Home DecorRe-imagining the Living Room – AGAIN… December 6, 2018Yes, you read that right. And if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen some glimpses. We changed up the living room AGAIN. A part of me didn’t even want to share this because I feel like I just shared an update on our living room and family room (though that was a month ago already!). But I’m determined to give you more real-life, in-process stuff as my mind processes how to make this the best home for us. Because maybe some of my trial and error can inspire y’all! I shared the living room updates and family room a month or so after we made the switch. I wasn’t sure it was right after living with it, but in some ways, it was better than what we had before. And I said in those posts, we were living with it to see what needed tweaking. Well, the more we continued to live with it, the more we realized we just were not using the living room the way it was. While I imagined the living room would still be our main space to read and hang out and the other room would be just for movies, that wasn’t happening. Some of it was we all wanted to cuddle up on the couch together, so we were always going to the back bedroom and our pretty little living room sat untouched. Some of it was that, even though we don’t watch TV everyday here, we love a good, cozy movie night in our pretty main living space (ESPECIALLY at Christmas by our tree!). And a lot of it was that the living room felt sparse and not cozy. I was planning to layer and add more cozy details, but that didn’t feel like adding lots of little cozy things would fix what I was feeling. And the back bedroom/family room felt soooo crowded and kind of closed in with how much function we were trying to pack into it. As Christmas drew near and I was starting to think about decorating, I was sad! I couldn’t imagine putting our big tree in that front living room where we hardly sat. And I realized how much I missed having a pretty living room with the fireplace we designed as a focal point, etc. that we actually used more. That new arrangement made so much sense in my head. But in living with it, it just never felt quite right for us and how I wanted the house to feel. So the Sunday night after Thanksgiving, with Christmas decorating in mind, we started moving furniture around “just to see.” I think my patient husband probably thought it was a waste of time because we’d already tried the couch literally EVERYWHERE before we decided on the family room idea. But he went along and we tried it everywhere AGAIN! And landed on right where it was before…but with a few key changes to the space. When we first got this house, I did so many different to-scale living room layouts on grid paper, determined to make these chairs fit! And they just didn’t! Not with everything else I wanted in here…a bigger coffee table, more clearance than we currently have, etc. But when we started moving it all around, we realized they could fit if I was willing to give on a few things. First was a more narrow coffee table option. For us, not having anything isn’t a fit. We use it as a foot prop anytime we sit! But having a much narrower one and less clearance around it frees up some space. We also got rid of the chair at the end of the dining table and compromised on clearance behind the chairs to Dax’s room. You can still comfortably get through, but there is much less than before. We realized with our family of four, we never sit at the end of the dining table! And we can pull out an extra chair anytime we have guests. This was on a long list of things that our home “needed to have” in my mind, but every house is going to demand re-thinking that list to make it right for you. I would love to have the chairs on either side of the fireplace, but they’re way too big. But now that we have it all in here together, I am LOVING this arrangement! And it reminds me of something I heard a long time ago about designing small spaces. Our tendency is always to go with small furniture, but sometimes, what you actually need is a few larger pieces instead of more small ones. And after getting this all in here, I see that it’s true! The minute everything was in place, we both sat down smiling and knew it was RIGHT. For the first time, it felt so cozy and like this pretty living room I’d had in my head all along! And it came from bringing in bigger chairs than I thought would fit and changing up the coffee table. I’m so thankful we tried the family room idea for many reasons. But mainly because that’s the only reason we pulled these chairs out of storage! I just knew after measuring over and over there’s no way they’d fit. This whole exercise taught me/reminded me of a few really important things when it comes to designing your home: 1.) You have to see it in the space. I tried and tried to fit these chairs in. I did to-scale drawings, I measured in person over and over. And we all agreed there was just no way. But getting them in here, studying them, trying out different coffee table options, moving dining chairs around….it all showed us there was a way to make it work that you just could not see on paper. 2.) Move things around. This seems so obvious! But for so long, I would just study and study and try to figure out the solution. I wanted to move it once and it be “right.” But like #1 above, you have to just see it! Moving the couch out seemed like the best solution and we tried it. But then that move showed us what was really important to have in this space and helped get us to this final option. 3.) Give yourself time. The family room option didn’t feel “right” like this did the minute it was done. But we lived with it about six weeks before we changed anything! That time confirmed not just that it wasn’t the right solution for how we want to use our space, but it also showed me WHY and WHAT we needed to change. And I am loving all of the colors and patterns together. They’re subtle and on the neutral side, but the mix is making me really happy! And I am loving this view now! It’s amazing when a space feels “right” how much it changes your use of it. I just want to sit in here all the time now! We are all drawn to it in a way we never were before. There is still Christmas decorating to do like actually decorating our tree, but were loving the festive spirit it’s bringing in! And speaking of that, tis’ the season for Christmas movies! And yes, they will be watched by our family tree. This side of the room still needs plenty! But for now, we grabbed the only table we have that would fit beside the tree, a few baskets for shoes and Christmas books and are loving it so far! We will add back something on the wall, but the clean palette is feeling good for awhile. Thanks for following our ever-changing home! I hope in sharing all of this hopping around that it gives y’all the freedom to do the same! Move things around, live with them, tweak things, re-imagine spaces! Right now, our “family room” is pretty empty, but I’m really excited to make that a more functional office and playroom for awhile with more freed up space!