Design a Room You Love

Welcome to the 27th Metamorphosis Monday!

My Metamorphosis Monday post is a little different this week. I don’t have an exciting metamorphosis to share; instead, I thought I’d share some ideas or tips I’ve learned decorating my own home over these many years. These “lessons learned” are responsible for the changes that were made to the rooms in my home, so in some ways this post is indeed all about metamorphosis…the metamorphosis of my home.

Here’s my disclaimer: 
I am not a decorator or a designer and have never had any training in this field. All the tips/ideas I’ll be sharing today have been reached through my own experiences and through much trial and error. It is my hope that some of the information I’ll be sharing will prove helpful if you are trying to figure out where to start with decorating a room in your home.

The first room I decided to furnish and “decorate” in my home was my family room. I knew we’d be spending a lot of time in this room and it would be where friends and family would gather during their visits to our home.

Tip 1: When you’re at the starting point of decorating a room, ask yourself, how will this room be used and by whom? What activities will take place in this room?

I knew my family room would be used for t.v. watching, Nintendo/Playstation playing, boys rolling around on the floor playing cards and board games, cats and dogs running through, reading, studying, pizza in front of the fire, all the stuff of life that takes place in a family room. I needed durable fabrics that could take the abuse.

Looking at my family room below…you’ll see heavy fabrics, an armoire that houses a t.v., lots of lighting and a large rug for time spent down on the floor. I really like having the t.v. in an armoire where I can make it disappear when guests come over…unless, of course, it’s for movie night or a football game. If your children are grown like mine, your needs may be different.

Tip 2: Look at the style and features that already exist in your room. Will any one feature have a tremendous influence on how your room is decorated?

In my family room, the answer was a huge, YES. The walls were covered in a warm, golden-brown judges paneling. I had three choices…I could change the look via paint, as some of my neighbors have done, fight the room by decorating it as if the paneling didn’t exist, (big mistake) or embrace it and go with the feel/style of the room.

I totally embraced the library feel of the room decorating it with rich, jewel tone fabrics. If the paneling had been cheap looking or really, really dark, I might have made a different choice and painted it. But since the paneling was good paneling and I loved the room, I totally went with the warm feel of the room.

I even further darkened the room by adding two-toned plantation shutters. (Two-toned shutters are stained on the inside and painted on the outside for a uniform look on the outside of a home). Why bathe this room in bright light when the room was saying “warm and cozy” at the top of it’s lungs. This is a room made for curling up in front of a crackling fire with a good mystery novel. This is a room where you turn off all the lights to watch a wonderful movie like, The Red Violin. This room is not about brightness or loftiness or airiness. No, this room is all about coziness, snuggling, good theater, good books and hot fires on cold nights. Listen to your room…don’t fight it. If you do listen, when you’re all done decorating it, you will love it and so will everyone else who visits your home.

Tip 3: If you don’t already have one, buy a notebook or a handful of folders and start squirreling away inspiration photos.

Create different sections in your notebook or separate folders for every room in your home. When you see a bedroom that you LOVE, tear it out and stick in the “bedroom” folder. Same for the kitchen, family room, etc… When you get ready to do that room, open up your folder and ask yourself what all your inspiration pics have in common. Is it a particular color scheme? A particular style of furniture? Is it just the way the inspiration room “feels.” We are rarely able to copy a room exactly as we find it in a magazine because the dimensions or style of our room may be very different. But sometimes we can use a similar color scheme, similar fabrics or layout. If nothing else, your inspiration pics will help you find your decorating style and show you what you truly like.

Tip 4: What is the focal point in your room…is it a fireplace…or maybe it’s the t.v.

My family room had two focal points, sort of…the main one probably being the fireplace. Unfortunately, I knew the television would be a focal point, also. I’m not a big t.v. watcher…maybe watch an hour a week, total. I figured out a way to make the t.v. completely disappear by placing it into an armoire. When friends are over for book club or dinner, I don’t want that big box visible in the room.

Tip 5: Furniture Arrangement…

Once you know your focal point, you’ll begin to figure out your furniture arrangement. For my room, I knew I needed seating that would face the fireplace and the t.v. I also knew I did not want a sofa/love seat combination; I’d had that in my last house and didn’t like it. Instead, I wanted lots of individual, comfortable seating…all facing each other to facilitate good conversation.

In some rooms, there’s only one really good spot for the sofa…that was pretty much the case in my room. I placed it along the largest wall facing the main focal point…the fireplace.

Based on the placement of the sofa, it was easy to figure out where the t.v. needed to go…in the corner facing the sofa. Once I had the sofa and t.v. placed…it was time to fill in with chairs. Fight the urge to line your furniture up around the walls. Sometimes a room may be such that you have no choice, but consider putting pieces in a corner facing out to the center of the room.  Or maybe try them right out in the center of the room as I did with the two chairs below.

Living Room with Judges Paneling and Built in Cabinetry


Tip 6: What about those really large rooms…

Look for opportunities to create separate seating areas. If a room is really large, do not create one seating area with all the pieces of the furniture spread out facing inward to each other. The seating ends up way too spread out and makes conversation difficult. It also makes the room feel awkward and uninviting.

For large rooms, try creating a seating arrangement comprised of your sofa and a couple of chairs at one end or in one area…maybe in front of a fireplace or the focal point. Then create a separate area with a writing desk and a chair, or a wooden card table with chairs, for game playing or putting together a puzzle. Or maybe even a small reading nook that consists of just a comfy wing back and a small table with a floor lamp. It’s nice to throw an ottoman in there somewhere that can act as an impromptu coffee table for a tray of drinks or additional seating when needed. (See pic above of chairs with ottoman.)

Tip 7: Measure all your walls and/or furniture in the room you’re decorating…

Draw a diagram of your room and write all the measurements down. Tuck it into the inside zipper section of your purse or into your wallet and carry it with you everywhere. When you stumble upon that wonderful, unbelievably great priced secretary or table at A Classy Flea, you’ll know if it will fit and won’t have to go back home to measure while someone else buys your awesome find.

Tip 8: Carry your fabrics…

Carry the arm cover from your chairs or sofa, or a pillow or swatches of the fabrics you’ve used or may use in your room when you head out to shop. Remember, that chair you’re looking for doesn’t have to “match;” it just needs to coordinate or work with your sofa or other existing fabrics.

Tip 9: Choosing your colors scheme:

I knew I would NOT be using pastel colors like the previous owner had used in this room. The window treatments she left behind were pale peach, pale blue and pale pink. How did I know pastels were not a good idea for this room? Sometimes, I think we know instinctively…just from dressing ourselves. We normally would not pair a pastel blue or pink or peach or yellow shirt with autumn gold-colored pants.

So, what looks good with golden brown walls? Any of the jewel tone colors…burgundy, red, green, navy. This color scheme worked well for me because one of my favorite feel-good houses is the house in the original Home Alone movie…lots of red and green in that house and I loved it! 🙂 Here’s a sample of my sofa fabric…the largest piece of upholstered fabric in the room.

If your room doesn’t have paneling, you’ll have a lot more choices when it comes to your color scheme. Open your closet and take a look at what color clothing you wear and love. Do you wear a lot of cremes and neutrals…perhaps you would feel best surrounded in a room with those colors? Or is your closet full of lots of color, like mine. If so, what are the colors you wear most? How would you feel about using those colors in your room?

Tip 10: How to mix in lots of different fabrics:

You may use lots of different fabrics in a room as long as the colors are similar and the scale/size of the pattern on the fabrics are not all the same size. In other words, make sure the fabrics you use in a room don’t all have large patterns or don’t all have small patterns…mix it up.

Using my family room as the example, the sofa has navy, and green as the main colors with a very small, red/burgundy stripe appearing every so many inches. The pattern is large but in a stripe design.

The tapestry chairs have a medium size/scale pattern, in a floral design.  Pillows covered in a burgundy-colored, soft, wool fabric, were placed in the these two chairs to help pull this color out of the chairs and to help coordinate them with the burgundy wing back across the room.

The flame stitch fabric on this wing back chair is a bold design, but it’s across the room from the other upholstered pieces. The drapes are in the same color scheme, but have a much smaller scale pattern. Regarding draperies…I normally like to hang them much higher to open up the window and to make the windows feel larger; but in this room, it would have covered up too much of the judges paneling/molding above the window, so I opted to hang them lower.

The leather wing back offers a break from all the pattern and pulls out the burgundy stripe in the sofa, since it’s close to it.

I’d love to find more interesting pillows, but the navy ones with the tiny stars work okay for now. Maybe that will be something I can update in this room in the future.

The oriental rug has an even smaller design/pattern…

Tip 11: Balance and symmetry:

This may just be a personal preference, but I love for my rooms to feel balanced…and I love a certain amount of symmetry. Notice how the wing backs at the end of the room somewhat balance each other as you walk into the room from the kitchen. I placed a tall Ficus tree in the corner to balance the tall armoire in the other corner. The tapestry chairs create their own balance and symmetry at the other end of the room. Update:  Faux Ficus is gone…check out the new look HERE.

The sconces on either side of the fireplace offer more symmetry. See the ceiling fan reflected in the mirror? Wouldn’t it be beautiful to have a wonderful antique style light fixture/chandelier reflecting in that mirror, instead? I’m getting ideas–see what blogging will do to ya!

Tip 12: Use furniture in different ways…

Try to think of different ways to use furniture in your rooms. I knew I needed an “end table” at this end of the sofa, but I just couldn’t find one I liked. I considered a small chest, but couldn’t find the right one. I searched and searched for the right piece. Then, one day, I came across this secretary, in all places, The Cotton Pickin’ Fair/antique festival in Gay, Georgia. It said take me home…I’ll be your end table!

It’s balances nicely with the tall Ficus at the other end of the sofa and I love that it’s different and not just a typical end table to go with the table at the other end. As much as I love symmetry, I also like the unexpected.

Notice the vintage chess board “box” on the secretary.  Can you guess what it’s hiding?

Hey, you know if I’m hiding the TV, I’m not leaving these things out in view. lol

Tip 13: Lighting is so important…

I can’t emphasize this enough. I never realized how important lighting was until I started buying lamps and placing them all around my rooms. Once I saw what lamp light did for a room…the atmosphere it created…I went lamp crazy and filled all my rooms with lots and lots of lamp light. Even when I had my screened-in porch built, I did not go with any overhead lighting, which I think baffled my contractor. Instead, I opted for lots of outlets for lamp lighting all around.

Try to place lamps in various spots/corners all around your room, preferably at least 3 lamps to a room…more is even better. In my family room, you’ll see that I have lamps at either end of the sofa, at the end of the room between the wingback and the armoire, on the other side of the armoire beside the flame stitch wing back and between the two tapestry chairs.

I also placed a tall lamp at the end of the bookshelves, near one of the doors leading out to the screened porch.

Let me show you something over here on the shelves…

Tip 14: Every room needs a touch of whimsy… Don’t forget to add some whimsy into your rooms.  Every room really needs a bit of whimsy.

It keeps a room from feeling too serious and I think it helps friends and guests feel they can relax.

Hope you have found these tips to be helpful!

I’m looking forward to seeing the changes you’ve been working on for this Metamorphosis Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday is all about “Before and Afters!” To participate, just post about a “Before and After” you’ve completed in or around your home…it could be almost anything…from a room renovation, repurposing a piece of furniture, to a renovation in your garden. Once you post your Met Monday post to your blog, come back here and link up. Mr. Linky will be up by 9:00 PM each Sunday evening prior to that Met Monday.

The following steps need to be followed to ensure everyone participating gets lots of visits:

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, please be sure to add your permalink below, and not your general blog address. If you aren’t sure how to obtain your permalink or have any questions about using Mr. Linky for this post, just click HERE for detailed instructions.

Please be sure to link back to the host blog, Between Naps on the Porch, so your fellow bloggers who are participating today, will get lots of visits, as well.

The following blogs are participating in this Metamorphosis Monday:

Unfortunately, the participant links are missing from this post because the linking service BNOTP was using for this party is no longer active.

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  1. Pat@Back Porch Musings says

    A beautiful room and wonderful advice, Susan!

  2. Suzanne in TX says

    Absolutely wonderful! I love the idea of whimsy in every room. Thanks for hosting such a fun event every week!

  3. Great tips! The room is lovely!

  4. Blue Creek Home says

    A "licensed" designer couldn't have said it better.
    And your room is just beautiful, but also welcoming.
    Thanks for hosting.

  5. Hi Susan
    It's been awhile. Seems I had to wait for all our rain and hail to stop so I could transform something outside!
    You always amaze me. My home is so humble and small, but just right for us.
    Thanks for the tips.
    Love Claudie

  6. Great tips, Susan. I'd love to see another room post like this. Linda

  7. sharonavinger says

    Beautiful beautiful! Please do other posts like this. Love it! You have a true talent for decorating, Susan.

  8. Ashley @ AshleysBusy says

    Hi Susan, my fave tip that you posted about was adding a bit of whimsy. This is what really makes a room sparkle in my opinion. 🙂

  9. tales from an oc cottage says

    Your home is simply gorgeous!

    m ^..^

  10. Things That Inspire says

    What a warm, rich room you have. It is very appealing, and in a way, British feeling. I love your tip about lighting – I too have discovered the power of lighting in a room, particularly through lamps. It makes such a difference!

    The Henrietta Spencer Churchill book was my first interior design book purchase; I bought it at Westminster Abbey, believe it or not! The picture of the room with the burnt orange walls and blue china was an inspiration for my dining room, which has since changed (that will be a topic for a future metamorphasis Monday).

  11. Ohh I love this post. This has been my favorite room since I first found it on RMS. Thanks for sharing all the details, hows and whys!

  12. Melissa Miller says

    Susan this room is truly the best!

    I think your warm mix of colors and fabrics are spectacular. The room just glows with warmth and makes you feel cozy just viewing the photos. The paneling was a great choice to stay. LOVE the mirror and the secretary. The lighting is perfect. ~GOGRGEOUS! 🙂

  13. Melissa Miller says

    I can't spell "GORGEOUS" tonight! Oops! 🙂

  14. What a good idea for a post. You have a great eye for design. Thanks for sharing the details!

  15. abeachcottage says

    fabulous room susan

    love the advice too

    thanks for hosting


  16. When I first saw this room on RMS it became an instant favorite. I even saved it to my favorites. I have gone back and looked at it many time. I love the feel of it and your explanation of how you decorated it is perfect and so interesting. Just great. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

  17. I really like your family room, Susan. I like warm looking rooms and your Oriental rug is gorgeous….Christine

  18. What a beautiful room, and you are so sweet to share all your great decorating tips! Love your post.

  19. Tamara Jansen says

    I always say that it's the details that count…..and you sure have the details done right. Thanks for all the tips and I especially love those touches of whimsy. Makes you feel like you can just sit down and relax!

  20. What a gorgeous room…Thanks for the tips. I aspire to live as beautifully as you!


  21. Stunning, really.
    It's like looking at a decorating magazine!

  22. 9405018--Pat says

    Susan, what a beautiful room… the brass, thanks for sharing your lovely home with us…..great post today ….Pat H

  23. CailinMarie says

    wow! I love your blog. My mom is a designer and a good one and even she would be impressed. You have amazing pieces and you very much inspire me to get my house pulled together!
    in the meantime, I have included you in my "lovely blog" list. A blog roll the size of yours may leave you little time or interest in awards, but my friends ought to know how to find you so I include you all the same.

  24. Hi Susan,
    You're very generous to share so many helpful design suggestions. You're an excellent teacher of sound principles … well-organized, with clear explanations of how and why those guidelines work so well.

    Congratulations on creating such an outstanding post for your readers. Hope your week goes well.


  25. inner_child says

    Thanks for the view into your beautiful rooms and thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Mondays!

  26. Joan@anythinggoeshere says

    Wow. How great. Very nice redo.

  27. Great advice Susan.
    I would like to add one thing to this and it is something you touched on.
    Take photographs of your room as you go along. As you said the ceiling was noticed in your picture. Every day we overlook things until we take a picture for our blog and then we see the plastic bag on the floor or the cobweb to the light fixture.
    Now I have no metamorphosis for this Monday, just my regular posts but I will surely stop by as many of the other posts. You guys do amaze me every week.

  28. Fifi Flowers says

    Home is LOVELY!!!!

  29. Oh for Pete's sake I meant to say ceiling FAN. Remember to proof read too.

  30. Blondie's Journal says

    Susan, This was much needed advice for me AND reafirmed thoughts I already had as far as patterns and placement of futniture. However, what really made me want to jump for joy was hearing how you needed an end table and ended up with a secretary!! Now isn't that the way to show that rules can be broken and look even more marvelous??!! Those are the things that make decoratin so much fun. Thanks so much for your advice, sweet lady!!



  31. Anonymous says

    Enjoyed your wonderful tips. The room is so cozy and beautiful. I once took an Ethan Allen decorating class and they said that one should allow 1/3 of a room's decorating budget for accessories because those are the things that tie a room together! With all the thrifty gals on these blogs….we can make that 1/3 go really far! Toni

  32. Reflections ... says


    Love, love, love this post. I enjoyed reading your "tested" tips and scrolling through the photos. What a wonderful room! The rich tones really make everything feel warm and cozy. I agree with your sense of balance and lighting as well.

    I find myself checking and then rechecking my room(s) to see if I have followed your advice. So far, I'm on my way – however, I have definite room for improvement. Keeping up with my favorite sites is such a great opportunity to "see" and learn from the best!

    Please continue these types of posts. I would love to learn more from your experiences. (Are you sure you're not a "professional" decorator?)


  33. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says

    A beautiful room… it

  34. Morning T says

    Your room is beautiful and your post very informative and interesting!

  35. Diane @ Four Paws and Co says

    It's beautiful! I love this room! Of course, I love your entire house! ♥ diane

  36. imjacobsmom says

    Great advice Susan. I always adored this room it is so warm and cozy. And I love your upstairs family room, too. I can't wait for that post, too. Robyn

  37. Maya@Completely Coastal says

    Thanks Susan for the tips and the party! Knowing (or determining) the focal point of a room is definitely something I wish I had known much earlier, but then again it kind of worked out just by following my sense of balance and harmony.

  38. Susan-I tried to comment yesterday but had trouble. I think I remember this from Moonlight and Magnolia days. I love this room! Your professional "disclaimer" was not needed–your advice is sound and practical. I have library paneling also and would not trade it! Thanks, as always, for the making our Monday!

  39. The Lazy Peacock says

    Great advice! I’m surprised you don’t have any design training, everything is pulled together so beautifully, not to mention the professional advice. Naturally talented!

  40. Beautiful room. Thanks so much for giving us advice. I was about to ask on my blog how people decorate their rooms. I have one room done, but had everything on hand, just all over the house, attic, and garage. Now with the other rooms I am going to have buy things and redo some of what I have.


  41. Susan,

    Thanks so very much for your ideas on decorating. You home reflects you and the great style you have.


  42. Dana and Daisy says

    this is so pretty Susan, warm and welcoming. I can imagine the previous owner was trying to Lighten the room with pastels. Your advice to embrace the nature of the room is so spot on!

  43. LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango says

    Your room is so warm and inviting. It is also very practical which I like….nothing worse than looking at a picture of a room in a magazine knowing all the while that nothing could be touched! Luanne

  44. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    Beautiful room, Susan! If I'm going to like paneling, this would be the only kind!

    I have to say that I think you about covered everything that I would discuss with a client. It really is mostly common sense (like most everything!).

  45. Terri and Bob says

    I say, continue with these posts! I learn a lot from you plus I love seeing your beautiful rooms!

  46. "Blossom" says

    Beautiful; thank you for sharing all your how too's and ideas.

  47. lilsista says

    Hi! Thankyou for sharing all the great tips! I hope that the decorating challenged people out there really pay close attention to this one! :0) I know a few who could really stand to pay attention to these dos and don'ts :0)!
    Have a good day!

  48. KellyinPA says

    Love this room, although I don't think that there is a room in your home that I don't love!! 😉

    Great post with some great tips. I would love to read any other posts with your decorating ideas.

    I'm redoing a bathroom right now and having some trouble. Some ideas for that area would be helpful to me. Thanks Susan!

  49. Your room looks so grown up…makes me feel like ours is still a college kid's (even though we just bought all new furniture!)

    Here's the link to my metamorphosis:

  50. Frugal Fine Living says

    I enjoyed your blog post. I appreciate how you discussed determining the function of a room first. So often, we forget about that because we're so focused on how it looks. Your family room is warm and inviting.


  51. Flower Patch Farmgirl says

    Thanks for taking the time to pass along all of these amazing tips!

  52. Southerncook says

    Susan, I loved your Met. Mon. post. Your family room is beautiful and looks so warm, inviting and comfortable. What I call Casual Elegance which is what I work towards acheiving as well. All of your tips were excellent and a good reminder when decorating or redecorating.


  53. So beautiful and thank you for sharing your decorating advice with us. We have all made painful and costly mistakes while decorating!

  54. I love all of your tips!
    I just have a tiny met. project this week but I still wanted to join in on your incredible party.
    Thanks for being such an awesome host!

  55. Beautiful room! I am always wondering how to acheive a room that has so much depth and coziness. I want that look in my own house but I think I am afraid to add too much stuff- there's a difference between having a lot of things in a room and looking cluttered. You have been really successful at this- hope I can learn these techniques too. My room looks downright empty compared to yours- I need to start decorating!

  56. Mary Ellen (megardengal) says

    What a comfy spot! It looks just like what Susan from Between Naps on the Porch would have for a family room in her home!

    Your decorating advice is always welcome and you are so good at being able to share it in a down to earth way!

    Hope to start back and join in soon for Met Mondays as soon as I am on my 2 feet again. The Dr did give me the ok to travel as we need to close on our home in NM so I will have all kinds of transformations taking place now that I will have all my furniture!!!


  57. The Wrought Iron Gate says

    Susan, your room exudes warmth and comfort. Staying true to the character of the room was a very wise decision….and using rich jewel toned textiles only enhances it's beauty.

    I would love to spend an evening watching THE RED VIOLIN (in my opinion,a stunning, albeit under-appreciated film) in your cozy, comfy family room.

    Best Wishes,

  58. Susan, your family room is so beautiful! I can see why people love wood. You may not be a professional decorator, but you are definitely a very talented decorator. Your room is so warm and cozy, so welcoming! Thank you for hosting Met Monday's, I enjoy it so much and will link to it often, as I am in a painting mood this summer! Hugs, ~cindy s~

  59. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says

    Hi Susan~ ~ ~
    Very nice post, the learned lessons are the ones we remember.
    I remember when we bought our first house I was 23 and had no idea of what Style I was. It was a 75 year old victorian and I found a modern wall paper that I loved and promptly put it on the diningroom walls!?? I really think the idea here was rebellion because I wanted anything but a victorian but the price and location was what caused us to buy. Lesson learned.
    Another thing that I did wrong was to not follow through with the same color scheme throughout the house. Every room was a different color and they did not complement each other. I think gals are much more savy now then we were 25 years ago.

    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  60. Please continue with the decorating tips!! This room is beautiful (as are all your rooms we've seen.) My family room is all windows; very little wall space. It is paneled in just old fashioned paneling so I painted the paneling a light taupe. I was hoping to make the room a little more feminine after my husband died but I still have all the leather furniture. I'm really not satisfied at all. Could you come visit : ))

  61. Shannon @ Silver Trappings says

    I love your room. And, yes, I love this kind of post. I like to see what other people are thinking when they do their rooms. It gives me more ideas!


  62. Connie from Big Bear Lake California says

    What a beautiful room. It is so warm and inviting. Thanks for all of the great tips!! Had a great visit. Stop by when you can. Connie

  63. Laura Ingalls Gunn says

    These fantastic tips would benefit everyone no matter what their style.

  64. I love how cozy and warm your family room is.I can imagine how lovely it would be to curl up with a book and a cup of tea.


  65. Lady Katherine says

    This was really fun! I stayed here longer than I ever do! and that is a long time! lol I love the secretary as an end table! I looked long and hard at the cabinet behind the chairs with the door in between. For I am in the family room decided if I want to had a wall to put my Indian hutch or maybe back it up room for more than one chair. You have me really concerning which way I shall go.
    Loved it!

  66. SmilingSally says

    Good decorating tips.

  67. This room is one of the many things that attracted me to your blog!!! It is so warm and cozy!!! I love it!!!

    All of your decorating tips are "spot on"!!! Great job!!!


  68. Jo - To a Pretty Life says

    Thanks for sharing your decorating tips! I am bookmarking this post for future reference.

  69. Great post! Your room is gorgeous and it's nice to know how it got that way!

  70. Susan, your tips are so helpful. I always appreciate someone sharing decorating tips with me because like you what I've learned has been through the trial and error method. It took me a while to learn to follow my own instincts and not pay attention to what magazines or others tell me. Your family room and home are beautiful and your taste is very much like my own. Thanks for taking the time to share ideas with us.

  71. Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut says

    Beautiful room. Mine is nowhere near this "fancy" but my TV has been in an armoire since 1992. I love watching TV, but when it's off, I don't want to see it!

    My little whimsy lamp is a palm tree that I adore.

    Thanks for all the tips and the time it took to put this post together.

  72. musingegret says

    What a wonderful, clearly-written, example-loaded tutorial! Yes, please do some more; I'll be returning to this straightforward, systematic method of analyzing a room many times. Thank you again.

  73. Susan,
    As usual you gave some great advice, and I came away from reading your post and looked at my own decorating. It's good to understand why some arrangements work and others are lacking details. Yes! Please continue to post entries like this. Thank you!

  74. Design Junkie says

    What a beatiful, traditional room. Proof that a formal space can still be warm and welcoming.

  75. Sandi (Meme) says

    You are truly an inspiration. Not only do you have a warm and inviting home, but you invite us to learn how you do what you do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  76. Kathleen says

    That's a beautiful room, Susan..
    I have a you have an outlet in the floor for the lamp that is not near the wall? I don't and it limits me as I sure don't want a big long extension cord!

  77. all about paper says

    Great way of explaining the process of layering up a good room that functions and looks fabulous. Lots to think about and great tips.

  78. Miss Janice says

    Susan, it's so fun to look at all the details of this room and I love all your advice.

  79. The Stylish House says

    Beautiful warm and inviting room and wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing.

  80. Sarah Anderson says

    Susan, I so enjoy viewing rooms in your warm inviting home. You are the master at attention to detail! I'm also a big fan of lamps. Can't have too many. They add a nice glow to a any space. And whimsy… Yes, in deed! I try to bring it into every space. I have a passion for folk art, but whimsy can be introduced through funky lamps to throw pillows to any item that makes you smile again and again. Thanks for your sharing your home. Hugs ~ Sarah

  81. Excellent ideas, Susan! Even if you've had no formal training in interior design, you have an obvious natural ability. I abhor overhead lighting, so I use lots of lamps myself. And as for the ceiling fan, I'd sure opt for something prettier, but it gets really hot and humid in East Texas. A necessary evil!

  82. Blessed Mama says

    I could browse your blog all day long! Such an inspiration to hacks such as myself!;)
    BTW, I am having a giveaway on my blog…stop by if you have a chance!

  83. Your room is so warm and inviting. I would love to curl up with a book in that leather chair.

  84. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says

    Susan, you have a beautiful room & have done a wonderful job with it all! I'm wondering if you live in a John Wieland neighborhood, all that paneling makes me think you might. He does some nice work!

  85. Beautiful room! I love everything you have done, it is in very good taste! I have a very similar room, but we have put our cherry stained mahogany pool table in there. The men of the house love it, and so do I. We have hung some pictures around to give it some color, and I’ve had a lot of good comments…that is until lately. We now have our home on the market, and I’ve been told to take all the pictures down, as it is too distracting. I’ve done so, but now it looks too bare. I’ve been told by more than one realtor that their clients were distracted and did not like my taste. It’s really too bad that people are so fixated with the things in a home, not the house itself. And by the way, we have some very nice pricey art work, of boats in harbor type stuff. Not any wild weird stuff. Anyway, I’m really trying to figure out how to make this room pleasing to the majority, which I am finding is impossible.

    • Terry, that is so strange that they don’t want any art. I could understand if it was nude figures or something like that. I’ve also heard to de-personalize a home when trying to sell it by taking down family photos, but I’ve never heard of taking down pretty paintings. I do know they recommend clearing out as much as possible so room feel and look larger. If I ever sell my home, I’ll probably need to rent a storage building and fill it up so buyers can see how big the rooms really are since I do have so much furniture in them. The mahogany pool table sounds beautiful in your paneled room! I know your family has loved it, sounds like a room I would love, too! I still love my paneled family room after living here for 22 years. It’s nice to have one room in your home that has a cozy, warm feel and is different from all the other rooms. Best of luck with selling your home. Hope you are moving somewhere you’re going to love even more! 🙂

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