The Evolution Of A Living Room

If you have been following me for any time you know I say, “we are never done decorating”! And that is so true. Take my living room (great room) for example. Since we moved in it has been through several changes! And I’m working on a few more! Let’s look at the evolution of a living room.

Today my blogging friends and I are starting a series called The Evolution Of A Room. We hope to take the rooms in our homes, since we have all recently downsized, and share the changes they have been through.

Let’s get started!

I lived at StoneGable for almost 25 years and in that time my living room was in a constant flux of change!

Let’s look at the StoneGable living room because the evolution of our Tanglewood house is really entwined with StoneGable.

When we downsized to our second forever home, the Tanglewood House, we had to decide what furniture from StoneGable would work at Tanglewood.

This was a gargantuan task because it was very sentimental and meant leaving and letting go of lots of furniture and things I loved!

It also meant a change in style. I am a believer the style of a home should be considered when decorating.

StoneGable was an upscale Farmhouse but Tanglewood is much more contemporary.

So when we moved I decided that although I love Farmhouse our new home would be better suited to Transitional style. Transitional style is a mega style that incorporates many different looks. You can learn more about it HERE.

I still love Farmhouse style and you can see a sign in our Tanglewood kitchen that was a Farmhouse holdover from our last home.

Switching styles did not happen overnight. It took me quite a while to find the right balance of Transitional and other styles I wish to incorporate! But when I finally got rid of most of the Farmhouse accents the rooms in our Tanglewood home looked better!


I had so much fun looking at the picture of all the living room changes both big and small since the day we moved in! Even though it’s only been two and a half years ago I did forget our updates and how I decorated the living room as I tried to find what would work best in this room!

And some of the images, to be honest, are a bit painful to look at! I could really see my struggle in them. As I go through all the seasons and changes I’ll be talking about my struggles with the living room.

Here is a picture of our living room the day we moved into Tanglewood, October 14, 2019.

You can see that every piece of furniture and the rug and accent decor was brought from StoneGable.

I still have almost all of the same furnishings today. They came from many rooms at StoneGable and fit together to make up our living room.

I had an acquaintance I greatly admire tell me to buy all new and start over. Although I really like this person very much, she could not have been more wrong!

I’m the kind of person who lets a room evolve! I need to think about decor. I need to live with most decor until I know if I really love it. And if not it is quick to go! I am a serial furniture returner!

But when I know it’s right then it is right, for me!

We had the whole house painted Simply White by Benjamin Moore before we moved in. The living room is open to the foyer, stairs, loft, dining area, kitchen, and sunroom. So painting it all one color made sense.

Originally, Tanglewood was painted the color of the fireplace when we bought it. Can you imagine how closed in it looked? Painting the house white made our open concept home look fresh and bigger and well, open! It was like the white paint set it free from being constrained!

There were not many big changes made to the living room so instead, I’m sharing the evolution of my style and my smaller purchases for this room from season to season.

Let’s get started with the only other big change in the living room and that took place at the end of fall 2019…

FALL 2019

The fireplace had a makeover in the fall of 2019.

Here’s how it looked before, about one week after we moved in…

And here is another before picture of the fireplace in the living room…

I wanted a fireplace with more heft and a bigger presence in the room. You can see how the fireplace was in the process of being made over HERE.

And here is the after…

The mirror above the mantel came from the family room at StoneGable.

It did not take me long to realize I could see the staircase in the mirror. It did not make a pretty reflection! So I began hunting for something to put over the fireplace instead of the mirror!

In the fall of 2019, I was more concerned about unpacking boxes than decorating!


Christmas decorating started three weeks week’s after we moved in and I felt like I needed a bit of calm in my life.

So I pulled out lots of natural colored Christmas decor and winged it!

I usually plan about six months in advance for Christmas. Instead, I dug around the boxes in the basement and used what I could find!

The only thing I bought was a new eleven-foot Christmas tree!

This was the year Lancaster County Magazine, our beloved local magazine, ask to do an article about me and StoneGable blog for their Christmas edition. And a picture of the living room was on the cover!

I do sorta cringe when I see the Christmas decorations! I was really so unprepared!


Spring came to Tanglewood and so did a pair of large fern pictures over the fireplace. And they stayed over the fireplace for about as long as spring flowers stayed.

I really thought they were stunning. And they are. Just not over my fireplace.

However, I love the handsome rabbits and the ferns!

In late spring I replaced the fern pictures with the gather sign that still remains above the fireplace today.


Summer 2020 brought little change to the living room except I added a tobacco basket above the gather sign. Both the sign and the basket were about gathering and that is what I wanted our living room to be used for.

I’m a seasonal decorator. I think it is because I was a first-grade teacher! A year should be celebrated from season to season and holiday to holiday!

You can almost always tell what season it is by looking at the decor on our white buffet.

The white buffet came from the dining room at StoneGable and found a home in the living room here at Tanglewood. I think I like to decorate the white buffet more than any other flat surface in our home.

After six months of living at Tanglewood, I felt so unsure and a bit lost when it came to decorating. I felt as though I lost a little of my decorating mojo!

I was really hard on myself! In actuality, our living room is hard to decorate and even harder to photograph!

Oh, it’s a bear to photograph!

It would not be for almost another year until I made peace with this room.

While I was struggling with the living room the bedrooms were fun to decorate and so were the sunroom and dining room. And the kitchen was being made over! And that was really really fun!

Looking back I think if I had gotten some new things, bigger pieces of furniture for the living room it might have been easier.

FALL 2020

Fall for me is all about pumpkins but in the fall of 2020, I found a love for other beautiful fall organics too!

And I embraced rusty oranges and brown color accents which look wonderful with white. The white walls in our home were proving to be a big decorating plus!

Ten months after we moved in I added white curtains to the living room windows. They came from the StoneGable family room and I was thrilled when I found them in a box in the basement. I had totally forgotten about them.

And like every season, that fall I decorated the mantel!

Decorating the mantel has always been a seasonal activity. I start each new season by hanging a wreath on the door and then decorating the mantel!

A small white linen slipcovered chair made its home next to the round table in the living room. And I brought up my very favorite pedestal table from the basement. This table came from StoneGable’s living room.

I liked the addition of the white chair with the soft brown wooden table and sisal rug.

To this day, I make a mental note of just how often people sit in this chair! More than any other. It’s small and cozy!

Here’s also a rare glimpse of the stairs and loft. I just started looking for a contractor to redo the stairs and Covid hit! And I am still trying to find a good contractor to make the stair over!

There are so many spindles, thousands and thousands! At least that’s what it seems like to me. I’m so looking forward to finally making over the stairs putting a runner down the steps and the loft.


My Christmas gift to our living room was the O, Come Let Us Adore Him sign above the mantel.

This picture of our living room was taken from the loft. It gives you a good look at the layout of this room!

This is the year and the season I discovered my love of green as an accent color!


Spring saw a new rug in the living room and new curtains too!

The rug replaced the sisal rug that came from StoneGable and was literally falling apart! And this rug covered more floor space than the sisal rug too.

The big lesson I learned from this season was to keep the decor light since the rug is brown. Too much brown is just that… too much!


Little changes in a room add up! Summer came to Tanglewood and so did a new lamp for the white buffet.

The cage lamp began to look a little out of place as I honed my style in the living room. Too rustic and Farmhouse-y.

I still have the “cage” lamp that was on the buffet because I’m just not ready to let it go just yet. I really love this lamp. Actually, it is one of a pair. So they are living happily next to each other on a shelf in the basement.

And flanking the white buffet a pair of fern prints were also added! I looked for almost a year for prints I thought would look nice on either side of the buffet. I was shopping at a local store and when I saw these I knew they were “the ones”.

One thing I also learned was that violet is not a good color for our Tanglewood house!

FALL 2021

A big change happened in the fall of 2021! It took this long to shake the remnants of farmhouse decor and understand how to decorate an open concept home.

I started decorating with a lot fewer layers and much more simply. And I began to like my living room more!

And I began to enjoy decorating the living room.

Decorating StoneGable was second nature and I enjoyed it immensely. Decorating things like a coffee table or the mantel fun are but decorating a whole room still felt odd to me!

I could not say I enjoyed decorating the living room at Tanglewood until now!

Suddely, I found my groove!

I have written hundreds and hundreds of posts about how to decorate and how to love your home and more. But I want you to know that when writing about things like how to live with decor you don’t love… I have lived what I write about and have struggled my way through decorating my home too! I’m just like you, a home decorator who loves to decorate but does not always like the rooms in my home! I’m a decorator that is learning just like you! Learning every day!


Didn’t I just say that I started decorating my home with fewer layers and more simply?

Ooops! Well, it is Christmas!

I loved decorating for Christmas 2021! Again, I think I was finding my groove and understood our home so much more!

I made a big garland from two old scrawny ones and added lots of gold and silver accents to it! I was actually giddy about how this garland turned out.

Who knew that bits and pieces of greens and other things could be wired together to make Christmas magic?

A new mirror came to live over the Curlacue chest and I decorated it for Christmas.

And I also got a new Christmas tree! This one was 8 feet tall and flocked! Oh, I’m a flocking fan for sure!


Sping this year brought simple decorating back to the living room! And a new purchase I am obsessed with!

Zebra pillows!

I have totally changed my philosophy about pillows. I used to think that more expensive pillows were an indulgence. But recently I’ve been investing in good quality pillows with good down inserts.

Oh, what a joy!

I’m not saying I will never buy a pillow from HomeGoods or Walmart again, but I will certainly save up for a nice pillow and not feel guilty about buying it!


The living room is on its way, but still has a way to go!

Here are a few changes ahead for the living room…

  • a new coffee table (I’ve sent back two already)
  • maybe a new end table where the round table is
  • maybe something new over the mantel but not a painting or mirror
  • and new pillows for the sofa

Of all the rooms at Tanglewood, the living room is my biggest challenge. Do you have a room like that?

I feel blessed to be living at Tanglewood and have learned so much about decorating from the process of decorating our living room.

Each season I’ll be adding to this post to share the newest changes to our living room!

Please visit two of my favorite people as they share the evolution of their living rooms too!

Designthusiasm | The Evolution of a Relaxing but Stylish Family Room

On Sutton Place | How Our Neutral Great Room Has Evolved

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  1. Paula Wood says:

    Please tell me where you bought the area rug I love it. Thank you

  2. Terri Kramer says:

    I am curious where everyone’s TV is? I have our’s above the fireplace which I was opposed to but couldn’t win that argument 🙂

  3. Yvonne – I just love your path to creating this beautiful room! To most of us the iterations that you struggled with still looked lovely. But now it’s just gorgeous! The light and bright feeling exudes optimism, which for me is everything… 🙂

  4. Your decorating style is always so welcoming! And I loved your recent blog where you discussed what purchases are worth a larger investment and which are not. I found that very helpful.
    I have questions about your resources. For Spring 2021 changes, where did you find the saw a new rug in the living room and new curtains too!

      1. Love the peaceful feeling of your color palette. We downsized a couple years ago and my decorating style has me a little off kilter, but after seeing a few of your recent blog posts, I am in the Transitional decor as well.

        Where did you find the zebra pillows? I always love an unexpected pop of something.

  5. I’ve probably only done overhauls on my living room decor when we’ve bought new furniture. We’ve had our walnut brown leather sofas forEVER and I decorate around/with them. The only reason we haven’t yet replaced them is because we can’t really find anything we like, but they are getting uncomfortable. I struggle with furniture placement/seating options and decor in this room because it’s big, narrow and only two walls (one full of windows and the other is a free-standing 2-story fireplace – which we finally painted white)! I do appreciate that you’ve re-used decor items and experiment with placement – e.g., the mirror over the fireplace. I’ve gotten so many ideas from your blog over the years. I like too that you hold on to things for awhile before deciding to let them go. I just wish I had a basement!

    1. How sweet, Carol I think it takes a while to get furniture placement right! Your fireplace sounds amazing!

  6. You talk about returning furniture. I only buy a furniture item about every 10 years because I’m afraid of making a mistake. Do you buy mostly online or from stores?

    1. I buy from both. But when I buy online I make sure to read and understand a company’s return policy. And I always keep the packing material until I know I want to keep the furniture I buy online.

  7. I could live at your home so comfortably. I love your sunroof and kitchen best. Happy for you to be on cover of Lancaster magazine, so exciting and deserved.

  8. It’s fun to watch the changing seasons in your decor!

  9. Teresa Brownie says:

    Yvonne, thank you for sharing your decorating process with us. Often we think that people who are gifted decorators get it right the first time and with no struggles. It is reassuring to know that your beautiful rooms don’t “just happen”. Looking forward to your post on choosing a coffee table!

  10. Cynthia Sirois says:

    I just adore decorating for the seasons. Right now I have a yellow and white thing going on with lots of sunflowers, with touches of blue. I will leave the sunflowers when I start decorating for fall, and will add some burnt orange and umber florals…. Your Christmas decor is absolutely outstanding!

  11. Susan Nordberg says:

    Love, love, love the pictures of the various transistions your living room went through before you found your groove. It is so pleasing when everything fits well together.

    I laughed when reading how ‘green’ became a good color fit for your home. Recently, I discovered the same idea.


  12. Thank you for sharing the progression of creating a beautiful room/home. One of the posts mentioned she feels like you are her personal interior decorator – I think we all feel that way… You always give us great information and it feels like it comes from a long time friend.

  13. Angela Drum says:

    Your room is gorgeous!

  14. Lynda Marie McDuff says:

    Your ideas are stunning! I appreciate your blog daily.

  15. Micaela Brundage says:

    I love your comment on buying good pillows! Trying not to feel guilty about buying some pillow covers are going to be an investment!

  16. Yvonne,

    I love your selection of your new coffee table. When did you find it?
    Your home looks so clean, fresh and inviting! I love it

  17. Yvonne,

    I love your selection of your new coffee table. Where did you find it?
    Your home looks so clean, fresh and inviting! I love it

  18. I have to tell you that probably the thing that I love best about your blog (besides your very real and open relationship with the Lord) is your transparency! I LOVE that you “take us along” with you as you live out your life, exploring the adventures of home and hearth. I don’t think that you will EVER know the extent of your influence when you share not just your wisdom and knowledge in homemaking, but also in so many other areas of life. Your blog is a little ministry where the Lord instructs, encourages and mentors us, through you, each and every day.
    All this to say, it has been so fun and amazing to watch the evolving of your living room. Thank you for not holding back your frustrations and your “failures” as well as sharing your tips, suggestions and successes. Each are precious and valuable.

  19. I love how you change the look a little with each season.

  20. Susan Lambert says:

    Such a wonderful evolution! You make things look so easy! Thanks for all you do!

  21. Pamela J. Brittain says:

    love seeing the evolution of your livingroom. so many new ideas!!

  22. Valerie Bouchard says:

    Love your beautiful home and different seasonal changes in each room!

  23. Sherli Morgan says:

    This was a great post & very timely for me. I sold my 1600 sq Ft home in Texas (I’m alone now) & moved to Little Rock, Ar April 1st 2022 to be near my sister & her large extended family!! I’ve loved being here – lived with her & her husband & finally moved this past weekend into a retirement community with 4 plex style apartments.

    I’ve moved into 804 sq Ft! Yes, 1/2 of what I had before. Fortunately I’d downsized & sold a lot of furniture before moving – but now I’m faced with making what I have left work or not. The spare bedroom is full of boxes – and I’m still unpacking. The closets are huge – so that’s good. I just need time to get to everything, but at 69, I know what my body can take on in a day-so I’m prepared for it to be a challenge couple of months! Hey – I’m still looking for my baking items – and will probably move the dishes & kitchen cabinet items around a jillion times till it feels right.

    I wish you lived around the corner & could come consult!! I’ve followed you for several years & love your style as it is similar to mine.

    I’ve loved watching how you’ve transitioned into your Tanglewood home & will be excited with you as you finally find that perfect coffee table!! Oh & I decorate seasonally as well – it’s reflective to me of a loved environment when I do!

    Have a blessed week!

  24. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Yvonne, I really enjoyed looking at your pictures of the Evolution of your Living Room. Your home is just beautiful and you have done a fabulous job of putting all your personal touches on your home. I love the way your Living Room is now — because it is absolutely perfect! It was interesting to see the changes you made from year to year. I always think that you have to live in a place for a few years before you know exactly where everything should go. When we built our home at the lake, we did not hang any pictures for two years because we just weren’t sure where they should go! Then, we ended up selling some! Enjoy your beautiful home! Thanks, again, for sharing your lovely pictures with us and giving us lots of tips along the way. Bless you, Yvonne, for being so special!

    1. Hi Mary Ann, thanks so much. I so agree. It really took 3 years for us to know how we wanted to decorate our home. Happy Easter!