The Tale of Two Sitting Rooms

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“This is NOT downsizing!” – exclaimed my observant mama when she and my dad visited us to scope out the new homestead a few weeks after moving in.

Technically, she is correct. Because so much of The River House wasn’t finished, and what was finished was cavernous wasted space, the transition to a home with four bathrooms (which is great with teen daughters!) and a fourth living room (everyone gets their own – wow!) does have this place feeling a little Windsor Castle-esque.

But of course, with the gaining of extra functional space that meant one thing: time to buy more furniture!

Today’s blog post will actually showcase two rooms, the parlor and the formal living room. (Hmmm, maybe we do live in a castle? Who has a parlor? Accordingly to our appraiser – We do!)

The parlor’s existence didn’t start out very regal. There was no butler serving cookies while our guests waited for us to be summoned from the west wing. Oh no. She was the staging area  in the immediate chaotic aftermath of the move. In other words, the placed I stacked the crap while I was looking for places to permanently put said crap. Our fancy schmancy parlor was just an empty blah space doing double time as a storage unit. A naked faced plain Jane waiting for her lipstick transformation.

And so, our poor little abandoned parlor stood empty for two long months while we waited for new furniture to arrive. My plan was to transition the current formal furniture into the parlor when the new stuff got here. (My recovered Ethan Allen from the four season porch in The River House if you’ll remember.)  For yes, I had a plan! I always do.

And this week the day finally arrived!  One big truck and a couple moving dudes later Operation Musical Sofas had begun.

Our brand spanking new sectional was delivered (in my patented “blueish greyish greyish blueish” style – apparently Cowboy says I use that phrase all the time to describe my color scheme). And the parlor finally got her hand me down chic but not shabby make over.

And so here’s the transformation of the parlor from empty forgotten staging area to fantastic . . .

Empty before curtains
This is such a good before pic as there is, as I stated, crap on the floor. (These are actually the curtain panels before Cowboy hung them up. Like how I just hang one randomly on the blinds in its packaging to get a visual of what it will look like?)
Empty Parlor 2
The lonely empty little parlor . . . no butler in sight.
EMPTY Parlor
One challenge of this space was to fill it in a way so it wouldn’t feel like a runway into the office/sunroom. Goals!

And now – one night of curtain hanging and one morning of furniture musical chairs (literally) and the parlor is now the quaintest little space. Ahhhh. It was worth the wait, don’t you think?

Parlor 1
Do you love it? This space now has a purpose. On top of that the sun room now looks inviting just beyond the glass sliders. (The brass fan will be replaced – one thing at a time, people.)

Parlor 2Parlor 3Parlor Dresser 2

Parlor Dresser
This fun little vintage dresser used to be in my daughter’s bedroom. She didn’t have room for it in this house. I almost donated it in the move but Cowboy talked me into keeping it. So glad! It is now the perfect storage area for board games.
Basket
I love wire baskets! I am also addicted to reading the newspaper each morning. This piece does double duty – cute and functional.

Now then, on to the second chapter of this most recent transformation. The new sectional in the formal living room. Here’s a visual reminder of what the formal living room looked like with Ethan Allen furniture in it before it slid over to the parlor . . .

FullSizeRender (3)

And here it is now with the new sectional for optimal family movie night snuggling . . .

Formal After

Making a main space look both polished while still being functional can be a challenge, but I think we pulled it off. Here she is from just about every angle.

Formal 1Formal 5Formal 6Formal 9Formal AfterFormal TrunkFormal 7

Formal 4
Check out that quaint little vintage schoolhouse desk in the corner – My daughter and I picked it up at a garage sales last night. It is yard sale season and we’re having a blast treasure hunting! I love this piece so much, it not only is a piece of history (many initials are carved in it) but the wood and iron add texture to the room.

The family approves and so do I! It’s been a ton of fun to decorate this space in a way that not only makes a great first impression for guests but provides a comfortable place to entertain or chill out with the fam.

Design Tip – Float your Furniture

If you have the space FLOAT your furniture. This means: Don’t line everything up against the wall. Bring your furniture out into the center of the room and define your spaces with your furniture. This room was the perfect space to do just that with this sectional. It makes a large space feel cozy. I also used a desk as a sofa table. Since I work from home for my career, even though I have a designated office space, I also have several optional places I can camp out with my laptop if I feel like mixing it up. With all the light from these huge south facing windows in this room, I do enjoy working in here now and again.

Design Tip – Make a room inviting

Don’t forget my standard key to making a room feel welcoming and not cold: texture, texture, texture! I’ve incorporated a lot of wicker and wood and the result is one of inviting warmth that makes you want to curl up and never leave. I am also a pillow-aholic. I didn’t buy one new pillow for this sectional, I just ran around my house and grabbed one from here and one from there – Voila! (I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing? I will say we had several huge garbage bags filled with throw pillows when we moved. Cowboy was like, “Babe – the first step to addiction is admitting you have a problem,” – as he manhandled about ten bags of pillows into the trailer . . . he may be on to something?

Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us as we make The Lighthouse our “done” house. We’re getting closer every day!

Peace, Joy and Blessings, 

~Audra

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

 2 Corinthians 5:1

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