Tag Archives: interior decorating

Home Decorating (Photo Tour: The Living Room)

Home Decorating (Photo Tour: The Living Room)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there


My childhood Sunday afternoons were spent with 6 women: my mom, sister, Tia, twin cousins & Abuela.

What did we do??  We looked at houses…“Open houses”.  

I’m serious.

Sounds wierd.  I know.  

Why would we do this?  

Were we in the market to buy a house??   No.


We did it because we came from a long line of Interior Designers and we Loved to look at different architectural styles of homes and their interiors.  


They say my grandfather’s family (who still owns one of the finest Interior Design Firms in Vigo, Spain) were the personal interior designers for Franco.  


So, obviously, It’s in my blood.  And while most kids wouldn’t find this outing a particularly “Funday Sunday”…

I learned to like it.


Not many 7yr olds are overly concerned with decorating their bedrooms; color coordinating their bedding with their curtains… or wanted Lime Green Shag carpeting for Christmas, but that was only the beginning of my life long passion!


Fast forward, I still Love home architecture and interior design.  


I’ve had two homes built from floor plans I designed, and have renovated/decorated eight additional homes, including the one I’m living in now.


I also love helping friends with everything from tweaking their houseplan blueprints, to redecorating or just choosing the perfect paint color.


In a recent Blog posted on 1/14/16,  I shared some design elements I believe are the Bridges we use to make a house… our Home.



Essential Design Elements


These are essential design elements that are independent of your home’s decorating style, be it Contemporary, Country, Arts & Crafts, or Victorian.  

And they make the difference between a house and a Home.  


They help your home not only meet your physical needs… but more importantly, fulfill & nurture your spiritual needs as well.


They focus on soothing your senses of sight, touch, sound and smell.  

They are the things you Love to have surrounding you.

They nourish and refresh your spirit… so, your home becomes your safe haven.


They’re the little things… the details you incorporate into your decorating, so that every room in your home is a reflection of your personality, your passions… your spirit.  

Because it’s the little details that make your home the place you want to retreat to after a long day and a place where your friends and family feel equally welcome and at home.


I’ve decided to do a Photo Tour of our Living Room to illustrate some of these design elements and the importance of detail when decorating a

comfortable and inviting room.


Before & After


  • I chose to replace the wall-to-wall carpet with rustically finished hardwood flooring, this made a huge difference and was my way of reflecting the texture of nature and the woods surrounding our home.
  • The wall color was painted in my go-to shade: a warm buttery yellow.
  • The wood trim was sanded and painted warm white, including the stairway spindles!
  • The room was missing architectural details and the stairway wall was sticking out like a sore thumb, so built in cabinetry was custom designed to provide depth and much needed storage.  Also the mirror reflects a beautiful wall of windows.



  • The curtain rods were painted to match the woodwork and trim.
  • The curtains were changed to a sleek, pinch-pleat style that exposed more of the windows to bring in the natural light.


  •  The curtains were hung by wooden rings, in the same rich wood-tone as the piano, floors and other wooden pieces in the room.


Custom Designed Wall Cabinetry


 As mentioned above, these cabinets were a big-bang-for-the-buck:
storage, texture, reflection, display room, etc…

I’m thinking of adding some antique wicker baskets across the top ledge. What do you think??  Any other suggestions??


All the shelving is adjustable!



  •  The finish chosen was a creamy white with a faint mocha wash  and MacKenzie-Childs Knobs… always my go-to choice for knobs!!


  •    The center counsel jots out 7″ from the bookcases, providing plenty of room to display festive decorations during the Holidays, etc…


  • Did you notice the one thing this room is missing???  A fireplace.  So, it is awesome when the candle light reflects and flickers in the mirror!


  •  This provided the perfect space to display some of my favorite things.  A rock from Omaha Beach placed next to smooth crystal candlesticks provides a pleasant contrast in texture.


Filling Bookshelves With More Than Books 


The bookshelves provide a special place to gather meaningful treasures alongside practical things.
  •                     Collectibles are grouped on the top shelves.


  •                     MacKenzie-Childs Winter & Summer display platters create symmetry.  A wooden bowl filled with seashells and a birds-nest bring the texture and benefit of nature indoors.  An antique Tibetan Bell, a treasured keepsake.


  •                     SONOS speakers placement ensures sound projection at the perfect height for the room.


  •                     Books, scrapbooks and albums are placed on the bottom shelves to anchor the visual weight


  •                     For the best quality albums check out Exposures.  My absolute favorite resource for preserving memories!





The photo below shows a good view of the rooms furniture placement.
The room has a cathedral ceiling,
so the height of the custom cabinetry
balances out the bank of floor to ceiling windows it reflects.
Also, a set of matching leather recliners were not only chosen for comfort,
but because their high backs also help to balance out the room.



  •   These pecan brown leather recliners, with rolled arms and nail head trim, provide the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and catch up on the daily happenings with loved ones.


  •  Nestled between the chairs is a table holding thought provoking books and a small crystal bowl filled with Acorns collected from the French countryside.  I have bowls of Acorns, Chestnuts or Seashells in every room of our home.  They’re some of my favorite things!


  •   A big wicker basket holds several soft, warm and cozy blankets within reach.


  • Every room has certain pieces that you couldn’t live without.  Our family piano has been well played by all my children through the years… it holds a very special place in my heart, in our family and our living room.


  • This sofa is the first high quality piece of furniture I ever purchased.  And I love it as much today as I did when I bought it 16 years ago.  The fabric is a delicious Chenille, in a perfect shade of creme and is down filled for extra comfort!!


  •   I can’t wait to replace this end-table…but in the meantime, it’s the perfect height and size.  So, I’ve added a piece of rough-hewn slate to the top, and the lower shelf is the perfect spot for a mini farm menagerie I put together.


  •  This coffee table is one of my very favorite pieces of furniture.  It is a Kittinger antique table that has been passed down in my family for generations.  A traditional Spanish wicker cafe tray protects the well-worn table top while providing plenty of space to set down your glass of wine or cup of coffee.


  •  Without a fireplace, I use plenty of candles to provide warm, flickering light.


  • This is my quiet corner to cuddle up with a warm blanket and a good book!!!


  • Filled with my favorite books…


  •  This calf-hide provides a soft place to put up your feet and also hides a hole in the upholstery.


  •  This carpet was purchased in 2000 and has been the focal point in all my homes…this time it set the color-scheme for the whole room.  I bought this Bergere Chair and Ottoman 25 years ago!!!  I have had it reupholstered twice and I’m still madly in love with it.



Birdseye View






I hope you enjoyed the tour and learned something along the way.

Something you can use when designing your living room to make it a reflection of your personality, your passions… your spirit.  


Remember to choose design elements that ease & please your sense of sight, touch, sound, and smell.  


We didn’t forget about smell… I am a believer that the best room fragrance is to simply open your windows and let in the fresh-air… and the benefit of our Living Room being right of the kitchen is there are (usually) plenty of good aromas in the air!!

I’d love your feedback and questions!


Would you like to see a photo tour of essential design elements used in a another room???





HOME: the noun

HOME: the noun

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there


Today’s post is about Home: the noun!

Some of us have been thinking about our “Dream House” since childhood.


Would it be a chic penthouse in a bustling city, a cozy cottage in the woods, a log cabin nestled slope-side in ski country, an oceanfront gem or a McMansion??



My sister’s dream house was always either a sleek 1950’s sprawling ranch or a clone of the Brady Bunch House.

 And she’d decorate it ultra-modern, like something you’d see in  Architectural Digest.


My dream house  was a cozy country cottage and it had to be near water…. a river, pond, lake, or ocean.   The walls painted a soft butter yellow, smooth hardwood floors buff-shined to a warm golden glow and plenty of BIG windows framed with gauzy white cotton curtains.


We all have our dream-house-dreams and in the meantime we need someplace to live.

So, how do we make wherever we are living now, (at this moment in our journey) the most comfortable, inviting, coziest Home we can?

As they say, life’s not about the destination… it’s about the journey.

So, I believe… even if you’re living in a Van Down By The River… make it WONDERFUL!!



Here are some Bridges to help make your Home wonderful.  


Begin with your 4 senses: SIGHT, TOUCH, SOUND & SMELL


  • What’s your favorite color?  Surround yourself with your favorite colors when picking out paint color, flooring, fabric….etc

  • What do you like to look at? This will help you to choose wall art and even furniture styles.  Do you like to look at framed family photos or photo albums?  Find ways to display these things in your home.


  • What fabrics do you like to touch?  This will help when you’re choosing bedding, towels, upholstery for your furniture, and flooring.

  • What things do you like to touch?  This may help when you’re adding accent decorations to your home.  I like the smooth feel of chestnuts, acorns, seashells and sand.  So, I keep collections of these things all around my house in baskets, glass decanters or wooden bowls.

  • Do you like blankets & quilts?  (I can’t have enough!!) Keep baskets of them within reach of your sofa or comfortable chair.


  • Music makes the World-Go-Round.   Check out one of the coolest systems that is now available called  SONOS.  If you can’t afford a Sonos or an expensive stereo system, then get a radio or portable CD player.

  • Open your windows if you can, and listen to Nature or the sounds of the city!!

  • Sing! (although, my family wishes I wouldn’t)


  • What do you like to smell?

  • Fresh flowers… put some in a vase, even if you can only afford one!

  • Candles are a wonderful way of bringing the scents you love into your home that may not be easily accessible where you’re living: pine woods, ocean breeze, orange orchard, the choices are endless.

  • Cooking is a wonderful way to bring comforting smells into your home. Saute some garlic for a delicious recipe or bake a batch of cookies!!  Your house will surely smell wonderful.

  • Open up your windows and let in the fresh air.

How do you make wherever you’re living now Wonderful?  Post some of your ideas in the comment section below…

Enjoy the following youtube song, reminding us about how wonderful it is to COME BACK HOME…




Welcome to Bridges Back Home!!!!

My name is Lorilyn Bridges and I started this blog,  FB page and website to help people.


Life is forever changing. 

Changes = Challenges


These changes can be big or small, made by us or for us…

Controlled by us, others, or nature/climate and they can happen randomly.


Life is one amazing and wild ride.  Our journey is filled with many hills and valleys.  

 And the good news is we’re all in it together.


Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there


Identify your Back Home and the Bridges you use to get there!!


At BBH we are a community where you can celebrate your successes and failures, to help others along the way.  

And hopefully be enlightened as well!!


Welcome aboard!!