Do you remember the day when you first stepped through the door of your home? Maybe you had just spent days trekking through house after house. Or perhaps it was the first home your realtor showed you. Either way, I bet as soon as you crossed the threshold, your heart said this is it–this is home.
And sometimes there’s a room that really seals the deal. I vividly remember the day I walked through the front door of my home. Once I passed through the entry with the badly outdated parquet flooring, and entered into the paneled family room, I knew this was the house. This was home.
I rationalized away all the negatives. Never mind the horribly worn, orange carpeting throughout the house. Never mind that the interior hadn’t been painted in eight years and the master bedroom walls were painted grammar-school green, including the molding and trim. Never mind the genuine Formica, kitchen counter tops with large melted spots from carelessly placed hot pans. I would un-do, re-do and make-do–anything just so I could have this one room. The warm glow of the judges paneling seared through to my heart that day. What room in your home captured your heart the day you first saw it?
The family room slowly evolved. As I plotted and planned the room, the one thing I knew for sure was, I did not want a sofa and a love seat. In our previous two homes, that’s what we had and I was ready for a change. I really wanted more seating with lots of cozy chairs.
I decided very early on that jewel tones (reds, navys, greens) would look beautiful against the paneling. So we sold our 12 year old sofa and love seat in a garage sale and bought a striped jewel-toned sofa and a burgundy, leather wing-back chair. Then we paused for a bit, just to catch our financial breaths.
While I was trying to find just the right chairs for the other areas of the room, I took a class on decorating at a local community center. The first evening the instructor showed us rooms she had decorated. They were the most boring rooms I’d ever seen…dull and lifeless. Ummm, this was not going to be helpful.
The instructor grudgingly told us that part of the class included her coming to our homes for a 1/2 hour free consultation. As soon as she walked into my family room she turned to me and announced that what the room needed was a sofa and love seat. I stared at her in disbelief. I think I mumbled something like, “over my dead body.” (LOL) Then she added, “This sofa looks terrible with that wing-back chair. All I see is a green sofa and burgundy chair. They don’t even work together.”
I attempted to point out the burgundy pin stripe that was repeated in the fabric across the sofa…my instructor scoffed. I was really glad when my free, 30 minutes was up.
I found a two cozy down-filled chairs with a matching ottoman (by Hickory Chair) for a little seating area over by the fireplace. I tucked a heart shaped table in between them. The heart shape was perfect for the angle of the chairs.
A little rooster lamp for the bookshelves behind the chairs.
I’d always loved the look of a flame-stitch chair, so I chose this wing back chair to balance the leather wing back across the room.
Hid the t.v. in an armoire…then added a large green ficus across the room behind the burgundy wing back to balance out the height of the armoire.
Added a Baker, pie-crust, tilt-top (bird cage) table between the chair and sofa…
The other end of the sofa sat empty for a long while until I came across a double bonnet secretary at an antique show. (Sorry about the blurry pics. These were taken when I first began blogging and my camera was pretty unsophisticated, as were my photography skills.)
A little close-up for a peek inside…
Coffee table was only added in the last year or so…comes in handy for that little decorating book addiction I have.
One night I bolted straight up in bed…what was that noise?! I decided I must have been dreaming and went back to sleep. Next day I discovered the mirror that hangs above the fireplace had decided to heave itself onto the floor during the middle of the night. What a sight! The mirror was shattered and the frame was broken in half across the bottom edge. I was able to have it repaired but unfortunately, the old mirror with its wonderful blackish streaks was gone.
This clock was the very first antique thing I ever bought. Amazingly, it stayed on the mantel when the mirror fell. The only damage was a very small scratch.
Found a cute ceramic doggy and had him made into a lamp.
All the rooms in my home have evolved, slowly changing as I found pieces to create the “feel” I wanted. I tend to be an “emotional” decorator. I don’t decorate to make a room “look” a certain way, but rather to “feel” the way I envision. In my heart, a family room should feel cozy and inviting to all who enter, especially to the family who will make memories there for many years to come.
Update: This room saw a change the first week of January, 2012. I removed the faux plant and tree and moved a large painting to the wall where the tree had been. Here’s how it looks now. minus the Christmas tree.
I’m so glad you stopped by. How about a lemonade out on the porch?