If you are a regular reader of the blog, you’ve heard me talk about (or seen me written, rather) about how our upstairs is just one giant space. The Kitchen, Dining room, Living room, and this big extra space make up a big square area in our upstairs. I love it! We are renting and we decided to rent this house because I wanted to see how I would like having such a large open space. The downstairs also has a large room with all the kids stuff so that meant that I got to use this upstairs space for just the pretty stuff. The downstairs is a major work in progress. You can see our plans for it here. The upstairs however is pretty much done. I still have some work I need to do in the dining room and the turquoise cabinet is going to eventually go downstairs and in its place will be a card catalog (I just ordered the library pulls to put on the one I am making! Wahoo!!!) There are still of course several things that need painted up here but if I’m being honest, there is always something that needs painted in my house. I’m a serial painter, it’s an illness I think, because it has fully taken over my life. Now that I have discovered the BBFrosch Chalk Paint Powder the painting world has opened up to me and I have been a painting crazy lady. If you missed my review and tutorial using the BBFrosch products you should go check it out. Seriously that stuff is AH-MA-ZING!!!! Anyway… now that I’ve found that I am actually getting stuff done for this space. Hallelujah!
Today I am sharing what we did with that big empty space upstairs.
I knew that I wanted to separate all the spaces using our couches. We have one couch separating this space from the living room and a couch separating the living room from the dining room. There is also only one solid wall back in this open space and only 2 (out of 5) in the whole space together. I knew the TV and Gallery Wall would have to go on one of the solid walls and my book shelves would have to go on another of the walls. The remaining 3 sections of walls are covered in windows, which basically means no extra space for Wall Hangings or Pictures. I have a lot of pictures so I was bummed that I could not use them all …. but I LOVE all the natural light that comes in (now if only we didn’t have neighbors 5 feet away on both sides). I knew what space the Living room was going to be so that left me with putting the book cases in the back area and from that sprung the Library and Office space. I have always wanted a space like this. One where I could go to work and not feel like I was right in the middle of the action… but I also didn’t want a space that was separate from the kids because I need to be able to know what they are doing while I am working. I have NEVER had a space like that. We have had a laptop for years and I have either had to work while sitting on the couch, or at the table… neither of which is very comfortable or conducive (For me) for working.
I am thrilled with this space and how it turned out. I had other ideas for some of the furniture but for right now this works out well for us. When my dream pieces finally surface then I can do some rearranging and in the mean time I’ll just swoon over the current space as it is.
I bought this yellow cabinet from a friend in Alabama. We have the teeny, tiniest pantry and not a lot of space in the kitchen to store our food, so I ended up using this cabinet as our extra pantry space. Its solid wood, and super heavy so it holds all the cans very well. It was going to hold all of my quilts, I even have dreams of removing the doors and just showing off all the quilts and chippy charm on the inside… one day, when we have a real, normal size pantry, then I can make that dream a reality.
I love how much natural light comes in through the window and streams down onto the chair. I bought the chair off of Amazon! Seriously… I was so excited that I could buy a chair and not pay for shipping since I am a prime member. That’s some good stuff. The quilt on the back of the chair was my great grandmothers. I loved her very much and have such fond memories of her, if I have another daughter I would like to name her after her. The blanket and pillow have already been moved due to a chocolate fiasco. They are now in a safer place and free from any impending disaster.
It’s no secret that I LOVE books. I love to read books and I love to see books. I can NEVER buy just one book at a time and I have some serious book buying anxiety because I want them all. I also have this terrible fear that I will die before I ever have a chance to read all the books I want to read. Hopefully there are books in heaven. I found a website Thrift Books that feeds my addiction. I have not moved into the Kindle or digital book age. There is just something about holding a book in my hands and turning the pages and smelling all the book smells. Its heavenly!!! I also love Hardback books, the are vital in my line of work as a mom…. because when I set a book down to go take care of something there is always someone there to pick it up and look at it and jump on it, sit on it, throw it or cause some other unspeakable tragedy to befall it, so if it’s a hard back book… it can withstand even the toughest toddler mayhem. Thrift books is like the heavens opening up and raining down blessing upon me. They sell cheap THRIFT books for a giant fraction of the cost of regular book stores. They tell you what kind of quality the book is in so I always just wait for the excellent quality hard books and scoop them up for under $5 a piece AND FREE SHIPPING ALL THE TIME!!! Really I should not be sharing this secret with you… but I can’t keep it in, just please save some books for me in your mad rush to buy up all the goodness.
I have our Willow Tree Nativity that my husband has collected for me over the years sitting on top of our bookshelves as a reminder to keep the spirit of Christ(mas) in our home ALL year-long. Christ is the center of our home and I love having such a beautiful display of his birthday out all year round as a reminder of his goodness and of his selfless life full of service.
Since we have windows ALL over upstairs I needed to come up with a creative way to still display some of my pieces. This chalk board that I made years ago was a must for this space. I was sitting at the computer one day trying to figure out why I disliked the space so much and I realized that I wanted something more than just the windows right here. I grabbed my measuring tape and prayed to the decorating gods that the chalk board hanging straps would be long enough to reach from one section of wall to the next… (I could have rigged something up if it didn’t fit, but I would rather have not had to do that). Someone must have been looking out for me because it fit perfectly, almost like it was meant to be. So I nailed two little nails and hung that bad boy up right there over the window. I LOVE it!! I was a bit worried at first because of all the “don’t cover a window, it’s a bad decorating idea” posts out there in blog land. But you know what? Sometimes a window begs to be covered and in this case, this was that window. Am I right? It just looks so pretty…..
Alright, I’m back. I just had to take a second to admire the beauty of it again. I really love this space now with the chalk board there. It just feels right, it makes sense, and that’s what I go with when I am decorating. How does it feel? I have to use my gut instinct all the time. My husband jokes with my because I will stand back and look at something and then go to move it because “it doesn’t feel right, right there.” Am I the crazy one in that? I can’t possibly be the only one who gets decorating feelings. Hello 5 million other women who know what I’m talking about, welcome!
I haggled for this cabinet last summer on a furniture finding expedition with one of my very best friends. I love it so much. It really is better suited to go downstairs in the family room that is decorated using the bright colors… but for now it just looks so pretty right here, and I have nothing to fill the space with yet so its just going to have to stay right there, looking pretty, until I find a replacement.
I scored the desk as a vintage find and it needs some TLC! I originally planned for it to go downstairs and be used as one of the kids desks but I needed a desk and this one worked out perfectly so for now its going to stay right here, until it too has a replacement. I need to paint it but I’m going to wait until I know where its final home is going to be in the house. I can’t be painting it one color and need it to be another color… that’s just silly. This chair is a beauty and was intended to just be an extra chair in the dining room but I needed a chair and this found its way over. It looks great in the space, but it’s so very, very uncomfortable which is not good when I have to sit in it all day, so I am on the hunt for a comfy chair to take its place. Man, it seems like I’m always on the hunt for something. I love it. The thrill of the chase is so much fun.
The milk jug was my mother that I inherited by default. My dad left it at their old house when they separated and moved away and then we moved to the state where their old house was and when I went to clean out the house it was still there, so that gorgeous guy became mine. I have some grand plans for him that involve Chalk Paint and a sander… oh man am I excited to see him all gussied up and ready for the ball.
I want a couch table to go behind the couch and I know exactly what I want it to look like, now I need to decide whether I am going to just buy it or if I am going to make it. Decisions, Decisions.
Now I’m about to keep real with y’all and let you see how messy my kitchen was during this picture. This is for sure not a Pinterest pretty picture. Its real life. The cabinets are rarely closed because my kids can get their own dishes out and forget to close the cabinets, sometimes I feel like I’m living in the movie The Sixth Sense… all the cabinets are magically back open shortly after I close them. There are papers all over the fridge because I have no space to put a bulletin board to keep all the papers I need to see as reminders all the time. There are dishes in the sink waiting for me to have a few minutes to do them and the counters are covered in whatever my kids decided that needed to set on them, you know, just because. The one downfall to the open space is that all of this is visible from everywhere upstairs… but you know what? We live here! Shocker right!? I can keep the floors pretty cleaned and picked up because the kids toys are downstairs, but there are always papers being brought home, schedules that need posted, dishes that need cleaned and cabinets that need closed, because there are 6 of us LIVING in this space. It’s not always Pinterest pretty, because life is not always Pinterest pretty. It’s not real. People have to live in their homes, that’s real life! Welcome to ours.
I change up the decor all the time up here. I just can’t decide what I want. I moved some things around on the bookshelf and so several of these things made their way to the book shelf. The old sewing machine was part of a sewing table that I scored for $5 at a Thrift store. I love those kinds of hidden gems.
I love old cameras. I can just imagine what kinds of things they saw, what kind of pictures they took, and what kinds of people held them in their hands. I love antiques, things with a story, a history and long-lived life. The secrets they hold within their “walls”. It’s just intriguing to me and I have a hard time passing anything like that up when I find it. I love to walk into antique stores, it’s almost like if I stood there long enough I could get swept up into a world of the past, full of mystery and reality. The history fanatic in me just about buckles at the knees when I find something full of old charm.
I’m a Southern girl at heart. It’s in my blood and I miss the south EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!! I want to be back there all the time and I miss everything about the south (yes even the humidity). When we were moving from Alabama to Nevada I had to bring a piece of the South with me… so of course it had to be cotton. And now I use my awesome cotton to hide the ugly computer cords. Win win!!!
I remember as a kid hearing “When Pigs Fly” from family members all the time. When one of us kids would as for something that my parents didn’t think we should have they would respond, “Sure, when pigs fly.” When I saw this flying pig I knew he had to be mine and that he had to sit by the computer. When I started the blog in the back on my mind I thought “This blog will only become popular when pigs fly.” It seemed like such a long away, maybe impossible thing. When I saw him I knew that he was my flying pig, he was going to be my reminder that sometimes pigs do fly, sometimes far off, seemingly impossible dreams can become reality…. pigs can fly.
All the sunlight is just so perfect streaming through the windows. It always makes me smile.
Heres another We Live Here!!! This chair is my kids favorite (thus the chocolate fiasco). Its my favorite too, so I don’t blame them for loving it.
I love this space with my whole heart. It’s what I’ve wanted for a long time and I feel very blessed to be able to finally have it. I love working in this space. I love reading books with the kids and on my own. I love just sitting in here and watching my children do their fun dance parties and crazy tackle battles in here. We live here, and we have a functioning space that’s pretty as well. It does not get much better then that.
Whats your favorite room in your house? Do you feel the same kind of peace I do when a room comes together?