I am very pleased to say that the tour series (which began in the entryway) is continuing… I may have had to take pictures in less than ideal lighting (because it was storming outside), but when your photography opportunities are limited to mid-afternoon while your children are asleep, you do what you can do, right? So without further ado, I give you the living room.
I do believe that this is my favorite room in our house right now.
Though the furniture layout is a bit square (and, aesthetically, I would probably suggest something more interesting), I adore how functional the room is. It is perfect for our weekly community groups (where we have 20+ people for discussion) as well as wrestling matches and dance parties (which we have daily… ah, life with two little boys…).
When we bought this home, we decided it was time for some new living room furniture (woohoo!). Though I’m usually one to thrift my way through furnishing a room (we actually realized that this was the first new furniture we had bought in almost 10 years of marriage, save our bedroom set that Mr. Pax bought me as a surprise gift when we bought our first home), it was a pleasure to use a little of our savings to buy pieces that would both fit the room and our family’s needs, as well as last.
My Restoration Hardware chairs were my grand splurge (though by catching a sale and receiving free shipping, they were actually far more reasonable than you might think).
And though the big brown leather sofas are so, well, big and brown, I am very pleased with our choice. They’re perfect for a family with little boys.
We also found a gorgeous Indian antique that we intended to use as our media cabinet, but once we got home with it, we couldn’t bring ourselves to drill holes in the back for the cords, so the electonics ended up in plain view anyway. Oh well.
I did my fair share of scrounging repurposing, as well. Our game table in the corner belonged to my husband’s grandparents, and he has fond memories of it from their home. The modern, tufted chairs I found on clearance when a store was going out of business, and I purposefully paired those with the more traditional chairs, which I had painted black and distressed years ago.
One of those actually sits across the room by our antique French trunk (which has a great story to go with it… read it here if you missed that).
I also commandeered an old potting bench that my grandmother was getting rid of to use for extra seating and shoe storage, since it is right off the entryway.
And since we have no coffee table (it might get in the way of wrestling, and we can’t have that!), we have several side tables. The leather-topped antique ones (which came from the same distant cousin as the mirrored entry table) are awesome.
But this old trunk Mr. Pax’s parents gave him may be my favorite.
I try to keep accessories to a minimum; I really prefer clear surfaces and less clutter (plus my one-year-old is at the stage where he carries everything around anyway…). I try to limit myself to meaningful, useful, and quirky things like the old milk jug Mr. Pax bought for me (which I use for flowers sometimes), our slate coasters, the vintage carpet bowls, and the window pane I bought in Wimberley (the town where we were married).
And I use my own photography when I can.
Complemented, of course, by other DIY projects, like the vintage Paris map.
And the smocked drop-cloth curtains.
Though the mantle is constantly changing, it is currently quite simple.
I don’t love having the tv above the fireplace, but with the placement of doors and windows in the room, the only other available wall was the one opposite the fireplace, so we opted for one focal point rather than two. Speaking of functionality, we can’t forget the little toy basket hidden under the side table.
Thankfully, a small one is all we need, since the living room opens to the playroom (the coral room behind the love seat).
It also opens to the dining room. One of the things I love about this house is that even though it is not “open concept” in the sense of many homes today, the double-wide doorways (with original, working pocket doors… love them!) make it feel very open. And it’s perfect for entertaining large groups because the company can congregate and flow naturally.
Plus, it’s a great place to sit, have a cup of coffee, and appreciate life. What more could you ask for?
I hope you enjoyed the tour. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!