Friday, May 6, 2011

Decorating in Stages

Before we bought this modestly sized house, we rented a tiny house built in the 1930's in Hyde Park (Austin, not London) and then an apartment down south. Both were easy to decorate because they were tiny and our hodgepodge of handed-down and thrift store furniture made them seem cozy. 

But decorating a regular sized house has been hard for me. Other than color indecision, I had a hard time finding substantial, affordable, tough furniture that didn't look like it was straight out of a big box store. When we first moved into our current home, we just used the things we already had and decided we would wait to purchase anything big, other than a few essentials (like a large farmhouse table for the dining room that we got on sale). Here's a picture of the living room before:
I can't find a photo that shows the whole room, but we had avocado green walls, maple floors, and a yellow-brown floral rug. Though I like everything separately, the combination was haphazard.

We repainted the room Svelte Sage from Sherwin-Williams, replaced our gold-tone 5' X 7' rug with an indoor-outdoor 8' X 10' rug, removed the pine shelf we had over the fireplace, scooted the furniture toward the center of the room to help it feel larger and cozier at the same time, and had the wood floors replaced.

The mirror over the sofa reflects the natural light from the kitchen windows.

The wicker trunk in front of the fireplace prevents William from playing with the fireplace. The trunk holds extra blankets. Note the one black and one white french door to the guest room; I still can't decide which I like best.

We haven't rehung the curtains since we painted. We also need to paint the wainscoting. 
To make the room work better for us, we ordered a swivel arm chair that is taking forever to get here. The swivel chair will allow people to face the fireplace (in winter), the TV, or talk to someone in the kitchen without craning their neck all the way around. We only ordered one because we had sticker shock, but we've decided to save up and order a matching chair next year if we love this one.

The larger rug sets a better boundary for the room, and since it's indoor-outdoor, it can stand up to muddy shoes, spit up, and spilled food. We just vacuum and wipe it up with a wet rag if it gets messy.

The next stage of decorating is to add color and accessories...the fun part. I'm hoping this will be my mother's day gift. There's a not-so-subtle hint for you, hubby. The changes we've made our small, but they've made this room feel so much more suited to our growing family.

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