peonies & the family room

Marian ParsonsFamily Room, My House

Last year I planted two peony bushes along the side of my house.  I never even knew what peonies were until one sweet reader sent some to me a couple of years ago as a “studio warming” gift when I moved into the studio space I currently run my business from.  (I still can’t believe I used to do all of this from my house!)

They were such beautiful, delicate, and long-lasting flowers and I was excited to learn I could grow them in my yard!  In fact, my neighbor had a peony bush just on their side of the property line, so I knew I had a good chance of success with them.

Well, this year, I got some beautiful blossoms off of both…



I also never knew about the whole ants & peony controversy, but I got to see it first hand.  It is believed that the ants help the peony blossoms to open, but that seems to be debated.  Anyway, there were ants all over my peonies, but I just held them upside down and gave them a good knock and the ants came off.  I later read that you can soak them in water, too, so I’ll try that next time.

I collected the ones that filled the pitcher above earlier this week and gathered the rest of the blooms yesterday.  I also bought a huge bunch of flowers, wheat, and greens from a local organic farm market.  It was $5.00 for the entire bunch and they were so pretty in their wildness that I couldn’t resist.

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I tend to like tight, “bunchy” bouquets of flowers, but I decided to let this one be loose and wild.


I put them on the “kitchen table” that’s in our family room (just off the kitchen.)

I recently did some furniture shuffling in this room and I’m still trying to sort things out.  I am coming to terms with the fact that this room is just tricky and it’s probably always going to be tricky and when we move someday, I’ll miss many things about this house, but I won’t miss the trickiness of this room!


(You know, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but looking at these pictures has made up my mind.  I’m going to paint the inside of that cabinet.  It’s just a black hole!  I think a little Mora is in order.)


So, in all of the furniture scooting, I decided that the piece under the TV, which I’ve felt mediocre about for a while, was unnecessarily large.  We had cabinets that were completely empty and just didn’t need all of that storage…


…so, I sold it at Lucketts and swapped it out for something smaller…


I know.  You don’t even need to say it.  It was a bad move!

Even once we get the cords under control and Jeff glues up the “secret” bottom drawer and I style the space properly, it still is a step down from what was there.  A gorgeous piece, but just not right for that spot.

While the other piece was larger than we needed storage wise, the scale balanced out the TV and the sofas well and I just wasn’t thinking through that.  Of course, this is a new opportunity for me to find something awesome for a room in my house, so I’m on the hunt.  Even Jeff asked me today when I was going to replace the current piece with something better.  When he is encouraging me to shop for furniture, you know he really doesn’t like it!

So, I’m cruising craigslist to see if anything pops up that’s just right.  It is a tall order, because the size has to be just right, we need a recess where we can fit the components, and I’m hoping to find a piece that’s a real eye-catcher; something unique.

I found a very cool apothecary cabinet, but it’s 7′ long and that’s really pushing the limits of the space.  It was a bit pricey, too.

I’ll keep you posted on the hunt as well as other tweaks I make in the room…

peonies & the family room

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