living room design plan | via: chatham st. house

Next to the Kitchen, the Living Room is our most used space in the house. It's where I type my blog posts, binge watch Masterpiece Theater on PBS, and often do my crafting. It is also the space that needs the most immediate work. We barely have a place to sit, let alone entertain our friends and guests.

We have big plans to add built-ins to the TV wall for all our books and records, and a butler's pantry by the steps to the basement to serve as auxiliary kitchen storage. We need a new rug, a couch, accent chairs, and truthfully decor. To say the to-do list is a mile long would be an understatement. Add to this an ackward layout, and new flooring throughout, and you'll find me close to a panic attack. Deep breaths.

All this to say, we have a lot to-do and it makes the dreaming stage even more important to me.

Something I thought about extensively when we decided to swap the Dining Room and Living Room spaces in the layout, was color. The room only has 1 window and is darker than most spaces throughout the house. I did a lot of reading (thank you Abigail Ahern and Emily Henderson) and decided to not fight the darkness, but embrace it. We're going to paint a really saturated blue on the walls and by Ryan's request keep the ceiling and woodwork a warm ivory. 

This should make the room feel cozy and inviting whether we're settling in for a night alone or hosting friends and family. I'm crossing my fingers we can make the built-ins happen sooner rather than later, because currently all our books are in boxes on the floor. - b.

image sources: inspiration - here | rug | ceiling light | floor lamp | hope philodendron | sofa | orange pillow | polka dot velvet pillow | paint color - inchyra blue from farrow & ball


I discovered Karin + Carl Larsson through my very well travelled, and cultured mother. She and my stepdad went on a trip to Sweden this past summer and brought back loads of stunning photos and book on Karin Larsson's amazing life. I was immediately taken by her originality, ingenuity, and use of color.

Both she and Carl were artists ahead of their time, and the very lives they lead have become an iconic symbol of Swedish culture. They met in an artist commune, and though Karin gave up painting to raise their 8 (!!) children, she never gave up on her artistic pursuits. She created, wove, and built the world around her family, and Carl in turn shared it with the world though his paintings.

interior design crush: karin larsson's kitchen | via: chatham st. house
interior crush: karin + carl larsson studio | image via: chatham st. house
interior crush: karin + carl larsson | image via: chatham st. house
interior crush: karin + carl larsson | image via: chatham st. house

Their greatest masterpiece is arguably their home, Lilla Hyttnäs, the place my mom first discovered the couple. It was an almost self-sufficient lifestyle, and Karin worked tirelessly on everything from embroidered linens for their beds to designing the clothes they wore. My favorite room (from what I've seen) has to be the kitchen. The grass green wainscoting, accented by the orangey red cabinetry, and playful patterns absolutely sings.

Beyond the overall impression of their home's interior, it is Karin's textiles that standout. Each design is unique and showcases her ingenious use of color, emphasizing the geometric interpretations of nature that permeate throughout. For many decades Karin has been outshone by her husband Carl's paintings, and I'm happy that at least in my family, her importance is coming to light. 

interior crush: karin + carl larsson | image via: chatham st. house
interior crush: karin larsson painted by her husband carl larsson | image via: chatham st. house

I've always been a fan of interior design and went so far as to work for an interior decorating firm for almost a year in college. The romance quickly gave way to the realities of the field (lots of carpet measurements) and I went back to admiring interior design from afar. Happily we live in an age of the internet where finding good design is as easy as a search on Pinterest. Owning a home has reignited this old passion and I hope to share more discoveries, like Karin Larsson, in the future. Learn more about the Larsson's life and work on their website Carl Larsson-gården in Sundborn. - b.

Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 45 - 8


Even before we signed the papers on the house I was dreaming and scheming my way through oodles of Pinterest pins to identify what exactly I wanted each room of Chatham St. House to look like. We don't have much in the way of belongings so almost everything will need to be acquired over time (i.e. we don't have the means to do everything at once). I see this as a fun challenge and one where my imagination can go wild.

Here's what I'm dreaming of for the dining room...

dining room inspiration | via: chatham st. house

Because this space gets a ton of natural light, I want to keep the walls and woodwork warm and light. It will also create a rosy glow for candlelit dinners and game night. This room will be my gallery of sorts, hosting a wall of artwork we've only begun acquiring. I love art with a lot of color, pattern, and an extra dose of fun, so the rest of the space will stay mostly neutral. I hope to one day fill the walls from floor to ceiling in original works. 

I will one day inherit my Papaw's bar, but until that time we'll need a sideboard to serve double duty as storage and bar space. Trolling Craigslist has become a daily ritual and I'm confident I'll find something eventually. We'll also need a new Dining Room table that will complement my thrifted Chinese bench and the blue ladder back chairs from my Grandparent's house (hint hint - Dad you need to visit soon).

More than anything I want this space to feel flexible - A place to gather, a place to work, a place to linger. It's one of my favorite spaces in the house already so I can only imagine how I'll feel when it's done. I already have the lighting diy well underway. See sources for everything below.

Only time will tell whether my dreams and my reality match up, but for now this feels pretty darn good to me. - b.

image sources: inspiration - here | lighting - inspiration for a diy here | bamboo roman shades - amazon | dining table - wayfair | candle sticks - anthropologic | paint colors - dimity + setting plaster from farrow & ball | curtains - anthropologie