I think my love for home design surpasses my love for fashion. Well, at least by a little bit. Okay, maybe I love both equally. I’m drawn to the way both forms are meant to be experienced from the inside, lived in, not simply looked at. I could happily hang out in that energizing tension between form and function all day long. So maybe there’s no need to pick a favorite. All I know is that I’ve lovingly reserved home design as my personal hobby, so it feels more intimate.
We moved into this lovely little 1930’s home in September, so I thought it was time for a proper update. And to make it even better — we just decorated for the holidays!
So let’s jump in. Today I’ll share progress on:
- Our living room
- Our dining room
- And a little bonus peek at the end!
If you see something you like, you can shop it and support my blog at the same time by using the affiliate links throughout the post.
Isn’t it a happy space? I love the balance of cozy clutter with white space.
A lot of people ask my opinion on Ikea sofas, and to me, the quality can’t be beat for the price. After 3 years (and multiple moves, yikes) ours is still in tip top shape — and we didn’t even buy it new! We bought it off craigslist, and as best I can tell, it was already 2-4 years old at that time. So I’m guessing it’s between 5-7 years old, and still going strong.
A few more quick credits: The paint color throughout the house is HGTV/Sherwin Williams Pure White from Lowes. Our marble coffee table is from Article. Our rug is from Ikea. Our leather chair is from CB2. And just about everything else (mirror, tray, candlesticks, vase) was antiqued or thrifted.
I’ve been collecting these antique candlesticks for a little while now, and I love how they all came together over the mantle. It’s easy to find ornate, chunky candlesticks, but if you’re looking for something a little more minimal like mine, try searching ebay and use the keywords “narrow” “thin” “minimal” or “tulip” in your search. If you just want to get some quickly, here’s a similar set of candlesticks.
Since this is the first time we’ve ever had a fireplace, we splurged and got these fun chunky knit stockings. I’m so happy with the quality. The knitting isn’t just on the front — it wraps all the way around to the back. Quick tip: If you get them embroidered they’ll probably arrive a little wrinkled — just steam the embroidery to get it to lay flat.
No shiny brass here — I like to let it oxidize. I also like letting the wax drip all over the place. Feels real.
My loose holiday color scheme is green, dark gold, and champagne, but I don’t hold too tightly to it. Though it looks like our tree is very color themed in this photo, if you look closely, you can see our personal, funky, mismatched ornaments mixed in too.
The office sits just off the living room and it’s where I do most of my work and shooting. My desk is an antique and the velvet chair is from CB2 and it’s where I’m writing this post right this moment.
After pining for linen curtains for years, we finally got linen curtains from Rough Linen for our living space, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love the way natural, rumpled linen brings a soft, gentle texture to each room. For a relaxed look, I let them pool on the ground a little.
Quality linen curtains can be pricey, so I’ve got two tips for you:
- Go slowly — just do one room at a time.
- Fabric makes the room, so invest in the curtains and skimp on the hardware. Ikea has excellent hardware at a fraction of the cost (I use the Syrlig rings and Storslagen rods).
When we moved in, I knew I wanted to fill these bookshelves with a mishmash of books.
I think in the past I would have gone for a color coordinated or styled look, but this time I ran in the opposite direction. You’ll see my husband’s screenwriting books, my yoga books, art books, psychology books, even some beloved YA fiction from my teen years.
It feels good to have them out in plain sight, unedited and unorganized. It reminds me where we’ve been, how much we’ve changed, and to hold lightly to where we are now.
The moment I saw these encased openings, I knew I wanted to string garland around them for the holidays. I love it so much! Our garland is from Hobby Lobby — sadly I can’t find it online, but you can probably still find it in store. If you’re shopping online, try this similar garland from Target and this stunning garland from Pottery Barn.
I strung the lights in them myself and planned ahead by making sure there was an outlet nearby. To hang them, I used 3-4 nails per doorway.
Since we use our table so much (more for projects than eating, hah), I like to keep it mostly clear and avoid large centerpieces. But I usually keep a small vase on the table and fill it with fresh greenery clippings from the yard.
A few quick credits: Our linen curtains are from Rough Linen. All our dining furniture was either antiqued or found on craigslist. The rug is from Ikea. The light fixture is old from West Elm, but here’s a similar light fixture.
As much as I’d love to be an adult and eat dinner in the dining room, we usually eat dinner at our coffee table while watching something. We pull out these bamboo poufs and faux sheepskins when it’s time to eat, and then slip them right back under the sofa when we’re done.
My favorite essential oil to diffuse this time of year is Balsam Fir Needle — it smells exactly like a Christmas tree farm. :) I’ve been using this wooden diffuser for a few years and love how it’s small, portable, and minimal.
Bonus! A peek at the bedroom!
Our bedroom is a work in progress but I love the way it’s coming along. We brought in a little holiday cheer by stringing a garland and lights at the foot of our bed and it’s magical. One of these days I’ll hang curtains and possibly add some art above the bed.
Our garland is from Hobby Lobby — sadly I can’t find it online, but you can probably still find it in store. If you’re shopping online, try this similar garland from Target and this stunning garland from Pottery Barn.
We found our bed frame at Walmart — here’s the king bed frame and here’s the queen bed frame. For the price, I couldn’t be happier with it! Yes it was a chore to assemble, and yes at first, even the slightest movement caused it to squeak loudly, but we just put a little WD40 on the screws and it’s been silent ever since.
Our linen bedding is from ByMolle — they have the softest, most deliciously broken-in linen bedding I’ve ever felt. If you want to replicate our color scheme, the duvet and sheets are Flax, the throw at the end is Hazel, and the pillowcases are Cinnamon.
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And there you have it! Thanks for sticking with me through all that! I’m getting a lot of joy from writing longer, rambly posts these days — it feels like we’re just chatting. So thanks for being here. I hope you enjoyed it!
So tell me, have you started decorating for Christmas yet? What are your guiding words when it comes to your home design these days? Got any questions about antiquing, or anything else in this post? And finally, how many photos can you spot Steve in? :)