Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One Room Challenge: Front parlor

I originally published this post in January, with a plan for redoing our front parlor, but since I made very little progress on it, I'm finally getting started, and I want to participate in the One Room Challenge--I'm republishing it, slightly edited.  As with every other ORC I have participated in, I'm skating into this one slightly late and somewhat disheveled.

We've been in our new house a few months now, and as expected, how we use our house is slightly different than our original set up when we moved in.

Our house has an addition that was put on in 1994.  The original house was about 1800 sq feet, and the addition added about 600 sq ft with a new living room and master bedroom. The front door opens onto the stairwell, with what would have been the original dining room on the right (the current parlor), the original living room on the left (now the dining room), and kitchen in the back, as per this very-very-not-to-scale floor plan (take the wall lines with a grain of salt):

Since there is now a living room in the back of the house, we have our 10 seat dining table in the original living room.  The parlor became a "what do we do with  this space right off the front door?"  When we first moved in, we plopped a round dining table and a dresser in the space and called it the homework room.  It was really more of a "here's a flat surface where everyone drops their junk when they walk in the door" space. Sadly, I have no pictures of the original set up, but it looked like this the day we moved in:

During the day, when I am at home by myself, I spend time in the dining room and front parlor.  At first, I brought a club chair in to the homework room.  After a few weeks I decided that the homework room would be better served as a sitting room or parlor.

For a long time, the room looked like this:

I pulled together a mood board of how I'd like to decorate it.

The chiang mai dragon fabric in alabaster is the jumping off point for the design, although I'm not sure if I will simply get pillows in that fabric, or try and finagle a window treatment out of it.  There will be lots of white paint and I'll be removing the chair railing and light fixture.

 I've wanted a blue velvet sofa forever. The one in the mood board is a Crate and Barrel Lounge II Petite sofa, but that sofa is a bit large for the space, and the "velvet" option at Crate and Barrel really looks more like a microfiber.  I planned to reupholster our Room and Board Murray sofa, as it has held up great even after a child poured a can of anchovy oil all over it, but that plan may change. 

rug / sofa / lamp / coffee table / basket / end table

Red chair we already own, it is the discontinued Odeon chair from Crate and Barrel.  Peacock mirror from Pier 1, discontinued.


  1. Sounds like a good plan - I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

    Happy New Year, Lisa!

  2. I have a question that is not about decor at all: Why are you finding yourself sitting in that room, rather than the living room in the back of the house? I'm asking just because I'm interested in how we come to use spaces the way we do. We turned our "dining room" space into a TV watching space, and now I never sit on the sofa in the "living room" (which flows into the dining room). It's a big, fat, wasted space whose only real function is to hold furniture that doesn't serve much function. I'm not sure if it's about the furniture (I don't like that sofa) or about something deeper.

    Glad to see a post from you, even though I'm slow to see it.

    1. Funny note--in my original post I wrote up two full paragraphs on why I use the front room instead of the back, but then deleted it because I thought no one would care. ;-)

      We have a two zone heating system, but unfortunately when the original owners put on the addition, they gave the addition (upstairs and downstairs) its own heating system. So instead of having an upstairs/downstairs 2 zone hvac, like most people, where you wouldn't have to heat the upstairs during the day, we have a front and back heating system. If I sit in the back, I am heating the master bedroom and living room, but not the front of the house. So...I frequently use the sitting room up front, because then I can leave the back heating off. I turn on the heat in both parts in the late afternoon when everyone is home, but if its just me, I don't bother.

      I also like having an adult space when the kids are all watching weird shows I don't understand on the tv in the back.

    2. Houses are weird. But, this is the same kind of reason I don't use the bottom level of our house in the winter--heating. I can't figure out how to have anything resembling even heat in both levels of our split-entry house. But, now I don't need all that house, anyway. Totally get the idea of having an adult space.


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