Trying NOT to Visually Decorate our {Possible} New House is REALLY DIFFICULT, especially because that’s all I want to do

color palette

We are apparently in phase two of our loan process and in escrow on our house in Lake Arrowhead. Everything is looking good and technically, monetarily speaking, we should have no problems getting this house. However, in this market, with the ever-careful banks, who only a few years back were giving loans to deceased people but now want an actual limb before giving anyone a loan, we don’t want to get our hopes up and get excited only to be told at the very last minute, never mind.

That said, I find it very difficult in any moment of free time, not to visually decorate our new house. Color schemes and flooring and bed frames go whizzing through my head while I try to lock down just what I’m going to do with my new large office space, the main living room and kitchen area, and the 5 bedrooms upstairs. It’s very exciting and very fun… and then I somehow have to squelch the whole thing as if erasing it from a chalkboard or shaking an Etch A Sketch and remind myself that everything will be great if we just stay where we are at as well {though far less exciting}.

When we moved from our dark and tiny condo into the house we are renting now, we vowed to get a new sofa or sectional couch immediately, but we never did. Why? Because the one we have now “works” and since we were still renting, I didn’t want to invest in a piece that may not work in a future house that we owned. NO, it’s not very comfortable and NO, it’s not very pretty, and YES I cover it with throws and pillows to liven it up and YES, it was the first piece of furniture we bought together in 2004 when we moved into the condo and had very little to speak of. It cost us about $1000. It somehow has a bit of sentimental value now, but we are leaving it behind and finally investing in a new couch.

We have a thing for sectionals for a number of reasons… A. The new house will not have a formal living room AND a den or family room {one of the things I’m actually less happy about – but really, we don’t need both} B. We like to be together on the same couch rather than on two separate ones. C. We can both lay on a sectional with our heads at the same end if we so decide to watch a movie and have a living room sleep-over, as we often do. However, sectionals often look less formal in general and since the main room will be the only room, I don’t want it to feel sloppy.

I’ve been in love with Restoration Hardwares sectionals and sofas for quite some time but they are quite expensive as well. Once you have all three pieces, it ads up to over 10K and really, while we’re willing to spend more than 1K, I’m not sure I’d be happy spending 10K and worrying every time someone ever got near it. Leather seems to be an option that I would fear spills on less, but I worry that leather would be too cold in snowy winters. But that maybe you can help me with? Any thoughts on leather couches in cold snowy living conditions?

I tend to let a house sort of tell me how it needs to be decorated, room by room. Otherwise, spaces look contrived and end up being uncomfortable. While I don’t necessarily love the countertop in the kitchen and I wouldn’t choose the brown walnut cupboards, I don’t think we’ll be renovating anything just yet, because really, it’s not horrendous. So rather than reject it, I’m going to work with it. I thought that since it already has a lot of warm browns with some cognac tones and a gray stone fireplace, I thought various shades of blue – from navy to cobalt, would complement the room. The photo above is my color inspiration palette. I love repurposing the things I already have in my house in new ways so I’m thinking all the blue accents that are in our master bedroom now, will find a new home in the main living space.

So here’s my first inspiration board of sorts for our possible new living room/kitchen/dining room areas…

restoration hardware sectional

color palette

color palette

blue drapes

restoration hardware

knitted pillows

restoration hardware

restoration hardware

printed drapes

restoration hardware

velvet initial pillows

Image sources: all couches and sectionals are Restoration Hardware as are the blue drapes photo | The color swatches I created myself in Photoshop | mushroom photo | west elm sweater knit pillows | west elm dishes | west elm curtain panel | west elm twig mirror | west elm pillows

* I’ve started a Lake House Ideas & Decor board at Pinterest, if you’d like to follow along.


LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • Nancy

    October 26, 2012 |

    Hi Maegan

    We live in a much colder climate than you will be living in and we have a leather sofa in our family room. Presently we cover it with a Ralph Lauren fleece throw blanket when we use it and just fold it up when we are not sitting there.You can either hang it over the back or put it in a basket when you are not using the sofa.

    Hope all goes well with your new home.

  • Deborah van den Berg

    October 26, 2012 |

    Beautiful! Such lovely colours and structures! I really like those pillows, they give each house a more ‘home’-feeling.

  • Love + Marriage

    October 26, 2012 |

    A lot of those rooms seem a little quiet to me, I hope you add in your personality (not too traditional). Have you thought of how cool your gold tree stump will look up in the mountains?!

  • thankfifi

    October 26, 2012 |

    gorgeous colour scheme – I so hope it all works out for you
    one of my best friends has a large lounge and all walls painted deep blue – I love it
    we have leather sofas and I think they warm well as you sit on them, they are skin remember

    ♥ Thankfifi

  • Lily

    October 26, 2012 |

    Hi Maegan

    I live in Europe, winters are very cold, summers are extremely hot. We have a leather sofa, and I absolutely HATE it. When it’s hot, you’re simply sticked to it, when it’s cold, you feel like you’re sitting on an ice cube. Covering it doesn’t work for me, everything slips off…

    Good luck!!

  • Whitney

    October 26, 2012 |

    A comment from leather couch owning, cold weather clim living reader…leather quickly warms to you. A huge bonus? Dirty dog prints wipe right off…filthy beasts!

  • D'arcy

    October 26, 2012 |

    Have had leather in Chicago…

    First, if your home will be temperate, meaning air on when it’s hot and heat on when it’s cold, the leather will be fine. You’re only going to stick to it if you’re sticky yourself. Winter is cozy because of a soft throw or a comfy sweater/sweatshirt that comes between you and the couch.

    I’d be more concerned with the feel of the leather. Too firm will be uncomfortable no matter what the temp and what you wear. Too soft will mean stretched leather, worrying about upkeep, and possible peeling.

    All leather should be maintained so keep that in mind. But a chesterfield style is classic and doesn’t look nasty if over the years it becomes slightly distressed.

    Just my two cents….

  • honestysprotegee

    October 27, 2012 |

    I agree with D’arcy coming from Cleveland: if you maintain a pretty consistent temperature, the leather should be fine. If you’re one of those people who keeps the heat low, the leather will be similar to getting into a cold car.

    I think it matters too, at least for summer, if it will be in direct sunlight. Summers… sitting on leather can be the worst. Apparently I’m one of those sticky people mentioned above.

  • Sofia

    October 27, 2012 |

    I love the knitted pillows, and the deep blue curtains are gorgeous!

  • Anonymous

    October 27, 2012 |

    I just moved into a home that sits a block away from a creek. In the last 2 days – my entire family has gotten attacked by the mosquitoes. It is awful and makes it difficult to spend even just a few minutes outside – which I would really like to do.

    click this site

  • FLUKY - Citizen Of The World

    October 27, 2012 |

    I live in Toronto, Canada… though we have warm to hot summers, we also can get quite cold winters… I had a leather sofa with ottoman, and it was COLD in the winter to sit on and no amount of throws or blankets would change the cold surface, once you are not sitting upon it, and leaving it for only just a few moments cools down again. The first time you sit down on it, and especially if you’re in what you would wear to bed, is freezing against the skin. And if you get hot summers… the leather is sticky against the skin. Be warned.

  • Mawiyah

    October 28, 2012 |

    How exciting!!! 🙂

  • Bernard Atkinson

    December 4, 2012 |

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  • Linda Roverson

    December 8, 2012 |

    Your blog is excellent. Let me inform u one thing that post have become most up-to-date and vital source of quality free information.
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  • Wallcoverings

    December 13, 2012 |

    Living room decorating ideas with blue colour palette is shared here

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