The Double Parlors, Shortly After Moving in

A lot of our furniture is working well in the new house. I’m OK with furnishing slowly and taking my time to find just the right piece, but I sort of went nuts with new stuff in the living/family rooms, double parlors, whatchamacalits.

I ordered the much-waffled-about teal sofa before we moved in. No regrets there.

Second Parlor

The child-sized wooden rocking chair belonged to Brandon’s mom when she was a kid, and she gave it to us for the new house. Yay for good hand-me-downs!

Antique Rocking Chair

I feel like that second parlor is coming together pretty well, even though there’s still a lot to do.

The first parlor wasn’t looking so hot though. So here’s where I’m all “I’m a blogger! I must document everything!” These look awful, and I know it.

First Attempt at Arranging Furniture

Welcome to brown and gray town. We had that rug in our bedroom at the old house, but it’s probably going to go in August’s room soon. It’s a little small for the front room, and the color isn’t working for me.

Brown and Grey Town

I tried arranging the couch along the window wall, but thought it would be weird to see two sofas aligned. Confirmed.

Failed Floor Plan

The TV stand was a little dinky on that wall. I also tried it on the adjacent wall, but it didn’t look any better. I put it on my ‘replace eventually’ list, and I had in mind a faux printmaker’s cabinet (something like this or this).

Not Looking so Good!

I wasn’t in a hurry to buy, but when I went out to the Land of Nod outlet to pick up a bed rail for August, I stopped in the Crate & Barrel outlet next door and found the Blake Media Console for half-off.

Blake Media Console

The outlet box underneath needs to be hidden better and I want to stack some nice big art books up top, but I think it looks great so far. But then I also ordered a new rug — the one I asked about on Facebook. Buy all the things! That’s my new motto! (I’ma need to stop buying all the things.)

Hello, new rug! I’m not sure about you yet.

Double Parlors

It works with the blue sofa in the next room, and I like having that visual connection, but it does not work as well with the crazy floral chair. And I like my crazy floral chair.

Crazy Patterned Rug, Crazy Floral Chair

(The cats and the dog do approve though.)

Kili

Elsewhere, I seem to have a lot of this going on.

Teal Plus Black and White Stripes

I feel like the stripes may not go all that well with the rug either. And I like my stripes.

It was on sale, and I used my Anthro birthday-month discount for a further 15% off, but it still wasn’t cheap. I think it would look great upstairs in our bedroom, but then we would still need a rug downstairs, and I’m not planning to buy many more big-ticket items for a while. What do you think? Keep the rug where it is, move it up to the bedroom, or just return it?

This might be a whole lot of crazy right here, even for me.

There's a lot going on here.

146 Responses to “The Double Parlors, Shortly After Moving in”

  1. blacklabel September 20, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    I actually dont mind the new rug. I quite like the juxto of the crazy chair & the geo rug.
    I personally dont think the problem your eye is picking up is the rug, i think its the wall colour.
    If you painted the walls in that room the same shade (or one lighter) to match the taupey border of the rug, youd have a winner!
    I LOVE that teal sofa!!!

    • Making it Lovely September 20, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      The wall colors will be changing, and yes, that might help with the rug. And I LOVE the teal sofa too! So happy with it.

  2. Flunatje September 20, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Oh I love your teal sofa! Absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Ali Burtt September 20, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Hm. That rug. At first I was like, “That’s not so bad.” I don’t even mind it with the floral chair. However, the collage of black and white stripes did me in. Sorry to say this, but it should probably go back. I mean, right?

    Can I say again how much I love this house though? Even all hodge-podgey like it is now, it’s still totally charming.

  4. ajay September 20, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    Now that decoration is very pretyy and i very much like the sofa..

  5. Laura September 20, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    LOVE the rug, but it does go a little cray cray with the chair. My two cents: Traditionally with double parlors, the front room is more formal, right? So, new sofa in the front room with the new rug. TV mounted over the fireplace (this is usually gross but your fireplace is really low and, let’s face it, Victorians have weird layouts that are not tv-friendly (you’ve got doors and windows and radiators everywhere)), with the neutral sofa, floral chair, and maybe a natural-fiber rug that is kid friendly and won’t fight with the (awesome) new rug. Any plans to paint?

    Congrats on the house, you aren’t just owners, you’re custodians!

    • Making it Lovely September 20, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      The first room should be more formal, but yeah, Victorians didn’t plan for incorporating a TV. I don’t want to mount it over the fireplace, and there isn’t a great spot for it anywhere else in the second parlor. We can take it out of the first parlor completely and move it upstairs somewhere, but then the first floor starts to feel a little museum-like.

      One of both rooms will be painted. And yes, we’re stewards of the house now!

    • Nancy50 September 20, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      I agree. Also – don’t know if it would fit but maybe placing the old sofa in the second parlor at an angle in front of the fireplace to avoid the visual of two sofas in two rooms in front of the windows.

  6. Sara September 20, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I really don´t like the rug at all. I LOVE the teal sofa and the stripes. But I think the rug looks cheap and very much i found i at the back of a garage- sale but not in the good way. Return. I think you can do sooo much better in your new wonderful victorian. Congrats on the new house by the way!

  7. Jon September 20, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    May I ask where you got the gold floor lamp behind your teal sofa?

  8. Terri September 20, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Surprised at the negativity on the rug! I think it looks great with the floral chair and ties the 2 parlor rooms together beautifully. The stripes don’t even bother me…every room needs a little something-something to make it less than perfect.

    • Making it Lovely September 20, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      Some people are very against it! I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t like it — I’m just not 100% on it in that space.

      And I like a little imperfection too.

    • Constance September 20, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      I totally agree! I actually love the chair + that rug together and it ties the two parlors so well. The chair + rug shot is my favorite pic in this post. Then adding the teal sofa to the mix is like frosting – just extra goodness.

  9. judy September 20, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I love the new décor but I’m also curious(having moved numerous times with horror stories for each one(3 boys flying on commuter plane in order to bring cat and
    Great Dane to new location. Oldest brother gets off in order to take younger brother to restroom, they miss the plane and we all drive for 4 hours in a sedan, Mom, Dad, three boys ,a Great Dane and a very angry cat that screeched practically the whole way.

  10. Andrew Schultz September 20, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    How are you feeling about the grey sofa? I wonder if the room wants a smaller main sitting piece, like a mid century daybed with a low back or a pair of matching 1930s club chairs? I get that this is the TV watching side, but could the blue/teal sofa parlor became that? And I love the rug! Keeping it as THE rug may depend on what else you decide to do. I also think in general the rooms need some pre-1950′s pieces to drive home the look I think you’re moving towards.

  11. Evelyn W September 20, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I’m on team “replace rug with different awesome rug” because I love the blue sofa and flower chair and combined with the console, there’s a nice boho/relaxed feel already. The bluish red colors work well with the woodwork. Are the ceiling lights getting replaced? The existing ones are cute but so tiny for those big spaces!

    • Making it Lovely September 20, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Much of the lighting throughout the house will change eventually. The fixtures are lovely, and I know they are nice, and appropriate for a Victorian. As much as I love this house, I’m just not a fan of Victorian lighting.

  12. Nancy50 September 20, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I’m confused why the new sofa isn’t in the first parlor – isn’t that the way it works – put your best stuff in the first room guests see when they enter your house?

    • Making it Lovely September 20, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      That is the way it works, traditionally. The TV is in there, where it shouldn’t be if we kept that as the most formal room, but we have to do what works for our family. The front parlor will look as good as the second — it’s just not there yet.

  13. rosemary willman September 20, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Hi, I live in a home with a similar layout, do your pocket doors work? are they panelled? I think visually the sofas need to relate in style. Your new sofa’s shape relates well to the age of your home,its color speaks to your modern vibe. The grey sofa just doesn’t work as an equal partner. Until you can replace the grey sofa (realize you’ve just moved and with a young children the grey sofa is a necessary fixture and work horse!)positioning it beneath the window in my opinion lessens the contrast between the two pieces. I’m not certain how much of the two spaces are caught in one glance? but the focus really should be on your new piece, the grey sofa straddling the doorway at least in the photos rob one’s attention away from the front room? I agree with a previous poster: the second sitting room might need a sofa with a slightly different scale. Your new rug works well with your new sofa, I’m not certain I would want the rug in the front parlour but the rug works as a bridge joining the chair, sofa and two rooms. The grey sofa might be benefit with a few pillows instead? I agree with the first poster that a taupe wall color might bring the rug and chair together. I quite like the floral chair and the rug together, it’s a surprising mix and I think that’s the vibe you are striving towards? The child size rocker is lovely, it brings a combination of traditional and whimsy to the space.

    • Making it Lovely September 20, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      The pocket doors work, mostly. There is a gap of a couple inches where they don’t fully meet.

      Agreed, the old sofa isn’t pulling its weight as much as something smaller in scale (and different in color) would. Pillows will help though, and I’m still playing around with the layout and grouping of things.

  14. Jenny B September 20, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I see where you’re going trying to spread the color love around with the blue sofa and floral chairs in different rooms, but it does seem like the sofa and chair were made to be together. Maybe make the TV room more about dark walls (navy, gentleman’s gray, something like that) and light furnishings (get a light colored comfy chair to replace the floral) and you could keep the new rug in there with it’s light background but colorful pattern to pull it all together. I can see that really making the rooms defined and each something special in their own right.

  15. Michelle September 20, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I love your house and your style! And the rug is gorgeous! But, I think maybe a more neutral Moroccan rug (like, maybe, ivory and black) would tie your couch and floral chair together better and still work with the view of the other parlor.

  16. Chelsea // farm fresh therapy September 20, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I loved looking through this! It is always interesting to see how others are mixing different styles. I think you did a great job of eclectically bringing together the midcentury pieces with the victorian style house which can be challenging to do. Your mix of colors and patterns is great! I like that you are furnishing over time, that is sort of the way we went about our home and I think it allowed for us to find more meaningful pieces. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Meggan September 20, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    It’s really starting to come together! (and those front windows are fantastic!)

    But I’m really writing to comment about your Serge Gainsbourg pillow. Is it embroidered? Hilarious.

    An unsolicited recommendation: If you’re a fan of his songwriting, or at least mildly curious about his life, the movie “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life” is rather interesting, if not only for the biographical aspect, but the quirky animated scenes.

  18. erin September 20, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    I really, really like that rug with the chair and the stripes.

    And how sweet to have that little rocking chair. I also have a child-sized rocker that was my dad’s when he was a baby. My kids love it.

  19. mary September 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    We bought the Blake media cabinet for our upstairs “Gaming” room (don’t ask) and love it. I wish we would have gotten it half off but it is a nice piece of furniture and figure we will have it forever. I like the rug. Does it stay in place or do you have to keep straightening it?

  20. Karen @sugarspicelivin September 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    LOVE that rug. Keep it in place. I love it. Ship it to me if you don’t!!

  21. Erin September 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    I actually think the rug doesn’t look that bad with the floral chair. But I don’t like the rug at all. It makes me think of Country Home style which does not seem to be mostly what you are going for or what fits with the rest of the Victorian house.

  22. Layne September 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I love your furniture choices!! Looking at your pictures made me wonder, though…have you ever written about living with cats? I’m noticing your beautiful plant that doesn’t appear chewed up, and the lack of cat hair on the floor and rugs and how you manage to have a fabric sofa. I know you must clean before taking pictures but still, how do you manage? I’m thinking I just have to accept that I have to have leather/vinyl furniture and hang my plants from the ceiling, but I would love to know if you have any good tips! Your home is beautiful, even in before pictures. :)

  23. Jane September 21, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Decorating dilemmas are fun!

    I think wall color is gonna help a lot. I love the idea of having one of the rooms painted with a dark color (teal?, dark gray–something that relates to your new sofa) and one lighter, with the sofa.
    http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/adding-a-punch/

    I don’t love the rug and think you can do better. I also think that the beige sofa seems out of place–it’s too square, the wrong color with the warm wood, and too spare.

    I would almost recommend selling it and getting another arm chair–their’s something classic about a pair of armchairs, and do you really need two couches? You could move the TV to the other room.

  24. laura September 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    it is looking great! Love the teal sofa and you should def keep the rug! I just love all the shutters and the openess of the house! It looks very bright and airy but also the woodwork and shutters make it feel warm and cozy!

    Laura
    House Envy

  25. elle September 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Return it. It has too much of a Scandanvian vibe that is not working with your other cool stuff (I love scandi – but it’s not a match here). However – I love your other choices and that blue couch is a winner!

    I think the gray couch will not work in that room no matter how much you try. Maybe it can be in your new office? I’m not sure why but the color, scale, right angles on it… it’s beautiful but it’s not happy in that room!

    I’m so excited to check in and see your progress. You are so sweet to share with us. I love every room in your new home!

  26. Sam September 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    I love the black and white stripey cushion you have with the pink tassels – can I ask where you got that from?

  27. Suzanne September 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    We had the same dilemma when we moved into our Victorian house. We originally used the front parlor as the TV room and the second parlor as a hangout room. But it didn’t really make sense to have two seating areas so close to each other. After many years we decided to turn the front room into a music room/library. We put bookcases along one wall and a piano in the front bowed window. We moved the TV to the second parlor.

    Our houses are very similar. We also have unpainted woodwork and huge pocket doors, as well as a love for Anthropologie furniture! You can check out some pictures of the front parlor and living room here http://backonfestiveroad.blogspot.com/2012/10/musiclibrary-update.html
    http://backonfestiveroad.blogspot.com/2013/01/beni-in-living-room.html

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your home.

  28. Teresa September 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    I ADORE your teal sofa. It is retro – comfy – homey all at the same time. It makes me want to walk right in, curl up with my hand extended for a latte. (Just call me Goldilocks, except I prefer caffeine over oatmeal.)

    Gorgeous, welcoming home!

  29. sarah September 22, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Nicole,
    I love the new rug with the floral chair and that TV was such a great find. loving your new home so far.
    Sarah

  30. Julie September 23, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    I love the rug with the chair. It is funky, but YOU love it. Sometimes I play it safe and choose the option I think is universally appealing only to regret not embracing the funky design aesthetic I love. It’s your house so do what you want :)

  31. Melissa @ HOUSEography September 23, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Ok… Like everyone else, I LOVE the rug with the chair, etc. Seems so “you”! Perhaps it just reads well in pictures and not in person! I would keep it though – seems like it would work in a variety of rooms over the years.

  32. Alex - Hydrangea Girl September 23, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Would you consider doing tandem rugs just underneath the colourful chair? If you were to layer a second smaller rug at a 45-degree angle/in line with the chair, maybe it would be that little bit of a border between the two pieces?

    Just a thought. I’ll be tandeming the rugs in our apatment, but that’s just because one specific spot gets very high traffic.

    xx A

  33. marjorie September 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Is that a fig tree in the red planter b y the teal sofa? what kind of plan is it? and how well does it do indoors? i would really love to know what it is it’s gorgeous!

  34. Paula September 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    I love the rug and love that it ties with the teal in the next room. My only bit of feedback is that we bought a white rug for our TV room / front room. One year later it’s dirty and worn in front of the couch. Yes, cleaning is an option. I see that your rug is wool. Colors are good, but if you don’t love it, I’d take it back or put it in another room. Light colored rugs in heavily used spaces with kids (we have one) are just hard.

  35. Marisa September 24, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Would the new rug work in Eleanor’s room? Then you could try Eleanor’s pink rug in the tv room. Hard to tell the scale of things from the photos but just an idea. No matter what I’m sure you will make it lovely!

  36. kathryn September 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    any tips on keeping the fiddle leaf looking so good? mine is dying a slow, actually rather fast death.

  37. Elizabeth Leach October 2, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    I love the new rug. LOVE! It looks great in your bedroom. Enjoy!

  38. Decor8 holly October 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Crazy flower chair and new rug would totally rock in the room with the blue sofa, can you try it just to please me!., ha ha xo

  39. Tiffany January 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Gorgeous blue sofa! where from?

  40. Kate January 7, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    I adore the rug! I love the pattern and colors. It’s awesome!

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