Tuesday, September 16, 2008

my living room tour

I've disovered that it's a whole lot more nerve-wracking to share pictures of my own abode than it is to share pics of someone else's. I post photos on here all the time from my client redesigns, but never has my pulse raced quite so much as when posting my own pictures. I guess when it's your own home, you tend to be hyper-aware of all the little imperfections - all the projects still on the to-do list - all the areas that need improvement. But at the same time, our homes are so personal...they're a reflection of who we are, how we live, and what we perceive to be beautiful.

So I don't take it lightly when a client lets me into their home to make changes left and right. I know how personal HOME is. Above is a photo of what you see when you first walk in my front door. My house was built in 1927, and the front room is a rectangle that I've divided into dining room on the left, living room on the right. (Here are some pics of my dining room on Design*sponge.) This piano is right smack in the middle of the two, directly opposite the front door. Ever since I repainted this room back in the spring, I've yet to hang something over the piano! Crazy, I know...but it's painful to mess up those walls that are beautiful and unblemished once again. I'm considering my big crazy gold garage-sale mirror (after I paint it white...I think). But it definitely needs something hanging there again.

On the same wall, to the right of the hallway, is our "entertainment center". It's actually a cool old mid-century buffet that we got for free from Chad's grandma. She was going to take it to Goodwill...brought it instead to a garage sale we were having...and our poor customers never got to see it. It came home with me instead. I always intended to paint it, but now I'm sort of partial to it's original darker-wood finish. I'm not super happy with the DVD player, receiver, speakers, and cable box just sitting on top, out in the open - but I don't have any other ideas for them at the moment. Allegedly, they have to have room to "breathe" so I can't stack them all on top of each other. Any ideas, anyone?

On the wall directly opposite of the TV is our lovely couch. I say "lovely" but what I really mean is "it's the only one I've got and it's functional". We bought it almost 8 years ago, before we got married, back when I was into olive green and dark purple. I've painted the walls since then (they used to be pale yellow) and have removed all the purple, and now I just treat the couch as if it were neutral. Pretending it's neutral and decorating accordingly almost makes me believe it. Anyway, this end of the couch is where all the blogging magic happens. See the laptop hidden down on the lower shelf of the end table? (The table was my grandma's, by the way. It's a bit rickety but I'll use it till it falls apart.)

Here's a close-up that's really a "before" - I'm planning to switch this up and add some fall stuff, but it hasn't happened yet. It's 91 degrees in Portland today, people! Yikes. I keep thinking fall's here, but it turns out to be a false alarm. Perhaps Fall is waiting for me to decorate before showing up?

Here's the full view of the couch and my two Ikea tables that are currently being used as my coffee table. I had another one, but I got tired of it. So it's in the basement.

And here's the wall perpendicular to the couch and TV. Sorry about the lame photo. It's always hard to take pics of windows, isn't it? That AC unit in the window - how can one object be both a lifesaver and a bane to my existence, all at the same time? It's so necessary in the summer - we don't have central air and can't install it (old house, long story). But yet it's so UGLY. And, of course, my two Ikea chairs with slipcovers from Ebay. How I adore white slipcovers! Seriously. My daughters colored on these with markers and smeared jelly on them. I simply put them in the wash and started over. Voila! Love them.

I'm hoping to show you more as I get a little farther into seasonal decorating. I'll do a little for fall - but Christmas - well, that's my thing! I'm getting excited just thinking about it. :-) Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my humble abode!


  1. Your living room looks so fresh and clean. I think it's LOVELY. And I use that word in the real sense of the word. lol I have the same Ikea chair in my office... I want a cover for it but it keeps getting bumped to the back of my "to buy" list. :o)

  2. I love the fresh look in your living room! I really like the white shelf above the entertainment center.

  3. I like your spare and clean style, Courtney. Very understated and lovely. Had to laugh about the empty space over your piano because mine has had a picture propped on it for months now, too, that I have yet to get around to hanging.

    I can relate to being nervous about posting photos. Makes me sick to my stomach every time I do it, too! All I see are the things that I haven't taken care of yet. Of course, there's no better motivator for me than to know everyone is going to see something on the blog! -Julia :-)

  4. The whole "room to breathe" thing - I've never really worried about. My VCR sits on top my DVD player. My cable box is on its own, but only because the entertainment center I have allows for that.

    But - what if you used some kind of stacker? Like the shelves you add to kitchen cupboards to create a second level for more plates? Hope that makes sense - I have a picture in my head, but I'm not quite sure how to describe it.

  5. Wow, I love your living room! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love your house, it looks so inviting and fresh.

    We have these little remote transmitters on our electronics (DVD, XBox, Cable/DVR, etc.) and they work just great inside the cabinet (though it was custom built, the cabinet, that is). You can get them at high-end electronics stores (maybe Best Buy or similar, too) and they work through closed doors! Such a great solution, I love it!

  7. Thanks for sharing your photos Courtney....your home looks really inviting. I want to sit a while with a cup of tea. I absolutely love the buffet. We also acquired one from my husband's aunt and it's one of our most treasured pieces of furniture.

  8. I love your living room. I love the clean lines without all the clutter. I wish I had your help figuring out what the heck to do with my living room!

  9. Everything is so clean and bright! And with wee little kids...I am very impressed. :-)

    I hear you on the electronics. I never know what to do with those things. I love the look of your mid-century piece so that has totally got to stay. Hmmmm....It's a tough one. I have a TV "stand" (shelf with drawers from Pier 1) that has open shelves that my electronics are on. I've placed framed photos in *front* of my cable box, etc., so I don't have to look at them. :-)

    Thank you for opening up your very cute comfy cozy living room to us!

  10. I love how frsh your livingroom is.. it's so clean looking...... and has great colors.

  11. Very pretty! Love your style and colors. I'm laughing at the window unit. Sorry... I haven't seen one of those in a long time. hee hee.

    You sofa looks very comfy!

  12. looks great!! I LOVE your buffet. Am looking for something similar - do you think I can find one though? i will the day i change my mind and get something else!!



thank you for commenting, dahling! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :-)