Before I started blogging, I was an active member of the GardenWeb forums. I started over in the Kitchen forum during our kitchen remodel and eventually found my way over to the Home Decorating Forum. The folks over at GardenWeb are generous and quick to help with any and all dilemmas ranging from 'what color should I paint this?' to 'what's the correct spacing of 4" can lights when using 60 watt bulbs?' I still visit on occasion, drinking in the knowledge, but I don't post there as much as I used to.
One of GardenWebs reigning experts over on the Home Decorating forum is Magnaverde. This painted faux leather sofa that has made the blog rounds in the past and still is a much requested tutorial was created by Magnaverde.
Magnaverde oozes style and is in fact an interior designer with an actual name outside of the web, so when he gives you rules to live by you should listen. One of his rules of interior design is: Decorate for the way you live not the way you want to live. Decorating for how you'd like to live is aspirational decorating and might work for a few days, but will most likely not work in the long run.
So this is how I'd like to live. Bright Pink Formal Tufted Sofa. Big Embellished Pillows.
But in a houseful of rough and tumble boys this look wouldn't fly.
Okay, so no pink in the public parts of our house. Still there's plenty of beauty to be found in more boy friendly colors. I love this inspiration pic from Rate My Space.
I love the colors. I think orange and green look fantastic together. The tabletops have tasteful little vignettes and the walls hold carefully edited artwork. Even the sofa's armshape is quite a bit similar to the ones in my living room.
So with this look as an inspiration, I've put together some tasteful little tabletop vignettes,
but the reality of the situation is I do have 2(3 if you count CG) boys messing up my LR on a regular basis. This is a photo from this spring. I was picking fabric swatches for my wingback chair and needed a reference pic for the sofa and area rug colors.
That would be shoes in the middle of the LR, toys on the floor, mail and a Lowe's bag on the coffee table, a lacrosse stick and gloves on the loveseat, and my(! yes I'm at fault, too) pocketbook on the coffee table. Don't even get me started about socks. There are no socks in this pic, but there are almost always dirty socks in my LR. I don't understand.
This, too, is how we live. A more recent photo.
You'll note this is a different lacrosse stick. Peeking out from behind the sofa - moon sand. And in the far back - a basketball arcade game. We have basketball hoops in our living room. Really. How did this happen? Last year, Santa brought Whirling Dervish this fantastic arcade style basketball game. It has 2 hoops, electronic scoring, a myriad of different games to play, and differentiated 2 point vs 3 point scoring. It was meant to go in the basement rec room. The game stands 8' tall. The basement is only 7'6". Doh! Counting in the arc a ball might take and you need 9' of clearance.
So this is how we live. We've created a new mail center so hopefully mail won't pile up anymore. I'm working on getting the boys(all 3) to put there shoes away when they come in. I need help with solutions for the lacrosse gear that inevitably gets left out and my pocketbook needs a home. So what works for you? Retraining? Baskets? Drawers? Some other type of dedicated solution? Let me know what works for you and if you decorate for how you live or how you'd like to live.