new/old rug & starting the reset

It was one of those days when I woke up ready to get things done.  I cleaned out the coat closet before I took the boys to school and didn’t eat a bite until my “late brunch” at 1:30 pm.  I wasn’t joking around.  (That’s not normal for me, by the way.  I’m a big fan of breakfast.)

I’ve been wanting to clean out the attic space under the eaves in the guest room for weeks, so I started on that once the boys were at school.  Well, I cleaned out the built-in bench “cubbie” in the home office first, but then I started upstairs.  I actually had to clean up the guest room as well, since it had become a dumping ground for the window unit air conditioners and cast-off furniture, pillows and rugs.  I had a big pile of trash out on the curb, some things set aside to sell or give away and had everything else neatly put away by about 10:30.

In addition to my hoard of rugs in the basement, I had a couple in the attic.  One was a rug I had in my dining room years ago from my Opa’s house and the other was just a remnant of the wall-to-wall carpet in my family room.  So, I moved the remnant to use the basement and intended to bring the other one to the basement to add to the sell pile.  I got it down to the office and decided to roll it out.  I remembered thinking it was pinkish when I banished it to the attic, but when I rolled it out today, it was surprisingly neutral.   I dragged it into my bedroom.  Why not?  And…it actually works pretty well!

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So, who knows if I’ll keep it there, but it’s always fun to find something you already own that can give a room a new look, right?  And, of course, then I had to clean up my room…pick up, dust and vacuum.

And that led me to the family room…the room that was on my list to “reset” today.  I’ve mentioned resetting a room before here on the blog and in my book.  It’s a way to strip a room down to the basic pieces of furniture and give yourself a fresh place to start.  I don’t do this very often, but it’s what I go to when I’m feeling stuck with a room or if I keep buying things that I think will work and then they don’t or if I’m being very indecisive.  It’s time to stop the madness and start over.

I started out with trying the furniture in a new arrangement.  All of my furniture is on felt pads, so I can slide everything around pretty easily.  This is a time when I try anything that comes in my head, even if it seems a little nutty.  Years ago, I thought it would be a nice to have a table to eat at in the family room, since it’s right off the kitchen.  The carpet always prevented me from doing that.  By the time we replaced it with the wood floors, I had forgotten about it.  As I was thinking of new arrangements, that came to mind again.  I liked the idea of getting the table out of the kitchen.  It’s really not meant to be an eat-in kitchen and I have to do a strange scoot-and-limbo move to use the microwave and we’re always pushing the table around when we’re getting in our places for dinner.  So, the first thing I did was pull the table into the room and then I started working around that…

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I liked it , so I rolled up the 8 x 10 rug in the center of the room to give me even more flexibility.  The French daybed was moved under the single window (opposite from where it used to be) and that grouping is rounded out with the  marble-topped dresser, a pair of small end tables and a child’s chair.  (I’m still missing a curtain panel.  FYI.)  The wing chairs, sofa and ottoman stayed in the same general area, but were shifted a bit to work better with the new arrangement.

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The child’s desk became an end table.  The French bergere chairs were moved into the living room, leaving the space next to the sofa open and making room for the channel-back chair near the French doors.

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The hutch moved to the opposite corner, the square end table was centered on the window where the daybed used to be and was then flanked with the green velvet French chairs (which I’m going to reupholster soon.)  Those were from the living room and swapped places with the French bergere chairs.  The “Lego storage” dresser is the only piece that stayed put.

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(Yeah…I still need to paint that third barstool!)

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So, it’s totally different.  We gave it a good testing this evening with homework, chess games, dinner and some races and it got a thumb’s up from the boys and a well, it’s interesting and we can always move it back if it doesn’t work from the hubs.  The only thing I don’t like is that I lost a little desk for myself.  I can live with that, though.

Right now there aren’t rugs in the room, but I did order the natural heathered chenille jute rug from Pottery Barn while it was on sale and should get it soon.  I was fortunate enough to see the rug first-hand in our hotel room in Charlottesville a few days ago, so I felt confident making the purchase.

Heathered Chenille Jute Rug - Natural

I’m excited about having something neutral, so I can use my pretty fabrics for pillows and upholstery without looking too crazy with the blue & white wool rugs.  I was able to use one of those in the kitchen, but the rest are in the basement.  Once my rearranging settles down, I have several rugs to sell including two bamboo mats, a wool rug from Target, a Dash & Albert rug and a couple more.  That’s how I decorate most of my house.  Buy a few things, sell a few things and I usually end up coming ahead.  I’ll have to explain that further in another post, because I was doing that even before I started my business and blog.  Anyway, just keep an eye out for those rugs and I’ll list prices and pictures for locals who are interested.

Can you tell I’m enjoying myself thoroughly?

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  1. Wow! You go girl! I love this new arrangement. Like those chairs! (I have a sickness for chairs

  2. Marian, I love the changes you’ve made!!! Of course, I read your blog every day even though I don’t always comment. I have to say that you are a brave woman in many areas of your life. I love your courage.

    Yesterday I was reading (what I perceived) as a negative comment about one of your personal decorating choices. I immediately wanted to defend you and say that in the scheme of life it doesn’t matter that much and if someone can’t say something nice… Then I decided you had great courage. Have a marvelous evening!!! BTW,you look fabulous!!!


  3. I just love this room. I have to say my favorite thing is the one unpainted bar stool. That’s how I roll. My creativity takes over and I move on!

  4. Love it. Did you consider keeping the french daybed where it was and putting the table up against it and using only 3 chairs? I even think the Bergere chairs would look great turned towards the little table instead of into the room, and keep a chess game set up. I know everyone has an opinion, but I have 2.

  5. I have been think of moving our kitchen table to our family room (similar open format) for a few months now and you inspired me to just do it!!
    Also – I live in chester county so ill e happy to drive over and take those extra rugs off your hands;)

    • KellyinPA says:

      Ha! We are in Dauphin County, I may be right behind you in line for one of those rugs:)

  6. Kristi says:

    That looks fantastic! The room looks like it is breathing nicely. When the new rug comes in, I bet it will look outstanding.

  7. Kristi says:

    Oh, and that rug in the master? YES! It really looks great in there.

  8. I really like the rug in the bedroom! I think the peach (?) background totally works with the blue and white. The family room looks great!

  9. Loving the jute rug. It’s looks wonderful! So envious of these gals that have basements, would love to have a place to store excess anything. Even an extra room would work, like a staging room (dream house).
    I do have an extra large utility room that will soon get reset and it will have an area for my dish overflow. Which is awesome because dishes seem to be what I love to collect.
    Good for you finding those amazing dishes on sale, isn’t that a great feeling? and of course the are dreamy.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  10. LOVE that rug in the bedroom…..Opa’s smiling down on you ! Thanks for sharing bits of your life with us on the blog….I look forward to reading what you are up to in your beautiful home and inspiring me to look at what I can do with mine.
    HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg to you and your family!

  11. Love, love, love it!!! Love the rug in the bedroom, absolutely adore your new furniture arrangement, and that new PB rug is gonna rock with your new fabrics! Thanks for the inspiration to take a fresh look at our rooms.

  12. I love it! It reminds me of If you Give a Moose a Muffin ;) I do the same thing- going on organizing, fluffing and cleaning binges. Have fun and yes, ENJOY!

  13. Marcia says:

    You are awesome, what an amazing reset! When you add the new rug it will be perfect.
    I especially love the view photo that shows the window with the green wreath on it. Look at it again, girl. See how your eye is drawn to the whisper of green, from the wreath to the chairs, to the cow painting. You may want to keep the chairs as is. That different color gives your eye an anchor so to speak, then lets you visually explore the other elements. Like you, I love change. Nothing frustrates me more than having a room that simply does not allow it. I am learning from you that there are many, many things that can be done even if furniture must stay where it is.

  14. Marcia says:

    I forgot about the add of the rug in the bedroom. Delightful! Just the right tones of color to not be overwhelming. Again, a good anchor piece with the blue tones, but also a whisper of pink. Beautiful.

  15. Fun, so inspiring! Want to try it here now…one of these days!

    Have you considered using the green velvet French chairs at your dining room table once you reupholster them? Maybe they are too big but I know you said you wanted upholstered chairs at the ends.

  16. Laurena says:

    Love the rug in the bedroom! The pattern and colours look great!

  17. I love everything you do!! Have you considered moving your cream channel back chairs to your dining table ends for now until you find the right ones?? Oh there’s so many options! You have a lot to work with!! Love the rug in your bedroom also!!

  18. I love to rearrange my rooms. That’s one of the things I miss being able to do in our little home, as there is really only one or two ways to arrange things, but I do love our little home. :) Can I ask what size your family room is? You really seem to be able to fit a lot of smaller dedicated spaces into it. And also, if you could change the size of the room, what would you do? We’re dreaming of a family room add-on, so it’s fun to see what other people love and would change about their own spaces.

  19. Caroline R. says:

    Hi Marian,

    First time commenter. I LOVE it. Thinking outside the box to find what works for YOUR family is so you and also the way I like to use our spaces in our home. Everything looks so fresh and just makes sense. The rug in your master is another stroke of genius and works because it looks like what it is, a random idea. Yet it is what keeps your spaces exciting.

    Love your blog and your openness (?) and bravery.

    Caroline R.

  20. Caroline R. says:

    Me again. Also, love the unpainted barstool. If it were me, I would keep it that way and put it in the center of the trio. It absolutely looks like it is supposed to be unpainted. ha!

    Caroline R.

  21. Nikki says:

    Hello there this is my first time posting but I have been following you for quite a while. I am in pretty much the exact same situation you were in a few years ago when you were starting out. For the last 4 months I have been renting a space at an antique mall for all my painted beauties. :) I have no artistic training what so ever. In fact I am a licensed cosmetologist. I have a 1 year old and I am a stay at home mom. You blog inspires me more then you could ever imagine. I face almost all the same issues as you have. With the sweat pants and bandana all the time and wanting to loos weight. I too am working on all those things. It is such a hard adjustment but I feel so much beefed about myself when I put myself together.
    So thank you so much for sharig all your stories with us. You are such a beautiful, genuine person. Anyway what color did you use on your bar stools? I just used your paint for the first time and let me tell you I am in love! I am actually ordering more today! Thanks again and sorry for the long post!

  22. Congrats on such a productive day! The carpet in your bedroom is lovely and creates a nice warmth for winter. Until you paint your barstool, I’d put it in the middle to balance the blue ones. Always fun to see your rearrangements.

  23. Terri says:

    Don’t have a blog but I sooooo enjoy receiving your posts via email… also have your book .. of course!!! Beautiful new re-do!!!! Terri

  24. Oh, that’s not fair that only locals will get a chance to pick up one of those rugs! :-)

  25. Your pieces are so lovely I think they’d look awesome no matter how you arrange them!

  26. Amy Morgan says:

    What is local? I would love to see the rugs you are going to sell!

  27. Jeanine C says:

    I love how the table is closer to the French doors and large picture window. I always like a pretty view when eating :). Think of the possibilities of outdoor urns with boxwoods and flowered window boxes to extend your eating space right into outdoor living…in the spring and summer of course :) Always planning ahead too ;)

  28. Marian,
    I’m exhausted. What a productive AND busy day you had. All good. Your series of events reminds me of the children’s book, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”. Do you know that one? I think you have a second book on your hand:

    “If you give Marian and morning, she’s going to go to the attic. When she goes to the attic she’s going to find a rug. Finding the rug will remind her that she needs one in her bedroom. When the rug goes in the bedroom, she is reminded that the room needed a little something . . . ”

    And so the story goes!

  29. Robin says:

    Curious where you got the monkey knot rope lamps? They would look great in my OC condo!

  30. Marianne Davies says:

    Marian, I love all of the ideas you have , That is what decor and design are about, No fast rules, just what you love and making it all work , This should be fun and you seem to be having plenty of it. Your home looks just wonderful. I wish I were close enough to purchase some of your furniture.

  31. teresa says:

    I love that rug and can’t imagine that you for a minute considered getting rid of it! It’s a gorgeous rug that you’d have difficulty and expense replacing besides some sentimental value. It looks lovely in that room to boot; blue looks so great with pinkish undertones. Please keep it, although I’d love to see how it looks turned 90deg wot the tassles on the side.

  32. Carol says:

    Hi Marian. I’m a big fan of most of what you do, but I have to say, the table and chairs in your family room look a little cluttered. I loved the openness of the room before. It just looks a bit busy. Just my opinion. Love the new cream curtains.

  33. Madeline says:

    Oh Marian! I would love to have just half of your energy!!! Reading your post makes me want to start rearranging my living room right now… Thanks for the unending inspirations!

  34. MaryS says:

    VERY NICE!!! I want to switch things up myself, but I have some really really large heavy pieces.. one has a tv inside which means WIRES!

    Looks great tho!!

  35. Alison says:

    I have to agree with an earlier comment, I think it’s really quirky to have the one bar stool not painted !! Beautiful hutch …. Beautiful everything

  36. Barbara Landers says:

    Whew! I’m 75 and exhausted, reading your accomplishments in one day! Way to go!!! I am repeating a prior comment about your PREVIOUS dining room. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT, but failed to take a photo of it from your blog. Can I find a photo somewhere? The archives only show a newer version at the top of your blog. I LOVED your French dining table you gave to your Aunt, and the ‘tattooed’ rug. What happened to it? I love what you do….thanks for sharing!

  37. I love it! And after looking at these pictures I had no idea your kitchen was open like that. Wow. Btw, I like the green velvet chairs there. It brings out the green in the “cow” picture. (Sorry, I forgot her name).
    It amazes me what you can do in one day. I was exhausted just reading it. I wish I had your energy.
    Keep it coming girl. I love to see what you do.
    Oh, I’m planning on doing a “redo” in my great room area. We’ve only had it just over a year. We remodeled and made 5 rooms in to one big room. It includes the entry, living, dining, kitchen and a dry bar. We love it! But I’m ready to see what else I can do with our furniture. We have 2 espresso leather full sofas, two red leather recliners that all focus on a wall with a 55″ TV with a long sofa table under it next to a gas “stone” fireplace with a decorative ledge above it. Boy do I wish you were here. It’ll be fun pushing and shoving everything around.
    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  38. Michelle says:

    I’m a local and in need of some rugs. I’ll be on the look out for that post. Love all of the changes. Your energy amazes me. I have one room that I haven’t rearranged. It has been the same way for a long time. You have inspired me to take everything out and look at the room in a different way. Thanks for the push.

  39. What a great moment you had there…..moving around, trying out …..! I like it a lot…..a lot more(if i may say so) than the bedroom….too many different patterns for me…..

  40. I love your new look and you have given me inspiration to strip back our lounge and dining room and give it a new feel.
    I have two large piece of furniture which I had thought of putting back as they were into the dining area, but I am no going to take the plunge and paint them. I have had them 20 years, they were quite expensive when we bought them but now I think it is the right time to get my paint brush to them. A bold move on furniture which we have had since we married!

    It is good to have a change…

    Thanks for the inspiration….
    Best wishes

  41. I actually love the way the green chairs pull out the green in your cow painting and complement the green boxwood wreath hanging above them. They are beautiful!

  42. Cool! I love the new arrangement. I’ve always really liked the idea of a table like that near a living area, and the little green velvet chairs look adorable there! It is soooooo fun to have a rearranging attack, and end up with what feels like a whole new room!


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