We set out on a journey to buy our first home in 2008, two years after we got married. We were ambitious little things, but we knew that the only home we could afford would be a “fixer upper”. The housing market had almost completely bottomed out, and almost every single house we put a contract on was snatched up right before we could get to it, or shortly thereafter. But in March of 2008, we bought our very first home. A quaint little rambler nestled in a wooded subdivision on a steep hillside. At the bottom of the hill, back in the woods, sets a little creek that runs through and hosts minnow catching children all summer long.
Back then I had no idea what I wanted our fixer upper to look like or be like. I was young, had never had to think about home decor, and wasn’t even a great housewife. Back then, the thought of a farmhouse style home didn’t really make much sense to me. But I also didn’t know that we would soon have chickens in the backyard and various other farm animals running around.
We’ve put a lot of sweat and muscle into our little home since 2008, and today I want to share with you one of our most recent projects that we’ve just about completed—our farmhouse style living room. Now, it’s not quite a living room anymore, but it’s definitely a wonderful sitting room. It’s small and quaint, and finally, I’m in love with it!
Before I go any further, these pillows above. My goodness, how I love them. I love all things from The Rustic Mod home decor! They have the best items for farmhouse decor, too.
When we first bought this home, the walls in the living room were yellow. I’m still not sure if they were yellow from the paint color or the tobacco smoke. I don’t even want to think about it, honestly. We’ve changed the living room color at least 5 times since we lived here. First it was a neutral khaki, then it changed to a more golden color, then dark nasty green (it was supposed to be historic), then a weird brownish color, to our now beautiful Collingwood Gray by Benjamin Moore.
I needed a paint color that could offset my dingy floors. Eventually, we plan to replace our wood floors in the living room and hallway completely. They are old, splitting, scratched to the max, and starting to warp. The only nice thing about them is that it brings a vintage feel to the room. Besides the fact that they always look dirty, the wood floors play off the paint color well.
I’ve collected items over the years that I knew I wanted to put into my sitting area once it was completed. We don’t use it as a family room because we finished our walkout basement with a large family room in it. We contemplated turning the sitting room into a dining room, since it’s right off of the kitchen, but for re-sale value, we decided to keep it as a sitting room. Here are some of the little things that make this place our “home”.
One of my favorite items in the sitting room is this antique turkey/goose crate. For years I’ve called it a chicken crate, but someone recently shared with me on my social media page that it was, in fact, a turkey or goose crate! How fun!
The “farmhouse” sign above the sofa came from Hobby Lobby. I get a lot of stuff from there, but I always wait until they go on clearance. This, however, was an exception. I just had to have it.
The rooster pillow on the sofa was a Christmas gift!
I bartered for this crate years ago, against my husband’s wishes. Love you, husband! For a few crocheted finger-less gloves, I was able to get this crate for basically just the cost of material and time. It now serves as the coffee table for our sitting room. On top of it sets an old Coca-Cola crate (a roadside find), a deer antler shed, a vintage dictionary, a spoon that says “Fewell Homestead” from our dear friends over at Happy Days Farm, and an African Violet that could probably use some TLC.
We’ve had hand-me-down sofas for awhile. We’ve bought used furniture for years, or had living room furniture given to us. Of course, it never lasts long. So not long ago we decided to buy our first brand new living room set. Because our home is smaller, the living room can’t fit an entire living room set. We had to decide between a sectional or a sofa and small love seat, or an over-sized chair. We chose the sofa and over-sized chair. Believe it or not, this set came from Big Lots! We got a major steal on it shortly after a holiday sale.
The sign that is on the wall behind the chair came from Hobby Lobby. We paid only $10 for it!
The striped pillows in the chair came from The Rustic Mod, and the mason jar and flower pillow was a Christmas gift from a sweet friend.
This corner is probably my favorite part of the room. The chicken print in the left corner is a print my husband bought for me a few years back. He purchased it at a local lodge that we frequent during the holidays, and one that I’ve visited since I was a child. The olive baskets on top came from little Christmas trees we bought one year. Confession: I had no idea what “olive baskets” were until my sister told me. The whicker basket was my grandmothers. The “Our Family” sign was bought at Walmart years back. The large wagon wheel in the back is one of my favorite parts of this corner. I bought that authentic wagon wheel at a benefit auction. I paid $75 for it. I don’t know if that was a steal or if I paid way too much. But I wanted it, and had to have it. So I got it. The purple and white muslin blanket hanging on the arm of the sofa came from the same auction. It is a hand-made blanket from Ethiopia. It’s gorgeous and huge and amazing. I doubt I’ll ever use it as a blanket, it’s just too pretty!
An old milk crate sits beside the large sitting chair. Mostly because I have no where to put it, partially because I’m too cheap to buy a side table to put here. It holds whatever projects I’m working on, books I’m reading, or quotes that inspire me. Also, jars everywhere!
I am obsessed with books, as you’ll see in the photo after this one. This old Singer sewing machine and table acts as the side table to our sofa. On top of it sits one of my favorite books in the entire world, Uninvited, by Lysa Terkeurst. Whenever I’m feeling down, lost, lonely, or just need to know that the God of all things loves me…this is the book I pick up. I can flip to any page of this book and it brings contentment and organization to my feelings and emotions. Every single woman needs this book in their lives!
The old singer sewing table also adorns a photo of my beautiful family , the other deer antler shed, a cast iron chicken bell from Happy Days Farm, and a chicken lamp.
Letters, words, and books—they are my favorite things. I have little “F” decors placed around my home to make it ours—”Fewell”. This particular one came at a 75% discount from Hobby Lobby not that long ago, but you can find similar ones here. It goes perfectly beside my bookshelf that Mark made be a few years back. When we decided to get rid of the TV upstairs, we had this entire blank wall that needed something. And so, I said, why not books?
There are new books, old books, vintage books, magazines, and little trinkets all throughout this book shelf. It took just a couple of days to make by hand, painted white. Though it could use another good painting. Some of the books you can find on my bookshelf are from The Pioneer Woman, Virginia Farmer Forrest Pritchard, internationally known farmer Joel Salatin, and so many others.
It’s a quaint little space, but it’s our space. The next project in the living room is to find curtains that we love. And then after that, the wood floor, for sure.
It is one of my favorite places in the entire house, besides the kitchen. It’s my quiet place. My place of serenity. I can sit in peace and quiet in a clean space that has no clutter. It’s just about the only room in the house without clutter most days.
We all could use a quiet space, and I encourage you to create yours—whether it’s an entire room, a closet, or the great outdoors.
I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into my quiet place!
Amy K. Fewell is an author, family herbalist, entrepreneur, homesteader, and homemaker. Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her and her family live a natural homesteading lifestyle where they promote self-sufficiency and liberty. Amy is the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. You can discover more on this website and at homesteadersofamerica.com