Once again, I struggle to know how to refer to this room. I don’t like the idea of TWO rooms with couches (i.e. having both a family room and a living room), but which name do you use when they are combined? For clarity, I can say the fireplace room and since there’s only one fireplace in the whole house at least people know which room I’m talking about. But, “fireplace room” does sound a bit silly. Any suggestions?
This room is open to the dining room (separated by French doors – to the left in the pic below) and also open to the kitchen (separated by two huge doorways and the half wall that is at the bottom of the pic below). I would have liked to have three couches and a chair like I did at our old house, but this room just wasn’t large enough. It’s plenty wide on either side of the fireplace, but not in front of the fireplace. If we owned this house, I would take down that half wall, which would give enough room to put two couches facing each other in front of the fireplace, but with the wall there it would look weird. So, even though having more seating would be great, we can always bring in the dining room chairs if we need to, and I actually love the size and shape of the room. I think it works pretty well for hosting small- to medium-sized bible studies and pot luck dinners. People usually don’t mind being a bit crowded for a party (I hope!).
This room has four bookcases with extension shelves all the way to the ceiling – did you know that I/we love books??? I put our “non-homeschooling” books in here, but I don’t really think that’s a great distinction because our “homeschool books” are real books (not textbooks or workbooks) and we would read them even if we didn’t homeshool. Similarly, I think our “non-homeschooling” books are super-relevant for homeschooling because they have to do with life. But, I just had to draw the line somewhere. In here you will find our theology books (alphabetical by author except certain authors like: Elisabeth Elliot, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and J. R. R. Tolkien – who each get their own shelves) and shelves dedicated to certain topics we are interested in, for example: parenting/child-training/childbirth, womanhood/role of a wife, marriage/family, and peacemaking books. You will also find favorite family read-aloud series, homesteading books, cookbooks (arranged by color), Kent’s books, our family MyPublisher photo albums (which I am FOUR years behind on!!!), and my lovely Coralie Bickford Smith-illustrated clothbound classics (spread out among each of the four bookcases). On some of the higher shelves I put high school homeschool books (which would make more sense in the front room bookshelves, but I just ran out of space in there).
The first thing that I got for this room was the 9 x 12 wool rug (which I bought on ebay – it was a customer return, looks absolutely brand new, and I paid less than half price!!!) and I got a suuuuuper-thick (1/2 inch!!) rug pad so it’s really comfy to sit on the floor or even lay down to play with Everett – I’m just so happy with it!!! It kind of looks dirty all the time, but it’s an all-over “dirty” – which I think will be perfect for us =). I also found a slipcovered couch on craigslist (in PERFECT condition and it came with TWO slipcovers, white and linen/beige) — YAY!!!
I feel like we are just trading furniture back and forth with craigslist! I sold two Lee Industries couches, two matching linen-slipcovered settees, and the piano from the old house (all of which originally came from craigslist!) and so far for the new house I’ve bought two armoires (from CL), the new rug (from ebay), a bunch of extension shelves for the bookcases (new from Ikea), and now this couch (from CL). So I think we’re pretty even. =)
And I have some smaller furniture in here (from the old house) which I think has good bones and appropriate scale, but it all needs to be painted and/or reupholstered (green chairs, I am talking to you!) — none of which is likely to happen before the baby comes =( But, eventually, there will be no green in here, just gray, beige, white, light brown, etc. The green stripe chair is moving up to our bedroom once I find something to replace it — it’s super-duper comfortable (and Kent loves it) but the curvy legs are rubbing me the wrong way in here – so it has to go (I paid $65 for it on craigslist!). Then I need to get a few more seating options in here – I’m thinking of a simple, padded bench in front of the (non-working gas) fireplace as well as another comfy chair or two. Also, I’m keeping my eyes open for some side tables and lovely lamps. Having a place for each person to put a bible (or pens, teacup or whatever) as well as adequate lighting are my main priorities in here.
So, the bookshelves are already on 2×4 bases, so that we can use 2x8s as baseboards (just like in the Keeping Room/Homeschool Room). We also need to add all kinds of trim (and caulk and paint) to make these look more built-in. And, Derm Dad isn’t exactly on-board for this expansion of the project, but I also REAAAAALLLLYYYYY want to add four DVD shelves (not for DVDS, they are just skinny enough to fill the space perfectly) as well as shelves over the two doorways, to connect the bookshelves on either side, so that they really look built-in. Kind of like this:
My main inspiration for the fireplace room (all furniture in neutral colors, lots of textures, and that rug) has been this lovely space:
And this piece of art (for punch colors and also something lovely to put over the fireplace) — I plan to get some throw pillows in these colors, too:
And these rooms too: