Thursday, June 2, 2016

Come Into Our Living Room

When we made plans for the Stafford County Historical Society to come here to tour the house and garden last month, I knew that we had a lot of work to do to prepare.  I called it "spring cleaning under duress".  When the weather was favorable, I worked outside in the garden.  When it was rainy, I cleaned and staged the main level of our house.  

I have to share what we did with our living room, because it turned out so well.  This is the room that tried to bring our whole-house renovation to a halt ten years ago, because the challenges in there were above and beyond what my energy and our budget could handle at the time.  My husband and I made the conscious choice to leave the room in its demolished state and to concentrate our efforts on the rest of the house.  For a while, we used the room as a storage area and we could barely squeeze through there.  Last year, we cleared out the extra stuff (found storage space for what we needed, donated/trashed the rest) and set things up so we could actually live in the space.  For the home tour, we went a bit farther and I LOVE the result.



Last time you saw this view of the living room, it looked like this ... functional, but stark.



The first new thing that we notice is the stack of trunks.  These used to be stored in the attic of our garage, because I hadn't figured out a place to put them.  (I tell people that I need a 12-step program for my trunk addiction.  I have a LOT of them.)

Imagine the conversation as I asked my husband, "Would it be weird to stack trunks on this wall?"

"I don't think so", he replied.

"The stack is gonna be seven feet tall"

"Oh."



(In case you're wondering, all of the trunks are empty right now.  I'm hoping to resist the urge to store things that I probably don't need and keep them empty)



On the other wall, I moved the jelly cupboard from the office and hung a painting above it.



The painting is a portrait of me, painted last year by a dear friend of ours.  It's HUGE, it fits perfectly, like it was made for this spot and I love it.



I cozied up the fireplace wall by leaning a vintage painting above the mantle (which still isn't attached to the wall), and filling the fireplace with electric candles.



At this point in the photo shoot, Alice came in to see if there was anything that I needed her to do.  "Just sit there and look adorable, Alice."  The trunk that she's sitting on is an antique six-board chest, with its original paint, that I picked up cheap at an estate sale.  What can I say ... I have trouble resisting a good trunk.



Modern stuff is tucked onto the other wall, where it's behind you and not visible as you enter the room.  TV is something that we really enjoy, but I don't like for it to be the first thing that I see in a room.  The sound bar sits on a shelf above the TV, with one of my husband's paintings above it.



With an eclectic mix of worn Oriental rugs, quilts, and antique furniture in its primitive state, this room showed very well on tour day ... and it's really comfortable to live in.

30 comments:

  1. Very nice and inviting. Love the stacked trunks, great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Gotta figure out some way to use the trunks, and this seemed to be as good as any other. It's grown on me, and I think I'm gonna leave it like this.

      Delete
  2. Can I just say that Alice is a magnificent cat? She makes that one photo look like a personal portrait of her. Speaking of portraits, that is a lovely one of you...what a lovely thing to have now, which of course will also be an heirloom in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alice is the sweetest, most patient, accommodating cat in the world! Because of this, it's hard to disappoint her, so I let her stay and be in the pictures.

      Delete
  3. Every home should have a portrait of it's mistress on the wall. Yours is so perfect for you, the pose, the setting, the artistic skill..
    Perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why my husband said! Our friend Dan has a very good eye, and decades of study and practice, that allows him to do incredible work. I wish you could see the variation in texture and sheen on my dress, the shawl, the chair, and the dried flowers. At first, it was weird to have a four-foot portrait of myself on the wall. Now, I think the room would be naked without it.

      Delete
    2. That is an amazing painting of you.

      Alice is amazing too :-)

      Delete
  4. I love this post, Connie...so lovely and cozy! The trunks are really wonderful, and I love the portrait and painting. And Alice...she is the perfect model!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda! I'm probably biased, but I think Alice is perfect, too.

      Delete
  5. I love your trunk collection, Connie. Your portrait is lovely and looks great on that wall. Alice is just the right touch in your living room. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trunk collection is a nice way to say, "Hoarding disorder". ;) I just glad that I came up with a good way to use them.

      Delete
  6. Love the stacked trunks! Similar to the stacked vintage suitcase display that folks often do, but more epic. ;-) The portrait of you is so lovely, Connie. What a treasure! Alice is clearly a sweet beauty. I can't imagine any setting that she wouldn't make more beautiful. Thanks for sharing another peek into your very special home, Connie!

    Shirley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Epic! I love this!! Our rooms are too big for cute little details to look right, so epic is almost always the way to go.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I think "epic" is always the best and it definitely suits your home, Connie. Our day today was pretty epic as well. Thank you again so very much! :-)

      Delete
  7. I want to learn how to paint walls that look just like that. That's an amazing portrait of you! I like the Stacked Trunk Look too. Well done - the room looks fantastic. It's amazing what gets accomplished under duress, isn't it? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We figure that the walls are the 1930s surface from when this room was remodeled. I had a decorative painter come years ago, to see if she could duplicate the faux mahogany that was once on the mantel and doors. She fell in love with the walls, and she told me that people pay her a lot of money to get that look.

      I didn't resent any of the time that I spent decluttering and staging, because I knew that all of it was necessary. Forgotten piles were sorted and dealt with, furniture got moved to better arrangements, and the place was clean, clean, clean. Proves that duress isn't necessarily a bad thing.

      Delete
  8. The room looks amazing, and I love the stacked trunks...my addiction also, though I've had to reduce the size to boxes now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boxes? Me, too. Shhhh ... let's not mention how many boxes I have.

      Delete
  9. LOVE the trunks and the portrait!!! Looks quite comfortable in there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comfortable is what we are all about! It's what tour participants noticed, too. Too many times, we have been on home tours and the places are staged like a museum. I can't do that. We are 'come on in' 'kick off your shoes' and 'put your feet on the coffee table' sorts of people.

      Delete
  10. I love this room! The old trunks are a wonderful addiction and look lovely there. I love your portrait, it looks like an Old Master's painting. You and your hubby did a wonderful job and I'm sure the room was ooohed and aaahed over during the tour.

    Have a nice day and a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems right to have beat-up old trunks stacked in a beat-up room. ;)

      Dan will be very glad when I tell him about your compliment. He has spent most of his adult life studying Old Masters' techniques, and he comes very close to duplicating their results. This portrait is perfect and I love it!

      Delete
  11. That's a wonderful room. It's given me some ideas for my own living room.

    What's with the rug(?) on the radiator? Is that a summer feature so a cat can see out of the window?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome to any and all ideas that this room provides.

      That rug is a concession is for Dorothy and Alice, who love to lay on radiators and toast themselves in the winter. I just leave them in place after heating season is over.

      Delete
  12. Hi Connie, as always, I enjoy your posts. Your room looks lovely and quite comfortable, which I like. The trunks stacked are perfect. I love trunks too but seem to end up with domed ones that don't stack, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The domed trunks are the best! I have a pile of five or six of them in the attic of the garage, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what to do with them. They were used in our last houses, for storing things like record albums, dress-up clothes for my girls, extra linens, etc. Here, I have not yet found logical places for them.

      Delete
  13. Great job, Connie. The room looks so comfortable and inviting. I love your stacked trunks, and I would be trying to keep them empty, too. We have been on a mission this year to donate at least one bag of "stuff" a week. So far, we are managing to donate even more.

    Your portrait is stunning! What a treasure for your family. And, I love the fabric on your wingback chair. My eye kept going back to that fabric, and then I realized why I love it so much. I have something very similar as the valance on our breakfast room bay window.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What I love (adore!) most are your walls. I so wish I could make mine look like that - I have plaster/stucco and want it to look old and fabulous as yours do.

    P.S. I have trunk envy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh I do love what you did!
    Using the trunks as you did is a fabulous idea.
    Really looks nice.
    But what I really love is the rugs, obviously there for your kitties.
    That room is filled with love.
    xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am late to the party here, but this room reminds me of a piece of decorating advice I hear so often "collect what you love and it will all work together, no matter what." I think the room is an example of this. So many soft, rich colors, and they all complement the worn surfaces of the plaster walls. The stacked trunks are really impressive. Good job!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and reading what I share. Comments are moderated. Spam and trolls are not welcome!

Related Posts with Thumbnails