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Creating A Space You Love

Hello City Farmhouse readers! I’m so excited to be back sharing with you today! I think one question I get asked most often, other than where is my white slip-covered sofa from? Is how I would describe my style, and went about decorating our living room.

Rooms for Rent-Benjamin Moore Halo Of course it didn’t always look this way, I had a love for interior design, and creating welcoming spaces, but truly loving the space you live in, that takes some time.

Living Room Before
Our living room pre-babies, in our old apartment, before blogging.

There is no magical formula for completing your perfect space by snapping your fingers. It takes time to truly put together a space that you love, and figuring out things that are pleasing to your eye, and work well with your family. We started off with our white slip-covered sofa, but once the babies started coming, I thought I had to swap out my slip-covers for something darker, because everyone told me I had to or I was nuts! So I inherited an old navy and white striped slip cover from a friend, and started working with darker colors. (To see our first big living room update, check out this post.)Living Room Before

I always liked colors, and bold pops of bright colors when I would see them in others homes. I liked that people weren’t afraid to use color, and that you could use color without it looking stiff and boring. My first ever impulse buy was this gorgeous morrocan trellis rug for our living room. I remember seeing this pattern everywhere, and then when I saw the rug, I had to have it. I had never done anything like that before, just see something and have to buy it, but we were already in desperate need for a larger rug for our living room, so it made the purchase seem practical as well. living-room before

What I didn’t realize was it would be the breaking point for me in truly loving our space. It’s hard sometimes when trends come not to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to take part in every trend that comes our way. Especially when they are really popular, and stay around for a while, and you see said items in everyone else’s home, so why wouldn’t you like it in your own? Don’t get me wrong, I still love this rug, love the pattern, love the style, but it was taking me further away from the ultimate space I was craving. This is when we have to ask ourselves the ultimate question, “Are you truly loving the space you are in?”. There is nothing wrong with the space in the photo above, nothing at all, but for me, I just wasn’t loving it. Thankfully one Christmas I decided it was time to bring the white slip-cover back out to emphasize my “White-Christmas” feeling. It made me so happy to have my white sofa back again, and even though my kids were 3 1/2 and 2, I was willing to wash my slip covers regularly to have the space I was craving. We re-arranged our living room, and the white slip cover was here to stay.Blue & white Family RoomThen I got the courage to paint our walls Halo, by Benjamin Moore. It was the closest shade to white I felt I could comfortably go without going all white. It’s funny though, with the white slip-cover back on, and our walls a more neutral shade, things still didn’t feel as calm and neutral as I was wanting. I think one of the hardest things about creating a space you love is not being afraid you will make a mistake. But it’s in the mistakes we make that truly help us know what we love and what we don’t. Mine happened to come in the size of an 8X10 rug at a price tag of around $300. I know, Yikes! But you see if I never made that impulse decision, I would still always be wondering if that type of rug would work in my space. Remember I still love the rug, and love the style, so you can love something, but in this instance I needed to appreciate this trend from afar, or not on such a large scale. Like my entire living room floor! So I sold the rug, and swapped out the bold patterned pillows (also loved), for something a bit more calming.

White Ikea Slipcovered Sofa

I went back to pictures of my favorite spaces, and made notes of items in those spaces that I really loved. While I love blue and white ticking stripe, I didn’t need an entire sofa of it. So one pillow in the middle worked just fine. I also loved vintage grain sack, but not having the funds for real ones, I DIY’d my own. One color I noticed was drastically missing was gray. I loved gray, why hadn’t I thought of bringing it in before? Now my color palette was complete. White and gray, with touches of blue, but the real things that I craved to pop were the weathered wood pieces used throughout the space.

Farmhouse Living Room

I temporarily brought in an old blue & white rug we had from Pier 1 years ago, which since this photo has been swapped out for a neutral jute rug. And most recently, finally swapped out that last blue and white slip-cover for a white one on the chair to the right. It had seen better days, and honestly I can keep the white ones cleaner, so it was time for an update. But now I’m in a space I can truly say I love, and there is nothing more satisfying than being able to curl up and relax in a space you love.

You can see more on how I created this neutral space here.

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Thank you Bre, what a great post, I think all of us can relate to this:).

Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends!!!

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  1. Really enjoyed this post, helped me feel better about couple things happening in our living room.
    I thought I liked green you had on walls but when I saw again your favorite room I realized how much better your final choices look. Good for you for sticking to your preferences. You have to live in that room and clean it. If you don’t like what you live in it’s hard to be content every time you enter that room.
    Last week hubs finally got a new chair, (phew and none too soon). His old chair was dirty, yucky dreary green. It was an old Lazy boy we were given. Was fine at the time but I quickly grew to dislike it very much, dark ratty looking in my mind. His new chair is medium gray leather with nail heads on back portion and bottom portion, wow what a difference, has class and style.
    We had also been given a couch I really detested after hubs/daughter took our Broyhill sofa to dump. It needed some cleaning up and there was couple thread bare spots on cushions but I still loved the style and color of it. Had never spent so much for a couch in my life. The couch we inherited was dark, bulky and dreary looking, never liked it.
    We have a single wide mfg. home that had unpopular (to me) vinyl paper on walls. Gross, made the l/r so dark.
    So last summer after looking at that room one too many times I bought some nice light gray curtains with white design I loved then bought nice light gray paint, (almost white). Painted couple of end tables white. Painted lamp shade and a lamp light aqua.( Not on same lamp.) I then spotted a sofa sleeper at Habitat I loved, off white with slight plaid in gray, aqua. The style was similar to Broyhill. I made some new pillow covers. For summer I had beachy/cottage. Had also made a gallery wall.
    Covered a chair I had with 4 different vintage table cloths with gray on them, so it was cottagey. We had taken the skirt off chair months before, (what an improvement). It was a darker intense plaid, when I bought it at Habitat, knew I’d be covering it. Hubs didn’t like how I covered chair with table cloths but now thinks it looks fine.
    I thought I wanted a gray rug but when I got to looking and thinking about too much gray we got a medium aqua with a lattice pattern, perfect in room. Our carpet is old, light brown with whites, it’s a high low design, ugh. So covering it as much as possible was quite immiment for me. Actually I’d
    rather have the linoleum which is under carpet but hubs won’t let me tear carpet out. Blast and darn.
    Forgive me for being too windy, guess your post brought up touchy subject around here, lol.
    Hope you have great rest of week.

    if you care to reply (or harangue me for too long a comment) please do so at: [email protected]

  2. Hey girl- I love your space better with the white slip cover! So clean and crisp! Such a pretty living room.

  3. I hear so much of myself in your post. I have made those mistakes, too, and some things are right, some I still have to work on. I do wonder about your white slipcovered sofa. Is it easy to manage, getting the covers off and on? Do they wash up well? Thanks!

  4. Bre…changes are inevitable..I think the first picture of your apartment was really nice, it showed you had a lot of creative talent back then, too. An I so admire your creativeness now, too. Totally in love with every room of your house!!

    Hey-I’m looking for the perfect creamy while to do my Great Rom in…I’m awful at picking whites. You used Halo…what was it like? I don’t want pink or peach tones…nor beige/tan. Any recommendations?


    Jane xx

  5. I loved watching the transformation of Bre’s living room. That was really fun. I agree that decorating is all about time and making changes that feel right. Thanks for sharing!
    P.S. the stripped couch cover is really cute, and I think it needs to make another appearance at some time – just for fun 🙂

  6. Hi Jen,

    These photos are such a great example of how good accessories can spruce up a room.

    I’ve always worked at trying to find exotic wall colors and colorful curtains and window treatments when really just plain white works if you can find accessories that draw your eye in.

    Love how all these are so creatively done.

    Thanks so much,

  7. I LOVE the crispness of the white. So peaceful! I am crushing on your mirror-would you mind sharing we got it. Thank you.

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