Wednesday, January 11, 2012

small changes in the living room

When I traveled to Japan, I stayed with a family whose living room had no furniture.  Against one wall stood a very low table that was turned up on its side, and at dinner time they would pull the table out into the room, sit on the floor, and eat.  When they were done, the table went back up on the wall.

Imagine how much time the mom spent cleaning that living room.  Pretty much none is my guess.

Every so often, I get a yearning for that living room.  Not that I want to sit on the floor, but I tell you, the spaciousness of that not-so-big room, and the lack of time spent cleaning up crap is quite tempting.  Lately I have been on a kick to simplify and declutter.  I've decided I'm also taking out large furniture if I can.  More room, less furniture, less junk, less crap!  To that end, I've made some changes in the living room.

Last we saw the living room, it looked like this:

I relegated the antique secretary between the chairs to the basement.  Although the storage was nice, it felt like too much furniture in that spot. It also didn't allow for a table between the chairs, so you could put a drink or your book down.

We moved the curtain rods up from the middle of the molding, and lengthened the too-short curtains.  It looks so much better.

I also pompommed the lampshade, and brought up the bamboo table from the basement.  Funny enough, this was the original arrangement when we moved in.

On the other side of the room, I took down the ceramic pieces, cleared off the top of the console (talk about a crap repository--normally it is piled high with mail and tons of toys and junk), and moved the brown chair to the dining room. (What brown chair, you are asking. Look again at the first picture, there is a brown chair that just fades into the brown bannister. If I owned this house I would paint that bannister immediately but alas, it is not to be.)

The small ceramic pieces on the wall just felt too much.  The picture ledges in the dining room, although awesome, have a "lots of small things together" vibe, and the ceramics added to that. It was just feeling junky on the main floor.  I packed all the pieces away and put up a mirror.  I kept out three of the ceramic pieces and moved them to over the keys.

I also picked up a few new tchotchkes.  Target has some really great stuff right now--I picked up a pair of foo dogs for $20. I cleared off the second shelf of the bookshelf to make way for the new items.

I also found a flying pig at a thrift shop for $4, so I brought it home and spraypainted it gold.  I am taken with the notion of spraypainting everything in this house gold. Dare me, I'll do it.

My sister Sarah picked up the cutest snakeskin covered c-table at Homegoods, so when I visited her I insisted that we go get one for me.

Previously, the far end of the sofa, away from the door, was the best place to sit because that end had a side table that one could put down a drink, etc.  As you can see there is no room for a side table on the other end, because the door is right there. Thankfully, this little c-table curves over the couch and allows you to sit at that end AND have a drink.  Problem solved! And its snakeskin!  I want to spraypaint the legs gold.

Last but not least, I put away the brown chevron pillows on the couch and pulled out a little pillow that's been in storage for a bit:

The sofa was recently a victim of a vicious drive-by yogurting, so I feel like a deep cleaning of the upholstery and the rug would also not be amiss.


  1. It looks great! I gave you a mention today

  2. I really like the more simple look. I know that's what you're going for. Also love the curtain fabric and definitely the height.

  3. I like all the changes! The frame around the thermostat is cute too.

  4. Okay- I LOVE the c table, I also LOVE the gold piggy!! and it's really kind of insane how much better the curtains look lifted up a few inches- right?!

  5. I love your color scheme! Red yellow and blue! So cheerful! I just followed you - I look forward to seeing more!
    Sherry's Bees Nest

  6. A year ago I decided to sell my house, and I cleared out all kinds of stuff to better stage it. I liked it so much better, and we're being pretty vigilant about not bringing too much in to our new place. Of course, did we sell/donate all that stuff before moving? No. I'd put it in a storage unit. Just in case. It was in the unit for 7 months, and in that whole time I only missed one thing, once. Less is way, way more. Your room proves it :-)

  7. I must not go to Target, the last thing I need is more decor items!

  8. I love the gold flying pig, so fun!

  9. Good furnitures they look cool... but if i own it i would reupholster them someday... I am a fan of living room furnitures. I love to collect furnitures especially the cute ones.. Do you guys know where is the best place to buy furnitures that are not too pricey but in good quality? Can you guys give me some tips?


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