Tag Archives | Living Room

Current Inspiration

So I haven’t blogged in a while. But I’m still around, I’m still here! And its actually because I’ve been working more!  You may remember I took last year to kind of decide where I was headed with this design business thing. I took a class that led to all sorts of inspiration. I was doing lots of small consults, one room at a time kind of work.

This year I find myself with two big full house projects happening at once and a couple more waiting in the wings. They are both with dream clients and I’m learning so much as I work, pushing my boundaries further and further into areas that have intimidated me in the past. I’m loving it and finding the courage that I can do this.

The community of support I found in taking that class has really helped, along with a few more connections I’ve made since then.  I think I felt isolated a lot last year, wondering if I was actually doing this thing the right way.  Its nice to have community.   Plus, Paul is my constant encouragement and support- he has always believed in me and never once doubted even when I’m doubting myself.  Its amazing to have support like that.

Anyway, that’s enough for now about where I’ve been. I thought I’d share today a bit of what’s inspiring me lately for these projects…

First up this beautiful shot of a project by Marie Flanigan Interiors.  I love the contrast of light and dark.  All the different textures, wood tones, subtle pattern.  Its modern and traditional at the same time.

marie-flanagan-interiors

Next, are you familiar with Addison’s Wonderland?  She has an incredibly unique older home that they renovated and it is just bursting with pattern and color.  I love how she uses white walls to balance her love of color.  I also love all the brass and the black vent hood and ceiling in the living room picture below.

kitchen-white-marble-calcutta-gold-open-shelves-gold-black-vent-hood-blue-gray-cabinets-shaker-style-black-chevron-tile-subway-white-backsplash-decor-ideas-8-of-32

addisons-wonderland

This kitchen is majorly inspiring me for a project I’m working on.  Especially that deep green cabinetry.  Green is the thing right now and Studio McGee does it right in this gorgeous kitchen.  I also love all the mixed metals and warm wood tones.

mcgee-kitchen

Here’s another beautiful use of a deep green in this bedroom from Traditional Home.

trad-home

And lastly, if you follow my Instagram stories, you saw that my old kitchen faucet broke last week. We’ve replaced it temporarily with a $17 one from Home Depot while I research and figure out what the permanent solution will be.  Meanwhile I’m all eyes for the art in this kitchen from Domino.  And you know I’m talking about that faucet:

domino

So that’s what’s up for now.  Follow me on Pinterest if you’d like to see more of the inspiration for these projects!

xoxo

Bethany

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My Winter Living Room

The House of Figs Winter Living Room

We’ve been busy trying to stay warm and get back to routine over here. I shared on Instagram last week that I always struggle with getting back to regular life after the holidays.  We’ve just spent so many days cozied up with our little family and then to see them all spread out in their separate directions again is tough.  It won’t be long before we’re stretched thin again and running around in every direction and I don’t like that.  Paul said its because its been easy to do the good stuff of life- to slow down, get a good night’s sleep, to read a book, to love our kids well, have great and deep conversations, play games and laugh together.  We’ve been anticipating and then celebrating God with us.  We’ve been giving gifts and receiving gifts with love and thankfulness.  We’ve been easily enjoying the very best and most important parts of life lately and now we have to go back to fighting for them.

I love how he put that because it reminds me to fight for those things.  To not just go back to the sometimes status quo of busy-ness and endless activity filled days.  To continue to fight for rest, laughter, joy.

So for these south Texans, these last few icy days have been just what we’ve needed: to huddle up and stay in for a while.  To sit around the fire under some blankets.  I’m not quite ready to jump back in to real life and am happy to enjoy the warmth of the fire a little while longer.

The House of Figs

While I did already put away the Christmas decorations, I’ve left up our greenery on the bookshelves.  It adds a little winter coziness and I always love bringing the outdoors in.  They are totally crispy and dry, but up so high that no one is bumping into them or causing needles to fall.

The House of Figs Winter Living Room

I found the blanket you see above at Target. Its actually meant for a twin size bed- which means much bigger and cozier than your average throw.  Perfect for afternoon napping and movie-watching cuddling.  I’m keeping books and magazines out in hopes that we’ll all keep reaching for them, and then I still have my morning spot that I love so much.

The House of Figs

The House of Figs

A comfy place to sit, lots of layers & textures, a big cozy blanket, and good books to read: that’s a recipe for a great winter living room in my opinion.

The House of Figs My Winter Living Room

The House of Figs

The House of Figs Winter Living Room

So that’s our winter living room.  Not a huge change, but just little ways I cozy it up to encourage continued rest and togetherness after the holidays are over.

Here’s a list of the sources in my living room:

Coffee Table: West Elm

Sectional: Unavailable, but find similar ones here.

Rug: Rugs USA

Blanket: Target

Pillows: Target & Pottery Barn & Etsy

Shelves behind couch: Ikea Hemnes

Pouf: Amazon

Paint Color: Olympic Willow Springs

Shades: Select Blinds

Curtains: Ikea Ritva

Do you change up your living room in the winter, after the Christmas decor comes down? Do you struggle with going back to routine like I do?

Happy New Year!  Stay warm, my friends!

xoxo Bethany

 

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My Yearly DIY Post

I’m not a crafter and I don’t do much holiday decorating.  But there’s something about the crispness of fall that has me itching to create.  And I don’t mean creating gallery walls or moodboards or furniture layouts. I mean actually with my hands creating something.  Maybe it has something to do with being outside more?  I miss being outside so much during the oppressive heat of summer.  Lately I’m gazing at sunsets, watching the kids play in the yard, and hanging out on the porch.  Maybe that’s it?

watercolor-leaves-fall-diy

So I’ve found I’m in the kitchen more often, baking goodies that I normally would never be stirring up myself (my husband has the love of cooking in this family).  And last week I actually wandered around on that crafty aisle of Target looking for something fun to do with the kids.  I picked up this pad of punch out paper leaves and had no idea where it would take us.

watercolor-leaves2

My daughter LOVED it.  She worked on painting and coloring leaves for over an hour.  My littlest guy painted a few leaves.  I found myself painting leaf after leaf.  My oldest couldn’t have cared less.  Oh well, to each his own.

I didn’t have a plan for the leaves when we were finished with them, but the colors were so pretty and fall-ish that I was inspired to make a banner for the living room.  I roped some twine up there and used some masking tape to attach the leaves.  I love the organic color of the watercolor paints and how it just brings a little bit of festive whimsy to the room.  I’m sorry to say that this pad was on sale so I can’t find it online to share with you.  Maybe they still have it at your local Target if you’re interested. If not, you could use this template to print out your own, though that would involve a lot of cutting (not quite as fun and easy.)  Here are a few more simple/minimalist fall garlands that would be fun as well.

watercolor-leaves-fall-diy2

I totally get how decorating for the seasons creates this cozy atmosphere and builds a sense of excitement, especially for kids.  But as a sort of minimalist and practicalist (I know that’s not a word), I often forget that.  I don’t like to have little vignettes of scarecrows and plastic pumpkins and hay bales around even though I LOVE the coziness of them when I walk into other people’s homes or little boutique shops.  I even study them in my friends’ homes (they don’t know I’m doing it or I would be like a weird stalker) because I’m trying to figure out how it looks so cozy.  I think it has something to do with using what you love in your own home.  Which might be why it doesn’t work for me.  When I bring in stuff that isn’t me or my style, it makes me feel cluttered in my brain.  I’ve tried and usually end up returning it or putting it in a Goodwill pile.

watercolor-leaves-diy-fall

My daughter on the other hand is constantly looking for a reason to decorate for an occasion or party.  I’m convinced she will one day have the coziest cutest house including scarecrows and hay bales that look adorably perfect for fall.  Anyway, I’m thinking I might ought to start taking her advice a little more often. She may want to paint the walls all pink though, haha.

watercolor-table-fall-pumpkin

So here’s my fall decor for this year- watercolor leaves, and you can see those little white pumpkins on the mantle too.  I picked those up from Trader Joe’s.  I also got one of the big “Cinderella” pumpkins to keep on the breakfast room table.

watercolor-leaves-mantle-fall-living-room

Cheers to the changing of the seasons, getting outdoors more, and creating a home you love, however that looks for you.

water-color-leaves-fall-mantle-diy

xoxo

Bethany

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Spring Living Room Tour and a Paradox

I realize that I’m a decorator/stylist blogging here, and I haven’t shown you pictures of my house lately.  The thing is, it doesn’t change that often.  Maybe this is kind of a paradox in the decor blog world, but truthfully, I have some minimist tendencies and once I get a room “right” for me, I like to leave it alone.Spring Living Room_2

If you know me in real life and you’ve seen any of my closets or my garage you’re laughing at the thought of me being a minimalist, aren’t you?

But, I don’t really shop much for my home.  I mean, I did when I was first decorating each room.  But now, I like to use what I have and I don’t like bringing in anything that isn’t going to add a lot of purpose.

After coming out of a little season of some major discontent, I pulled open the shades a little higher, fluffed the pillows a little more, and started seeing things (literally and figuratively) in a whole new light.  Fluffing smushed couch cushions, bringing in some fresh greenery, and clearing out clutter can really make a world of difference in how I feel about my home.

Spring Living Room_5

I have a small assortment of pillows and covers that I change out somewhat seasonally, but really its more just about what sort of colors are “speaking” to me at the moment.  Right now, I’ve been wanting subtle neutrals, not a lot of brightness.

I changed out the coffee table books and added in a small succulent that was a gift from a sweet friend.  I’ve had it for a few months and have not killed it, so I’m calling that a success!

Spring Living Room_4

The top two little books on the coffee table are ChatBooks made from getaways Paul and I took together- one in New York City, the other in San Francisco.  I used to keep them on the shelf, but they’re so pretty and I love having them down where we can look through them now.

Spring Living Room_3

I’m still really enjoying the ottoman and side table here for early morning moments of quiet.  Of course, we use it all throughout the day, but it is totally my happy spot.

I haven’t changed or rearranged the bookshelves one bit with the exception of adding or changing out books as they are read or loaned.  These shelves are as functional as they are decorative for us and I love the practicality of them.

Spring Living Room

New around here? Check out my shelf styling tips here.

If I’m being truthful with you here, what I’ve really been wanting is a new couch.  It just isn’t in the budget right now though so instead of buying a bunch of smaller and less expensive things to fill that void, I’m making peace with waiting.  I’m working to get the “bones” of my house right and I don’t want to fill it up with things I don’t need.

Less really can be more.

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Springtime: Bringing the Outdoors In

Hey there!  I took a week off for spring break and we headed to Disney World with my parents!

DisneyWorld

Paul and I also celebrated our 12th anniversary this past weekend.  We are getting back to normal life today and it was funny, as we drove home from Florida (yes, we drove!!), we realized Spring had come while we were gone.  The grass was greener, the trees were budding… all those little things you sometimes don’t notice happening right in front of you but when you’re gone for a week and come home to bright green, its pretty fun.

I really don’t do anything different in my house for springtime- I don’t have any Easter decor or anything like that.  But I do get an itch to pull the shades up a little higher, let the doors swing open and see the outdoors.  After a week of being gone and the doors being locked up tight the house felt kind of stale.  We had barely unpacked and I was grabbing the garden shears to pluck a few branches from the backyard for my vase on the mantle.

springtimegreenery

Its such a simple thing and it didn’t cost me anything.  But now I feel like its springtime inside my house, too.

springtime

I’m no florist and I know these aren’t arranged perfectly, but its just a nice shot of leafy green in the living room.  So simple and easy.  I’m terrible with things that need to be watered, nurtured, and that kind of thing, but something that can be cut off and stuck in a vase?  Perfect!

Springtime clippings

This is an old picture from a clipping I got from a huge weed in my backyard.  It made for some beautiful greenery!!

 I’ve discovered its kind of a stylist trick.   Check out some of your favorite rooms on Pinterest or blogs and I’ll bet they have some leafy goodness happening in them as well.

Turner Davis Interiors

Source: Turner Davis Interiors

What would this room be without that giant tree branch stuck in that vase?

House Seven

Source: House Seven

Breakfast Room

This is my breakfast room– I snipped that branch from our front bushes just that morning and stuck them in a bud vase.

LaurenLiess

Source: Lauren Liess

 

Hello, adorable little frond in a milk jar!

the-montgomery-house-dining-room-small_0-wm

And here’s one more… this branch was taken off a tree just for our photo shoot of the Montgomery House.  Leaves and branches just bring in so much texture, color, and a freshness from the outdoors!  Flowers of course are nice, but can be pricey if you want to have them all the time.  I like to splurge occasionally, but what could be better than free beautiful greenery?

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Three Things I’m Loving

Every once in a while I like to post about three things I’m loving lately… inspired by Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast (Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Check it out here!).

First up, I’m just obsessing lately over this beautiful living room and whole house tour.

Neutral Living Room

It reminds me so much of Lauren Liess’ style and much of what’s in her book, Habitat.

Habitat

When I’m in a Lauren-Liess-neutral-natural-vibe, unfortunately I sometimes start hating on my couch and looking for new ones with straight lines and a linen/textured look like the one in the Southern Living tour above.

When I’m in this mode though, I try to think rationally about what I can do just a little bit differently to change things up without buying a whole new living room.  So I switched out some of my pillows for more neutral tones with graphic patterns (ones that I already had) and also cleared the bookshelf of any bright pops of color. I like what it did for the space with the only real color coming from the books. It even helped me embrace the old couch again.  Its eleven years old and getting pretty ragged, but I want to live with it a bit longer until my littlest is a somewhat older and until we’re ready to get something that will last us a long time.

Graphic Neutral Living Room

(you can see a previous and more colorful picture of my living room here)

Next up, I’m loving this article I found on Apartment Therapy about decorating for your personality type. Its based on the Myers-Briggs personality assessment (you can take a simplified but free version of it here or here but I found it the most helpful just to read through the 16 different types).

portrait02

I’ve always thought of decorating as a subjective art, not a science.  Its completely about personality and differing tastes. Like I’ve said before, I don’t have any magic formulas- you just have to try different things and figure out what you love. And since I have a background in psychology (For real, a master’s degree. Its good to finally know I’m maybe getting a little use out of it now? Haha!) I found of this extremely interesting.  I also figured out I’m an INFP.  What about you??

The last thing I’m loving right now (and this has nothing to do with decorating, but I’d say it has to do with beauty) is No Bake Cookies.  My mom used to make these when I was growing up and so every once in a while I like to surprise the kids with them.  Since the New Year, Paul and I have been trying to cut out a lot of the sugar and processed foods we eat though (I know, bummer!), so when I was having a major craving for these things last night, I googled an alternative recipe and found a pretty good one!  Find the recipe here.

Nobake11

If you’d like the original recipe and not the “healthy” version you can find it here.  Even if you don’t want to make these cookies, please read her article because its absolutely hilarious and probably explains why I crave them every so often… she calls them PMS Wranglers if that gives you any hints.

Anyway, TMI?  Haha!  That’s it for me, today!  Want to share something you’re loving lately??  How about your personality type??  How does it affect your home?  I’d love to hear from you!!  Have a great rest of the week.

xoxo

Bethany

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Decorating UNschool: Furniture Arrangement

Hey there! I’m back today with another installment of Decorating UNschool.  For the other posts in this series click here.

Today I’m talking about arranging furniture.  Because this is UNschool, like I keep saying over and over, I don’t have hard and fast rules for you here.  I just have some ideas and truthfully, I don’t have a magic formula.  Every home is different and the real key is every person is different.  Design is subjective in so many ways and in this area especially, there might not be a perfect way to arrange your living room furniture.  You just might have to try several different ways, and even live with them for a few days (weeks, even?) until you figure out what works best for you and your family.  But I’ll share with you what I’ve found to generally work well.

My general “rules” for bedrooms

When you walk into the room, the bed should be centered on the opposite wall.

Large matching lamps make a statement; matching side tables are not necessary, though the lamps should end up around the same height.

Mismatched Nightstands

This is a great example of mismatched nightstands and big beautiful lamps.  Unfortunately I could not find a source on this one.  If anyone knows it please let me know!!

Pattern/texture mixing and rug rules apply and its always nice if you have room for a spot to sit as well.

Colorful bedroom with books

Source – Lonny

This bedroom is a beautiful example of lots of texture and pattern and of course you know I love all the books!

My general “rules” for living rooms

Pattern/texture mixing and rug rules apply.

Have lots of lamps easily accessible.  Maybe a console table behind a sofa with two matching lamps?  A floor lamp near a chair?

Have side tables easily accessible and don’t feel the need to clutter them up with decorative items.  A cleared off space is a welcoming space.

Pattern : Jones Design

source – Jones Design Company

Those flowers are pretty but not practical in my house!  I keep one tray for books, coasters, and remotes on my coffee table and that’s it.  Its not exactly “styled” but it allows for us to live and play on it.

My living room

My living room

Determine the purpose of the room.  Will there be tv watching?  Is it a formal or a casual space? Do you need lots of open space and a cozy rug for playing on the floor with little ones?  Do you have a high priority for lots of seating?  Will you be hosting a lot of guests in this room?    Do you need storage for toys, books, media?

FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT

source – Urban Grace Interiors

Go to the trouble to make the arrangement you’d like to have work. I know some designers may disagree with this (its UNschool, remember?), but I love having my tv over the fireplace.  We have a small living room and it is our only family room.  We do everything in here from watching tv, hanging out, wrestling matches, bible studies with our small group, and sometimes even dinner parties when the kids outnumber the adults and they take over the tables.  Our priority was to have a lot of seating.  Which means there’s not really anywhere to put a big media console.  I love our fireplace and putting the tv over it just made sense.  It took a little reworking since there used to be a window above the fireplace (yep, so weird, I know!!) and we had to have wires channeled through the wall but we had a great contractor help us figure all of that out.  It was a bit of a pain in the beginning but it has worked so well for the flow of our living room and I’m so glad we went through the trouble to make it all happen.

Pull the furniture away from the walls if possible.  You’ve probably heard this before, but everything pushed against the walls can feel too open and awkward.  If you’re going for a cozier feeling, consider pulling at least a few things away from the walls.

two couches

source- Emily Henderson

Even if you’re facing a couch toward a tv, consider having a chair or two that face away from the tv.  You still want your room to feel conversational and welcoming- not necessarily a media room (unless that’s what you’re going for!).

two chairs

source- My Domaine

Consider the scale of your room and your furniture pieces.  Remember to measure everything before you buy.  I’ve made this mistake, too!  You’re looking at it in the store (or online) and it looks perfect but once you get it home, its actually way too big or small.  It is really important to not skip this step and understand the size that you need.  A lot of small pieces in a large room might end up looking kind of junky.  However, a small room can actually handle a few pieces of large furniture if they are carefully planned!  My favorite online tool for arranging furniture is floorplanner.com.  Plug in the dimensions of your room and then add in furniture of varying sizes and play around with different layouts before you actually buy.

Floor Planner Bedroom Floor Planner Living Room

 

Another thing to consider- create contrast with varying heights in your room.  Make sure everything is not hovering around “couch height.”  Add in a low ottoman, a bookshelf, a large floor lamp or plant, etc for balance.  You’ll notice most of the example pictures I used above have used these elements!

And lastly, are you unhappy with your current arrangement?  Change things up!  What can it hurt?  Take the 30 minutes to rearrange and just see.  Have you been wondering what that little side table from upstairs would look like downstairs?  Go grab it right now and try it out.  Have you been wanting to try the chair from your bedroom in your living room but just haven’t gotten around to it?  What are you waiting for?  Shopping and arranging from your own house is about as low risk as it gets.  The worst thing that can happen is that you hate it and you end up putting it back where it was.  Its definitely worth a try!

Any other questions or thoughts on furniture arrangement?  I’d love to hear from you! It really is subjective because there are so many possibilities and I don’t necessarily believe a room has one right way.  That floor planner website really is my best secret for you though… hopefully it will be helpful! Have a great weekend.

xoxo

Bethany

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