The living room was actually termed "the parlor" by my old-fashioned mother. She always said she had been born in the wrong era and was supposed to have been on earth when ladies wore corsets and had tea parties and entertained visitors in their parlors!
This is the room you first see as you walk into the house. As you can tell from the before pictures, it had quite the victorian charm. This is the only picture I could find with this angle of the room showing, apparently someone got a tonka truck for Christmas that year! On any given day you could find one of us kids sliding down the banister and often this room was used as a faster way to get to the kitchen if you were hoping to beat someone to dinner, and we would hear mom yell, "no running in the house!" Up these two little steps was our stage and the grown ups were forced to sit and watch our made up plays and pageants!At Christmas time my mom really went all out in decor. The stained mantel was always a focal point for all of Mom's decor. The mantel is also a two way, (another mantel opens on the other side of the wall into the family room) so you could lay in this room and listen to grown ups in the other room or spy while playing hide and seek!
For years my mom had talked of stripping the wallpaper and lightening up this room. When she was really sick from chemo treatments she had to spend a few nights in the hospital. I decided this was the time. I headed over and got to work with my step sister, Afton. We stripped the wallpaper, painted the walls a pistachio green color that was mom's favorite, and even had our Grandpa come over and craft the lower half of the walls and add the bookshelves on either side of the mantel. When Mom came home from the hospital the first thing she saw was this room as she was wheeled into the house. She sat and looked and cried. She was very happy with the turnout. She called it her temple room because it was so bright and light.
After my own family and I moved into the house a year later, I did some more tweaking and made it my own.
The bookshelves are filled with some of my family treasures. Books that belonged to my grandmother, a large dried hydrangea from my mother's funeral bouquets, an iron horse head from the gates on the farm my dad grew up on and a pretty statue of a woman that my mother cherished.
We now use this room for piano practicing, family time, Sunday quiet time, reading, and still the kids use the "stage" for plays.
The piano belongs to the entire family and we are still not quite sure what to do with it. It is a completely restored antique Steinway piano, originally built in 1876 and was a treasure my mom was lucky enough to come across.
I love this room because it stays clean 99% of the time, aside from occasional flip flops and random legos. I can go in there to have some peace. This artwork Resurrection by Mark Mabry was a gift given to me from my husband on Mothers Day the year we moved into the home.
coffee table West Elm
loveseat and chair Ikea
pillows Home Goods
floral planter Anthropologie, similar here