Friday, October 7, 2011


So, we have lived in this rental home for about a year now and since we moved in, I have constantly rearranged this room. I can't seem to find the perfect look for it. During Christmas it's easy because the tree makes it look so nice, but the rest of the year...it's nearly impossible. So, I thought I would pick your brains because I know I have many friends with extremely lovely homes! Give me your thoughts.

It's all around difficult.

For one: it serves as our front living room and our playroom. It's the first room people see when they come in our house.

two: the design is hard because it has a fire place, large window and the staircase. So only one main wall.

three: we aren't at a place where we can purchase new furniture, so we are dealing with what we have.

four: I'm not a huge fan of the window treatments or color, but because we are renting, those stay.

My first question: I have contemplated painting the black book shelves white. What do you think? Keep them black or paint them white? If I paint the black shelves, should I also paint the accent table that is now brown.

Second question: Do you like that huge picture on the wall? That belongs to the owners of the house. We have tried taking it down, but feel it fills up that large wall nicely. Not sure though.

Third question: Should I buy more storage bins for the bookshelves? Should they all be the same color?

Fourth question: Obviously I have the brown/cream theme going, but how can I bring more of the colors out in that picture without cluttering the room?

As you can tell, I'm just unsure of what I should do.I need some help! I would love to hear your thoughts, but completely understand if you don't have time to comment. Please do though if you have any great ideas! I need help! :) I'm open to any ideas! Of course, besides buying a new set of furniture. I want to make what we have work.

Thanks for your input!!

Now, for some current photos...

View from the front entry

Staircase wall

And just for kicks, I had to include this cute photo. My mom just gave us an old cassette player with a ton of stories on tape. So here is Avery listening to a story. Although she looks super cute with those huge headphones, she prefers to listen without them.


Anonymous said...

friend, I have the same room. I will send you a pic of how I have it. It WAS terribly hard to decorate!

Dani said...

Jane was looking at your blog with me and she said, "I love Avery forever and ever and always."

Cailan said...

Hi Ashley, I was just stopping by and you intrigued me with your living room predicament and ask for help. :) It's difficult not being in the space but here are a couple ideas. So great you have a nice neutral couch - what a blessing. You've probably tried the couch underneath the window and I think that would make most sense so you can sit and see the fire place. Then, lay out the rug in front of the couch. I can't quite tell but it looks like there's a small wall on left side of the front door? Could the tall bookcase fit on the inside of the wall? Facing the couch? Don't know if that would fit...I would try the small bookcase to the left of the fireplace and if you want to keep the little kitchen handy you could put it on the left side of the couch (the wall that the picture is on now). I would definitely take down the picture it just doesn't seem to quite fit a young, fun, active couple like you and Gabe. And maybe see if the curtain swag really needs to be permanent? Perhaps you could ask if it could be nicely folded and packed away. As far as painting the cabinets - I would first choose what kind-of accent color you'd like to introduce to your room of neutrals. Judging from your blog design you might like a yellow/green :) It'd be fun (and not too hard) to make up a couple pillows out of this fabric:

You could tie the pillow color in by matching the yellow for a small sample sized jar of paint. An easy and inexpensive way to treat a big wall like yours is to collect a bunch of thrifted frames empty them of pictures and glass and hang them in a collage (like I did above my mantel). Paint them all the yellow color and add in a large initial "J" from Hobby Lobby painted cream to match the bookcases like you were thinking to paint. You might add a wall clock into the arrangement to paint the rim the same cream. You might like a floor lamp to cozy up the room, placed on the left side of the couch between the couch and the wall - don't know if there's enough room! Wow, if this all makes any sense, awesome - probably way more than you wanted. You and your family are so cute - I know you'll figure out something lovely!