Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Living like the Kings

Today I am starting a new series of 5 posts that will lead up to the big finale - post #100.  That's right. 100.  This is a big deal, people.  And to celebrate, there will be surprise.  A big surprise.  An awesome surprise.  It's a giveaway, ok?  Sheesh, there's no need to be so pushy, I would have told you eventually anyways.

In the meantime, since this is Living like the Kings, I'll show you our kingdom.  Today we will start with the room that we spend the most amount of time in.  It's where we relax, unwind after a day of hard work, chat about our days, and veg out.

If you guessed the living room - you guessed right!

Our living room is the main room of our kingdom.  It's our pride and joy.  When we first moved in to our house, it looked like this:
Sorry for the fuzzy picture.  But you get what a mess this is.  We were young and poor when we bought the house.  But we waited patiently and saved our dollars and bought the couch as a Christmas gift to one another.  The rest came together from finds and gifts from family.

Here is the entrance.  When we moved in we painted everything in the house, including the door.  The new couch allowed us to set up an entrance - although I still dream of a mud room.

On one side we put up an old shelf that we spray painted.  It now acts as a shoe shelf and a stand.

I think it's one of my favorite little fixes.

It also holds one of my many baskets which holds our unaddressed mail.  When we first moved to our house, we threw the mail on the dining room table when we walked in and it drove me nuts!  This resolved our issue and gave us one place to look for things like wedding invitations or the latest bill that we haven't paid.

On the other side is a hook we bought at Home Depot.

It stores things like jackets and purses.  We turned our coat closet into a pantry for the kitchen and that left our coats hanging on the back of dining room chairs.  Another one of those things that drove me nuts.  Apparently, I'm a bit of a neat freak.  The best part is that when you open the door, it hides the coats and I feel like I have an extra closet.

Next to the coat hanger is one of my favorite pieces of furniture.

We bought this on because, well, I buy everything on  It's totally cute and matches our spray painted shelf/shoe rack.  The little drawers help keep surfaces clean from all the loose pieces of papers, keys, receipts, wallets, and all the other little things that clutter counters.  It also leaves room underneath to store an extra seat and a large basket (yup, another basket).

This is where the rest of the junk is - hidden away.  This huge basket was a gift from my awesome sister-in-law and it's from Crate & Barrel.  Crate & Barrel might be my favorite store ever - if I could afford to shop there all the time, I would.  For now I settle for gift cards and generous gifts from families.  Anyways, here's where all the hats, leashes, dog toys, shoe horns, and other random large items hide away.

Onto the rest of the living room.  You can see this table in the picture of the old living room.

It is this amazing antique marble-top side table that I absolutely ADORE.  When we first moved into our house, Jon and I didn't have much and the things we had were handed down to us by our amazingly generous family and friends.  Except for this little table.  This was our first new piece of furniture when we moved in.  Jon's grandparents gave it to us as a house warming gift and it still makes me smile.  It's so perfect and fits everything in our house just right.  They guessed our taste in decorating just right!  The cute little candle holders are purchases from one of my favorite good-find stores - Home Goods.

Next to the table is a fireplace.  To me no living room is complete without a fireplace.

Our mantle displays little pictures, candle sticks and some nick-knacks.  But above it is the real prize item.

A framed wedding photo.  There's a story...there's always a story with me.

When Jon and I got married we hired a professional photographer to capture the important moments in our lives.  When we finally got our pictures, I talked non-stop about getting a large photo framed to hang above our fireplace.  That's all I did.  I talked.  Then a year went by.  And another year went by.  And I still talked about it.  Finally, last Christmas I decided to take action.  It was the first year that Jon's family was coming to our house to celebrate Christmas and I wanted everything to be perfect.  Jon had a broken neck (a whole long tale that we won't get into) and his immobility didn't help things.  I stressed and talked about things I wanted to get done and stressed some more.  Every store I went to I looked for frames for our wedding photo.  Jon kept talking me out of it because each frame wasn't perfect enough for him.  This stressed me out further.  In the end, I gave up and decided to hold off on the frame.

On Christmas morning I opened a gift from Jon - our gorgeous wedding photo in the most amazing, perfect frame I ever laid my eyes on.  I couldn't believe it!  Jon couldn't go anywhere because of his injuries, but he plotted and planned with his family to steal our photo from my holding place and get it custom framed.  Everyone pitched in and got it done and I cried Christmas morning.  It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.

Okay, moving right along.  To the swine.  You can read all about swine and me here.

And to complete our tour, here are the bookshelves.  From Crate & Barrel.  Did I mention that I love Crate & Barrel?

Our tiny little living room doesn't leave much room but the blank wall was driving me nuts.  These book shelves are so airy that it makes the living room look even larger than it is.  And on it are - you guessed it - baskets.  These looks less like the wicker baskets that I have all over the house, but they still server their purpose.   They hold our remotes, external hard drives, cameras, dog bones, batteries and other crap that hangs out around the house.  If you haven't noticed, I hate clutter.  And I love baskets.  And pictures.

And thus completes our first tour of the series.  Tomorrow I'll show you my second favorite place.  I'll give you a hint: I use it to cook stuff.


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