Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Peek Into My House--Living Room

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.

Left side:

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):



  1. Gosh, I gotta say, I LOVE your wall gallery! Total inspiration for me :)

    I like the idea of yellow as an accent color and not the main color. I think a few splashes of spring would be nice and then you could change it up if you got sick of it come winter.

  2. Love the gallery wall - I kind of like the frames white, but I'm sure that bright yellow would be awesome, too. I like your current layout, a lot.

    I think a big deep basket would be perfect for the blankets and look decorative. Maybe a bright yellow frame on a side table on that window side of the room - and you could always use heat and bond to add yellow grosgrain to the white curtains for a touch of whimsy.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. ADORE your collage wall. I'm in the process of making one too :) Well, we'll see when it gets done.

  5. @ Allison and Jared- We actually love our "hideous" sofas.

    And even if we didn't, we simply don't have the budget to replace two major pieces of furniture that are still totally functional and comfortable.

  6. Hi Meredith! I think your living room looks so comfy - exactly the place to chill out and watch a movie or something. Like Emily I really like the frames in white but if you wanted to add something with color - maybe switch out one of the pics with a piece of colorful scrapbook paper - that way you could get the dose of color and it wouldn't be permanent.

    I'd also consider putting scrapbook paper or wall paper on the inside of your hutch. You can just cut out poster board to fit, attach the scrapbook/wallpaper to the poster board and pop it into place - also a non-permanent solution.

    Finally, I was thinking exactly like Emily and would suggest adding a band of ribbon to your white curtains with some heat bond tape. I'm not a big yellow fan, but I love coral ... one of the other colors in the awesome pillows that you made!

  7. Can I just say I love your "hideous" sofas too? They are one of my favorite places to hang out while we are home ;)

    I love your gallery wall. I think I have Jesse convinced to work on one here when we get back from our trip!

    Oh and also, maybe I'll text you a picture of my living room today, maybe you'll feel better about your seriously awesome decorating skills. My living room (Okay my whole house) has a LOT of bare walls/sad decor ;) lol

  8. I love the white frames with all the pictures. I caught myself looking at one of my blank walls thinking hmmmmmmmm, the would look neat here :)

    I like your living room, I could hang there.

  9. It would seriously be a crime against humanity to paint that hutch. Holy crap, that wood is gorgeous.

  10. mere,
    i love your living room! it is, indeed, cozy and comfortable.
    and the slipcovered pillows?! amazing! i am so inspired. maddie and i might make a trip to the fabric store today, and make some for our desperately-in-need sofa.
    your crafting projects were a success in my book. =)

  11. Your goal of having a functional yet cozy living room is exactly what you have!

    So cute... I love the idea of yellow as an accent color! And your wall gallery is great.

  12. Hi - Allison here,

    My account was hacked today and I have spent the entire day repairing damage done with rude and unkind blog comments he/she (aka mr horrible hacker man with bad taste) has made on design blogs.

    I'm assuming that the comment you left on Re-nest is referring to yet another glorious hacker comment that was made under my name.

    I really apologize and hope that you don't take the comment seriously know it came from someone attacking everything in site.

    Please accept my apologies. My account has been fortified and hopefully you won't be harassed again.


  13. Hi - Allison here

    My blogger account was hacked today and I have spend the entire day trying to track down and apologize for comments made on mainly design blogs under my name.

    I assume that because of the comment you left on Re-Nest that you also got some hacker hate comments.

    I really apologize for whatever was said. Please know that I don't agree with the horrible things this hateful hacker has been spewing and that I have fortified my account and you hopefully will not be bothered again.

    Please accept my apologies. I know how much work a blog is and how much people put themselves into them and how hurtful unkind comments are and I am so sorry.


  14. NOOOO!! I left a super long comment and stupid blogger deleted it. :(

    Trying again...

    Love the new layout, love the color arranged books under the TV, love your wood floors.

    My suggestions:

    - Leave the frames white. They are more versatile that way and you can always add color with the prints.

    - Dye the curtains! And maybe be on the lookout for curtains on sale to switch out if you don't like the yellow in winter.

    - Get a big basket for the blankets. I bet you could find a great one at a garage sale!

    - Add pillows. I love the ones you've made so far...if you have more fabric, add some to the couch in front of the window.

    - Add hooks to the blank wall by the hutch. Since it's an entry, it's the perfect place for people to hang their coats and bags. Plus you can do something really charming like this [ ] for cheap. A piece of wood, white spray paint, and knobs from Hobby Lobby when they are half off. :)

  15. You could put some paper in the back of the shelves in the hutch... yellow maybe?

    I love your living room - looks like a great hangout spot! I like the ribbon or trim ont he curtains. A few rows of ribbon across the bottom would be pretty.


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