living room tour {autumn 2014}

i'm so excited to invite you into my house today.
i should start this visit off with a few disclaimers...
first of all, this is a long post.  
you may want to grab a cup of coffee and curl up in your favorite armchair for this one.  
or wait until your kiddos go to bed later tonight.
second, i included a ton of photos in this post.
yes, it's only one {little} room of my {little} house...
but i know that when i see home tour photos on other blogs,
i'm always wanting a closer look at the little details...
what's that book? what does that hoop say?  what kind of plant is that?
so, if detail isn't your thing, scroll on past the smaller photos...
the larger ones will give you the overview you want.
you detail-seekers...have fun.  i think you'll find all you need here.
in addition to the copious amount of photos, i included too many little tidbits about where i found particular items, what certain things mean to me, and other related minutia.
also, i feel it necessary to point out {although it's glaringly obvious} that i am not a photographer.
all of my blog photos are taken with my phone.
i'm currently working toward a more thorough understanding of shooting with a camera in manual mode...which will give me greater quality and higher definition in my photos.
however, for now, i'm working with what i've got.
please excuse the graininess, lack of sharpness, and general amateur photography skills {or lack thereof}.
and lastly, i want you to know that this is just about the most un-staged room tour ever.
never fear, you won't leave this post feeling like your house is a shambles...
but you may think that my house is!

with all that in mind, come on in and enjoy!

we'll start off facing the fireplace...
since that's the focal point of the living room.
when i take a virtual tour of a room, i like to get my bearings.
if you were standing, facing the fireplace, you'd be facing north.
for the rest of the post, we'll move in a clockwise direction...
turning east, then south, then west.
just turn on your gps if you get lost☺

i love decorating my mantel for the seasons.
my mantel decor gets changed 8-9 times a year...
but that's pretty much the extent of my seasonal/holiday decorating {other than at christmastime}.

the "pallet" background is actually made of old, weathered barn wood.
one night when my hubby got home from work, i presented him with a rudimentary drawing...
"do you think you could build this? really quickly?"
a couple hours later it was hanging on my wall.

{edited to also note: those incredible, fabulous, nearly-one-of-a-kind antique cast iron owl andirons
 were my last-christmas's gift from my baby brother.  
he read this post and called immediately to let me know
 i'd left out that very valuable piece of credit information.
he'd probably also want me to tell you that he's my very favorite of all three of my brothers.  
but i can neither confirm nor deny that.}

somewhere along the way, this cast iron squirrel nutcracker was given to my parents as a christmas gift.
when i was a child, he always came out every year with the christmas decorations.
since he's become mine, though, i bring him out during the fall.
i think this season just becomes him more, don't you?

several weeks ago, i got a wild hair and decided that i wanted a wreath for the focal point of my fall mantel.
i knew that i wanted it to be ultra-natural, kind of wild and wooly and nothing tame about it.
i gathered a few goods at the madison, wi, farmer's market, and the rest of the elements were found growing with abandon in our back field.
it took me three or four hours to put together...
and i completely enjoyed every minute of it.
there is something incredibly cathartic about doing a craft that 
you just can't even possibly mess up.
{nutcracker--family treasure; toolbox, antlers, binoculars, cameras, toy truck, paint-by-number--very inexpensive thrifting/antiquing finds; ceramic pumpkin--gift from mom; acorn--once mom's, now mine♥}
this old yellow dresser is one of my very favorite pieces of furniture.
paul and i bought it when we were first married, during the brief time we lived in michigan.
i remember finding it at a garage sale...
it was late on a saturday afternoon, the sale about to close for good.
the lady had it marked for $25...i tried desperately to get her to go down to $10 
{this was over 10 years ago, mind you} and really questioned whether i'd eventually regret paying her the $15 she insisted upon.
i have never, ever, ever regretted it.
the yellow dresser used to sit kitty-corner over here, but recently it started bugging me that it was taking up so much room.
i put it flush against the wall {on the same wall as the fireplace} and now it holds our my library books.
{cookie jar--vintage Ransburg pottery--found at an antique shop for $5! 
someone didn't know what they had!}
this old ladder just recently came to live inside the house.  it had been out in my shed forever...
many of my houseplants were looking rather forlorn, not getting quite enough sunlight.
this ladder was the perfect solution...nice and narrow, for a room that didn't have a lot of space to spare.
{bobwhite--gift from my dear friend, denise; happy flags--from sweet natalie at natalie creates}
a tip i've shared more than once, but one that still bears repeating.
while i love our white ikea sofa, washing that slipcover on a regular basis can be quite a chore.
i've found two vintage white coverlets--one chenille {pictured here}, one hobnail--and they buy me a good deal of time between slipcover washes.
simply fold the coverlet in half lengthwise and tuck the ends tightly under your cushions.  the best part is, you can turn the coverlet over and get two uses out of it!
work smarter, not harder, friends!
my book pile--bibles {mom's and mine}, bel canto by ann patchett {i'm about to give up on this one}, devotion journal, thankfulness journal, and mom's thick devotional book {those are all her little colored post-it note tabs, still peeking out of the top♥}.
{pillows--small gold and green--thrifted for a song; aqua with pom-poms--from @salvage517 on IG; chenille coverlet--thrifted; sawtooth quilt--has several large, light stains--perfect so that i don't have to be uptight about it--$15 at an antique store!}
that's our front door...just in case you're wondering.
you don't get to come in that door.  no way.
"back door friends are best!" that's what my hubby always says.

speaking of my hubby, he found that enamel-topped green rolling cart for me on the side of the road.
no joke.
in the condition you see here.  on the side of the road.
peeps are crazy, i tell ya.
and it's a hoosier.  bonafide. scroll down, you'll see the pic.
i died.  well, not really.  obviously.
but almost.
the green.  
it's so perfect.

that "give us this day our daily bread" stitchery you see up top there?
all while i was growing up, my mom had the twin to that one hanging in our dining room.
it's been long gone, but i found this one at a garage sale in michigan a year or two ago and may have squealed out loud.
really, really loud.
{quilts--made by mom and aunt colette; hoosier--found on the roadside; vintage aqua typewriter--thrifted; cattails stitchery--gift from @piecesofmeegs; mirror--old medicine cabinet we found in a barn--we ripped the cabinet part off and hung it sideways.}
i told you this was unstaged.
all those coffee cans aren't sitting there now, i promise.
i took these photos during the one, ten-minute peek of sun we've had in the past two weeks.
it just so happens that those coffee cans were sitting there, waiting to be shipped.  they're gone to their new homes now...and yes, the antlers, too.

this photo doesn't show it off very well, but that little green rolling cart that paul found almost identically matches my "computer desk"...
which is just a retro-fitted old hoosier cabinet for a kitchen.
my friend, denise, and i were garage saling, and i found this cabinet, disassembled, tucked far away in the back of a guy's garage.
it was loaded down with engine parts, transmission fluid, and motor oil.
but i saw the enamel work surface.  and chippy green paint on the side.
chippy paint is my love language.
and green just makes it all that much better.
i asked if it was for sale...
he said i'd have to give him a couple days to get it cleaned out...
but that if i really wanted it, i could have it for $50.
i've never handed over a Grant so fast in my life.
it's another one of those "furniture" purchases i've never, ever regretted.
the "matching" office chair {extremely sturdy, surprising given its age} was found at a garage sale this summer for $5.

{blue cabinet--gift from dad; light-up globe--from @chrissiegrace on IG; mini bunting from sand and starfish; white canister--vintage Ransburg from eBay; vintage golden guides--eBay; 2015 mini desk calendar--recipe for crazy}
as soon as my oldest daughter found out what my "one word" for 2014 was, she stitched this hoop for me.
i'd say i definitely chose the right word.
{large stick star and giant Dresden plate hoop--handmade/hand-stitched by me; dried flowers leftover from my wreath projects--no, they don't "go" up there, i just haven't put them away yet--from madison farmer's market; old toy trucks and license plate--cheapo antiquing finds; pair of theeeee greatest paint-by-numbers ever--found in an antique mall on my road trip with @contentedsparrowmegan...don't ask her...she still insists they should have been hers.}

this may be my favorite shot of the entire post.  
i love how you can see the color of the autumn trees in the window reflection.
{wreath--handmade by my friend denise; cat halloween decor--ages old from hobby lobby}
snoozing sherlock, left-out clue game, misplace awana book...
oh, vintage school map, how i do love thee!
really and truly, if you can ever get your hands on one of these, do it.  it's one of my most favoritest things ever, ever, ever.
{school map--from an old school; perfect green-ish-blue-ish crackly table--garbage-picked by my hubby; antlers--amish junk store; aqua crate--dug four of them out of the free pile at a garage sale!  can you even believe?!?!}

so, i lied.
this right here may be my most favorite shot of the post.
i can't decide.

how about you?
what were your favorite parts?

i hope you were able to wade through the grainy photos and incessant babbling to find a little bit of inspiration for your home.
i'd love to see what ideas you come up with!


  1. girl. after you come & stay with me, I am coming to stay with YOU. I LOVE EVERY SINGLE INCH OF THIS.

  2. I'm in love with the "saving, helping, keeping, loving..." hoop.

    1. thanks, alisa...i hand-stitched that :)

  3. So much creativity! I love it! Definitely inspiration for me and my farm house! Xo

  4. I LOVE your home, Erin!!!! As a person who loves all the details, I really liked that you were chatty. :)

  5. I've been reading your blog for a few months now and I don't think I have ever commented before, but on this post, it is a must. You have the most lovely cozy home and I love every single detail! Your blog is one my favorites, thank you so much for all the inspiration you give.

  6. I LOVE your detail photos! I love your room tour and commentary...cozy, chippy, inviting, not so perfect that it's unbelievable. Here's a question for you... How do you store your out of season items? Or items that you want to keep but aren't using at the time? Do you have a great system? I'm trying to figure out my situation... :)

    1. kiley...
      i have a rough wooden shelving unit in my furnace room and it holds all of my household decor that rotates in and out of use.
      my seasonal decorations are kept in rubbermaid totes out in my shed.
      i plan to include some of this info in an upcoming post...stay tuned!

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog today, and I am absolutely smitten!! I especially love this post as I am moving between staying with family and rentals and can't really invest in a whole beautiful home, so all your details were very inspiring to help me make little beautiful areas as I can. I hope you share more room tours :)

  8. been following you on IG for a while now and just recently discovered your other place on the www. i loooove love love
    everything about this post. we have a sherlock kitty too. :) danica or jessie_irene on IG


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