Before - Living Room Refresh with Spicy Salty Sweet Home

Hey there, if you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen I'm working with Jan Verhoff, interior stylist and blogger of Spicy Salty Sweet Home, to help me style my living room. I met Jan through Instagram—follow her here! She purchased one of the very first rugs I sold and we've kept in touch ever since. Jan offers a wide variety of services including interior design and styling. Before we do a big reveal, I wanted to share where we are in the design process (because we are about halfway!) as well as 'before' pictures, so you can get a feel for what my living room looked like before I started working with Jan. 

I approached Jan to help with my living room because my husband and I had recently made some decor changes for the first time since moving into our home two years ago. We inherited a couch from a family member and I had just found the perfect antique Persian Heriz Serapi rug that I wanted to keep and not sell on Sky Trading Co. See below for pictures of how our living room looks today. 

From the photos, you'll notice we already have our key pieces of furniture, including: our light fixture, couch, chairs and side table in our small sitting area, coffee tables, TV and bookshelf. I also love our wall decor, which includes vases from STUMP, a mirror that was gifted to us and custom artwork we collected while traveling.

Although a lot of the design elements were already chosen by me and my husband, there were a few things we didn't like about the room:

  1. The lighting. We have one drum-style light fixture that hangs from the ceiling. We love it, but when we watch TV at night we'd like to have another light source so we don't have to keep that one on.

  2. The bookcase looks unkept. Currently, our one shelving unit in the room has a lot of books, records and random trinkets we never touch. It's messy and cluttered!

  3. It's missing final design elements. I wanted help styling my current decor with new pillows and accessories to pull the entire room together.

Once I established what I did and didn't like about my living room, I invited Jan over to see it for herself. She came prepared with a Q&A document to get to know my style and what I wanted to change about the room. I let her know that I didn't want to spend more than $500 on decor, and she recommended we start with pillow combinations. I also let her know that we had gift cards to West Elm, CB2 and Crate and Barrel left over from wedding gifts. I was hopeful this would keep the budget within reason, and Jan reassured me that my budget was more than enough to accomplish what I wanted. She also took pictures, and the whole process took about 30 minutes. One or two days later, Jan sent me a proposal with a description of items she would be looking for and total number of hours she estimated it would take to complete my project. In total, she estimated six hours to shop for and style my living room, which translated to $360 ($60/hour) for her design fee. 

Within a week of Jan leaving my house, she sent four mood boards with pillow combinations. The way she created the mood boards against the decor in our house made it extremely easy to give her feedback on the design. See the original design concepts below.

We loved that she gave us so many options! She also sent direct links to each of the pillows online where we could get a better view of each one and check out the price before we made any decisions. We ended up telling Jan that we weren't crazy about the mustard pillows, so she sent us two additional concepts.

You'll have to wait until the reveal to see which pillow combination we picked, but now that we've chosen and ordered the new pillows for the living room Jan is working on the remaining items for our room. Stay tuned for the big reveal! In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! If you're curious about what Jan can do for you, contact her here!


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