winter emptiness {& being ok with it)

so you’re thinking this is going to be a serious and emotional post, no?  well, i’m not so much talking about feelings but furniture and home decor!


every year, after i take down our christmas decorations, my house feels empty.  i have just removed boxes and boxes of decor, and a giant fixture in the room (hello, a tree?!), so the room really is much more empty.


i love to take the time to sit in the “emptiness” and see how i should change up the room, see what i’m feeling for it, and decide if i want to try something new.


the room is now in an edited state.  i took out the red and other obvious christmas items, but i still wanted to feel wintery in here.  even though it is really truly 80* outside.  i wore shorts today.  its insane.


so i kept the faux fur throw, the cable knit, and some fun gold accents, but i also added in just a smidge of color.


i kept the lodge feeling going subtly with the birch bark wrapped candles and antlers,


and i just couldn’t put away the trees!  they fit the winter bill, so i decided they can stay just a bit longer.


we moved the furniture around, which i love to do, even though there are really only a few options to make the 2 couches fit.


the biggest change that i’m trying to get used to is the piano.  me no likey.  but sean really wanted to try it there and really wanted it away from the dining area (it was a pretty tight fit next to the table).  and since sean rarely speaks up when it comes to design, i try to honor his requests and make them work!  but this is not working for me.  first of all, you can see the back of the piano behind the couch!  yuck.  we have discussed painting the piano (yes, everyone has a strong opinion on painting pianos), which if we keep the piano here i think we need to do.  it just blends in with the floor too much and the back of the piano would look much better finished if we have to look at it.


so here’s the deal.  this is my real house, not a fancy staged blogger’s house.  its not finished or decorated exactly how i’d like, but its still good.  and i’m happy with it.  and i’m ok with it not being perfect.  i’m ok with taking time to find the inspiration to make something beautiful happen in here and not forcing it.

for now, this place functions as it should:  our family and friends gather here and relax.  we play games at this table and have been reading together at night on the couches.  the table and couches are apparently perfect for running around.  and around.  and around.  as they should be.

so if you’re silly like me and are feeling a little like “my house looks so blah after taking down all the festive decorates” and wanting something amazing again, stop.  be ok with it being just ok.  its a home.  live in it.  don’t force inspiration, wait for it.



  1. 1

    I love this post. I love your home, the wintery theme and its arrangements. I also feel awkward about the piano- I would feel the same way if it were my home and space. I’d rather it against a wall or maybe painting, but eek painting a piano?!!?! I’m one of those people who cringe. Good Luck. I enjoy how honest and simply you wrote this and I admire your home and interior design.

  2. 2

    We did something similar with our piano, which is an upright shaped a bit like yours. It has actually worked out very well—when it is IN THE WAY, it gets used a LOT more than it did. I totally get that! Besides, it gives us another flat surface that is just a little higher, which is So Nice. All you need is to take your lovely black-and-white throw (or something!) and arrange it on the back of the piano top, letting it drape down the back behind the sofa. Ta-Da!

  3. 7
    Christina says:

    Just a thought…maybe switch the yellow dresser and the piano? The dressers height might work a bit better behind the sofa, acting as a console. The piano could still have a lamp or dish for keys or whatever on top of it to make it work by the door.
    Just musing here…your house always looks good!

    • 8

      I was going to suggest this same thing! I love your house!!

    • 9

      My first thought was to switch the dresser and the piano too. And thinking waaayyy outside the box, maybe you could put the piano in front of the fireplace if you don’t use it…then it would be front and center.

    • 10

      i’m definitely going to try that next. i can’t stand it where it is!

  4. 11
    Mary Meier says:

    i just emptied my house too and was thinking the same way you were…i find if i “do” things to fast to redecorate i don’t like it in 2 i need to relax…enjoy my home and wait for what feels good

  5. 12

    I love taking the Christmas decorations down for this reason. My house is like a clean slate. More room changes are made in January than any other month. In fact I mentioned this on my blog!

  6. 13

    your home is precious!

  7. 14

    Paint the piano !!!! I painted mine with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Arles. A muted yellow, and I love it. At first I thought the yellow would stand out too much, but it did the opposite, it fits the room so much better now. Yes you notice a yellow piano, but the dark wood just stuck out more. I must confess the piano has no sentimental value to us, we got it very cheap so painting it was no big deal. I can understand not wanting to paint something valuable or with great meaning, that is why I can not or will never paint my china cabinet, even though I know I would love the result, just can’t do it.

  8. 16

    Love the idea of painting the piano! Also, I have seen fabric gathered at top and bottom, covering the back of a piano when it has to show. Could be an option, if you decide to leave it where it is.

  9. 17

    I really like my home the way it is. It’s lived in. I haven’t taken the time to make it matchy or perfect. We had a water leak so I finally got laminate flooring in last May, after 13 yrs of living with carpet. I found a new respect for my very small house. We live in it, all 4 of us and it’s cramped at times. The girls can’t really share a room so I lost some beading space for my jewelry making (it’s now in my cramped room) instead of in the 4th room) so I do wish for an extra room, but it is what it is. I have learned to appreciate it and make the most of the space, but in no way does it look minimally decorated, there are pictures on full bookshelves, my mom’s breakfront (hutch) which is large, dogs, cats and it’s just lived in. But it works for us

  10. 18

    I like the idea of switching the dresser with the piano. No matter where it is I think painting it would fit perfectly into your home!!!! Love your cozy house. Check out this gorgeous painted piano……

  11. 19

    I love it! Have you considered switching the yellow dresser and the piano in position? You’re losing that pop of color, but it may help with the placement.

  12. 21

    What if you just put a piece of fabric on the back of the piano and then put a little throw rug where it sits – kind of like defining its own little space and gives a pop against the sofa – by the way, I can solve none of my own design dilemmas :)

  13. 22

    Where did you get the blue blanket with green pom poms way to cute

  14. 26

    What about covering the back of the piano with fabric? It would be a fun pop of color until you can paint it…which I love painted pianos :) The one in the church where I grew up had a fabric covered back. Just an idea.

  15. 27

    I feel the same way after taking the decorations down. What I miss the most is the lights from the tree and garland on the mantle. It lit up the family room the perfect amount and there was no need for overhead lights or lamps. I did keep one sort of Christmasy item… a wooden reindeer on our mantle. I thought it could pass for wintery :) but everything else was put away.

    Winter really is the hardest season to decorate for.

  16. 28
    shannon s. says:

    hi there…..i LOVE to rearrange furniture. it keeps things new and fresh. and, it’s free…..except maybe a little pain involved on the heavy items… ;) anyways….someone else may have mentioned already as i didn’t read all of the comments…..but what about putting the piano where the yellow dresser is and putting the dresser where the piano is…..or even where the piano used to be? just a thought, though you may have already thought of that and it just didn’t work for you! just thought i would throw that out there……and i love a painted piano when it’s done well…and we all know that you do those things well! your home is lovely and warm no matter…..

  17. 29
    Melanie Barker says:

    I love the new arrangement!! I am not digging the piano either! :( I love how you feel about your home! It is everything I would want in a house! Your lay out is awesome!! 1 question I made a blanket with yarn tassels on it and are you always picking up yarn?? I freak a little when the kids want to cover up with it!! LOL Wasn’t sure if there was a special way I didn’t to sew the yarn on? Wonderful post and home! :)

  18. 31

    I’m not sure if you watch, How I met your Mother. But the characters always draw out Waiiiiit For Iiiiiit, your last line just reminded me of that. (And I promised myself to start commenting more!)

  19. 32

    Every time you show it, I love your home more and more.

  20. 34

    Just a random piano thought. And quite possibly a quick fix. My Gramp does a devotion at an alzheimer home on Tuesdays. I’ve been with him a few times. They have a piano in the room, and because it gets moved around a bit (and seen from the back) they covered the back with a piece of fabric. I think it was stapled, but you could even use adhesive velcro if you might want to clean it. And I won’t weigh in on painting the piano…that’s up to what fits in your home. But you could totally cover up the back quick.

  21. 35

    I love the piano at the back of the couch. It does look to me like a creative play on a sofa table. I even like how the brown blends in with the floor. I think it would be cute to paint just the back of the piano and then recover the bench seat in a cute fabric.

  22. 36

    Love your blog and your sweet home! I’ve been on the [fruitless and frustrating] hunt for the perfect gray paint for awhile. There are lots that are too purple and lots that are too green and some that are too yellow/beige, but oh, to find the *perfect* one for our space! I love the color you have in your living room, or at least how it looks on my screen, anyway. ;) Do you mind sharing what it is?

  23. 39

    Your rooms looks great! I love the afghan on the ottoman.


  24. 40

    What about adding a low screen (or something that can work like a screen) between the couch and the piano? Might add a bit of breathing room, and hide the piano back (which I agree, isn’t the prettiest). Love the whole look, though. Using it as inspiration for bringing light into our five-window house — bright bright and bright when it comes to furniture and walls and decor!

  25. 41

    Great house! And I don’t mind the piano where it is at all. If you want to conceal the back you could pin some vintage music sheets up – or leave it bare! It’s kind of ‘industrial looking’. Some fun-colored candlesticks on the piano would brighten up the dark wood, too. But the room looks fantastic as is!

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