out the cooling system – have our old white fan repaired, buy a new standing fan, or have a ceiling fan installed
  • Get throw pillows for the couch and chair, and buy 2 sets of pillow shams for starters (1 set for every day use, 1 set for laundry days)
  • Get slim black metal curtain rods (2 sets), take down and return the old rods to my folks, and have Mang Ariel install the new ones
  • Buy 2 sets of 6 sheer white curtain panels (1 set for every day, 1 set for laundry days); wash and return my mother’s old curtains
  • Replace the rug (and return it to my mother)
  • Get a white or wooden/rattan chair, and if the space permits, a black or another wooden/rattan chair – I got the white and wood bench for additional seating, but now I am using it as a coffee table
  • Buy an end table for the couch – and eventually replace or upgrade the Ikea table we got, and get a side table
  • Replace our large native poof with 2 or 3 floor pillows and/or a beanbag
  • Have Mang Ariel install a sturdy hook, and get a large handcrafted wall hanging
  • Find an oversized minimalist print to cover the outlet beneath the side windows
  • Return my folks’ hand-me-down Ikea floor lamp and get a new one
  • Add plants, prints and decor, especially for the coffee table
  • Storage Needs: for extra curtains and pillows shams, for Bo’s playmat and blanket, and for anti-mosquito gear
  • Little O.C. Essentials: coasters on a tray, a home diffuser, tissue in a container, and a discreet trash bin
  • Anti-Lamok Measures: plug-ins, have screen windows installed, get a mosquito zapping machine, anti-mosquito plants, and anti-mosquito room spray

Previous Versions of the Living Room Checklist:  List 1 – 23 June 2016 “Some Projects Around the House”; List 2 – 08 July 2016 “Shifting Priorities [For Projects At Home]; List 3 – 03 November 2016 “A Couch and a Coffee Table; List 4 – 21 December 2016 “Some Progress”; List 5 – 12 January 2017 “Midway Report”)

View all our living room posts and updates here.

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