One thing you can always expect is that I will constantly change my mind. (Insert Taylor rolling his eyes here). He asked me recently, “When are we going to be done with the house?” Isn’t that precious? He thinks that one day we’ll actually ‘finish’ the house and never change, update, renovate, revamp, or tweak ever again. I said to him, “If that ever happens we’ll just have to move.” I’m not sure if I saw terror or disbelief in his eyes. Maybe both?
On that note, I totally re-strategized the downstairs. The whole thing was bothering me because something about it felt ‘off’. The most difficult part about it was it wasn’t just 1 thing that I could easily fix. The whole space felt disjointed, thrown-together and otherwise confusing. And the kicker is that I ACTUALLY tried to avoid all of those things intentionally. Oh wells.
After many laps around the house, 100’s of pins, and many sleepless nights later…eureka! I had this glorious moment of clarity in the middle of the night because I’d figured out how to fix it…fix everything! So, here’s my midnight brilliance.
First up is the living room!
At first we decided to create channel seating surrounding the fireplace. There were tons of photos that made this option so homey and welcoming. However, our room is so long that this arrangement wasn’t working for me. For instance:
- This arrangement left weird space on each side of the room. The space wasn’t quite big enough to be a full space, yet wasn’t small enough to ignore.
- This arrangement also didn’t provide a lot of space between our TV unit and the sofa/chairs. It wasn’t impossible to get through but it wasn’t easy.
- This arrangement didn’t leave a lot of space on the far right side of the room. This side of the room houses the kitchen table and doors to the backyard. Since we spend most of our time on that side of the room I wanted more space.
Without a great layout it was difficult for me to get excited about furniture, artwork, or accessories because I was constantly wondering why it felt “off.” Therefore, I knew that we had to re-evaluate the living room’s layout before I could move on. So, after some thinking we:
- Re-arranged the sofa and chairs. We put the sofa in front of the fireplace…GASP! I know we’re such rebels. But here’s the thing. We never use the fireplace because we live in North Carolina and it never gets that cold here. Moving the sofa opened up the room so much and makes it so much more inviting. Every time I walk in I feel like it’s saying “Hey, glad you’re home, come and sit!”
- Moved the chairs to the left side of the room to make a seating area. In between the chairs we put our fun little bar cart rather than a boring side table. A friend that was visiting said, “I like your little Mad Men area.” I thought that was such a perfect complement because that’s what I was going for. (I had just watched like 3 seasons back-to-back.)
- Moved the buffet into the room on the far left wall because we wanted the right side of the room to serve as an eating/serving area. So, obviously the buffet made sense. It actually fills that space quite nicely.
- Add another table to the left side of the room. Since it’s still in progress I’m keeping it a secret. So check back for more details.
- Lastly, the table area was originally going to consist of some banquet built-ins. However, after much thought and deliberation we decided against it. Instead we’re going to buy a little settee instead and I’m much happier with that decision.
Once we re-arranged the room totally opened up and started to feel like home. We also felt like it was closer to being ‘us’. Since we’re pretty confident on the furniture now we started hanging some pictures and art. I’ll be sure to add photos of those as we go.
Next, the dining room!
This room changes more often than a teenage girl getting ready for a first date. I think I’ve changed my mind about this room 3 times now? Yep, 3 times.
- Dining room – every southern girl must have a dining room to entertain dinner guests, right? Well that’s what I thought I had to do. So, when we moved in I had grand plans to create a bold yet classy dining room. Complete with dining room table, chairs, buffet and china cabinet. Since we don’t entertain tons of guests at the same time the room sat empty and sad. The only time we used the room was to pass from the stairs to the kitchen. Eventually it hit me and I thought, “Why does this room have to be a dining room? It seems like such a waste of space.” That led me to think about our house in general, which isn’t a huge home. It seemed so illogical to let such a large room sit there unused. That’s when I pitched the idea to Taylor that we turn our dining room into a music room, which of course he loved.
- Music Room 1.0 – Unlike myself, Taylor is a gifted musician. He can literally pick up and instrument and learn to play it quickly. I get super jelly because I’m musically challenged. But we’ve all got our gifts. To create the space we:
- swapped the buffet for desk so he could have a place to work on his music.
- brought the large chair and ottoman in so he could sit and read.
- left the china cabinet because it’s such a small piece it doesn’t look out of place.
- hung his 3 guitars on the long wall so they’d be easy to access.
- After about a month the whole space began to bother me again. Something about it was off because it felt jumbled and thrown together. Then it hit me, when you come in from the front door it’s the first room you see. And what you saw was 3 large guitars, a random desk, and a china cabinet. There was no synergy to bring all these pieces together. So, I began to think….
- Music Room 2.0 – I still liked the idea of the music room…I just needed to figure out how to bring all the pieces together (without spending a ton of money). Here’s what we decided to do:
- switch the desk around to the long wall (What you see when you enter the front door)
- flank the desk with 2 Ikea bookcases. They will actually look like a built-in because they’ll fit so perfectly. This way, I’ll be able to decorate the shelves with books and trinkets rather than 3 guitars.
- place the chair in front of the shelves on the left side along with a little lamp for reading.
- place 1 guitar with stand on the right side of the room.