Kate · Moving

Room by Room

Things are slowly getting settled around here. It’s been fun to begin transforming this house into our home.  When we bought this place, the living room was the most daunting space to design.  And I use the term design lightly. If I like it, I go with it. If I’m lucky enough (after a million picture messages to my sisters for advice) it will all coordinate and come together.

We started in a huge room with white walls and blue trim. Oh, the painted trim. It’s everywhere y’all. I don’t really mind the color and I kind of think having the pop of color on the doors (every door!!) is cool. But, I hate white walls. I’m not sure why. I don’t mind them in other people’s houses and I love how clean and elegant they can look, but in my house? They drive me bonkers. And the problem with painted trim is that it’s really hard to paint a color with it. As it started to look more and more likely that this house would actually become ours, I started to mentally decorate each room. That living room though was one giant zone of creative block.

Standing in the Living Room-showing my family the house over Easter weekend.
One of my favorite parts of the whole house…the huge window.



On Friday, May 6th, after Paul and I signed all the paperwork to close on our old house, we had a few hours to spare. Naturally, I made him go shopping…for rugs. We knew the only rug we were going to keep from our old house was the one for our bedroom. Our dining room, cheapo Ollie’s carpet remnant (because calling it a rug would be giving it too much credit) had been pitched into the dumpster before our house even went on the market. Our family room rug screamed 2007 and with nine years, four dogs and one iron stain, it didn’t make the new house cut either. I didn’t know much, but I did know finding a rug for the living room was going to be my design starting point.

So we started our rug hunt. I had done some extensive google research to gain a general idea of rug prices. My problem was I didn’t know which direction I wanted to go with the room. I’m not a huge fan of oriental rugs, though I was sure I could find something I liked in that category. I absolutely love geometric designs, but I worry that sometimes they’re too modern/trendy and that I may be over them in a few years. Basically, we started the rug hunt with no direction other than walking into a store and flipping through them all.

We left the house closing and needed to swing out to the new house to check on the lines the fencing guys had marked. Luckily, we stopped in and saw my sister who suggested we go to The Dump before trekking all the way out to At Home (the new Garden Ridge). I ran through The Dump commercials in my head (to The Dump…Sorry, it’s Monday..Tuesday…Wednesday, we’re closed!), checked the website to make sure they were really open, and off we went.

On the first rack we found the rug for our family room. (More on that in the family room post!) And on the third rack, the clouds parted, the sun shone directly onto the rug, pretty sure I heard angels singing in the background at the exact same moment I heard my husband exclaim “Oh, I like that one!”.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but we both instantly knew that specific rug was the one for us.

It was the right size, so soft and squishy, we both loved the colors and the pattern and most importantly, it was on clearance. Sold without a second thought. Best of all, we were able to pick it up on the day we moved into the new house. This meant we didn’t have to transport it to the old house, just to move it to the new house 48 hours later.

Next up was the hunt for a couch. I have no strong emotions towards sectional couches. I know most people either love them or hate them. I do however, have a strong connection to what logically makes the best sense and our new living screamed for a sectional. But for some reason, I do hate chaises (in my own personal space). I knew with the placement of the sectional in our living room and the location of a chase, it would just make our room feel smaller and since we knew Paul’s recliner was going in our living room, I wasn’t worried about him needing a place to put up his feet.

So began the sectional hunt, luckily most of it was done online…because I really do hate shopping.  I had saved several couches I liked, showed them to my sis and next thing I knew, I was getting this picture message back to me. Brittany had found a couch and added it next to the picture of the rug we found.  Instant love.  Best of all, that couch was on sale.  image

I feel the same way about furniture as I do about wedding dresses.  It’s smart to look around, get a feel for what’s out there, but once you find one & you get that gut instinct, you jump on it and don’t look back.  So naturally, we bought that couch. We had to wait for about a week and half for it to be delivered. In the meantime, our living room looked like this.  You’ll notice we did end up buying curtains. I had black and red curtains in our old living room, but I knew I wanted this room to be light and airy with the pop of color coming from the rug.  Quatrefoil, neutral colored curtains called to me. Best of all, I was able to use some of the curtain rod system the previous owner had left behind. I’m always up for saving a few bucks..especially after dropping money on a new couch and rug!

Boxes of things to be hung on the wall. Curtains put up because I’m paranoid about things touching the baseboard heating when it’s on. And doesn’t everyone have a riot gear bag in their living room?  Extra points if you noticed that the husband is sitting comfortably in the recliner.

I’ve painted a lot of rooms in my life. I actually love to paint. I’m sure it stems from having a dad who was in the paint business during my childhood years. It’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to give any room a fresh look. I also pick paint colors the same way I pick furniture. I do a little research, find one I like and quit looking. I have no paint brand preference either. I think I’ve used just about every brand. This time around, Lowe’s Valspar paint won for the simple fact that I was already in Lowe’s when I decided to grab a few sample colors.




I almost forgot to take pictures of the white walls before I started to paint. I’m grateful I snapped the picture above because most people walk into our living room now and have no clue I painted. The color tends to be lost next to the blue trim.

That’s a whole lot of wall to cover!
No turning back now!
I know it looks like he’s being lazy, but we have a deal where I cut in with the paint and he does the rolling. Somehow I ended up with the most time consuming part of that deal.
You’ve already seen this photo, but I love it. The first coat was finished and I was finishing up on the second coat. There was a light at the end of the tunnel!
The pups sure do love the new window, too!


The next order of business was to paint the entryway and this little alcove above the steps. Naturally, I sent a picture to my sister for advice. Finally, a week after moving into the house, the living room, entryway, kitchen and downstairs hallway were painted.

So fresh and so clean!
I love everything about how this space is coming together, but my absolute favorite thing is having the clock from my grandparent’s house hang in its new permanent spot. There’s actually an original clock outlet in the wall behind it, so it was the perfect location.
I’m so happy the new house has a spot for our china cabinet. Thanks to baseboard heating, that’s about the only location in the whole house for it!
I’m also happy the curtains look cute from the outside!
The best part about this view is when that front door is open and I can see two adorable kiddos standing there!
I got this table free from work after it didn’t sell in an auction last summer  and had no idea  where I would end up putting it in my old house. It was beat up horrendously. It’s a flip top card table that rotates open into a square. I gave it to one of my amazingly talented sorority sisters who restored life into. Y’all. I’m not sure how she did it. I’ll have to post some before and after pictures of it! Now it has the perfect home.
We’re all getting quite accustomed to the new space. The dogs included!

When the couch was delivered, I was at work. Paul sent me some pictures of it and I had a minor panic attack. It made the walls look yellowy!  Luckily it was just the lighting in the photos and in real life, it goes quit nicely together. I am; however, back to hating the blue trim. Also, the current debate is what to hang over the couch.


The TV stand is an old little dresser from the guest room in my grandparent’s old house. At some point, we’ll upgrade to a piece a little better suited for the huge TV, but for right now, I love being reminded of my late grandparents every time I look in that corner.
Two already owned blanket baskets are serving as our foot stools at the moment. Someday they’ll be replaced!



My favorite sign is finally up!


As much as I love to paint, I do know my limits. I refuse to paint every ounce of trim, especially since it’s all oil paint. We’re currently in the process of getting some quotes for painters, because that trim has to go asap.

So there you have it.  As is the case with every home, I’m sure this room will evolve over the years.  For right now though, it finally feels like home.

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