Thursday, October 20, 2005

Stay for awhile...

My friend Kelly did such a lovely job of describing her family room today on her blog that I was inspired to do the same...

Come with me into my living room.

Here you can take your pick of either my soft army green leather couch, my garage sale wing backed chair (upholstered in gold damask) or my comfy Costco chair that is a surprisingly well-done reproduction antique. Of course there's also the black chair I painted and reupholstered in tiger print, with just a touch of gold paint distressing - it's pretty to look at, but not comfy for long talks and cups of coffee. My two favorites are the couch and the Costco chair. Both are curved nicely and are perfectly condusive to long afternoons of reading or visiting.

My walls are a golden raffia color. It took me six months of staring at paint chips scotch taped to the wall before I could settle on a color. I never could narrow it down to one choice, so the two walls opposite the windows are painted a deep avocado green. It's a soothing, comfortable color. On one of those green walls I've hung my ebay paintings. A tryptich of daisies by painter David Robinson. I was determined to win the auction for them and spent more for them than for any other piece of artwork in my house. It was worth every penny, since they are absolutely perfect for my home. I get a warm feeling of satisfaction whenever I look at them.

The floor is covered in very thick, plush twist pile carpet. It's a golden dirt color - perfect for this floor that rests under my three busy kids' feet. We covered up hardwoods when we put the carpet in - a move that makes many people shudder. But ya know what? I didn't like the hardwood. It was in desperate need of refinishing, was hard to keep clean, never looked nice and it was cold and hard. We spend a lot of time on the floor with the kids, playing games and watching t.v... carpeting the living room was the best move we ever made in this house. We still have hardwoods in the bedrooms (which was refinished before we bought the house) and I love it there. In the living room though - my carpet is soft and luxurious and warm - just the way I like my floors to feel. The pad underneath is very thick and yielding and when you take your shoes off and walk across the floor, you'll agree, carpet was a good idea.

On the walls you'll notice a collection of vintage framed prints and paintings. Dividends from my persistent garage sale efforts, I've gathered an eclectic mix of florals, landscapes and shabby oils done by wannabe artists from all over the region. Another man's trash is my treasure, that's for sure. Before anything goes on my walls I want to be relatively sure that it's not going to be on my neighbors walls also. No "Bed, Bath and Beyond" prints for me, thank you very much. One of a kind treasures are my choices for wall art. It's taken me six years of living here to fill my walls - and I adore each and every piece I own.

My coffee table is another example of persistent shopping and staying true to my self... I knew I needed an oval table because of the curve of my couch... but not just any oval table. Forget cheesy glass topped tables you can find at every discount furniture outlet. Nope, not for me. I scoured antique stores and second hand shops for months. However, I was nearing desperation in my hunt, since my brother and decorator-sister-in-law were set to come to town. In an effort to fill that disturbingly empty space in front of the couch, I was resigned to buying a very common, painfully average oval table with ***GASP*** a glass top. I was on my way to the store to purchase it when on a whim (I had no business acting on a whim, mind you - my brother was due in town within hours) I pulled into an antique store on the main drag here in town. "Oval tables are hard to find," answered the stocking-capped proprietor when I told him of my quest. No kidding. "But, I've got a set upstairs. Just came in. Coffee table and two end tables." I didn't even wait for him to finish his sentence. Up the stairs I went and there they were. Exactly the tables I'd been hoping for - in dark, solid teak with turned legs and a shelf underneath for magazines. And oval. He sold me the bigger table and one end table for less than what I'd been planning to spend at the chain store. Bonus was, I got to give my money to a cute little old bearded man instead of a chain store with annoying "No payments until 2010!" commercials.

Back to my living room though. On the shelf of the divinely appointed coffee table (yes, I believe God cares about my quest for comfort) you'll find various books and magazines and the occasional catalog. Usually there are several scrapbooking and paper arts magazines, plus some hardbound coffee table books on photography and art. I've got a stack of inspirational books there - whatever I'm reading at the time. Oh - and the never ceasing layer of dust. Lots of dust here.

Lastly, you'll notice various decor items scattered around the room. Vintage photos (including one of my great-grandfather standing behind an old fashioned camera), candles, (LOTS of candles) and a vintage green candy dish full of green buttons. A collection of Eiffel towers and my prized red leather-bound copy of "Les Miserables" purchased at the Paris flea market. Old devotional books and hymnals stacked on the piano next to my grandmother's psychadelic green and orange marble ceramic pineapple lamp. Black and white photos of the kids. An antique crazy quilt and lots of soft downy pillows...

These are the things that make my living room my favorite spot. And while I say that I'd love to have you over for coffee and sit and visit with you, truth is, my favorite way to be there is alone. In the quiet with my laptop and some magazines. Cup of coffee. The promise of the kids returning from school in a couple of hours. Even curled up with my favorite blanket taking a little nap.

So come visit. But don't stay too long. Linger long enough to give me pleasant memories of time spent together, and then leave me alone. Alone in my favorite room in my house. My living room.


  1. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Your living room sounds heavenly. Do you let Gracie in there? I would love to meet you and have a coffee in that wonderful room and invite Corey along as well. (Wouldn´t stay too long of course :) ) It has been so interesting getting to know you through your blog. This internet world is strange and wonderful at the same time.
    Leana (farfromhome)

  2. Leana, my favorite piece in her living room is the pineapple lamp, and the bowl of green buttons comes in second. Cathy has incredible taste and she is such an artist -
    Cathy - where did that come from ??? You are the queen of favorite room is outdoors ;) cuz God is in charge of that area.

  3. Leana - Right now Gracie is not allowed in the living room - she cannot be trusted anywhere near carpeted surfaces. I look forward to when she's fully trained and can join me there.

    Corey - Aw shucks... you're so kind. The lamp and the buttons are my favorites too. I have no idea where my decorating taste came from... my Mom's style, while lovely, is completely different from mine. I'm inspired by Lorraine... oh who knows? I just know what I love. (And if other people like it too I figure I got lucky.)

  4. Completely and utterly wonderful description of your livingroom, Cath. I wish that yesterday I'd mentioned the tiny little starburst bowl that holds my old marbles (well, not MY marbles, personally; I hope I still have all of them!); and my happy sun's face votive holder, and pewter horse bookends, and handmade bench/coffee table and thick crackled ceramic candlesticks... I really love my livingroom too. I'll come spend an hour with you in yours, and you come spend an hour with me in mine, okay? Great peek into a lovely and beloved room... xo

  5. Great descriptions, Cath....
    You should take pictures to correspond with your dialogue.
    What a cool scrapbook page that would be. When people read it I'm sure they wonder what all the items look like especially G'ma's pineapple lamp. Who could imagine what it looks like if you haven't seen it. I could see each item as you described it and still enjoyed seeing how you detailed each item.
    PS Thanks for a great weekend.
    WE DO LOVE GRACIE !! How did she do with her first training session?

  6. I've already done that scrapbook page, Mom... it's one of my favorites. Maybe I'll post some pictures here in the next couple of days...

    Gracie did beautifully with her training. She is quite possibly the smartest puppy alive. But you already knew that... =)

  7. Kelly - I LOVE the bowl with old marbles idea... I'll have to find my marbles.

    My grandpa donated his marbles to a museum in Hastings, Nebraska.

  8. oh, oh, oh (said jumping up and down and raising my hand) can I come visit you? Your home sounds devine. My favorite thing is the "perfect" tryptich artwork that you found. It took me four long years of looking to find my perfect art, and wouldn't you know it, there it was in Ilwaco a few years ago. Money didn't matter at that point because it was perfection. I can tell you feel the same way about your daisies, which makes them all the more special. Thanks for the tour of your home. I love the things you have lovingly gathered to fill your house with beauty.


I love it when people talk back...