Monday, July 31, 2017

Living Room Lessons

The room that puts the "Cab" (Cabin) in "Cabagelow".

I almost can't believe I'm about to say this but The Cabbage Living Room, a room I have struggled to furnish and decorate since 2006, is finally a room that I love.

It has been quite the journey for me but now I can honestly say I am grateful for the challenges this room presented and for all the lessons I gathered along the way.  Here are just the five most valuable things I learned from this room:

1. How To Embrace Imperfection

You won't find perfection at The Cabbage but you will find lots of magical rugs!
("Only Magic" Welcome Mat available HERE)

I think my initial stumbling block with this room had to do with the things that I couldn't change.  That all or nothing perfectionist part of me saw things like the odd views and the damaged floors and just thought if I can't fix all of that right now, why bother?  I'm so glad I didn't listen to that part of me for long and it turned out that at least those two problems were nothing some plants and some rugs couldn't fix anyway!

Planter boxes help improve the view of our garage.

2. To Trust My Crazy Ideas

Removing the paneling from this wall allowed space to display books, photos and art.
(Bird Collage Art by Abby Sernoff of 111CollageDesign on Etsy)

I still remember the night I said to Hippie, "What if we just removed the log paneling from the fireplace wall?"

The truth was I had been mulling this idea over for a long time but thought it was just too crazy and impractical and I was sure Hippie was going to think so too.  If he did, he didn't say so and not long after that he helped me make my crazy idea a reality.

That idea and eventually painting that space black were the most risky decisions I made with this room but also the most rewarding and impactful.  It reminded me that my crazy ideas are often the best ones.

I originally painted these walls gray but eventually found the courage to "Paint It Black".

3. To Not Be Afraid To Splurge

Queen For A Day

When Hippie gave me the peacock chair I'd been coveting from World Market for my birthday I was grateful to receive such an extravagant gift but also concerned with how I was going to make such a big, bold piece work in the room.

The obvious solution was that I needed another big, bold piece - a second chair - to balance it but I resisted this solution for awhile because of the price.  It wasn't that I couldn't afford it, it was just that I have been so accustomed to shopping thrift stores and flea markets for bargains that buying something new and relatively expensive for myself was almost a foreign concept.

In the end I realized that I really couldn't afford not to splurge on the second chair and I've never regretted it.  However, I did wait until there was a sale and I had a coupon because that's just the kind of savvy shopper I am.

Two Chairs Are Better Than One

4. To Not Be Married To A Style Or A Color Scheme

Rick Springfield and Hippie are both proof that classics never go out of style.

This is something I have learned from all of my rooms over the years but especially this one.  When we first moved in, I thought that since the room looked like a log cabin I should decorate it like one.  The problem was that this wasn't really my style, so thank goodness that didn't last too long.

Then I thought I would stick to a blue and black color scheme, until I came across a cute red stool/cat bed (everything is a cat bed) for next to nothing at the flea market.  My plan was to paint it but when I got it home I realized I loved that pop of red which eventually inspired me to paint the coffee table red.

Actually, I guess the lesson is to really not be married to any one plan but to stay flexible and allow rooms to evolve naturally.  This works best for me anyway.

An eclectic mix of colors and styles works for me and my cats.

5. How To Create Rooms People (And Cats) Can Live In

What family game night looks like at our house.

I made a lot of mistakes trying to make this room conform to a certain style or look a certain way.  However, some of the things I like most about the room stylistically now were initially chosen for their function, such as a need for storage or surface space.

Not only has this made me accept the conventional wisdom that form should follow function (not always but most of the time) but it has instilled a confidence in my own instincts and my ability to make something work when I need to.

More importantly, it has reminded me what home decorating is all about in the first place, which is giving me and my family spaces that provide us with both comfort and inspiration.  It may have taken over a decade to get it just right, but I think I've finally achieved that with The Cabbage Living Room.

Every room needs a velvet Elvis.

Thank you, thank you very much for visiting The Cabbage Living Room.  Do you have a room in your home that has challenged you to stretch your decorating skills?  I'd love to hear about that or any other thoughts related to this post in the comments below.


  1. Moonshadow aka StaceyAugust 1, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    I love to see pictures and read stories of your "Cabbage", Victoria. You and I have some similar styles, you inspire me with my Decor and art. You also have (from your pictures) great taste in music! ,��

    1. Thanks so much Moonshadow! Your creative spaces inspire me too. 🎶

  2. Your "crazy ideas" are MAGNIFICENT! What an oasis for your cats!