Loveliness in Family Living Spaces


Like in the bedrooms, all the furniture in the living spaces of our home has a history. Nothing in my living room and dining room was chosen by me. It was all "inherited." That means I have really lovely things, but that they're not quite what I would have chosen. They came from formal living spaces in other houses and we truly don't have those formal "no kids" rooms in our house. There are too many of us to designate that much square footage to adults only. My "loveliness decorating philosophy" is that children should live with and in love. That means we try hard to teach them to be good stewards of nice things. It also means that we accept with love the inevitable dings and dents and stains that go with the learning process. The same furniture that was in my mother's, my aunt's, and my grandmother's house sees a whole lot more action in my house!

When we first bought this house I was disappointed that the living room and dining room were really just one large room, divided visually by pillars. I wanted a traditional center hall colonial.

But then, I recognized that this floor plan suits the way we use the space very well. We have GIGANTIC gatherings for holidays and birthdays and, if we move the table from the kitchen, this space can lend itself to this:


On the other side of the kitchen is our family room. It sees quite a bit of family every day and night! The centerpiece of this room is the table. I think it's perfectly lovely. It was rather formal once upon a time and then it was "loved" a great deal by some rowdy little boys. Finally, it came full circle, when Michael re-created it for Mother's Day and it was lovelier for having been loved. That's kind of the way the whole house should be isn't it?