living room: 2017

we'll just pretend that these things did actually happen in 2017 & not in 2016 since i'm just now blogging about it. we'll just pretend it didn't take me four months to get this part of my house clean & organized so that i could photograph it. we'll just pretend i'm not a lazy piece of shit, for blogging's sake.

i asked for a new rug for christmas because this one that i'd been eyeing awhile went on clearance & you don't pass up a 9x12 rug for $300. considering a beni ourain rug is way out of my price range, nate berkus will just have to do. i've been totally pleased with this rug. it's soft, it's been durable with my crazy dogs & it's just off-white enough to hide dirt between vacuums. shortly after laying it down, i started getting the itch to change everything up. i get it regularly but especially with this room. it's hard to get things right in here & the happiest we've been in the past is having the tv area in the back by the picture window so that's exactly what i did. walking into my house every day & immediately laying eyes on my tv irritated me to no end. so now, i walk into a seemingly empty room with no more & no less than i need. & i can breathe again. & i don't have to look at that dumb tv (that i love) unless i want to. one day we might get a small tulip table for this space but honestly, i'll be surprised if we ever get around to it.


i took everything out of this room & then i boxed up all of my tchotchkes, art, sentimental items, etc as if we were moving. i needed to start fresh. i removed a handful of my most precious things from the boxes but aside from that, it all got donated. i realized during this that the hardest/weirdest thing to purge is art. it's not that i have a hard time letting go of the actual art, it's that there doesn't seem to be a good way to do it. what would you do with art/prints you no longer wanted?


we moved our couch to the back to then find out about the best thing west elm has ever done so we lived without a couch for a couple of weeks while waiting for the refund check. we couch shopped & were pretty set on a simple sofa + chaise from a local furniture store until we really thought about it & decided to use that money for more pressing priorities. so we did what we always do, we went shopping at our best friend's house as they've now supplied 70% of the furniture in our house. they just so happened to have bought a new couch & were nice enough to give us their old one. although the color isn't my first choice, the lines are clean & simple + it's the most comfortable couch we've ever owned. i'm hoping we can get a few more years out of it so we can save up for my dream.


i replaced the curtains with white sheers (SO MUCH BETTER!!! i don't even care that there's a glare on the tv because the light they let in is 100% worth it) & i took down the curtains that hid the cubbies after ryan suggested that they no longer "fit" the room (he was so right). now there are just a few more things that i want in order to "finish off" this room aside from a new couch (is a room really ever finished?). it could use a couple more decorative baskets/bins for the storage under the window & a large round mirror (like so or so) to hang above the couch. i've also considered trying my hand at huge neutral wall hanging/macrame for that area. one day i should probably get around to finishing painting the ceiling too....


that hanging rattail cactus is my most prized possession right now. i will cry if i kill it with my neutral thumb.

the other part of the room, the entrance to our house, is my favorite part now. why? because it's essentially empty & it makes us feel sooo good. i understand it's not for everyone but for us? it's just right.


i'm finishing up an easy & soooo satisfying project right now that i'll be back to share so stay tuned!

sources: coffee table / curtains / roller blinds / plant hangers 1 & 2 / rug / side table

tour: part III, the living room

next stop on the tour is the main living space(s). you open the front door into a huge open room that i find to be a little awkward in size. because of this, it has been rearranged a million times & i’m sure it will never stop.

2009, from the appraisal


the fireplace doesn’t work & i have no clue when it was last in working order. i think it would be really awesome to get it running again. i vaguely remember the realtor saying that something was wrong with the gas line running to it. that horrendous faux-texture paint job above it KILLS me. i have no clue why anyone would paint anything in that way, ever. i’ve always been curious what’s behind the drywall. is there a beautiful brick chimney? i’m also guessing they covered it for a reason. or is this like the desk situation, part 2?

2009, previous owner's shit

the picture window is one of my favorite things about the house. it’s an original single-pane, inefficient, steel window with side casement windows (covered by the curtains in the picture). the problem is that the window-seat seems to make a really great place to dump things. it’s currently full of tools & paint as you’ll see below. i’ve always wanted an upholstered cushion for it but at 11′ long & 2′ deep, i would have to have something custom-made which is way more than i’m willing to spend. i could try & make something myself but i haven’t sewn in several years, so is that smart? i don’t know. i just want to cover up the tile countertops (same ones from the kitchen). then again, when i get wood to replace the counters in there, should i just get a piece for here too? but will it hold the weight of people sitting on it? or more realistically, several 5 gallon paint buckets?


let’s just pretend that the early days of over filtering & focusing your pictures for instagram never happened. i’m acknowledging how horrible it is & now let’s never talk about it again.

the first year in our house we did what every young couple does needing to furnish an entire house on a budget. we let ikea & target throw up all over the place & thought it was so awesome. six years later & only two items remain from this time. our style has changed so much since then. i didn’t even mind the green paint on the walls.


in 2013 i painted the walls “grey” with teal accent walls (gross). the grey was really more blue than anything else but it really helped to lighten up the space. i never really liked the tv mounted above the fireplace either so i was happy for that change. i was starting to understand at this point that i don’t like feeling like i live in a cave.


the next year i got creative & moved the living room to the back nook. i think it’s my favorite furniture placement to date. notice that the window seat was collecting piles back then too. it’s never-ending. we ending up getting two 8×10 jute rugs from west elm (similar here) on clearance for $300, which i felt i couldn’t pass up that kind of deal at the time. i loved that green rug when we first got it but it has not held up well. it is unraveling in many places & is extremely stretched out.

i seem to have zero pictures of the other side of the room from this time. sorry!


*please ignore this mess. i specifically remember taking this just to send to my bff to show her that we got our new couch.

at the beginning of 2015, we made our first “adult” purchases. first, we replaced our beloved ikea karlstad with the peggy from west elm (mistake #1) & then we bought a fake eames lounger (mistake #2). within a year, the sofa has probably 10 missing buttons, the fabric has dulled significantly & it’s very wobbly. i’ve been so disappointed in the quality of the product. i can’t believe that our ikea sofa held up better than this one. it already needs to be replaced, whereas the karlstad withstood 6 years of 6 different dogs jumping all over it, a million house parties & dozens of sleep overs. we even got a couple hundred bucks out of it in the end. we won’t be so lucky with this one. the lounger is.. well.. beautiful at first glance but i do feel a little guilty about buying it now. not to mention that the leather on the seat ripped at the button within 6 months. live & learn or some shit?

but then this happened! ryan’s back went out while he was in the attic & he ended up straddling a beam because of it (ouch!). i had to move our living room back to the other side so this could be fixed. it turned out to be a good thing because it’s what finally motivated me to tackle painting the whole house & finally paint the woodwork in here. it also made it impossible to ignore that horrible light fixture.

my wonderful, professional painter of a step-dad came & patched the drywall for us, while also re-texturing the entire ceiling so it would all match. it had been patched in several spots over the years. it was incredibly nice of him & if you ever need a painter in the state of oklahoma, i’ll be more than happy to put you in contact with him.

2015, february

the plastic came down & i decided that now was the time to get to work on the woodwork. this is the worst project i’ve ever done. it took so long just to prep one stupid window for paint. it pretty much went like this: sand until my arms died, cry, wipe clean, patch wood, sand, sand, cut off my arms, sand, cry, clean with deglosser, sob. it didn’t take me long to realize why i had put it off for so long & i’m embarrassed to say how long this took me.

2016, january

in eleven months (ELEVEN!) i had gotten this far. in case you couldn’t tell, i hadn’t even painted the entire room. you can see where i stopped above the hall door. but dammit, it just felt so good to have those windows done. i was obsessed with the walls being white too (i still am). what happened was that my laziness kicked in hardcore after i got those windows done & it was almost impossible for me to motivate myself to pick up a paint brush.

2016, march


in march i finished painting & dropped everything in place. i was happy because i loved the way the white completely transformed the feeling of the entire house but i wasn’t satisfied with the placement of anything. over the last year, i’ve kept taking more & more things out of my house. i got really into the KonMari method, right along with the rest of the world, but it bled into something so much deeper & more important to me. it has really changed my life. i started realizing that by removing all of the stuff from my physical space, it started making my mental space less anxious. i did some serious purging. soon after, i started listening to the minimalists podcast & it has taken me even further. i started getting rid of everything. minimizing physical & mental clutter has become something i need to do for myself. i've started living so much more intentionally because of it & now try to focus my time only towards what is really important to me, what i value & what my goals are.


2016, august*

i started by getting rid of things like our dining room table that was seldom used. i don’t want a table just because that’s what you’re “supposed” to have, nor do i want things on my wall for that same reason. it’s also why i don’t have a guest bed or a dresser in my bedroom. i’m glad that i could pass those things along to people who can get some joy out of them. i’d encourage everyone to only keep things (& people) around them that truly bring value to their lives. otherwise, what is the point?

*the window seat pile keeps growing. there are so many paint cans on there. and tubes of caulk. and gutter repair kits. and grass seed. and a donation pile. how do i stop this madness?


a few minor things left on the to-do:

  • finish painting ceiling / second coat on entire ceiling
  • find a better storage solution for my home repair tools that doesn’t include putting them in the garage
  • drop off our donation pile
  • refinish coffee table in seating area (craigslist find for $20)
  • replace brown rug with 9×12 rug (this or this)
  • fix fireplace
  • fix the wiring on one of the recessed lights
  • change door knob & lock?
  • finish prepping hallway doorway (i removed the door & popped off the trim) for paint

today, i feel pretty good about the space. a room is never done but i feel totally okay with where we are now. one day we’ll get the floors refinished. they are original which i'm thankful for, but they're in pretty rough shape. i have no idea what kind of wood they are. how do people even know these things? i’m hoping that it's pretty enough to just seal them once they’re sanded down & not stain them.

just talking about purging is making me itch to get home & add to my donate pile.