It’s been a tough week to get into a groove for me. On Monday, we took the boys to Hershey Park to squeeze some fun into the last days of summer. The boys were home on Tuesday, which was a day filled with cleaning, laundry, packing book bags and getting ready to start the school year on the right foot. By the time Wednesday hit, I was ready to get to work, but I was so behind and was feeling buried in not-so-fun business things like reconciling my accounts, staying on top of my e-mail and getting myself organized. Yesterday was spent packing up look books to ship out.
So today, I was really ready to unroll the new living room rug and do a little bit of creative playing! Something simple like unrolling a rug energizes me. I start seeing how the room is shaping up and I get ideas that snowball and I lose myself in the process.
And here’s the result…
First, the rug. I found a very neutral, flat weave seagrass rug on Joss & Main and have enough referral credits to get it for almost free. (The rug is still relaxing, so excuse the bumps…)
It’s not a rug you want to curl up on, but it feels nice underfoot and I love the texture it adds to the space. The size is also soooo much better than the 5×7 that was in there. Switching to an 8×10 makes the room look almost twice as large.
See how the tiny rug just pulls the room in…?
…and the larger one really stretches it out?
The rug got me thinking. I really wanted something behind the rocking horse and I walked passed the screen door I found a few weeks ago at an antique store for $35. It might work. The most interesting part of the door is at the bottom, so I turned the door on its head and leaned it behind the jelly cupboard (painted in MMSMP Linen.)
You know those moments when you feel like you hit a decorating home run? I felt that way with this door. I’m sure someday I’ll roll my eyes at myself and wonder what I was thinking, but for now, it’s a home run.
I then pulled the cane wood chair from the basement to round out the seating arrangement. It tied in perfectly with the wood of the screen door frame.
I still need to sew the petticoat bolster pillow cases, but I cut the fabric and wrapped it around the forms, so I could get a good visual.
I tucked the market basket in the corner to tie in with the wood-tones and the texture of the rug. It’s an awkward space that’s not quite large enough for a piece of furniture, so this a good solution.
The coffee table is a simple primitive bench with a boxwood topiary in a footed ironstone bowl and some antique leather books (again, tying in with the warm browns of the wood.)
In case you missed it, the sofa was a $100 find on Craig’s List. I painted the frame and reupholstered it to make it work in my space. In fact, all of the furniture in this room is from Craig’s List, used furniture stores and FREE from a yard sale.
The wing chairs were the freebies.
I am LOVING the direction the room is heading. Even Jeff commented on how beautiful it looks.
I’m still arguing with myself about the curtains, though. In a way, I like them. I like how the blue brings your eyes up. In another way, they feel a little busy and I’m craving something simpler. I removed the curtains after taking these pictures and I’ll share my thoughts in another post.
I still need to hang pictures and fine tune, but it’s getting there and I’m excited. I love reworking a room and seeing things in a fresh way.
And there is some fun stuff going on in the guest room, too…
I love all the changes you’ve made to your living room. I always thought the piano, while beautiful, took up a lot of valuable real estate. The hutch is gorgeous and much more practical and I can’t wait to see how you decorate it for the changing seasons. But please keep the drapes! They’re so YOU and add a nice punch of color in a neutral room. One pet peeve – and this is something I notice everywhere! – some crown molding sure would frame out the room nicely. To me, it’s like the right piece of jewelry to accent an outfit. I’m not griping because I absolutely LOVE your style, it’s just something that hits me right off the bat. Call it my quirk. But you did a great job of adding baseboards and board and batten treatment on the walls. Crown molding just seems like the next logical step. I’ve followed you for years, have your book and am trying to figure out what I want to paint with your milk paint line. Marian, you’re who I want to be when I grow up! LOL
I’m with you on the crown molding, but we need to talk Jeff into it! 🙂
The natural seagrass rug is PERFECT for the space, Marian! It totally anchors the room, and because your curtains have a busier pattern on them (which I love), it really gives a visual “calming” to the space. I love using lots of natural textures in my own home–burlap, sisal, jute, etc.–it just works so well for cottage/farmhouse style giving it a rustic simplicity, and gives a fun contrast to more ornate/patterned decor. Way to go–looks amazing!
Love it Marian, it really is beautiful. I like the curtains that are there. It ties the softness of the other fabrics with the seagrass rug. Kind of like a transition instead of just a jump off. You know what I mean?
Marian, it looks so pretty! So fresh and clean, simple and inviting, I really love what you’ve done with the room. I think I agree with you though, the curtains make the room a bit busy. Then again they are a nice pop of color…. Curious to see which way you’re going with them 😉
I love the door! I definitely agree it’s a home run. And the different sized rug makes an amazing difference! Every time I visit I learn something, thank you 🙂
Love it! I really like all of the “natural” elements with the painted pieces. Really magazine worthy in an everyday beauty! Perfect!204
ooohh…orange! Marian….you wild thang!
Ha…it must look orange on your screen. It’s actually gold. 🙂 I’m not getting that crazy! Although, the walls on that room were once pumpkin orange.
Ha, ha! I was going to write the same thing. Orange in a MMS room?!
Ha ha! I was going to write, “Love the orange!!” 🙂 Blue and orange do make a nice pair, you know. 😉
The first thing that caught my eye when I looked at the picture was that door. That is definitely a home run! The whole room is a home run! 11Love the rug. The size does make the room seem so much bigger. Can’t wait to see what you decide to do with the curtains and the reveal of the guest room.
Everything looks fabulous.
I was surprised when you mentioned the size of the new rug. That room always looked so much bigger than that to me!
It looks beautiful, Marian.
Looks beautiful! A round or oval coffee table would balance out all the squares. 😉 Drapes are perfect with all the simpler textiles in the room.
Love the door! Favorite part about the redo. Personally, I like the curtains. So if you get rid of them, I’ll happily give them a new home!
Like the arrangement much better without the piano. I would love to remove the piano from our room, keeping it on hold for my daughter. I guess I’m the only one, but I see this room with linen curtains. I took down my patterned drapes a couple of years ago and replaced with linen and I’ll never go back. I tire easily of pattern. My eyes were drawn to the white chest your rocking horse sits on. Love it. How about adding an antique brass floor lamp? (Not that you were asking for pointers) Love your home. Sara
Forgot to add….Your lovely guest room reminds me of a chest of drawers you painted in yellow with white free style design. (I shamelessly somewhat copied that piece and it sits in my entry) Sara
It looks great! I have that same rug in our family room. Love the idea that you had with that charming old screen door…keeping that one in my head. You are so lucky to have so many wonderful things in your area on craigslist (we don’t).
Love the colors, love the rug, love the room with or without curtains, haha. I don’t know about the open doors on the hutch; it is a beautiful color contrast, but it seems a bit dark, like it comes at you. Might just be because I’m not in the room: obviously you FEEL the room, being in it. Other than that: love it, love it, love it.
Marian – I think this is my favorite of all the ways you’ve had your living room! It looks so warm and cozy. Not sure if it’s the rug, or the piece behind the rocking horse, but I love it!!
Love the new rug and the screen door but please keep the curtains! The new bedding in the guest bedroom looks orange on my screen also and since I love blue and orange together I was kind of bummed when you said it was gold!
I love it! The room is so inviting and the rug is perfect 🙂 That’s not a home run, that’s a
grand slam 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Your room is looking beautiful Marian. Its gorgeous and warm and inviting at the same time. I love the screen behind the horse it looks like it was made for the space. You know ever since I saw your guest room bed I’ve been imagining how it would look in my room, even though I have a bed that is pretty and I thought I loved it lol. The bedding looks great too, great colors.
Marian I’m loving the less is more and open space with the larger rug. We have that exact same rug in our dining room and it wears very well. Before you even mentioned removing the far curtains I was thinking you definitely should take them down to open up those corners more, can’t wait to read your thoughts on how that shaped up.
I vote leave the curtains! I was wondering how the ironstone cabinet would look with the doors off? Beautiful and very comfortable cozy space, nice job!
Hi Marion, I really enjoyed this post. OK, I think I am with you on finally letting go of the drapes, they are beautiful, but busy. And let’s be honest, you could sell them, the blogosphere will gobble them up! I have a suggestion for you, what about a large-scale (Swedish) gingham in blue and white? Just a thought but it would still provide the color, but with a simpler pattern.
I’m in love with your new living room update! That screen door is so cool and the perfect size in between your windows! I also love that rug, I love the natural organic look of it. And don’t get me started on your guest room and those lovely quilts! Amazing!
That screen door was the first thing I noticed in your picture. The entire room looks fantastic, but I agree with you that the door is a home run! I’d love to find something similar, but shorter, for over my fireplace. Great job Marian!!!!
I love the curtains but maybe a woven shade in a natural material instead of the blinds. Maybe removing the hanging lights would unclutter the corners.
Love the use of the unpainted wood door.
I have to agree, love what you’ve done in this room. What stands out to me in the photos are the curtain rods. If these were painted to blend in with the wall, I think the curtains could stay and wouldn’t look so busy. Just my two bobs worth!
Man, you are SO good at this. The screen door is absolutely genius, and right now, I think the curtains should stay. I love them. The rug has beautiful texture. You have a gift!
Marian this room is gorgeous! The first thing that stood out to me were the wood tones.. It speaks to my heart. I agree the screen is a home run.. But I think the basket is also! And those books… Sigh.. I use them in decorating also for the warmth and carracter they add. I personally love the curtains because I think the pattern visually ties everything together. I was at black rose last night and saw a gorgeous old black typewriter that immediately made me think of you.
The room is beautiful. I know what you mean about no curtains. I do like that look. But I think your curtains are perfect. In fact they inspired me, and I did the “look” in my living room. So you know what my vote is. They add a softness that only fabric can do. And………..I can’t wait to see the bedroom. Love the bed. And love the touch of gold! Thanks so much for keeping us inspired.
I LOVE the room as is! Can I come over and sit a spell?
Well I think the rug was a good choice a neutral pallet for the things you want to make a statement. Also I love that screen door behind the horse really makes that pop. The addition of warm colors is good transition moving into fall. Also the larger rug to makes the room more cohesive and actually looks larger. The guest room I love the addition of the goldish color and the cool design of the linens. Very cheerful.
Love all the changes you have made. I love the new rug!! It adds so much to the room. Haha, I think it’s funny everyone’s differing opinion about the curtains. 🙂 I think the room is more neutral and softer now and the curtains, though beautiful are a little too bold. Kinda like primary colors competing with pastels. 🙂 If only that fabric could be faded. Looking forward to seeing what you do. 🙂 Thank you so much for your blog. It is a constant source of inspiration to me!! 🙂 I like the new colors in the guest room too! 🙂
I actually didn’t notice the screen door at all until you pointed it out. I just thought the room looked very nice and balanced. So, to me, that means that the screen door is perfect! It doesn’t stand out like it’s weird and out of place; it blends in and adds just the right amount of color and weight. 🙂 Love it!
Your living room is beautiful. I do like the larger rug because it does make the room look larger. I LOVE that door – LOVE! I think the blue drapes are perfect because it pulls all the other little pieces of blue together.
Leave the curtains, the beautiful.
Thanks for sharing what you did. It looks lovely and it was very inspirational. I love your door, so I agree it was a homerun….SCORE! My thought (not that it matters) is that I like the curtains for the splash of color. If you decide to eliminate them, might you consider a valance of them instead? Just a thought.
I always love what you do but I’m still stuck on boys! How in the world do you keep your house looking like you do with boys?? Between my husband and two girls, anything I put out for decor, like on the coffee table for instance, gets pushed to the side and i go back into the room and it’s a disaster. So I’m just in awe especially with the white couch and chairs!!! So there is hope 🙂
Love the mustard colored fabric in the guest room, Marian. Could you share the source?
Love, Love the door. I did the exact thing a couple weeks ago. I found an old arch door with screen in a resale shop and I put it behind the drop cloth sofa. I love the wood features with the white fabric – to me it adds some richness. While I love painted furniture I still want to put some wood with it.
So, yah… you DID hit a home run. Don’t change a thing!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
LOVE the screen door behind the cabinet! Everything is looking really good, Marian. I’m working on my living room this week as well.
I love how you said the door was a home run and then you will look at it later and ask yourself what you were doing. I do that all the time!!!! I put something somewhere and think it is the best place in the house for that piece and then a few months later, I find a “better” piece or a better place to put the original piece! So funny!
Your living room is beautiful and I too can’t wait to see how you dress up the cupboard for all the holidays! Please keep the drapes though – not only are they you, but I think they really give the room a punch of color. I can’t wait to see it finished with things on the wall!
Absolutely! Couldn’t do it better! Love jute rugs (except under a dining table, they get really “groddy”.
The room just pulls you in….love it
You hit it out of the park, just finding that door! The placement is perfect!
What does your curtain fabric look like on the reverse side? If the pattern still shows–but in a more muted way–that might be something to consider. That print is such a signature for you in the eyes of your readers! I like the softness and coziness that fabric brings to window treatments, especially when there are lots of antique wood tones. To me, bare windows fit better with modern contemporary style. You hit a home run with that larger rug. Gorgeous room!
Marian, the curtains are a little too heavy and blocking too much of the windows.try getting linen. I saw one soft whisper amethyst on fabricfashionclub. That may work.
Marian, I love what u have done . I think all white rooms need that touch of real wood to warm them up. Love he gold in the guest room. One of my favorite colors. It looks gold on my IPad . So sunny and warm.
Marian, I love how that screen door “frames” the rocking horse!
The rug looks good, too… and I was thinking you might want to replace your blue curtains with some neutral ones, possibly the color similar to the rug. That way, the pretty chandelier will not get “lost” agains the backdrop of a curtain as it does now, and you would still be able to keep your dark wood curtain rods that tie in with all the other wood accents in the room. All in all, the living room is shaping up nicely!
Marian, your room is gorgeous. I love everything about it. To me, the curtains tie it all together. What I love best about it is that it is YOUR style!! The talent you have for putting things together is amazing. Love it all!! I say keep it just as it is!!
I love it! I have that same rug and while many people don’t like to walk on it with bare feet, I love it. It’s like a mini foot massage. About your drapes, I think they look great in there but so would a softer, more muted print especially if it has blue in it. I love the screen door, wood and cane chair and the basket. You did a great job of balancing them in the room.
I love your style. The living room looks so comfortable and inviting. You’re doing awesome keep up the great work.
Someone just commented on my blog post about my homemade orb light in my kitchen window. She felt that I had too much going on with the stained glass behind the orb so I took it down and she was right. It’s nice to hear from someone with fresh eyes. The rug is perfect and I dare say that the blue cabinet is sooooooooo much better than the piano. Your placement of furniture is so perfect. I do love the curtains because I think they add that punch to the room that would be all solid colors. With that said, you should go with your gut. Maybe add solid drapes with the edges trimmed in the old curtain fabric. That would look cool since your rug is edged as well. Just a thought.
Gorgeous!!! And the thing I kept thinking as I was scrolling down is…. I love the way the curtains look, especially now! I knew you were debating, and seriously they look gorgeous. Then I got to the part where you said you took them down….. looking forward to seeing that too. But really, they look fabulous in these photos. The rest of the room is so beautifully calm, and they add a nice little pop that isn’t at all distracting, just nice.
I’d like to mention something I learned in college about framing art … and maybe the “theory” could apply to placement of the screened door piece. When I was taught to cut mats years ago ~ you always added more size, or “weight,” at the bottom ~ perhaps an inch to an inch and one half. So in the case of the screen, you would turn it opposite from the way you now have it ~ with the holes across the top! I personally think the holes are interesting and would show up a lot more that way ~ not hidden behind the rocking horse. Just a little note from a viewer in the “peanut gallery” …
I love your rug, the other touches of wood ~ even the backs of the hutch doors! I’m a no-drape vote, too! OR, you could just put a “fat” rod mid-way across the window, and using rings w/clips on the tops of the drapes, let them just slide across the rod (or a wooden dowel), at your whim! The length could be achieved by either cutting more, or folding & clipping at the fold, whichever is easiest! This way, they never fully cover the windows, but you have some semblance of privacy!
That screen door IS a total home run! It was the first thing that caught my eye. Now I’m on the hunt!
Oh Dear ~ I just saw the bottom of the door under the cabinet! Don’t know why I got ahead of myself, and was thinking it was a half door!
DUH ~ NEV…ER MIND!!! Sorry, I’m sure you think I’m a “crazy woman” … well, that I am, but I’m not always stupid, too!
I think the living room looks great! I love the larger, more simple rug! It gives the room the grounding that it needed and made the curtains look a lot better. With the modern rugs, everything looked too busy. The doors behind the horse is brilliant too! Those two simple additions transformed the room. Beautiful!
Marion, I have been a big fan and have enjoyed watching your home evolve. I LOVE the upside down door behind the rocking horse.. The draperies in the two windows flanking it have always seemed unbalanced;
22546too much going on. Now that you have that focal point, maybe they can go? KUDOS overall!
You have been such a fabulous inspiration and idea factory for me, Marian — especially when it comes to curtains. And now that you are pondering what to do about the curtains in your living room, I feel led to share some inspirational fabric with you. It’s Richloom Ampersand Cobalt — a gorgeous cotton print matelasse that will make any blue-and-white-lover smile. But here’s the best part: it retails for $25+ per yard, but you can get end-run yardage on FabricGuru.com for $5.95! I used it in my dining room and it makes me soooo blue-and-white happy. And thanks to your pleated drape tutorial on HGTV, they look fabulous, too — couldn’t have done it without you. Blessings to you!
Would love to see the sofa Before. Do you have a photo of it as it was on Craigslist?
I love it Marian! Just the right amount of color and pattern, and the raw wood on the screen door is a nice organic addition. I like to take down my curtains in spring and summer, and put them up for autumn and winter. It makes the room light and airy in the warm weather and gives a welcoming coziness in fall. Just nice to switch things out a little with the seasons. Love the new rug. Need that!
The room looks very pretty, cosy and inviting.
I love your curtains. In fact, I found the fabric online and would have made my own, except the tones just didn’t work with my existing space. The room looks really nice.
The room is looking simply amazing!!! The larger rug makes a huge difference and i’m loving the new furniture placement!
WOW! DIdn’t think I could love that room anymore, but once again, you’ve outdone yourself!! I love it!!! And I continue to ADORE the curtains. The guest room is looking beautiful too!
Love the bigger rug – when you first mentioned that maybe it needed to be bigger I had to think of ‘The Nester’s’ book – she said that the furniture deserved to have at least the front feet on the rug! Your room is coming together amazingly 🙂 I love all your textures and the warmth of the basket and leather books.
I love it and I still love your curtains. They are so pretty. I know they had to be expensive!
While my personal preference is the “pop” the the curtains give the room, I know the tranquility you speak of. Learning to decorate the “stillness” is tricky. To make your windows work without curtains, the white blinds and curtains would have to come down, and something archetectural in white would replace it. Perhaps you frame the window with a wider wood, or you add shutters or white wooden blinds with large slats. I would love to see salvaged full length shutters. But as the room stands now, delish!
I love to move things around in my house too. It gives me new energy and makes me smile. I love your door and the unique, creative way you chose to make it a focal point. With that said, I’d like to offer a suggestion and I’ll send you a picture tomorrow of what I’m suggesting. I don’t know how to attach photos to this comment. Any suggestions? O.K. Here’s my take … Replace the drapes with white panels and hang them from the top of the wall to the floor. Nice white weave cotton panels can be bought at World Market. Maybe you have already registered your company with them and provided tax exempt info. They give a discount for designers and such. The panels I’m suggesting have rings at the top rather than pleats. Try 2 panels on each side of each window and see if they give enough visual weight to the windows and room. If not, do 3 panels each. These panels are not for closing over the windows, but to act as a frame. To finish the window treatments, Home Depot carries nice matchstick blinds for very reasonable prices. Hang these from the ceiling also. The white cotton panels should just cover (by 1-2″) the outside width of matchstick blinds. Unroll the blinds so they cover the top of your window frame by 2″. This will make more sense when you receive my pix tomorrow. The white of the panels compliment your white furniture, while the blinds will compliment your sea grass rug and give more texture yo the room, but as an added neutral color. And hanging all this from the ceiling elongates the look of your windows and draws the eye up. It all also frames your focal point of the door and horse and makes them ‘pop’ and will also make your blue cabinet ‘pop’. If you still feel you need more blue pattern, then trim the edge of the panels with 2″ wide strips of your current drapery fabric. Hope this helps in making more decisions
Ahhhh the rocking horse is pure perfection! ~ashley
I have followed your blog for quite some time and it is fun to watch your style evolve. I really like the addition of some earth tones to your usual blue & white color scheme. That being said, I think the curtains really tie the room together. But I know whatever you do it will look great!
Could you please me where you purchased your curtains?
The room is beautiful! I, personally, love the curtains. I think they give the room the punch of color that it needs. Everyone seems to decorate with all neutrals. So tired of it! Bring on the color!!!!
Marion, Love it as always. I thought at first glance that the screendoor was a cabinet. Fool the
eye. I wouldn’t change one thing. perfection. One thing I have learned along the way that every
room needs some black accessory. hmmmmmm.1697
living with something… over a period of time, we tend to want change… but just looking.. drooling.. adoring your home and all things decor’ … I have to say .. the curtains are amazing to me…. I absolutely love them… loved them from the first day I saw them in my post !!! 🙂 ….. also, I do love the door behind the horse… ( just recently told my best friend how much I love old screen doors… reminds me of my Grandmothers’ farm house!!) what a great idea!!!!! Now I am on the lookout for one!!! 🙂
Do you use a pad under your rug?
Love, love, love the screen door behind the jelly cabinet and the wooden rocking horse sitting in front of it. What a beautiful focal point for the room! Curious what you came up with for the windows. I love the blue and white curtains, but for an idea for a simpler look, you could hang bamboo shades in a similar warm tone like the screen door and accessories, hanging them from the ceiling, just below the crown molding. Then hang gauzy sheer white curtains or sheer white linen curtains from the rods you have currently, also placing just below the crown, but above the top of the bamboo shades and letting them fall to the floor with a slight break or letting them puddle slightly. Also, I would recommend two panels for each window, hung so that they can be pushed back on each end of the rods exposing as much of the window as possible. Keeping the bamboo shades pulled up in nice pleated folds where they cover the top fourth of the window, would allow plenty of light. This window treatment would give a simpler and cleaner look that you are going for, but also bring some warmth to the room and tie in the other warm tones that you have added. Anyway, just an idea, if you decide to change them again someday. I’m am interior designer by trade, but I have always said that it doesn’t take a degree to have a creative knack for decorating, which you have proven with the beautiful rooms you have created in your home, as well as your success!! Love the sneak peek of the guest room, too! I look forward to seeing more!
Wow! Your room really looks beautiful!! I especially love the warm wood tones in different areas throughout the room! Very nicely done!
Beautiful. I need to slip cover 2 wing chairs to complete my Living room makeover..did you follow a pattern for your chairs, if so do you have a link to it? TIA