When we were house hunting, we had a list of things we absolutely wanted in our new home:
- linen closet
- 4 bedrooms
- laundry/mud room
- two family spaces
The two family spaces broke down to needing a place to play & a place to escape. When we first toured our home, I immediately started placing furniture before we even put in an offer. The back family room a playroom for now, but a place for teenagers to sprawl in 10 years. The front living room a space to escape (most) toys during the little years, but a spot for us to be present in supervising said teenagers without hovering. (Is that strange & dated? That’s okay.)
When we bought the house in September 2012, 90% of the house was painted a terrible lime yellow that turned neon green under artificial lights.
I was so eager to get rid of the yellow that I made some pretty bad paint decisions. The green I chose was supposed to be a muted olive but turned out to be celery. It was nice, but not cohesive to the rest of our home:
But at this point, I was several rooms into painting & paint-chip-burned-out. So I pulled out the trust Benjamin Moore & slapped Revere Pewter on the walls. It was a lazy move that paid off:
We’ve done a few more updates – our old Target bookcase was about to lie down & die. I was nervous that we’d hear a crash in the middle of the night & find our books in a pile, so I offered it up to the Craigslist gods & started searching for an affordable barrister bookcase (HA! HAHAHA!). The great news is that Raleigh has an entire “strip” of furniture stores on Glenwood Avenue, ranging from Rooms 2 Go all the way to small business locally-made oak stores. We also have these mass warehouse-type “stores” that sell a mish-mash of furniture at way discounted prices.
I settled for a manufactured barrister-esque bookcase. I love it even though it may only last 10 years at best. Furnishing a house in our early 30′s breaks down into two categories – what to spend money on & what to buy knowing you’ll toss it. Couches & mattresses & kitchen tables? Spend cash. Television stands (televisions change every 10 years so needs will change) & children’s dressers (young kids can be rude to furniture) & dining room sets (only used 3 times per year)? It’s okay to not buy top-of-the-line.
Of course, that’s not a hard rule of thumb. Just my rule of thumb.
I added one of my favorite pieces of art, Dancers in Blue by Edgar Degas, & then I sewed pom-poms onto the curtains for fun.
The room flows directly into the entry way, which is our functional drop-off for keys & mail.
(People like to ask about the framed picture of the ram – it’s for Rameses, the mascot of the University of North Carolina.)
I love this space. It’s easily my favorite room to sit with a cup of coffee, to read or write. It’s formal, but open to everyone – hence the Wii & train table & children’s books. If I had one goal for my entire home, it would be for every space to feel beautiful, warm, & functional for the entire family.
I’m so excited to show you a little more of our beloved “money pit” although I am definitely not an interior designer. Owning this home has been such a challenge for me & Doug – we always joke that it feels a lot like doing triage, so many things to fix & just trying to figure out what needs to be addressed first. (Right now it’s the kitchen floor & while we save like mad to replace the back deck, we still have to get the garage door functioning on a remote & replace the ceiling fan in our master bedroom.) Focusing on the easy fixes like paint & art helps me stay focused for the big stuff & remember that owning a house is a marathon, not a sprint. & with each house that goes on the market around us, we give a little cheer that our sweat & tears will pay off in the long run.
quick source list:
paint color: benjamin moore’s revere pewter | grey rug: garden ridge, $100 | tree canvas: home goods | degas print: home goods | lamps: marshall’s | striped pouf: zulily | braid print: elizabethmayview on etsy | ram print: dimdi on etsy | painting of tucker: linnyfish on etsy | white console: home goods