Reforming My Faux Ways

I’ve shared this view of my family room many times.  Many, many, many years ago, when I put this room together, I seriously believed I needed something reallllly big over behind the burgundy wingback to balance the height of the armoire (which houses the TV) on the left.  A nice, tall tree seemed just the answer.  Not only would it provide the height I needed, it would add some much needed “greenery” to the room.  I knew there was absolutely no way I could keep a real tree alive in this room because:  A. I am terrible with live plants indoors.  They almost never survive, at least not for long.  And,  B. This room is meant to be on the cozy, warm (translate: darker) side for movie watching…

Family Room with Hunt Nature Themed Judges Paneling


Teas by the fire (click to view)


And the occasional candlelit dinner. (click to view)  Warm and cozy is great for humans, but not so much for plants.


I was pretty happy with my faux ways for many years, but it was time for a change.  The tree had begun to feel, well, how should I say this…fake.  Ouch.  That hurts, but it’s true.  Both it and the plant over the armoire were just not getting it done anymore.  The plant over the armoire had been placed there to camouflage the GIANT black box that controls the music…


…out here on the porch.   One speaker is up above the door that leads out to the deck on the right side of the porch…

Screened Porch with Sheer Curtains and White Wicker Furniture

…and the other speaker is above this door leading out to the deck on the left.  (Pssst: Music is one of the “9 must have features” when you’re adding a screened in porch.  You’ll find that post HERE.)


As is the norm for me, I dove head-long into this project before I grew a brain and thought, “Hey, I should take pics of this mini-metamorphosis for the zay blog.”    So, I don’t have a pic of this GIANT black box hulking its bad self atop the amoire, but here it rests on the floor after I slid the armoire out from the wall and, standing on a step ladder, removed it from the top.

Is this a rats nest back here, or what?!   I spared you the view of the large dead bug that was apparently overwhelmed by this maze of wires and went to bug heaven in this spot.  You’re welcome. 😉


I slid Mr. Music Controller Thingy (that’s a technical term so use it carefully) up underneath the armoire.  It has always, always been a pain to get the remote to work through the leaves of the plant atop the armoire, so I figure it won’t be any more difficult to squat down to adjust the volume of the music, maybe even easier.

I so wish Mr. Music Controller Thingy was wirelessly controlled like the Bose system is for the surround sound in this room, but it’s not.  So, ya gotta point the remote at the machine.  But that’s okay; the music out on the porch normally stays around the same volume anyway and rarely gets adjusted.


So, here’s the family room now, sans its faux ways. Feels sooo much more open now.  Definitely loving the look.  Yup, my tree is still up…a job for this weekend.


Did you notice all the books are gone from on top and underneath the coffee table?  If you’ve been reading BNOTP, you’ll remember they were all snagged to fill the shelves (click HERE for that post) in my home office a few months back.  I may need to put a few back on top of the table…looks so bare now.  Love design books?  I shared some of my faves in THIS post.

Pottery Barn Office with Bedford Furniture

Instead of a fake faux tree balancing out the height of the armoire, I stole the painting that’s been hanging over the sofa.


Here’s a close up of the painting.  Do you see the second doggie?  Love their sweet faces.


Now the painting fills the balancing need.   I’m actually enjoying seeing it more as I pass through the room during the day.  Ummm, I may need to raise it just a hair.  Looked fine in person but now in the photo it looks a tad low.  Isn’t it funny how photos reveal what we don’t see in person?



You can’t really see Mr. Music Controller Thingy lurking there underneath the armoire, so that’s good.


I know, you’re thinking, “Thank goodness that woman finally got rid of that fake greenery.”  😉 I have to admit, I am enjoying the change. It’s nice seeing the warmth of the wood again over behind the wingback.



Now I just need to find something for this blank space.  And some more interesting pillows for the sofa.  And, and, and…  Never ends, does it?   But isn’t that what we love–tweaking and making our nest a little better, a little more the way we want it? What have you been tweaking? Leave me a comment…I want to hear!


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  1. Michelle @ Dream Home DIY says

    This room is soooooo cozy looking. I can picture myself curled up on the couch now 🙂 And it's amazing how much warmer it feels without the tree. Great call!!

  2. Hi Susan! I love it! I do like the picture in place of the tree! You're just the smartest one! I love your den! I have to admit, I still use fake green upon my wall units to hide Mr. Precious' Boise speakers.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  3. Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement says

    It looks great! It's funny I just took down some greenery this week. I put a birdhouse up on top of the armoire so it'd be safe, but I really could've left it empty up there too.

    I love the painting in that area. Well done!

  4. I love the room this way! You can see the beauty of it so much better. Hmm, over the sofa – maybe a medium-to-large round mirror? It would echo the shape of the plates on the wall and the plates on the other side in the cabinet, too.

  5. My husband has fake greeny phobia! Doesn't like that or anything wicker (i.e basket, furniture nothin no nothing) I think it looks like a bigger room with out the fake greens! Good Job!

  6. Hmmm, does this mean I have to remove my fake…unhhh, faux greenery too? I love having plants as part of my home, but I can't grow a healthy plant to save my soul. (Actually, sometimes I can't even keep a faux plant healthy.) Not meaning to be contrary, but I liked your tree and the plant up on the armoire, (not that my opinion means diddly-squat!) lol!

  7. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Beth, I love that idea but I have a big mirror above the fireplace, so I'm afraid that might be too many mirrors. I do love mirrors, though!

  8. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Mellodee, you're too funny! Thanks for sharing your thoughts…makes me feel a little better about my faux greenery all these years. lol

  9. Uh oh…… I have to confess? I'm a bedroom tweaker. Just can't seem to leave well enough alone. But that's ok… great itsy bitsy idea always leads to another one. Do I have to confess I bought more incredible vintage style pollow fabrics this morning? No….whew! I love your paneling. Makes me just a bit homesick for my old house.

  10. Lisa ~ A Cottage to Me says

    Love this room, I agree much better! I too have been clearing spaces of faux and clutter alike. Must be the year to do so. I am seeing lots of it around blogland. I too have my tree up still, but it will be coming down this weekend. Love your blog!

  11. Tracy Boyle says

    Susan, this is soooo timely! I actually thought to myself about 1 hour ago "I need a fake tree in that corner…" Holy cow! I guess I will just have to find something else instead of the tree. And THANK YOU for removing the bug. We are all appreciative! ;-.)

  12. This Blonde's Life says

    I like that it is subtle. You don't really know what is changed but the room feels more open. I have gotten rid of the small amount of fake greenery that I had because it was feeling dated. Good job! 😀

  13. Cindy (Applestone Cottage) says

    I love that room Susan! And I love the pic there so much better!
    Is your tree artificial? It's gorgeous and I need to find one that looks that real. We always have a real one but after sweeping up oodles of needles I may go with artificial next year.
    Happy Weekend,

  14. Designs By Pinky says

    Hi Susan! First of all how did I miss your TREE this year??? I am so glad you still have it up and I got a peek at it, it is beautiful! Your room does look pretty without the faux but I still use some of it in places where I just NEED some greenery. I am still "dedecorating" and in the process, trying to do some things a little differently. We all need some chnge, huh. The house just seems SO BARE now:(:( Oh well, I will look forward to Spring! XO, Pinky

  15. Susan,

    I just LOVE the new look. (I liked it before – but like it so much better now). I don't have fake greenery but do have some fake flowers. One time HGTV did a show on the top decorating mistakes and the the #1 was fake plants. I think of that everytime I walk through the craft stores.


  16. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Cindy, thanks! I love, love, love real trees, but it just got to be too much for me to haul one home and put it up by myself each year. So I finally broke down about 4-5 years ago and bought two artificial trees. The one in the living room actually looks a bit "too perfect" for my taste. I wish it was less uniform. The one I put up in the kitchen each year looks more like a real tree. They both came from Home Depot Expo before they ceased to exist.

  17. Your room is just lovely. I did the same thing this past summer. I had just had enough of the faux tree and plants I had splattered around our living room. Funny how it looks nice when you first put them up then after you remove them, it just seems … well fresh. Anyhoo, your room looks beautiful and I'm with you about the music thingy box, I had to hide mine as well : )
    Have a wonderful weekend and good luck taking down the tree. Mine came down last weekend and everything FINALLY found it's way to the attic (even after a fall off the ladder : ( )
    ~ Deanna

  18. The room looks great! What is your advice on something to put on the front door for wintertime?

  19. Susan, It looks nice without the greenery! Greenery at my house is just a dust collector. A wall clock would nice above the sofa – maybe an arts & crafts/ mission style. You should have a "reader's feedback" contest letting your readers pick your "over the sofa" wall decor.

  20. Hi Susan. I used to have a faux tree in the corner of the living room at my other house. I opted not to use it in this house; however, I do have other faux greenery in places. I don't see anything wrong with a little faux especially if you have a black thumb like me. Either way I like the changes you made. Makes the room seem larger. For a little something more in the corner though how about a tall floor lamp. The table lamp might compete but you could put it somewhere else leaving you with more table space perhaps for some of your decorating books or magazines. I absolutely love your room and my husband would be totally jealous of the judges paneling.

  21. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Susan, right now my front door is empty. If I put something out there, it will probably be faux…can't water something on the door very well. I still have a faux arrangement in the shell niche in the foyer…and still like that one there, although, it gets dusty and is a pain to clean. I know I'll still use some faux flowers occasionally. Hard to get away from ever using them. If I come up with something, I'll let you know. Wreaths, of course, are always good, and they usually do contain some faux florals.

  22. I finally got smart and paid to have someone consolidate wires, rearrange the electronics (Oh how i long to just plug in a tv with one plug!)and make it all look nice! But to your picture.. I like the tree but the room appears larger with the picture there instead. Yes now you need a new something over the sofa. Love the new look a lot! xo marlis

  23. Your timing is perfect. I'm still using two faux (fake) trees, but I've been contemplating donating them to Bag a Bargain (for someone else to enjoy). Sometimes it's just hard to let go of something you've liked so much! Now I know it's the right thing to do when I see how nice your room looks. Thanks for the push in the right direction!

  24. Country Dreaming says

    I like it soo much better. The room seems to breathe more.
    The other way was great but this is much better.


  25. Linda (Nina's Nest) says

    Well, I am surprised at how much better I like the room without the faux stuff. It took me by surprise, 'cause normally I love the greenery. Much better. Linda

  26. so funny to see this post from you..i happened to post about the same thing today…sort of!! i just sold my great room furniture and we are starting over! i've purchased 2 chairs from goodwill that i will have covered (20 bucks each!) and i'm getting ready to refinish an entertainment ctr to be repurposed for our dining room. love your new space. it's amazing how different it looks now, even with just a few things gone. have a wonderful weekend!

  27. Hi Susan!
    This room is spectacular both before and after but now that you have de-fauxed it I like it better too. Now that you've inspired me, I just have to figure out what to put in the bare spot where my own faux Ficus presently stands. The greenery really brings warmth to my room but it is soooo dated.
    Thanks for sharing this lovely space. You do beautiful work.
    Shar in California

  28. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Susan, this has always been one of my favorite rooms. The paneling is fabulous and I love all of your furnishings. Really is a stunning room and I love the painting there too. Hugs, Marty

  29. Denise at Forest Manor says

    Hi Susan,

    I have always loved this room; I fell in love with it the first time I saw your blog. I do love the changes you've made. I think the absence of the tree makes the room look bigger, and it does make the picture more noticeable. For the space over your sofa, I think another picture would be just the ticket. Gosh, darn; I guess you'll just have to go shopping for one. 😉

    I enjoyed seeing the metamorphosis in this room. I linked on late to Tablescape Thursday, and I'd love for you to see my table if you get a chance. It's my very first Christmas tablescape on BNOTP; I've been blogging for almost a year now. Your blog really inspired me to start one of my own, and it's been a great adventure.

    Best wishes to you in 2012!



  30. Julio Muao says

    A belated happy new year Susan! I absolutely love the room without the faux plants. It's amazing how removing those 2 items and adding the picture made such a tremendous difference(at least for me). I've always loved this room but now it's a top favorite. Great job.

  31. Julio Muao says

    I just noticed you were considering what to do with the now blank wall. I love your sconces with china. What are your thoughts about separating them with a nice ornate mirror or perhaps another painting in which the center would rest on the trim that divides the 2 panels? I know it sounds odd or maybe seem unbalanced but I've seen them in similar rooms with raised wall molding and it works. Just a thought. However, I know you will come up with a brilliant solution. I cannot wait to see.

  32. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Julio, I like that idea a lot! I have an antique mirror hanging above the fireplace but the painting idea just might work. I have toyed before with the idea of not keeping everything just inside the panels, so I'll definitely think about placing a painting in between with the sconces on either side. Unfortunately, my sofa isn't centered under the panels/molding, nothing I can really do about that though. Thanks for the suggestion!

  33. Blondie's Journal says

    I like the room better without the plants…I never have good luck with the faux ones. They get dusty fast and fade. I'm not too great with the live ones either so I just have a few here and there.

    I have the same thing happen to me when I take photos of a room…I see spaces and blank spots and of course, something like laundry or clutter that sneaks into the picture!!

    Have a great weekend!


  34. I loved that room before, love it more now! I am going to be moving some things around myself this weekend.

  35. carraharris says

    I did not think that the room could look any better but it does. You are so right about the painting balancing our the large armoire.
    Have a great weekend.

  36. Heidi @ Decor & More says

    Ooo, I'm in major Christmas-take-down mode, but the itch to tweak is taking over. In fact I'll probably be tweaking the family room pillows and shelves before the Christmas bins are even stowed!

  37. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Carra! Miss seeing you at Garden Club.

  38. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Have fun tweaking, Heidi. I'm not looking forward to putting it all away…went by way too fast.

  39. Chubby N Chieque says

    Hi Susan,

    I am not a good tweaker. I been planning to throw the faux I have in the corner of my so call "lounge" but until now, I still have that thingy there.

    I am trying and my GH tweaking the entrance and I am not sure, what will be the outcome.

    Hope I found some comments and advices from you §:-)

    Have a happy w/end.

    Greetings from Stockholm,

  40. The Kramer Angle says

    I think it's the new year that has so many of us in the tweaking mood – especially once the decorations come down and the old goes back up! I told my husband I want to move but what I really want is to get rid of everything in my house and start over!

    I can't think of anything for the blank spot on your wall! Sorry!


  41. What a difference – your room looks brighter, larger, and more welcoming with the "forest" (tree) gone! Love it and the dog picture is beautiful in his new home.

    On my way home from holidays at son's in AL, stopped at your favorite, A Classy Flea, and am so envious! So many marvelous items, great condition, excellent prices, and selection to die for! Talked with one of the owners, delightful lady. There is nothing, zero, zilch comparable in my area. Here, prices are extremely high. We don't have a full Home Goods store closer than two hours away. I am in pain after shopping in a few of the areas you have available. Loved every minute of it too 😉

    Happy New Year to You & Your Family!

  42. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    MaryEllen, you are just going to have to take a road trip to the Atlanta area occasionally. 🙂 We are spoiled by all the great shopping here, but it is dangerous for the pocketbook. Love me A Classy Flea!

  43. SwedishCorner-DownUnder...Pernilla says

    Such a cozy and warm room!
    … absolutely beautiful 🙂

    Greetings from Australia♥

  44. Hi Susan! I liked your faux greenery and have some myself so I'm surprised at how much I like the look of your family room now. It's just lovely!

    For the blank wall space, how about a large family portrait, or a large embroidered landscape?

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  45. Lady Courtney says

    This is where my husband would say "Less is more", and taking the plants away makes it bigger and brighter…I like it!!! I have real plants throughout my house that I bring in for the winter, but I have to be on my toes with watering and fertilizing. Maybe one day I'll have a green house, because I like the "less" look. Donna

  46. I can sooo relate. We have three faux that really should go.

    Your living room has always looked so cozy, but I don't think you sacrificed any of the "feel" by removing the tree and greens.

    I agree with Julio. It looks like you could scootch the sofa a tish (technical terms) to center it on the paneling. Perhaps a few trips to A Classy Flea would produce a rather large "hunt" scene…or, picture over the fireplace and large round mirror over the sofa ??

    But then, what do I know. You always seem to have a "vision" that you carryout beautifully. I, on the other hand, am still sitting here with three faux trees.
    (sounds like a line from the 12 days of Christmas).

  47. Mary Deckert says

    Wow, it this a topic that hits home for many of us or what? I have a friend who uses several faux trees and plants in her home and they look great, but when I tried them in my home, I could never look at them without thinking "I need to dust that fake tree!" Plus, my husband hated them, so away they went. I think your room looked beautiful before, but removing the tree and plant opened it up and refreshed it.

  48. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest says

    OK. Maybe I need to update too. Now I DID inherit my mother's incredible green thumb, and do have a nice large green tree in my living room – have had it over 15 years now……but I have a faux one behind my piano in a space that just needed something…..I read over and over how it is dated and not the groovy thing to have fakey fakes anymore.

    But I flat-out refuse to give up some of my wilk floral arrangements. I just won't do it (yet anyway) because they just are so pretty to me.

    Anyway, I cringed at first when I started to read your post, but it does look better, even tho I didn't want it to – if that makes sense – but it really opens things up nicely. Per usual. You're awesome, so is that room.

    Keep up the good work, and ok tomorrow my fake tree may be going.

    Or soon. (Smiles and looks around nervously.)

  49. Your room is so inviting and cozy!! We enjoy your posts so much! Thank you~

  50. Love your room- it is so inviting and cozy-TY for your posts, we enjoy t hem so much!

  51. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    I think it looks great, Susan! I had a couple of faux trees also = ficus if I remember correctly. I also would not have been able to keep a real one alive. I remember what a different look I was presented with when I got rid of them!

    Also, I am glad to see I am not the only one who keeps her tree up past January 1st. I always wait until the Epiphany or Little Christmas before I put my Christmas stuff away. I just got some new totes from Lowe's tonight to get started tomorrow morning bright and early!

  52. So ironic. I am decluttering and I have three fake trees that are going soon. I know what you mean about them starting to feel "fake". Your room looks lovely.

  53. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Janet. I almost bought a KitchenAid hand mixer when I bought that one. I have a stand KitchenAid, but of course, you need a hand mixer for those times when you are beating icing while making it on the stove. Thanks for the tip!

  54. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Mary! It was a job cleaning this one periodically…don't miss that!

    Friday, January 06, 2012

  55. Phyllis@Around the House says

    The room looks lighter brighter and so much bigger…it's always hard taking a second look at rooms we are so use to seeing a certain way…think of all that dusting of the faux you won't have to do…yay

  56. Made In The South says

    Love the picture where the tree once stood.
    All those wires made me laugh, I always unhook them, then have trouble remebering which ones go where…
    Have a fabulous weekend,

  57. Phyllis@Around the House says

    Oh I forgot that I did notice you took the books away to office and it makes the floor space more spacious…I think it sounds like Mr. S. eho is always telling me to "thin it out" sounds just like a man huh…love your room…

  58. ℳartina @ Northern Nesting says

    Susan this is one of my favorite rooms in your home. I LOVE IT and love the changes! Martina

  59. Phyllis@Around the House says

    I forgot to mention I am excited about the picture taking tut…love it when I can learn some new things…phyllis

  60. I tweaked today, too. Took down a dark wall hanging in my back hall. The wall hanging seemed like such a good idea–until it didn't. I love how much brighter that little hall looks now.

    I liked the greenery in your family room but I like it even better without. Luckily, the judges panelling is so beautiful that you don't need to rush to put anything over the sofa. So you can mull to your heart's content or till inspiration strikes.

    By the way, you really gave me a fright. I saw "Reforming My Faux Ways" and thought "Oh, no! She's not going to get rid of that fake fur on the desk of her craft room, is she?"

    (Just kidding, Max!)

  61. Hi Susan. I found your Between Naps On The Porch blog a few months ago and have been following(without commenting) regularly. You are an
    amazing decorator! I love your whole house, but am especially interested in the family room and am using it for ideas for my own home.I STILL love it without the greenery. I have not seen any photos posted of bathrooms. Is that something you have planned to do?
    I also thoroughly enjoy the blog parties.
    Best regards, Phyllisa

  62. Mom in High Heels says

    I so love this room and all its uses. The judges paneling makes me sigh with pleasure. The room looks far better and bigger without the tree! The painting you used to replace it is gorgeous and I love that you can now see it instead of it being hung behind the sofa.

    Since we just moved I'm tweaking the beejeebers out of everything. Somehow I have less space on my shelves than I did at the other place even though they're the exact same shelves! How is that possible?
    I'm a constant tweaker though.James Bond is used to seeing me stand perfectly still in a room staring at a wall/photo/table/shelf trying to figure out how I can change it up. Of course by the time I have things the just way I like them it's time for us to move again. Life of the military spouse! At least I always have new opportunities and challenges, and believe me, when you never know what size or shape your rooms will be, it's always a challenge.

  63. Another Room To Love!!!
    I have drooled over your porch and tablescapes for several years and always look forward to each new post. Today you have given me another room to envy. Your taste is marvelous. I adore judges paneling and wish I had it in my library. I agree that the painting is a bit low. It would look nice at a height level with the top of the window valence I think, but it's difficult to determine from the photo. I love greenery and florals so I would have kept it atop the armoire, but moving the tree from the corner really opens up the room and lets that beautiful paneling be appreciated. As for the empty space above the couch, perhaps two similar plate displays to match those on the left. Again, I would prefer to let that beautiful paneling shine rather than covering it up.
    Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it will be beautiful. Thank you, as always, for the inspiration!
    Sincerely, Norma

  64. Leslie's Garden says

    I'm just impressed that behind that tall armoire, and amongst all the cords, there's not ONE dust bunny:) The room looks gorgeous, wish you could leave the tree up all year, it's so pretty!

  65. I recently went through the same thought process in my sun room and did away with two large "faux" trees. I am replacing them with two tall bookcases to help balance the room. Now fighting with a "faux" fern in my living room. After this great post of yours, it is history too. ~m

  66. Crystal @ Ordinary Days says

    What a beautiful room! How smart are you with the music on the porch?!!

  67. Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads says

    Defauxing was a good move! Your room has opened up, allowing a better view of your beautiful paneling. I really like the painting in that corner, too. We've been trying to reorganize our office. It was a real mess!

  68. I will love learning more about photography. Can you think about how to change settings on the camera? I'm not good at reading manuals, and I've taken two camera classes but they always assume we know how to change settings. I don't so I would love to learn.

  69. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says

    Great "move"!!..In the past, I was on a silk arrangement kick. Loved filling some spaces with beautiful greenery, and flowers to add color and texture. (But then, I saw a show on HGTV on the 10 worst decorating faux pas. Guess what was number one…yes, fake greenery!..So one of my goals is to replace those few arrangements remaining with other textural elements. It's hard as they were sooo expensive!

    I can now see it..after this post, the goodwill stores will be inundated with faux greenery!!!

    When we were building our home, we decided to go for it and install a total home audio system. Best thing we ever did..the speakers are flush mounted in the ceiling and all the equipment are behind doors in the bookcase.

    So, today I start breaking down the decorations (after the Epiphany)..and rearranging the accessories. Great Post!!..Thank you!!

  70. I can't wait to read your photography tips! I still have one faux tree, but I keep it in my basement to fill out a bare spot. I never ever ever dust the stupid thing so I probably should just get rid of it before it spontaneously combusts from the layers of dust.

  71. Love your room but as for the question, "What should I put there to fill the wall space?" I say a little height/length is in order. I say a wonder bell pull might fill the need. I see you love texture and pattern so finding a lovely Petit point/Tapestry pull will be a chore of love. Good luck finding that special something.
    I will be watching what you do next with this wonderful room.

  72. Let's talk PILLOWS! 😀 I have the same "star" pillows…I do believe. Don't you just love the "BOSE?!?" The room looks fab! franki

  73. That whole faux thing hit me too when I was taking Christmas down…I got rid of a faux tree in the front room and a plant on top of an antique armoire.. My husband had a cow and hauled the plant and tree to his office! He doesn't adapt well to change…and now since I am addicted to blogs…I am changing things up all the time! Even though my front room looked different…I love the change and decided I would get some more interesting panels to hang by the large cozy up the room
    Love your blog..I used to live in No Carolina and miss the beautiful homes …so seeing yours really brings back memories!

  74. A Perfect Setting says

    Such a beautiful room, Susan! I am toying with the idea of removing my faux trees too, but I can't figure out what to do with the fishbowls they are in. Anyway, here's what I'd do: purchase 4 smaller pictures, put two on each panel(hanging them vertically) with one bracket to the outside. I'd do the same on the other panel. But whatever you do, I'm sure it will look amazing! Good luck!

  75. The Doctor says

    I'm really glad you got rid of that tree! The room looks so much more warm now and you can see the painting. I would raise the painting too. Looks like we will have to go antiquing to look for something to fill that blank spot. How about another painting or a mirror?

  76. A Perfect Setting says

    Hi Susan, I just left a comment and I don't see it. Maybe it takes a while. Could you let me know if you are getting them? Thanks!

  77. Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) says

    Wow! What an incredible difference the lack of "faux" makes. I took mine down quite a while back as well as taking out the trees, the bulk just seemed to heavy for the looking I'm going for. The lack of the greenery above the armoire shows off the deep beauty of the wood. I love the picture above the cozy chair, makes the area so inviting. I look forward to seeing what you choose above the sofa. Always fun to re-invent without spending tons to do so. I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. hugs ~lynne~

  78. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments and suggestions for what to put back in place of the painting. Some great ideas!

  79. Susan, wonderful blog. Since I can't find my comment I posted before, here goes again. When I took out my faux tree Dec.1, that was in a corner at my couch, I replaced it with a mahogany plant stand that I already had. On it I placed a big blue and white oriental vase in which to keep fresh magnolias and fresh eucaliptis. I think it would look great in your corner even with the beautiful picture-fills up the height a little more. Love your blogs.

  80. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Gloria, thanks for that suggestion! I do have a plant stand and hadn't considered that…will def keep that in mind. Corners are funny so love the suggestions!

  81. melissa@joyineveryseason says

    well … you are such the decorator extraordinaire that I have to say I like the room both ways … and I’m not being fake – I mean faux – when I say that :o) I’m a big fan, your home is lovely and your sense of humor is delightful!

  82. says

    I love this room, it is just so cozy and homey. I have gotten rid of most of my fake, still debating a few things, thanks for sharing!

  83. Country Glenda says

    If you hadn't mentioned it, the pic would have looked fine. I think you are right. It would probably look better with the top of the frame at the same height as the window and armoire. How about a vertical mirror over the sofa to reflect light, a pretty curvy shaped one?

  84. FABBY'S LIVING says

    I love this room Susan, it's cozy and elegant at the same time. I love the wood paneling all over it, so English looking, just great! Glad you took out your faux, I love it just like this, I prefer real if at all possible. I love your dog artwork.
    I'm sure you will find another for the empty wall part. Thanks for sharing. I have a giveaway for my one year blogging, maybe you'd like to enter and comment on it, that's all you will have to do. Hugs.

  85. Susan I love all the rooms in your home that you have shown us. Each time you tell us how you just jump into a project and hope/pray for the best…..that is exactly how I make changes which are most of the time on the spur of the moment…like to say inspired and as a rule it works but not always….as even in the case of much labored planning does not always please us.

    January inspires us to re-think how we use the space in a room and that is what I hope to do in the next week. Your lovely room reemphasizes this need.

    A family room should almost envelope the family members with warmth and peacefulness…this your room surely accomplishes.

    A suggestion for the empty space…
    a large family portrait or one of those old fashion clocks, which are only the face without any wood surrounding them…they are (pardon the pun) timeless and ageless and useful.

    Love your blog and especially when you visit the historical homes.

    Would you, or have you, done a post on all those books you had stacked on/under your coffee table.
    Stacks of books is something I seem to have in a few of the rooms in my home…they are just a necessity for moi.

    ~Sylvia Faye

  86. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Sylvia, Thanks for the suggestions! Great ideas! January definitely has me in the mood to redo some things. Yep, a while back I created a post where I showed many of the design/decorating books I have/love. You'll find them in THIS post.

  87. Bonnie Schulte says

    All I can say is the room was beautiful before, faux plants and all, and it is beautiful now, without them. This room is just BEAUTIFUL, no matter what you change, Love it love love,love it

  88. As I was reading I didn't think removing the tree would make such a big difference, but it does. Open up the room and that great paneling and painting show up so much more. Now you have "opportunity" to find something new to love.

  89. vjdallasus says

    Susan… As all of us who follow you have commented before… Not only is your Family Room beautiful, EVERY room In your HOME is beautiful!!!! Two houses ago, we had the same paneling (Family Rm.) and it simply "oozed" warmth and comfort. Your faux-less rm. is open/ feels larger and brighter. Here in Texas tho.. some "fauxing" just seems a necessity!! Its hot, we can't always stop, or get out, to pick up fresh flowers… As a designer/florist, I believe in fresh, but, to keep a "look"..we still do a (LOT) of faux! NOW TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE still being up… Why not?? Now we can enjoy the tree after all the pre-Holiday rushing about for everything to fit in for Family/Friends visiting, & Celebrations. That's just me, everyone; don't boo MY explanation for my own being up ( I just hate to see it going down…)!

  90. Barb Adams says

    I can't help but think about Nate Berkus' comment that faux plants "suck the life right out of a room." And now, seeing these photos, I'm going to remove (some of) mine and see how things look without them. I've been moving art around a lot! It's amazing how much art I've "collected" over the years. Plus, I'm a quilter and I make a lot of pieces meant to be hung on the wall. I need to edit, or add more walls.

  91. Glad to see you joined the other side…. no fake plants! Vicky, Roomservice Decorating 101

  92. M.T. Pocketts says

    Love your room! (We are thinking of putting in wood paneling.) I get so tired of seeing everyone painting everything white….
    Can't help but noticing your India chess set–I have the same one!

  93. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, M.T.! Good eyes! That chess box belonged to a dear Aunt who collected it on one of her many trips. She loved to travel and brought back some great pieces.

  94. Syndi @ Beachnut Lane says

    Susan, I absolutely love this room. It reminds me of an English country cottage, with all that wood, warm colors and prints.

  95. Susan, your room is beautiful and so very family friendly so much room for family and guests!! Just love it! Hugs, Maki " Maki's Little Red House"

  96. Susan – I honestly thought that first photo was from a magazine. The room is gorgeous – with our without the faux-ness.


  97. ✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life says


    WOW! That is one gorgeous room!!! With or without faux plants.


  98. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Awww, thanks Patti and Dee…such a nice thing to say!

  99. I ditched indoor trees, both real and faux, years ago. You need large spaces to have trees inside!

    Faux greenery is long gone from my lexicon, but I do use a few faux florals from time to time to fill in when there are no real ones available.

    I got tired of the faded dusty mess they make, so out they all went.

  100. SavannahGranny says

    Gorgeous room. I have always loved it.
    It really looks so much larger and shows off the paneling better.
    The faux thing reminds me of something my sweet stepmother once said. I used faux plants in the upstairs guestrooms because I rarely went up there to take care of them. On one visit she came down and told me that she had noticed the tree in her room had really grown since her last visit. We still laugh about her sweet compliment.

    I use very few artificial plants. I can purchase green plants and I justify that by thinking that they last much longer than a florist order. Hey, we can justify anything. Blessings, Ginger

  101. Forever Christmas 1904 says

    I have always loved this room, as many other fans have mentioned, but I have to confess two things-one, I was disappointed you didn't show the bug and two, I want your plants for my back porch! Well, that is if I ever plan a trip down South from here in Frozenville, Indiana!
    But seriously now, I am looking forward, like so many others, on your photography-somethings about it I have marveled at for some time now, too!

    Really enjoyed the post about your future Daughter-In-Law and her wedding preparations! Sounds like you two have a lot in common! Have a great week!

  102. Forever Christmas 1904 says

    I also thought of something for over your couch-a wedding portrait! You'll have to wait a little for it, but if you spend a lot of time in this room, it would be a beautiful addition! Just my two cents….

  103. Pamela Joan says

    I think this is the prettiest and most comfy looking family room I've ever seen. I just want to sit in there with a cup of tea! Thank you for sharing it.

  104. ❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ says

    I don't have any suggestions as to how to fill the blank spaces but I do know that I love the new look. Still looks so cozy but light and airy, too. I love it!

  105. Susan, this info is very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this in detail. I'm still on the fence about buying a new camera. I'm still using a simple Nicon Coolpix point and shoot. Need to decide because I don't know how much longer this one is going to last. 😉
    Thanks again ~ Sarah

  106. Susan, what setting did you have your camera on to get this shot of the whole room? Some great ideas from folks, but I am in the mood for another virtual shopping trip to the Classy Flea with you!

  107. Susan, what setting did you have your camera on when you took that picture of the whole room! There have been some great suggestions from lots of folks, but I am sooo ready for another vitual shopping trip with you to the Classy Flea!! …ML

  108. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Hi Mary Lou, For the shot showing the whole room, I just used the kit lens and had the camera set on the "lightning bolt" setting which is an auto setting that doesn't use the flash. That's the setting I keep my camera on most of the time. I only put it on a manual setting when that doesn't work. My new Nikon D5100 has a sensor inside that is super light sensitive, so I didn't have to bring any extra lighting into the room. The pic was just taken with the available light from the lamps and the Christmas tree. I'm amazed at how well this camera does in low lighting situations on the auto/no flash setting.

  109. Kevin Graves says

    I just saw your room on Pinterest! I saw it and I said "that's a room I know". and I was right1

  110. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Kevin, so good to hear from you! How are you? I don't see a blog name attached to your name…are you no longer blogging?

  111. Lizabeth @ Infuse With Liz says

    Susan- I missed this posting! We use something called an IR remote controlled repeater. It allows you to control different pieces with one remote and not have to open a cabinet etc. I see you figured a way to make things work, but you might want to try one.
    I have a big faux palm tree that I have in my room to help fill in some space and I wanted to add some greenery too. I don't have enough natural light to keep plants going in the room plus I hate it when people have half dead plants which seems to happen all to easily! I always debate whether it's a good thing or not. Every so often I give it a shower to freshen the greenery. That's the number one problem with faux plants….keeping them dusted and clean looking! Your room is lovely and the picture looks great. I agree maybe a tad low but great! Just curious why you call it "judges paneling". Is that a term for the style?

  112. I like the new setting w/o the faux tree, but didn't mind the one on top of the armoire. Clever to put that music controller underneath. It doesn't get too warm under there does it? I'm married to a retired Engineer, so I have to ask questions like that…! The entire room is so gorgeous! Yes, I've been tweaking ever since the Christmas decor was packed away. Just trying to figure it all out without a holiday theme to fall back on. I'm getting there.

  113. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Cas, now that you mention it, there's not a lot of room above the unit. Ummm, wondering if it needs to breathe out the top. Yikes! I'll have to check that to make sure it isn't getting too hot under there. Thanks for asking about that…didn't even cross my mind. Good luck with your tweaking!

  114. I used to have lots of faux flowers, made me feel cozy. Now…. I am craving openess, crispness, so out goes all the flowers. But I know, in time, i will feel room is too bare and will but new flowers and what nots. Thanks for revealing your changing feelings about faux trees.

  115. Where did you get that killer sign on your porch wall that says "Summer Breeze …" and is it blue or aqua? I'm in Atlanta too.

  116. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    I bought the sign in a local store, A Classy Flea. It was the only one they had but if you google "summer breeze makes me feel fine sign" you'll find them online for around $35 which is the same price I paid. 🙂

  117. Sharol Phinney says

    Never heard of judges paneling…what is it? Love BNOTP!

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