A number of you mentioned in my very informal survey that you don't mind when I post nesting + the home design type stuff. Well how about you help me. I feel like our living room is getting kinda out of control lately and I am itching to clean it up. We can't afford any big changes, but can do little things here and there. Also, we need to baby proof this shit! The spaces at hand, for your reference;

(please note I refrained from picking up or doing any styling for the photographs. Pre baby this would be considered a mess. Post baby, it is considered well picked up.)

And so these are our main living spaces. The nook is a little bit bigger than the photo would have you believe. Now would you like an itemized run down of the issues? You would?

1. I love this coffee table. It was the first real furniture we ever purchased, from an estate sale right after Ben and I moved in together. But it is effing huge. So are the two side tables (even huger) that are out in the shed. I used to love its size, but now I want room to play on the floor with the babe. I'd like a smaller one, but I am hesitant to sell this one, and we don't have room to store it. DILEMMA.

2. I never thought I would say this. We have to many chairs. See above re: floor space. No way am I selling the Bertoia. Do I ditch the rocking chair? (Baby isn't attached to rocking in it.)

3. I was so inspired to photograph the space "as is", I actually stopped in the middle of sweeping. Don't worry. I have since cleaned the pile. (Undoubtedly, a new one has formed.)

4. Oh, the couch. It is the most terrible material, and so it is covered with a canvas drop cloth. If I could buy but one piece of real furniture it would be a couch. Sadly, this will not happen in the foreseeable future.

5. That dinky little vintage light is kinda awkward right there between the couch and the heater, huh? In general, our lighting situation is a little poor.

6. Remember when I hung these shelves? Yeah. I did a shit job. And I am worried they will fall on the baby. Plus it just feels so crowded. I took all the heavy books off and the nicer breakables and am considering if I just want to tear it all down, or fix.

7. My collection of Tend orbs from Britt used to be so well arranged. They have gotten shuffled over the years and now hang in sad singles here and there. Just a simple matter of redoing.

8. Oh, the computer. I am tired of it being in the living room. Must move it back to the nook. (Where I would like to build a desk that runs the length between the walls below the windows, with amps underneath. Simple slim wood top with these legs.)

9. Can't decide between keeping the low console with the stereo on it (and teaching Henry not to touch, but knowing that if he does it won't be dangerous or something irreplaceable) or putting in a (short) fauxdenza. I think I'd like to do a fauxdenza. Right where the computer desk is. It would help with the storage problem presented in removing the shelves from item 6.

10. See items 1 and 2 re floor space. Said space needs a rug.

Wow, are you still here?

Thoughts and opinions welcome. Clearly, I am floundering here.


  1. um, i hate you. DO YOU EVEN HAVE A BABY? because i would never know just by looking at your place. compared to yours, our living space looks like babies r us came over and threw up all over the fucking place.

    from where i'm sitting, if i look straight ahead, there's our monster-sized baby swing that takes up quite a bit of real estate. i hate the stupid swing, but i love it. seeing as her legs dangle off of the front of it, cheech has pretty much grown out of it. however, it's a lifesaver when she wakes up at 4 am and thinks it's party time USA. right behind the swing, a basket of children's books, a few toys, and some baby blankets.

    to my right, on the sofa, the infant lounger. she outgrew it at 2 months, but she still loves it for hanging out on the couch.*

    to my left, a bouncy seat on loan from a friend. she's figured out a way to slide out of it, so at least that's going back in the next week or so.

    further to my left, her other boppy. the one we used probably a total of three times. WHY THE FUCK DO WE STILL HAVE IT?!

    keep going, her high chair.

    on the coffee table right in front of me, a halloween onesie from joe's mom, a pair of baby shoes and a pair of baby nail clippers.

    point of story: i would kill for my living space to look like yours right now.

    here are my very few suggestions, and they're only based on my experience....

    with the pets, i would hold off on the rug. our tends to collect quite a bit of cat hair no matter how often we vacuum it. for that reason, it kind of weirds me out to have cheech lie directly on it. i always put down a quilt for her, and we're actually looking to get rid of our rug fairly soon.

    maybe it's just us, but cheechy peachy has spit up and peed on our couch way more times than i actually care to mention. it's an ikea couch, so i really don't care too much. if it was a nicer one, i'd be mucho bummed. i think i'll hold off at least another year before buying the couch of our dreams.

    don't get rid of the rocking chair. it's awesome, and he may like it when he's older. can any of those chairs be nicely tucked into one of your bedrooms?

    i bet of you moved the computer into the nook, the coffee table wouldn't seem so large. we have a marble coffee table; didn't exactly have babies on the brain when we made that decision.

    *oh my god, am i turning into one of those people that's totally cool with pushing a FIVE YEAR OLD in a stroller? eff me.

  2. I knew you didn't have a tv but now i really know you dont - I was always a tad skeptical!

    I'd lose the shelving that you assembled. You have hardly anything on it! And it would make the room feel bigger without it (its not big but anything helps).

    Is there a reason you have the coffee table up against the couch?

    As for the nook. If you dont have more than the 3 of you eat at the table each day it can be pushed into a corner (with some amps under it?). We do that with ours - massive space saver. Promise.

    But the big thing I would suggest moving your couch. We moved ours last week and we gained so much space I could now fit a queen-sized bed in the middle of the room - the maths I dont understand. So I'd suggest moving your couch to the end of the room. That chair behind the No 9 is really getting too much floor space.

    lots of words. sorry.

  3. @BrigittaR you're not really telling her to PUSH ALL HER FURNITURE AGAINST THE WINDOWS??

    lose the rocking chair. if you're not rocking him in it now, you're never going to.

  4. I agree with most of your thoughts.

    I would remove the shelving and instead some put some lovely prints. The tid bits from on the shelf could go in those floating storage cabinets once the computer and table is moved to the nook (good idea re the trestle table and speakers underneath in the nook), perhaps this floating storage could be put where the computer and table is now and speakers on top?

    I personally dig rocking chairs, is there a porch or an outside area you could put this? I think H would love this when he is a little older, so I wouldn't get rid of it.

    I think once the computer table is gone then the coffee table should look fine and if you want some extra space for play time you could push it towards the window, then push it back? I agree with C with the couch, unless the material is easy to clean, I would just leave a new couch be for a while. Maybe you could make some pillows or throw a nice rug to spruce it up if your not happy with the material?

    I would say if the lighting fixture is not sturdy to get rid of it, but I'm not sure on what you could do do bring in more light...

    Still your house is the shit

  5. Sorry not speakers, I meant stereo on top of the floating storage

  6. I agree that you should keep the rocker. That thing is awesome.

    The only other suggestion that I have that has worked amazingly for us (we have a simular front room space) is ditch the coffee table. I know it has sentimental value, but stuff is transient. Josh and I had a simular situation with our coffee table. It was one of the first mid century pieces that we had owned together and we loved it, but it had some usability issues.

    It took me weeks, but I sold our table on craigslist and bought some nesting tables from klassic like these (http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=551946). I love them. We can take out tables when we need them and put them away when we want the space. It's the best design/function choice that I think I have made. Plus our nesting tables are beautiful. I love them.

  7. P.S. I am totally on board for the fauxdenza. It's pretty badass.

  8. first, your place looks lovely as is. and peaceful.

    but if you want ideas:

    - def turn the nook into an office. you can do it with the desk and/or table you already have. do it immediately. and put it directly against/under the window.

    - keep the shelving (reinforce it of course).

    - keep the coffee table.

    - get rid of the rocking chair. but it is rad so maybe you can put it somewhere else. i am even thinking possibly in the nook.

    - my only concern is if you get ride of the desk in the living room you still need something there to keep the differentiation in height. i like the piece the stereo is on but make sure you include a tall vignette of art/plants, etc to keep the eye moving.

  9. you need a jb design min-makeover!

    we are masters at super inexpensive but totally transformative make-overs. we use paint, ebay, craigslist etc. to make homes comfortable, chic and places you can't wait to come home to.


    perhaps we can work out some kind of deal for you. it's life altering!

    plus i blog about parenting and the importance of giving a child a super safe space...here's that post: http://goodjobandotherthings.com/no-a-brief-introduction-to-a-fun-little-word/

    in other words...i think i can REALLY help u.

  10. Re: #10. I have a serious crush on these rugs:

    Good luck! You have a kick-ass space. Trade ya? xo.

  11. Shelving out. Computer to the nook. Fauxdenza in.

    What if you moved the Bertoia over to where the rocking chair is? Love the rocking chair though. Could it go in a different room? Sell it for millions?

    What if you put a rug in the corner under the windows and made a comfortable play space over there? You could add some cushions and pillows for extra seating(?) or just as protection so the kiddo won't get a concussion when he suddenly topples over after learning how to sit up.

    Keep the coffee table. With said cushions from the play space you could feed quite a few peeps around that guy.

    Good luck!
    ps...Love that you didn't style the rooms for the pictures. I'm getting quite sick of perfect pictures of rooms as of late.

  12. I have no suggestions to offer you, but can I be first in line for the rocker?


  13. If removing the shelves presents a storage problem for the items on the shelf, (and I wouldn't try to salvage the shelves as all you see really are the brackets) you could get floating shelves fairly inexpensive to run around the top.. about the same height as the highest you have now. Your things would be out of reach of the babe, provide a focal point, and still be on display, and no need for additional storage.

  14. I have a musician friend who hung all his guitars together on one wall in his living room (has has like 8!). It really helped his living room because they were all just sitting around in corners and when he hung them on his wall together, they kind of turned into a piece of art. He has really beautiful instruments and when displayed together, the beauty of the wood and the lines of the guitar really pop and they no longer look like corner clutter.

  15. This post is fun and great Jamie, I love rethinking my space again and again as life shifts and ebbs.... please do post the photos of what you decide! x

  16. I love that rocking chair. If you feel COMPELLED to sell it, we may be an interested party.

    Just sayin...

  17. Why are you architects always surprised when you look around and realize that you have too many chairs?! It's clearly an addiction. I had to stop D from purchasing two more last week, and one of them was clearly child sized to the point that neither of us would fit in it and the other wold have needed to be sandblasted and then welded to repair the damage ("but it's such a good deal!!).

    Sell the (admittedly gorgeous) rocker if you aren't really using it. You can probably get a decent price for it.

    Don't sell the beloved coffee table!

    P.S. - Why does your house look nicer than ours when we don't even have a baby to blame?

  18. @celia I DONT WANT TO HEAR IT. you know why i dont have all that crap everywhere? cause my baby wont sit in it. you know where he sits instead? OUR ARMS. and don't worry. i am not exaggerating when i say a new couch is not in the budget. siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.
    @brigitta the computer is in the living room for a reason. ;) when i move it, we will have to buy a tv. there is nothing on the shelf because i took it all down, as i said. and the coffee table is up against the couch because i was *literally* in the middle of sweeping. ha!
    @jennifer lady, if i had 2+ grand to spend there would be no issues! ;) but i LOVE your post on childproofing. and I am sold. the low console has got to go.
    @kateso love the playnook idea! was thinking under the windows where the low console is there could be a little henry station. but the corner could be good too! and re styled photos... RIGHT? i keep trying to remind myself to go to the selby for inspiration over say, dwell. more raw?
    @chelsea yeah we have one or 2 hanging. we may hang the rest! i kind of like the one that is by the old radio though, on the floor.
    @oh blerg oh here i thought you were going to offer your professional opinion! oh well. i will let you know. i might be needing some shelves for henry's play area (see above re @kateso) .....trade??? but you know it needs cushions, right? (sorry @ms habit, local meat friends get first dibs, but you are second!)
    @Rachel prolly cause you have tons of awesome crafting type projects happening.

    ugh you guys are like 50/50 on the 2 hardest choices, selling the rocking chair and the coffee table.
    thanks everybody! i PROMISE to report back. but it may take a while....

  19. ZBranek and Holt Custom Homes10:41 PM

    Deciding on what items to let go can indeed be challenging especially if the things have sentimental value. The rocking chair can be worth keeping and you may want to look for a reliable upholsterer. Being in the custom homes Austin industry, we understand that even minimal upgrades will make a home better.