The one where we get cozy

My parents are remodeling their condo and in so doing they needed to get rid of some furniture. So we sacrificially chose to relieve them of said furniture out of the goodness of our selfless hearts.

Stand back. I might get struck by lightening.

In the eleven years that we have been married Lee and I have bought exactly six pieces of furniture. Everything else has been given to us by our parents. Couches, chairs, beds, buffets, cribs, dressers and on and on. We live in a house full of hand me downs…and we love it.

Mostly because these hand me downs are…kind of gorgeous.

We set up this entertainment center this weekend along with a couch and two oversized chairs. It looks so good, we might need to get cable.

Just kidding.


This room, which has been cluttered and kind of boring since we moved in, looks down right cozy now. It’s livable and functional and…pretty.

Of course, my total lack of style and inability to decorate is on broad display now that I have this fancy furniture in my house. My bare walls scream at me and look at that pitiful fireplace mantle and the bare, empty shelves on the entertainment center. Folks, I literally have nothing to put in those places.


This is where my pinterest friends tell me that I can get all kind of ideas if I would just give pinterest a try and I promise you all *holds up three fingers* I am trying.

You can’t understand what pinterest does to a non-creative, non-crafty person like me, though. It literally makes my head spin and my throat close. The overwhelming cuteness and undeniable style that floats through those web pages leaves me feeling entirely incapable of pulling anything off. I don’t have cute knick knacks to put on the shelves. I have books and picture frames. And a C-3PO doll that Sloan dug out of his toy box and wrapped up for me for Christmas.

What do I do?!

This is such a first world problem. Seriously, I don’t care that much…except when I get on pinterest and I curse my inability to create beauty out of paper clips and a toilet paper roll.

But wait! There’s more. Look at how this room, which was completely empty two days ago, turned out when we moved our couch and chair and piano into it.

Isn’t it happy? And the best part of it is that every item in that room was lovingly donated to us by our parents. The couch, chair and buffet belonged to Lee’s grandmother. The piano is the same one I learned to play on (and subsequently forgot how to play) as a child. The blanket was a wedding gift.

I also love this little corner.

We are so blessed.

IĀ need want something for the wall above the piano and again something for the back of the piano to dress up the room. I’m open to suggestions. Seriously, friends. I stink at decorating. I have some Christmas money saved so I am hoping to get out sometime soon and maybe get a few things to set out.

This is where I open it up to you all. What do I do and how do I decorate? If the suggestion requires me using a hot glue gun or a needle and thread, however, just know now that I appreciate it, but I will likely never do that. I need my decorations cheap, but pre-packaged. Martha Stewart, I am not.

In all seriousness, there are people all over the world who will never understand this problem and I recognize that and humbly walk the halls of my home grossly aware of how much we have. I am constantly praying that my home will be a blessing to those who enter and that I will never take it for granted. Ever. I am grateful for this space that we have, but I hold it loosely with outstretched hands.

So what say you, bloggy friends? What do I need to do to make our space finally feel complete?



  1. You crack me up girl. My best suggestion for you is to peruse furniture showrooms and look at what makes their rooms look nice. Then you go to Kohl’s or Kirkland’s and try to recreate their look on a budget. Don’t be afraid to take pics of showroom design ideas that catch your eye….the era of camera phones has made this so simple. If I were there I would love to help you with some glue gun “tingums” but since I’m not you will have to lean on someone else. Love you…and I like your mom’s furniture in your house. How cool to be the beneficiary of all her pretty stuff!

  2. Do you remember that family photo that Pam had printed onto a canvas that hangs over our fireplace? We could make a duplicate and send it to you. I’d love for my family to hang over your family room.

  3. Remember how Amy said Pottery Barn came to her house and did a free furniture consultation? You could always call the magic team to visit your place too šŸ™‚

    • I thought about that the other day, but I don’t need furniture help. I only need decorating advice – I guess they could help with that too. I do need help with curtains, though. The curtain rod in our bedroom broke so our curtains will only close half way and the neighbor’s security light blinks in my eyes all night long. I can’t afford Pottery Barn curtains, though. I’d have to sell one of the kids…

  4. So…’re entertainment center is EXACTLY what I am looking for…and haven’t been able to find ANYWHERE – sure similar ones, yeah, but yours, AWESOME!! Want to pack it up and ship it to Seattle?? No? I didn’t think so. *sigh* OK – I’ll keep looking…..

    • If I knew where it came from I’d let you know. They’ve had this furniture a long time though so I don’t know if it’s around anymore. It is beautiful, though. It’s very warm. Good luck!

  5. If you buy Anna and I plane tickets, I am sure we can arrange our schedules to come use your money to buy all kinds of things new and then proceed to makeover your home. (And laugh all the while…) While you are saving your pennies for our ride there, I suggest buying things you love. Go to Pier One or Ikea and see what your eye turns to…then go for it! I also suggest breaking it down and focusing on one room at a time…just like you did your office…and we know how killer cute that room is. love you.

    • Ah, Becke, if I could afford to bring you out and afford to give you the money to make my house amazing I would do it in a heart beat. But alas, I will have to figure it out on my own. *sigh*

  6. mel cable says

    oh, kelli, we are cut from the same cloth, but let me tell you, I am learning, and this past fall decided to tackle this great house I have and bring in touches that didn’t scream I just graduted from college and threw it up in my new gorgeous house. I want things done right away and that is also the problem. So here is what I did, and I am slowly loving my house. I literally read blogs that were my style for months, their articles were helpful, but just also seeing the pictures. If I saw a picture in a magizine that yelled “me” I would cut it out, and now I am using pinterest, but yes overwhelming. So I slowly just began to figure out what I liked, that was half the battle, and then I realized I am a copy catter. I can’t come up with a cute mantel, or wall, or bookshelf. so I then set out to copy other people’s ideas. Obviously I’m not going to find that exact plate, or blanket or whatever, but I came close, and in my budget. So keep perusing, keep building your style, find some things to copy, take your time (ouch) and finally, think layers like I posted before. I am finally on layer number 2 after living with layer 1 for 10 years, meaning just paint and a few pictures, but now I actually have throws, and crazy fun curtains, and throw pillows that rock, I have a color scheme that I have in mind and am slowly building, yes white, tangerine and blue! my front room is now rust, teal and brown. So there ya go, If I can slowsly climb out of my 409 Baylor Avenue (remember that place šŸ™‚ then so can you! I’m trying to not just buy something cuz its on sale, or on a whim, but to plan and ponder. And by the way, check out some subway art, it may not go with your style you’ve got going, but I can see you would maybe like it. Oh, and find yourself a World Market and HomeGoods!

    • Mel, I will never forget that night that we walked through The Container Store with Amy and Rachel and you and I trailed behind with eyes wide feeling utterly overwhelmed. You grabbed my arm and squeezed and said, “We’re gonna be okay. I really think we’re gonna be okay.”

      Ha! Here we are eleven and a half years later and we ARE doing alright aren’t we? I saw your gooey butter footballs the other day – ADORABLE! And though neither one of us has become a guru of personal style, we have maintained a style all our own and we’re managing just fine. šŸ™‚

      Thanks for the encouragement – then AND now.

      • mel cable says

        I so do not remember that! I hate my memory sometimes. I have been struggling with the balance lately of being obsessed with my surroundings, which are very important to me as a woman, and the desire to keep up with the cool decorators, it is a struggle. Hope to work out rendezvous soon, funny how keeping up with a blog can make you feel connected, but also make you miss someone šŸ™‚

  7. Kel, I think that everything looks nice and simple! I don’t think you need to add much at all. Chotchkies have a place and all…but I think your rooms look great as-is! Watch a few videos on HGTV and go to and get some advice. Click on their Projects tab and read on. They’ll teach you what you need to know!

    • Thanks, Tiff. I love that site. I need to remember to check back there. As a general rule of thumb, I’m a minimalist – I don’t like too much stuff out, which is good because I don’t have a lot of stuff! šŸ™‚

  8. I am TOTALLY with you on the pintrest thing! YIKES!!! I spent about 20 minutes on it one night and have no desire to ever go back! šŸ™‚

    • It’s crazy overwhelming, right? Unless you have an eye for style – then I can see where it would be a ton of fun.

  9. Call Martha’s long-lost and totally not-related cousin Carol Stewart (…er, Rogers) for an at home consult – she worked “magic” for you once before… her rates are reasonable, like maybe a grilled meal and some play-time for all the kiddos. She’s already put her touch on their place (well, from what I can see on face-time anyway) …. but don’t go looking at Brooke’s room……. šŸ™‚

    • Ha! Yes, Carol is definately my go-to style guru and she already gave me her thumbs up on furniture arrangement. I thought about her the whole time I was moving stuff around – WWCD – Would Would Carol Do? And I know ALL about Brooke’s room. šŸ™‚

  10. I’m with Tiffany. Remember, knick-knacks beg to be dusted and also moved so that you can dust around them. And you will find C-3PO and his posse in any decorative container or silk plant you place below 8 feet. And you will be tempted to yell at your kids for that or for breaking/knocking over/moving/failing-to-care-about YOUR decorations. I went through this same conundrum years ago, figured out how to do it all up pretty and nice, spent too much money doing it, and 10 years later I am clearing it all out in favor of simplicity and a style that speaks to who we really are as a family. We are not about decor (not that there is anything wrong with it) – we are about family. That means our walls are adorned with photos but not much else. The only other thing we do that is even close to being “decorative stuff” is we try to get one item from every trip that speaks to some really great aspect of the journey AND has a God story we can share with guests. Hence the vase of rocks on the IKEA shelves in our foyer. I spent way too much time and effort decorating my kids rooms only to watch them mess it simply because it really doesn’t matter to them one bit. If I had it to do all over again I would spend that time and energy reading to them and taking more photos of their daily antics and the things that I want to look at everyday and to be reminded of how God has used them to teach and bless me.