Our Living Room- An Ever Changing Process

Creating a Home Doesn’t Happen Overnight.  Don’t we all know it. Throw a personality like mine in the mix & it really complicates things. 🙂 I’m forever revolving furniture, misplacing furniture, upgrading, downgrading & transplanting furniture.

Its common knowledge that I love a good bargain, so most of the furniture & décor in our home has been rescued during treasure hunting expeditions – Soo, I don’t (have to) feel (too) bad switching things out.

Most times I get to re-sell something & then I end up feelin’ pretty good about myself. ‘Most times’ meaning ‘most times’ – because the last few times I couldn’t even get people to take my stuff for free. “What? I thought we got such a good deal on that $25 couch, and now nobody on Craigslist even wants it when it’s free.”

Chris got a little tired of our front porch being a free-for-all yard sale as I switch out stuff. Heh. All that to say. Our living room has been through the ringer the two years.

If a house has a soul, then the living room has got to be it.

It’s seen our tears, it’s seen our laughter, it’s seen Canon’s train set doing laps a million times a day, our nightly devotions, breakfast by the fire, & everything in between.

Two years ago, when we lived in the attic apartment, the downstairs apartment scored some major water damage. It was a blessing in disguise, because it turned out to be the boost we needed to push us over the edge & start the downstairs remodel.

Just some before pics…

We kept the attic furnished when we moved down – and had the fun challenge of  two whole floors to furnish (on a dime). Hello Yard Sales & Thrift Stores & Auctions & Craiglist. Slowly but surely my friends, slowly but surely.

As you can see from the original photos, the previous owners used this room as their dining room. I didn’t especially appreciate the layout (no bad feelings x-homeowner wherever you are)  so we decided to turn it into our living room.

The first year and a half I had a hard time loving it, no thanks to the nasty brown 1800’s fire-less mantle. Can’t say I was ever a fan of brown (sorry all you brown lovers, wherever you are).

So last summer, all in the same day, I read & was completely inspired by Myquillyn’s “The Nesting Place” – I quite swiftly overcame my two-year old fear of ruining our ugly (but too ancient of a relic to destroy) mantle. I ran to the local Amish Hardware store, bought some chalk paint & painted that ol’ thang lickety split (all during Canon’s nap-time).

And suddenly I loved our living room a little more. Chris did mention that evening how we probably could have gotten a pretty penny for that mantle. But Glory Be, I finally liked our living room a little more (no hard feelings all you antique lovers out there, but it was brown, so that’s like automatic permisson).

Last Fall, A week after Creed was born, we (as in Chris) tore into the fireplace & we (as in Chris again)  turned it into our Anthropologie-inspired fireplace mantle.

All the while, switching out the rug every few weeks with my latest Goodwill find. I also managed to grab that beauty of a navy couch for under $100, bring down a chair that was hanging out in our bedroom, give away a couch, sell a couch, snag new end tables, blankets, pillows, sticker books & trains from Goodwill (Bless You Goodwill, Bless You).

Lastly, but not leastly, The Wall.

I capitalize it because it really is that big of a deal. After two years, you’d think we would put something up. But it was so intimidating.

If the Living Room is the Soul of a home, it should have personal photos of the family, or perhaps things that are near and dear. I had done neither, but had finally stuck an empty gold mirror (that was hanging out above the mantle) on that wall a months ago (I made a nail hole – Much to Chris’s horror, if I daresay) So If cleanliness is next to Godliness, than I think pounding nails must be next to sinliness.)

But I did it. And it gave me the courage to finally just today (and after at least a dozen visitors asked what the significance of an empty frame was) pound about 11 holes in the wall looking for studs. Ugh.

Allll that to say. GO FOR IT. CHANGE THINGS UP. Keep trying until you get it just how you want it. Pound a few holes in the wall, it can be patched. I hope. Don’t quote me on that.

So yeah. Chris walked in the door while I was pounding another terribly misaligned hole into our perfect wall & I begged him to help me while promising I would spackle & sand & repaint & give him all my money if he would only help me get it right before the sun went down so I could have that blasted photo for the blog tomorrow. #runonsentanceaddedfordramaticeffect

It was worth it, I love these prints. It’s the first personal photos I’ve ever put up in a home. My sister Ervina has always inspired me with her eye for design, so the idea came from her for these grand prints. Last week at her house, I fell in love with a GIANT new print she had on her wall. Here’s the $3 secret to my black-framed domineering prints.

Engineering Prints from Staples, my friends.

Only 3 buckaroos a pop, combine them with a cheap Ikea or AcMoore frame and it’s an amazing personal statement piece. Of course, they are really only meant for Engineering Prints, so the quality is a bit grainy, but I’m so ok with that.

Thanks Erv for the inspo. Lerve ya.

Closing Comments: Our Home is our ‘unofficial’ Chris & Claude Co. Showroom, so we ‘unofficially’ try to give every room a different theme. Our Living Room is our ‘unofficial’ Mid Century-ish room (in-progress)  so when we were deciding on what to do with the walls, couch & rug, I knew I wanted something with simple lines, bold color & fun pops of greenery + random book piles.

Closing Comments #2: If you haven’t read ‘The Nesting Place” go read it. It will be what pushes you to pound that extra nail, repaint that dated room or prop up your broken chair on a stack of books.

The fun of your home is that it’s YOUR HOME! Nobody else’s. Incorporate your personality into your home, it should look & feel like you. Colorful People Need Colorful Homes (aka. paint that wall green) Unique People Need Unique Homes. Crazy People Need Crazy Homes. Children at Heart Need Children-at-Heart Homes (Call us up, we’ve been wanting to incorporate a trampoline into a home. Jk-kinda-ish-not-really-ish)


Couch: West Elm

Pillows + Throw: Goodwill

Rug: RugsUSA.com

Large Floor Lamp: West Elm

Plants: Kens Gardens, Smoketown, PA

Sheepskin Rug: Costco

End Table: Goodwill

Frames: ACMoore

Engineer Prints: Staples


With love, Claude


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