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Last year, I shared an evolution over the years of our living room and then a few weeks ago, I found some old (low quality–sorry!) photos of our home before we bought it and I have been having so much fun walking down memory lane. You know how everyone is sharing the How Aging has Affected You challenge. Well, consider this the house version. This year it will be 6 years of living in our home and like people, I believe homes are supposed to evolve and change. Maybe a room has a really good year, straight-up bad year or some awkward years in there. Our reading room has had all of the above.
Here’s the listing photo I found of the space before we bought it. When we looked at the home it had been empty for a few months so I didn’t get the chance too see any furnishings anywhere. But I do remember seeing this room and thinking–Well, that’s where the Christmas tree goes.
• Before our big Halloween party in 2013, I remember picking out this green color (it was a custom color I had mixed) to serve as a backdrop for photos. And then I kind of fell in love with it. (That pillow combination is hurting my eyes)
• This room had/has zero lighting–overhead, accent or otherwise so we spent some time building a header and adding sconces and building wall to wall shelves. Even though this was the first version of those shelves (Dec 2013), they’ve stuck around and I still love them.
• In the Spring of 2014, right before Faye was born, we tore up all the flooring and laid faux wood tile throughout the entire main level. It must have been around this time that we also inherited Chris’s great grandmother’s piano and it once again became a piano room. Ha! Truthfully this is probably my least favorite version of this room because the tone of the green mixed with a lot of medium wood tones feels pretty 80s to me.
• Fortunately, by 2015 (I had a BABY in 2014, so progression slowed way down. I think I remember those baseboards taking months to replace!), I had figured out that the green needed to go a little darker. We brought back in the former couch and things were looking a little better…but awfully busy looking back.
• Then we got a dark black leather sofa, I swapped out the art and I feel like I started finding my groove. I like moody spaces and it was definitely headed in that direction. This was a good year!
• Then, to be honest, I feel like we kind of regressed. We had to ditch the acrylic coffee table because of tiny handprints all over it all the time. But adding more seating in here really made the small room feel crowded. Especially when mixed with a rug that commands a little more attention. It took me until after Christmas that year, after I took the tree out to realize I wasn’t bringing that extra seating back in.
• Which brings us to how it looks today! I shopped our house and moved things around and simplified the decor over the years. I’ve learned to stick with more neutrals when decorating especially since the wall color and rug complement each other so well–everything else should be supporting.
This is one of the first rooms you see when you walk in our home and it’s a room we love to go in and relax when we need a time out. I have a small desk in the corner (see it here) that I sometimes work from and I can look out the front window and see when packages arrive or when Greta gets home from school. And yes, it’s definitely the perfect room for a Christmas tree.
Here’s one more before and after from the day we moved in 2013 to last week (2019). We’ve come a long way baby.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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