I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like incorporating your own style into your home can be a tricky thing. As we've gradually worked on our home the four years we've lived here, I've tried to consider the era of the house, what is functional, what is comfortable, what is within our budget, and also what appeals to my own style.
What is my style? I don't really know if it's something I can define. I just know I love it when our home feels warm, comfortable, definitely cozy, but pretty too. I like to incorporate things that are special and have meaning. I don't mind taking my time, waiting for just the right piece or for inspiration to strike, even if it means living with a blank wall for a while.
A home is a place where memories are made with family and friends, it's a place to rest, a place to laugh, it's a haven and so much more. So I think ultimately it shouldn't matter what is popular, or what style is trendy, it's creating a home that is comfortable to live in. It's creating a home that works for you or your family. It's creating a place that you look forward to coming home to.
I think all these thoughts come to mind with our living room in particular, because this room has definitely proved to be the most challenging. I know I've said this before, but the wood walls are something I've grown to love. Along the way I've tried to figure out ways to lighten the room while retaining their originality and still creating a room that we love spending time in. My main goal, especially as time has evolved, is to create a living room that we can relax and have fun in, but a space that also cleans up well and easily.
Most recently Justus built a new coffee table and end table for the living room. My reasoning for this was I wanted a coffee table that was just the right height for coloring and for propping feet on. I wanted an additional place where we could store things like puzzles, toys and coloring books. The end table was a bonus. Once Justus built the coffee table, we both agreed that a matching end table is just what the living room needed.
Every basket and box in this room serves a purpose. The majority of the girls' toys are kept in their rooms, but their favorites are all stored in the living room. For instance, the old wooden box holds toys and the basket sitting on top of the table holds crayons (safe from Huck, our poodle that loves the taste of crayons).
I purposely left everything in the living room just how it looks on a daily basis, magazines and all. I do think it's possible to have a room that is functional as well as pretty. True, we do have a few rules in place, like the girls eat only in the kitchen or dining room, but they also roll all over the rug after they've been playing outside, draw and color at the coffee table, and have toys scattered every which way throughout the day. But we can also zip through the room and have it straightened and clean in no time.
After Justus finished the tables, I was anxious to find some baskets that fit just right. I measured and measured, searched many places, and in the end went with a couple baskets from Pottery Barn (I had a coupon and they were on sale, so they ended up being very affordable!). They were each a different style, but made from the same material. I love them, and this one that fits in the end table is perfect for storing coloring books, drawing paper, and a few small toys.
This pillow cover was a fall splurge from Ann's shop. Believe it or not, pillow covers are one of the few things I can actually sew, but the other pillow covers in our living room that have come from Ann have stayed so nice that I really like to buy them from her. Plus her fabric choices are superb!
The only other change I've made recently is I finally filled the blank spot on the wall above the sofa. Last week I finally got the girls put in their pretty dresses and we went to the farm to get some fall photos. Then a few days later I was at Target and just happened to see this frame on clearance. I was so excited - it was just perfect for this spot!
(The mat is actually a linen fabric - love!)
We all love our new coffee table! It has gotten so much use already... it's a place to set books and magazines, but also a great footrest and "table" for the girls. (You can read about the building/finish of the tables here.)
It's always a nice feeling to have a room feel complete. We spend a lot of time here, and I love that it's a room that works for every member of our family! It's truly a living room!
Especially for these two little girls and this one big pup!