Today I want to show you around what we call our “front room.” It’s the living room that we don’t live in. This room is blocked off from Millie and Gracie the majority of the time and we don’t spend a lot in here, so it’s really kind of just for show, except at Christmastime because this is where we put the tree up.
The room has undergone a few changes since we’ve been living here and it’s not done yet. Truthfully I probably won’t ever consider any room “done” but this one in particular I’m definitely not satisfied with yet. It’s come a long way and I like the direction in which it’s heading, but there are still problem areas that I’d like to improve.
Here’s what you see when you’re standing at our front door, if you look straight ahead. If you walk straight through the open doorway past the rocking chair, you can either go into our kitchen or the hallway that leads to the main floor bath, office and guest room.
This is the “main room” in the sense that when you walk in from either the front door or garage door, this is the room you see. It’s our “entryway” from both directions because we don’t really have an entryway with room for a bench or storage or anything. The door to the right of the coat hooks on the wall is the door we come in from the garage. It opens onto the staircase landing, and you can either go left into the kitchen or right into the front room.
I would kill for a closet anywhere in the general area, but it’s just not in the cards with the layout as is. In the original floor plan of the house I don’t think the staircase was there, so there may have been a closet there. I think the staircase was probably added when the attic was converted into a bedroom/living space. My parents did something similar when they converted their attic into bedrooms for my brother and I so I’m just guessing based on my knowledge of their house.
To remedy the coat/shoes issue, I did my best to create a makeshift mudroom, or in our case mud “area.” I have a rug to put shoes on, and my reusable grocery bags and portable umbrellas are in a catch-all basket on the floor. The coat hanger on the wall is something I made from an old piece of reclaimed barn wood. I just added hooks from Home Depot and mounted it on the wall with a French cleat.
To give you an idea of where we started, here’s what the room looked like in the realtor listing:
What it looked like as we were painting/transforming it:
And what it looks like now:
I have what I hope works out to be a fun DIY planned to replace the black antique folding table that sits next to the armchair. It involves industrial pipes, flanges and wood shelves. It’ll either be an awesome bookshelf or a total disaster, so stay tuned 🙂
One of my favorite features of the room is the rustic planked wall that houses the fireplace. It’s imperfect, with visible knots showing through the paint and we just lucked out that it already existed as-is when we moved in. I recently hung a vintage window I got at the Brimfield Antique Show above the mantle and I’m excited to change out the decor around it seasonally. I’m not finished with the spring decor yet but right now there’s a forsythia wreath I made and grocery store daffodil bulbs sitting in terra cotta pots that I aged with paint.
The rug was a recent purchase from Rugs USA and I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s plush under my feet and I think it warms the room up. The tan and red accents match the color of the walls and brick around the fireplace. I’ve bought two rugs from Rugs USA and both have exceeded my expectations, arrived within two days of placing the order and were inexpensive with their coupon codes. This 5′ x 8′ was $70 after their 75% off discount code was applied, which is pretty good as far as rugs go.
The console table is from Target, I just switched out the knobs. My dad found the rocking chair at a consignment shop and gave it to me, and the ottoman in front of it was a gift from my aunt and uncle. It holds all of our cold-weather gear like hats/gloves/earmuffs/etc., because when you live in a small house with inconvenient closets, you have to make your own storage! Side note: the more I look at that ladder next to the console table the more I hate it in that spot.
Generally speaking I like the style I’ve settled on for the room. It’s a lot warmer than any other room in the house because of the wall color, and I consider it cozy traditional. It reminds me a bit of my parents’ house, which makes it comfortable. I like the spaces we live in to be inviting and livable, not just pretty to look at, and I find this space very comfy, despite us not hanging out in here a lot.
If you’re wondering why we don’t let the dogs in here unsupervised…here’s one answer:
Those tulips were heading straight for the floor if I hadn’t shooed her away, after the photo of course 🙂