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the furniture shuffle


Today was not what I expected. I was planning to get a lot of work done on my computer…taking care of e-mail, working on the new milk paint website and then getting my house cleaned up a bit.  Well, I came out of my room and turned my computer on, just like any normal day.  I got my boys something to eat while my computer did it’s thing to get ready for me to put it to work.  I went back to check on the progress and it was stuck on the welcome screen.  Okay, no biggie.  Just reboot.  Same thing.  Stuck.  Reboot again.  Same thing.  Spent over an hour on the phone with various tech people.  Bad news.  I had to totally wipe my computer clean and restore it to factory settings and start over.  Nooooooooooooooo!  Well, it could’ve been much worse.  Thanksfully, I had everything backed up with Carbonite (this isn’t a commercial.)  So, most of my day was spent trying to get my laptop up and running with all of the software I need. 

Meanwhile, my home was still the same mess it was yesterday. 


 I spent a lot of time in that mess, waiting for software to upload or waiting my turn for a techie to talk to about my woes.  Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and I started shuffling furniture around while I waited. 



…and here’s the result in the living room…



 I’m still working on it (which is why the painting is just leaning there), but I’m enjoying the change.




This dresser is about ready to get a makeover with my milk paint…

 Don’t worry, wood lovers of the world.  I love old wood and I have a soft spot for Empire-style dressers, so I’ll treat her right. 

I must say, it was so nice to shuffle some furniture around and work on a room in my house.  It wasn’t a big project.  It wasn’t sponsored.  It wasn’t for the book or a freelance job or because a magazine was coming.  It wasn’t about having something to post.  It was just like it was a few years ago when I had no money and needed an outlet, so I would rearrange my furniture.  It was almost therapeutic for me as I was stressing over technical issues. 

Who knew a little furniture shuffle was the perfect remedy for a computer crash?

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  1. Sharon in Chicago says:

    Congrats on getting a post up on such a technically trying day. I like to think of computers as wonderful beasts or that little girl with the curl (you know the one — when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid!)

    oh, and I like the new furniture arrangement!

  2. Sarah Clark says:

    Amen, Sista’.

  3. Wow what a scare with your computer! I’m so happy it all worked out. Carbonite sounds like something I need to look into. Your living room is drop dead gorgeous. I love everything in the room. The chairs and the dark wood and the white and blue is stunning. As always the photography is amazing.I gotta pin it!!

  4. Looks wonderful!!! It’s crazy what changing around furniture can do for your soul.. It’s refreshing & everything seems new again!! You just inspired me to do some shuffling tomorrow :) I hope all goes well with your computer!

    Liz Marie

  5. See at least something good came out of your computer woes. (I am trying to help you put a positive spin on it) Did I help? :) Love the shuffle.

  6. I just hate it when technology back fires. But some of the most simple changes are the best ones in life . Love the new arrangement!

  7. I love the room. Looks so inviting. I also really like the picture just leaning against the wall. Might want to think about leaving it like that.
    I too use Carbonite (not a commercial) and love it. I feel that my stuff is secure up there in the clouds somewhere. Living in Tornado Alley makes a person think about keeping things backed up, and in a safe place. :)

  8. Just wanted to offer a little bit of advice on the computer: get a Mac. You can go to Best Buy and ask if they have the previous version instead of the newest one that’s out. They’re usually locked up in the back, but there’s always one or two floating around. My husband and I were able to buy TWO 15″ MacBooks for the price of ONE new one! :)

  9. The room came out nice.

    I rearrange rooms like that all the time. My spouse says that he does not like to come home in the dark.

  10. the “furniture shuffle”…not a household name like “the hustle” {ha!} but i think it just might catch on as a stress reliever! ;}

    m ^..^

  11. Wow! You are amazing! I would have been chowing on twizzlers and cursing at my computer. But you’ve completed transformed your room in your frustration and it looks amazing. Love it all! So sweet seeing a wide angle of the full room. Can’t wait to see your furniture transformation. Always love those! Good luck with the computer tomorrow (isn’t it crazy how much rely on computers now, I was scared of email when I got one my first year at university!)

  12. Hahaha! My husband will come home and be like, “Well….I see you’ve rearranged.” LOL It looks GREAT!!! 😀

  13. Carolina says:

    Very nice shuffle!!! The living room looks great! I love the your “Ironstone collection” it is perfect in between the windows the whole room looks so nice…once again well done!

    Hope the computer works well now :-)


  14. I too am a shameless furniture-shuffler. It annoys my husband to no end, and causes my boys to run through the house guessing where things have been moved to. But it makes me feel better, and is more productive than just screaming my frustration or rocking in a corner with my caffeinated beverage of choice!

  15. Did you make your slipcover on the couch/sofa? :) I am thinking about recovering ours with a white slipcover, but I have cushions that are attached at the back. Not sure I can do it, but I saw yours and thought maybe??? Love the rearrangement!

  16. gorgemeeegusssyyyy very Magazine perfect…Glad you computer was in good shape..and made me think I need to back up my blog……I love the painting, I can draw and I do pastels…curious is this something you have had for a long time…..anyone in your family….

  17. Well I saw you today on the Nate Berkus show! You did an excellent job! And yes, you have a lot to be house proud about! Congratulations!

  18. Why is it when my computer gives me problems, I end up with less hair and approximately ten pounds of whatever snack food I can find giving me a better platform on which to perch while blogging? I think your use of time was much more efficient. I love all your fun pictures. You always make me want to redecorate! :)

  19. What a fright! I have a love/hate with computers. Glad to hear you had everything backed up.

    I can totally relate to your furniture shuffle. When my husband was in the military we were young and had no money. We lived in base housing, so I did a lot of furniture shuffling and what not. When he would leave on an extended trip, he would look at me very lovingly and say, “Just please don’t tear down any walls.” — I once laid down contact paper on the kitchen floor of our base house…painted it and polyurethaned it. It was awesome. I just pulled it up when we moved and it was back to the original ugly linoleum.

  20. Don’t you just love the new arrangement? Like a whole new house!!! I love the glass piece where the couch use to be!

  21. I love to furniture shuffle. Everything ends up fresh and clean and it almost feels like you completely got new things to fit in there.

    I had the same thing happen to my laptop (my only computer) last month and thank goodness for Carbonite. I had to buy a new harddrive and the files I had (ALL of my unprinted photos from the last 9 years) were completely unrecoverable. It may not be a commercial, but I’m a huge believer in Carbonite. I would never do without it.

  22. This sounds familiar! :) Glad you’ve found this outlet and glad your computer is “well”.
    The new arrangement is awesome!

  23. Donna says:

    The room looks great!!! Moving a room around is the best therapy!!! I need some of that!!! :)

  24. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, Hope all the computer problems are behind you. Your room rearrange is fantastic! I love your furniture and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with that dresser. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  25. oh yikes. I LOVE my technology but when it goes down I am not a happy camper! Good reminder that even if my computer is only a few months old I might want to look into backing it up! if I lost everything now I would be in a world of hurt.

  26. Love your rearrange :) I think if my living room looked that inviting, I would cozy up in it and pretend I was on vacation all the time! So sorry about all the time lost and frustration of the computer!

  27. Susan says:

    I alway found rearranging furniture to be quite therapeutic.. :-)

    But why do you even turn off your computer at night?? I only actually turn mine “off” when I am going away for several days without it (or we are having a lightening storm with power surges) All automatic updates are done at night and if your computer is off, you don’t get them and they pile up. Sometimes, that is why your computer freezes up – it’s missing the update.

    I confess that I used to turn mine off but then my son (the Geek) said not to. It doesn’t hurt it at all to stay on… though it does use power.

    Glad you were able to get your info back. And ACB is right a Mac. I’ve have fewer problems since I switched. Actually, I’ve had no problems at all. :-)

  28. mary eguia says:

    The room looks great .I love the empire dresser. I’m am going the same thing as your computer…….STUCK! Just stuck in the day to day life. Get up go to work come home ,laundry,dinner,try to do some kind of project. Then get up and do it all over.I can’t seem to reboot. The weekend comes and there’s family,the house needs work,pool needs cleaned,laundry,dishes,floors, it just seems like there is never time to do what I would like to do. My art,furniture,pain,sew. Maybe I shouldn’t go to sleep until 3 in the morning.Any advice? Can’t seem to find the door that God has opened for me.

    • I actually wrote about this in my book that’s coming out in November. I felt like I was churning in my daily routine and I finally broke out of that by introducing some things that really nurtured my creative side. I still hate laundry, but my day-to-day existance isn’t about laundry, cleaning, cooking, diapers, etc. Those are just some “chores” that need to be done. Anyway, I hope you read the book and I think it will be an encouragement to you.

  29. So thankful you had everything backed up. What a disaster that would have been if you hadn’t. I am always amazed at what you can get accomplished, even on a bad day.

    I love everything about this room! I just had to pin it. That curio is gorgeous. I could fill it with all my teacups. I have always wanted a custom slipcover for my couch. I have the kind that just look a mess all the time, and end up taking them off after about a month of trying them again. Mind you I bought these two Pottery Barn slipcovers for $6 at a garage sale. Anyway, did you make your slipcover? I don’t know if I could, but it’s a thought.

    Thanks as usual for your inspiration.

  30. Brenda says:

    Computers should come with airbags! The upside is the room looks lovely! Great job!

  31. I love the shuffle! It looks great, and it is always fun to rearrange furniture. I can’t wait for your next milk paint reveal!!

  32. Computers I have a love hate relationship LOL! Love your furniture arrangement! Looks great!

  33. I love that room. Love the changes. I couldn’t help but notice the child’s rocker. I have one alost exactly like it. Is there family history behind yours. Mine belonged to my father. My grnaddfather helped a family move and they gave him the chair. So the chair already had some history before my father had it. My Dad is gone but would be 86 now.

  34. What a terrible way to start your day. I have a solution…Apple! You’ll never regret it. BTW, I love the shuffle.

  35. Moving furniture keeps me sane some days. Yours looks great. And I’ll say it again, I ADORE your blue curtains.

  36. ellery says:

    Is the chandelier in the corner hardwired or does it just plug in? Love the new arrangement!

  37. Love the new layout! Not sure if it’s just me but I think it looks even more inviting!

  38. You have an amazing sense of style that makes my heart flutter. I want to curl up on your couch and read a book! Which is weird, since I think this is the first time I’ve ever commented on your blog, but…c’est la vie.

  39. beanoto4 says:

    I can’t wait to read your book… already pre ordered one for me and one of friend…. Sharing….

    I don’t know how you keep your house so nice with two boys around. I have two grandsons that are at my house about 20 hours a week and they are into EVERYTHING. Love to see what I have brought home recently and they are very curious about any changes I make.

  40. TracieMcOB says:

    Love the re-shuffle! The going consensus from your readers seems to be that, like me, alot of us started as shufflers when we were younger and had little to no money for decorating. When I first got married, my then-husband, used to complain about my moving furniture around our snug townhouse. When I explained it was cheaper than buying new furniture and gave the house a new look, I got “where can I help you move it?!” 😉 Alas, my home now, though bigger, doesn’t have the flow to allow me to move things too much. but hmmmm, now you have got me thinkin’……………..

  41. I LOVE LOVE your curtains! Did you make them? If not do you mind sharing where you got them…

  42. My Granddaddy Jones who was a Baptist preacher used to say he didn’t dare come home after dark because he would not be able to find his bed! My Granny loved to rearrange the furniture, so I suppose I come by it naturally. I find moving the furniture to be the most therapeutic thing on earth, next to painting something, of course, I hope to be able to get some milk paint soon!

  43. I love the painting leaning….nice job on it all and good use of extra stress time!

  44. Janice says:

    I like the painting right where it is :) How pretty your house is and how pretty my house isn’t is beginning to depress me :(

    Can’t wait for the milk paint… I literally have furniture prepped and ready for it.

    Have a great day!

  45. maria costello says:

    Moving furniture is one of my favorite activities (along with repainting, making slipcovers, changing accessories, painting furniture – you get the idea!). I feel like I have a new house when I do these things, which is far cheaper than moving!

    LOVE the new look!

  46. Kimberly Bruhn says:

    Hey MMS — I’m fairly new to your “world,” but wanted to know if you’ve ever painted upholstery? I tried to find the blog where somebody tried ASCP on upholstery (before I had a Pinterest) but couldn’t find it easily. Anywho, I thought…I’ve got nothing to lose…it was ugly 80s, splotchy modern artsy fabric on a cute armchair (caned back, pecan color wood)…painted it Provence all over and then tried a white British flag on the seat….took a sanding sponge to the upholstery and it came out like suede! Do you know if one should just wipe it off with a damp rag or should I wax the upholstery, too? Plan on waxing the wood, again, with some dark wax in spots. Neat experiment on a $10 chair. We have a cool thrift store here for the local hospice organization and it’s a great cause and they have a super variety (kind of pricey, sometimes, but, again, great cause)…that’s where I bought the chair. Enjoy your blog and wish we lived closer to get inspiration at Lucketts! I’m in southern Oregon.

  47. Oh i like it!! The brown in the curio cabinet is so pretty with all the other colors in the room, the shape is wonderful, and i love the way it anchors that wall. Cool! I bet that was fun…


  48. Glad you got most of the stuff sorted out. Love love the new room arrangement. It is inspiring me to bring my blue drapes back to my living room.

  49. Lorretta says:

    What a beautiful room!!! You are so good at what you do. Could I make one suggestion , which you probably already know but just in case….be careful with the quilt on the back of your couch in the direct sunlight of the two windows. It is a treasure as we know so do be careful of the sun rotting and/or bleaching the fabrics.

  50. Dear Marian!
    I remember when I was a teenager I loved to re-arrange my bedroom!
    Your living room looks beautiful!
    Yes, I also wondered about the slipcovers and I know you have a tutorial but never checked.
    It is always a pleasure to read your posts!

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