For a while I’ve been meaning to post some pictures of the inside of our little home. I love it when other blogger families post pictures like these. We’ve been here since last July, and it was a major downsize for us. For those who don’t know, we went from over 2500 square feet to just 900. This meant we had to simplify a lot. I love that we had to do that because we’re down to the basics now, and there is far less cleaning to do. It’s not just our house we clean and maintain, but all the stuff in it.
Today was the prefect opportunity to reclaim the living room. Four kids were away all day, and we all know how easy it is to clean when kids are gone. It’s completely futile to clean when they’re all home! There were papers, toys, and books strewn about, with pet hair in every corner, and everything in the wrong place. Despite that, it took me less than ten minutes to clean up this little room. We’re talking dusting, vacuuming, organizing, and straightening. The boring ivory walls will be a warm, earthy butterscotch yellow soon, considering I love it with the reds, and it will flow into the butterscotch yellow kitchen. In smaller homes it’s best to keep colors uniform to avoid chopping up the space. Remember, this living room serves 7 people. It’s small (11′ x 15′), but we have seating enough all of us, and it helps that we spend a lot of time on the floor. We also have room to dance (a big requirement for us), so we did away with trunks and coffee tables. Instead, we purchased a rustic 1930’s Drexel desk with lots of drawers for storage. Daniel uses it when he works at home:
The desk is a focal point, and the first thing people see when they walk into our front door
We prefer that everything in our house 1) serves a purpose, or 2) makes us happy. If they don’t meet those two requirements, we give it away. The large mirror above the desk reflects the front window. The strange wirey thing to the left is an antique rug beater, and we all know how practical they are in this day & age… haha. No, I just have a thing for very old stuff, so the rug beater makes me smile. The wall hanging at the right was purchased at a spiritual retreat, and it reads: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. -Chief Seattle, 1854.”
a little river nook next to the front door
We’re hoping to collect and store all our finds from river walks on this little wooden boat shelf. For now, it holds a few books and some potpourri. Daniel found this discarded item when we lived at our last home (in perfect condition), and a talented artist had painted a beautiful river scene on the side. This was an item I was stubborn about keeping, but it took me a long time to find the perfect location for it, so it almost didn’t make the cut. Above it is a picture of our guru on a boat in Mexico.
This old hutch/shelf is a work in progress, just like the rest of the house. I’ve never been happy with the shelf set-up. The lower cabinet stores photo albums, DVD’s, and CD’s. We don’t hang onto our books any more unless they’re extreme favorites, or ones we need access to for a while. Our larger book shelf is in the sunroom, and we like to keep this one pretty cleared off. If you haven’t noticed, when a shelf is overstuffed, the mind begins to feel weighed down. According to Feng Shui, we should always have the sense that there is room for more. Again, this shelf needs work… maybe a focal point, a plant, I’m not sure. It sits near the sofa, and makes a great end table while sipping tea.
closet door and decorative chair
The little cane seat chair is one of my favorite, very old pieces. I love old wood. It’s not just decorative, but practical, too. Amelie loves getting on and off of it. In front of the chair is the old, original iron floor vent cover. The masks above are from Africa, and the red one is from our trip to Ethiopia. And of course, the hooks serve as hat hangers in the Summer, and coat hooks in the Winter. The small wooden barrel hides our recycling items, which comes in quite handy. Final Note: I cannot stand the hollow closet door (hollow doors, yuck). We’ll be replacing it with a solid wood door, and stain it to match the wood trim. The whole room still feels incomplete- i.e. in need of family photos and paint.
Minimal. That’s what we go for, both natural and minimal to keep housekeeping simple, yet warm. It’s not easy to keep things simple because I enjoy browsing antique shops, and could easily fill up the space too much. If I do buy extra things, I almost always cycle something else out of the house, and it keeps things fresh.
Until we paint the walls, that’s the end of our teeny living room tour. Thanks for coming!