Well, REALLY before (as in, before this picture was taken) we didn't have the chocolate sofa or recliner (Bassett, clearance) or new carpet (by Luna). We had a lot of small pieces that made the room look cluttered and old: broken TV cabinet, stained and dated berber carpet, too many lamps in an effort to brighten it up, and few hints at our passion for the nations. I had never liked the ways we tried to store Joel's toys, either, which are mostly Legos, and so overall, I hated the room. I'll be honest. Many a time I acted like a real baby about it rather than being grateful.
The only things I liked about the room before were the color and the view to the outside. To me, this room felt like an itchy wool sweater in the winter: it functioned, but made me feel lousy. I didn't want to be in it.
At the same time, I fell in love with a certain entertainment center from Five Star. With patience, prayer, and a conversation with the shop owner , we were able to get the lowest price on it a solid month before the price was scheduled to drop that low.
I love everything about it: the fact that it is one large piece that 1) is in cherry wood (my fave) 2) has double lights on both ends, 3) stores away the TV, game system, Legos, and much more 4) has adjustable glass shelves that I am using to display mementos from around the world, reminding us of the people and places we've loved.
Paul's proud Polish dad played this accordion. He also served as an army medic in WWII (newspaper dated Dec. 8, 1941).
Paul found this comfy (for me) reading chair at By Design, my new favorite consignment shop that brings in wares from model homes and private consignors--almost all of which I'd call "my style"!
The inspiration piece for the room was an old world map I saw at Five Star Consignments for $50, but I asked the Lord for something comparable at a much lower cost. Lo and behold, I found this framed world map at Goodwill the next day! And it was only $10 !
I scoured the loft at By Design and found a Bassett end table (below) which was exactly what I wanted in every detail . God knows and cares about my littlest desires! Dark wood with an inlay top, a drawer, a shelf, and the same height as the arm of the chair, and under $100. (It was $50!)
Yes, proper size lamps are still much needed, but I am being patient for those last accessories. So far the right ones at the right price have not appeared. Meanwhile, this little one came from the Smith family, so it reminds me of them in Belgium.
The view from the kitchen:
After: a place I long to be. A place that feels like home to me.