I’ve mentioned before that our living room is the biggest ‘hole’ in our house. The room we have put the least effort into, decor-wise. The room that is usually overtaken by toys and clutter. The room where everything is freecycled (actually, that’s pretty much our whole house – we’ve not purchased one furniture item ourselves since we moved in almost three years ago).

Well, we’ve recently made a few small changes to make it feel a bit more ‘us’ and a bit less ‘borrowed’.


Firstly, the room now has a lovely centrepiece thanks to Hello Canvas, who challenged me to pick a photo that I thought they couldn’t match the quality of, to see if their print would live up to my high standards. It’s a 20 x 28 inch wrapped canvas. I don’t often print anything this large (never for myself!), and I am really impressed with the quality at this size. The colours and tone are spot on to how it appears on my monitor. It’s tack sharp (I did sharpen it before printing, though). I would 100% order again from Hello Canvas. It’s actually a larger than life Arlo, he loves pointing to it and saying “That picture is MAFFIF” (Massive).

The reason I chose this particular photo, (other than the fact that it’s one of my favourites), was because I’d previously ordered the exact same photo printed onto postcards from Moo for Arlo’s Christmas thank-you cards, and I wasn’t overly impressed with the image quality (there was actually a problem with the first print batch, which they very quickly sorted out and resent, but even then I was still a bit disappointed with the look of the ‘correct’ prints).

Anyway, back to the living room….

IMG_2979 IMG_2981Good old ‘Show Me Show Me’.

The ugly brown units that were left by the previous owner are now gone, and we have put up shelving in its place. The white shelves certainly help make the room feel a lot less heavy and enclosed, although we could perhaps do an even better job of this if we downsized on some of our DVDS and books (I mean, we don’t even watch DVDs any more, it’s all on the computer). A tip – don’t buy floating shelves if you plan to put a lot of stuff on them, we still had to bracket them for extra support (this is probably really obvious but we are complete newbs when it comes to these things).

IMG_2880Good riddance yucky shelving unit.

Sam made the suggestion that we freecycle one of our sofas (we currently have two two-seaters squeezed awkwardly into a small room). At first, I was reluctant. I quite like having our individual sofas. I wouldn’t be able to stretch out on the sofa in the evenings (huge priority during the third trimester!), the extra seating space is handy when we have friends or family over, and it seems a bit crazy to downsize to one small sofa when our family is about to increase (how will four of us fit on one small sofa in a couple of years??).

But since the initial suggestion, I’ve really come round to the idea. It would be a massive benefit to have space to put the moses basket and baby chair without Arlo losing out on floor space for his toys and train track. And further down the line if we decide one small sofa isn’t enough for a family of four, we can always change our seating options again – I’m sure we could easily pick up another two-seater on Freecycle. We’re also considering the possibility of replacing the second sofa with an armchair – I’m really keen on this idea because I found breastfeeding in the early days really quite difficult on our sofas, an armchair would allow for a little more support and a more upright position for feeding. Nothing suitable has cropped up on Freecycle in the past month, so if we don’t find an armchair before I reach full term, we may well end up taking a trip to IKEA and purchasing our first ever bit of furniture for our house.

img_3723This is the floor space we are currently working with, I took this photo through the doorframe. Add in a moses basket and a baby chair and poor Arlo loses out on half of his play space.

IMG_2984We’ve finally gotten rid of the hospital-style curtains that came with the house. As with most home furnishings, curtains have never been a financial priority. But I found these in the local Poundstretcher, reduced to £4. Unfortunately, I should have opened the package and had a proper look, as one is tab top and the other is pleated, but luckily we only really need one to cover the window. The cushion covers are also new, bought when H&M had them on offer at £1.99.

img_7477You can glimpse the old curtains here, and my desk. Losing the second sofa would also give me the possibiltty of being able to sit at a chair when I’m working.

Yes, the changes are nothing revolutionary. It’s still a mess, but it’s a more personalised mess.


The canvas print was sent free of charge by Hello Canvas for the purpose of this review.


  1. Looks Great! You’re doing a great job of being so thrifty. Is it wrong that I Love that old dresser? Sanded down and painted white….?

    1. I did consider painting it white at one point, never got round to it! Plus it was a plasticy veneer type coating over MDF that so not sure how well it would have painted?

  2. We’re currently expecting & are trying to make room for our new arrival. My husband has a HUGE dvd collection- we decided to transfer the dvds into cd wallets & store the empty cases in a box in the loft. Just an idea, as it has free’d up alot of shelf space. I think the large wallets held 250 discs, & were available in argos.

    1. Think I might just put the whole lot in the loft, we don’t even watch them all. Sold a load of them last year but the ones that are left aren’t really worth anything.

  3. That photo canvass is gorgeous! We are downsizing our sofas too, getting rid of our old secondhand 2 seaters and got sucked into buying a 3 seater from DFS on credit…The room feels massive as we have got rid of one sofa already whilst we wait for the new one. Need to find some sort of single chair cheap somewhere too 🙂

  4. That canvass is fantastic, what a gorgeous pic of your lovely little boy – it really looks fab on the wall. Well done for being so thrifty too with sorting your living room, I’m impressed! I often find if I take everything out of a room and then start again with deciding what should go back in and where that I get a totally new look and way more space out of the room than I started out with. Good luck! x

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