We’ve all been spending a lot of time inside our own homes these last many months, and if you’re like me, every nook and cranny has come under intense scrutiny. There’s only so much shuffling of photos and switching up of the pillows one can do until it’s inevitable a full-blown redo is on the horizon.
It all started with an innocent deep dive into some of my favorite designers’ sites and Instagram accounts, when I decided it was finally time to tackle our living room. After scouring through Amber Interiors, McGee & Co., and Becki Owens’s work, I was sure I was after an atmosphere comprised of soothing neutrals, earthy materials, and serene patterns. So after extensive research (which, by the way, amuses yet also irritates my husband because he sees what he likes, confidently decides, and there’s no going back), I finally pulled the trigger on some major pieces and began to create our new room.
I started by choosing a neutral sofa from Harvest Interiors (a singular seat cushion is it for me now), two chairs, a rattan bar, desk, and bookshelf from Living Spaces. My husband fell in love with a super cool, unique coffee table (again, from Harvest Interiors) made from a single tree trunk and weighs just as much. For him, it was love at first sight, and it now stands as the anchor of the space. I had the entire room (as well as the entry hall, stairway, upper landing, and a small powder room) painted a fresh, bright coat of Benjamin Moore “Simply White,” and chose a rattan mirror from Amazon along with a trio of botanical prints from TJ Maxx to compliment the already existing “artwork.” I say that in quotations because it truly is a mix- we have a beautiful painting gifted from my parents, a few sketches my boys did in elementary school, and there may even be a thing or two from Target thrown in for good measure. It is an eclectic but personal mashup forsure, and that’s what I feel a room should showcase on its walls. And finally, I fell in love with a neutral, handwoven, chunky jute area rug, again from Amazon, to ground the entire space.
Yet, with all this new furniture, fresh paint, and wall decor, the room was still falling flat to me, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it came to me. In any sense of the imagination, I’m not a neutral girl, so why in the world was I trying to duplicate what I had seen online that was clearly not in step with my personal aesthetic? Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love the above designers and would be quite comfortable in any of their fabulously designed homes, yet still, the room lacked the punches of color and pattern I now know I must have in every room. These elements seriously make me happy and lift my mood when they all harmonize, and the room wasn’t singing with all those well-balanced neutrals.
So I took to Etsy with a fevered pitch to source accent pillows that the room demanded and headed back to good ole Amazon for a soft throw blanket and two lamps that, to me, are the pillars of the room. Once everything was complete, and all the elements found their proper space (after much fussing and fluffing, I might add), the room spoke to me in a language I could understand- my own.
In the end, we chose a few solid investment pieces that will stay with us for years to come and mixed it all with a combination of high and low, big box and boutique, personal treasures, and thrift store finds. But most importantly, it was once again a lesson in staying true to your style and living with what you love- and to me, THAT makes a house a home.