Okay guys, it only took me 8 months, but I finally have an update for you on our family room makeover. The one thing I’ve discovered about myself over the last 9 months of living in our farmhouse is that when it comes to designing spaces, I’m a real slow-cooker. When I have a design pickle, it takes me a while to sort it out. For example, exhibit A: our family room. Craig and I started working on this room almost the moment we moved into our farmhouse. (You can see the before here.) Besides the kitchen it is the most used room in the house. It’s where we sit by the fire and read, watch movies as a family, play games and just hang out together.
My mom gave me some really good advice years ago when I was overwhelmed with decorating our second house. It was twice the size of the little crackerbox our first house was and I didn’t really have any furniture or any clue where to start. She told me to start with one room, and just work on that room until it was finished. Then I would have one space that was finished, that made me happy, rather than spreading my time and resources across a bunch of spaces and not really making progress in any of them. It turns out, that was really good advice (that I’ve used in a lot of different applications) and it’s really helped me not get overwhelmed over the last 9 months as we started tackling our farmhouse.
So let’s talk about the family room, shall we? First of all this room presented a lot of design challenges. So let me tell you about those and then what I did to work around/with them. First of all, the family room is a long narrow room, while it’s actually quite large it’s narrow enough that figuring out where to place couches and the TV etc. Was a little tricky. It also left us with a big empty space my the entry door and no idea what to do with it. The ceilings are also lower than more modern houses (just around 7 feet), and the beams were originally stained a dark, dark brown (almost black) which made the room feel a little like a cave. Also, because our house was built over 100 years before they invented electricity a lot of our lighting is wall lighting, so enter the awkward sconce situation you see below. When we moved it the wall around the fireplace was this ugly wood paneling and it had a terrible mantel. Beside those, we have your basic old house lack of level floors and ceiling, but those were the major issues with the space.
click through to see more images of the room and what I did about each design challenge:
Yesterday was Craig’s birthday. And not to pat myself on the back or anything, but the kids and I knocked it out of the park. We pulled off every surprise we had planned, and the gifts we found for him were a hit. Craig never makes a big deal about his birthday but at the end of the night, I could tell he was going to bed feeling happy and loved. Having his birthday right before Christmas means that this time of year, I’m usually in a panic trying to figure out what on earth to get him for both holidays. (Why are men so hard to shop for??) But after all these years, I’m happy to say, that I’ve finally got the hand of shopping for my husband.
Today, I’m sharing a gift guide for the guy in your life. (Lot’s of these picks could be substituted for your dad or brothers too.
Last year, Christmas morning fell on a Sunday. We were in Idaho with my in-laws and there was a huge blizzard, so instead of heading off to church first thing in the morning, we climbed back into our pj’s and had a cozy Christmas day at home while the storm blew outside. I love it when Christmas falls on a Sunday because it feels extra special. This year, Christmas Eve falls on Sunday and I can’t wait to go and worship that morning before we head back home for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.