Thursday, February 19, 2015

An Incurable Collector De-Clutters the Living Room

 It is Monday morning- my first Monday morning in 47 years that I have not been employed by either myself or a corporation. Saturday was the last day of having our Romancing the Home shop.  And as Laurell and I locked the door, a feeling of sadness, yet excitement hit me.  The feeling of lack of responsibility for a job- what needs to get done today -  is exhilarating. So it is time to get my home in order and ready to put on the market in a few weeks. Our dream of building our dream retirement home in North Carolina seems to be taking shape.  But I need to focus on selling our current home of 30 years first!  Now- how do I attack 30 years of collecting?  What goes, what stays?  Not sure yet, but I do know that I need to simplify and de-clutter this house!  So here on the first Monday of my new life- I start the painful process of tossing or storing my treasures ! So I  start with the living room!

Over the past few months, I have gotten rid of the baby grand piano. Now the tree is down and it is time to finally figure out a better arrangement for the seating area.

I move the old gilded sofa closer to the fireplace and bring in the Ralph Lauren
console from the foyer.
Minimal  (for me!)  accessories are placed on top- a large urn of hydrangeas
and a stack of books with a wooden horse on top.
I simplify the assortment of 6 pillows on the sofa and settle on just 2! 
Whew!  I am sweating profusely.

Next for the coffee table- get rid of 2 of the three elements on the table!
But can I really do it- I mean they are so pretty and all---

I just purchased this coffee table from Restoration Hardware before the holidays.
I like the rustic contrast of the unfinished oak top and iron base with the old gilded French sofa.

I eliminate a stack of books, 2 candle sticks, and a bowl of ex votos and crowns.
That hurts.

And finally settle on a silver tray filled with old French letters, fresh flowers, opera glasses and
a candelabra.  Yes, I know I am cheating a bit. But that old silver tray corrals all my goodies into one spot and seems to simplify the table.

Goodness- there is actually space to sit a glass down on that coffee table.

I place all my tall candle sticks in the corner of the room with the tall vintage  floral oil.
 There isn't any furniture on that wall anymore.
 I moved the mirrored console from that wall to the foyer.

The main seating area floats in the middle of the space and is centered on the fireplace.

The  zebra rug on the aubusson to updates the rug.
Not something that my grandma would have done.

One little stack of books and a bust on the small table by the chair.

The zebra gilded settee is moved to the location of the old piano.

A set of vintage white books with gold lettering and my collection of
amphora sit in the mirror alcove by the table of books.

Still maybe one pillow too much- but I can't deal with it right now.
My heart is already pounding.
I clean up the book table and remove candles, pictures and crowns.
Someone can actually read a book right now!

I keep the fireplace as is- for now!
Old goat skin books that I found at a flea market in Florence,
with a collection of candlesticks and preserved boxwood balls stays put.

The mirror console from the living room now moved to the foyer.
A nice change of pace - for now!  I place the rustic bark vase by the gilded mirror for a little
contrast to all the shiny stuff.  My little plaster angel stays put!  Afterall, he guards the house.
So here's the old living room- the "BEFORE"

Old piano-  now gone.  Old coffee table - now gone.  LOTS of accessories - now gone!

Mirror console - now in foyer!
And here is the "AFTER"!
And I actually feel free-  I like it!   


Now the real question is-
How long can an incurable collector keep it like this?


Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

I like it too! I know how you feel though. When we moved here, 21/2 years ago, the "stager" had me remove SOOOOO much stuff, it was AWFUL!!! I actually put some stuff back as it was TOO BARE. I love what you have done. Best wishes selling your house, We had been in ours just short of 30 years! Hard to leave. But if I had been able to build my dream house somewhere warm I wouldn't have blinked an eye:):)

Anonymous said...

Such a gorgeous home, I love eveything in your beautiful home...I too would be having a difficult time decludering...
I hope you will continue to blog even when your in your new home.....good luck!

Katha said...

Very nicely done, Miss Susan! Both the foyer and living room look open, fresh , and inviting. I like it as well.
Just wondering, does that mean there are a lot more boxes for the moving men??!


Your house is stunning, I love all you did! I love elegant, so this is great, love all the furniture and accessories.
What I have now it's minimal for me too and really, it is farfrom been Minimalist, lol!

Susan said...

It looks wonderful! I am not moving, but have decided to get rid of things and simplify, too. It is hard -lots of memories...but it seems to actually be harder on my husband, than on me. (Now, that surprised me!)

La Vie Quotidienne said...

it looks wonderful, it is hard when you have so many beautiful things. Building a new home is very exciting ~ good luck on selling.

Sarah said...

You inspire me to edit more around here. Another incurable collector taking notes! '-)
Congratulations on retirement and all the best as you begin this new chapter in your life.

Ron said...


MaryBeth said...

We are thinking of downsizing and moving warmer. My sister is in Winston Salem, my friends in Chapel Hill and Charlotte but I was still thinking florida. May I ask where and why NC?

Christy said...

I love the new arrangement. Your poor pounding heart! I could feel your pain with each comment. I love the chest in the foyer! How refreshing to have no responsibility but to yourself and your home! I hope to make the same journey.....I think potential buyers will love your home!

Mariterese said...

Fabulous!! Love the new look! Your home is amazing

Jill said...

It looks wonderful!!-- you were able to do it!!-- and so well!-- love both the living room and the foyer!

Laurell Banner said...

It looks like the room has had a facelift. modern and clean with still your touches of creativity and beautiful treasures.
What room are you doing next? Need help?
It was sad locking the door. Many memories of fun and excitement came to mind.

Katrin mdmB said...

So pretty! I really enjoyed your post. Good luck with your new home. Can't wait to see more photos :)

HawkValleyRetreat said...

As always elegant, tasteful, beautiful.