to work, to work.

i mentioned we have embarked on a bit of a re-do here in the house. when we moved into our lovely town home we thought it was a temporary stop on the way to possibly buying a new house when my husband found a new job or even moving overseas. either way, we knew it was a time to regroup & enjoy the space we have while we have it [like a full basement, for example] in case eventually we don't have it anymore. at the time, we really had no way of knowing how temporary or not it living here might be.

well, that was 3 years ago.

and through the moves, the changes, the kids & the years, our hodge podge of furnishings just never felt quite right, never quite finished. we lived in the trap of renting & not wanting to buy for or decorate this place 'just in case' a move to the next place came up suddenly. that possibility is still there, but we want to live here while we're here, know what i mean? so we set aside a little money to truly decorate.

enter my complete & utter excitement. time to decorate! time to finish projects! time to make it all look pulled together & time to maybe even... buy furniture.

of course, we are still on a budget. don't you hate when those diy and home magazines decorate a space on a 'budget' & that ends up being the total bargain of like $5000? for like one room? yeah, that's not us at all. but i did want to use the money wisely, get as much as possible done with it as i could, & keep track of it all so that i didn't wake up one morning & wonder what on earth i spent it all on, so...

i made a mood board. my first!

what used to be the dining room in the official house layout is now going to be our den, a cozy spot for movie watching and snuggling & probably some card playing & hopefully friends visiting. here's what it looks like now, stripped to bare bones:
honestly, these 'before' shots are so terrible, the room is sure to look better even with only a slight change of some sort! isn't it strange how you can really see a space for what it is when you take a picture?

and here's my visual for what i'd like it to look like:
our 'living room' is really just a sitting area on one wall kind-of down the hallway on the way to the den. because it's a town home, there's few windows which means lots of wall space to fill! here's how it looks now:
& here's what i'm working towards, a tiny bit more formal, but still home-y & welcoming:
[the site that i used for the mood boards, olioboard.com, while super fun and helpful, only provided rather pricey options to pick from, so these are just a visual inspiration, not the things i plan to actually buy.]

i only have 2 rules for myself:
1. think big [large scale & not small & trinket-y]
& 2. go with my gut, even if it's a bit different or 'out there' for me.

even looking at them now, & clicking through old pictures on my laptop of our other 'layouts' i'm never quite sure what the best furniture arrangement is for this space. sometimes i think it feels like a little too much crammed into one area, but this truly is our living room. it somehow manages to encompass our family room where we watch movies & occasionally eat in front of the tv, our kids' main toy/playroom area, our living room & even our desk/office type area. that's probably too much to ask 1 large room semi-sectioned into 2 rooms to do!

so my work is cut out for me, & i can't wait to start seeing it come together! i'm on a deadline to finish in the next 2 weeks before everyone comes over for little man's 1st birthday!

p.s. if you're looking to redecorate in any part of your house, i found these wallet-friendly coupon options for bed, bath & beyond.


  1. OH what fun! Furniture arrangement is one of my most favorite things! Couple of questions... are the two tan couches the same size? If so, I would put them facing each other in the smaller portion of your room and maybe tuck your office space on the far wall behind the sofa... kinda like the desk would act like a sofa table behind it and you would face out into the room while you're working on your computer, does that make sense? You may even want to sell one of the couches to have more room.

    Then put the big leather couch in front of the TV by the stairs. If you have more space by the stairs and all of the smaller cluttery things on the other end of the room it might make the room feel more open. Don't be afraid to put furniture in the middle of the room either, it can act as a divider that your room needs. Make it function for you first and your kids can always find spots to play around the furniture.

    Like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/276901077058589537/

    Oh and I'd suggest finding good, solid furniture you'll have forever... don't be sold by the cute fabric on a cheepy chair, you'll thank me later.

    I don't know if you were really asking for our two cents... but there are my suggestions. ;)

  2. absolutely! thanks sarah, i love a fresh perspective! the tan ones are a couch & loveseat. i think 2 couches facing would be great, & would do it except for 2 things- we have a big ikea expedit holding all our toys/movies/etc right there by the stairs & in that picture of the loveseat, i'm actually standing in the doorway to the kitchen so it's not actually a full wall i can put much on.

    i feel like i've tried every configuration imaginable- a long narrow room with 2 mini walls in the middle is just truly strange to work with! i'm hoping to have some sort of playroom someday so that the 'living room' won't have to be quite so all-encompassing!


i love to hear your comments or questions! i'll try to respond as quickly as possible, or you can email me at leafandletter[at]gmail.com :)



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