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“This is a Beautiful housewarming party!” I said. “Can you believe that I finally own this house?” my friend asked me as we stared at the vista together. “It is beautiful,” I said with admiration. Lights twinkled in the sprawling oak trees that stood like guardians of the large back yard. A brick path meandered through planted beds of blooming agapanthus and wild orchids bursting with orange blooms. A fountain created the sound of falling water as a soft breeze from Tampa Bay moved through the columns that supported the sprawling porch of this perfect southern home built in 1910. So much history was here on this front porch and I thought to myself, if the house could talk there would be so many memories to share. My mind wondered to another very southern home full of memories and now a new style. Let’s share some memories and take a peek into a southern horse farm somewhere beyond the heart of The Villages.
• Style Now-this-room-is-a-great-conversation-space
This was a completely different style than I am usually asked to do and the house configuration was a challenge. However, it is fun to shake it up a bit and dig deep into your idea box. The homeowner’s wanted a style that incorporated rustic items, handmade goods, and repurposed things. Many of the things that we used have memories and meaning for the homeowners and the desired finished feeling was functional and cozy.
• Layout of the space
This house was challenging because upon entering the foyer and looking left, the wall had an arch cut out making it an unusable half wall. The living room was long and narrow with another room directly off the living room that had no real purpose. We needed to make the spaces feel connected and functional at the same time. We decided to close the unneeded arch so that we had another full wall in the space. The homeowner’s two recliners were large and the only wall we had that opposed the TV was large enough to carry both of the recliners. We placed the sofa in front of the window so that it was facing the other room that is joined to the living room.
• Conversation room
The room next to the living room would become our conversation area. We placed another sofa on the large long wall that can be seen when you enter the space. Then we placed two swivel chairs on the smaller wall opposing the sofa so that guests could be comfortable facing one another. The TV can be seen from both recliners, both sofas and one of the swivel chairs if it is turned toward the TV. A large burlap skirted table between the chairs looks great and so chic!
• Rugs
We placed an 8x10 rug in the long living room and a 5x8 rug in the conversation room. The rugs were the same pattern because they are so close in the space I wanted them to blend together seamlessly. The rugs calmed the echo tremendously.
• Repurpose items
Finding other ways to use old items is a great way to re-purpose many things. We needed a coffee table so we went to see what was in the barn. We found an old trunk just being stored so the homeowners painted it and added glass to the top and now it’s perfect! We used the homeowner’s old saddle for a prop on the plant ledge with other items that have been in her family of years.
• Made Goods
The homeowner made wooden floating shelves and we placed two shelves of the same length over each recliner. We propped pieces of art that they already owned on them and the art could be changed easily! The rest of the shelves were used in the foyer to create a family photo gallery. Nothing says home like family! The next made good is over the sofa in the conversation room. The homeowner used old barn wood to create two pieces of art. They created a frame from the barn wood and then framed different sizes of barn wood in the frame. They stained the wood to pull a few of the colors that we were using in the space.
• Bought Goods
We did purchase an arched iron gate to hang on the wall. That looks nice with the two chairs and the burlap table that was purchased. We also, purchased some rustic looking lamps that added a touch of red to each space.
• Window treatments
White curtains all around! These side panels keep the space light and bright while adding softness. The windows look more finished with the side panels and by hanging them close to the ceiling the eye moves high with the rod and the space looks larger.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056

P.P.S Be sure to visit our home decor store, "The Finishing Touch" for your home good needs.

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