Monday, September 27, 2010

Where We Live...Part 2

*Thank you all so much for participating in the Inspiration Friday Party! It was so much fun and I promise to reveal the winner very soon.
I had a blast picking out the prize!*

We all have them. The rooms where we spend most of our time. Where we really Live! I have seen some of your Family Rooms. And, most of them are not being taken over by toys, tents, tunnels, toddlers, trains and...tantrums!
Preparing to get the photos for this felt like preparing for the Olympics. Ok, maybe not the Olympics. Maybe it was more like preparing for the Fun Run in the 3rd grade. But still, I really had to psyche myself up for this one because to get pictures when this room doesn't look like a Daycare was no small accomplishment!
So, this may be the only time you get to see this space.
Enjoy it!
This is your view after you come through the Foyer. To the left is the Breakfast nook and the Kitchen.
This is how the space looked when we first saw it...

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see those cabinets flanking the fireplace? They need some built-ins on top of them, right?
Well, I thought so too until I got a bid for them and quickly realized we would have to come up with Plan 'B'! We are talking in the THOUSANDS folks and after trying to figure out how to make them ourselves or find them ready made and match up the stain we kind of gave up for a little while.
Then, on one of our many excursions to Lowes we found these shelves...

Our first thought was that they would just be temporary until we figured out what we REALLY wanted to do. But, after living with them for awhile, we realized something...

We actually kinda liked 'em!
I think that built-ins in that color of stain would have made the room really, really dark. I like seeing the painted walls behind the shelves and it fills the space without dominating it.
And at $12 a shelf, it was WAAAAYYYY cheaper!
I think things are always prettier when they cost less, don't you?
I must confess, though, that having the TV showing was a big sacrifice on my part. I would love to have it covered up but it would have been tricky and it was a compromise I had to make!
Here is a closer look at the shelves...
Because of the recessed lighting it is almost impossible to get a picture without a glare and believe me, I tried.
These photos are of all of my hubby's and my grandparents. I love having that little bit of history around the house!
And just because I can, I have to show you a closer look at those pictures on the bottom shelf...

These are from 3 years ago and no matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to switch them out for updated ones. These just melt this mama's heart!
Where has the time gone?
Look at those faces!
Shake it off, Vanessa, Shake it off!

Here is a Before and After of my Fireplace refreshing
You may remember (or are trying hard to forget) that they had these lovely brass bars that I never could figure out what to do with. Then I discovered you could spray paint them so...
I sprayed their little hearts out using a beautiful Copper color!
And here is the mantel dressed for fall...

Moving on...
This is your view as you look back toward the kitchen.

Recognize those floral pillows?
I showed you the fabric for them a couple of weeks ago!

I finally got around to dragging my sewing machine out of the play-room closet and setting it up at the dining room table. No dedicated craft room for this gal! And, because my rascals are always trying to "help" I have to hustle and get these done as quickly as possible. I think I had them done in 2 hours flat!

How do you think they turned out?
 I showed you in my Living Room how we used cubed ottomans as an alternative to a coffee table to provide us with extra seating. We did something similar here in the family room.

  I wouldn't be a wannabe Southern Girl without my Southern Living magazine proudly on display! I found these benches at my home away from home (TJ Maxx) and couldn't believe my luck!

 They matched the room perfectly and not only provide great extra seating but they also lift up for Storage! 
Those pictures also show the new carpet! 
You don't even want to know how bad the old carpet was...
Oh you do?
Well, let's just say that almost white carpet with a low pile and 2 rascals and one husband don't mix! And because of the width of the room and the aforementioned low pile, there was a very obvious seam down the middle. This seam began to slowly unravel until one day, First-born Rascal decided it would be fun to just pull one of those loose strings in the seam! The lovely ball of carpet that formed in his hand was just the motivation we needed to get rid of it! 
Couldn't be too mad at the boy when he got his mama some new carpet, now could I?
This is the view opposite the window wall...

We have had those chairs for almost 12 years! We bought them soon after we got married and they have held up pretty well!

The mirror was over the fireplace when we moved in so it was FREE! It really helps to give more dimension to this wall and reflect the light from the windows.

This topiary saw me coming a mile away!
I saw her from a distance...we eyed each other...she saw the word "Sucker" written on my forehead and she knew she was coming home with me!

Now I suspect, that some of you were Skeptics!
 I am very certain that several of you doubted me when I said that this room NEVER looks like this.
So, I submit to you as Evidence...
Exhibit 'A'!
Do you see that pile of washcloths sitting there? I promise you that if I had known the girl liked playing with them we would have a lot fewer "My Little Ponies" around this place!

And Exhibit 'B'!

Just couldn't stand it if you thought I was a big fat liar!
Do you believe me now????
And while we are on the subject of rooms for family living, my parents (a.k.a. Nonna and Poppa) are coming into town this week and we are so excited to see them! If you don't hear much from me in the next few days that is why. I know you all wait around with baited breath for my clever and witty comments to appear on your posts!
Have a great week and be sure to check back in the next couple of days to hear who the winner is!

I'm linking up with these parties!

Fabric Fun Thursday
Before and After
Tabletop Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Hi, Sucker, ahem, I mean, Vanessa,
I love it all! The mess, the tidiness, the pictures, the shelves, the carpet, the LOVE and LIFE that is here!
I especially love the buffalo check--I have it, too, on my front rooms!
When I wanted to post about my kitchen, it took me a week to clean/wait for the right lighting/gather the "props".
So, I know the work involved--on a major "Day Care" day, you can come to this post and enjoy the neat space, without lifting a finger :)
Such a lovely space!
Hugs and blessings as you make your home!

Anonymous said...

Vanessa, I just love everything you've done in that room. It's a combination of function, elegance and yet it's cozy.

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

It looks wonderful, Vanessa! Very welcoming! The shelves really give it balance which is probably why you are happy with them.

Love, love, love the pillows!! I have the material to make mine but now I think I might need some trim!

Val said...

I love the warmth you brought to the room. Very cozy and inviting.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your room is gorgeous. I love the colors and the shelves are just perfect. Much better than builtins. How nice it is to have such fabulous picture of your grandparents. I love that you display them. I laughed at the sight of all the toys. I so remember how my house use to look, and then when grandchildren came along it looked like that all over again. Great memories, enjoy every minute of it. Hugs, Marty

michelle said...

Your room is so beautiful and cozy! I love the colors and I really like the shelves there. i can't take down my kids baby pictures either, they are so cute! ;)
Your pillows are perfect, I love that fabric! Messy or clean your home is definitely a home filled with love!

NanaDiana said...

Vanessa- The room is gorgeous...just lovely! I really like the shelving units on top of the built-ins. I am so over having eall those floor to ceiling built ins (for myself).

You did a great job on the pillows, too. And the fabric is beautiful. I am a sucker for fabrics!

I just finally changed out my granddaughters' school pictures. I had held onto the ones from about 3 years ago. Lulu finally said to me...Nana, I look like a baby in those pictures...yep..time to change them out, I guess!

Thanks for sharing your room with us. I know what an effort it is to get rooms ready for pictures! You did a great job! Hugs- Diana

Dayle said...

It's a lovely room.

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Oh Vanessa! I love it! Your pillows turned out beautifully and look GORGEOUS on your sofa! I adore the two benches used as a coffee table...pure genius! All of the pics of your kids are darling and just MAKE the room! I have pics of my kids when they were younger too...when I get new ones made I just buy new frames...I can't bear the thought of putting them away;)! Great minds think alike!

I miss the days of toys all over the house...I REALLY do! It goes by so fast and those are such special times! To me a house just doesn't feel the same without a few toys on the floor!

Thanks for sharing it all...the neat and the playful;)!


Traci said...

I think the shelves look great! They match perfectly too. Your pillows turned out fantastic. I've said it before & I'll say it again...You people that can sew really annoy me!! HA!!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Vanessa, your family room is very nice. Love the pillows you made and love the shelved table with the buffet lamps and mirror over it behind those pretty chairs.

Becca said...

BEAUTIFUL !! I love your family room. Ingenious idea about putting the shelving above your built-ins (and such sweet rascal pics, too). A pretty (and FREE) mirror and chairs that have held up so well ... you lucky gal, you! I love your pillows (and admire your talent with a sewing machine)! And, again, great idea with pushing the two benches together! And, is that a bar area peeking out? I wanna see! You're a fabulous decorator! Can't wait to see more ... *Becca*

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Vanessa, I love your family room and especially the shelves! The pillows you made are wonderful and they look great with the buffalo check pillows and curtains. Take care friend!
Hugs, Sherry

Lori said...

Oh my gosh, I just love your family room! Actually, I love your whole house! You are very talented - love the way you decorate!

Lori at

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your family room is beautiful, my favorite pic is the last one:@)

Life with L said...

Hi Vanessa, very nice to meet you. Thank you for following my blog and leaving such nice comments. Our house has gone through alot of changes ever since I married my husband 11 years ago. We are loving the changes.
Your pillows are very pretty! Isn't spray paint great! You can recreate. Those benches are a great find. Have a great week! Linda

Lori said...

So love the floating shelves. The topiary would have called to me too. The benches are superb. Thanks for sharing.

Ashley said...

Beautiful room! I love the curtains and the shelves. You did a wonderful job decorating it. Our playroom is in our front livng room. And it constantly has toys covering the floors.

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Love your room, so cozy and inviting! I can't wait to see the you know what on Friday!

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

Your home looks so comfortable. I love the pictures you have on the shelves.

I agree with you, things do look nicer when you don't spend an arm and a leg. I like the green on your walls, the furniture goes well with that color.

Sue said...

It's lookin' good, girlfriend! I think it's inevitable to have kids stuff around during the day- heck, it's real life, after all- unless you have a designated playroom. I like the floating shelves over the cabinetry. And your pillows turned out very well- great mix of patterns!
~ Sue

Sailing Simply said...

I am so glad blogger is working better for me today. Could not hardly get on yesterday! I loved taking the tour through your beautiful living room. I remember those toy years well! LOL! You seem to have it pretty well organized though. I love your new pillows. I still have'nt sewn up my floral ones yet, gosh,and I don't even have little ones around. I love everything about your den! Perfect choices on those shelves, really! Now it is truly a shame that you HAD to get new carpet after your son pulled apart the other! Children! Haha! Did you kiss him right after scolding him? :) Beautiful, beautiful, den!

Katie said...

Beautiful!!! And I love your solution of shelves instead of the built-ins ~ much prettier!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Thanks so much for linking to TTT. Your home is so pretty and your shelves and tables vignettes are so pretty. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

Blondie's Journal said...

I think the shelves in your living room look wonderful...very much like built~ins! I love your fireplace, too. Beautiful rooms! :-)

Happy Tabletop Tuesday!


Christie said...

I feel like every time I come over here, I write you a book! :) Just so much to say!! First, I LOVE this room and love your before and after pictures! I know exactly what you mean about cleaning for the 'picture' and it is so nice to enjoy for a minute! I am sure the day will come when we are longing for those little piles of washclothes and trucks under out feet! So sweet that you shared those with us! I love the pictures of your children and relatives...afterall, what is a home without them! I love the benches as the coffee table, bc so super smart with young children and they are so good looking...go TJM!! (My fav, too!) The shelves look awesome and you are spot keeps the room open and fresh and not too dark...brilliant! You kind words and encouragement mean so much! What a dream to work for some great magazine (Southern Living!) and just arrange displays! But, alas, reality sets in! My husband is in medicine and it has taken a horrible turn, so I will probably be heading back to some pharmacy in the fall when my youngest starts...I can't even say it...kindergarten! Squash the dreams of taking some classes on antiques and interior design! I have been so incredibly blessed to be home with my children for 10 years, so will pull my boot straps up and do what I have to do! (ugh...I hated being a pharmacist..people are mean, when they are sick! Wish I could arrange pretty things all day!)
Also, wanted to tell you that there is a new devotion book for kids by Sarah Young..called 'Jesus Calling 365 Devotions for Kids.' I have her 'Jesus Calling' Devotion and it is the best little devotion book. This is the one my son and I read on the porch. I know your kids are little, but may be worth grabbing...makes great gifts, too! (Lastly, I hope you sat down with a cup of coffee for all of this..sorry!), I wrote my profile about 'HOME.' Check it out if you haven't seen it! I have been on here since May, so decided it was time! The computer is such a challenge for me! Have a wonderful day my friend and enjoy your weekend with your family!!

Christie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christie said...

See? I sent that book twice! Wouldn't you be afraid to take a prescription from me?? I can't even maneuver this thing!

Karen said...

Vanessa, enjoyed visiting your family room. ~Toys and all~ I really love the lamps on the table behind the chairs! You and me both don't have that permanent home for the Singer. But, still enjoy dragging it out-and don't think I could have made them in 2 hrs. Loved the fabric and they look great.
As always love to see your creations, you've got the Southern flair, no doubt!


Lynn Richards said...

Love, love love everything about the room. You have done a great job transforming it into a cozy, beautiful place where people must be drawn to!!!

Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

ur home is fabulous! - thanks for giving us a tour!!!

PS - come on by - my first GIVE-AWAY is going on - $45 worth of goodiness!!

*kiss kiss*
~Tiptoe Butterfly~

Pat said...

You have done a great job! The pillows look great. I have the plaid pillow fabric in my den too! (You know great minds think alike!)LOL Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your cute comments!

Sandra said...

What a beautiful topiary! I love the color on your walls too! It looks like such a serene color.

Debbie said...

I love your taste and think what you have done to decorate the "day care room" is really beautiful.

LOVE the shelves over the built ins. You're right! It fills in the space yet leaves it airy.

I also love the way the two benches work together for an ottoman/coffee table. The fact that it could double as not one but TWO options for extra seating is yet another bonus.

GREAT job!!!

Debbie said...

Vanessa you LR is just so warm, and so tastefully decorated. I sure love those pillows. They would look trashed in my house in a day!!~

Pam said...

I was going to ask you where you got those pillows, but I see that you made them so I will go back and find the post about the fabric. I love that fabric!

I have a huge dino in my living room. And a Lionel train set, so I understand the kid decor dilema.

Debbie said...

Thanks so much Vanessa for joining me:) Could you add my link too, so that others know about the partay? Thanks:)

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Vanessa,
This is my first time to visit, so hello, nice to meet you!!

Personally, I think those shelves are absolutely perfect over those cabinets, and you did such a nice job of accessorizing everything. Your home is lovely hon. Nice pillows you made too!! Loved everything.

Certainly enjoyed my visit,
Blessings and have a great visit with your parents. I am sure they
can hardly wait to get there.

Kristi said...

LOL Love it!! Trust me, with 3 kids my house looks the SAME!! Never spotless! that is why I am freaking out about listing the house! how will I ever keep it showing clean??? Anyway, your room is beautiful and I love your solution to the built ins!! And I have the SAME fabric as your panels and cant' wait to use them in the new house :)

Anita said...

Thank you for showing all the toys!! I am there every day at some point!! I love everything, of course, and it's beautiful, but nothing makes a house warm and inviting more than kid's toys!!

Kim said...

Hi Vanessa, I love your family room. I also appreciate that you haven't gotten rid of all of your gold accessories - a girl after my own heart! Your shelves look great above those built-ins. Even though you made a "concession" on the tv, it still blends in well since it's not on a dedicated stand or table, so I'd say it was a "win" still. Blessings, Kim

Erin@likegrandmas said...

Those shelves look great and I think gives you more options in the long run!

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel