The Living Room: Take Two

It has been a year to the day since I began blogging a tour of my 1961 ranch house. As I sat down to type this I realized that my first new home post, entitled Where I’ve Beenwas dated June 27, which is just a huge coincidence. I had intended to do this update post months ago, but our lighting project was delayed. When I began chronicling the tour, we had only been living here about 6 months. Now, with a year and a half gone not only are we more settled in, but we have also continued to make changes, and upgrade some of our old hodgepodge of furniture to pieces that really suit our taste and the style of our home. I am extremely proud to own a mid century home, though it is nothing fancy architecturally speaking. I love all things mid century, and it is my goal to try to honor my home’s history by reuniting it with pieces from that era, while also mixing in the present day. While many little things have shifted and changed throughout our home, the most impressive transformation to me is the living room.

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I love this space. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I have been giddy over my new sputnik chandelier. It was a birthday gift from my husband back in March, but we hit some snags getting an electrician to come run the wiring we needed. As is common with homes of its age, most rooms in our house did not have ceiling fixtures wired in, but instead there were switches that ran to an outlet. Very inconvenient, and there is only so much you can do with lamps, really. Now, every room on the first floor has a ceiling light!

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I have been looking for a vintage sputnik fixture for about a decade, but it is a hard search. There is almost always one on Ebay, but the bidding escalates quickly. If you can find one cheap, it usually needs a lot of work including new wiring. Reproductions and modern versions of the fixture have become a lot more common, but most of them are large and my living room is pretty small. Finally I happened upon a wonderful Etsy seller, Starlight Lighting. They make sputnik lights in many styles and sizes, and they are extremely authentic. I was able to find one that is the perfect size for the space, and the brushed finish makes it look like an antique. Such a perfect fit, you would swear it had been there since the house was built.

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We mounted the flatscreen to the wall, which has made for much more comfortable viewing, and opens up the room. While I would love to not have any wires showing, I just don’t like the idea of cutting holes in the middle of my walls. The Brasilia bar cart is well suited for the spot beneath the television. Because the cart is long, it helps to minimize the appearance of the TV, so it doesn’t dominate the room. We keep most of our DVDs in binder, so the small cabinet is plenty of storage for our media needs. This piece is one of my most exciting finds. Not long after moving in we were out walking the dog and I spotted a piece of furniture on the curb. I always have to take a closer look at any roadside furniture, but even from a distance I could see the distinct Brasilia pattern and rushed down the street to scoop it up. Looking around the room, many of our treasured pieces are in fact cast offs, hand-me-downs, or gifts.

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Our record player was handed down to Chris from a family friend when he was in college. The outside needs some refinishing, but it plays perfectly, and is one of my favorite pieces of furniture we own. Our coffee table was made by my great grandfather. The coolest feature is that he made two sets of legs, so it easily transitions between coffee table and card table.

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The two tier blonde side table hiding by the door was another curbside pick. My blue and amber viking glass vases were freebie cast offs as well. My gorgeous Eames shell rocking chair was a Christmas gift from my parents. I am proud to say that she bought it at Goodwill for only $20!

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If you like to decorate with funky and eclectic pieces like I do, but are having trouble making the room seem unified, here is a little tip. Focus on one detail that you can spread throughout the space. It could be a color, or a textile, or even a small collection. Until recently, I did not intentionally incorporate gold or bras into my decor, but now I am embracing it. Many of my mid century pieces have gold hardware, so I decided to add a few more gold details to bring out that color and tie everything together. It is very subtle, but you can see if you look closely. The Brasilia hardware, the record player hardware, even the feet on my two tier table are all brass/gold so I incorporated gold finials for our curtain rod, this planter, and of course, the beautiful sputnik.

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Comfy, cozy, and just our style. This room makes me so happy! (June doesn’t seem to have any complaints either.)

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