Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted by Leila
I thought you might like a peek at our family room (aka the den).
Every family is different.
Sometimes I think we are quite different from other people...we seem not really to care about things being super neat and put away. We like our stuff around us.
I'm showing you this so you can say to yourself, "well, that seems pretty nice and comfortable --but I can do a lot better than that!"-- in case you are feeling a little defeated by some very pricey and stylish decorating.
I believe that our homes should serve one goal: to make a proper place for the life of this family -- one that we, together, think is beautiful and fitting, and one that offers to anyone who visits us a warm loving welcome.
I love looking at magazines and all the ideas out there in blog land! But it's good to be able to say, "That wouldn't suit us," or, "That would be beyond our means."
I've found that when I keep this approach in mind, just the right things pretty much fall into my lap! Sometimes they are right there on the side of the road for free!
The ones that don't, well, they represent considered purchases -- the most important consideration being that they will look just fine with thrift-store finds.
Can I show you?
We have two of these red and white sofas that are at right angles to each other. I made that linen pillow from a piece I found at a yard sale -- the pillow form was from a yard sale too!
Someday I'll tell you about the challenges of this wonderful house. For now, let's say that a square room with four huge windows and four doors is a tough one. I rarely buy furniture new, but the thought of spending the rest of my life looking for two matching large sofas that I didn't hate was reason enough to go ahead and get them. We needed red because at the time there was a truly hideous bright red wall-to-wall 70s carpet here, and we didn't have the wherewithal to deal with it then. So red it was.
In our family we "gather" in the evening, during the day, whenever! -- we don't go off to separate rooms when we are all together. Well, if you are going to have 10 or more people gathered, you are going to need some seating! Gracious friends offered this rocker, which fits perfectly in a tricky spot. "The cats tore up the top of it, you'll need a throw!" they warned me. Well, my grandmother's afghan does a good job, don't you think?
One year when, with boarders, we had 5 strong teenage boys here, we had them rip out the carpet and paint the floor barn red. I found this sage green bound remnant for a song at an outlet store, and the green and red color scheme was born.
Rosie painted the room, and in case you were wondering, yes! you can paint over dreadful 70s brown vinyl paneling. (I can tell you about the paint in the comments if you are interested.)
The rug is now almost 9 years old. It's Stainmaster and cleans up amazingly well, no matter what spills on it. It's great for board games and legos and people throwing a pillow down and lying on the floor.
The square coffee table is from another outlet. I chose it very carefully. We needed a big enough space to be able to eat supper in here for fun, to do a puzzle, and to stack all our books, projects, and magazines. Our art is done by Habou or Deirdre, for the most part. We like real art, and we are very blessed to have real artists right here!
Of course we watch TV in here (in a limited way *cough Red Sox* *cough Lost*). I realize that we are woefully behind in our lack of a wide-screen HD TV. Oh well -- our "ancient" model fits in this cabinet!
For years I was desperate for a way to put the TV behind doors -- a MUST if you are going to have TV. Another friend offered me this entertainment center as a gift because she was getting a new one. She spent quite a while apologizing for it!!!
I truly love it. I guess it should be painted and the hardware swapped out, but the other woodwork in the room is oak, so it doesn't bother me that much. This way we just enjoy it without fussing.
Seriously, it's perfect here -- it fits in its allotted place as if made for it and offers a wonderful surface for displaying things we love. We usually pray in here, so having a little place for a statue and a candle is wonderful. The little red box holds matches.
On the large wall above the TV center we have our "family museum".
I'm going to post about that another day, so don't forget to bookmark our little spot here so you can come find out about it!
Here is my corner where I have my computer and other office things -- I've crammed them into as little space as I could (the overflow is in my pantry, which I will also show you another day :)
You can see the red floor (not all the paint "took", alas; but we don't really care, to tell you the truth).
Everywhere you look there are books and more books. Usually the coffee table is piled with many stacks and some stacks shoved underneath. But you know what, that's okay! It's us!
Thanks to Hooked on Houses for hosting the link!
*Edited to add: Since dear Erika asked, I will tell you that the paint is Benjamin Moore Guilford Green (to go with the cheap rug, yes, that's what I said) and Calming White (which looks downright yellow in other places, but the light in this room is odd -- and anything whiter would have made my sofas look dirty, which would have made me want to fall on my sword -- and it is indeed calm -- that is the exact word most people use on entering this room!). I will ask Rosie to post on painting over hateful 70s brown paneling -- she's the expert.