Maybe it's because I'm from the South but I sure love a formal living room. You see, I dress my boys up in those smocked outfits with the knee high socks and saddle oxford shoes, even though I know that they will stain the hell out of that white shirt and no amount of Oxy can help. And those shoes stand no chance to scuffing, but I still buy the outfits because they look good. I sometimes will sacrifice comfort for aesthetic. I can't help it. It's like I can't help having expensive taste. It just comes naturally to me.
It seems nowadays that with social media helping disperse any photo around, things have gotten stale. Now that's not to say that rooms I see on Instagram aren't pretty. But it just seems like our homes are now trends, just like the cheap, inexpensive clothes you can buy. Again, because of social media. There is no identity to our homes. You find a photo you like, and then copy it at your big box store. And you know what? Your neighbor, your sister, your best friend just did the same thing and guess what? You all have a room or a home that is identical, or feels pretty damn similar. Listen, I understand wanting to "finish" a home. However I'd rather wait to find the perfect, just right piece of furniture or art rather than just buy something to buy something. My Mother has always taught me to save for the best you can get. That in the end you're just wasting money on that cheap coffee table. Now I get it, IKEA is great for college, but most people reading this are adults. Are we so much in a "I want it now" place in our country that you can't wait to find that really unique side chair, that when your guests come in they comment on it? I feel like HGTV, because it's our main home TV channel dictates a lot of what people want nowadays. And listen, I don't blame them, but why must we open everything up? Can we not have formal living and dining rooms where maybe, just maybe, we sit without the TV on and have an adult conversation with a nice cocktail in your never been used crystal?
I'll never forget just a few years ago Brad randomly said to me that he's always wanted a white room. Now this was out of the blue driving down the road, so my first thought was "oh my gosh I'm rubbing off on him! He's thinking about interior design!!" My second thought was, "well hell no, we have 2 boys." Then I pushed that thought out about 20 seconds later and said, "a living room. We'll have a formal white living room." I know, now you're thinking, yea right, you have 2 boys! Well you know what, I can have a nice home and still have children that feel welcome in it. But my boys know that couches and chairs aren't meant to be jumped on, crazy enough, they are to sit. Now that's not to say I don't see secret jumps, but when did it become ok for our kids to just take over every space? Now granted I'm a girl, but I'll tell you what, I grew up in a house with so many breakables and didn't break one. Yes, yes Mother, I know, that one time when I was looking at the lapis clock and you told me not to touch it I picked it up. But damn, it must have weighed 20 pounds! I dropped it and put a chip in her chest and a dent in the clock. Mother, that was over 30 years ago, it's time to let it go! Y'all, she still talks about it! But guess what? After that I knew never to touch certain things. Can we not teach our kids that you are welcome in the living room, but you must have certain manners to be in there. And maybe I'm on this rant because I'm the only female in my house and there seems to always be sports on, but I desire to have friends over and talk and hear my crystal clinking in my white living room with no eyes darting to the score of the big football game.
So, I'm going to leave you with a lot of unique, one of a kind living rooms, that you can't find at your local big box store. These are spaces that designers have spent time scouring trying to find the perfect chocolate brown cotton velvet, or a sconce that has a hand applied gold leaf, because mass produced gold just isn't the same. They have spent the time to make each of these rooms special in their own way. So before you go and buy something just to buy something, pause, and take some time to see if you can find something that will make your space, or your home stand out against others.
Thank you so much for reading. I truly hope that with every post I write I inspire you, but especially today. Maybe you're in the middle of a renovation, don't just immediately knock down all the walls. Maybe you can leave 4 walls up and have a special room. A room where some really great conversation is had and memories are made.