Casa Keinsley: The Living Room

I've blogged snippets about our little apartment home here and there, but really wanted to share a bit more about our decor, style and process of creating a space that I'm proud of. I've dreamt of having my own place since I was little, seriously. All I ever wanted to play was "house" and "Barbie decorates her apartment." I re-arranged my bedroom furniture every month. I planned my dorm decor for weeks. But until I got married and moved into an apartment of my (our!) own, my bedroom was my one and only space. It served as my office, my study zone, my dining room (usually in college) and my relaxation space. I never really had a "theme" either, it was just ALL my stuff, all packed into that one room. So when we moved into our apartment before the wedding, even though it's pretty small with just one bedroom, I was stoked. I'd love to show you our living room, as it's my favorite place in our whole home!

I wanted this space to feel bright, cozy, cheery and homey. Our floor plan is very open, so our living room/dining area/kitchen all feels like one big space. I wanted pops of color but not too overwhelming. I love our big front windows and wanted to let in as much natural light as possible. We got that blue sofa for free from a friend whose parents were downsizing (total score!) so that became the focal point. I love the look of built-ins but as we're renting this place, built-ins were unrealistic. We totally lucked out and found these Target Threshold bookcases that fit perfectly along the back wall. Originally I wanted to do a gallery wall in that space, but saw a similar vintage map at a friend's and fell in love! I found our map on Etsy (it was mega pricey but so worth it!) and made the tassel garland (it's leftover from Christmas!)

I love that the room is filled with books, plants and light. We had to do some furniture rearranging to account for Scout's crate so the trunk went in the corner, topped by our sunlight-loving plants. One of my favorite corners in the whole apartment.

One of our very first projects was creating this bar cart. We bought the vintage cart off craigslist and painted over the ugly yellow color. Almost all of the glassware was purchased from Goodwill :) Matt collects shot glasses and really wanted them displayed somewhere. I was less enthusiastic about a bulky shot glass case hanging in our house. But then I had a genius idea (I take full credit for this, I didn't even see it on Pinterest!) to display the glasses in vintage Coke crates. I picked the crates up at a local antique shop for about $15/each.

Our coffee table was another craigslist find. I was originally going to paint over the hand-rubbed wax finish with white paint (!!) but once we got the table in the living room, I loved the color.

Our wall-to-wall bookcases are my favorite. I've been a collector for most of my life. I saved all of my books from childhood in tote bins (much to my parents' dismay) and even had my own storage unit during college to keep my books, dishes, antiques and other things I collected but had no room for. I have to say, although it felt ridiculous at the time to be 19 and buying antique Fiestaware dish sets, I am SO glad I did. Almost ALL of our decor is stuff I already had purchased throughout high school or college, which allowed us to pull together a beautiful first apartment with hardly any investment. Good job, former self.

I really loved this post by Erin Loechner about purging excess stuff. Over the course of the last few snow storms, I have gone through every shelf, every book, every DVD, every closet, every drawer, every article of clothing and really asked myself if it's meaningful or useful. We have gotten rid of tons of things and I'm proud to say that when I look around my home now, I can tell the story or meaning behind basically every item on display. That mason jar and slingshot? The slingshot I bought at a market in Haiti and the mason jar is full of "mud cookies" from Haiti as well. The vintage toolbox on the bottom shelf holds all of our wedding mementos like cards, my veil and dried flowers.

I began an owl collection a few years ago when my grandma gave me a ceramic owl that her mother had made and hand-painted. The collection got out of hand for awhile, so I donated a lot of my less meaningful owl stuff (ahem, all those cute-but-worthless-knick-knacks-from-hobby-lobby) and only kept the ones that meant something. The blue owl on the left was purchased at a street market in Spain on our honeymoon and the brown owl was made by my great-grandmother, Zona.

I really, really love our space and love having people over to share in it. It's a constantly a work in progress but I can honestly say I love being at home!


Bookcases: Target Threshold // vintage map: Etsy (similar) // couch: free  // recliner: free, vintage La-Z-Boy (it's been Matt's parents for like, 30 years!) // bar cart: thrifted (similar) // coffee table: thrifted // media cart: thrifted // steamer trunk: vintage (similar) // coke crate displays: vintage (similar) // couch throw pillows: Etsy & homemade // couch throw blanket: Home Goods // storage baskets: Hobby Lobby