Thanks for all the great comments and emails about my living room. I feel like I've had a bunch of visitors in my new home :)
One thing I totally forgot to mention. This house is a rental. We aren't allowed to paint or screw anything into the walls. We have a year contract, but after that, we will be buying a new home. Hopefully in this neighborhood since it's awesome. (I recently discovered one of my blogging buddies lives just around the block!) I mention this as several of you had great paint color ideas, but alas, it was the first thing I asked the landlord about and I was brutally rebuffed. (What movie is that from?)
As this is such a temporary residence, we have a "use what we have" position on decorating. Other than the new rug and new hall table, we used what we had from our last home. Oh, and the bookcases are new, but they are intending for our future library. In our new house, we will probably replace almost everything and banish the dark couches to a basement or theater room.
April - like all your ideas. I agree with you on not liking the TV above the fireplace, but that's where the cables are. Also, while I would love a set of three Modern Bird Studios pieces, that would run me over $800, so I'll probably wait on that.
We love this home for now. While it doesn't have the charm of our last house, it's incredibly functional for our needs. With 4 bedrooms we can finally have a guest bedroom. This is really necessary since often our house guests stay a couple weeks or more. The one difference is in our last house we had a dining room that served as the play area. There is no such space in this house.
And now for the judging part.
I have decided (and need to inform Shane) that the master bedroom will now be the kid's playroom. I know. Horror. But the more I think about it, it just makes sense. We are buying a new king mattress this week to save our backs from our old queen size. However, I don't want to buy a new bedroom set until we get into our permanent home and I get a feel for the style. I'm just going to throw the mattress on the floor. The master will consist of a mattress, an alarm clock, a lamp...... and lots and lots of toys...
So there you go. For the next year Shane and I will be sleeping in the playroom.. It may not be romantic - but we can always stay in the guest room if we don't want to be surrounded by toys. I can shower and get ready with the kids right next to me (can you say long bubble bath!) I can relax in bed with a book as they play together. And the penultimate perk? My kids rise and shine at 6:30 am. If I am sleeping in the playroom, I can just bring them in to play while I doze. I am absolutely gitty at the prospect.
While it's good for now, sleeping in the playroom is bound to mess with my head. I am asking you to watch for any warning signs. For example, hearing me say something totally monstrous like: "I have no need for a babysitter since I never want to be apart from my kids." Or if I suddenly appear in public wearing "mom jeans" or skip that completely and wear my flannel pjs to the store. Play doh scented candles? Winnie the Poo diaper bags? - Time for an intervention.
Please watch me for signs of such terrors and inform me immediately if such symptoms become evident. For the next year I will try to combat the onset of such lameness by devouring design blogs in an attempt to design my future "kid free" master bedroom.