Hey guys! Its been a fun and crazy 5 months since we moved into our new house and we’re really enjoying it all! We have a great big yard with a pool (about 3/4 acre total) , a bigger home (5 bds/3 baths) and, the best part, an 800sq ft guesthouse!
So far we’ve only had my brother and his wife stay in the guesthouse, but it’s currently serving as my office and sewing studio, a workout room and housing all our food storage.
I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have a space where I can leave out scissors and an iron and photography and computer equipment without kids breaking things or inflicting bodily harm. Every afternoon, I put my kids in their rooms for quiet time and I lock myself in the guesthouse to get my blogging and sewing time in. It’s been fabulous!
But on to the living room! This room is really the heart of our new home and it’s pretty big. I knew we’d use it for reading books and playing and wrestling, as well as entertaining guests and having parties in here.
With that in mind, the room had to be cute and put together but with plenty of comfy seating space for our family to rest, relax and read together. The original plan was also to install our projector and screen in this room but I keep putting it off. I kind of love NOT having a permanent fixture for watching TV. It seems we watch a lot less this way!
We began with our existing sectional couch (it used to be in the basement of our old house) and crammed it in the only corner it would fit.
I then decided I wanted a blue/pink color theme going on which we’ve kind of been carrying throughout the rest of the house as well, although in different shades.
I found this great rug at Home Goods and immediately knew it would fit the bill for our home: textured to hide the crumbs and crud that my kids get everywhere, and varied in color to hide the stains and dirt that come along with family life. I haven’t regretted it for a second!
I chose the navy blue chairs opposite the couch to create a conversational seating area for guests and really love them. Admittedly, dark velvet probably wasn’t the wisest choice for a family with 8 kids and 3 cats but a quick vacuum and/or wipe down has seemed to work just fine.
I added the wood credenza as a focal point for decor as well as for storing blankets and other essentials. The bookcases in the corner became a little reading nook with a swivel chair and fun pouf for a foot rest. I’d still like to get a round rug for this corner to anchor the whole thing together but so far, I’m loving how things are looking!
The key to making this room cute but kid friendly has been buying furniture and rugs that hide stains and wipe clean easily. Oh, and buying affordable furnishings & decor so I don’t get too upset when things are inevitably ruined. Other than the sectional, we didn’t pay more than $250 for anything in this room. It might not be the most glamorous house in the universe, but it’s cute and comfortable and works for us!
On that note: I’ve struggled with accepting the dirt and damage that comes with having 3/4 of a dozen kids (ha!) running around all day, every day but I’ve largely come to be OK with it all. I realize that the energy and yelling it would cost me to prevent most childhood mishaps (food spilled, marker on furniture, playdough incidents, etc) would turn me into a really awful, cranky mother and I’m just not willing to live like that. Instead we establish house rules and do our best to enforce them to maintain basic cleanliness and order. And then when accidents or naughtiness happens, we try to just get over it and move on.
Lastly, I am using an interior designer to decorate this house because I wanted to be really purposeful and ensure I didn’t make costly mistakes and end up unhappy with my decisions. I’m working with Becky from Leu Interiors and she has been amazing!
Becky was my designer when I decorated Finn’s room in the old house and I loved how easy going and accommodating she was. When I approached her about decorating our main spaces in this house, I was very pleasantly surprised at the cost for decorating almost our entire main floor. It was less than I’ve paid for a single couch!
She’s also helping us design our school room which is the project I’m most excited about. We’re taking a big empty room and installing bookshelves, cabinets and desks to make the space better suited to homeschooling a bunch of kids. Stay tuned for that reveal!
Becky sourced all the furniture and decor that she chose for this room, but I ended up buying lots of it at my local Home Goods (my fave decor store of late!). It was awesome to take her design and make it my own by finding furnishings that really appealed to me and were sometimes even under budget. She was also really good at finding affordable furnishings and working around pieces I already had and wanted to keep.