Why Not . . . Accessorize the Living Room?

Mar 26, 2014

3.26.14j “If you wait until you have enough money to decorate and make your home your own, it will never happen. If you wait until you can afford to buy everything new, you are missing the point. It is the old, the new, the hand-me-down, the collected, the worn but loved things in your home that make it your own.” -Stacy Risenmay

Whether it’s the accessories for an outfit, the people we spend our time with, the thoughts we allow to swirl around in our minds or the details that finish each of our rooms throughout our sanctuary, these finishing details add our signature and have the power to complete a room, a life a wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Today, as TSLL Home Tour continues (see the dining room here), I invite you to discover how simple touches such as throw pillows, flowers, carefully styled trays and patience as you wait for the desired items to go on sale, can help you to create a living room you can’t wait to return to each evening.


Finally after eight years of struggling to figure out how to finish my great room with its uniquely grand high cathedral ceilings and unique picture window, I realized what should be the focal point and how to turn this large beckoning space into a cozy, comfortable environment which is the  heart of my home simply by choosing the appropriate accessories.


The first thing visitors see when they step over the threshold into my 1930 Normandy home is the great room you see above, and for me it was the tremendous amount of light and sky-high ceilings that sealed the deal.

After refurbishing the fireplace by removing a gas insert, painting the walls (they were a deep magenta and dark mustard), refinishing the oak floors (they were stained a dark red) and painting the floor trim Benjamin Moore’s swiss coffee, the room immediately became brighter and more serene. And the coffee table – simply a shortened dining room table that a family friend no longer wanted.

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All of the above mentioned changes occurred within the first year of purchasing my home, but it wasn’t until these past few months that I became determined to accessorize it appropriately. With the help of my talented mother at the sewing machine, down throw pillows were covered in custom fabric picked up at Fabric Depot in Portland, and floor and table lighting was selected along with precisely styled trays (learn how to create your own here).


With a large empty wall, I wanted to include a statement as well as an organized glimpse into my life. So after receiving the large wall clock as a gift a handful of years ago and taking a few of my favorite photos of my dogs and travels and converting them to black and white, I purchased the floating shelves. The matching sconces were picked up at Home Depot to replace ornate scones that I felt were too feminine for the space.

Gradually, I picked out the rug from Overstock, the table in the corner was one I saved up for right out of college and used as a dining room table for years, and the lamp was picked up at DeBouche consignment in Walla Walla.

And yet another lesson I learned was that patience pays off as I found the bronze side table at Crate & Barrel on steep discount during Black Friday shopping back in November, Ballard Designs’ Cecily Armless tufted chairs, bronze floor lamp and side table  on sale as well this past holiday season, and the bronze table and Balustrade table lamp (reduced to $110 from $525) at Rejuvenation in Portland.


With ample seating that beckons its guests and occupants to snuggle, nap, read a good book or unwind with a fantastic favorite film, the fireplace is the extra bonus that I still find myself pinching myself over. The crackling of the wood and during the holidays, stockings hung on the mantle, creates a great room that while it didn’t instantly manifest, gradually became the room I always wanted it to be.

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As the timeless adage states, one must live in a home and decorate to suit one’s needs. Such a process takes time and cannot be rushed. While I may not have wanted to accept this lesson initially, I can say with absolute certainty, it was worth the wait.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thank you for joining me (and Norman  ;-)) in the second part of TSLL Home Tour. Click here to see the third room in the tour.

Additional Room Details:

~Sofa and armchair with matching ottoman from Dania

~framed print “Road to Cannes” by Trish Biddle

~Hydrangeas from Holly’s Flowers in Walla Walla

~flat screen TV – VIZIO 32-Inch Smart LED HDTV

~Crosley 4 in 1 Record Player 


15 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Accessorize the Living Room?

  1. Gorgeous Shannon! I am loving the TSLL home tour posts. They are a great inspiration and you have done a great job decorating the truly lovely space that is your living room!

  2. I agree the dog is the best accessory but I love the pillows and the small round table. The fireplace is gorgeous. I too am enjoying your home post, thanks for sharing.

  3. A GREAT room indeed!!! Your pup looks right at home – a dog is the best ‘accessory’ for any house. You did such a nice job decorating your home Shannon. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Chris, it was actually available on sale at Rejuvenation’s annual warehouse sale. Sign up for their newsletter to be alerted to the next date. It’s well worth going as so many amazing items are on drastic reduction.

  4. Just lovely. Very personal and charming. So generous of you to invite us into your home. There is harmony between dining and great rooms.

  5. Thank you so much for welcoming all of us into your home! Shannon, you are an inspiration to us all and I wish I had words to thank you because I feel your blog has made my life so much richer! At times I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, and you have reminded me that a simply , luxurious life is worth not just working for but also, at times, waiting for, too…Patience does pay off!!

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