Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Living Room Light

A couple months ago I had one of those existential crises in which everything was suddenly was too loud, too busy, too jarring, too jolting. Too much. Too much. I wanted quiet. Calm and bright, only not the Christmas kind.

I pulled everything off the walls, including the beloved Mexican Fiesta curtains, removed every single nick-nack and do-dad, and when I was done, I was done. I loved it for a little while. We lived in a blank space for at a full week, which in the reality of someone like me, is basically a millenium, or at least a century. I did what Nester calls "quieting the room", and all I can say is, I was made for quiet. I wasn't sure if I'd ever pull myself out of the quiet. Even Robert was starting to worry. "Mom, when you gonna hang something up? This is weird."

It just so happened that around the same time, our jute rug unraveled - again - and with it, my last shred of sanity.


We rolled it up that dusty, dirty, bland ol' foe in disgust and brought in this bad boy, who had been quietly waiting in the basement, never intended for the LR in the first place. We bought it months ago from Rugs USA all thanks to my pal, Kelly. I saw it on her Instagram feed, hounded her about it for weeks, then bought the same exact rug (so inexpensive! so beautiful! so everything!) and she doesn't even hate me for it.

I grabbed the curtains online from Ikea and they're all I hoped they would be: white and cheap.

Yesterday I took some pictures with my janky phone, and they are the worst. My apologies. Our good camera is in for a repair and it has us feeling all spoiled and bratty with the way we barefly think we can go on without it.

This is my real life. We aren't magazine-ready people, so you might as well know it and besides, I'll start decorating soon for Christmas so this was sort of a now-or-never situation.





Truth: I never know for sure what to do with this monstrous sectional. (Other than the obvious - lounge about, watch all the Parenthood, read all the books, eat all the salsa.) Where do you put the pillows? The throws? Heck if I know. But I watched this fun little video, and it totally helped.

{black & white pillows - Target clearance, round and floral pillows - Depot thrift store}

{Shine Your Light pillow - Dayspring, floral pillow and plaid wool throw - Depot thrift store}

It occurred to me last night that perhaps what I've done here wouldn't meet many standards of "quiet".  When it comes to pattern-mixing, MORE IS MORE.

Paint the walls white and hang white curtains, you get the illusion of peace along with the fun that comes with being a little weird in the ways of throw pillows.

Or your money back.

{finally got my claws on this book, and Calvin "bought" the model at his class store last week}

(Every time I see my home from this angle, I remember why I make my kids play outside so much.)

This feels like the right time to confess that not even four years ago, I was lamenting the state of "people" who switch out pillows and even (gasp!) curtains seasonally. I was in that distinct middle place, smack dab between being that girl and wanting so desperately to rise way above the fray.

You can see how far that got me.

I continue to stun myself with the inability to fit all the pieces of life, faith, and what I believe in the bones of my soul into a manageable paradigm. Part of me would still love to tie a quilted, ruffled carrying case around my life and the way I live it, just like it used to do with my Student NIV. I want everything to be portable, tidy, and to look so good from the outside in.

But these are the struggles of living in the tension. This is what we were promised when we were made human. This isn't my home, but it is for a while, and I keep fluffing and waiting and wondering and starting over.


Next week brings its own unique mix of questions, and I'll be right here, with all my pillows, writing them down.

For today, here's to hoping we all find the space to breathe.


*Dayspring affiliate link

41 comments:

  1. Your house looks great...loving, in the way of going home..and a great big hug! I like the way you mix the patterns of your pillows...I can't quite get the hang of that! Have a great week!

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

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    1. There's no real "hang of it" you need to get. Just do what makes you happy, and my unofficial rule of thumb is to mix competing stuff, so modern with vintage, round with straight lines, small print with big. :) Go for it, girl!!!

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  2. pst, where's the throw with the pom poms from??

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    1. Target! It's fleece and in that aisle with the teenage-girl bedding. :)

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  3. Wait a minute! You have to be in your fifties for the purging for serenity in your home begins. Trust me I know this stuff. Xo

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  4. LOVE that rug!!! I clicked on the link and it just took me to Rugs USA homepage... does that mean it doesn't exist anymore?? Now I might have to hound you for how to find it! :)

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  5. I love white. Consistently and completely.

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  6. Living room looks so peaceful and inviting. The rug is fabulous. And where did you get that tall chest of drawers?

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    1. Thank! And the tall cabinet came from a yard sale a few years ago. $15. Hate me.
      :)

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  7. NOOOOOO!!! Not my beloved curtains!!! I covet them in every blog & IG pic!!

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    1. I will never quit them! We just have to give each other space, now and then. Especially come December... :)

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  8. Love the rug, love your house, love your blog.......and I'm sure I'd love you if we ever get to meet! Headed to Quinter this weekend for Thanksgiving. Hope yours if wonderful.

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  9. I noticed how many Depot finds u have. I think u really should consider volunteering here, but on Tuesdays when we need more fun and laughter in the bowels of the workroom. Or not... u might have a very unhappy husband for all u would find before it reaches the store. It's my weekly dilemma!!! Noticed that Savor book...awesomeness!

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    1. I would be in SERIOUS trouble if I set foot in that back room!
      But honestly, I've thought a hundred times about volunteering.
      Maybe once I wrap up some of this book writing nonsense??
      If that ever happens??? :)

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  10. I noticed how many Depot finds u have. I think u really should consider volunteering here, but on Tuesdays when we need more fun and laughter in the bowels of the workroom. Or not... u might have a very unhappy husband for all u would find before it reaches the store. It's my weekly dilemma!!! Noticed that Savor book...awesomeness!

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  11. I love it all! But I'm emerging from lurker status to ask where the black and white rug is from.

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  12. I have lots of that fabric that I would love to gift someone to use. I bought it when Shannon bought hers but never found a place to use it.

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  13. I have that book!!! I haven't read it, but I have it. Love me some shauna and relevant podcast, so the book has to be good, right?

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  14. Ok, what is the thing that holds your tv? (We still own a box tv w/rabbit ears which resides on a handmedown kitchen cart,but someday we may upgrade but I don't know where to put a slender tv.)

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  15. I like it. Such a fun post, but do not take down the cow picture! It's my favorite! : - )

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  16. Where did you get that sectional? Love it, and I am unexpectedly in the market for a new one, since my daughter with sensory issues has begun picking the faux leather off ours in strips. Apparently it relaxes her, but not me 😢

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  17. A kindred spirit my friend :) Except for the one red wall my home looks much like yours- clean and clear. Easier now that it is just us two 50 somethings and a dog :) Shannan your words of encouragement last week have been a lifeline- thank you for taking the time- you are a blessing to so many- Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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  18. You crack me up. I love it that Robert voiced his concern, he knows you so well.Someday I need to have you come home and do a complete redo of the old house. Even change the paint colors!!

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  19. I looks great!! And girl, I *feel* you with the one week = one millenium. You did a great job though and the act of cleaning and starting over is maybe more important than the end results anyway :)

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  20. Your real life is much cleaner than mine. I have all these aspirations of cleanliness, but then the people. They keep living here.

    Love you. LOVE THE RUG. But especially love you.

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  21. Long-time reader and infrequent commenter here. Wanted to take a moment to let you know I so appreciate your honesty and transparency. I first came here for the prettiness factor, but I've stayed for the real moments--reminders of living an authentic, Christ-filled life. I struggle so much with my faith, at times not knowing if I believe or not, but when you give me a glimpse of your family with all your ups and downs, Jesus once again becomes real. Please know that what you do matters.

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  22. The link still took me to the Rugs USA page. Can you tell me the name of the rug?

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  23. 'manageable paradigm.' yes, oh so well said. looking at my quieted room too, just before Dec. 1. How to manage the red.... I'll never know. I'm a blue/green girl, and I'm not Jewish. (wink) and 2 kids expecting a spectacular arrival of the elf. Oy!! Your room looks perfectly calm to consider all things 'paradigm.'

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  24. love your home and how cozy and inviting it is. and your words about the tension we all live in, PREACH!

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  25. Hey Shannan!
    Long time blog stalker, need to comment more :)
    Could you PRETTY PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP (and extra whipped cream too) let us know how the colorful livingroom
    rug is holding up for you & your family? How do you think it would do with dogs? Does it clean up well or nah?
    I am BEGGING my husband for it but he's not sure about ordering it without seeing it in person
    ~Stephanie

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    1. It is amazing! In every way.
      That being said, we don't really let the kids eat in here...we haven't had any major messes. But we also aren't shoes-off-in-the-house people, and it looks great, vacuums up nicely, isn't shedding or unraveling or anything!

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  26. I watched that same video and totally "re-did" my WHOLE couch. (hah!). It's the most "decorating" I've done in years! And I loathe that couch. . . . . Not so much any more though!

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  27. Love the rug, love your house, love your blog.......and I'm sure I'd love you if we ever get to meet! Headed to Quinter best blackout curtains this weekend for Thanksgiving. Hope yours if wonderful.

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  28. I know this post is way old (a whole year!) but I keep returning to it because this rug grabbed me the first time I saw it. I think I want it for my dining room but can't find any reviews on cleaning colorful jute rugs-- just how to clean standard chunky jute.

    Has your rug stood up well over the past year? Have you had any major spills that have been a pain or actually painless?

    I think I am going to just pull the trigger-- I mean, $216 right now for Black Friday sales!- but have slight cold feet since it will be in our dining room.

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    1. Hey there! We have been really happy with it. It's in the LR and we don't really eat in there often...I would be nervous to have any rug in the dining room with my messy people! All I have done is vacuum it regularly. I've had to spot clean it, but nothing more.

      It has stood up well! No unraveling or whatnot. Take the plunge!

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    2. Thanks for the reply! I know you have many people plus a book launch that needs tending, so I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out:) Off to take the pluuuuunge.

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