house tour: the studio
for the locals ...

house tour: the living room

living room 1

The living room of our 1940's rental has its quirks. The fireplace is off-centered on the wall. Those logs in there? Just for show - it's made for burning coal. The logs came with the house, and the little cat has taken to using them as her scratching post.

If this were our house, I would paint the walls bright white. In my opinion, the khaki is a light-suck, as the living room faces north. 

To combat the light suck-i-ness, I covered the brown, thrifted couch in a white slip cover and added some white globe lights to the mantle along with a second-hand mirror, a glass decanter and some vases. I found the white shag rug on sale at Urban Outfitters.

living room 2

The green, crocheted throw was a $5 thrift store find, and the pillows were hand-made by yours truly. Our coffee table is actually a hand-built chest that I bought from some local artisans while we were living in Mexico.

thrifted "hurricane lamp"

Here's a question for you ... what in the world could my glass "hurricane lamp" have been in its previous life? It says "water line" and "delco light." Now, maybe it's just me, but I always assumed that "lights" and "water" don't mix. I'm perplexed.

mantle decor

The glass balls inside the vases are from an estate sale - they were going for $1 a bag. 

living room 3

Ahhh ... the puff chair.  I'd been wanting one of these since high school, and my parents had it sent to us as a housewarming gift. If you sit down, don't expect to get up. It's where I do most of my embroidery and hand applique work.

The bird throw was sewn by dear Amanda, and I threw together that yellow bird pillow using a precious piece of fabric from Anna Maria Horner's Drawing Room collection.

living room 4

Where's the entertainment center? You're looking at it. Books. Lots of them. And, perhaps most importantly, the crazy-awesome floor speakers, with plenty of room in front for dancing. We don't own a television. I know, we're odd. But it's been ten years since I lived in a house with a television (with my parents) and I just don't miss it. I'm used to not knowing the weather forecast. We just open up the door and adjust our clothing appropriately!

the speakers and cat tree

Here's a good look at the hand-hewn cat tree. No joke ... this was chopped down by our talented carpenter friend in Mexico (hola, Juan Daniel!) and made into this custom cat tree. It also had the honor of voyaging from Creel, Mexico to Durham, North Carolina on top of our Toyota RAV 4. I'm sure the folks at the border patrol hadn't seen anything like it before. "Whaddya have in the car?" "Oh, a cat tree, an electronic piano, a wooden chest, and a whole load of Montessori learning materials. The usual." 

It seems surreal that just six months ago this was our living room in rural Mexico, flanked on one side by a granite rock and kept livable by that antique wood stove. Those were happy, yet cold times. How different our lives are on this side of the border. You know what I miss? Our friends. The neighborhood children who would knock on our door and ask us if we wanted some of the tamales that their mom was making. The one-room neighbohood store where I could pick up fresh corn tortillas just before lunch.

I remember all of those things when I look at our cat tree - an enchanted cat tree, indeed. 

Stay tuned for the kitchen tour!