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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Home & Garden: The Living Room

Now before you go and roll your eyes at me, you have to understand I have been working on decorating an entire house, and it has taken me months and months and months to try and make it just right. But let’s be honest I wasn’t going to go to a single store and fill this house with stuff just too fill it. I wanted the pieces I got to be LOVED, I wanted them to all complement each other and I wanted them also to be both functional and durable. Some of the pieces were special ordered and some just took me forever to find that perfect fit. In any case I know we moved in seven months ago, I know you have all been maybe not so patiently waiting for photos of the house, but I can tell you that I love what I have done so far. And that to me is worth the wait. I am still missing a few select pieces, however for the most part I am done. And with a big huge SIGH of relief I can now have people over without feeling embarrassed and I can now share the rooms with you!

I knew that I wanted the Living Room, the first room you see when you walk in the house, to be completed first. Since our old home was a fourth of the size when we moved in I didn’t have a single piece of furniture in this room. Hell most of the rooms just looked completely naked. But I dreaded walking into the house and seeing this completely empty room.

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WALKING IN THE FRONT DOOR

I did make a mood board for the Living Room, and it helped remarkably in keeping the original vision I had true. The purpose of the mood board in interior design is to set the tone of an interior decorating project not be a rigid in stone inflexible contract that cannot be deviated from. I think that most of all I agonized most over the fabrics. I wanted to room to be calm and understated but still interesting. In the end I went with a cream, peach, pale blue color pallet all infused with warmed honey toned wood.

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THE FABRICS HAD VARIATION IN THEIR DETAIL BUT HARMONY IN THEIR COLOR

I envisioned this room in two parts. It is a major traffic area from the front door to the back of the house and as a pathway to the stairwell. I knew I wanted a large piece of furniture to provide light as soon as you enter and also as a place to toss mail and keys. I ended up finding the perfect console by Hooker at a local furniture store my friend turned me onto. Once it was delivered I knew it would be the perfect place to showcase my crystal bowl from my grandmother and the crystal picture frame my brother and his wife gave us for our wedding gift.

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THE ENTRY WAY TABLE IS LARGE AND PERFECT SPACE FOR DUMPING AN ARMLOAD OF STUFF

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LOVE THAT IT IS ALSO A GREAT PLACE TO SHOWCASE MY CRYSTAL

The other half of the room would act as a small sitting room. I knew I didn’t want to use large pieces of furniture in this space since there wasn’t a ton of room. In the end I opted for small and delicate, but not so small and delicate that you would worry sitting on it. The couch and chairs are from Ethan Allen. It took over four months for the couch and two chairs to arrive.

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THE SITTING ROOM

I had to simply wait to get a rug or tables or knick-knacks in the room until the furniture arrived. I needed to see the space once the furniture was in so I could make sure that the pieces I selected would look right. Of course that didn’t stop me from shopping and taking photos with my phone and LOOKING. Always looking, always searching, it was fun but also exhausting!

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THINGS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT

Originally I wanted a fantastic silk rug from a fancy rug store but when I looked at the price I almost lost my mind. You pay that for something you walk on! That the dog is going to get all dirty all the time, that children will spill things on, that I am going to need to replace in a few years because it is so worn!!!! No way. Instead I went to Bed Bath and Beyond with Mrs. Dancer. We found three rugs all for under a 10th of the cost of the expensive rug and dragged them home to test out with the furniture. One worked beautifully.

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OUR TOP THREE CHOICES OF RUGS

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THE RUG WAS ECONOMICAL AND BEAUTIFUL

But the room still wasn’t quite right; the nook by the stairwell looked too bare. I thought about putting a cabinet and I brought several home to try however nothing was working quite. Frustrated but unwilling to accept something subpar I kept my eyes open and waited knowing that eventually I would find something perfect. See this is what takes so long, the waiting until you find the piece that is just right. And then I saw it, a page in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine of a little One-Wall Wonder concept that I thought would work perfectly in my small nook.

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A CLIPPING FROM THE BETTER HOMES & GARDENS MAGAZINE

I of course I then had to order another chair from Ethan Allen, this time in a slightly different cut and with a different material, just to keep it interesting. And then I had to wait another three months while the chair was made and delivered. I love the customability of Ethan Allen and the craftsmanship they have with each piece but in this day of instant gratification it was hard to wait. SIGH! I am still searching for the right pieces of artwork to hang behind the small table, the last thing to make this room officially finished, but I just love how this space shaped up.

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MY LITTLE NOOK MAKES ME HAPPY

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IT REALLY FILLED IN THAT EMPTY SPACE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRWELL AND IT CREATED ANOTHER SEAT IN THE ARRANGEMENT

Of course it is the details that really make a room look pulled together. Little things that make mismatched pieces look similar enough. I didn’t necessarily want exact matchy matchy pieces like a set but I did have a warm honey gold tone to the wood and art that I wanted to have throughout all the pieces. I also love art that means something to me and several things in this room are near and dear to my heart. That’s what makes a room really feel like a home, things that people may not exactly be able to pinpoint but things that make it special.

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1. ARTWORK ABOVE THE COUCH ‘STILL LIFE, HYDRANGEAS’ BY EDOUARD VUILLARD I GOT WHILE ON A TRIP TO THE CHICAGO ART INSTITUE
2. A FLOWER ARRANGMENT THAT I CREATED
3. A PRESERVED SAVE THE DATE INVITATION TO OUR WEDDING, A FEW FAVORITE BOOKS AND MY WHALE THAT HAPPILY REMINDS ME OF MOBY DICK


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THE ROOM HAS A REPETING CIRCLE, SUN, DETAILED THEME THAT IS SUBTLE BUT REPRESENTED IN SEVERAL AREAS

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ALL THE WOOD ALTHOUGH NOT EXACTLY MATCHING IS IN WARM HONEY TONES

Once I finally got everything into place I realized that this is my most favorite room in the house. It’s a grown up room, it’s tasteful, it’s elegant and it makes me so incredibly HAPPY. It is beautiful when a vision comes together.

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I LOVE THIS ROOM

3 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

I love this room too. You could make your own magazine and call it "Best Home and Garden" Gorgeous, it WAS worth the wait.

Mrs Painter said...

So inspiring! I would love to capture multiple views on canvas. Can you imagine the elegant portraits that could be made in this room?!

Jennifer Arens said...

That is a stunning room! Done very well!

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