Cozy California Modern Inspired Living Room Makeover

I’m so excited to share that my sister asked me to help her give her beach house living room a more cozy, laid-back California style makeover! Obviously this style is right up my alley!! I also always feel way flattered when my sister asks for my help because she totally has great style all on her own! This makeover is going to completed quickly because they plan to go down in two weeks, and then probably not again until summer. The before photos aren’t that great, I just quickly took a few last time I was down there— before she even asked for my help (I like to always be prepared haha).



this was taken from standing in the dining room

this was taken from standing in the dining room

out that doorway, to the right is the front door

out that doorway, to the right is the front door

Brand new  chaise lounge chair  for the updated space.

Brand new chaise lounge chair for the updated space.

They bought this house in October of 2014 and it’s an awesome space! It has plenty of space to host friends and family, and is a short walk to the beach. It’s a split level, and most of the time we tend to all hangout in the lower den. My sister and brother-in-law have been wanting to make this living room feel less formal and turn it into a cozy space for everyone to hangout in.

They’re going to keep the sofa, but they got rid of the two chairs. They purchased two new side chairs, as well as the chaise lounge chair in the last ‘before’ photo. Without having the measurements, it’s hard for me to create a layout that I can say will definitely work. However, I think the room is big enough that we’ll be able to try several different layouts if needed.

I created a very simple floor plan, so you can get an idea of the flow of the first floor and how I plan to try and arrange the living room furniture.


And here are my plans…

this is the view of the living after you walk in the front door and look in the doorway to the living room

this is the view of the living after you walk in the front door and look in the doorway to the living room

this would be the view if you were standing in the dining room

this would be the view if you were standing in the dining room

on the other side of this wall is the entry hallway and front door

on the other side of this wall is the entry hallway and front door

this view would be standing with your back towards the living room window, looking into the dining room

this view would be standing with your back towards the living room window, looking into the dining room

I’ll be heading out there in a couple of weeks to help style and take photos, hopefully I’ll have another update for you all soon!!

I’ve linked some of the items I’m using below, please note these are affiliate links.



DIY Hanging Basket Light

I shared this DIY in my Instagram stories yesterday and got SO much positive feedback, I decided to give it it’s own blog post! I also plan to save this in the DIY section of my blog so it’s always easy to find.

Back in January, I decided to take a basket I had found in the clearance section at Target and turn it into a hanging light! I used a light cord I already had (I later replaced the macrame cord with a plain light cord), and two ceiling hooks to make big impact over our breakfast nook for ZERO dollars!

*please note this post contains affiliate links



-Plug in light cord (I recommend a fabric cord like any of these: fabric cord 1, fabric cord 2, fabric cord 3)
-Basket (Round shape would look best, and the bottom needs to be a material you can easily cut through. I’ll add some recommendations at the bottom!)
-Ceiling hook (this usually comes with the light cord, or you can easily find them at a hardware store)


  • Turn the basket over and use the scissors (or box cutter) to cut a small hole in the middle. (be sure to make the hole big enough for the wall plug part of the cord to fit through, but small enough so that the end the light bulb screws into won’t go through)

  • Put the wall plug end of the cord up through the hole (from the inside of the basket) and pull it all the way through.

  • The part of the cord where the light bulb screws in should now be at the top of inside the basket. Screw a light bulb in, then hang your new pendant from the ceiling + enjoy!!

Just in case you need to be pointed in the right direction of what type of basket to use, I found six that I think would look great! I also recommend checking out the Target clearance section or HomeGoods for a good basket!

Also — you’ll most likely have to cut off the handles on the basket (it seems like the majority of baskets out there have them). As long as the handles were woven on separately, it shouldn’t be an issue at all!

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Update On My Parent's Living Room Makeover

My parent’s living room makeover is so close to being complete! I went over this past weekend with my box of styling accessories to try out some different console table styling. I really just need to finalize the styling, pick some wall art, and find a side table for between the two chairs.

You can catch up on my first two posts about it here & here.






We’re all very happy with how it’s all coming together! It feels comfortable and like the whole room is being utilized now, versus just the far side of it. Wall decor is definitely something that’s always been a challenge to me, but I have a couple ideas for this room that I’ve been mulling over.

The first idea I have is a grid of black and white photos on either side of the big window, with sconces above on each side:


My second idea is a more random, eclectic style gallery wall on both sides with two sconces. I’d keep it to 4-5 pieces of medium to large sized art so that it fills the space without feeling too busy:


We’re going to hopefully go check out a vintage store near me that has a ton of gorgeous mid-century modern paintings, so maybe we’ll find the perfect pieces there! I’ve been taking my time with this room, really trying to make sure I pick the right pieces. Hopefully the next update I post will be the completed room!

SHOP THESE PRODUCTS (or similar ones):
*please note this post contains affiliate links



HUGE Area Rug Round Up (My Favorite New + Vintage Rugs Right Now)

One of my favorite things to do when I want to switch up the look of a room is to get a new area rug. I’ve gone through MANY rugs in the last few years, which has ended up being great for me because I now know some key things to keep in mind while looking.

in our living room, I’m now on my fourth area rug… (we’ve lived here for less than two years *insert face palm emoji*)

I wanted to pass along some of my lessons learned, as well as show some amazing rugs I’m loving right now! As far as the lessons go, there are just a couple things I keep in mind now whenever I’m looking for something.

1) Bigger is usually better. I’m not going to say always, because I think there are some scenarios where a bigger rug could overwhelm a room. In most instances, however, you’re stuck between two sizes, it’s probably safer to get the bigger one.
2) Think about your whole home. What I mean by this is try and think if that rug would also work in other rooms of your home besides the one you’re shopping for. This isn’t a make or break point but just something to consider. If you want to change things around in the future, it’s helpful to already have a place where you can put the old one. I also think that the cohesiveness of your home is very important. If you think a rug would work in multiple rooms then that means that the style and colors flow with your current home decor.


why buy vintage?

I personally love the look of vintage rugs. They’re each so unique- while some have similarities, you’ll almost never see two of the same one. I love rugs that have some fading as well, and I’ve read that fading is actually a sign of good quality. Vintage rugs are also extremely durable. Wool is very easy to clean as well as being highly water resistant- this makes them perfect for high traffic areas!

*this post contains affiliate links. the rugs listed below were available at the time of writing this post… if they’re no longer available, there’s a good chance that I already scooped them up!! ;-) (kidding)

And before you think you can’t afford these beauties— most of the runners are under $200, and the small ones are all under $60!!

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Now for some affordable new rugs… (these are all from RugsUSA)

You might also notice some rugs on their website that only come in size 5x8 and that are all $49.99 — these rugs are limited stock or sample sale rugs. Most of them only have 1 or very few left! Here are 6, but there are SO MANY more that are gorgeous!

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That’s all for my big rug round up- hope you found this helpful!! If you end up getting any of these rugs, I’d love to see them in your space!! If you upload a pic to Instagram, be sure to tag me (@meredithlynndesigns)!




I’m still new to the whole thrifting world (just started about 6 months ago), but I think I’ve definitely made up for lost time! I’m fortunate enough to have 3 different Goodwill locations all within a 10 mile radius of my house. The first time I stepped foot in a Goodwill store, I was actually just trying to waste time until the Anthropologie down the road opened up. I was shocked at the crazy low prices and the amount of cute (and great quality) baskets + other decorative items they had! Every time I go browse a Goodwill now, I always try to bring at least one bag of giveaway clothes.

Thrift shopping is definitely hit or miss. I seriously lucked out on my first 3 or 4 trips, I thought it was normal to always find a cartload of awesome decor! There are a few things I keep in mind when thrifting, and I can usually find at least one or two things to add to my collection! Before I get into the items I always look for, I want to give a quick thrifting tip: try and stick to a particular color palette with everything you buy. As you can see in the photo above, I pretty much never stray from neutrals (tans, browns, black, white). I do this because it allows me to mix and match my different finds, and they always look good together!

Now here are a few things I always buy when I see them….

pottery + vases
I always scoop up any pottery that looks handmade or unique vases that I come across! Something might not look very special in the store, but it could be the last little detail your shelf needs to look complete!

brass accents + wooden bowls
Always, always, always buy brass candlestick holders when you find them! They are so versatile- I’ve used mine on my dining table, credenza, coffee table, and open shelves! I also think you can never go wrong with a vintage brass figurine. Wooden bowls + trays are also incredibly versatile (and functional). I have one by our entryway to hold our keys, and on both nightstands. They also look great as shelf decor!


unique decor , art , + books
Unique accents like this mini peacock chair and the metallic tray are always good to have on hand. Items like these really bring character into a space. Anytime I find a small piece of art that has fairly neutral colors (like these two seascapes), I always buy them. I’ve used these as both shelf decor, and wall decor! The last thing I looove getting at Goodwill is books! I love using books as decor, but new books can be pretty pricey. All of the books I’ve bought at Goodwill have been under $3! I look for books that have black, gray, white, or brown covers, and it’s a bonus if they’re about a topic I’m interested in! I’ve even bought books just because I liked some of the pictures inside and wanted to tear them out to frame as art.

So there are my latest tips for your next thrifting adventure! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up with any new treasures I come across! I’ll leave you all with my favorite view of my thrifting finds collection…