Lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about the wonder and beauty of a home and all that goes into creating such a thing. The people that share in the messes and the quirks, the things that we carefully curate to fill each space, and all of the time that is spent transforming four walls into a deeply personal dwelling. What I've learned over the last couple of years, mostly through the process of renting, is this-- home for me isn't a place, it's a feeling. And, that feeling isn't dependent on things, it's dependent on people. But simply put, what is created by those that live together is what brings the feeling of home alive in our souls. Today, I want to share our living room with you and why we enjoy being together in this space.
The story of how we found our home is for another day but I will never forget lying on the couch staring at www.realtor.com all the while every bit of thirty eight weeks pregnant and sensing that this was our house. A terrifying yet exciting feeling, for those of you who are or have been familiar with being every bit of thirty eight weeks pregnant. (wink) A few weeks later, we placed an offer on our home and, nearly nine months after that, we signed the papers and received the keys. (Read: short sale but long process. In actuality, it was perfect timing for our family.) After drastically purging our things over the last couple of years (or so I thought until moving! day!) I wanted to purposefully pursue a very clean slate for our home. Its ranch style with long open spaces made this decision an easy one.
On my sister's recommendation, we painted the entire house Dove White by Benjamin Moore. My sister is never wrong with her paint colors. We love the white, although I fear that my oldest son, the one who paints beautiful watercolors, will someday grow up and swing the pendulum clear to the other side by painting each room in his home a different color. He just cannot understand why I love white. But mommy, white isn't even a color! he said to me. I love him.
There are two little people, three actually, that steal the show in this home every day. And, there are two things that steal the show in our living room: the large watercolor over the couch and the beautiful white shutters on our large picture window. Several months ago, Graeme watercolored the most beautiful painting and it's been hanging in various rooms ever since. (Currently, it's propped up on a shelf in my bedroom.) When we moved into our new home I envisioned a large scale painting over the couch and Graeme's watercolor was my inspiration. If you follow along with us on Instagram then you already know the outcome of the story. But for those of you who don't know the story behind it it's this-- I fully intended to do the painting myself. But I tried twice and miserably failed. And finally, I said to Graeme, Graeme, I need you to help me with this painting! And he did a marvelous job. He inspires me to be brave with paintings. You can probably see that I kept most of my area of the painting in vertical strokes and pale colors. Graeme came along and swished around on the top right corner and confidently went to town with a deep gray green. To say I love it would really be quite the understatement. (My husband made the frame out of leftover pine flooring and did a beautiful job.)
Through the years my husband and I have really tried to buy gifts for each other that can be used by our entire family. Two years ago, for Mother's Day, my three guys gifted me a record player that now sits in the corner of our living room. Over top is a sun hat that my husband also gifted to me for a Mother's Day gift. And on the couch is a throw blanket that they gifted to me for Christmas a couple of years ago. Daily this blanket is strewn all over the house as some sort of floor airplane, until I catch them. And after that, it's the boys' constant companion while they read books. Or pretend to read books while really seeing who can toot the loudest. Boys.
When I knew for sure that this house was to be our home, I immediately started to dream about shutters for this window. It measures over ten feet wide and is basically a behemoth. When my dad and my husband installed Blinds.com's shutters I nearly cried. They are beautiful, and not just from the inside but also looking in from the outside. When I think about the most beautiful parts of our home (to me anyway), these shutters most definitely come to mind. My favorite way to style them is one open here, one open there, and the middle section propped open. They allow all the light my heart could desire and at night they button up to allow our family top-notch privacy. (In the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing the master bedroom of our home and more about Blinds.com.)
By all appearances, our living room is quite sparse. A piano, a chair, a sectional, a single painting, a record player, a couple of hats, a pile of books scattered here and there, and a basket piled sky-high with Wren Margaret's toys. But there is so much life lived in this room and the little people that constantly run through it, their squeals and laughter echoing off the wooden floor, they make this space feel full. And even though some days are filled with craziness and tears, wherever they are is where I want to be. Home.