Making Our House Our Home: Part II

You walk into the living room from our entry.   I looked at hundreds of pictures on-line for decoration inspiration and I tended toward the living rooms with a warm, English feel.   I chose a taupe that I still like just as much as when I chose it.   The satin finish makes it even prettier.   The furniture is all leather or tweedy shades of brown.   It's intentionally a room of browns with pops of red and gold.   I am waiting to tackle the biggest wall in the room.   I'm a little scared to drive the first nail!   I love the way the architecture of the room allows me to continue my eclectic decorating style, antiques with touches of old South and Craftsman/Mission.

Before: Our living room as it appeared when we first looked at the house

The olive green was not a bad color, but the paint job itself was terrible.  I felt the room would be cozier and more traditional with all four walls painted the same color.    That mirror was hung with a huge screw that was sagging.  I was able to re-use the valances in our old house to prepare it for sale.   Together, they fit our dining room window there perfectly!

After (during Easter season)

Before: Living Room on the day before closing (kind of--another time, another post!)

After: First Layer
After: What a difference curtains make
The rocking chair in front of the window is what is known as a nursing rocker (sometimes a sewing rocker) since it has no arms.   Mama said that as she and Daddy were moving once, Uncle Bob (Aunt Nadine's husband) added this to their load.   I used to sit in it and cross-stitch.   The table is one that Mama refinished.   Garage sale find, of course!   She bought the lamp for me the Christmas I had back surgery.
For the first time in almost fifteen years, we bought furniture (other than mattresses and two small rocker/recliners).   Our couch was the one my parents bought me when I moved out for my first teaching job.    It was literally threadbare!   So, we bought a loveseat and chair-and-a-half.   The floors are so much easier to clean than carpet.   When I see all the things on the floor, I think of how all of that would be in our carpet.  
One of the features I like is the wall to the right.   This is a common floor plan in our town, but often that wall is not solid and opens into the kitchen with a bar stretched along its length.  There usually isn't enough room to use the bar for seating and have room for a walkway and living room furniture placement.   Plus, I need every wall I can get for all my stuff!

That solid wall made the perfect place for this bookshelf. 

This stood in our hallway in the house on the farm.   Mama made it.   When I was in high school, our Vo-Ag teacher received a grant to do an adult education class, so he held a wood-working class.  Mama and Mrs. Carmel made matching bookshelves.   Our Encyclopedia Britannica set was always on the bottom shelf.  

The coffee table is a chest Mama picked up at an estate sale in Kansas.
At the farm, it sat in the alcove outside my bedroom.   The folk art and patina is lovely.   It's dated 1948, but I don't know if that is the date for the chest or the marriage.   It's our game chest.   We were able to re-use our rug from the other house.   We had built-ins in the last house, so we needed a tv stand in this house.   I found this one at Overstock for an amazing price.   It is so well-made and heavy!  The doors are faux card catalog drawers.   It makes me think of Mama; she loved pieces with lots of little drawers.

Next layer: rearrange furniture and finally hung pictures to form a gallery wall


Another view:
The room felt so much more like home when the books were on the shelves.  I remembered once being invited to a new home by someone I met through a friend.   It was a huge, very expensive house on a beautiful property with gorgeous views and no neighbors in view.   I remember leaving and feeling so sad.   There was not a single book in sight in that house.   Not even a coffee table book.   I tried to arrange the books by category.   We'll see how long it lasts!

I loved the furniture's tweedy look and child-friendly color, but I didn't like the pillows.   My friend, Amber, made these pillows for me as part of a housewarming gift.   I picked a fabric for the back that looks like it was made for the loveseat.

Another Amber pillow 
These chairs were a great find on   They're very sturdy and comfortable.   The kids love to sit in them.   They cost a quarter of the price for similar chairs in stores!

Back wall: Conversation Space
Mama refinished the table and gave it to us for our apartment when we moved here.   The lamp was hers and sat in the front window, always lit to welcome us on our visits.   The large poster is a reproduction of a British WWI poster that we bought in England and the other three are pieces of U.S. sheet music from WWI.  

After: more rearranging

It's such a cozy place to gather as a family.   We bought an antennae and did not have cable turned on, so that makes it such a restful place.   It was also the perfect place to enjoy watching the royal wedding (live, of course):


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