Life as Lou

Home Is Where You Decorate

  • October 27, 2010 2:14 pm

We are moved in, and I am attempting to make the house look like we live here. In the past nine years, we have moved nine times. Every move brings the exact same problem: our stuff doesn’t match our house.

We move our things to a new house only to find that we no longer have room for a painting, or that we desperately need about five paintings to fill up the blank walls. The couches are too big, or too little. There are empty corners and everything has that unfinished look for at least a year (usually longer). We always seem to need curtains here and a rug there to make the house feel complete, and then just when we start getting it under control, we up and move again.

Because of our quick turn around time in houses, I unpack very quickly and try to make it homey as fast as possible. If I lolled around with unopened boxes for a year like some people do, I would spend my entire life living out of a box.

These photos aren’t the greatest; this house’s lighting leaves a lot to be desired. We have two options, harsh or dark.

The television armoire is new. Our last entertainment center didn’t make the move (we knew it was on its last legs), so we needed an upgrade and after about a year of searching we found the perfect one. I insist on an armoire because most military housing only has one living area. You don’t get a living room and a family room and a cute little nook. You get one room, and everything goes in there. Having a huge screen taking up most of the space drives me crazy, and I like to be able to put it away.

We found ours at Pottery Barn, and though I love it, I really hate Pottery Barn’s customer lack of service. It was a two month mess to get this here. They lost it, they lied, they re-ordered, they promised, they didn’t keep their promises. They kept telling me they were “handling it”, but really, they were just handling me. Horrid service. I have never had to babysit a company like that, but I was on the phone arranging and hounding every little detail myself. I spent about twelve hours on the phone (mostly on hold) over the course of two months. In the end, they promised to give me a partial refund at 30% off- but when I called back to arrange it, they pretended to know nothing about it, and I only got 20% back. Word to the wise: go elsewhere for furniture. But, hey, I do love it. Pottery Barn has style, but no class or integrity.

When my parents visited my mom brought me a naked wreath that she had made from grapevines in her yard. Her housewarming gift to me was to take me to the craft store to buy stuff to decorate it! This is the first wreath I have ever decorated, and I was quite happy with it. It was supposed to go on the front door, but ended up too pretty for outside, so it is inside.

This shelf is awesome, and I am sorry for the bad picture. The living room is long and narrow and too much stuff would overwhelm it, so a simple shelf on this wall puts something there, but keeps it visually open.

See the cute leather chest in the corner? That’s where we hide the dead bodies. Ha! Actually, it is loaded with Thomas the Tank Engine Trains. Gabe loves that thing. Got it at Target, Land of Enchantment and Empty Wallets.

The couches are off the entrance. This is military housing; it was not designed to be user friendly or to make sense. This is the only configuration where you can sit father than two feet away from a television and not block a door. We made it work. For such an odd space, we got some decent fung shui flowing.

I love my bookshelves. You can get these at Lowe’s. They are inexpensive, and they practically assemble themselves. Clearing away the box is more work than setting this up. I would like to buy five more because of their sheer awesomeness.

So there you go. The living room is livable. Now the rest of the house needs attention! ]]>


  1. LG says:

    WOW!!! Loving all your fall decors! Your new house is more homey than mine

  2. Carol says:

    that is a retarded room! but you’ve managed to set it up quite lovely ;) and I am not surprised that you rocked your first home made wreath ;)

  3. Cathy Harper says:

    beautiful warm and inviting! love it all, and isn’t Pottery Barn just fantastic to deal with??? LOL

  4. Dani B says:

    Beautiful job!! Your home looks very cozy. I haven’t moved as many times a you, but I’ve probably moved enough stuff to count. I’ve moved 4 times in 10 years. The last was this past month and then 2 years before that. I’m right there with you. No matter how big or little, it seems like I never have the right size anything. Even though we moved into a much larger house, it seems so much smaller because I’m still trying to find that perfect little spot for, well, everything! I operate a business out of my home, complete with 2 employees, and I have a large craft supply. We’ve been moved in for 6 weeks and I’m still living out of boxes even after having a moving company move out stuff and helpers to unpack most of it. Best of luck in making it ‘feel’ like home even if it may not look like it yet! (It’s still gorgeous though!!)

  5. Helen Gunther says:

    < ![CDATA[I guess the problem with most military housing is that it was built long before the days of large-screen tvs that needed several feet of clearance! At the time most of them were built, you laid on the floor right in front of the tv to make out the fuzzy ghosty pictures on the screen ;-)

    Your house is certainly looking a lot like a home. Very nice!]]>

  6. Tanya Tahir says:

    I loved the little “tour” of your living room – makes me feel like I was right there and you were showing me around :) Lovely!!!

  7. Es says:

    I think your home looks LOVELY!!! You did a wonderful job of decorating:)

  8. Looks great! I can’t imagine having to move so much! I think I’d have to give up a lot of my stuff! :-) Best wishes!

  9. Looks fab! (So what you’re saying is that PB is to furniture what OA is to scrappin’? LOL!)

  10. Wow you did amazing things with the space given, I love love your gorgeous leather lounge, what a beauty…and had to laugh re: the dead bodies….Pottery barn sound pretty much how all large companies I have dealt with are over here, ridiculous we have to put up with it but they know they get away with it because they have a good percentage of the market cornered with their products…I love the book shelves and the wreath is just divine, how special is that knowing it is made from grave vine, wow…..It looks like you have some awesome experiences with setting up homes that don’t necessarilly cover all your preferred criteria. You did an awesome job Leah. Love Melxx

  11. I think it looks wonderful, Leah- so warm and cozy.

  12. Katherine says:

    < ![CDATA[Thanks for the tour! It indeed looks very cozy!
    I LOVE the bookshelves you have too and looked them up on the Lowe's website but didn't find them listed. Is there a specific name for the bookshelves? Thanks!]]>

  13. amie says:

    You’ve done great work with what you have! :)

  14. You put me to such shame! I’ve been our house for nearly 21 years and it’s still not what you could call decorated. It’s just shameful

  15. Sue says:

    Oh I love what you did with the wreath, Leah. The colours are so pretty.

  16. Sharon says:

    Great job on your living area! You are so far ahead of me. We have moved twice in the past year, as we rented until we found a house we love. We are hopeful this will be our last move ever, so we are unpacking EVERYTHING, thus my husband didn’t see the need for storage any more. ;) Yup, we have EVERYTHING to unpack. So I will be one of those people that takes a year to unpack, no doubt! LOL. I got the kitchen going, everyone’s things usable and now I am focusing on my scrap space because that’s my therapy! Everything else can wait. Oh did I mention that might have been the largest amount of stuff too? Hee, not all product though, I have memorabilia from 23 years of marriage and my our sons – ages 21 and 13. That stuff is precious but very challenging! Although I am finding myself throwing away a lot more of it than I thought I would. Yes I threw away the cake toppers (Big Bird and pals) from one of my oldest son’s birtday cakes. I’m sure we have a picture (or 5) of the cake. ;)

  17. Sharon says:

    Oh hey I meant to tell you…I did my first ruffle yesterday!! It turned out great! I used your tutorial and put the link on my blog.

  18. Kara says:

    Did you make the Happy Harvest blocks? If not why didn’t you:)

  19. Michelle says:

    Leah, your home is so cozy and homey feeling!!! I love your fall decor.. my favorite season. Armoire is pretty! I can empathize on the moving alot. My first four years, my father was in the Air Force. My parents moved alot, and continued that tradition once he was out of the service! Once I moved out the the house, I continued it. But, it was always a move up. The longest place I ever lived was 7 years, which was the house before my current one. I have moved about 36 times in my 42 years. I have moving down to a fine science! The house we are in now, I had it pretty much unpacked in a weekend!! Completely done by the end of the first week. Pretty good considering we have alot of stuff!!!

  20. Michelle says:

    Forgot to ask.. are you in SD?? My father was stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City in the very early 70′s. We moved in ’71 right before the big flood.

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