As of April 30, we have lived in this house for three years. Of the eleven homes we’ve lived in, there’s only one that we’ve lived in longer than this one. In the past we’ve always been pretty quick about painting and decorating, I guess because we knew if we waited we’d probably move before we got anything done. We will be in this house for the foreseeable future, and while we have most of the rooms painted, that’s about as far as it’s gone. I don’t have much on the walls, and I don’t even have any family photos out.
It has occurred to me that I never really finished the parade of homes, as I only showed the builder model of the house we’re in now. I’ve been waiting for it to be “done”, but since that’s not happening, I’m just going to get on with the parade. If you’d like to start at the beginning, I have chronicled all ten of our previous homes in a series: Parade of Homes.
We had this house built, but it’s just a plain boxy builder home. In addition, the living areas are not large. You can see from the floor plan that the family room is about 14x14 and the living room is about 15x14. I’m not complaining; I love my house, but trying to figure out how to make it look pretty and still be functional is eluding me.
Part of the problem is that every picture I see of a room that I like, whether it’s online, in a magazine, or in a catalog, has significantly different bones than my room. I have yet to see a anyone do a makeover feature of a small square room with no architectural details and wall to wall carpeting. I was lucky enough to get 9ft ceilings, but magazine rooms, even the “boring, boxy” ones, have soaring 10-12ft ceilings. They have hardwood floors and huge windows. They have crown molding and 6” baseboards. They are considered small if any one dimension is less than 20ft. In magazine terms, my living room would be a nice walk-in closet.
Here is my living room right now, enhanced by my totally awesome photo splicing technique:
These photos are older, so a few accent pieces have changed, but not the main furniture. This will give you the full tour of the room and an idea of the size.
Points I feel obligated to make:
- I know the current drapes (top photo) are too short. They were on clearance and I’m trying them out; if I keep them I’ll add some fabric to make them longer (but I’m probably going to go back to my dropcloth drapes)
- the furniture is really too large for the room, but I will be replacing it this summer because it’s full of holes. I’ve almost saved up enough to buy the Ikea Ektorp sectional and chair, which are smaller in scale
- this room functions as the TV room, so while unfortunate, the placement of the armoire is necessary, as is having enough seating for the whole family
- it’s hard to tell, but the room is in fact painted in the top two photos (Benjamin Moore Natural Linen)
You might also be interested to see the consultation I won from Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage a couple years ago, and her ideas for this room.