When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

The Autumn season is definitely the time when homebodies like us are all about making living rooms feel cozy and put together. It’s almost like nesting before a baby comes, you just want everything to feel more settled.

If you’ve been following me here for awhile you might remember that every Thanksgiving for years I would get in the mood to totally redo my dining room or some other room in the house, just in the nick of time for a holiday gathering. Yeah.

Well, nothing’s changed around here (well, except some furniture. Ha).

Fall, holidays and parties are some of the top motivators or inspiration to change up a home. Tis the season, right? And since today is Thanksgiving in Canada, it makes total sense that I’ve been in the mood to change things up.

About a week ago I mentioned how my own living room has been in a state of limbo. Some of you asked what I meant by that because you thought my room was all pulled together already! And indeed, it has been “pulled together” using what I have several times in the short two years that we’ve lived here. That’s just what I do, ha! And maybe you do, too.

Our spaces are so personal to us, it makes sense that we get inspired for change because we are always changing. It’s OK to make changes in your space if it isn’t feeling just right to you, even if it looks fine to someone else. Getting settled in a home can take time. Each room can go through several phases of “done” “undone” and “redone.”

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

Last this summer I started wrestling over this room (again). My ideal vision included new furniture, built-ins, maybe even doors in the long wall (yes, long story), new paneling and a fireplace refresh.

When I said this room has been in limbo, it meant I was in the phase of “in between” the room as it was and the unknown of what it would be next.

Knowing my ideal vision didn’t mean I was ready to move forward with that vision right then. So that in between phase is what I called the season of living room limbo.

Perhaps you’ll relate to my method for getting out of limbo, or maybe by sharing my process it will help inspire you to push forward to your own step:

When I first begin feeling restless (ahem, usually in the fall), I start the redesign process by simply rearranging the room. It’s easy enough to try a few different options to see if something “sparks joy.”

If nothing seems right and I might want to get something new, I let myself start window shopping. I shop for little things or big things that might make a difference.

I also explore the thought that if the backdrop was right, I’d actually love the room more. So I might research, Photoshop or draw out ideas for built-ins, refinishing floors, different paint colors or wall finishes, or remodeled fireplaces or other elements that would bring about a new look.

Truthfully, fixing up the backdrop can sometimes just be the best or even the most economical option. Otherwise we can end up spending money on furniture or accessories trying to put a band-aid on the problem!

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

You might remember when we painted our fireplace white. That is an example of the value of working on the backdrop of the room even with an economical change like paint. Paint can give you a new vision on a lower budget.

Painting the fireplace first gray (which I really liked) and then white (which I also really like!) didn’t match up with my perfect vision of a new fireplace, but happily I ended up liking our painted fireplace enough that I could leave it that way forever if I had to (or at least enjoy it until I can paint it again or get to the next phase of improvements).

Perhaps like me, you let yourself explore aaaall the possibilities for awhile, until you add up all the costs or time involved in your head. :)

Sometimes it actually makes sense to go ahead and buy something new or make the room exactly what you want it to be. If you know for certain what you want and have the funds available, it can be a relief to finally just make a decision and do it.

But maybe you’ll discover (like I often do) that by allowing yourself explore all the “perfect” choices, you’ll find it easier to move forward in confidence with imperfect but creative solutions. It might seem counterintuitive or even risky to shop for perfect choices (at least don’t do it with a credit card in hand, hahaha), but I find that weighing options is part of the creative process.

Once you can compare the cost and benefits, common sense can sometimes take over and creativity can be exercised instead.

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

After I’ve given myself the opportunity to weigh all of the options, I even find I am more willing to try things I perhaps wasn’t eager to try previously.

So in my living room I decided to put off extensive projects and new furniture for a future season. Sometimes we have to tell our grand ideas that the answer is not necessarily no, it’s just “not yet.”

When I say my living room has been in limbo, now you know what I mean.

I was:

Rearranging the room
Looking through what I already have
Determining nothing felt right
Window shopping
Emptying the room
Leaving the room empty and then in chaos for awhile.
Deciding if I really wanted to spend money or hire help or start a new project
Deciding it was not the right time
Trying something I wasn’t willing to try before

This method of getting out of limbo might be slow, but it works for me. I want to create a space that I can live with and feel content in. I never like to feel pressured to spend money frivolously or in a hurry.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally fine with spending money if it feels like the right decision and I’m ready for the expense or mess, but I would rather not spend money or live in chaos if I don’t have to :). Especially right before the holidays.

So as I was coming out of my recent living room limbo, I was finally willing to try something I wasn’t eager to try before.

My husband and son brought up our sectional from downstairs just to see what it would look like. My mom had suggested it. My daughters had said a few times that we should at least give it a try. I had considered it. I was certain I wouldn’t like it or want it upstairs (for many reasons), but now that I had ruled out a new  sofa and other big changes, I was finally willing to at least try it.

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

And you know what? I like the sectional up here better than I thought I would.

Even though it wasn’t what I had in mind for this room, I decided at the very least it would make us feel more settled in this room for the holidays.

That’s what always happens to me this time of year, I just want to feel cozy and comfy!

The sectional we already had crossed of some required boxes:

It filled up the long awkward blank wall quite nicely.
It feels comfortable and inviting.
It created a great conversation area.
It made the room feel super cozy and ready for people to gather.
We already had it (no new sofa purchase required).
It completed the room for now and allowed us more time to consider other options.

Once we had the sofa in place on our existing winter rug, I brought in the art from my entry (which I actually really LOVE in the entry so it’s unlikely I would want it to stay here) just to at least get a vision for what it would feel like and to create more of a focal point over the sofa.

Then I found a couple of new lamps to bring light to this part of the room. Suddenly the whole room felt cozier. It once again felt like a room where we could curl up by the fireplace. I could visualize our whole family gathered here before dinner and on holidays. That’s when you know you are on the right track for this season, even if it was a different track than you planned on.

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

This was not at all the vision I had in my head a few weeks ago, but it just took a little dreaming and a few simple changes to spark a new vision! And while there are still additions and updates to be made, I’m excited to keep refining and enjoying this space.

Now that I’m coming out of the “limbo phase,” I’m feeling good with our fall living room arrangement here. That doesn’t mean the design direction or elements won’t change again, not at all. They very well could! It just means I’m at peace with where we are at right now, in this season. :)

I’m just grateful for a cozy place for my family to gather, that’s the vision that matters the most to me right now.

Coming up this week for fall nesting: I’ll share some additional cozy elements that have been brought into this space plus I’ll give you a peek at some of the furniture pieces I considered. And, I’ll share my top fall nesting tips for how you can add cozy to your space (using what you already have or can easily incorporate into the room)!

What process do you go through when you are feeling like your room is in limbo? 

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

When You Feel Like Your Living Room is in Limbo

Black and white pillow

Gray polka dot pillow

Sectional – Interior Define

Botanicals – (called the Verte Botanique Framed Art)

Bamboo Lamps & Lampshades

Dipped stools

Large woven basket with lid

Round mirror with wood beads

Wool braided rug

Gray tassel throw – Ashley Home Store, or more tassel throw blankets here

Rattan Daybed

White Velvet Pumpkins (USE THE PROMO CODE: 17IR15 to get 15% off through October.)

Gathering of Friends

Gathering of FriendsTerrain

Thank you all, dear readers, for your support in getting Simple Gatherings to best-seller status on Amazon this week. Hooray! You made this launch week so much less stressful, in fact, you made it a joy.

The giveaways (with all the insanely beautiful Terrain items) are still up for one more day, so if you haven’t entered yet, you’ll find the prizes and links to enter below. Courtney and I picked out every single gift for the prize packs because we wanted them ourselves! They’re really good, so definitely worth entering.

Gathering of Friends

It’s been so fun to connect with so many of you this week over Simple Gatherings. The cool thing is…that really is a core message of Simple Gatherings! It’s about gathering friends and finding ways to connect with people in real and authentic ways.

Even though we don’t necessarily all get to hang out in my house or yours, I’m so glad that we get to meet up here through our similar interests in the home. Ten years after starting this THING called a BLAWG, I am still in awe that this is even a thing we still get to do!

I love posting and then hearing from you in the comments and emails each week. Honestly, if I don’t hear from you in awhile (or you’re just lurking!), I miss your comments and the camaraderie that grows from that connection. It’s the interaction of people that makes a blog feel like a gathering of friends, so big thanks to those of you who continue to invest yourselves in keeping that connection!

I’m looking forward the next few posts in our fall nesting series (I’ve got some updates to my living room to share!) but since there is just one day left for the giveaways,  I wanted to give you a quick introduction to five lovely friends who are so generously hosting the giveaways on their blogs this week. You’ll also find the links to enter each giveaway, below.

Gathering of Friends
Meet Emily – Jones Design Company – Office

Emily has been a blogging friend for many years. I’ve always been impressed by her creative talent in so many areas and even more so by her sweet spirit. We both live in Washington, so she’s practically my real life neighbor. Emily actually recently moved to a lovely home in one of my favorite little Washington towns (closer, but still about forty five minutes away from where I live in Seattle). I am sure we’ll find some opportunities to get together!

Gathering of Friends

Meet Beth – Home Stories A to Z – Dining Room

I’ve known Beth (in person) for years after meeting through blogging. She’s so talented and super creative. Beth has always jumped right in with support whenever I’ve needed help (and I seem to need a lot of help with book launches, ha), so I’ve really appreciated her kindness. She just moved with her family into a GORGEOUS home that has made me (almost) want to move to South Carolina.

Gathering of Friends

Meet Sandy – Reluctant Entertainer – Outdoor Space

Sandy and I became dear friends years ago through our blogs. We both live in the Northwest, and we text regularly and meet up in person as often as we can. This photo above was taken in her incredible backyard (at her old house, her new house is just as beautiful!) during a beautiful real life gathering my husband and I were invited to. We had such a memorable time! Sandy is the EPITOME of a gracious hostess and loyal friend in real life. I’m grateful to have her as one of my best friends.

Gathering of Friends

Meet Bre – Rooms for Rent

I’m not sure exactly when I first crossed paths with Bre, but I’m so glad I did. She definitely makes the online world feel like a welcoming place. She is just THE sweetest, she’s always gone above and beyond to support and help me out. Bre inspires in so many ways, including sharing her heart and her darling home. She and her husband just got that adorable puppy, too. Aww.

Gathering of Friends

Meet JenBalancing Beauty and Bedlam – Front Porch

Jen is another good friend I’m so grateful for. We have both been writers at (in)courage for a long time. We always have a good time when we are together. We live across the country from each other, though, so most of the time we just text (or chat on Voxer, although I can’t figure out how to do it). Her porch is AMAZING! If you haven’t read her inspiring porch story, it’s linked above and was also included in my first book Love The Home You Have.

Even though it might seem kind of weird to say I met each of these friends on the internet, how cool is it that they turned out to be so sweet and genuine? I feel like I’ve gathered some pretty amazing friends on this blogging journey.

Now that you’ve had a chance to be officially introduced to our hostesses, here’s another peek at the prizes we are giving away (through tomorrow). You’ll find a few of these gorgeous serving pieces at each stop in the Progressive Launch Party Giveaway via the links below. They all all beautiful, so make sure you enter each giveaway before it’s too late!

The links to enter are below.

Gathering of Friends
Gathering of Friends
Gathering of Friends

Best of luck in the giveaways and happy friend gathering!

Grab your copy of Simple Gatherings at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Take your hostess style quiz here as well as get free lovely downloadable invitations and more.

Have you received your copy of Simple Gatherings yet? I’d love to hear what you think! I hope it is an encouragement and offers you inspiration to gather. If so, I’d especially be grateful for a review on Amazon to inspire others who might also like the book. If you are on Instagram, I’d love it if you would share the book or your own gatherings of friends or family by tagging me @theinspiredroom and using the hashtag #simplegatherings.

Gathering of Friends