I know the first picture is hard on the eyes, but you have to give me credit for trying! The ONLY thing I miss about the first picture is my fiddle leaf fig tree. Sadly, they're really hard to keep alive! Do you like my tacky poster I purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond? Don't answer that! I also had a hard time displaying accessories. I have learned that if you love it, display it! Not that the "NOW" picture is perfect in design by any means. It is far from House Beautiful worthy. It might need some tweeking, but I smile when I walk in the room.
I have learned at least one important lesson over the years...