A New Living Room: The Inspired Room Tour

Over the past few months I have been weighing whether or not to switch our dining and living room.  Based off of the layout of our home, the original arrangement just seemed the obvious decision.  But after we restored our old fireplace hidden behind the wall, I longed to be able to spend more time in front of our fireplace in a more usable living space.

We have used our fireplace plenty in the dining room.  But there is something about being able to curl up on a couch to watch a movie in front of the fire that kept calling after me.  So, on a whim, I switched the rooms (pictured on Instagram above).

Here is a reminder of what the space looked like before:

Besides the whole television and fireplace combo, having a living space across from the kitchen has made a huge difference.  I like being on the same level in the kitchen while Brent or guests can be sitting on the couch.  When we get up in between commercials for some ice cream, it's almost like we are in the same room.  

These are just small differences but they effect the day to day.  Sure I have always dreamed about having a fireplace mantel for seasonal decorations.  But as I lean towards a more simplified household, I find the function of my home to be different.

We were told in the design world for so many years that we shouldn't let the TV be the focal spot of a room so we hid them behind cabinets.  I am all for watching less TV and more quality time but I am also a fan of creating a warm and beautiful home surrounded around how you actually use it.  And to be completely honest, we like our TV!

When this room was our dining room, we used it by default.  Sure when we had guests we ate there.  But on the day to day - it was filled with stuff that we would dump on the dining table because it was a holding place.  My nephews played on the floor, but besides that, the room wasn't really used.  Now we are always in this room and I get to enjoy the view of the fireplace and our backyard.

As for our dining room, we moved the dining table down to the old living room and I still have a bit of organizing to do to make it functional again.  We are now down there less but I hope instead of just a holding space, the dining table can serve as a work/creative space when not being used to dine on.  It is no longer the first room in the house so I don't have to work so hard at keeping the table tidy.  Ultimately my hope is to really use the rooms and furniture in our home to it's fullest potential.  

While the house feels a little in disarray right now, I know it is for the future good in enjoying the home we have.  It is amazing how one urge to change something can inspire me to look at my entire home differently. 

As we continue to go through life, growing and emerging, my home does the same.  We go through seasons where we need aspects of our house to serve us in different ways.  I used to redecorate because my eyes craved some creative change.  Now I sense my life asking that my home change with my family's needs for a time.  I want my home to not just inspire for the sake of pretty things but to inspire in living better.

Today I am sharing an inspired space in my home in celebration of the book The Inspired Room by Melissa Michaels.  Melissa has been a long time favorite blogger of mine.  Not only is she wonderfully talented at styling a beautiful home, but her heart is surrounded around the functioning of her home and her family first.

Melissa recently just moved to Seattle to live closer to her children.  She chose to let go of her current dream home in order to have a home that served her and her family's needs first - a better location. 

While her book is full of beautiful inspiration from her last home, you will also find a heart and mindset for the home that goes beyond current design trends.  It will inspire you to create beauty while also finding contentment in loving the home you have.  It's pretty much the longing of my heart in book form - and much more articulately written and photographed!

The Inspired Room comes out November 1st but you can pre-order your book now!

Want to share in the fun on The Inspired Room Tour?  Share your "inspired room" to be entered to win a $300 Anthropologie gift card!  Find out the details here.

And if you could use some encouragement to "Love the Home You Have," I highly recommend her first book.  You can find out some of my thoughts on it here.