Letting Life Unfold

I sold my living room furniture on Saturday. My couch, two chairs and ottoman — gone.

Have I already ordered new furniture for the space? Nope.

My plans for it? Nada.

And how does a consummate planner feel about that? Fabulous!

Now, there was nothing wrong with the pieces I sold. They were contemporary in style and in a neutral beige fabric. But my tastes — and life — have changed since I bought them eight years ago.

When I chose that furniture, I was looking for clean and simple — a household minimalism to counter being home full-time with kids and all the mayhem that brings about. I was in my ’30s and in my first suburban home. I really liked the armless pieces and the monochromatic look of the room in a loud and sometimes crazy home.

Fast forward eight years. I am in my mid-40s, my kids are in and nearing their teens, and my 87-year-old mother is living with us. Yes, my house still gets loud and crazy, but in a different way.

And while I am still looking to simplify, I find I am turning to more time-worn pieces, items with a bit more meaning to them, a touch of history. I still like some of my clean-lined pieces but there are a few more things here and there — a bit of our family history and  a few found or rescued treasures from our holidays. I guess my home got a little more personal as I got older and our life as a family unfolded.

And so, I have no plans for my living room. I don’t know when or how I will decorate the space or what type of furniture will make its way in there. I have a feeling that one day there may be a great old coffee table, perhaps a little battered and worn, or a cushy slipcovered couch just right for book reading or a Sunday afternoon nap. Maybe.

Right now I will just enjoy the empty space. It’s a blank slate — for now — but it will evolve, just like everything else around here.


I am an organizer in Ottawa with Edited Interiors and I help my clients find real-life solutions to their organizing challenges. Please feel free to contact me at info(at)editedinteriors(dot)ca for more information.


  1. lisa goulet says:

    Oh, so much fun dealing with a blank slate! I’m sure as you say the pieces will come to you as needed and desired. I am finding the same thing, something has to “speak” to me to find it’s way into my home. And family pieces just mean so much more and you often get the chance (always a plus in my book) to recover or paint and bring new life to them.

  2. Lara says:

    That sounds wonderful :)
    I also find sometimes people rush into furniture decisions just to avoid empty rooms. Nothing wrong with an empty room until you decide just what you want it to be!

  3. Jo says:

    I have another friend who also just got rid of stuff that didn’t serve her any more even though she didn’t know what would replace it. I think this takes real courage. And yet that blank slate allows you to imagine what might go in it. And if you see the “perfect piece” you no longer have to have that debate in your head about what you are going to do with the perfectly good sofa you already have (and on and on).

  4. Julie says:

    Funny! Mike and I got hardwood put down and then felt the same way about our rooms–having all the ‘stuff’ out of them seemed so nice for a change… But, I can tell you what couch I would like to bring into my life if given the opportunity: http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/product/detail.do?productGroup=19348&catalog=filter&menuCatalog=room&menuCategory=201&menuSubcategory=198

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