April 27, 2013

The Gathering Room

The gathering room...yes, it is.
This room was intended as a breakfast room.
When we first moved in we used it as the main dining room.
This room was the main hangout and I didn't feel like it was working for us.

I decided to move the big table out and a big couch in.
Magoo said this was a horrible idea and flat out refused to do it.
One of the perks of having three sons is that I had my own crew of movers.
We moved everything while hubby was out of town.
That's how I roll.
The breakfast room was now the family room.
People thought I was crazy to do this, but it works for how we live.
I've done this all over the house...who says rooms have to be used as the architect intended?
He doesn't live here.
If he did, he'd slap himself for making the pantry too small and a list of other "fails".
He was so obviously a single man who didn't have a clue about true space needs in a home.
I hope he has gotten married and had a few kids by now so he knows better. ;)

I've changed this room so many times with additions of
 big ottomans and different tables and chairs.
Dog houses, dog beds and rugs were moved in and out.
The biggest obstacle came when the TV's began to be flat screen giants.

I made this cafe curtain from a plain piece of muslin
and dyed it in Annie Sloan Aubusson.
You can visit my previous post on that process here.
It's hung by simple clip rings so that we can slide it open and closed.
By 3PM in the summer, we are blinded by the sun in this room
but I hate having to close up the entire window.
You can see how bright it was around 6PM and with solar film applied to it.

I disliked having the built in desk and considered ripping it out,
but decided to place the TV there instead.
The shelves are filled with cookbooks, dust and dog hair.
Sophie has a hideout underneath, behind the curtain.

This is the most used room in the house- it's basically the kitchen area.
We can cook, eat,  lounge, watch TV and just hangout in general.
The leather sectional has survived atrocities caused by teenage boys and their fathers-
and by little dogs and big dogs alike.
I gave up years ago.
Just trust me when I say that a leather investment piece is worth it.
Details in the room coming tomorrow.
Enjoy your Saturday!
We're keeping our fingers crossed for rain.


  1. I agree that we should use the rooms in our homes the way they work best for us. I put a chest of drawers and hung a closet rod the length of my laundry room, and now putting up clothes is a breeze. That might not work for a family, but for a single woman, it's perfect.

  2. i like the comfy feel to it! and i'm laughing at your architect karma. :)

  3. I am having a "crisis of faith" regarding a space in my house that is similar. Thanks for some ideas!

  4. I remember growing up with a "living" room nobody ever lived in. I think you have a much better idea. It's a great space!

  5. I ADORE this. And I nearly threw out a round table like yours, but decided I may "do something" with it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. I like the way you think. Lucky you to have 3 sons to move big pieces of furniture around for you! I'd like to move our 2 ton unused piano out, but I think I'll have to dismantle it first because you-know-who wants no part of it.

    Enjoy your comfy multi-purpose room!

  7. I would love to have a room like this... but I'm married to an iron worker/fur trapper, so my house is usually a mess. Lovely.

  8. what a beautiful room. Love how you used the built in for the tv. thanks for following

  9. Leather is the best with dogs, you really can't ruin it! Love Sophie's hideout. Hope all is well Tina!
    xo Nancy

  10. It's a beautiful space! It looks so comfortable. I agree that just because a room is labeled a certain way doesn't mean it has to stay that way. We have an odd room between the den and the living/dining room. We used it as a stand-alone dining room for awhile, but we never used it. Now we call it the futon room because we have a futon, bookshelves, and my desk in it.

  11. Tina,
    labels, smabels who says we have to be so by the book! Your room looks very comfy and cozy for both the family and Sophie. What good is a unused formal dining or living room anyway! Like the way you roll!

  12. The house where I just redid all the dining room furniture ( April's ) did the exact same thing in her house!
    And apparently it's where everyone gathers also - I think it's a fantastic idea!

  13. I completely agree that a space should be used how you need it. Great job of making a family friendly space. xo Laura

  14. Best idea!

    I agree that you just make rooms work. I've turned furniture at weird angles, moved our dining room table OUT of the dining room (we never sat in that room!) and disagree with most architects ideas.

    I dated an architect years ago- they can be very creative while short sighted. He had the coldest home, hung barely nothing on the walls and when he did- far too low to enjoy. He was always obsessed with "folly and whimsy" in spaces.

    To this day, those words make me want to slap someone!

    Love your space- gorgeous and cozy!

  15. Hey, it's your home...you can use any room however you like. And I like that you do! :)

    It's warm and inviting and I'd love to join you for a cup of coffee and play with the dogs.


  16. I LOVE this! It would be my favorite place in the house. I could sit and chat with hubby while he cooks and I'm online. :) I'm all about making our home comfy and how we like it. :)
    Just fabulous!

  17. I think it's wonderful that you purpose a room however you see fit. We've done a bit of the same in our home and you just have to do what works best for you. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.

  18. This is an awesome space! I am still laughing about your architect comments. Most I know are single, kid-less minimalists. When we were designing our current house (not Sherman), we fired the architect because despite only having a tiny footprint to work with, we wanted and needed functional rooms.

  19. I love it that you made the space work for you! Kudos to your movers. And I totally agree - WOMEN need to be advisers to builders - we could add a lot of great ideas to help homes function and look good, too.

  20. Hey, ya gotta do what works best! I look forward to seeing more :)

  21. It only took me about 10 years in this house to figure out that the rooms weren't working for me. I need a crew, because my husband is really not loving some of my latest ideas for room use! Think I'll hire a few high school boys....but I'll blame it all on you!

  22. Love the way you are using your room - and the idea of the full sized table in front of the couch. I tried a couch in my dining room for a few years but I never could make it work like I wanted it to. Maybe in another lifetime...

  23. Brilliant use of space. I love having a family room right near the kitchen. It's where everyone wants to be! Hope your husband has since come to realize you were right. :)

  24. Hi Tina - found you through Kathe with an E party. I have been thinking if leather would be a good choice and you have now convinced me, so thank you for that. I love how you "repurposed" the dining room into livable, enjoyable space.


Thanks for taking the time to leave me your thoughts. I appreciate each and every one!