Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Family Room {In Progress}

The family room is my favorite room in the house.  I am so, so pleased with this room.  It is cozy, comfortable, colorful without being crazy, the dark portions are offset with lots of white, it contains all my books, and I just love it.  Looking back at our previous five houses, I can't believe I didn't make my books a priority. In two houses we had our books crammed three deep in Ikea sideboards in our loft and in our finished attic.  In the apartment we had two bookshelves in a nook, and in Westfield I put the books behind doors and tchotchked up the top shelves. What was I thinking?  Books are things that make me happy, and I ignored my own happiness trying to be/decorate like someone else.  Dumb! Never again! Every house we buy from here on out must have The Library.

I can cross an item off the Master List; I added a skinny Billy bookshelf between the two wider shelves.  I added fabric to the back of the shelves, just like the shelves on the other side of the room.  All of the books in this section are children's books.  The bottom half are younger literature, like board books and toddler stories, and they are on the bottom so that everyone can reach them.  In the upper half I pulled nearly all of my young adult lit from the other shelves and grouped it all together here.

I say mostly all because on some low shelves across the room I kept the Harry Potter series, the Lemony Snicket series, and Princess's ginormous collection of Christmas stories. (10 copies of The Night Before Christmas! She loooooves that poem.) (That is not the whole collection, she has more upstairs next to her bed.)

One thing about this room that makes me happy is that nearly everything is from the old house; we spent very little money in here.  Our only purchases were an 8x11 persian rug from Craigslist, six pleather dining chairs from a trailer park (steal of the century--six chairs for $40), one side table from Craigslist, and three narrow Billy bookshelves.

The red and blue persian rug is really beautiful and worked perfectly with all the navy and red pieces we already had.

I also bought a Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere chair from Craigslist, and it was in perfect condition.  I'm glad I didn't pay full price, because the kids have already destroyed it.  This happens a lot.  I am actually contemplating a bean bag for this spot, because the kids really like to read in this chair.  Something slouchy and child-sized but where the back doesn't fall over would be nice.

Between eating, reading and watching tv, this is the room where we spend most of our time.

This room is about ninety percent done.  I still need to lengthen the curtains, and various artwork has not been hung (or even decided on).  I want to put a stack of two or three frames in the spot between the large eat-in area painting and the living area curtains, but am still searching for the right items.

I know you all are thinking, hey, you went accessory-free! What are all those tchotchkes doing up there??

If you recall the tchotchke-free post, I packed away all but a few items (mostly busts and some small mementos).  These pictures above are not the most recent; I have since used all the small busts and mementos as bookends.  I am the sort of person who will group all her books by author and topic, thus leaving me with gaps where maybe all of one topic fits nicely on one shelf but there is not enough room to put another full author group, so I put them on other shelves to keep them together.  Ergo, I needed a lot of bookends.  Tchotchkes to the rescue.

Why yes, one of my tchotchkes is my 20 year old dental mold and retainer. 
However, this past weekend I was in the garage unpacking the boxes that I thought held art and discovered to my horror there were MORE UNPACKED BOXES OF TCHOTCHKES.


In any event, I hope you enjoyed the room tour of the room I like best.


  1. looking good! i am loving the red/blue going on!

  2. It looks great, Lisa! The rug pulls everything together perfectly.

    And how wonderful to instill a love of reading in your children; it makes all the difference in the world (IMHO).

  3. Oh I love this room! It's so REAL. You are inspiring. :)

  4. You recently moved in there, right? That's awesome that you got it looking so great already!!

    Kids chairs - I saw a couple of CUTE ones at Home Goods the other day and was tempted to grab them. They're not exactly slouchy but they are CUTE. Check it out?

  5. My favourite shot is that one at the end. Well done! Is it necessary to have that door on the bottom in the middle of the narrow billy? It looks odd.

  6. It looks great! That rug is perfect for that space!


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