the living room
Since moving to the country, there have been a few occasions where I feel like a pioneer. Seriously. Stop laughing.
For example: when the electric went out and we didn’t have electric or water for an entire day, and we had to light the house with candles and pee without flushing.
Or, another example: when we used the last of the propane in the tank because we haven’t been checking it because it was 70% full when we bought the place and we (stupidly) assumed that that quantity of propane would last us years.
Unfortunately, that example happened over the weekend. And, although I figured out how to get our tank refilled, it might not happen until later this week. Which means, no hot water or heat until then. Which means that it’s 50 degrees in the house (8 degrees lower than usual!) and no one can shower. And I’m considering heating water on the stove to a) wash my hair or b) wash the dishes. Like a pioneer. Right?
Yeah, I KNOW! I AM THE REAL 2010 Laura Ingalls Wilder. Or not.
Anyhoo, to distract myself from the fact that my fingers are freezing off my hands, or the fact that one of the dogs that I’m cuddling with for warmth may have just rolled in animal excrement, I figured we could look at some pretty pictures of my cold, cold living room.
Here’s a photo of the before, with the old owner’s furniture. The walls were white, the trim was off-white. It kind of looked dirty (more so in real life than in this picture).
I painted the trim white, and I think it really brightened up the room. The upper wall area was painted “mercury glass” by Martha Stewart, the the lower portion of the wall was painted a shade or two darker. You can barely tell that the upper portion of the wall isn’t white – in fact, we used the same color in our hallways and it looks white – but I like the slight greige hue to the paint. It’s a little more interesting than just plain white.
We brought all of the furniture (except for our little entertainment dresser) from our previous house. My long-term plans for the room include trading out the couch and one love seat for a sectional, and replacing the other love seat with a) two chairs and a game table or b) a super-comfy chair-and-a-half and a little side table. We also hope to replace the white carpet with wood floors. Dogs + country living + white carpets = not a good idea.
The picture collage in the corner features postcards, paintings, and photographs from our worldly adventures. I purchased the red-framed painting for something like $0.15 when I went to China a few years ago (the frame +mat cost 1000% more than that…). The old school map above it is actually a postcard that J and I found on a trip to Hawaii. The postcard next to it (with the globe) is from Norway, and the watercolor on the right is from France. The rest of the pictures are from our adventures in Ireland last fall – the single photo is an up-close shot of the Peace Wall in Belfast, and in the 3-photo frame, photos are from St Bridget’s well, a car parked in Killarney National Forest, and a fence outside of a church in Kilkenny.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of the flatscreen over the fireplace design-wise, but as far as watching the TV goes, it’s definitely the best place for it to hang in our house. So I tried to surround it with pretty, interesting things. (And, when we pull up the carpet in the master bedroom above to put in recessed lights, we’ll also hide the tv cables).
We try to stick with artwork that is meaningful to us – as mentioned above, we pick up things on our adventures to frame and hang. We’ve got a picture of the Cherry-on-a-spoon sculpture to remind us of our adventures in Minnesota above the entertainment dresser. The poster above the couch is from a trip to Belgium, and there are other paintings in the room from France and Germany. One of our favorites, though, is this poster that we picked up at the Philadelphia Art Museum. We are both particularly drawn to old school ads, and we both actually worked with the drug that’s advertised on the poster at different times in our scientific careers.
So, there it is – a tour of our currently freezing cold living room! I’m going to go sit on my hands (to warm them up again). And while I’m cuddling with two warm (but kind of stinky) dogs, a heating pad, and a down blanket, why don’t you fill me in on your best pioneer moment. Or your favorite piece of art. Or pretty much anything else that will keep my mind off of the fact that I’m wearing my down jacket inside the house…