A New Couch (and Other Things That Don’t Suck)

I’m currently trying to dig myself out from under the overwhelming amount of day-job and farm-related work that March continued to pile on–relentlessly and with no regard for my sanity–right up until the very last day. I’m convinced that in the future, when I look back on 2017, it will be known as That Year That March Was a Complete and Utter Bitch, (although I don’t want to tempt April or May to try to outdo her… I’m resilient, but even I have limits.)

I have so many things to talk about: kitchen updates, chicken updates, greenhouse updates, how-many-flat-tires-I’ve-had-in-the-last-week updates. But I don’t seem to get very far into writing those posts… I like to tell an authentic story, but sometimes you need just a little bit of distance to talk about things that are stressing you out.

So, instead, here’s something that turned out awesome… I bought a couch.


That’s me and the cat, lounging on said couch. We may be slightly strange (as the chalkboard says) but we don’t hate it.

You may remember that buying a couch was no small point of anxiety for me a month ago. (On one hand, kind of laughable that a couch would stress me out now that I have a crushed greenhouse and dead chickens to deal with… on the other hand? Couches are damn expensive.)

So I enlisted one of my friends (and awesome designer) to help put together the new plan for my living room. This was the floorplan:


And the general “feel” we were going for:


There are a lot of proposed changes in the plan. Not only a new couch, but a couple of new chairs, some rugs, a new coffee table, a longer console table, and much larger bookshelf.

I expect it will take some time for the full plan to come to fruition, so I decided to tackle the room in phases. The first was to take this…


And add a little paint, a new rug, plus the couch, and new chair, and then rearrange the rest of what I already had in the room…


First of all, it’s already amazing and I love it. The couch is great, I love the dark walls, and the layout is fantastic. I can’t even tell you what it’s like to have a room in this house that you just want to go hang out in because it’s comfy and a little cozy, and there are real places to sit. (Pretty sure I haven’t had that in any of my houses, ever.)

However, out of respect for my designers I need to say that this plan isn’t exactly what they envisioned (yet.)

First, the plan calls for a much larger natural fiber rug to go under the new, patterned purple rug. I haven’t had a ton of luck with my rug guy and haven’t been highly motivated to track him down, so I just left the old one underneath the new one for some padding for now and it looks a little ridiculous, but we’re going with it.

Second, I’ve got a new light fixture coming for this room but it’s not expected to get in for another 3-4 weeks. I think it will look a lot better than the old capiz shade I have over that one lonely bulb right now. (See mood board above.)

Third, I have a lot of things to build for this room (eventually.)

  1. A longer console table to go behind the couch
  2. Elevating the chicken crate so it makes a decent side-table between the couch and the chair
  3. Building a round coffee table (probably out of reclaimed wood.)
  4. Maybe turning an old stump into a side table next to the chair

Not to mention the other things the plan calls for like a large bookshelf (more room for books! yes!) another chair, and fixing my whole tv-on-top-of-the-fireplace situation. However, all of those are the kind of fun projects I’ll only tackle when I’m not under the gun to do things like build a chicken run, or rebuild my greenhouse.

However, I did drink a bottle of wine one night and made that painting for the back wall, because it seemed like it needed something…


I completely love the idea of it, but not sure I love the actual execution and how it looks in this room.


Although I will say, Life is certainly living up on its promise to make me strong of late. So maybe not a bad reminder to have around.

I also made that paper-lantern light fixture at the encouragement of my designers.


The braided wire is from Sundial wire (and you can find instructions on how to wire a light socket here, and a plug here.) Add a $2 paper lantern shade, and, voila, it was probably a $30 light fixture altogether.

Listen, at the end of the day, I’m not a design blogger. In 14 years I think I have maybe one legitimate after picture (this one)… it’s safe to say I’m more of a I-want-this-room-to-be-awesome-but-I-also-have-a-life-and-other-priorities blogger. Which is a little weird because for a long time (at the very beginning) I thought blogging was just about telling stories, and then I looked around me and realized everyone who writes about houses and DIY has after pictures.

You guys, I am officially 14 years behind on the “finished rooms” race, and I’ve got no intention of catching up. But I am super excited about my current, in-progress state of the living room, and what it might look like in the future. From day 1, this property has been a place full of projects, but after 5 years, I’m really excited for the house to also be a space where people feel comfortable coming inside, and sitting down to relax. I think the first version of my living room is a great place to start (just ask the cat.)

22 Responses

  1. The room is beautiful. My eye went straight to that canvas you painted…love it!! If you have time among your many other projects, I’d love to know how you did it.

  2. Kit, please know there are many people out here praying for you and are here for any moral support you may need and that doesn’t make you weak. I love you blog because of your strength and intelligence. You truly are doing great. I love the new look of your living room! It’s fabulous! Hang in there, thing will get better. You have already accomplished so much in a short time. Five years is a short time when your my age (retired) and look back.

  3. So….the sofa, is it comfortable, like falling asleep comfortable?
    Can you sit on it and still have good circulation in your butt and legs? If so, I am in for one!
    BTW, what a difference paint and new furniture can make. I may have a bad case of make over envy.

  4. Wow, there is such a dramatic change, I didn’t notice the items you haven’t done! The new wall color totally changed it up and I love it. My eyes immediately landed on the new art on the wall, too! Amazing, just amazing!

  5. I really like the big big tall windows and the inside light they create giving you a vast selection of colors to choose from. Also…great warm color with natural light for group hangout or book, glass of wine and chillaxing on the comfy sofa.
    Things that make you go hmmmm????? Sorry to hear about the chickens and greenhouse ~ between the clown acts of many in DC to the weather & Mother Nature — 2016 ~ 2017 is the year to make you go ( hmmm???? and say to yourself – WOW! ) and alot of wtf
    It is quite amazing what you’ve accomplished in five short years Kit (perserverance) May flowers are just around the corner


  6. I’ve been reading your blog for several years, and you inspire me with your strength, resilience, and humor. I may never have the chickens I dream of, but I am glad you’re out there, caring for yours, and doing all the things you do.

    Thank you.

  7. Love the transformation so far! I have a similar sectional to yours, and it is my favorite thing in our family room! So much room for people and pets to pile on. The new wall color and artwork are great. I love the quote!

  8. The transformation is dramatic. You are going to be so happy with this room. Love that you have a chicken crate as a table – I have one for a coffee table atop big industrial wheels. Mine is glass topped and filled with vintage kids books. Funny how the most unconventional things are what people notice first. Love the quote on the wall and the rug is gorgeous. Great selections. Can’t wait to see the room develop. (How are the chickens?)

  9. WOW! That looks great Kit ~ so cozy & warm. I bet you just want to sit in there with a bottle of wine and forget all of your other projects.


    1. It’s Benjamin Moore’s French Beret (color-matched in Valspar Signature from my local Lowes)

  10. I don’t read your blog for afters. I have 2 kids, one is 4 yrs old so I can’t bust out the power tools right now. When I can get started again, I can look at your blog for some really great how to’s. Besides it can get a bit much to see all the perfectly staged photos, I prefer chickens and donkeys!

  11. Amazing couch. I love your sitting arrangement of room and color combination of wall. Have you hired architecture for it??

  12. I love your wall painting the best – I love the message, I love the style/execution/placement/colors, but mostly I love the message. You are awesome and this living room is an awesome reflection of you. And I love the pic of Bubs in your arms 🙂

  13. Hey Kit! I unfortunately can’t remember which post it was (I’ve just found your blog and spent the last week or two getting all caught up) but I remember there was a guy that gave you some pieces of wood that you loved and weren’t sure what you were going to use them for. If you still have them, have you thought of using one of them for a side table? I remember seeing the one piece that was oddly shaped and thinking that would be a cool top to a little table.

  14. I just received the Shelter terminal chaise couch as well in the same fabric. I love the look, but the fabric is a little rough. Did you find that the fabric softened over time?

    1. Well, I’ve only had it since Spring so it hasn’t had a lot of time to soften, but the fabric is still pretty textured. I actually like it (I don’t find it uncomfortable) but totally get what you’re talking about!

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