Seems like every design blog out there has pictures of perfectly put together living spaces. No clutter, pristine furniture and definitely not a toy in sight. I don't know about you, but I don't live in that world. Even at it's cleanest, our house always has toys, clutter, dust, old furniture that we would love to replace, major and minor renovation projects that need starting and/or finishing, etc. etc.
Don't get me wrong, I can stage a house for sale or even just long enough for a picture to near perfection but the homes that we actually live in are ALWAYS a work in progress and ALWAYS a MESS (more often that not a really big mess). So to share our living room design I decided NOT to "stage" it but instead just to show it off the way it looks when we are actually living in it. Well, at least while the toddler and crawler are sleeping. The toys in the corner (and from every other room in the house) tend to takeover when they are awake.
This first picture is the before/after when we first moved in just to show you what a difference a coat of paint can make. The before beige wasn't terrible, it was just boring beige and I wanted something different. The best part is that I was pregnant at the time so ALL the painting was left up to my husband and I didn't have to lift a finger.eventually upgrading the carpet to some sort of hardwood or laminate but for now it is nice to have a little cushioning for our wobbly crawling baby. We are also working on creating a baby safe cover for the fireplace that I will share soon.
See what I mean about a "lived-in" living room? I couldn't even get our dog to leave her bed during my cell phone photo shoot. The boys nap time is also her nap time since they don't leave her alone if they are up. My biggest NEED in our home is always storage space. I even went against my own frequent mover advice and bought the larger entertainment center so that I would have more baby proof storage/display space. It of course backfired in this house and we had to place it on an angle for it to fit in the space. I always recommend for other frequent movers (military or not) to purchase smaller, more flexible furniture pieces so that they will be more likely to fit in any home you may end up in.
Many of our accessories are Trinkets from our Travels, things that we use frequently like books, toys, and storage baskets or are just personal things that we love. I also use this space as my 'office' since I am usually pulling triple duty as stay at home mom, interior designer, and blogger. So, I have my laptop, paint swatches, design magazines, etc. stashed in the yellow secretary desk (thrift store find that we previously used as our china cabinet but recently gave a yellow face lift). I also keep a portable file box in the bottom of the pillow basket so that it is easily accessible but out of sight.
vintage trunk that was a gift from my husband. He is one of those rare guys that pays attention (and actually remembers) when I point out liking something in a store. I know, I'm pretty lucky. It not only serves as a great place to keep our more precious belongings (wedding album, baby books, yearbooks, kiddie artwork) but also provides extra seating for guest. The white side table was my grandmother's but the original top didn't survive one of our moves so I replaced it with the metal tray (which was my grandpa's grilling pan) and sprayed the whole thing white, except the green rubber handles. The chair and lamp are more thrifty finds that I have given face lifts over the years.
Our well "loved" sofa is towards the top of my would love to replace wish list but for now works great for our not so neat and tidy toddler. I wrote about some of the other pieces in the room in a previous post which you can find here.
Finally, I am pretty proud of our DIY ottoman (post coming soon). We needed something small enough to still allow for plenty of play space but padded, sturdy and in a kid friendly fabric. It isn't perfect but not too shabby for my first tufting project and my husbands first indoor furniture project. I am ready to tackle an upholstered headboard next.