Monday, October 24, 2016

Late October in the Living Room

Even before we moved to Rattlebridge, I knew the living room would present design issues. In its former life, it was all cut up, with a 1970s sunken living room. At some point, a sun room was added. Our contribution was to open the space, allowing for unrestricted views of the distant mountains; but the remodel also created my biggest decorating challenge to date. 
Winter 2015 

Nearly a year later, we moved in. Both my husband and I were recovering from health issues, and we decided to take our time. Our living room stayed empty for months, until the old aqua sofa and chairs were bumped out of the man cave. The plan was to order white slip covered pieces, but I wanted to get my bearings. As predicted, the room was difficult. I had trouble arranging furniture and hanging art (no walls!). Something else was going on, too: the furnishings went to war.  I knew it would take time to sort it out; but in the meantime, it was a relief to have a place to sit and read.
Mid-Winter 2015 

As the seasons shifted from summer to fall, I rolled up the rug and replaced it with a little sisal from Lowe's. Next, I removed the floral pillows. I already had plenty of bright, tangerine-colored  pillows on the porch, so I grabbed them, along with a throw. A dear quilt added a punch of color to the sunroom.
Late October 2016

In my mind's eye, I could see what the room wanted to be. It wasn't there yet, but I had a true north: Chippy things, white slipcovers, books, a touch of formal, and just plain fun. Heaven knows how long it'll take. Many times I can't tell if I've made a room better or worse. Usually, it looks worse. I'm still not in a hurry, because I am still listening to the house. Little, formal pieces keep snagging my eye, and not in a good way, so I've been moving them to the man cave, which pleases my formal loving husband. So, we're all happy.

And here's a flashback to the remodel. Crisp white paint went up, along with a beadboard ceiling. Somewhere in my heart, I must have known that I was a country girl.

A year later, I still love the off-white walls. The house always seems bright, and I enjoy playing with art and colorful accessories. 
October 2016

The little table was earmarked for the potting shed, but it's still here.
February 2016

Autumn 2016

Little table, which color will you be at Christmas? Chalk and milk paint don't set off my asthma, not like spray paint, so I'm likely to paint and repaint little pieces.

 Because the living areas are open to the dining room and kitchen, let's take a little peek. In the dining room, I am literally playing a game of musical chairs. I thought about switching tables, but it just wasn't practical. We are so attached to our old table--not only does it fit the long, narrow dining area, my husband uses the far end as a workspace. So many memories were made around that table. We talked about painting it, but the surface has withstood decades of family dinners, served as a buffet at parties, and provided a place for children to scribble their homework, and for me to spread out chapters of novels-in-progress. That table is tough, and my husband, the human Saint Bernard, need a durable work spot. At some point, we may remove the leaf and use the table for another purpose; but for now, it won't be painted. However, the chairs were a different story. I removed a few of the formal side chairs (more on this later) and set out my old, mismatched ladder backs. Everywhere I look on Pinterest, these chairs are being refreshed with paint. I am truly hesitant. 
I just know one thing: old pieces, the items I had when I was younger, really speak to me now. I wish I'd stood up for those chairs, but my style was all over the place, influenced by trends, I suspect. My style still is a mishmash, to be sure, but this time, I have a plan.

I put an old Windsor rocker in the kitchen, and it feels just right.

Moving back to the sun room, I love the casual dining space. 
I've been auditioning chairs.

At one end of the sunroom, the old hutch turned out to have a playful side.

In the living room, another "cut up" wall found its groove with lively art and a sweet primitive table that I bought last summer from an old friend. The formal dining chair is in the process of being painted. I only painted one, so we could think about it. (In person, it's not a stark, blaring white. But it's still a drastic change for me and DH, two people who don't embrace change.) The fate of the other chairs depends on this one, little painted piece.

It needs glazing/waxing, then you can be sure I'll get out the sandpaper, too.

Now, more than ever, it's good to wait.
It's good to think. 
To listen to the room.

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  1. Oh my, I love how you are taking your time as you find your compass in your new home. I love the mix of chairs in your DR, and how you're transforming the original chair(s). I can relate to your struggles, as my Mr. is so set in his ways, I tread lightly with trying to change things to suit us both. Ours is mostly traditional, leaning formal, but I infuse vintage every opportunity I can to make it feel more homey. It's a process, getting to know ourselves and our homes.

  2. Your rooms are so fun and inviting. I think the colors really give a happy feel to your home. Loved the tour!

  3. Gorgeous bright room. I love every inch!

  4. Your living room is evolving nicely. Love the mix of colors and old accents. Thanks for the update.

  5. I was wondering how the interior decorating was coming along, so I'm happy to see this post. It looks like you are well on your way.

  6. Love it. It is so fun to see how you are transforming each space.

  7. Very inspiring! I love your use of gorgeous color! Crazy for all the thought put into it. Can I come over?!!

  8. Gorgeous! Love the color palette.

  9. Everything looks wonderful and I love that dear little table that keeps changing color!

  10. Lovely photos of a very lovely space! love all of your pops of color.

  11. I think what you've accomplished so far is beautiful, however, can relate to the desire for change. I still don't feel like my living room is "right" and my style has evolved over the years. It's difficult to find the balance between traditional but not too formal. Bunny Williams said "if you like, then it just works"!

  12. It's beautiful! The words that spring to my mind are warm, cozy and inviting and that's what it's all about. :-)

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  13. I love what you have done so far! The colors are so vibrant....a true mix of country and traditional! Glad you are taking your'll be worth the wait! ;)

  14. I am so excited to see your interior decorating. Always inspiring. I love the painted furniture along with mixed wood tones. We have a cream sectional on order. I am feeling emerald and Kelley greens or along those lines. Just trying to figure out how to bring in other than just pillows and throws.

  15. That, my dear, is my favorite room in your whole house!!

  16. Your house is absolutely beautiful! You have such gorgeous artwork and display everything beautifully! I love how you have mixed painted pieces with wood pieces. I adore your dining room set. Those dining chairs are gorgeous! Thanks for taking us along on the tour! I really enjoyed it!

  17. Sweet Autumn Blessings sent your way. Looks like you are getting some color on for your home. Beautiful shades of life,

  18. I love everything that you have done - it looks terrific. The dining room is very pretty and I really do like the living room arrangement. It takes time to get the feel of a home - your doing great.

    Enjoy your week.


  19. Everything is looking so cozy and homey, Michael Lee! I'm loving your touches of aqua, and all of your art work really makes your home so colorful and special. Yes, a house certainly does speak to us, and sometimes it takes awhile to listen. You know how much I love your ladderback chairs...sigh!! I could move right in and be so happy in your cheerful, warm, comforting living room!

  20. I just love your style. I have a similar round table, but never thought of using a quilt on it. Now I am obsessed with finding one!

  21. Your home is beautiful! I love how you incorporate the bright colors into a more formal setting. You spoke of writing your novels at the dining room table. By chance, is a new one coming out soon? :-)

  22. I especially like the floor vingette under the blue table- unusual and perfect.

  23. I am in love with all the blues and oranges! I just repainted a bench for the fourth time....I think. :)

  24. I don't think you can make a mistake in this beautiful open space! Everything looks wonderful, I love the befores as well as the afters, the room is gorgeous!

  25. Oh I'm loving all your painted touches and cozy details...the aquas are tangerines are calling my name! I can't wait to see your white washed Chippendale chairs with your newly painted dining room.

  26. I love your ladder back chairs! They are almost similair to mine. They look amazing in photos! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!