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Venting about what I can't have!!!

November 29, 2018

I'm really the luckiest person. I have money, an incredible marriage, great friends and family. I even have a beautiful historic home. Most days I am nothing but grateful. Now let me vent about the small, stupid stuff:

We have a lot of health limitations - no rugs or excess fabric because one of us has severe respiratory issues with dust, need to limit toxic off-gassing too. Plus, we value reducing waste and try to buy everything second hand, made in USA, or quality items that won't break in a few years.

Sometimes I just want to make my home as beautiful as these houzz pics, throw caution to the wind - forget about lungs, breathing, fair wages, eco-friendliness and just create a stunning, cozy home like the beautiful houses I see on Houzz! I want gorgeous curtains and rugs and pillows and great floor lamps in my living room. I want to buy crap from online just because it will look great.

Anyone else feeling irritated by outside circumstances or one of their own making?

Comments (84)
  • Kendrah

    Aprilneverneds - I'm thrilled to start investigating your suggestions. My scope of home design bounces between Houzz and Apartment Therapy. It will be a joy to look elsewhere too. And, how great to get such heartfelt responses from people too about bitterness, taking care of the planet, and the whole nine yards. Most of what I read on discussion boards here is such practical info and it's a treat to learn how others feel about their home environment.

    As this thread unfolds, I realize I'm craving comfort for two reasons: 1. I live on the east coast and it is getting cold. 2. I grew up attending Tree of Life, the Pittsburgh synagogue attacked by the white nationalist shooter. I think I am craving a sense of security and refuge and a cozy living room that feels like an easy fix for a much more challenging problem.

    Anglophilia - If dust never bothered your respiratory issues, you are lucky. Between living in a city and a very old house, my home kicks up a lot of dust. I used to be a collector of antiques, cool do-dads, lots of objects of interest to display. A forced stark-antiques aesthetic didn't come to me naturally but I do think it is kind of cool to develop a new look out of necessity. (Cool and obviously sometimes very frustrating.) My husband's doc recommended no rugs and reducing drapery. Reaching to call 911 when my husband stops breathing in the night is just horrifying.

    My day got away from me. I'll take pics and post tomorrow so you can see the new layout and give some more recommendations.

    What are people's good sources for buying non-crap online? I love 1stDibs but can't bring myself to spend that much money. I covet some $4k mirrors on there but would sleep better at night donating that money to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  • PRO

    I think your goals are admirable, but everything in moderation. No one should be wasteful and using previously owned furnishings can work successfully in a home but one of your goals should also be JOY IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT, otherwise why jump through all these hoops?

    I purchase items on Craigslist and then sell them off when I find a better more upscale replacement items. Your nest needs to please you. For some people homes are not more than a roof, a bed and a TV. Others need art, a place to entertain guests and family and a place to make memories. You might want to feed your needs. You're not being wasteful.

    Kendrah thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • PRO

    Martyrdom doesn't really become anyone, and it doesn't make a "happy" home. A weekly cleaning person, low pile rugs such as a Kilim. Belgian linen toss pillows. Natural woven shades. Lamps. Art. A hepa filter vacuum for the weekly cleaning lady. One gorgeous green and healthy plant to clean air .

    As to buying made in the USA...........nice when you can. Buying local in the community is nice too. But somewhere between having six cats, and living in sterility lies a happy medium. Maybe even a bit less frugality. Waste is one thing. Denial, when not necessary, isn't living. Your home won't look like you are, either : )

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    B F, you can kill off the grass by covering it with cardboard and thick black plastic. By the time it's dead it will have enriched the soil and you can plant irises, roses, anything you want, really, and that will benefit insect and bird life, and you'll have something gorgeous to look at. I had five plots of grass and have none now, and love my garden.

    Kendrah, my situation is much like yours. My husband and I both have autoimmune diseases and these days I'm so weak I can barely move. Fortunately the house is chock full of paintings and my antique Chinese porcelain collection so that no matter what room I'm in I have beautiful things I love and have collected all around me. I'm decorating our small Christmas tree by hanging one or two ornaments every time I totter by it on my way to somewhere else. Haven't been able to leave my property in months, but I've learned to treasure the small things close to home, and being able to be on the internet and connect with people in that way. You can find beautiful and genuine art on the internet (I've bought a lot on e-bay) and the search alone is exciting and interesting. You can fill your home with colorful paintings and sculptures and other things you can enjoy without compromising your health.

    In terms of reducing waste you can treat yourself to one or two beautiful items that bend that rule and it won't make a bit of difference. When you limit yourself in that way you're lessening your joy in life. A lot of the modern stuff is crap and I doubt you'd really be happy with it once you have it. Instead, find some gorgeous antique pieces on-line, no matter where they were made, and enrich your home with them. You're limited in some ways be necessity; don't limit yourself more by arbitrary rules. It's the holiday season; treat yourself to some wonderful pieces for your home. It looks a little grim there right now (haven't seen your changes yet). Perhaps be a little less minimalist and see whether more beautiful things around you won't make you happier.

    Why not get the hole in your floor fixed? Sometimes little improvements can help a lot.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    hey jan, what's wrong w/6 cats? lol. I can have that and a happy medium!

  • onetwothre

    I don't have any answers to your philosophical question, but it seems like you have nice things to work with. You can try to rearrrange your furniture...try moving your couch to the opposite wall and move the TV to the right of the fireplace. Put your most comfortable chair in the corner where the window is. You can try this without moving your cable hookup to see if you like it. Why is there a hole under the rug? Can it be fixed?

  • tatts

    "We'll be fine, Kendrah. Tomorrow, maybe. Chocolate helps :)"

    No, it doesn't. I'm allergic to chocolate! And hard cheese, red wine, ripe bananas, cheese-flavored snacks, peanuts, and freshly baked bread (all migraine triggers for me).

    But, looking on the bright side, I can actually eat some of all the above (except ripe bananas and stuff made from them, and red wine) without problems, so I just have to be a bit careful.

    And that's the extent of my irritation. Which is to say, virtually no irritation (except when people like pennydesign try to shove chocolate down my throat). ;-)

  • PRO

    Beths cats have had therapy?

  • Janet
    I second Ruggables. They are a thin chenille, come with a pad, and even the 8x10 size can be washed in the washer. They are also water proof. I have one coming for my kitchen and one for my foyer.
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    jan, lol, the younger one needs that. he runs for the hills and hides for an hour. even w/the roomba. tried to put him on it to ride,,,didn't go very well.

  • wednesday morning

    looking again at your photo it strikes me that you really need some more floor lamps.

    There is something about the chair that is in the foreground of your photo that hinders the flow. It seems to be out in the middle and has a feel of blocking one into that curved corner. Maybe it is different if you are seeing the rest of the room.

    It is a beautiful space, though.

  • partim

    An alternative to floor lamps is to use surface-mounted wall sconces.

  • pennydesign

    Was I replying to *you*, tatts?

    Sorry you have allergies...but jeez...I wouldn't "shove" anything in your direction!

  • aprilneverends

    (just to let you know that for me, comments continue magically appear, re-appear, all the glitch-y shebang. So it's often I see something a day later, if at all)

    so..sources on Internet I love..besides 1stDibs which is indeed a very cool site if one just wants to wander..))

    Etsy, I said..then eBay, Chairish..Craiglist obviously..lately one can get lucky with Nextdoor as I assume folks are less afraid of it than CL and it's becoming more popular..

    another site for which I envisioned great future-and I was correct..it's called Everything By The House(EBTH), and it's estate sales auctions where bids start with 1$..unfortunately as it did become very popular, and if you're really into something-there's a big chance others will be into precisely same item, and some fierce battle will follow

    (say I fell in love with a portrait..it was by Augustín Úbeda ..whoever won it still got a great deal I suppose but I couldn't risk it like that, as ended up going for 2K..but I still see her face..)

    but I was also very lucky several times to win there extremely cool things(art, ceramics, etc) for very very cheap too. An etching by a prominent artist that I love with all my heart(had no idea he was prominent-just fell in love with the etching..), a sculpture by Faberge, an antique pietra dura miniature artwork (for my MIL..she's in love with stones), a funky teapot..

    as for art I also love Saatchi Art..you can find huge range of prices. They sell from artists from allover the world..great art, great service..I can get lost there too, easily.

    I think I understand what you saying about refuge..I've a strange relationship with my house lately because it can't answer some other things, houses can't solve them ..and I've no energy to tend to its needs, zero..so we're slighly upset with each other..it still looks happier than me, so there:) How it feels? I don't know. But I do care.

    Anyway, Before it gets curiousier and curiosier(c)..I'm excited for whatever you'll encounter in your..let's call it quest..it's exciting, but also a calming experience..it helps with a feeling of hope. When people create beautiful things..

    Your room made me a tiny bit breathless..something you're looking for, is already there. Something intangible..

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    April, thank you about introducing me to NextDoor, which seems to be a very useful site for everything local in one's area.

  • mimimomy

    April, I love your comments. I think some houses just have an incredibly good vibe, spirit... whatever you want to call it. That's what makes it a home for me, a respite.

    Pennydesign, " It's okay for the marble to look....experienced :) " totally agree. Perfection is not necessarily beauty.

    Kendrah, not sure why but this apartment in Paris reminds me of the photo of your home that you posted. I think your home just has that timeless look about it...

    Kendrah thanked mimimomy
  • Kendrah

    Thanks all for the reminders that a little planet killing joy is worthwhile from time to time.

    To all who suffer from illness, I hear you. A home becomes another body of sorts when yours doesn't work so well and you can't get out. It is your everything. And yet the money and/or physical energy to make changes become such barriers too when living with chronic illness. My heart goes out to all of us here who have dealt with or are dealing with that.

    "Your room made me a tiny bit breathless..something you're looking for, is already there. Something intangible.." Thank you for that April.

    Agreed, I really want some floor lamps and will ask more specifics about that when I repost pictures. It has been a crazy work week and I haven't had the chance to get good pics in daylight.

    Long story of the hole in the floor:

    Original floors from 1852. They've shifted over the years with big gaps between the floor boards, which decades ago were filled with shellacked rope - a technique used on ship decks, and other areas have wood filler patches. Many of the rope and filler pieces have broken off taking wedged chunks of flooring with them. Our floor has so many gaps/ holes, when you turn the lights off and keep the basement lights on, the floor looks like a VanGough Starry Night. I've seen a few other homes like this in my area but none as bad as ours.

    Even though this problem exists on all three floors of our house, most floor restoration contractors find the job too small as they usually work on million dollar restorations of 1700's farm houses in the suburbs. I've talked to three contractors willing estimate a small job in the city and they've all urged me to rip up the floors and get new hardwood. I just can't bring myself to do so and the search continues - in between laying a foundation under the kitchen, replacing the original sewer line, and other fun things like that.

  • wednesday morning

    It is a constant effort and expense to keep an old house in working order. As beautiful as some of them are, I never wanted that responsibility and expense.

    To be truthful, though, some of the newer houses are built so poorly that there is a lot of replacing and upkeep on them, too.

    I want a molded house made by Rubbermaid with no working parts to wear out and one central plumbing system, and a hole in the floor where you just turn on some spay washers and everything gets sprayed down and cleaned!! I know that sounds extreme, but I would like to have a house with some real simple design somewhat like that with minimal and simple elements. At least, I would like to have a bathroom like that....one big tiled minimal space.

  • queenvictorian

    Wednesday morning, the type of house you seek was envisioned in the 50's:

    Future ended up being lame - no flying cars or hoseable Rubbermaid houses.

    Kendrah, that sucks about your floor - even with all the gaps and problems, it's still absolutely beautiful. I think it's one of those things you just need to keep fixed with wood filler and shims, which aren't super permanent - it's a periodic maintenance thing, kinda like how we need to repoint the lime mortar in our stone foundation walls. It's the way of old houses.

    If you're seeing light through the floorboards, then that means your floor has no subfloor (or rather, is also the subfloor). Outright replacement like some of those contractors recommended would involve pulling out the old boards (which probably have salvage value), then laying a new subfloor AND hardwood top floor. That would be a costly job, and one that would leave you with a decidedly less awesome floor. I think the only remotely acceptable "replacement" solution, should you start dropping keys and phones through the cracks or something, would be to just put a floating tongue and groove floor on top of the original floorboards, leaving them in place and unharmed, and easy to return to.

    Kendrah thanked queenvictorian
  • pennydesign

    An old house is definitely a marriage...a commitment for as long as it makes you happy.

    Perhaps we can offer some ideas to help with the floor? Maybe (long run of course) just replacing ONE floor (attic,maybe?) and using the wood that's decent from there, on the other floors?

    Stick around and we have tons of ideas (mostly budget friendly if I answer, although I do realize the limitations and fact that not everyone needs to go that way...It's the way I think out of necessity, tho).

    If/when you feel like it, a floorplan would be great and we can help you work with just what you have for the moment (with the holidays that's all that I, at least, can manage both financially and mentally/physically--might be the same for others)

    But I do feel that having something to look forward to--seeing a problem through fresh eyes and having a few cheerleaders--does wonders for the spirit :) Ideas percolate and generate new ideas, pros and cons are pointed out, hope and fun grows.

    Agree with mimimomy---I see a "quirky atelier" feel in your future :) Whatever you decide to do, it will be yours alone and so much better than a page from a catalog...

  • mimimomy

    Pennydesign, those are great ideas-- brilliant idea on using one floor to help make the other floors whole. I look for budget and conserving because it just makes sense financially and environmentally. If I ever build a new home again, I'm going to find someone to build my kitchen in place, rather than the boxes built elsewhere and delivered. I have had 3 kitchens now that were built this way... very few end panels in the cabinet interiors ... so much easier to clean, sturdier, easier to store odd-shaped things. And so much cheaper to build! I love the new drawer pulls and quiet hinges, but the actual frame of my older cabinets is in my opinion, far superior. It's nice to take the best of the past and marry it to the best of the present.

  • Kendrah

    Queen - Those are excellent points you bring up. I feel like you know my floor well. Indeed, the house was build with no subfloor. The underneath side of these floors are the ceiling of the basement and they flake like sawdust to the touch.

    Homes in our neighborhood were built for middle managers at the factories that were nearby. They used the highest quality wood on the first floor. The second and third floor wood is of a much lesser quality and can't be swapped to match. Even the tiny closet floor in our dining room has been hacked away no doubt for pieces to repair the holes in the first floor. (I have lots of masking tape running along spots in the second and third floor so my dog doesn't get his feet caught. Many friends have said - Hey why doesn't duct tape make a hardwood floor tape to patch holes like these. I've told them I doubt there is a big market for floor hole tape!

    If and when we have major work done to the floors, I would likely have the second and third floors torn out and replaced with reclaimed heart pine from a similar era. The first floor I would love to preserve though if at all possible.

    Wednesday - I have used some bathrooms in Asia that sounds like the one you envisioned. An I think there would be a huge market for the house you described. Another solution is to be a renter and have a landlord manage the headaches of homeownership. We never intended to be homeowners, yet somehow here we are.

  • Kendrah

    Trying to post pics. Having problems here goes.

  • pennydesign

    As you know it's a lovely room...

    I've been thinking about your floor some more...what about patching it with tin? I think it would be a charming addition (NOT meant to disguise anything at all or to be "hidden")

    It's a very old "fix" and one that would be appropriate to the period of your home.

    It would be very easy and cheap to diy this...

    Of course, if you don't care for the look, then nevermind :)

    PS that fabulous mirror MUST go over the fireplace or I will die.

  • jmm1837
    If it were me, I'd be filling those walls with art. Add a few interesting lamps and, if the sensitivites allow, a nice oriental. And yes, you definitely need something over that gorgeos fireplace.
  • tartanmeup

    Your art is gorgeous, Kendrah! I also love your mirror and am curious how it would look above your fireplace.

    Penny, that's an ingenious idea for the floor! (I love your ideas. Always thinking outside the box.)

  • Kendrah

    We tried the mirror over the fireplace and it was too narrow and looked awkward. I want to keep that mirror where it is - great place to futz with my hair before I leave the house.

    Would it look strange 1.) To have two mirrors in that room if we found a different one to hang above the fireplace, and 2.) If a mirror were above the fireplace it wouldn't really be reflecting anything but the blank curved wall across from it.

  • jmm1837

    Personally, I'd put art above the fireplace. And on some of the walls as well. This is a project you can take your time about: only put up things you love, not things to just fill space.

  • PRO

    I'm not sure what style/color rug you're looking for but if you're not planning to stick with the open window concept, perhaps a dark blue shade to match your couch. Seems like a splash of grey would look great in this space too!

  • pennydesign

    I swear that mirror belongs above the fireplace...it's okay. I'll go off to die a quiet death now.

    Okay...more than one mirror...read this: http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/ It's a very amusing blog by a funny funny woman who buys every mirror she can find and hangs it in her Victorian fixer upper....

    If you like a thing, I think you should do it...as long as the mirrors don't directly reflect each other--that would give you a fun-house effect.

    Lots of people here will tell you (ad nauseum) "ONLY hang a mirror so that it reflects something pretty". I disagree and I'm sure many people here do, too. Mirrors brighten up a place...they're not as committal as art is, and they seem to be so plentiful on Craigslist...

  • zealart

    I havn't read the comments, so this may be a repeat. Since you mention that you are limited on fabrics, I think that your space would look great with some wallpaper. It would add a visual texture to your space. Also the texture of some wallpapers itself ads something ( and I don't mean like grasscloth, or the 3D ones that would collect dust, but just ones made of quality paper or silk)

    Kendrah thanked zealart
  • aprilneverends

    I'm with penny here..even though I almost always choose art..but here-mirror would look great..and my reason number one-you have two amazing artworks on both sides of the fireplace..I know that I personally tend to be fussy about art, and how sometimes pieces want their own spot, and I'd understand wanting some visual separation here..

    as for mirrors reflecting beautiful things I find it true myself, but it will reflect beautiful things too. It'll reflect that beautiful wall(not every wall is beautiful but yours is. a rare thing). and it will reflect whatever beautiful thing will be put by you on the mantle..be it a plant, a sculpture, you name it

    I wanted to say more but my mouse doesn't work, temporarily..a gain for humanity..))

    but those were very good things..I didn't know quite yet how to formulate them.

    maybe I'll know by the time I put new batteries in the mouse))

  • Kendrah

    What about floor lamps? When my family comes to visit four of us pile in this room for hours reading and napping on the sofas. Is the black lamp near the mantle distracting? I'm thinking about two very small pharmacy like floor lamps on either side of the sofa to the left of the fireplace. Black finish? Brass finish? I want them to disappear and not detract from the art hanging above.

    Anyone have thoughts on if it is overkill to have two large and commanding mirrors in such a narrow space - the one above the chest and placing one above the mantle? Space above mantle is 66" wide x 59" high. What size would you recommend for a mirror there? Gold leaf, wood, black painted wood? Circular, horizontal or vertical rectangle?

    April, I eagerly await the return of your mouse.

  • pennydesign

    Well, I guess you want more opinions on the mirror.. I'm sure others will chime in, but what do YOU think?

    It would reflect the curvy wall, right? ...Once, a poster here had a plate "collection"...but rather than a geometric or symmetrical design, she had them float up the wall from near the floor and curve around a corner near the ceiling--it reminded me of migrating birds. So, migrating plates, if you will. Your wall would look lovely with the same idea but with plates floating across and around the curve of your wall...a bit like this but more and swirly-er...

    It would be a simple project and could be very, very cheap if you visit a thrift store and invest in a couple of cans of paint. I've had success painting a bowl that had a dimensional design on it (the colors wouldn't go in my dining room. but I loved the bowl). Anyway, no chipping and a very smooth finish. You might also find plates with cutout designs...Or use lots of colors...

  • Kendrah

    Regarding mirrors - I'm a sucker for mirrors and had a mirror thrifting addiction for a while. But, I think two big fancy gold mirrors in this space is a lot. I so see how the fireplace calls for one, and yet I think it is a lot of look in this space. Also, the curved wall as a reflection just isn't much to look at.

    I had a plate collection in an interesting abstract configuration in our kitchen before we renovated. It was only six plates and I considered hanging them now above our mantle in two vertical columns of three. Here's a pic of them - Harlem Toile, 9". I adore the images. Not sure how they will look in the living room. 9" isn't much on a space that big.

  • melinda1977

    I love Victoria Elizabeth Barnes' blog. Her post entitled 'Kingdom Mirror' is one of my favorites. And she fosters kittens...what's not to love??!

  • pennydesign

    (Ugh...just lost an entire post...oh well) Basically--and way less wordy.., I love your plates but take care putting a dimensional art piece above the dimensional fireplace.

    (Melinda, me too! I adore her sense of adventure and the way she tosses all the "rules" out the window!)

    Good luck with your space Kendrah! It will all be fine and lovely no matter what you do, as it already is mostly there :)

  • Kendrah

    "I love your plates but take care putting a dimensional art piece above the dimensional fireplace." Penny - can you say more- I'm not sure what you meant by this.

  • wednesday morning

    Queen, thanks for the reference to the hose down house. I read that back in the 1920s there was an architect/designer? man by the name of Deryfuss who had envisioned a bathroom such as that.

    Kendrah, is your floor safe? Did you have to do anything to strengthen the integrity of your floor? I quite like the suggestion of metal plates. The one in the picture looks to have a patina to it.

    Here in this country ,where we build our houses of wood,it goes to rot. It is amazing when you visit old places in Europe how there are buildings built of stone that are still standing and are multiple centuries old!

    Any building that is built of wood and is really old has had a lot of restoration work along the way.

    That sounds just a little concerning that you say the timbers flake if you touch them. Certainly you must have gotten a professional assessment of the structural integrity.

    Years ago I had my heart set on buying one of two old houses in the small town where we were moving to. My dad protested this up one side and down the other until we just gave up and bought a small suburban house. I am so glad that Dad talked us out of it. We had not the money nor the expertise nor the time to give to an old house. And, as it turned out, we did not stay there very long anyway. These old houses were so beautiful and well priced.

    Now, all I want is a small house that I can hose down!!! The priorities of life change as you get older. Keeping after an old house is for those who are young or those who have disposable income to hire someone else to keep after it.

  • aprilneverends

    Good morning said my rechargered mouse))

    ok..so the thing I wanted to say yesterday I guess would be:

    -your room is quite an accomplished story already. Of course, it can be written as a different story, That room can handle many genres so to say.

    Or it can be tweaked. but i wouldn't tweak it too much-because then the story will be different. Unless you want to do away with your story and rewrite it-I'd leave the story largely as is. True, there are things that people think a room benefits from as a rule-an infusion of color, a this, a that..

    But some rooms, like some stories, they're written differently. And they're written well. And they are what they are. And this distinctiveness is authentic to a story they're telling.

    Add things you need for everyday function and comfort..the lamps..(I'd comb through Etsy..I have many there saved, but they're probably sold by now. I'm very much into lights, all sorts of lights. if I find something I'll post the link to it..)..maybe the pillow for the black chair if it'll bring more comfort to sit down in it(I've no idea whether you need it or not, obviously)..maybe a pillow with washable cover if you like to lounge on that blue sofa..you don't need a lot. Just needs to be good pillow..nice to touch..nice to fall asleep on..

    I'd be able to leave that fireplace wall blank for years-until I find something that makes my heart stop. Or you can do plates, very successsfully-these or others..plenty of examples in some of the books I talked about earler.

    Or it can be a mirror so different they'll be able to be good friends, the existing one, the new one

    I wouldn't do any different blinds or treatments on the window-you got one already..and I would't miss curtains, even though I love fabrics and curtains,..it looks good as is. Elegant, reserved, a bit painfully beautiful.

    I wouldn't mourn not having a rug-sure you can have it still..and will look great..but it looks great now too, and I love penny's suggestion on how to repair the floors, it's authentic to the story

    In short-the story is yours, and you decide what to do with it, obviously

    but it's already there. it's shaped. and it's already good. and it's already a story that begs one to read it.

    so I, personally, wouldn't rewrite it. If I want to take a different book-I'd take a different book, But I like a book by this author, right now.

    Tweak it if you please, make it better for youself-but it's just editing a bit.

    You wrote a good one.

  • mimimomy

    Kendrah, I understand the desire to retain the antique wood, but if it's in your budget, I would go ahead and get that flooring situation remedied now. It sounds like the existing floor has to go because it is a hazard, with holes and such, as well, if you can scrape sawdust with a fingernail from below. One broken leg because a heel catches in a hole could well pay for the whole thing...

    I would suggest to get that one level of your home finished by having someone put in a suitable sub-floor, and then have a tongue and groove hardwood floor over it. Or, if you prefer, have someone put a nice real stone tile floor over it... much of the tile is very reasonable now.

    Save the wood and have it used for other purposes throughout your house, even to have a beautiful bookcase or piece of furniture built, or perhaps some trim.

    All houses go through periods of renovation, even Buckingham Palace :)

    Wishing you well!

  • Mrs Pete

    This is a lovely room: your room has character! But -- yeah -- maybe it's a little simplistic. If you want "more" but can't have fabrics, how about painting the walls a pretty color and adding some bright art on the walls? Some bright throws and pillows, which can be washed) on the sofa? Can you have plants?

    That's one of the dangers of looking online, really...dissatisfaction is a by-product of the interwebs...

    So true, so true.

  • Kendrah


    Thanks to you all, I'm in a much better head space about this room than when I started this post. April, I am an author so your analogy was apropos, and very helpful. And, I'm so much happier now that I have moved some of our furniture around. My mission now is to tackle getting the right lamps for the sofa to the left of the fireplace, getting pillows for the sofas (I'm going with black - the same fabric as the sofas cause I'm realizing that's just how I roll. Minus a hippie phase in my early 20s, patterns nor color have never been a part of my wardrobe or my living space.) And, I will experiment with hanging my plates because I already own them. If they look good they will stay, maybe for years, until something more perfect comes along.

    Our living room floor, despite the holes, is structurally sound. The joists beneath the floor are all in excellent condition. Only two were iffy and we had them sistered and we added additional structural support in the basement for the whole house.

  • Jora

    Your space is gorgeous! Warmth of the home doesn't have to come from second hand, online crap, or pillows, you can add beautiful art work and a couple of candles (on large holders) to warm up the place.

    Kendrah thanked Jora
  • ga_nadine

    I love your living room, and thank you for giving us more pictures! I like April's thought, that it already tells an accomplished story. And, I would add, an interesting, eclectic UNIQUE one.

    I would say your living room is one of the top three or four rooms I've seen on Design Dilemmas in a year or so. Please don't second-guess wanting to " value reducing waste and try to buy everything second hand, made in USA, or quality items that won't break in a few years." Stay strong to that!

    When I'm feeling discontented with my house, I sometimes discover that the house is serving as a stand-in for other things in my life that aren't as I want them but that I can't change by purchasing something -- if that makes sense.

  • apple_pie_order

    Would you be able to use the rope filler technique or the wood shim technique to fill the cracks? If you had a low VOC finish, that is.

  • PRO

    Black pillows on a black sofa. .........were we asking on warmth and a reduction in sterility? Just wondering. : )

  • Kendrah

    I agree Jan, but I think I've gotta embrace what I like. If you have any other ideas of pillows that have a sort of masculine look and fit the lines of our sofa, I'm all ears.

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