There's really nothing quite as satisfying as watching a room come together, even if it isn't in its end all state.

But if you've been following along since we bought our new house last year, and then the successive disastrous freeze and resulting work since February 2015, you've no doubt noticed that we've had a whole lot of construction and mess, and very little decorating and project completion fun. Not only was the house basically uninhabitable, but we ended up jamming everything we had in the house into a few rooms and covered it all with plastic before the contractors started their work. 

Alex may have slept there for a night over the summer, but that was only out of necessity. For the majority of the time we've owned it, it's pretty much looked more like a construction zone and less like a house.

The closest thing we've really had to something that at all resembles the decor phase I know and love so much was last weeks build of our tiny bathroom vanity, and the completion of our floor refinishing. Sure, they're nothing to scoff at, but those things alone don't make a house feel like a home.

However, after the floor refinishing was officially over and done, we had the absolute pleasure of moving the little furniture we have back into the rooms and making our place feel like somewhere someone just might want to spend a little time. We even played around a little with the furniture and rug placement in the living to see how things might look one day. (I came up with a decor scheme about a year ago, and it wasn't long after we started buying a few pieces of furniture that The Freeze happened.)

I have to say, both Lulu and I are very happy with the scale of the rug and couch in the room. The couch is one of Pottery Barn's smaller (less deep) options, but is extra long. We can both comfortably lay on the couch together with plenty of room end to end.

While this living room placement was only a test, we did set up a few spaces in the house. We don't have a ton of furniture, and we're not looking to go out and buy everything we need. Instead we're buying a few choice pieces (like a bed for us, some rugs, and the couch) and getting many things as donations from friends or family who are looking to get rid of older items or just want us to have them. For the rest we're hoping to find unique antiques, discover eclectic accent pieces, and build or make one-of-a-kind elements that make our house truly our home.

With the decor, we started small. Last Thanksgiving we purchased an antique table that would work perfectly in the hall. 

I've loved the look of this table since I found it in the Medina Antique Mall for just $100 and have just been waiting for the chance to adorn with a few antique books, a lamp, and blanket basket below. 

The artwork above the table was actually painted by my mom as a housewarming gift for us. She's a very talented artist and I asked if she wouldn't mind painting something that we could add to our home. This is now the beautiful piece we're proud to hang in our hallway for now, but I think eventually we'll frame it and it will hang in the living room. 

I absolutely love the lamp on the table that I found at Home Goods, the books I found in my parents' attic, and the little glass bottles that we've found buried in our yard or washed up from the water.

This little configuration along with the couch and rug in the living room photo shows the overall theme I'm shooting for in this house, which is one of calm informality with a subtle (or maybe not too subtle later) nautical nod. We'll be using a lot of neutral colors, natural textures, and accents in aqua. Some may see this as boring, but I'm shooting for a look that's soothing and serene. There's no way to compete with the naturally breathtaking view outside, so why try?

I'm looking forward to decorating the other rooms in this house and sharing my process with you in the coming months. Much of what we'll be doing now is attempting to pull the house together with what little furniture and accessories we already own, mixed in with a few new pieces. Achieving our final look will take years of renovation and effort, but we hope to show you how we'll make it work now without major renovations and a on a very reasonable budget to boot.

Comments 5

Comments

sj
11/25/2015 at 6:06 PM

Lulu has great taste in scale; it is looking so good. Especially how you worked the bump out behind the sofa. Can't wait to see more.

12/10/2015 at 8:08 AM

You did a great job! I love the antique table really much! Such pieces bring lovely atmosphere. Me and my husband moved house in September and now we also decorate and work on the design of our new home. It really feels like the time when we moved in together for the first time. Thanks for the post! Really inspiring!

3/8/2016 at 9:39 AM

It's true that it is very satisfying to see how a room comes together and starts to feel more cozy. We've moved to our house last year in the summer and we had to do a lot of reconstruction works. Now we can finally enjoy the final look of our house!Alt smile Thank you for sharing!

Susan Dougan
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
Always love your posts. Lulu does look very cute, so happy that she's healthy again. <3
Anne Timpano
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
I like your acquisition plan. I have taken a similar path. And nothing can beat serene in a home.
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