3/31/11

House Tour #3, Part 1: Our Living Room

Photobucket
I'm so happy to finally be able to share with you the rest of our new(ish) home after four months of feeling out the space, finding everything a home, donating, thrifting, and filling in the gaps with DIY. You can see the kids' room here. Our space will probably change again within a year since we're a military family now so it was important to make it feel like home as soon as I could rather than seeing this as a temporary place that wasn't worth the effort.

Entry
I don't want to bore you with every detail of every corner or the fact that I have a story about almost every single item in our home so I'll share the majors and if you have any specific questions I'll try to answer them in the comments below.

Entry
We live in an older house with lovely hardwood floors, plaster walls, two bedrooms, one bath, a large studio, and an unfinished basement. The exterior doesn't have much of a style but the inside has enough charm to suit us. We have always been renters so I've learned to decorate standard off-white walls with plenty of color in our textiles and furniture. We both love the character of vintage and have a collection of mid-century and industrial pieces that I've gathered in the last three or four years.

Living Room
All of our furniture (except our bed) and most of our art/accessories/kitchenware/linens have been found at a flea market, garage sale, thrift store, by the side of the road, or handed down. We happen to have landed in a city full of affordable vintage which has made it so fun to gather together a whole household full of second-hand that we truly love.

Living Room
Almost everything we had from the last house was purchased after we'd moved in and with that specific house in mind. Most of it works in this space but the biggest change is having a combined living/dining area. In our last house the formal dining room was quite large and doubled as my studio. We ate from the table as a family whenever it wasn't covered in fabric or paint, which was most of the time, and there were always projects stacked along the walls.

Living Room and Dining Space
We sold our lovely vintage Lane coffee table and the two matching end tables from our last home tour to have more room for baby gear when Ruby was born. There are days when I'd love to have something to set my coffee on but I love that our kids have plenty of space to chase each other through the living room now. It's been one 'must have' that I've been happy to give up as our needs have changed but I may hunt something similar down in a few years.

Dining Space
The yellow chairs used to belong to my friend, Janae, who purchased them from Funtiques, a fantastically curated vintage shop on Commercial St. here in Springfield. I had always admired them at Janae's house so when I saw these on Craigslist I e-mailed to ask if they were hers. I just knew they'd be snatched up right away but decided if they were still available after a week I'd buy them. Long story short, Janae sold them to me and even hauled them over to my house and I've never regretted replacing our previous set.

Living Room and Dining Space
That mirror above the dining table was found for $5 at a garage sale in our old neighborhood, the table was $40 on craigslist, and the vinyl tablecloth was $2 at a local flea market. I can remember what I paid and where I got almost every thing in this house and have always wanted to tally it up. It's amazing that I have all of that filed away but forgot to put the trash out today.

Dining Space in Living Room

Dining Space in Living Room
The large metal wardrobe was a craigslist find that I almost passed up. We have lovely friends who always, always let us borrow their truck to haul big things home and I was able to load that up for $15. Two weeks later I had sanded and painted it pink. I'm now ready to tone things down and may repaint it minty blue or dark gray in the coming months but pink was fun for awhile. It houses all of our Christmas decorations and random items I change out seasonally.

Dining Space
The orange chair is from Urban Flea Market (Charley's) and will someday be reupholstered. I covered the stool with new foam and some inexpensive fabric. It doubles as a launching pad. The crooked globe almost didn't fit into the back of Elsie's Prius on a thrifting excursion and the chalkboard was made from a piece of pre-cut plywood and chalkboard paint.

Living Room
This wall is my favorite. It was one of the last to get decorated because I didn't know what to fill it with. I didn't want to recreate the same art wall from our last house but didn't have anything else on hand that felt right. One day I was at Urban (Charley's) and spied white plastic letters strewn down an aisle. After finding enough to spell something relevant, I brought them home. I decided to leave them white rather than spray painting them to let their impact be a little more subtle.

Living Room
My third grade teacher, Mrs. Kirschner, regularly told us that 'nice' was a lazy word. She wanted us to become more creative in our selection of descriptive words rather than using the popular fallback. That lesson has encouraged my writing to this day and often comes to mind when I have a choice between sharing something generic or something colorful. It's also funny to get the same reaction from every person that walks in the door and turns around to see it. You can imagine their tone when they say, "Nice!"

Living Room
I originally had this shelf in the kids' shared room in the last house but it was begging to be added to the party under the sign in this house. The vintage wallpaper is a 'nice' compliment to the golden tones of the chair and throw on either side. I've currently replaced the yellow bud vase with a larger arrangement of something from the fence line in our backyard and the pink blossoms are gorgeous.

A Little Corner
This little corner is tucked away between the sideboard that houses our entertainment set up and my new favorite vintage chair. The crates used to be in the bathroom but are just the right size to corral some of my favorite art and diy books. I attached the metallic trays above them with 3M strips and have some polaroids from the old house on display with magnetic clips.

Living Room
I didn't share a photo of the vintage Broyhill sideboard with our flat screen because the whole set up isn't really that aesthetically thrilling. We use a flat screen as a monitor and have an external hard drive, mac mini, speaker, wireless keyboard and wireless mouse to watch movies and tv online and to use as a second computer. The sideboard was a craigslist find that was going to be burned if we hadn't brought it home. It's one of my favorite pieces in our house.

When decorating this new space I didn't want to fall back on old arrangements and ideas from the last house because it felt like an opportunity to play and try new things. I always want our home to be warm and welcoming but I love that it can have a sense of humor, too. Having our home reflect who we are and be somewhere we enjoy spending LOTS of time is important to us and we're thankful not only for this space but for the friends and family that we're able to share it with.

I'll be sharing our kitchen next and then our bedroom so stay tuned for parts two and three!

xoxo,
Rachel

Resources
Couch, Craigslist. Curtains, handmade from Urban Outfitters bedspread. Record Player, Urban Outfitters. Lampshade, Target. Scooter pillow, blog giveaway. Vintage wallpaper, CraftVintage, Art, MaryKateMcDevitt, and LifeLovePaper. Cross-stitch, handmade by me.

90 comments:

Quiet Violet said...

You are the sole reason that I like houndstooth, just so you know!

Such a lovely living/dining room, Rach!

I've had my eye out for a metal cabinet or a set of lockers on Craigslist ever since you showed that pink cabinet last year. So inspiring!

Can't wait to see the rest. :D

jorjiapeach said...

you have impeccable taste. such an eye for design. eeeee. what a beautiful home.

Lindsay said...

Love the lamp... Remember where you got it?

Louise Nørgaard Glud said...

Thank you so much. I was very inspired by the way you put things together.At the moment I'm redecorating our (rented)appartment. and your blog is like a conversation partner in the process of collecting and creating things for our home. Have a look at some of the things I have made:

http://morvaerk.blogspot.com/

toni said...

It's soooo lovely Rachel. My favourite is the two chairs side by side. Reminds me of Up. :)
xxxx

Emma said...

It's lovely Rachel, you have such great design ideas, very inspiring!

kirst said...

love this! the tray/magnet/photo display idea is fabulous.
xo

Alicia said...

I love how you created a fresh new look in your home while keeping in tune with the same vibe.

I'm in the process of setting up house and after 4 months I'm finding it hard to resist the urge to copy how I had everything arranged in my previous place-just to get it done already!

Thanks for sharing!

acupofchai said...

lovely home! The 'Nice' letters on the wall are fabulous. Looking forward to seeing more of your new home!

melissa said...

you do vintage decor like no one else!!

Mrsink said...

I love (am in love) with your house! I mean the kids room is awesome, the rest of the house is amazing...I should hire you to work on my house. haha! I'm totally impressed!

DanielleJeanne said...

I have been so excited to see your home tour! Your homes are pure inspiration. I'm happy to see another renter who can make their home so beautiful that you forget the walls are 'renter white'.

amy D said...

love it, rachel! can't wait to see the rest :)

Lindsay C said...

Its so "NICE" hehe. I love it! I can't wait to have my own house to decorate!

megan lane said...

it looks fantastic rachel!! i LOVE that couch! i would love to replace our red couch with a neutral colored one like that. and so nice to have such large windows!

Laura said...

i love your style! i love the vintage, uncluttered, warm homey feeling you've created.
can you tell us more about your record player? i've been interested lately in finding a vintage record player, but i don't know much about them - finding them in working order, finding new parts, etc. thanks!

Amanda said...

you are inspiring.

My family is pretty broke but it makes me so happy to see that you can make something so amazing from inexpensive finds. I swear I had given up on my house until I saw your blog. Thank you.

AshleyAnn said...

It is all so "nice"...or should I say creative, colorful, soothing, peaceful, spunky...how in the world you pull that off in 4 months is beyond me!

margot said...

seriously, you're incredible. beautiful beautiful beautiful!

Jackie said...

It's my dream house! I love the variety in color and textile. Everything has such a simple, clutter-free feel. Love it all!

Gingiber said...

Rachel! So lovely! I really like the new vibe you have going on in this house! Love the "NICE" letters! Not gonna lie, I'll be sad to see the pink locker go, but I too have a new found fondness for minty green colors! Cannot wait to see the rest of the house:)

Tonya said...

perfect

marysza said...

ahh your home is so beautiful and cosy! and there is so much space! ahh i wish i lived in a house not in a small, ugly, noisy flat!

beautiful vintage living room!

jeri lynn said...

LOVE your use of color.

woodgrainwhale said...

I LOVE you living room/dining room! Great inspiration :) I'll be moving soon and need ideas for our new place and I would love something like this!

Katie said...

Love, love, LOVE your living room. I adore a room that isn't terribly matchy-matchy, and this room flows so smoothly. It's gorgeous, kid friendly, and seems incredibly functional - you should be proud!

Kristen said...

I have some metal trays I didn't know what to do with, but I love them on the wall so I'm going to use your idea. Thanks!

ruth ann said...

i love it. everything about it. love love love.

Ruth Abel said...

I love how you have set up your space! All the textures and colors are wonderful. My favorite things are your drapes (terrific patterns!) and your orange chair! Orange was my wedding color two years ago and ever since, orange has always shouted out HAPPY HAPPY! to me. Thanks for sharing your house!

Anna Zimmerman said...

The living room looks really great! I appreciate you posting pictures and explaining all the details and pieces. I just moved in to an apartment of my own and plan to thrift all of my furniture as well.

I have been following your blog for awhile now, but haven't made a peep yet. But I just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration.

I can't wait to see the rest. Happy Friday!

RachelDenbow said...

Thank you, everyone! It was such a long process of gathering for the old house so to have almost all of it work for this space was so great. I think it's my favorite part about using all vintage. It mixes and remixes so easily!

RachelDenbow said...

Lindsay,

The lamp base was thrifted but the shade is from Lowe's.

Laura,
The record player is from Urban Outfitters by Drumley. I have never had any luck with a vintage RP that both worked and looked great so we finally got this one and we love it.

beautifulaura said...

This all looks so cute and well mixed and matched together. I know what you mean about the trash...I remember where I got every single clothing item (which is amazing with my amount of travels) but the dishes still need to be done...

http://abeautifulaura.blogspot.com

Jill said...

I am So inspired by you. What a truly talented person you are. Really. I love how you've used the clipboard as a photo frame, I'm so doin' that! I've picked up some other ideas too, but I'm sure they wont look as good as yours. You've truly created your own unique look and I Love It! Well done my friend. Well done.

Jill said...

I'm so goin' back for tour 1 & 2...must have missed those.

Katie said...

This room is nothing short of fabulous. I love how it feels like if I sat in it I'd just keep on noticing little extras. I love the way you have arranged your items and how everything is so mix-matched yet so very co-ordinated at the same time.

Katie x

Misha Lulu said...

Lovely house!

Rubyellen said...

i love every aspect of this room!

you are inspiring me to get my act together and keep cleaning!

Erin said...

i love how it is all coming together. it looks so great & is inspiring :)

jungle dream pagoda said...

Supa fly adorable!!! I think one of my fave parts are the metal trays with magnetic clips and Polaroids!!!
I love that you are not afraid of change and willing to paint that AWESOME pink chest a minty blue!!! I would prolly stick with pink just because I get so attatched to the way things are!

casey said...

beautiful!! i love your style. you did great!

b_maria_why said...

i love what you've done. :) makes me want to go and perk my place up a bit!

toots2u said...

what a happy looking home!!! i love the way you started with a corner shot and then with each pic the view became wider. I love the colors in your home!

Natanya said...

Your home is full of so much creativity and warmth. It felt inviting just to look at. I am wondering about the blue typewriter I see on flickr - what type or brand is it?

Cheray said...

Such a beautiful living room! I love that everything has a story to it & how you remember all of their prices too! Your home & how you decorate is so inspiring x

ringmaster said...

i love that you can remember how much you paid for each piece. i am the same way but can't remember what day of the week it is!

Faith said...

You've found some really lovely pieces! The space definitely looks like a home.

Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

If I ever saw your house in real life, you'd have to follow me around with a broom.. to clean up the drool.

RachelDenbow said...

Hannah,

Great comment. Thanks!

Mandy said...

i. love. it.
can i come over and hang out now? NICE.

xo!

Bek said...

You are making a beautiful home. Excited to see the future installments!

UnrulyArt said...

I spy the leather bag from home ec class. That was by far my favorite project. :)

trisarahops said...

wow, there are so many things that i love about this room. so lovely and inspiring with so many beautiful furniture pieces.

Danielle said...

Adorable! I loove all the patterns and color. So cute.

miss indie said...

Your home is so inspiring! I love how clean and simple the design is, but you still incorporate such lovely colors and patterns. Very classy and creative! xx

Jessica said...

so cute!

Desiree Fawn said...

Oh my gosh! My grade 10 English teacher told me the exact same thing about the word "nice"!! I think about her EVERY SINGLE TIME I use that word -- to this day!

Missy said...

Love you home! SOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!

lovelychaos said...

Wow! I love everything! So that's where the yellow chairs went to! Lucky! I especially love the pink cabinet and orange chair...the two things you mentioned redoing! ha! It's a gorgeous space.

Mandi @ make it dear said...

it looks so cute and inviting rachel! those trays are beautiful (i remember loving them in a past post) and a great little solution for displaying instax photos!

Charming Elephant said...

ADORABLE! SWOON! LOVE! (can i say no more?)

janis said...

I loved this little peek inside your lovely home! Thanks for sharing! xo

THE-LOUDMOUTH said...

Loving this home tour! Thank you for sharing it with us!!!

The-Loudmouth.com
Twitter @theloudermouth
Birthday Blog Event

Yellow Cat Studio said...

I love the "Nice" on the wall! It's unique and fun. You have such a beautiful house. It must be nice to have it all decorated and done!

-Nicole

hellosweetworld said...

You always have the best decorating ideas. I love seeing other bloggers decor and how they decorate - so inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing :)

de Epoca said...

This is a 'nice' comfortable looking space! You have fantastic taste!

robin said...

oh I love what you did...perfect!

brandy-son Zen master flash said...

So amazing! You have such a rad style. Great job!

Jessi said...

looks straight out of a magazine!

Jaszmurka said...

You've got beautiful (stunning!) living room ♥
Lovely colors!

bb said...

Did you paint the walls too? I like the color and am having a hard time finding a paint color I like!

sarah said...

i love all of your vintage details! & the big letters are so fun! :) also, i had a teacher who always thought the same thing about the word "nice"... so funny! :)

gabs aka evitangel said...

this is my first visit at your blog and I am totally thrilled. I would never have thought I will love those "old" things from my childhood but with your amazing eye for details everything is just perfect! totally inspired now! thank you!

Erin said...

My favorite is your hooks, mirror, table w/ suitcase by the front door. I live in an old house too and don't have an entry way - the front door just opens into our living room. I think I'll be copying your idea for creating a little entry nook:)

renee kristine said...

drooling. absolutely and utterly perfect.

Ana said...

Everything works together so well. Did you make your curtains? Where did you get them? I'm moving and are looking for curtains with some color. I'm over the linen curtains that I have.

jenny miller said...

Love, love, love it! Lots of great inspiration, Rachel. Thanks for sharing. Adore the orange chair! I have two orange club chairs my neighbor took to the dump. We went down to the dump abit later, I saw them, and in the truck they went :) Score!

Nakole-Just Makin Memories said...

I LOVE your house! I love all the little touches!

lynette said...

Beautiful¡ You did such a great job. It looks like such a cozy space--I've been inspired.

Susan S. said...

Hi there....so glad I stumbled into yo blog! I LOVE the way you've decorated your home. I'm a sucker for letters and the "NICE" is priceless. Can't wait to see more. I've added myself as a follower and hope you drop by my blog for a visit soon! Happy Spring Ya'll from Houston, TX

Cat said...

I love it!! I feel bad for complaining about renting this last move, because there is obviously NO EXCUSE not to make it homey and colorful and bright, from looking at your creation. In fact, the next home might have white walls anyway, just to be able to use color and style like you did here.
My favorite is the 2 trays with the clips for pictures. It looks sooo put together. (Please tell me that you aren't able to keep it that clean all the time with 2 kids--it will make me less inadequate!! LOL)

hannafrancesca said...

OK I'm in love with everything you own! Don't recover the orange chair, I think it looks awesome the way it is!
Love the house tour

hanna www.hannafrancesca.blogspot.com

Nicole C said...

lovely decor! thanks for sharing

www.lovelyinfluence.com

that sort of thing. said...

Nice!

Stumbled upon your blog. love it!

ally

jenidleman said...

I just wanted to tell you that your home is so tasteful and unique. I try to work a vintage piece into my decor here and there, but your pictures make me want more! :)

LolaDee said...

Woweeee looks so amazing! :) GREAT job xo

LolaDee
www.loladee.com

Ada's Decoration Inspiration said...

I LOVE the "N I C E" letters on the wall ... it's like the beautiful home is speaking saying GREAT JOB! Wonderful job prioritizing reflecting ur personality + style in ur home!!!!

c4lchick33 said...

I was wondering where you got the adorable little shelf under "NICE" I want one terribly!

Unknown said...

I have a chair similar to the one on the right underneath NICE, a swivel office style but the back is higher. I thought mine was a one-off but obviously there are more like it out there!

WHAT IS IT??