The First Parlor

Yesterday, I showed you the second parlor, and today I’m sharing the first. It’s sparsely furnished right now, but if you were wondering where all of the toys were yesterday, ta da! The kids play in there a lot.

The First Parlor #makingitlovely

There’s a dedicated play room on the third floor, and the kids each have toys in their rooms, too, but they always get scattered around the house, don’t they? I want to be sure to keep a place for them downstairs, but we also have plans for the front parlor. It’s soon to be a library! Floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves will flank the window, with closed storage at the bottom (for toys), and a window seat between. We’re excited!

Here is the world’s most beautiful sketch.

Built-in Bookshelves Sketch

I know; it’s a lot of wood. I’m not painting the trim oak trim throughout the first floor though, and I want these bookshelves to look like they belong with the house. There are a lot of details in the home that aren’t original, but the previous owners put a lot of care into making the new work blend with the old. We want to continue that.

On a budget? Less ornate trim and finishes in the house? I would wholeheartedly recommend IKEA shelving! Brandon and I lined the landing in our last home with Billy bookshelves, and we loved the look.

Library, Making it Lovely

In a room like this one though, Billy bookcases (or any other IKEA shelves or hacks) would look cheap and out of place. I’d considered painting the bookshelves to blend in with the wall color, but everything else on the first floor is oak, and I think it would be best if the built-ins were too. The entryway has a sweeping wooden stairway and wood-paneled wall, the dining room has a large, wooden breakfront at one end, and the second parlor has a lot of wood in the windows, shutters, and fireplace. The built-ins will fit in and anchor the front parlor nicely.

We are going to hire out for this. I think that we could try to DIY it, but I worry that it would look like a DIY job. I have some construction skills, but I’m far from a master carpenter, and this is something I’d rather trust to a professional. I’m trying to do right by this painted lady.

The Second Parlor

Blue Sofa, Making it Lovely

It will be painted eventually, and some of the furniture is temporary. Let’s have a look though, shall we?

Blue Sofa in the Second Parlor #makingitlovely

The blue sofa is 98″ long and perfectly suited to that spot. The coffee table is a bit dwarfed by it though, so that may change eventually. One of the rooms downstairs will be getting inky/charcoal/black walls, and I’m leaning toward it being this one, but I’m not rushing into it. The first parlor is going to be turned into a library soon, so I’m going to hold off on painting until after that’s done. The entry, both parlors, and the dining room are all connected, and I want to choose colors for each room that will be complementary.

Double Parlor and Dining Room #makingitlovely

Erin Loechner had a small launch party in Chicago for Clementine Daily a few months back, and Hayneedle was a sponsor. They had generously supplied product to be used in decorating, and I was then kindly offered a few of the pieces afterward. That’s how I came to own the new pink rug!

Double Parlor #makingitlovely

Actually, it’s two small rugs. I thought about splitting them up and using separately, but I decided instead to line them up instead to make one larger area rug. Argh, that angled fireplace though! I love it, but I’m not a huge fan of arranging things on a diagonal, and it has been a challenge. I first tried the rugs running parallel to fireplace, but after living with the placement for a few days, it wasn’t doing it for me. The rugs are flat-woven, so they’re fairly thin, and I just tucked one corner under. It’s probably not the best long-term solution, but it’s working for now.

Fireplace #makingitlovely

Parlor Fireplace #makingitlovely

Erin was also planning to use the same metal chairs that I had in my dining room, so I was able to get a few more to match the existing ones. They’re fantastic with kids, because they’re fairly indestructible and easy to clean (though they can be cold if they touch bare legs). I have enough now to flank both sides of the table, and we can fit 10 comfortably when we need to.

View to the Dining Room #makingitlovely

The head chairs from the table are in front of the fireplace as a placeholder. They’re not quite right in the room (they very clearly look like they should be over in the dining room), but the extra seating in there has been nice.

Fireplace and Dining Room #makingitlovely

Fireplace #makingitlovely

The room would benefit from a pair of boxy, low lounge chairs (with leather and/or brass, ideally). The creamy white walls are inoffensive, but a little boring, and the scale of the coffee table is off. Those are all things that can be addressed over time though, and I feel like the room is at a good place for now. Tomorrow, I’ll show the first parlor and talk a little about our plans for it!

Eleanor’s Motto

I Want All of the Cats to Love Me the Best

By Nation of Amanda. Prints (and other merch) available here.

Eleanor and Mabel

Eleanor and Mabel

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