I feel like I’ve been setting up this post for entirely too long. But, given recent events, priorities were shifted and my focus was elsewhere. Now that I have a little more free time on my hands, I can (at long last) give you a peek into our favorite room in the house… our living room! If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve added a full video tour on IGTV – if you aren’t following along, search @ebgabri to find it!
As you know, we purchased our first home last June in East Nashville and we’ve been adding our own personal touches ever since. She’s a real looker… built in 1930 (we’re throwing her a 90th birthday party once quarantine is over), loaded with charm and solid as a rock. The living room is where Dan, Barbara and I spend most of our time, so it only made sense to get that space feeling homey and cozy as quickly as possible.
I always like to point out how, aside from our jute rug, the floor lamp, a few pieces of decor and our media console (which I love), pretty much everything in the room was either sourced secondhand over the years, or was handed down to us from family members. To me, that makes these pieces all the more special. They help tell the story of who we are as individuals, and who we are as a family. I’m also of the belief that a room full of pieces unique to you holds so much more longevity – not unlike fashion, home decor trends come and go.
The first thing that most people notice and comment on is our vintage blue couch. Here’s a fun backstory… the week or so before we closed, my sister was in town visiting and I brought her by to see our almost-home. Afterward, we stopped by a local consignment shop that is a stone’s throw away and that’s where I first laid eyes on our couch. Not unlike our house, she’s well-constructed and has been cared for over the years – I know this couch will stand the test of time! And surprisingly, for a vintage furniture piece, she’s really comfy to lounge on… something that Dan takes very seriously. The best part… on the day we closed on the house and got the keys, Dan and I went and bought the couch, loaded her up into the car (which was a feat in and of itself) and brought her home! We set her up in the empty living room and popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate. That will be one of my favorite memories for the rest of my life.
I also get asked a LOT about this $15 Goodwill coffee table. I got it for my first “big girl” apartment after college and it will forever be one of my favorite purchases… not just because of the price, but because it looks so high-end and adds a little glam to the space. She does need some paint touch-ups, which I plan to knock out during this time at home. This style of coffee table is immensely popular and you can find similar options at stores like West Elm or Anthropologie… but I always recommend checking your local antique or thrift stores too. I’ve seen so many over the years!
One investment we made in the fall was having gas logs installed. The fireplace is the true centerpiece of this room and our house was already run for gas (we have a gas range), so the install itself was pretty simple. We did have to spend a little extra money to get the fireplace in a safe working order, but we both 100% would do it all over again. It adds so much (literal) warmth to the house – not to mention value.
My favorite little corner of this room has certainly seen a lot of activity since quarantine started… the bar cabinet! I found this solid wood piece for a steal at my favorite local antique store, 8th Avenue Antiques. Like I mentioned, our house is old and one thing she’s seriously lacking is extra storage space. When selecting furniture, I’ve been pretty diligent in sourcing pieces that can perform double duty: easy on the eyes and offering functional storage space. This cabinet obviously houses our spirits, mixers, and other bar accessories. The media console is where Dan’s beloved Xbox lives, along with some board games, DVDs and the likes. And the beautiful marble top sideboard that we inherited from Dan’s parents acts as a makeshift linen closet. All of these pieces have been so helpful for organization.
This wouldn’t be our favorite room if it wasn’t a space where Barbara also loves to spend time. Her extensive collection of toys is housed in a hyacinth basket beside the couch for easy access – I love these baskets for organizing. She likes to carefully select a toy and then bring it up to lounge on the couch with us… sort of a nighttime winding-down tradition. Her teepee is also in the living room and yes! She actually does go in there regularly to enjoy a rawhide or take a quick snooze.
In terms of decor or tchotchkes, this room is full of things that bring me joy. As you’ve probably seen on Instagram, I’m working hard to hone my green thumb. I love how much literal life my little plant buddies bring to this space, and most of the vessels they live in were found secondhand. Goodwill is actually one of my all-time favorite spots to find planters – if you haven’t, check out your local store’s home section (once they’re back open)! I also love a good ginger jar, a coffee table book featuring subject matter that interests us, and always (ALWAYS) a fragrant candle.
That’s the bulk of it, friends! Again, here are links to a few of the items that were not sourced secondhand:
In sharing this peek into our home, my hope is to share some inspiration for how to style the items you’ve acquired (secondhand or not) over time and create a cozy space that is uniquely you. My advice would be to use this downtime most of us have to your advantage and plan! Make a Pinterest mood board for each room of your home that you’d like to update and maybe even a little budget you’d like to adhere to. Then, once quarantine subsides and businesses reopen, definitely go check out your local thrift, antique or consignment shops – you truly never know what treasures you can find!
Definitely head over to my IGTV to see the full video tour, and please let me know if you have any questions at all. I’d also love to hear what some of your favorite secondhand home decor items are… drop me a line in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for being here!