This post was most recently updated on May 17th, 2015

This is the family room I dream about:

It’s so light and airy.  It’s clean and bright and soothing …so deliciously clutter free.  <3

And this is my current family room …

Okay, not really.  This is a random image I borrowed from PhotoBucket because I’m too embarrassed to show you my real house. Don’t judge.  But my existing family room is crowded. We are, after all, a family of 6 living in a house built for a retired couple. It’s cluttered. Four kids – need I say more?  It functions as lounge space, media room, play room, parlor, sometimes dining area , guest room, craft room, library, study space, entry way and office.  It works.  HARD.  Poor family room.

Our previous home had a much larger family room.  I remember fondly how I used to rearrange the furniture every few months – change out slipcovers, throw pillows and brick-a-brack to give the family room a fresh look.  It always made me feel so rejuvenated.  We have lived in this house for seven years. (It was a temporary situation that somehow turned permanent when I wasn’t paying attention.)  And in seven years, the only time the furniture has been moved is when I vacuum underneath it.  In December, things get shuffled a few inches to the side to make room for the Christmas tree.  Then in January, it all goes right back to it’s assigned spot.  I fantasize about putting the sofa in a different location.  Or taking out the end table and putting in a console.  Sometimes, just for fun, I turn the chair a few degrees and pretend it’s a whole new room!  Last week, we took down our youngest son’s baby swing and put it up for sale.  I moved his play yard into the corner the swing had vacated and partied like a rock star the rest of the week because of the space that cleared out in the dining room!  I wonder if my house ever gets as depressed about its state as I do?

So I tell my husband often how stifled I am feeling, decorating-wise.  And I show him constantly all the ideas I find on Pinterest.  I keep a file folder full of magazine clippings – pictures of decorating ideas, paint chips, sketches of room layouts or exterior design ideas, which I bring out from time to time and make a production of ‘organizing’ in front of him.  I sigh wistfully.  I show them to my daughters (who are always excited about pretty things).  I talk to my friends on the phone about my ideas when he’s present.  And his response is always the same … “Yeah, I think we can do that.”  But WHEN? I ask.  WHEN can we do that??  And again, he always answers, “Soon.”  Clearly his idea of soon differs greatly from mine.  It doesn’t help that every project in our house must be preceded by the completion of a different project.  Well, we can do that, but first we have to do this.  And before we can do this, we’ll have to finish that.  And so on and so on …

Every once in a while, he does something small – just to keep me from exploding, I guess.  Once it was a tiny little brick patio in a previously icky corner outside the back door.  It took him an hour.  He then helped me build a little herb garden tower thing-y on it and I was happy all summer long.  ALL summer long!  Another time, he made a long curtain rod out of a spare piece of lumber so I could hang curtains in the family room.  I was thrilled for months.  I try to maintain the joy these little victories bring for as long as possible.  Partly to show him how fabulously appreciative of his work I am (because I secretly hope this will encourage him to do more) and also because any little progress really does make me ridiculously happy.

I think (hope, pray) I will someday get my dream living room.  And my dream kitchen, my dream master bedroom with the amazing master bath and my dream front porch.  But in the meantime, I will keep saving ideas and dreaming up options and savoring every little success on the redecorating front.  I think the baby is about to outgrow his exer-saucer.  That means another empty spot will be opening up in the family room!  Woo and hoo!

Love & Blessings …

Farm Mama




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