Thursday, August 12, 2010

living room and, driftwood?

I should probably admit I've been putting off sharing the full view of the living room because I'm still not even close to being in love with it, but I'm slowly on my way. Remember when the living room looked like this:

Just a big, blank space lacking any character at all. Well although it's not anything to "write home about", it's certainly an improvement.

Oh, what is that you see? Driftwood? Inspired by (& copied from) Holly at Life In The Fun Lane. The moment I saw that post of hers I knew I wanted to do the same thing. The problem? We live in, Ohio. Can't say I figured there'd be a ton of places nearby to search for driftwood. But, when my parents visited from Florida earlier in the summer they stayed at a beautiful campground on the Ohio River and thanks to a dad with some muscles and a supportive stepmom, I came home with driftwood to spare.

Is it too much? Honestly. I started to feel like the walls are now looking too "busy". And I'm not one for a "cluttered" space. So the Ikea shelves and my recent made over bookcase looked like this before:

And after removing some "clutter":

Better, right? My only issue has been wondering if the photo shelves are too 'modern' for what I'm going for. Since a slipcovered sectional is not in the budget right now, the plan going forward is to...
  • remove the white sofa
  • remove the recliner (for sure!)
  • repaint the buffet turned media cabinet white to match the coffee table
  • move the sofa so it faces the tv
  • put two slipcovered wingback chairs where the leather sofa is now
  • prime, paint, and distress a side table I recently purchased to sit between the wingbacks
  • and, finally get pillow covers made for the leather sofa pillows
Other than that I'm still trying to decide on what to do about those photo shelves. Leave them? Remove them and hang the driftwood there? Remove them, leave the driftwood in place and hang a vintage sailboat painting there? (More on that in an upcoming blog post. *wink) Maybe with a few baskets lined up below it filled with pillows and blankets for movie nights/snugglefests/guests to cozy up with? I'd LOVE to replace the ceiling fan with a lovely iron chandelier but Travis isn't having that. He says we "need the air to circulate since this is such a big room". Blah. :) And, the light that hangs above the entry, that can go too.

Before I end this less-than-exciting post about the 'always a work in progress' living room, I wanted to add that I've seen a few posts from fellow bloggers lately about heirlooms or things in their homes that have a special meaning and it inspired me to share a couple of mine. That conch shell you see on the bottom photo ledge? That belonged to my aunt we lost many years ago to breast cancer. Mid-thirties. Healthy. A huge heart. And, a caring soul. Taken so quickly from us. My uncle eventually remarried and understandably passed on some of the posessions he shared with my aunt to other family members. Recently my grandmother passed the conch shell to me. And it shall forever remind me not only of my love for anything ocean related, but of my love for my aunt who will always be missed. And, although the driftwood isn't something passed down to me by family, the memory of that morning near the river with my dad, stepmom, youngest brother, and Jack all walking along collecting the "prettiest" pieces while they affectionately laughed at my adventures will never be forgotten. It really is the little things in life that mean the most...


  1. Amanda~I loooooove the direction you are going. The new layout looks fab! I especially am in love with the driftwood!!! Keep us updated with your transformation! I love how clean and simple your style is!

  2. It looks incredible already! And bless you, you are unafraid of change. It's very admirable. :)

  3. one more you have an email? I would love get your advice on a couple of my decorating dilemmas :)

  4. First off, I just want to let you know that I seriously got excited about this post (inner dweeb? maybe.) and then when I read "before I end this less-than-exciting post" I LOLed and thought to myself "of course I would get excited about rearranging furniture!" haha. So here are my 2 cents, (or should I say my vey long 9 cents? ha).

    1. I don't think either look of the shelves/bookshelves look too busy or cluttered.

    2. I do think the shelves are very modern BUT Im not a big fan of modern. I like the idea of the painting.

    3. I LOVE the idea of moving the sofa to where the recliner is (and move the recliner out of the room) but I would probably use the white sofa there and leave the leather sofa where it is until you can get the slipcovered wing back chairs & table to put in its place. I think the space is so open you need to define the room's boundaries to separate the cute seated area (which I would add more furniture to) and the living room.

    4. I would add a sofa table. To either the leather or white sofa (once moved to where the recliner is).

    5. You should mount your TV on the wall and just place the buffet under it and then add a frame around the TV like this one:

    OR just build one out of moulding (I know there are a few ladies in blogland that LOVE moulding)! It would be inexpensive and look so cute. I totally want to do this but long story short...I may have to wait a while :-(

    6. LOVE the driftwood exactly where it is! Leave it. Also, love love LOVE the story behind it :-)

    7. I think with your space being so large vertically you should get a giant window like Life in the Fun Lane's that she has in the same room as the driftwood(YES, I do love her blog...and YES, I have spent HOURS lost in her posts! haha). I'm sure the window wasn't outrageous priced or anything! haha. right.

    8. I also think you should hang some ghost lights like Life in the Fun Lane has in that same room...maybe you should just be "inspired" by that entire room! haha, I LOVE her front room...and I think with your large open area these lights would look great! or maybe hang a few chandeliers the same way she did the ghost lights! I would like that better :-) more my style...chandeliers, intricate frames, shabby.

    9. I love the idea of baskets with cozy/comfy/cuddly stuff in it!

    OK. So this might be the LONGEST post in blogging history! hahaha. I DO talk a lot...Oh and random but I love your aunts shell. Good choice on using it in the room!

  5. It LOOKS FANTASTIC!!!!!!! seriously great job!! you give me so much inspiration to get back working on my house! I did finish my gallery wall in my livingroom so I'll post that tonight i've been soo busy!
    Keep up the amazing work :)!

  6. I am totally in the same boat. I can't accessorize my walls for the life of me. I like uncluttered, but want to add some pop. I like what you have done so far. I think the shelves and driftwood where they are are perfect. The only thing that caught my eye is something is needed on the wall with the tv. How about a collection of small mirrors, or small frame all the same color. No prints, just the frames.

  7. thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments! they're so appreciated.

    "Chance Edge", my email is (i'd loooove to help) and so many of your ideas are exactly what i intend to do with room. there will be a sofa table behind the leather sofa which will serve as a desk with a simple little chair, filling up that seating area better. and, i absolutely love everything about the living room at Life In The Fun Lane. i happen to be working on some ghost lights of my own... just not sure they'd work in the living room since we already have an entry light and ceiling fan.

    thanks so much for all of the input everyone!

  8. Hahahahahaha...."chance edge" is me, Ashley Edge from Edge Designs! Thats what my husband gets for using my computer and me not paying attention! apparently i was signed into his gmail account instead of mine! thats great. haha.

  9. I love the rooms look... and I agree with others that the modern shelves are great.

    I think the juxtaposition of clean modern and vintage make the vintage stand out. Just like the dark sofa adds to the white pieces.

    I think something circular over the TV area - mirror or clock - would be great and break up the straight lines.

    Love it! I am getting ready to move and I love the inspiration.

    Your from Ohio - me too! Where abouts? I am in Columbus.

  10. Ashley. Chance. Whoever you are... you're hilarious. Lol. You're funny girl.

  11. You may not be in love with it yet but I am!! Can I move in...or at least visit lol. I love all the white and I totally don't blame you for using Holly's idea of the drift wood. That is a perfect spot for it.

    Wonderful job!


  12. ...hi the look of your blog & your son is a real cutie!
    I love your living room! the driftwood...!...I thINK without being there that the leather couch should be under the shelves...biggest piece on the biggest wall!..looking forward to what you do!

  13. Great job! I'm lovin it!
    I'm a new follower!

  14. OH MY!!! I am loving what you have done! And I am SO happy to see someone else do a beautiful driftwood wall! I have been dying to do one too but I have the same problem living in the city we do too! I think your bookshelves and bookcase look perfect! and although I thought they looked great before I think they look even better now! Your place looks so cozy and relaxing!

  15. it looks beautiful. the driftwood pieces look perfect on that large wall up there, totally leave them.

    I like the photo shelves and how you did the less cluttered look.

  16. The room looks great! I love how bright it is... I like that you choose accesories that have meaning and history. The beach touches are beautiful!


  18. It looks great! It has a really fresh and open feel. I am a huge fan of light and airy and that is exactly how I felt when I saw the pics. I would leave the bookshelves and shelving. Not cluttery at all. It's the perfect way to display your favorite pics, books, pieces etc. Great way to display your aunt's conch shell and what a beautiful piece it is!

  19. How fun to find you! I share your love for the ocean, white, and finding just the right "piece". And then usually painting it white. I will be back!


thank you for stopping by and as always, for your kind comments. each and every one sure does bring a smile to my face.