Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Loosening up an Uptight Living Room

I have been analyzing my formal living room and asking myself, "Is a 'living room' as antiquated as our great grandmother's parlor?"

 The younger generation prefers slip-covered upholstery and sisal rugs to brocade and Oriental carpets.(Photo credit--Decorpad)

On the other hand, when it comes to bridal teas, baby showers, and women's luncheons, young women look for a pretty parlor, a refined gathering space.

To get the best of both worlds, what should I do with my living room?  How can I blend comfort and refinement?  I am slowly recognizing the need to loosen up the feel of my formal living room.  Really, I don't want to lose the silk drapes and the Tabriz carpet.

I still want women to choose my home as a place to have their daughters' showers.  At the same time, I want the living room to be an inviting gathering space.

Perhaps it is time to give the room a face-lift to make it feel younger. What should stay?  What should go?  What should be changed?  What should be added?

First, I think I would like to get linen slip-covers made for the camel-back sofa which I have had for more than twenty years. Adding a skirt and the more casual fabric will update the old-fashioned damask sofa.

(I laugh at the irony. When I want my face to appear younger, I apply firming lotion, but when I want my living room to have a more youthful vibe, I loosen up the upholstered pieces!) 
To achieve a more approachable space, the more countrified antiques are good.  The farm-table stays.
The antique daybed, although French, says "lounge on me," so it can stay. The throw, as well, cozies up the room.

However, the Martha Washington chair is anything but inviting. The striped upholstery is uptight, and the open arms and legs on the chair scream, "Sit up straight."  Maybe I should put it on Craig's List.

A pair of down-filled, country French chairs would help. Fireside Antiques has a pair. I could ask for them for my big birthday coming up! :)

Yet, even as I write this blog, I am conflicted.  How do you balance being content and thankful with wanting to stay up-to-date so your home is welcoming to this generation? How do you reconcile having so much, when so many have so much less?

Do you wrestle with these issues?  How do you resolve them?

 It is so easy to be materialistic and never satisfied. The Lord God wants to have first place in our affections. We are to love Him with all our hearts.  Then we are to love others, as we love ourselves. He doesn't mention loving things as a proper value.

I guess I will proceed slowly, as needed.  [Maybe someone will spill something on the sofa. ;)]

In the meantime, I need to appreciate what the Lord has given me. Truly, "godliness with contentment is great gain" (1Timothy 6:6).


  1. Your things are beautiful as they are...or it could be a very fun project to change some things up too. If the money and desire are there...and you continue your desire to serve others with the spaces God has blessed you with I think it is delightful.

    Becky K.

  2. Hi, Maurie, thanks for stopping by! And oh yes, I can relate to this post. I just did some deformalizing of my LR too and relaxed it quite a bit by taking out the more formal needlepoint rug & the tapestry hanging on the wall. I felt the same way, wanted to loosen it up & give it a more casual feel.

    You have a more Traditional formal look than I did, but I'm sure you can make it feel a little more inviting with a few changes.

    And I know what you mean about being content. I think all of us who love design and decorating struggle with that one, since changes are so energizing and fun to accomplish. We do have SO much to be thankful for!

  3. Maurie, I would love to feature your lower level suite on my Feature Friday series, maybe next Friday. Would you be interested in that? It's such a gorgeous, well thought out space, I'd love to show it to my readers. If you could email me & let me know, that would be great: rhoda12@bellsouth.net
    I don't see your email listed. I love to highlight new bloggers too & you are fairly new. Love your work!