Friday August 5, 2011

{the living room with the big bare walls}

I finally caved and went to a new salon today.
I figured driving nine hours to my place back in Cincy wasn’t an option,
and I’m really happy with the results and like the gal who was the stylist.

But with each little choice like that I feel another piece of my heart being pulled from my old home, turning me more to my new…
like when the van finally got Canadian plates.
or I got my Ontario driver’s license.
when I applied for my health card.
and started using the green bin for food compost. ;)

In a funny way I find myself struggling with almost a sense of disloyalty-
to what exactly, I’m not sure. my hair dresser? the American government? ;)
There’s something in me that wants to cling so desperately to what’s familiar,
how it’s always been..
to have nothing change.

But God’s been impressing on me lately the need to be fully
as the quote says,
“wherever you are, be all there.” :)
And sure. there will probably forever be that little bit of a wish to be near family and friends back home..
But I can see that a huge part of learning to be content simply requires to stop looking back,
look forward!

I don’t know if you’ve felt torn before, in wanting to cling to something in the past..
but it’s like trying to run a marathon with your head turned backwards,
instead of looking full on to where you’re at.

I guess that could apply to both good and bad…
sometimes we look back wishing for what we had, or might have.
others, look back wishing something hadn’t happened, or might have been different. 

And I see how critical it is to face forward for many reasons, but especially because of my kids…
so much of MY response to things influences THEIR response to things.
grumbling. complaining. self pity. impatience. anger. lack of faith. selfishness.
Usually, without fail, before long I begin to hear almost the same coming out their mouths as well!

And it’s not about playing the Pollyanna game. putting on some phony happy face.
Emotions are real, and part of life, we have to process through them…
and we can’t hide the true attitude of our hearts either.

But I know it’s ultimately about realizing that life is about something so much bigger than just me~
and learning to focus my eyes beyond, and rest on the eternal.
Which when I do… instantly throws whatever I’m feeling or going through into perspective!

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy,”
suggested C.S.Lewis, “the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”


And about home, I’ve been having fun working on our new one here…

I’ve been painting everything in sight and admit I have a new obsession with white!
Shayne jokes that it’s a good thing he is, or I might be painting him too. ;)

But, I need some help with the living room.
I’ve had the hardest time trying to figure out what I want to do with the walls.
The room is long and narrow..
so on both sides of the room we have these big, bare walls!!

I’ve got ideas floating through my head,
but thought I’d throw them out for some of your thoughts~.

In my old house I was always just hammering away.. trying something here or there.
But the walls were smaller spaces, and maybe I knew I could easily hide the nail holes.
Here, I don’t want to get it wrong… {well, there’s no real “wrong” in decorating}
I guess I don’t want to not like it, and be left with nail holes to patch and paint to match.

Though a big question is if it’s going to be too busy hanging something over BOTH sofa’s??
I know it would help to turn one of the sofa’s so they’re going at an L…
but eventually I’d like two chairs on either end.
and I do like keeping the room with a more open feel. 

So, here it is~

living room 074

i’m eventually going to paint that table in the right corner… yes, white!
and that box is one i just got at a flea market last weekend.
not sure where it’s going yet, but of course, it has a perfect spot… somewhere!

living room 099

living room 161

and here’s the big bare walls… different views from the two different doors going into the room

living room 059

living room 023

And here’s some of the ideas I was thinking.


a large piece of art.


or cool architecture.




maybe some shelving.


2244421019_e524a291bb_o - Copy

love the idea below for the corner of the room, opposite the dark round table..
which would, if i do that, affect what goes over the sofa, if anything.

shelf collage

then there’s the idea of just some crazy mass of frames.



Blue-Wall-Black-White-Art-Gallery - Copy

and this doesn’t really have anything to do with this but I had to show you this great wallpaper~

5884038921_45fce25d9a_o - Copy 03_promo_201010

And while snapping the pictures above of the living room,
I was sitting on the floor when this little head popped around the corner..

living room 075

Of course high tailing it to mama..

living room 078

and eventually making it.

living room 093

By the way, I think most of the images are from Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware.
and…  a few other places I can’t remember right off now.
I’m sensing a Pinterest account in the near future to house some of this inspiration. ;)

So, give me your thoughts on my big bare walls~ 
I’m anxious to get some creative juices flowing on here.

·´¸.·¨) ¸.·¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ (¸.·¨¯`♥ amber

summer days~ 311summer days~ 281
summer days~ 273summer days~ 258

and baby girl modeling the sofa. :)

43 thoughts on “Friday August 5, 2011

  1. hananielsgirl

    White sofas and four kids… You amaze me!
    Since the room is narrow and Long what about a mirror on one side to open it up a little?
    Then you could put a mixture of shelves and frames on the other wall.
    Just my two cents!
    I love a collection of different shades of white in a room too, even though MY husband isn’t. ;)
    Love ya girl… No matter what country you have your hair done in!

  2. Lucy_or_Ethel

    I am sure you’ll find just the right look that you are striving for and if you are like most of us you’ll change and adjust things and have a grand time doing it. Love the shots of the baby, she is certainly a cutie and growing so fast.

  3. fruitloops115

    yes yes, you need to be pinning I started this week, LOVE it such a great way to store all that stuff you find online and then some.
    I lvoe all the inspriation images you posted. I think you could do something on each wall, just not exactly the same thing on each side.That image of the three white shelves, you could do that on one side, and the other do a huge large picture, or one of those fabulous photo arrangements.
    Just my two sense. but i just read the first commenter^ looks like she suggested similiar
    love love the white scheme, so beautiful. Love that crate thing and your ‘calm’ pillow…

  4. Mymom1

    You are so good with this stuff that I think you should just go with your heart and what ever you do is going to look great. . . like the shelf idea because it is easy to switch stuff around and change the theme with the seasons. . . that’s my two cents!!!!

  5. WildWomanOfTheWest

    It’s so good to have you close again (xanga close) and see a few of the things that you are playing with in your new home. So enjoyed, everything thing is looking cozy and comfy, wonderful!

  6. jewelofthelord

    lovely pictures.. great ideas…
    one thing that God used through your post this morning was the pillow on your sofa.. “keep calm and carry on”. I needed to see that this morning. As i have been dealing with some anxiety.. thank you. your baby is beautiful!

  7. down_onthefarm

    pinterest is a *cough* terrible place…come on over and join in the fun. i’d LOVE to cross paths with you and your ideas there too!

    love that c.s.lewis quote. totally reminds me of one of my fav songs right now.
    (probably already told ya)  “beautiful” by mercy me…”you were made for more than this…”
    which is a good thing. i’m counting on it. you bet i am. :)

    been trying to wrap my mind around “moving forward” * how did you know?* and yet remembering the past to actually be able to do so!
    dropping the chapters of yesterday’s textbook that are just too heavy and slowing me down
    while taking what i need, the things that i learned, what is highlighted and underlined. the God that IS faithful and doesn’t change and my experiences with Him
    to know that tomorrow and forward can be not only a good thing. but! a better thing.

    and here i rambled again. sorry. gotta say before i round up these kids and Be All Here…can’t wait to see what you decide with your house.
    that brain of yours that takes amazing pictures has a clever way of decorating. and writing. that too! love much.

  8. SpazzyMommy

    I had white sofas with my four kiddos too- It was actually great to be able to yank off the covers and wash! ;) THIS WHOLE POST WAS SOOOOO FULL OF INSPIRATION!!! I love it!!!

    I’ve heard that pinterest is a dark black hole of time. I’ve recently visited it to find out that what I heard was TRUE! :) Is there a way to link together on there? I’d love to see what else you have.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sample picture you posted with the trolley cart coffee table. I WANT ONE SO BAD- but their always WAY too expensive for this single momma budget. ;)

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Personally, I think you should frame some of your own photos and put over one of the couches. ;)

  9. hoodie1972

    Love the shutters, or the door turned on it’s side and the corner shelving! Those are my faves! Pastor Rick often refers to our ability to make new connections as dependant on the amount of “dots on your lego block”. Some people have all their “dots” taken up and therefore find it hard to add new friends. Other people just have bigger lego pieces, so they have many “dots” to fill. Here’s hoping that filling up the big bare walls of your living room is as enjoyable as filling up the friend dots on your wide open lego piece, here in Canada <3 I’m just happy to be one of your “dots”  :)

  10. smilesbymiles

    Oh, my goodness, I am in LOVE with the frames / candles on picture #4 under your inspiration / ideas pictures. And I got through about three or four pictures and started smiling and saying, mmmmhhmmm, she likes Pottery Barn, too. :) Love them. I love all the white you have going on. If I were redoing a house, I would definitely do lots of white. There’s just something so restful about it for this stage of life with all it’s noise and activity and bright colored toys.

  11. aretheyallyours

    Wow!  You are brave to have so much white!  I like the idea of shelves and picture collages.  Maybe a large mirror on one side, too.  Baby girl is absolutely beautiful- I adore that age! 

  12. betheelou

    I love the Pottery Barn looks.

    May I suggest~ The long wall that has the clock end table. . .paint that a sandy brown color.

    ~I love the decoupaged map wall (you can still place photos and pictures on top of that).

    ~I also love the eclectic wall that has framed photos, architectural sculptures, and cluttered side tables(14th picture down on the page)

    ~I think the rug is too much white for the space as well. May I suggest a jute colored rug with a black banded edge, or no edge at all.

    ~ On the table you want to paint, I’d leave the band of molding(just under the top where it meets the legs)wood color and just paint the legs and table top edge white.

    I love home decorating!! Have fun with your project. It will look fabulous no matter how you organize it. You ALWAYS do a fabulous job Amber!!

    Welcome back to blogging! XOXO Betheelou

  13. fwren

    A lot of the ideas look a tad bit busy to me, but I do love the large framed map.  and . . . yes, that is really cool wallpaper! 

  14. ABAHM

    Love all your ideas, and I’m a pottery barn fan too. I think one big piece on one wall or the other would be good. It could be a large artwork, or a canvas of one of your photos, or a mirror. Then on the other wall you could do the shelves, and/or photos, or architectural pieces. Depends what you find and what resources you have available. But, as others have said, you are a natural at this and always make lovely spaces. Love the box/crate.

    Your baby girl is so so sweet and gorgeous. I just want to scoop her up and plant a few kisses!

  15. seekinHISwisdom

    oh dear friend, I am thrilled to see you return!!

    love the white, the new idea’s, your cutesy baby girl, and I am SO excited to read what is happening in your life once again!!

    ~ love Di

  16. totallycherished

    Wonderful to see you here again!!!!
    I don’t have a lot of suggestions  – no make that any suggestions – when it comes to your decor.
    I’m sure whatever you come up with will be just right.

    What I do have an opinion about is that precious little person peeking around the corner.
    So stinkin’ cute!
    and crawling already!
    I guess she should be, but I still picture her as a newborn.

  17. angiearmour

    I too love white! Your sofas look comfy and I love your wood floors underneath. The only thing that occurs to my (incompetent-in-decorating) mind in regard to your livingroom is that there are a lot of “square-ish” shapes going on, with the couches and coffee/end tables. Maybe consider a contrast or something to soften the edges in the overhead art or corners of the room? If you get those chairs for the end, that would look great too.

    You have a gift! It is so much fun to read your decorating posts!

  18. Elizabethmarie_1

    I have also been falling in love with white…it’s so fresh and clean and bright!
    Love your living room. I am liking the whole mess of frames look!   I think you could pull it off too! =)
    I’m sure whatever you end up doing is going to look fabulous. I remember going to your old house….it was decorated so nicely! 
    You have a gift for that sort of thing.

    I too am happy you are back.
    Happy Weekend to you. =)

  19. MollyDraga

    Glad to see you back, sister-mine. I like the thought of a mirror on one side. And the large map on the other too, though I like the architecture-ish picture above the one with the shutters over the bed. (Though I think I just like the wall paper better than the greek-ish architecture focal points.) You should probably do something with multitudinous frames… you DO have a lot of pictures to display ;)

    As for the “meat” of your post, this whole life is always about moving on, and being in the here and now… if not physically, then emotionally and spiritually. It’s so easy, for instance, when you’re single, to not live in the “here and now” but wish and daydream for the “there and then” that is future. And when you’re empty nest, it’s so tempting to not live in the “here and now”, nor even the “there and then” of the future, but in the “there and then” of the past (or hoped-for-but-never-achieved past). It’s why the mid-life crisis is so common amongst men and women… we get “there” and wish we’d gotten to another “there” than the one we’re in… and leave for a new wife or new life… or at least a new motorcycle (or for us women, a new body, perhaps).

    I think all this practice at “moving on” is preparation for the final “moving on”, lest it so take us by surprise, that we be overwhelmed, and look back, like Lot’s wife.

    Wish I could stow away with your momma. I love you, girlfriend (and Reese STILL looks so like Ben at that age to me!)Smooches to your whole fam. And to you <3

  20. Donna7

    I agree with a comment above about having a mirror over one of the couches to make the room look wider in a mirrors special way.

    Above the other couch what about getting a nice old frame, quite large and rather than a picture have a blackboard or dry erase board. You could write devotions or daily or weekly words of inspiration on it. :)

    And baby Reese is so darn cute and growing!


  21. redladybug18

    I’m not a matchy matchy person so I’d go art on one side and architectural on the other. One tip a decorator my mom had over the other day said….you don’t want to put family photos in the family room/living areas. And it kinda makes sense because that’s where you live and you as well as people you have over don’t need to see pictures of you if you’re right there. The best place to put them is in a hallway etc.
    I agree about the nail hole thing…I think that’s what’s keeping me from really decorating my room. I’m just afraid of doing it wrong and hiding those holes :)

  22. lovinbloggin

    are you sure you dont want to create the “L” shape?? :) and maybe it’s not even an option, depending on how large the couches are?? but if it were me and the couches fit….i would create the “L” shape at one end of the room and only add one chair to the group. then create another small, more intimate seating area at the other end of the room w/ only two chairs and maybe a small table.

    as i was looking at the pictures you posted for ideas, i thought, “omg. we must have been pinning the exact same things today”. :) and then i saw you weren’t on pinterest. ha. i was looking for ideas to display photos on pinterest, and some of these same photos came up…and i love them!! i am needing help w/ my living room as well….and have been wanting to blog about it, but haven’t found time. :)

    love the pix of baby….looks like you have awesome lighting in that room!! her skin is gorgeous. and i loved seeing all your pix in the last post or so…esp the ones of YOU! you look amazing….and i want long, skinny legs like yours. glad to see you are giving your best shot at living “fully”…trust me, i know what that is all about. hard stuff to DO! dangit.

    love ya, girlfriend! ….and shall we make that phone conversation appointment soon?? ;)

  23. grace_to_be

    THANKS for all the input.. i was feeling a decorating freeze w/ this room and hearing everyone’s suggestions and ideas just helps get my mind cranking again w/ the possibilities~ wish you all could come over for a big decorating day! wouldn’t that be a hoot! though i think we’d probably just do more talking than anything. :) :)

  24. pettybunch

    I’ve been by a couple of times since you posted this, but I just wasn’t able to comment at the time!  I just wanted to say that you need to put a large piece of art – like one of my hubby’s gorgeous photos!

    My current design obsession is Sarah Richardson.  She has an HGTV show called Sarah’s House, and she loves white, also! Her style is very much like mine would be if I had her money. My hubby induges me and lets me watch the 3 seasons of her show over & over again on the computer!  Love, love!

    I agree with the other comments here, that you are so creative and naturally talented that your room will be amazing when you’re done.  I can’t wait for pics.

    Speaking of pics, little Reese is beautiful and growing so quickly! Bill and I are halfway up to see our new baby, right after a detour visit with Pam & Will! 

  25. Anonymous

    So glad you’re back back~ I really missed you and your posts! the “Keep Calm, and Carry On” pillow– and that box… I think a mirror or big collage of black and white photos would look good on the walls.

    thanks for the comment on my blog!

    hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  26. cherylyn_p

    It looks like you have lots of comments about decorating ideas. I’ve seen some of your things (possessions) in past posts, I’m wondering if one sofa wall could be a collection of hangings in various textures and shades. The other sofa could have one large “thing” using the predominant color from the opposite wall. I also liked the mirror idea. I use them a lot to open up a room.

    I have to ask: I just got a used dresser/mirror and a chest for Rissy’s room. I want to paint it white and saw you addressed that very thing in this post. I want more of a white-washed look, I think, and don’t know what type of paint to buy. Do you paint with a semi dry brush of paint when painting over wood for a white-washed look? Do I need to sand it first? There’s no shine left (it’s pretty old and dried up) and I thought about letting the wood peek through the paint and using cream or white paint. I just don’t know how. Help!

  27. mytoesareblue

    first of all i have to say that Reece is just the cutest little lady! she’s getting sooo big. love the little pictures of her hightailing it to momma! i remember being in this beautiful room with you and your excitement over getting to ‘know’ the room and some of your ideas for it. that box you found is awesome….kind of looks like it might have been sent to someone in the military, i’m not sure though. i really liked the idea of framing your own have so many amazing ones…i’ve seen a couple of photo walls that Alyssa has done of some of hers and they turned out really nice and then you’ve got some of your favs on the wall. icould see something like that wonderful corner grouping of shelves working really nice across from that table and perhaps a mirror across from the pictures to make the room a little more square (or at least the illusion of a bit more room!) so excited to see what you do with this. and that ‘old boards’ wallpaper is awesome. soooo good to have you back!

  28. lifeisadance

    Oh my goodness, you living room is sooo beautiful – even without all the finishing touches! I can’t wait to see what you’ll do! Your inspiration photos are so lovely, and the accents you already have are beautiful! The Canadian crate, the “keep calm” pillow, your vignettes on the shelves… Your style is just so beautiful!!

  29. twofus_1

    I don’t really have suggestions because my brain is on overload trying to figure out everything for hour new house–we’re buying! I love your room though. You have a great touch!

  30. floridayankees

    Your baby girl is adorable, and it was so cute her peeking around the corner AND she was wearing white! I LOVE your decorating style, i wish it would rub off on me! Also, I was reading the first part of your blog with my mouth wide open, you just won’t beleive that this was the very thing my husband was talking to me about last night, I have really been struggling with not wanting to let go of where we used to live, and word for word what you said about every little piece being taken away, oh how I can relate! Thank you, thank you for posting this and being so transparent. Please keep me in your prayer

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