when we designed our house (technically a remodel of a pre-1920′s home), having an open living space was a priority. our front door is an extra wide dutch door. i love being able to open it for a breeze to pass through the house, but still keep the kids in.
when you walk through our front door, you walk right into our living room, no real entry way. we also forgot to plan for a hall closet (and a broom closet – oops!), so these hooks to the right of the door are our latest solution. the dresser is so functional for us, using not only as a pretty space, but also as major storage. i found the dresser at a garage sale more than 10 years ago and repainted it recently in french pale gold by behr (from home depot).
you can see this post for lots of details on the entry way.
we have played around many times with the furniture layout and i think this one is the best. i love that the couches aren’t facing the tv, and we really don’t watch much tv here – maybe once a week. but when we do want to watch a show or a movie, i’ll be honest, it’s a pain. a pain in the neck. the couch against the windows was a hand-me-down from my brother and his family when they moved to hawaii. its from ikea – i think it sells for about $399? we bought a new cover for it for $50! our other couch we’ve had for 10+ years and its from larry st. john in the l.a. area. it also has a removable white slip cover. so why white? am i crazy?! nope. white is the only color you can bleach. when my covers get nasty (and i usually wait until they are pretty nasty) i just unzip them and toss them in the washer. my older couch is definitely starting to show its age, as most couches that old would. because its been through the wash so many times, the zippers aren’t all functional anymore and a few holes are starting to show up where the bleach has eventually broken down the fabric. but for ten years, i’d say its not too bad. the bummer to this couch – to get replacements will be at least a few hundred dollars. boo.
i found the table at a garage sale a few years ago with my mom and sister, and eventually repainted it mermaid’s net by behr (i think) on the base and a brown with a black wash on the top. we bought this table pretty thrashed and i didn’t bother sanding it down to refinish it since we have just added to its character with our own scratches. that’s pretty much the case with all of our furniture – its mostly all thrifted and distressed, so when we add our own natural “distressing” that occurs with 3 kids, i feel totally fine about it.
this old coke box used t be the centerpiece on our dining table, holding our napkins and devotional book, but i love it also on our coffee table. sometimes the mason jars hold fresh cut hydrangeas from our yard, but more often it has matchbox cars and random tiny toys residing in the crevices. both the box and the jars were found garage sale-ing or at a flea market.
the sofa table i found at a garage sale. it had a hutch on top and was originally a honey color. until we started our workbox system the hutch was in our playroom on the floor as a book shelf. we also repainted the table mermaid’s net and i distressed it with a razor blade. after a couple years, we just added these knobs from world market. this table has also been our entry way table, before i moved the dresser out of the girls’ room and painted it mustard yellow. i store lots of blankets under this table, 3 of them hand knit by my paternal grandmother. i stole the birdcage from my parents’ loft in our backyard and i put it on a red tray and have a turquoise platter inside for extra color, all vintage.
our floors are engineered maple with a walnut finish. i have no idea what company we used, and since it was about 5 years ago, i’m sure they don’t carry the same floor. the rug between the couches is also from world market, from about 3 years ago, but i think they may still carry it (here’s the same one but smaller size). its made from jute not sisal, so its actually fairly soft underfoot. i love how it has a beachy look to it.
the ceilings are vaulted and covered in tongue-and-groove planks. we did this in our previous home to cover up nasty popcorn ceilings and loved the result, so we did it again!
the fireplace/entertainment unit was custom made when we were building the house. we wanted a built-in look, but couldn’t sacrifice space in the rooms behind, so it is built against the wall. its funny how some things were so important at the time, but now i wouldn’t know any different. all of the hardware is from houseofantiquehardware.com. the tv is set in a hole, basically, and to get it in and out if needed, the bottom piece of trim actually is just latched on rather than nailed into the sides. the cabinets on the lower halves of each side hold all of our photo albums (and boxes and boxes of photos not in albums – i’m so bad about that!), and games and toys on the other side. my little unfinished ottoman (from ikea) also has storage inside and hold a lot of our games.
the shelves hold random knick knacks. the most used shelf is the bottom right one. it hold all of our homeschooling literature that we aren’t currently reading – the kids love looking through the books. also the little basket (from ikea) holds all the different remotes – tv and fireplace. i grew up with a wood burning stove, building my own fires, so the idea of “turning on” a fire is still bizarre to me. i covered the cardboard magazine boxes (from ikea) with paper from paper sky, a local paper boutique (a must visit if you’re ever in town!). we had the backs of the shelves covered in beadboard and painted a chocolate brown to break up all the white a bit.
this side of the shelves needs a little more attention paid to it. over time, things have been pulled from these shelves and moved to decorate other areas of the house, and now i see nothing was put back in it’s place. as much as i love beautifully decorated shelves, i just can’t get myself to go out and buy all new accessories to make my shelves look pleasing. everything here has a bit of history to it. my favorites are the silver cups from my sister while she was living in london, the teal footed vase from my dear friend, joy, and the dr. pepper crate i found at a garage sale (jealous, mique?).
i paid $15 for this, more than i wanted to, but it really was worth it. its a punch of color here and it hold magazines perfectly. i somehow have waaay too many magazines, which rarely get read.
a recent addition are the suitcases atop my entertainment center. these suitcases migrate all over the house, but i am really happy with them here. i got all of my luggage years ago when sean and i were first married and i first started seriously garage sale-ing and going to flea markets. i don’t think i ever paid more that $15 for one. i love these ones with the original stickers and postcards all over them.
oh, and since this is my most asked question here: the wall color is called silver sage by restoration hardware. i had mine custom mixed at a local paint store and i think my color came out a bit more grey than the original, but i still like it. i like how its both a color and a neutral.
feel free to ask me any questions you have and i’ll do my best to get you an answer. i normally answer all your questions via email, but i’ll answer here in the comment section so everyone can see the answers, so be sure to come back and check for my answers!
also, did you know i have a search bar on my site? just over there —> is a little bar that you can type anything into to search around my archives. type in living room, or white couches, or tables and you’ll find lots of old posts and you can see how my house has evolved over the past few years!