This past weekend, I completely rearranged my entire living space. I probably moved my club chairs 15 times, trying to find the exact place that I felt like I'd be happy with them. I did the same with the area under our wall mounted TV. I kid you not, I tried every single table option I had in my home before I finally decided on a piece of furniture that made me happy. Before my rearranging party, I liked my living room....but it wasn't wowing me. It wasn't anything that I'd look around and say "I love this room." Now, I can say that about a couple of areas....but I still have a loooong way to go.
One of the biggest things I've had to learn as a homeowner is that my house isn't going to be exactly how I want it overnight. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating. When Marty and I had our first house in Bardstown, I felt the need to have my house completely decorated all at once. We registered for it all--clocks, tables, pillows, curtains. Everything I thought I "needed" in a house, I registered for it. As a result, I ended up with a lot of stuff. Stuff that didn't necessarily fit my design style. Instead of waiting until I found a piece I loved, I felt like I had to get it all RIGHT NOW. Marty and I have now been married for 5 years and I can probably count on one hand the number of items around my house that I've kept from those early days of marriage. If you're interested in decorating your house and making it into something that you're really happy with, figure out your style first. For me, I love mixed patterns, pops of color mixed with neutral bases, antiques mixed with classic and clean styles. I'm pretty eclectic. I love an old suitcase, but I also love the clean lines and designs of everything from the Target Threshold brand. And that's what I want my house to be. Classic pieces, while inserting my character through fun statues and antiques. I want it to be a combination of things that all look like they go together. Once you figure out your style, then start in one room. Find one piece that you really love and use that as inspiration to build the rest of your room around. In my bedroom, my inspiration is this fabric bench. In my living room, it's my rug. When you have your inspiration piece, slowly build your room around it. Get a couch that goes with the rug. Then get pillows that pull out the colors in the rug. Or buy the painting that you're obsessed with. Then find pieces that compliment your painting and bring out the style and character of it. Even if it takes you 5 years to fully decorate a room, the end result will be something that you are completely comfortable with. It'll be 100% your home (note: unless you have wayyy more money than me--which is a total possibility--and you can afford to completely decorate your room all at once. if so, we should be friends. want to go shopping, new friend??).
As an example, I'm going to show you pictures of my main living space as part of a little home tour (see?? ask and you shall receive. i'm a giver.). With each room, I'll give you a list of all the things I still have to/want to do or change in the room. No room is perfect. As soon as you build your room to the way you want it, your style may change and then it's time to start changing out pieces to reflect your new interests. It's why I love interior design. I blame/thank my mother.
Enough talking. Pictures!
An old pair of shutters that used to frame my TV. I plan to use this as a "command center" to hang reminders (Trash day is Wednesday....we forget almost every week) and pictures.
The top half of a hutch/dresser combo from Avery's room is now a table in the dining room.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way this room is looking. List of things to change: paint table legs, stencil the top of the table and bench, find new chairs--mixing wood and fabric printed chairs, change out chandelier, do something with the clock wall (gallery wall? add more clocks?)
The TV table finally ended up being the dresser from Avery's bedroom. Even though you can see the cable box and DVD player, I don't mind it so much when it's sitting on top of my red antique suitcase.
Now. This living room still needs a lotttttt of work. I see glimpses of good things: my rug, the dresser, the chairs. But it still feels too unfinished, too sparse to feel homey just yet. I feel like I have the bones of a good room, it just needs more character. List of things to do in this room: find throw pillows for the couch, find side table for the couch, move the black cabinet out, get cute accessories for the table tops and dresser, do something to the awkward corner where the fake tree is now, possible frame the TV with a gallery wall of pictures, ADD CHARACTER.
Awkward mantle space
I love my cows. Love them. If it was socially acceptable, I'd buy more. I think Marty would have a cow if I brought another cow print home. But I'm a big fan.
I love the simplicity of my mantle. Cow print and a few accessories. What I'm not loving? The blank space around the mantle. Specifically, all the navy blue wall space. And the gigantic amount of room in between the dining and living rooms.....
I'm not a fan of "white space." It a flaw of mine when I paint...I always go one step too far in adding a background or a color. So this blank space is kind of driving me insane. It feels incomplete to me. But what can you add without making the room feel insanely crowded with too many pieces of furniture or too much going on in one room? Because, technically, even though I've defined it as two separate spaces, this is one big room. List of things to do in this room: make it look more complete (I'm stumped).
Awhile back, I posted about the different options I was considering for an entertainment center. I thought I'd decided on the option that was a unit made entirely out of crates. Through the weeks, I'd accumulated a good amount of crates for my project. Then, I assembled the crates together underneath my TV....and I hated it. It wasn't big enough to make a statement on the wall. Hence, why you see the dresser under the TV. But I still loved the idea of the crate bookshelf. So I moved it over into this awkward little corner between our front door and our new kitchen bar. I freaking love it here. It's probably my most favorite thing in the entire room, no joke. List of things to do here: stain the crates a dark wood color, finish putting up the black frames around the wall hanger on the opposite wall, paint the front door (shhhh, Marty. it will be okay.), finish arranging/decorating the items in the crates.
I realized while writing this post, that I never showed you guys the actual 100% finished pictures of my kitchen. Oops. If you're wondering, here's the last update I gave you. Here's the new pictures:
Since I made an agreement with my husband that I wouldn't paint the cabinets (still pouting....), I did convince him to paint above the cabinets in the color that I'd picked for my lower cabinets. I looooove it. Love it so much.
Whew. I didn't realize how cluttered my counters appear until looking at these pictures. Beside the point.....since this is the room that we've spent the most money on, obviously, I'm not in any hurry to do any major things to this room. I do have a few things I want to do in here though. List of things: get a fun pendant lap to replace the existing one, find bar stools, paint or replace the current pantry doors (they're very hard to close....if I do keep the doors, I want to replace the knobs and either paint it the same color as the wall above my cabinets or a chalkboard paint), and bring color into the room with a fun patterned rug and tea towels and valence curtain. Maybe even paint a quote in the small space above the pantry, not sure yet.
And there you have it, people. The big open room in my house, separated into multiple living areas. Am I happy with it? Mostly. Am I willing to leave it this way? Absolutely not.
Do you have any suggestions for my house? Bring 'em on! It's always nice to have a second (and third...and fourth) set of eyes looking at something.
I totally get that my home may not be your style. You may be cringing with every single picture I posted (except the cow painting....how can you hate that??). But I hope you're inspired enough to go find your own style and decorate your house the way you want!