Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Favorite Things: Family Room

Our family room is generally a disaster area. Our couch and chairs are college-era Ikea. There are several competing colors of wood. The builders plan for the room itself is a bit of a mystery. It's really too big to be all family room and yet if you shoved any type of dining room furniture it would look like you'd tried to cram two rooms into one. We have neighbors with the same floor plan who use the non-family-room space for their piano. That looks perfect. But our reality is kids. Many kids. Kids who are rough on furniture. Kids with many toys. And suddenly the room is maybe not too large to be all family room. And there's something to be said for furniture that doesn't make you gasp when a child jumps on it. When you throw in all those toys, furniture and a treadmill (yes, we have a treadmill in our family room), I guess it almost makes sense. I think my mother fights off a coronary every time she walks through the front door. When I was a child we had all of our toys in a trunk in the garage and could only bring them in one or two at a time. (Yes we did also have a basement for big-wheels, but you know what I mean.)

I love this antique ice chest. We bought it at tiny antique store just outside of Mammoth. Brooks wasn't sure we'd be able to fit it in the car. I said we'd make it work. The poor dog (yes, we had a dog, no we don't anymore, don't get me started...) had to ride on top of it the rest of the way home. When we called a friend to help us move it into the house, his response was "You paid for this? An old, used, refrigerator?" Both our parents have one in their homes, so it was love for both of us. Now it happily holds a mess of junk etc. happily between the treadmill and toys.
For the life of me I was unable to get an accurate picture of this window. There are actually two of them. When we moved into the house, it was just one of many "why did the builder do this?!?" questions we asked ourselves and each other and anyone who would listen. Why so small? Why so high? Again my Mommy came to the rescue. She suggested that we find stained glass to hang over it. It took a few years, but she finally found a store back east with some great pieces. We bought these, shipped them here and then I sanded and painted the outside wood to match the room. Brooks hung them and suddenly the little windows didn't look so random - it's like they were made for eachother!
Ahhh, plantation shutters. I've always loved these, and was finally able to talk Brooks into getting them, all through the downstairs. We even got the slider in the kitchen. And I can't even put into words how much I love them. Not only are they pretty, but they keep the house amazingly cool! Which saves us a bundle in the 100 degree days of summer. When we go through the open houses on the weekend (we love doing it, even the kids enjoy it, I know, we're weird), I light up when a house has them. I don't know if I could live without them now.
This table still has the old sewing machine inside it. It warmly greets anyone who comes in our home and is happy to hold incoming mail and outgoing bills as well as extra blankets, the baby monitor...Yeah, this room could definitely use better organization :)

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