We've lived in this rental for about nine months. It's a 100-year-old home near downtown Colorado Springs that sits on a beautiful street with the kind of mature trees that arch over both sides and create a tunnel effect in the spring and summer, fill the sky with color in the fall, and then release their leaves to reveal the mountainscape sitting only a few miles away. We love our historic neighborhood with parks on either side of us and beautiful homes to drive through on our way anywhere. I took photos of our living and dining room a few months ago and wanted to document them before we start decorating for Christmas.
Almost everything in our home apart from electronics and mattresses has been purchased second hand or I've made myself. I've recently picked up a few things from ikea because we finally live within realistic driving distance to one but I'm still a fan of curating a unique space from mostly vintage finds in order to keep things feeling one-of-a-kind. A lot of the things in our possession have been collected over the last four years. We've gone through three houses since then so we've shuffled things around and added and subtracted when necessary. There are some things I hope we always keep and others that I'd be happy to replace.
I hold to the idea that decorating a home is an ever evolving process. You have to find out how your spaces will serve you best, play with arrangements, and collect special pieces as they come to you to get the kind of space that feels like a reflection of yourself and/or your family. It's a process you have to have patience with. It can also be a lesson in contentment.
This house has a long, narrow living room space with french doors in two places on one side, an entrance on the other, and a fireplace at one end. It's made things tricky to figure out how to arrange our furniture and I'm still tempted to change things around again. Since we'll only be in this house a short time and already have a lot of large pieces we love we're making things work. I am learning to love the dark trim and fireplace and feel lucky to have so much light in this room all day.
Our fireplace end has been designated the reading, visiting end. Our fireplace is non-working but I love the idea of making that end cozy. The black and white rug and pillow on that end are from ikea, the chairs are vintage, and the floral pillow is handmade.
Our sideboard was one of the first things we found in Springfield four years ago. Brett saved it from being burned in a fire out in the country. It usually holds our tv set up and stores the kids' games, random batteries, seasonal decor, and other odds and ends. The chair, umbrella stand, tool box, and crewel piece are all vintage and the magazine stand was a DIY that you can find here. We replaced all of the granny light covers on the original light fixtures with large Edison bulbs after a tip from Rubyellen. She's installed the same fixtures in a group in their track home for a stunning effect. If you need some more ideas on how to add charm to a new home, ask that mama. She's the best at it!
Our vintage couches are both from a warehouse in Southern Missouri that always yielded special pieces for hardly anything. The blue one has started to wear out on the seat so I've been keeping it covered with an afghan until we can replace or reupholster it but most busy weeks it's where we pile on the clean laundry. The coffee table was also found there and is the second mid-century table we've owned. I'd love to find something round for this L-shaped arrangement but we'll use this in the mean time. It's one of those pieces that I'm sure we'll always keep. Using mostly inexpensive vintage furniture means it's easy to swap things out as we move and as our spaces change. Thankfully we have both a basement and a garage to store things at this house.
The artwork on these walls are from Andrea Jenkins of HulaSeventy, Lisa Goliightly of Kiki and Polly, and an Instagram I enlarged and printed. They're all beautiful and remind me of the past in different ways.
Our dining room is rather large and has three large windows that look out into our alley. We get plenty of light because our neighbor's house isn't right next to ours. I'm thankful for that, too. We spend most of our time in there doing homework, working on projects, coloring, painting, eating, and reading. It's the dance party room, the catch up on the day room, the roomiest spot in the house.
I found this vintage kilim on a road trip through Oklahoma last year. It was a mom and pop thrift store going out of business and the lady kept telling me everything I had picked up wasn't for sale. I was getting pretty frustrated and was ready to walk out when I spotted it under some boxes on the floor. I asked if it was for sale half expecting her to say no when she said, "Yeah, $35." I peed my pants a little and then handed over the cash before she could change her mind. It's one of my favorite things in our home and has really influenced my style as of late. I only stayed mad for a few days when Sunday chewed a hole in the middle of it. Stress eating, sigh.
The white wardrobe acts as our office and holds our printer, filing system, shredder, etc. You can see the makeover it got this summer thanks to Benjamin Moore. The vintage map was an Etsy purchase and the kids' table and chairs were all thrifted. The globes were all collected while we were in Springfield. The movers teased us most about those.
I created an art wall out of the large space leading to the bedrooms and bathroom. You can read about where they all came from as well as rules for hanging your own groupings here.
I built my mid-century inspired table in the spring after searching in vain for something large enough in our price range. It turned out better than I expected and is still going strong. The wire legs were from another thrifted table but you can find your own online. Read about how I made it and links to the tutorials I worked with here.
We're really thankful for this space and all the ways it's serving our family. It's not our dream home by any means but that's not keeping us from enjoying what we have and making the most of it. Although we've moved a lot in the last ten years of marriage we've only really known our personal style in the last four. I finally know what I love and what works for us but I can tell my style is still evolving. It's a process and one that I enjoy. It's also fun to look back and see what each rental looked like and what we started out with.
You can see the kids' room in our current house here. I'm hoping to share our bedroom and Florida room in the coming weeks. I've got a platform bed DIY that I'm especially proud of to share!
Do you love to decorate your home? Does it come easy to you or make you want to pull your hair out? If you're looking for a little direction I share all of my tips and tricks for making your space feel more like you in my e-course, Style Your Space. I've learned a lot with all of this moving!