For when you don’t have to hustle. For when the wait trumps the hurry. For when the only thought is to kick off the shoes, hang the hat, gather your loves, sink low, and relax deep. For when there’s room to live where there’s room to live.
Let’s talk about the living room.
It’s just a small corner, really, of a small room, in this small cabin of ours. It’s anchored by a seven foot long slip-covered sofa (a $50 thrift store score, fitted with tailored painter’s drop cloth), a thrifted vintage Naugahyde chair (I still catch my breath over it’s worn creases, nail head trim and brass casters!), an antique Mission style oak rocker that came from the bunkhouse of my husband’s family ranch (love the initials of a cow hand that are carved into its arm), and a floor-to ceiling book case, painted white. A white-tail buck shoulder mount hangs on the wall, and on the floor is a found (free on the curbside) wool braided rug, perfectly faded. Beside, between, and among these are the rest of what makes this space ours, subtly blending the masculine and feminine together.
Life has taken us from Montana (where we were born and raised; where we met and married) to Alaska for ten years, to Florida for five, and finally, to this amazingly beautiful corner of Wyoming. Every place we’ve lived has carved its impression on us. Our home subtly reflects that, and nearly everything we have writes a line of our story.
Our love of maps lead to the purchase of this vintage reproduction of North America. (Since living in Alaska, I’ve preferred North America maps over United States maps, as they show Alaska in its proper size and place – much less confusing to beginning geography students!) The antique end table (yes, you must read the story about that table!) holds thrifted brass candlesticks and beeswax tapers. I was given the maidenhair fern for Mother’s Day, and the conch shell was a gift from a Bahamian friend (by the way, the table scape looks like this now. The furniture stays in place, but I change vignettes often. It keeps them interesting and fresh). In front of the easy chair sits an antique footstool (an ebay find), that I upholstered in seal skin – a bit of a nod to our Alaska days.
At the end of the couch is a vintage guitar ready for strumming – a gift given to our youngest son, the resident guitarist (did you know, once you begin playing guitar, you begin collecting guitars? This, I didn’t know).
In front of the guitar sits a giant Bolga basket (purchased at our local health food store) that holds throw blankets. The one you see here is handmade in wool, and no, I didn’t make it! It was a lovely find.
Oh, and that Bolga basket? It also doubles as the laundry basket - perfect for hauling clothes to and from the clothesline.
The bookcase holds so much. It is actually three Billy bookcases from Ikea, that we had already owned, painted white to match the walls (Sherwin Williams Pure White). The upper shelves hold many things that we love and use, and that are beautiful to look at – from books to baskets that hold everyday things (camera, lenses, games, fruit), to art, keepsakes, a beautiful vintage bird book, my grandmother’s silver coffee server, houseplants, and the giant California pinecone that reminds us of several summers spent in the northern Sacramento valley. The basket on the lower left is the place for keys, note pad, pens, scissors, flashlight, chalk, and is the recharging station for my iPhone (there is an outlet directly behind the basket that the cord plugs into - I just snipped an opening in the back of the basket to access it).
The above shot was taken in May, this is how the shelves look now:
The lower portion of the book cases is our pantry. I’ve been asked if it is inconvenient to have the food in the living room. It really isn’t because these pantry shelves are literally just 7-8 steps away from my kitchen counter – probably about the same distance as in most kitchens!
Although food is kept in all three bookcases, there are a few other things that we keep on these lower shelves that I thought you’d like to know. On a shelf behind the curtain on the right is a speaker dock for the iPod, so we can have tunes playing whenever the mood strikes, while the electronics remain hidden. Behind the curtain on the left is space for art supplies, table linens, and those canning jars that are always going from full to empty. All the pantry shelves are lined with vintage wallpaper – a happiness that peeks at me every time I reach in there.
Near the front door, is the vintage bentwood coat rack. It hold my husband’s grandfather’s hat, my purse and sun hat, and the coats and jackets of visiting friends. Out-going mail gets tucked right into a pocket of my purse, and car keys and sunglasses are kept there, too, ready to grab and go.
And now, I’ll leave you with this parting shot of our latest accessory:
Update: Next on the house tour here
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