When we bought this house, we were inundated with wood. Sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a bad way. While wood is one of my favorite mediums for design, I felt a little overwhelmed with how much of it I was contending with. I decided to combat the plethora of wood with some bright white paint (Snowbound by Sherwin Williams) and some hickory floors to replace the questionable seemingly out of place 70s shag carpet that was installed in 2010. The result was astounding! I also made the executive decision to paint the vaulted ceiling which was old wooden boards and while my husband wasn't quite sure, we both were so happy with the choice. What we ended up with was exactly what I was striving for. Light, bright and white. With a touch of wood.
I love to rearrange. Like, a lot. You'll probably notice that my house looks different in almost every set of pictures because I truly believe that your space should reflect you in present time. Not what worked for you (or your family) 6 months ago, not what you are hoping will work one day (you ever bought something that you know you don't need but hope it will be needed one day? yeah, me neither), but what you need NOW. Since kids tend to grow, so does our space. I am consistently moving toys and books and even entire areas around so that the kids can explore in new ways.
My idea of a great room. One that does a little bit of everything.
the great room
This room does everything for us. Room to play, room to be quiet, room to pass through, room to gather in, room to unify. Such a great room requires great refinement, and I assure you I'll always be tinkering with the space.
My bedroom is my happy place, you guys. Correction: my bed is my happy place. It's so important to me to have clean bedding, happy bedding, soft bedding, bedding that brings me joy. Sleep has always been a huge priority of mine. We are simply not capable of being our best selves without it. If there is ever an area in your home where I encourage you to splurge on something that makes you happy, let it be the bed. Get that quilt you're in love with. Save up for the sheets that you really want. Good bedding lasts a long time. Let it love you back.
I've never been the type to use my dining / kitchen table for much other than dining. My family tends to gather at the kitchen island, in the bedroom, or outside somewhere on our spacious 8 acre spread. I've also never been the type to have any sort of formal dining set up. One table for eating is good enough for me. This little corner is bright, quaint, full of foliage and features some of the only colorful furniture I own; yellow chairs! We also keep our record player close to the kitchen table so it's nearby when we have dinner guests.
I always hated that round chandelier above the kitchen table, but I never came across anything I loved for that space that I could actually afford so I decided on a (most likely) temporary fix that wouldn't cost much to attain. These edison bulbs are fun, eclectic, but pretty casual so I thought they could hang for a bit until I find the fixture of my dreams, which, by the way, I have found but I cannot find the source.
Bottom line, the entryway has to be functional. Assorted hooks make for endless possibilities when hanging bags, jackets, dog leashes or whatever you need to grab on your way out. Having a ledge is also helpful for smaller things that forgetful husbands might otherwise leave behind during their morning shuffle...
I've had this old small scale desk in my home for at least 10 years and it's been one of my favorite pieces because it's versatile, it stores quite a bit of stuff, yet it doesn't take up a lot of room. No matter where I've lived, it's always gone by the front door because the drawers make great little spaces for sunglasses, small electronics, dog collars and leashes and a few grab and go items like gloves, earbuds or lip balm. The glass on top keeps it visually interesting while allowing for some shallow drawer space to showcase. A lamp is also key for early mornings when I'm up before my son and want to enjoy a little light. It's also one of the last lights to go off before bedtime. I always hang horseshoes over the main entryways to my home. Where I come from, it's just something you do.
Boy has it been a year.
I had my second son, I started investing in furniture and furnishings and I gave so much of what I own away.
I moved our vintage credenza to the front a) because it has more space (my oldest son uses it as his "shipping container" for all of his upscale trucks), and b) because the space needed a larger piece to fit the wall better. I guess there's a c) because I've purchased furniture and have been able to enjoy the shuffle.
I also went through the house and patched every hole before starting fresh and deciding where to hang art. I made the mistake of using holes that were previously in the wall to hang my stuff and the results were pretty lackluster and didn't make much sense to me.
All in all, I like how the entryway has evolved this past year. Small changes yield big results.
The living room seems to be the most difficult and the most effortless room to put together at once. So many of my favorite pieces end up here because we use them every day, and my living room happens to be located at the center of the home with the kitchen. It's difficult these days not to make the television the focal point of a living room, and considering how little television we watch in the house, I'm not even sure why it's there. I think it's just something we feel comfortable having. We initially selected a deep couch so that we could snuggle two deep if we wanted to on a chilly night, but it turns out I really favor a more supportive, clean and formal looking sofa so I opted for a mid century tufted linen some years later.
Let's talk about lighting and living rooms. Since our house is an old barn, we have 30 foot vaulted ceilings and no overhead lights. So, during the evening, it's up to the lamps to light the space in the mood we want. My mother gave me this Tolomeo style lamp almost 10 years ago and it's one of my absolute favorite pieces in the house. I can swing it from one side of the couch over to my reading chair in a snap, and the dimmer switch is an obvious must. I also love my salt lamp. Rumored to clear bad energy, the soft pink glow is an instant mood lifter and you can find them for a really reasonable price.
My lover got me these chairs and I feel like they're just what I was wanting for additional seating in the living room. We have so many bigger scaled chairs around that house so it seemed natural to get a few smaller, more simple (but interesting! there's a lot of components to my thought process, folks!) chairs for a quick seat. I can easily change the way they look by adding a pillow or blanket, or, by taking adornments away all together when I'm feeling like I want to look at something cleaner.
Pro-tip: when you're feeling stressed out / overwhelmed / overstimulated, simplify your space. It does wonders for simplifying your mind.
I love to play with the coffee table by keeping it simple up top and functional on the bottom shelf
I turned an ikea shelving unit on it's side so I could stick it under a window and used it to house Till's favorite picture books and extra trucks
our living space last year
another shot from last year (this chair is now upstairs in Sullivan's room where I use it to nurse him in the middle of the night)
I'm glad we moved the vintage credenza to the front door wall; the scale didn't quite work for behind the couch (this couch is now going in my husband's shop living space)
And then get you a soft and interesting rug to stand on while you brush your teeth.
We really lucked out with this old school furnace. My husband complains that it takes up too much space for what it is, but I think it's really special. I love changing around what I keep on the elevated step. Sometimes it's toys, sometimes it's books, sometimes it's seasonal decor or sometimes I keep it clear.
These days (and nights), I am going up and down the stairs more than I can count since the boys's rooms are both up there and my work space is now upstairs. I'm fortunate to have a window in the stairwell so I can have my favorite decor (plants) to look at while I climb up and jog down. My mother gave me this old stained glass window that came from an old church in a small Oklahoma town. It's original, it's in pretty rough shape and I absolutely love it. I thought the scale worked perfect for this ledge, and one of my favorite things about design is mixing old with new.
When I saw this old ironing board I knew I had to have it, but I didn't have a use for it at the time. I've used it as a table backing up to the couch and right now I'm using it as a nice window display for some of my plants that seemed like the needed a little extra love from the sun.
Like the rest of the house, I have opted for less in recent months
I try to make my kitchen as minimalist as possible. With two small children, and endless snacks and meals to prepare, the kitchen requires frequent cleaning. I find that the less I have to move to keep things tidy, the more efficient I am and the more calming my surroundings are. Since my kitchen is in the center of my home and the floor plan literally wraps around it, I find myself here far more often than anywhere else.
There are some things that you absolutely treasure. This wooden bowl is one of those things for me. Keep those you treasure nearby (this goes for people too).
I used to draw in middle school and fancied myself pretty artistic. As an adult, I realized that I was good at drawing an imitation of something but I felt like I had zero imagination to make something up. I think decorating has filled a creative void in me because it allows me to take things that have already been designed and make them meld together. I still tinker with designing things myself but it's a process. I weaved this rya weaving when it came to me and some girlfriends from a fun monthly service called The Crafter's Box. While there was a tutorial on how to do the weaving, the real magic was seeing where everyone took their piece. Ours all ended up so completely different even though we crafted them together.