Justin and I live in a modest house--actually, not much bigger than the apartment that we used to rent. But, it's ours, and I think it is plenty of space, especially if we could pare down some of our "stuff" a little bit. For the first year that we lived here, our house pretty much looked like this:
To the left of the loveseat were three bookshelves, and a little walkway that took you to the garage door. There were definitely some things that I liked about this layout, but as always, I found myself itching to change things before long. About a year after we moved in, we switched things to this:
I did like the look of this layout, but we quickly realized that it probably wouldn't be functional for our purposes once Lizzy arrived--we don't have a spare room/playroom, and her nursery wasn't really big enough to store toys in, and certainly not to spend the bulk of our day playing in. We knew that we'd be spending 99% of our time during the day in the living room, and needed a layout that allowed for a little more room to play, and to set up a Pack 'N Play since we haven't been able to find a baby gate that will fit the entry to our dining room/kitchen, and our laundry is outside (which means that I'm running in and out all day). Enter the current arrangement:
The goal for me for our house has always been to have a living room that feels casual--like you can kick off your shoes and hang out. Not have to worry about kids getting into something they shouldn't or breaking something. A space where I can curl up with a cup of coffee, a blanket, and chat with a friend while our kids play. Relaxed. Comfortable. Not stuffy. Maybe a touch of fun or whimsy.
I love that we have so much more room to play, but sometimes it feels a little sparse. I feel like it needs something (other than trim around the door), but I feel like the only place I have to put something is on the walls, and I'm just not sure what to do there. I do have one idea- the frames on the new gallery wall all need another coat of paint anyway (I used Rustoleum's no sanding safe for all surfaces spray paint), and I'm considering painting them canary yellow. Thoughts?
Right side of the room, based on the above photo:
We used to have different curtain panels, but I was tired of them, and they don't match the color scheme that I'd like to go for in this room, so I tossed up some white panels that I already had for now until I decide what to do. Also, this room tends to be a cave and not get much natural light for most of the day, so I wanted to see if white panels made it feel lighter visually. Maybe I should dye THEM canary yellow. I'm kind of liking the idea of yellow right now. It's so spring-y. The problem is that I'm not sure I'd love it come winter time. Overall though, I don't like much about this side of the room. I feel like we need a better solution for the blankets Lizzy is climbing on, and for my computer. I also don't know what to put on the walls by the curtains, if anything.
Looking toward the back. Another blank wall.
Man, what I would give to paint that hutch white. Or turquoise. But Justin loves it as is, and he lives here too, so I suppose he does get some say in things ;)
Here's the pillow slipcovers that I made:
I used the heat-bond tape stuff, and even though I followed the directions painstakingly, they are starting to separate in some spots. Grr.
So there you have it. This is where Lizzy and I spend nearly all of our days. And just because I know it makes me feel better when other people do it, here's what our house ACTUALLY looks like most of the time (and this is on a good day):