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Updates and decorating (finally!) in the family room + kitchen

    neutral sectional

    Our house is not done. We have so much more to do with it, so many ideas and plans and sometimes it can feel a little frustrating to have the vision, but have to wait to bring it all to reality.

    I do my very best to look around and see all the things we have done, to remember where we were just 10 months earlier, to be grateful for this big, wonderful house with its big, beautiful yard. But, ugh, sometimes I can feel a little impatient and a touch envious of all the pretty, finished homes out there (like my sister’s, my friend’s, anything by Studio McGee).

    Our kitchen and family room are two rooms that we can’t wait to update. They are the heart of our home, the spaces we spend the most time in and hang out when our extended family and friends are over. We have great ideas for how to transform these rooms … we’re just not exactly sure when we will execute.

    So we’ve been doing the small projects that feel like progress – painting the walls and trim, replacing the bulky kitchen cabinets with open shelves, wallpapering the guest bathroom, changing out light fixtures. All of these minor changes have done a lot to update the rooms.

    What hasn’t really happened is decorating.

    We’ve been in the house for nearly a year and I have hung approximately three pictures on the wall (and they’re all up on the third floor where I hardly ever visit).

    A few days ago, I wrangled my friend into helping me move some furniture around in the family room just to try to make it look better in the meantime. I didn’t want to buy anything new because ultimately we’ll add built-ins and move the tv and figure out the rug situation once hardwood floors are in. But I just felt so bummed out looking at a bare room with zero decoration. It was time to make some changes, make it feel a little more lived-in and inviting and add some personality.

    We shopped the house, moved things around, stole lamps and even hang a few pictures.

    It’s not the finished, perfect, ideal space we hope to get to at some point, but it’s so much better. And, actually, it feels so much more homey to us all.

    This old wood church pew is my favorite borrowed piece from Ryan’s mom. It hasn’t had an official home in this new house until we tried it (and love it!) pulled up to the kitchen table.

    (Let’s not talk about the wrinkles in the rug. I hosed it off to clean it, laid it over our outdoor furniture to dry and it hasn’t been the same since).

    chairs | leather pillow | pendant light

    bar cart | lamp

    (art print from the September Paper Works collection)

    sectional | ottomans | floor lamp | x-pillow | pom pillow | leather pillow  | stripe basket

    chair | pillow

    bookshelf | basket (on shelf)

    Moral of the story: do what you can do today, with what you have to make your home feel happier to you :)

    20 thoughts on “Updates and decorating (finally!) in the family room + kitchen”

    1. Can you tell me about painting your trim black? I LOVE the contrast, but so nervous to do it myself. I feel like this is a great alternative to the black window panes everyone is doing right now, but it seems like such a big commitment. Any advice? Did you do it through the entire house, or just certain rooms?

    2. Hi Emily,

      Beautiful home! Thanks for sharing.

      Wondering about the pendant light over your kitchen table? Do you feel like it provides enough light? It seems you’ve got great natural light from the windows in your space. I’m inquiring as I’d like to update our fixtures in our kitchen area and love the simplicity of what you’ve chosen. Thanks so much!

    3. Do you have a steamer? If so, steam that rug and it will lay flat and perfect. I have to do it to mine each time I hose it off. It takes a while to steam…go slow…but it’s worth it.

    4. Just a suggestion…did you try steaming your rug?
      Your place looks homey and special. I love this quote by Elizabeth Elliott “Be content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace.” I have it framed in a place I view every day, and it has kept me in check more times than I can count. Progress can be slow sometimes, but always, always be content in your soul with what has been given. God’s blessings to you and your family. :)

      1. That navy pom blanket was an item we previously carried in our shop – we are sold out. THe cable-knit blanket is super old probably from Marshalls or TJMaxx :)

    5. Emily,
      I wonder if you steamed the rug (with a steamer or if you don’t have one an iron with steam burst) while having someone “pull” or adjust it on the other side? It might loosen the natural fibers so they are maleable (flexible). Just a thought! Good Luck friend!

    6. This makes me feel better and tyour space is lovely. We have been in our new house three months and we hung one painting, too high! Whomp whomp. Today I made a custom shower curtain for my husband’s shower because off the rack doesn’t fit because he told me water splashed out onto the floor. He just said he doesn’t think he needs a shower curtain after all! 😳 WHAT? oh well…

    7. I really like how you personalize your home to your own family (like the Seahawks schedule!). So many times I see homes in photos and I think anyone could be living there– there’s nothing unique. As usual you are truly inspiring!

    8. Wonder how many solutions you’ll receive for getting lumps/bumps out of your rug? Can always rely on people to have solutions for pretty much any kind of problem, gotta love your readers. That’s a good thing, not disparaging people, simply a fact of having nice people who want to help, nice to know.
      Your rooms look pretty good altho a bit spare but that will be remedied soon enuf. Kinda fun shopping your house isn’t it and rethinking use for objects.
      Lucky you with gorgeous maiden hair fern is so healthy and full looking, can’t find them here, maybe due to climate, so dry here. When I asked at Lowes and Walmart nobody knew what I was talking about, had never heard of that plant.
      What is that plant on your shelves trailing down? Is very pretty. Have gotten better about taking care of plants, they seem to thrive now instead of taking a dive, lol. Have two geraniums bought 3-4 yrs.ago then split them. Have them in kitchen window where doing better than ever, blooming like crazy, growing a lot. In kitchen window they get just right amount of direct east light then in afternoon they get shaded light for rest of day, must be what they need since doing so well. Wish could grow hydrangeas but think is too dry here, very low humidity.
      Have great week /Emily.

    9. Looks great – so much progress. I am “always” shopping the house as I call it. My husband always says I liked it fine like it was. He doesn’t mind the change he just doesn’t get the continuous movement!! The real reason for my replay – the wrinkled rug. This should flatten it out – the fibers stretched on the uneven surface while drying and created the puckers. Take it out to a concrete driveway or patio and lay it out flat on a hot, sunny day. Them lightly dampen/mist the puckers and as they dry again, laid flat, they should lessen. It may take a couple of sunny days and moisture to “shrink” them back in to place. If you are not having enough sunny days in a row, then do the procedure, roll it up and then unroll it the next day or so after the rain passes. You just can’t saturate it on the flat surface because if it isn’t hot enough to dry it in one day ( It happens here in the sunny South- Atlanta- you can soak a big natural fiber rug and dry it in one day!) then you run the risk of it getting smelly from staying damp. It really is easier than this sounds.

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