Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Family Living Room

Wall number one including the entrance.

Welcome to the main room of the house in our Homestead Home Tour ~ Part Two. Everything happens here! (We actually have no choice *wink* as there is no other area.) It is our living room, family room, recreational game room, school room, study room, library, parlor, den, play room, you name it… So, I try and keep it as clutter free and peaceful as possible… (Before picture are here.)
“A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded." 
~ J.R. Miller, Excerpt from The Family
Wall Number Two.

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"The young must have amusements. The only question is what shall be the character of the amusements? Shall they be pure, healthful, refining, elevating? Or shall they be degrading in their influence? The parents must answer these questions, and the best way to answer them is to provide in their own home such amusements as they deem proper. If the home is dull and cheerless, it must not be considered an indication of extraordinary depravity that the children and young people seek pleasure elsewhere. It is as natural as that bees hived in a stubble field should want to fly over the fence to gather honey from the clover field adjoining. If there is clover at home they will not care to fly abroad. Wise parents will provide amusements for their children, and they will provide them at home, and thus counteract the solicitations of worldly pleasure outside."
~ J.R. Miller, Excerpt from The Family

Wall Number Three.
“My books are my tools. They also serve as my counsel, my consolation, and my comfort. They are my source of wisdom and the font of my education. They are my friends and my delights. They are my surety, when all else is awry, that I have set my confidence in the substantial things of truth and right.” 
~ Charles Spurgeon

"No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Visit many good books, but live in the Bible."
~ Charles Spurgeon

Wall Number Four ~ Partial View.

A Prayer for a Little Home

God send us a little home,
To come back to when we roam.

Low walls and fluted tiles,
Wide windows, a view for miles.

Red firelight and deep chairs,
Small white beds upstairs -

Great talk in little nooks,
Dim colors, rows of books.

One picture on each wall,
Not many things at all.

God, send us a little ground,
Tall trees standing round.

Homely flowers in brown sod,
Overhead, thy stars, O God.

God bless thee, when winds blow,
Our home, and all we know.

By ~ Florence Bone

"Through wisdom is an house builded;
and by understanding it is established:
And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled
with all precious and pleasant riches."
~ Proverbs 24:3-4
  • We love books in our home! The large bookshelf is our version of an entertainment center and is a decoration in itself for a book lover like me with all the beautiful bindings lined up in rows…
  • Bookshelves can be found inexpensive on Craig's List and Salvation Army Stores. A coat of paint does wonders (my hubby made ours). They are an excellent place for baskets of toys, blocks, puzzles, and any other item of daily use. (If you have a shelf with unruly contents, then a spring rod with a curtain placed across is an excellent way to hide the clutter and bring order into the room. I have done that in one of our bedrooms.) Also, an old entertainment center (found at many second-hand stores) is also an excellent storage for books, toys and homeschool supplies. Just repaint it to match your home and you have a wonderful new organizational piece. I had painted one white and used it for years but I had to leave it behind on this last move (at some point you have to accept what will or will not fit in a smaller space).
  • Baskets are excellent helpers to small spaces. You can find them at garage sales or second hand stores if you can not splurge on new ones. If you would like them to look somewhat uniform, then spray paint them all the same color. Or, sew up some fabric liners of the same print to give it all a matching appearance. I place baskets on top of our bookshelves for extra storage of audio books, future crafts/projects, games, etc… This really helps to give us more storage space without looking overly cluttered.
  • We try and keep our toys down to a minimum. We like to have the basic and classic ones such as building blocks, legos, tinker toys, puzzles, board games, dishes and dolls. These timeless toys are gathered together and grouped into "like item" baskets. The simple selection helps to keep order. (These new toys they sell really freak me out to be honest!). And when they get the wiggles, it's time to play the old fashioned way, in the open air, building forts, climbing trees, swinging, etc...
  • Less is more in smaller spaces. I kept down the dust collectors to a minimum and displayed just what we use in our daily life. That is beauty to me! A globe is a glorious centerpiece because it is functional as well. Pillows and blankets are available and enticing you to cuddle up to a classic on the cozy couches. A few family heirlooms and pictures are tribute to our heritage.  Candles are ready to be useful on those stormy nights. In the spring and summer, a sweet bouquet makes a wonderful display as well. These arrangements are free when picked from your property.
  • What you don't see is a television... We only watch a movie as a treat on the weekends, so why give up the needed space to showcase something that doesn't dominate our lives? The computer works just as well to play a family oriented DVD.
  • The "coffee table" is really my old hope chest. It is a great storage piece that doubles as a "place to place our books"… I gave up trying to keep that clean but I do keep a tea cloth over it to prevent it from scratching since I will be passing this on to the next generation.
  • My little "china" closet keeps just what is needed for special occasions and holds some of my collection of depression glass. A garage sale here, a goodwill store there, and pretty soon the pile of goodies grew at a few coins each. If you would like some fancier dishes but can't afford china then I recommend these vintage ones as they are a delight to set out and use. So pretty but practical.
  • The printed curtain near the fireplace (see wall number four, partial view) is covering an undesirable door that we placed an air-conditioner unit through (that's right, no central air…). I used an old towel bar, painted it white, affixed it to the wall and tied a  curtain to it. The verdict is still out on that one…
  • One pretty painting can make all the difference. I purchased the poster for a bargain and found a frame to fit it. In the past, I have found great frames at the thrift stores. Painting the frame to match your house makes it yours. I have even spray painted the matting that the picture came with to match my room and it worked out great! (You can tell I love paint, it's the frugal decorators' best friend!) If you found a painting you like and a frame large enough but the picture won't fit perfectly due to a weird size, Michael's can cut some matting to fit the picture for a decent price. (I wouldn't recommend them doing everything since it really costs!)
  • Lastly, if your floors aren't palace grounds, you can find inexpensive carpets on Craig's List and place them on top of the existing flooring. I even placed one over carpet itself when I was desperate at a formal rental and it really made a huge difference. Sprinkle baking soda over the whole carpet first, sweep the soda all around, inside all the grooves, let sit a few hours and then vacuum up to freshen up your "used" purchase while removing any unwanted guests.
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).


  1. I enjoyed viewing the photos from your lovely home. You sure do have ALOT of books! We do too, but your bookshelves are much more classier than ours. :)

    I enjoyed the quotes as well. I've read that book by J.R. Miller. I read it several years ago. I also like the quote about enjoying many books, but live in the bible. So true, so true. That quote from Proverbs 24 about the home is one of my favorites too! :)

    Such a good collection of goodies in this post. Thank you for sharing. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind responses! My hubby actually made the bookcases which make them extra special to me! They are already on their third coat of paint (the poor things!)...

    2. LOVE the rows and rows of books! We live in a condo that has a lot of floor space, but no storage space, so we do the same thing with toys and baskets (keeping them to a minimum and then sorting classics into the baskets). For some reason I couldn't comment normally, that that's why I did this as a reply....oh, and thanks for the visit to my blog earlier =)

  2. passing by to remind you of my valentine giveaway..if you like to participate just leave a comment and let me now friday night i will choose a winner and saturday will be sending the giveaway little too early but it takes a week to arrived..hope you can read about it on my blog...god bless you...loves soraya

  3. Hi! I just absolutely love all your books and bookshelves. You've shared some great tips for a family-friendly living room!

  4. This is my first visit to your blog:)

    I also love books and have a house full of them and I have even run out of space to put them all. We have plans to have some built-ins made that will ease the problem!! Your room looks so cosy and comfortable, I could imagine curling up with a book and a hot chocolate.

    Thank you for sharing. i will visit again:)

  5. Dear JES,

    How sweet to see your beautiful home. Becca and I are sitting here hoping that we haven't made you think we are totally nuts [disgusted, maybe?]... Hopefully not!

    We especially love the bookcase and seeing the Uncle Arthurs and what looks to be in the top right some Louisa May Alcott books. Just wondering how many books we have that are similar. You are very special to us.

    We love your home and enjoyed for the very first time seeing your farm, your animals, and your sweet little pug.

    Blessings and a Hug,

  6. Hello,,,I am new to your blog and it is lovely:) I am curious, you said that this is your only space? The reason I am asking is because we are a homesteading, homeschooling family preparing to downsize..BUNCHES!
    God bless..and I have ordered several of your book and movie suggestions from the library:)..thank you

    1. Hi Dianne, Thank you for your sweet comment! Yes, when this was posted, this was our ONLY LIVING space (though we did have our bedrooms and 1 bathroom). We lived with it and homeschooled there, (our computer was even in there) and everything else in there for 2 years (it was fine but slightly frustrating if we were in the middle of a homeschool project, we couldn't just leave it because we needed the room to actually live in). But, it was doable! This last year, my husband was able to add on a small room (he did all the work himself) where we are able to homeschool and have a small office/study space. It greatly improved our situation..., However, to encourage you, sometimes we need to take small steps to get to a place where we want to be and then slowly make things more and more comfortable. In order to live debt-free and have some land, we gave up a lot of space and luxuries, but it was worth it! After 3 years here, it is flowing more easily and functioning better. I hope this helps :)

    2. Oh thank you.....small steps,,,,wonderful reminder,,:)

    3. "It is as natural as that bees hived in a stubble field should want to fly over the fence to gather honey from the clover field adjoining. If there is clover at home they will not care to fly abroad."

      - Really like this quote! I am re-reading 'Keeping Our Children's Hearts' by Teri and Steve Maxwell just now, so it seemed very pertinent. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your lovely home, and you have given me some ideas for ours :-)

  7. OH! How inviting! I can just imagine spending a lazy afternoon or quiet evening in your home browsing your bookshelf!
    Here's a quote for you. I didn't look into who Erasmus was, forgive me if he was a scoundrel. ~giggle~

    Desiderius Erasmus
    “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”

    God bless you Jes.

    ― Desiderius Erasmus

    1. I LOVE that quote and can very much relate! Thank you for sharing that gem! :)


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