Saturday, April 11, 2020

Our Wonderland-Inspired Front Room Is Finally Done!

It took us about four months, but our front room is finally finished! 

Of course I still have small details I want to tweak, because I'm never *really* done decorating a room, but want to see where we're at?

Here we go.


 I did like this room the way it was before, but our old couches were 15 years old and needed replacing. Plus my whole life I've wanted a Chesterfield sofa and barrel chairs, so when we spotted this super affordable sofa At Home that was the last push I needed. Then we found the velvet barrel chairs used on FB Marketplace for another semi-steal!

Here's a look at the way the room was before, taken at Christmas since that's the only time I photograph my house, lol:

This old sofa set went to our favorite charity thrift, and they later told us it sold within 2 hours!
 You can see the only things that really changed are the furniture, but this new arrangement is so much comfier, and much better for conversations!

We never used to sit in this room, but now we're in here all the time. All the seating is me-sized, so my feet actually touch the floor when I sit in here! That's a rare treat for a shortie, y'all.

We found the porthole coffee table at Goodwill 3 years ago for $40, and when it wouldn't fit anywhere in the house I was heartbroken. I knew SOME day I'd find a spot for it, though, so I had John store it in the attic. You might remember a few months back when John and I were cleaning decades' worth of grime off it: 

 It's still a tight fit, but I'm so happy to finally have this table out on display!

I think you'll also remember how John used a $5 thrifted end table to build that lovely console table:

 And the gear table between the red chairs was here before, so that's just moved around:

 (This photo is convincing me we should paint our white front door. Hmm.)

I'm still working on accessories, since obviously we can't go shopping right now, but this glowing mushroom lamp by The Snow Made is definitely staying right here:

 I'm so happy to finally have a proper place for it! It was lost on the shelf where I had it before.

I should mention we'd finished 95% of the room before I realized I'd accidentally given it a Wonderland theme. No, really, it turns out I *am* that oblivious. This White Rabbit pillow was already in the room:

 (Art by Medusa Dollmaker, ordered through her RedBubble shop)

 And I'd also added this "Queen of Cards" book box without thinking about the connection:

 (I know the bottles need "Drink Me" labels - soon!)

When I finally realized what my subconscious was doing (talk about an "AHA!" moment), finishing the room was a breeze. If you ever find yourself floundering while decorating a room, I'm telling you, just give it a theme. In five minutes I went from a total loss on what to add to having a hundred fun ideas.

Obviously we can't go shopping right now, so I'll be adding to the Wonderland touches over time. (That white flower is standing in for a red-painted white rose, for example, and I'll switch out the art on the round table later for something more appropriate.)

I made the Queen card box (it really does have all our decks of cards in it!) back when I made my board game book boxes last year. The Art Deco style is perfect for a steampunk Wonderland feel, talk about kismet.

 We bought Schnappsie here at Disney's Festival of the Masters 10 years ago. (The artist is Jim Mullan, go browse!) The dome is another thrift find: it used to have a cheap plastic clock in it.

I never liked my Steampunk White Rabbit cosplay on myself, which is why I only wore it once. The mask, however, is still one of my favorite things!

 John and I were laughing over the fact that every single clock in this room is broken and set at a different time. Talk about a metaphor for life right now! This lockdown has robbed time of all meaning.

The antique swinger clock was a gift from my folks when they cleaned house to become full-time RVers. Sadly it doesn't work, but it's very pretty!

And finally, if you're wondering where we got that fantabulous Wonderland topiary in the back corner:

 Fun story: We made it! Took forever, but it only cost us about $20, so we are just insufferably proud of ourselves, haha.

I'll show you HOW we made it in my next post, since I don't want to weigh this post down with a big craft tutorial. It's a fun one, though, so be sure to check back.

 Eva says hi.

Suki, however, sensed we wanted her on the furniture and therefore ran for the hills. CATS, I tell ya.

I hope this made you smile, and brought a little Wonderland whimsy to your topsy-turvy world, gang. Stay tuned for our topiary tutorial, I think you're going to like it. (I'm already planning to make a smaller desktop version - maybe shaped like Mickey's head? Eh?)


Or, if you want to get crafting now, check out my Craft Page! I've got over 150 different projects there to help inspire you, like these:

I love you guys. Please be kind to yourselves this weekend, for me. ::hugs::


  1. I absolutely love the new look! I think painting the front door a shade that complements or matches the barrel chairs would look nice.

  2. It looks beautiful. The wonderland theme is both present but understated at the same time. I'd paint the door red (but fair warning, that's my favorite color so I'm always looking for excuses to paint stuff red) to bring out the queen of hearts book and barrel chairs. As a fellow shortie I can tell you virtually every one of my furniture purchases started with the query: can I touch the floor? I even have a mini ottoman in my living room for the chair I can't quite reach in. ^_^

  3. Beautiful decor, as always!

    If you'd like a suggestion for something Wonderland-ish, I think the room needs a hedgehog. Found this one one Amazon and this one on Etsy.

  4. I lurve 😻😻😻😻😻 what you've done with the room. It feels very open and inviting now. Those red chairs are really nice. I wish I had even 1% of your creativity abilities.

  5. Wow! You guys made the topiary! It is amazing! It really pops out and I WAS hoping for more info about it while reading the post. I'm excited to see how you did it!

  6. It turned out beautiful! My son's elementary school play this year was Alice in Wonderland Jr., and I was one of the costumers. After the play was finished I made some gifts for the directors and my costuming partner--paper roses made from an old copy of the book! I painted on bits of red paint on them, too. I bet something similar would look awesome in your front room!

    1. Ohhh, I like the idea of making them out of old book paper; adds to the vintage/steampunk feel. I may have to do that! The Bloggess has a great book paper rose tutorial on her site, too.

  7. Maybe instead of painting the front door, make it look like a playing card instead?

    1. YOU WONDERFUL GENIUS YOU. If the door was flat I'd be taping off the design right now, although I don't think John would go for it. Hmm...

    2. You could make it subtle: ex. white matte door with white gloss hearts and numbers

    3. You could also do little cards within each rectangle on the door, if one big card seems too much.

  8. Oh man, I wish I had your decorating talent. So beautiful! But then again, most of our decor decisions are based on what is toddler-proof. 😂

  9. Oh, I totally hear you on the short person problems of finding furniture that fits! I have a small folding footstool that I bring with me to all kinds of places (when we were going out of the house, of course). It's so awkward when my feet are swinging a foot off the floor, and even worse when the couch or chair is so deep that if I sit back in it my legs stick straight out because my knees don't hit the edge of the seat. I once had an ugly swivel rocker that I adored because it fit me perfectly. No one else could stand to sit in it, and it was a hideous color and fabric, but it was the most comfortable chair I've ever owned.
    I'm so happy for you that you found furniture that fits! The fact that it's also the style you wanted and looks so amazing is like winning the lottery!!

  10. Oh, the room looks amazing! I love how it turned out and can't wait to see what other little touches you can add once shopping is on the table again. You and John are so talented and you have a great eye for decorating

  11. a friend of mine repairs clocks if you are interested. He lives in Winter Park. I met him in a clock repair class offered at night school years ago. let me know if you would like his name and phone number.

  12. Fun Jen! Thanks for sharing your new decor with us. Hello back to the lovely Eva.

  13. Thank you! Your blog has always brought me so much joy and is JUST the pick me up I needed ^_^

  14. I love it! I especially love that it's such a subtle theme -- you don't look at it and immediately get hit over the head with WONDERLAND! It's something to discover in pieces, and I love that.

  15. Oh, such a lovely room! I really want to be one of those people who has themed rooms, but then I start looking at all the wonderful treasures that I can not bear to put away and that do not fit the theme and I just go back to looking at other peoples beautifully put together rooms.
    I love your Jim Mullan bird, by-the-by. I spotted it right off! I use to work in a gallery that carried his work - I could never afford one of his birds, but I am delighted to own one of his brooches - a gift from the gallery owner/best boss ever!

    1. If you have a bunch of mismatched treasures you want to display, then work the museum angle: tie them all together with matching display shelves, the same color frames, etc. so the room feels cohesive without one official theme.

      Steampunk industrial is FANTASTIC for this, which is part of why I love it so much: we have a life-sized Claptrap from Borderlands, a Skyrim dragon statue, & a Hogwarts plaque all within 6 feet of each other, and it works because they each have an aged look that works with the overall room!

      Or you could go the opposite direction and have bright white shelving and colored lights to give the room a more sci-fi or modern feel, which is fab for big displays of things like statues, action figures, and Pops.

      Sorry, I could go on forever on this. I LOVE GEEK-CHIC DECOR!

  16. Right now I am living in my childhood bedroom, taking care of my 93 year old mother. I winnowed out my three-bedroom-house amount of stuff to the coolest things, and have curated many awesome antiques in storage, for an eventual apartment.

    The apartment of a demented Victorian toddler, as I have all kinds of dolls, robots, tin toys, (smallish) juke boxes and toys to go along with my antiques. Some day, when my sainted mother escapes this vale of tears, I'll be ensconced there. (No rush, Coronavirus - we still need her!)

    1. Your future apartment sounds magical, I hope I get to see pictures some day! And a blessing on your house - and many hugs - for being such a devoted daughter to your mom. I'm so glad she has you.

  17. Cheshire cat tail or smile in the hanging basket? Maybe do a fancier hanger for the basket? Like a castle banner that matches the chairs or something. Just a way to tie the door in with out having to alter it physically. :)
    I really like how it's themed without being obnoxious. A lot of people get so carried away the decor takes over and makes it hard to live in. This looks super cozy, as well as being cool.

  18. Two things:

    First, the gif in the link at the bottom of your post for the DIY lifesized Stay-Puft was walking in perfect time to Cosmic Girl which just came on the radio! It made my morning!

    Second, if you would like to make a rose for your front room, Jenny Lawson (The Blogess) does a fab how-to video on her blog for making them out of pages from damaged books.

  19. Love the room! If you are looking to get your antique swinger clock fixed, check out Swiss House on Curry Ford: small locally owned business with a gifted clock repair guy who charges very reasonable rates.

  20. I understand the short girl problem. I always felt like I was being punished for something when I sat with my feet sticking out straight. The room is gorgeous.


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