January 13, 2013

Living Room chronicles

Our living room is my favorite room in our house. It is sunny and bright with light coming in from both sides, wood floors and crisp white walls with a sloping ceiling. Our main floor is shaped like a fat L, with the living room being the horizontal part and our dining room the vertical. It's one continuous wrap around space with no walls separating the two so it's got a very open and airy feel. I just love it. I also love trying different looks with this space. We have lived in this home, (our first house), for 2 years and 4 months and this room has been the most frequently changed. I'm sure a psychologist would give some involved explanation why I change it as often as I do, but I'm really not that complex. I think I just like to see how it looks this way and that. This is an art that I most definitely learned/inherited from my Momma. She has always been amazing at changing the look of a space with just a few switcharoos. It's a simple kind of fun for me to take an object, or group, and rework it several different ways.

This particular change was sparked by nothing more than simply taking down all our Christmas decorations and seeing a rather blank slate for the first time in a while. Nothing on our walls, all surfaces cleared of clutter. It felt so good. I had a vision in my head of a brand new living room, using *mostly* pieces that we already have. What an exciting challenge! I think we got it :)

Living Room BEFORE
Again, there is nothing I didn't like about this set up...I simply wanted to see how else it could look in here.

This bookcase is special to us - it was built for my husband when he was a boy and is sturdy as can be. Since moving in we have had it behind our front door to block this interesting arch that was cut into the wall, about 6 inches from the floor. We feared our tiny tots would crawl through and drop the 5ft on the other side into the basement. However, there was just something that I didn't quite like about it there. So, with my husbands permission, I refinished it and placed it elsewhere.

Major changes: Flip-flopped the couch and chairs, moved Matt's newly refinished bookcase between the windows, replaced the coffee table, removed a lamp shade and added a table to the far corner.

View as you walk in from the front door.

Turn around after walking in and that old bookcase is gone! Now we have a more open spot with a smaller piece still blocking that awkward low arch hole in our wall. I moved the paper wreath that previously hung above our couch to give this spot a bit of visual substance and height. The small gray cabinet is a piece that was given to me from a friend. I refinished it a while ago but it never sold....thankfully :)

 The homemade coat rack remains to the right of the door. I've always loved having a convenient spot to hang our coats without the hassle of hangers.

I made this rack from an old shelf my Mom gave me and a handful of spoons found at the thrift store a while back. It isn't perfect but I think it's got lots of character :)

Christmas Day we went outside to play and low and behold, saw some confused spring buds popping up! We dug them up and transplanted them to pots, (thanks to the suggestion from my husband's parents), and now I'm encouraging them from inside our warm home. They don't know I don't have a green thumb. I'm hoping to trick them.

My Matt got me this gorgeous, rustic, sturdy, functional coffee table for Christmas. He found it while out with our boys one afternoon at a thrift store. Wow. What a find! It's got tons of storage and is a more appropriate size for our living room. I'm really enjoying this one.:)

This corner was previously a pain in my neck. I couldn't figure it out until now. I had these ridiculous lamp shades hanging, but they weren't properly placed. I wasn't thinking ahead when I hung them. I removed one shade and lowered the other so that it's just hovering above this awesome little end table, (new Craigslist find), just off the corner of the chair. I don't like perfect symmetry, but for the sake of some continuity I did hang this shade at a height that matches the lamp on the table next to the chair on the other side of the bookcase. 

I kept the other hook in place that held the second shade, which I removed. I was going to take the hook down, but for the sake of not having a lot of excess cord bunched up on the floor when the lamp isn't plugged in, I decided to weave the cord around the second hook as well. I love how it gives a little architecture to that corner!

And of course, Mr. Cardinal maintains his spot keeping watch over our busy home. The Cardinal is Virginia's state bird; fitting since my husband and I adore this state we were born and raised in.

That old bookcase now wears a weathered looking coat of white and gray and plays a new star role as the focal point in this space.

From the dining room

Well, that's the end of our tour! It still feels really new and different to us - the way the light pours in is different, casting new shadows as the sun rises and then sets. Even sound is carrying different! I'm detecting a slight echo that wasn't there before. Weird! 

Have you made any changes in your home recently? Anyone else like flipping and flopping their furniture every time the wind changes?

For anyone interested, here is my paper wreath tutorial.:)



  1. Thanks for your comment over at Lovely Etc. I had to stop by - I am so impressed you are able to get so much done with three small children. Your living room looks fabulous - I love all of the unique and upcycled pieces - just my style. And I always love how rearranging furniture can really change a whole room.

  2. I found your blog because of a post that your cousin Becca (who is a lovely friend of mine) was tagged in. I have basically been through the whole thing and I love love love everything on here- I'm super jealous of your coffee table - I want to come steal it!

    1. What a kind compliment, Meredith! I'm so, so glad you have enjoyed my humble little blog. And I'm super excited to 'know' a friend of Becca's!