I feel good.
It's hard to say how many things I've changed in this living room, and I'm a bit embarrassed to try. The walls have been painted four times now, we're on our third rug, third accent chair, second set of end tables, third coffee table, and one millionth configuration of art and accents. So before I show you where I believe we're truly ending this journey, let's take a trip down memory lane:
Summer 2011: A few months after moving in. Linen white walls with dark raspberry accent wall, flat jute rug, small TV stand, handmade linen curtains, two vintage upholstered floral chairs. Not bad, but too dark and not quite my style. I brightened this wall slightly with a fuschia a couple notches up, but still no dice.
Winter 2012: Then a little of this. With the piano out of the way I could play with furniture arrangement, which opened everything up a little bit.
Spring 2012: I got a bit antsy. First we got a new shaggy brown rug...
...and then finally ditched the dark wall (oh hi, Hank. Rest in peace, sweet friend.)
Then I did a lot of first trimester couch-squatting intermixed with hardcore basement-finishing until August, when I got off my bum and painted the whole shebang in my spirit color, Behr Indian Ocean.
Then the dogs made that rug so utterly stank that it had to go. We had a whole odyssey of Rug Doctoring and baking soda vacuuming and finally professional cleaning and after all that, we just couldn't deal with putting it right back only to get trashed again. So our expensive brown shag rug is still neatly tied up and hiding in the basement closet, and our floor has been bare all winter.
It's okay though, because the eagle has landed.
What is it about this rug that I love so much in here? It's the tone-on-tone play with the oak floors and the ivory-beigey furniture. It's the contrast of materials with the rough burlap and the smooth leather (we're not crazy about the leather furniture, but it makes it work). It's the versatile style of a knotted jute rug that is at once Pottery Barn stylish, seaside fresh, and simply modern. It's also inexpensive (this one was $120 for a 6x9' at World Market's rug sale--a true steal!), low-maintenance, and relatively comfortable.
Jute isn't as scratchy underfoot as you might expect, especially with a thicker weave like this. Our first jute rug didn't have as nice a foot feel, and unfortunately we didn't know enough about caring for it. We made the mistake of shampooing it, which is a big no-no and will leave permanent water marks. This one will be treated much better!
Did you spot Lucille in the corner? This is nap attempt #18 for the day. I keep trying to tell her that an 11-week-old baby needs more than a couple 10-minute catnaps, but listening is hard.
Also, say hi to my pretty new pillow covers from ginette1223 on etsy!
They're made in Bali from true woven ikat. The color ended up being a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting a more ivory background, but the coral is absolutely perfect (of course, the listing described them as coral, so derp on me).
With just a few more small tweaks--namely, swapping the funky lamps for something a bit tamer and more neutral--this room will be light and airy, but still have plenty of great color that doesn't compete or overwhelm. Exactly like the rest of the house.
Yeah, that was exhausting. When I think about all the time and effort and paint that have gone into this room, I feel a little silly. But it's the heart of our home, and it's the first impression when you walk in, and I want it to reflect us. I finally feel like that's happening throughout this house. The best, most relaxing rooms are the ones you feel content and settled in, and let me tell you, I feel pretty darn settled today.