I often wonder, upon meeting someone new, what their living room looks like. This is a far cry from my twenties when I used to spend a few seconds wondering what this person looked like having sex. Just based upon their overall look, I try to form a picture in my mind. What colors reflect them, the lighting, the floors, the smell. I suppose this may be one of my many quirks. And so I reflected on my own (half finished) living room. The reasons for the items in a room and how they make me feel. Gray green walls for calm, golden pendant lamps to warm the room, wood floors. Fireplace, wood cabinets, big windows, a colorful rug with movement. Bookshelves full of literature and children's toys. Big art. An abandoned computer (a sign that I have two kids). Clean countertops (on a good day). A kid table and chairs on it's own teal rug. A vase of flowers in vibrant colors. My living room is my sanctuary-but not at my children's expense. There's a designer, Candace Olsen, who is featured in Home Magazine. She drives me bonkers with her "family room makeovers" full of glass, light carpet, silk pillows and cold colors. She will point out the darkened cabinet with one hidden drawer for the children's toys. This is not a family room! This is Martha Stewart's "formal living space". Get real, Candace.