Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Live and Play Room

We've had 7 guests in the last 3 days. First, my mom and grandparents stayed with us Thursday night on their way up to Wisconsin. My grandparents drove over from San Antonio, and my mom flew in to DFW, and together they will drive the 1,000 up to their lake cabin. My grandpa has been having trouble with his back, and we're all very glad my mom drove with them. And as a bonus, they got to see our new house, and our kids got to hear "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" from the woman who made it famous.

"And they lived in a house of pink, pink, pink, they lived in a house of pink."

I think you have to have been a kindergarten teacher in the 1950's to get that. Or have a grandmother who was one.

That trio left early Friday morning and then on Saturday some good friends of ours from Austin drove in with their two kids to stay the night. I've washed and changed a lot of sheets and our leather living room sleeper sofa (that we bought from the previous owners) got its first workout, but I love having people over. We've worked hard and spent a whole lot of money on this house and I feel like every time someone comes to visit, it's all just a little more worth it. Sort of like how when you buy a pair of shoes, you can divide the cost in half every time you wear them (after 18 months, my rainbow shoes are down to costing $1.50), so someday my master shower will be free! Who wants to visit next?

Which is all a long lead-in for the internet unveiling of our living room. This room wasn't redone the way our bathrooms were redone, but it's still come a long way. Before there were dark walls, "spot light" recessed lights that only lit up the 4 square feet of flooring directly below them (so weird), and a ton of random crap.


This is the biggest room in our house, and it's so long and narrow, it took a while to figure out what to do with it. After much debate and rearranging of furniture and selling our country/traditional table and chairs and then realizing we could no longer afford to buy the new contemporary table and chairs I'd picked out and then selecting a paint color in 30 seconds (and having the recessed lighting changed up and a few more added), we have this:


But first, we have this in the entry:


I love love the trio of city prints (for the three cities JP and I have lived in together). They're from this etsy shop; we'll add Fort Worth whenever we move on to city #5. Someday a narrow black table will be under them, but as I have to chant inside my head almost every day "We do not need it now. We do not need it now."


When you walk in the house from the front, the kitchen is almost immediately to right; the hallway to the hall bath, kids room, and guest room is on the left; and the living room/sunroom are straight on ahead.


We purchased the leather (sleeper) sofa, recliner chair, and coffee table from the previous owners for a bargain price. I like the clean lines and dark color (our old leather couch and love seat are in the family room; the really old set that used to be in our gameroom was sold for $80 on craigslist before we moved), though I want to add a few more brightly printed pillows to scatter on them (but "We do not need them now. We do not need them now.")


We removed the mounted TV bracket and fancy through-the-wall wiring the previous owners probably paid a lot of money for because I don't like TVs over fireplaces and just generally don't like TVs as the focal point in a room. So the TV lives in the family room and no one really watches it anymore. It's kind of awesome. My kids haven't watched TV during the week since we moved and don't seem to miss it, and it's way faster to get out the door in the morning when they aren't putting on shoes to Sesame Street or George.


And because the style and colors of our old house have almost nothing to do with the style and colors of our new house, I needed new mantel decor and I needed it to be cheap. Enter inexpensive Garden Ridge frames, a personalized family tree print from this etsy shop, and Costco reprints of my favorite pictures. I really like it.


We turned the would-be dining area into the playroom (much like back at our Austin house). We went a lot of rounds with this space, with JP and I moving the kids' bookshelves back and forth between the living room and the family room, but ultimately we decided the family room was too crowded, we were months and maybe years away from being able to afford the contemporary type dining set we'd like to put there, and I felt too lonely while I cooked dinner because the kids were playing 3 rooms over.


And now I'm so glad we embraced the playroom concept. It gave us a use for the coffee table we didn't need, tried to sell, but didn't really want to part with. It gives the kids a place to play and build and color and read, and it brings the fun much closer to the rather closed off room where I spend so much time.

(the kitchen is through that open doorway on the right)

The items left to buy are a PBK chair for Claire, a few prints for the walls in that corner, and a rug to define the space and add some color. I'm obsessed with this rug from Target, but again, we don't need it now.


I kind of hate that phrase, but I respect the truth of it. Even if grudgingly on behalf of the fabulous rug.

And the kids don't know their space is missing a rug. They love it and their little table and all the legoduplo cities they build on it, the tea parties they serve on it, and the coloring they do it- sometimes all at the same time.


And with that, we're done with the big changes in the house. I'd love to change out the country hutch we have near the fireplace, but it's a family piece and it's nice to have something there, even if it isn't from the pages of the Crate and Barrel catalog. We aren't touching the kitchen for at least a year, though hope to get it painted by then, and the sun room and family room were good as is (except for ripping out the wet bar to make a closet in the latter). Now we just enjoy our space, enjoy our visitors, and cross our fingers that nothing else breaks for the next few months!


  1. You are killing me (and my budget) with your fabulous Etsy finds! Seriously, everything I've been looking for, BAM! You found it. The house looks great. I love the coffee/activity table. Great size for two.

  2. I really like the city prints--what a great idea!

  3. When I moved I signed up for the pottery barn catalog with my address change. It came with a 10% off coupon for pottery barn and 10% off pottery barn kids. It might be worth looking into for Claire's chair and making the "we need it!" come sooner?

  4. Ooh. I love that Target rug too. Just keep an eye on it. Perhaps it will go on clearance! Your house is simply beautiful!