This house is the perfect size for two people and maybe one small person with minimal toys. Or the occasional overnight guest. Just call ahead for the guest room. Boy, do we like color. I think that's an understatement. The room is mostly painted a very light grey with white trim, but the one main south wall that runs through the living room into the kitchen/dining area is painted a bright vivid blue, actually called Jazz, after the Matisse cut out painting that uses the same color. And then there's zebra print, and a red couch, and a green chair and some more sedate accessories, like our black leather ottoman for storage or the small side table in black and glass. But mostly it's a heck of a lot of color.
This little candy colored glass mirror is in our entry way, right after you walk in the front door. We bought it while in Florida several years ago, attending our friends Kristen and Sean's wedding, and it's one of my absolute favorite things in the house. I like to think of it as giving visitors a taste of the colors in the rest of the house before they've even walked in the door. But please don't lick it. It looks like glossy hard candy, but I promise you it does not taste like watermelon or green apple. Believe me, I wish.
Then before you can get too far in the house, we have this great antique ice chest that Joe's dad refinished. It's filled with our booze and dog brushes and chew bones and extra candles and flashlights and all that stuff that you don't need everyday, but that you definitely need access to. And of course it holds the mail and a tiny ceramic bowl I bought for Joe when I was in Africa in the 1990's and photos of our nephews and more mail and mail and still more mail.
And there's that massive photo wall I was just talking about the other day. I love this wall. It's got everything important on it. Weddings, babies, cousins, friends, family, vacations. In fact we are reworking it today, taking down some old pictures and adding some new ones. Including a huge collage of photos we took on our San Francisco trip that Joe put together and framed for a Christmas present for us. It will all look a little different than this picture in just a few short days. And that's what I love about this wall. Much like our lives, it's always evolving. Getting better and bigger and fuller, until it creeps all the way down the hall.
I love this Matisse triptych that my dad bought for me when I was in college. It's still makes me smile and I think it looks like it was made to fit here on our wall, perfectly balanced between the two windows. Yeah, Joe took a couple of hours to hang it just right eight years ago and I don't think we'll move it until we sell this house someday. He would not have trusted me to hang it, eyeballing three framed pieces and hoping they are even and level, which is my method, not a good move.
This chair belonged to Joe's grandfather Jay. When Jay remarried and moved into his wife Fritzie's house, he got rid of many pieces from his old house and Joe vividly remembered this chair from what they called Jay's "duck room" when he was little. It's long and green and has huge arms for resting your drink on and I love it.
One of the best little practical pieces in the room is our ottoman. Flip up the top and fill it with fleece blankets and dust bunnies or close it and cover it with a constantly growing pile of magazines and books on top. Thank you for coming to visit because it forced me to clean up that pile of magazines. We are in these rooms more than any other and they tend to get cluttered and messy faster than I can imagine. Our kitchen table doubles as an office, craft center, mail review spot, and rare dinner consumption location. It's shockingly clean right now and that will last about an hour after these photos are taken.
Yeah, we like to read. There are books everywhere. They make me happy. I will always have books. I love e-books but they are not the same no matter what anyone tells you. We just got this rainbow vase for Christmas and filled it with random sticks and finally hung these floating books shelves that we've had for a couple of years. It looks like adults live here. Almost.
Yes, that's a stereo and cable box shelf in our fireplace. We never used the fireplace so we filled it up with things that we actually use everyday. Is that weird? Maybe. Do we care? Nope.
How about the dining room? Are you hungry? Have a seat on these completely randomly awesome chairs that we got from Joe's stepdad. They were chairs in his dental office waiting room and somehow they work perfectly with all of our modern eclectic stuff. Joe made the table in college and while it's a little unstable it's huge and perfect for small dinner parties or wrapping presents or anything where you need a big flat surface. And it's actually clean right now. Oops, not anymore, I'm looking at it a day after I took these shots and it's covered in picture frames and bubble wrap.
And then there's the mask wall. All African, mostly West African, some Baule, Senufo, Punu, and pieces from Ghana and tourist pieces I bought while there or just found and loved in the States. I bought my first mask on a trip to Washington DC in college and I just keep collecting. It's been awhile since I've bought a new one. I've gotten picky and I want the perfect piece. Maybe some spears next?
So that's our living room/dining room/entry way. It's bright, it's casual, it's cozy and open but not big. It's the perfect place to read a book and drink a cup of tea. Share a meal with friends, watch a movie on the couch under a warm blanket, or just lay on the floor with the dog while painting my toenails. We do most of our living in this room and it's served us well. I feel happy in here. I think you might too. Call us and come visit. Mac's watching for you out the window right now.