Category Archives: Living Space

Den Updates

Our house receives tweaking on a constant basis.  As I live in a space, I’m able to envision new and better ways of using the space for the way we live.  Last fall, we decided that we would graduate to the status of old people and buy his-and-hers recliners for the den to replace the loveseat/ottoman combination.  Bradley liked the thought of leather, and I liked the thought of the chairs not looking like jet-puffed marshmallows.  We purchased the chairs on Black Friday and have really enjoyed them ever since.

Den 0715 Den 0715b The other big change in the room is the removal of the corner cubby coat rack.  I removed the bench as soon as we moved in, but the coat rack stayed until I finally got a new cabinet to house our shoes.  It is the Oxford 72″ Bookcase with Glass Doors in Chestnut.  The size could not be more perfect.  It just fits between the light switch and the corner, and is 13″ deep – deep enough for Bradley’s shoes, but it doesn’t impede the air vent or outlet on the right side.  The functionality of this piece makes much more sense for us, and the corner bench set went to a nice family that can use it to corral all manner of kid paraphernalia.

Den 0715c

Before:
Den 0714a

From the house listing:

Den Before

Staging the Mantle

One of my least favorite things to do around the house is staging shelves – bookshelves, mantles, kitchen cabinets/counters.  I am drawn to a lot of inspiration for this type of staging, but in my own home it always feels disingenuous or sometimes cluttered to me.  We have one fireplace and the mantle is quite large.  I started by finding some inspiration pictures online and then shopping my stash of decor sitting in the basement.  Some of the inspiration I found can be seen here and here – pairing overlapping frames with glass and natural elements, and here – oversized blue glass jars.

I pulled in a couple of Ribba frames for a layered effect, then added a couple of ‘mercury glass’ items.  The ‘hello’ sign was a GroopDealz find.  Bradley saved some aesthetically pleasing branches during a recent yard cleanup, so I popped a few pieces into the hurricane vase to fill everything out.  It’s much better than it was (meaning I had just set a few things up there as we were moving in), but I still don’t know how I feel about it.

Den Update

As one of our most-used rooms, the den has had a few more changes since the first progress report.  Because the loveseat sits halfway onto the rug, I decided to look for end tables that could slide under the rug instead of sitting half-on/half-off and tilting.  I searched a lot of online stores, but ended up getting the Almada laptop tables from World Market.  The bases do cause the rug to bump up, but I have beds for Buddy under each table to cover it up.

In what can only be described as a miracle, I came upon a matching crystal lamp at Home Goods to the one I bought nearly a year ago.  I would still like to have wall lamps (like these) in this room, but it is an unnecessary expense right now.  I added a floor lamp next to the television, because the room has very little natural light.  Maybe someday we can update the fireplace wall with built-ins on either side and add small windows for more light (like this and this).

One of the biggest changes is that we let Buddy stay out in the den during the day instead of being crated.  I love that he has a little more room to stretch out and that we don’t lose an entire corner to a crate anymore.  And he has been so good (not getting into anything he shouldn’t).  That change made more room to bring in an extra chair to give us comfortable seating for three people if we need it.  I still haven’t done anything with the bookcases or mantle – that is the kind of staging I like the least.

Living Room

There isn’t much to see in our living room, but I haven’t posted anything about it since moving in.  The wall color was already Gobi Desert by Behr when we moved in.  (I used the same color in the kitchen and den for continuity on the first floor)  Our furniture from the old house is spread thin around here, so this room looks a little bare.  The room is a little difficult to figure out a perfect layout because of doorway and window placements.  Also, the only switched outlet is on the wall where the couch is (there is no overhead lighting in this room).

The chairs were cheap finds on Craigslist years ago and, until his recent job change, had been in Bradley’s office at work.  The only new pieces in here so far are the the Eye of the Needle hexagonal side tables which I found at Tuesday Morning, but had to paint the bases silver to cover the colorful, chipped-look they originally had.

Here is a shot of what the tables looked like before (the smallest one is still in our master bedroom):

For now, I have my eye out for a good deal on a rug and a coffee table for this room.  I haven’t figured out how I want to stage the front of this room because of the large windows and opening to the foyer.

This is the before picture of the living room from the real estate listing:

Progress Report: Den

I feel like our new house progress is coming along very slowly.  For that reason, I don’t have too much to report – but I’ll post what I can over the next few weeks.  Before we moved in our furniture, I went ahead and painted our bedroom and the den to make the process easier.  I took the living room/dining room paint (Gobi Desert by Behr) that was left by the previous homeowners to Sherwin Williams and had them color-match it in their Cashmere line.

This is the label for the color-match:

Here is how the previous homeowners had the room set up (It may be hard to tell in the pictures, but this room was a sage green color.):

This is the room in which Bradley and I will spend most of our evenings, so I wanted to keep the rug and ottoman we already had in here.  The loveseat made the most sense for this room, and of course the TV is in here as well.  As though it were meant to be, our two bookcases fit exactly in the space on either side of the fireplace.  I haven’t even begun to touch decorative accents in the house yet, so the bookcases are very bare right now. With doorways to the porch, garage and kitchen all on one end of the room, the furniture is weighted more to one side of the room, but I don’t think it’s too strange in person.  The previous homeowners left the corner bench/shelf piece – Bradley likes it, but I don’t.  I agreed to work with it for a while to be sure, but once I realized the bench was not attached, I couldn’t get it out of there fast enough.  It’s the kind of thing that works really well for a family with kids, but that’s not us. The things that need to be addressed in this room are:

  • Side tables.  For right now, I’m using a couple of tables that were drifting at the old house.  I plan to thrift some new ones when I see something that looks like the right fit and feel.
  • Table Lamps.  One of the lamps used to be in our old foyer, the other was a spare in our old bedroom.  Because we end up setting a lot of stuff on our side tables on a day-to-day basis, I’m leaning towards wall lamps to get them up off the table tops.
  • Quarter Round.  When I took out the corner bench, we realized the quarter round did not extend behind it.  Luckily, Bradley got the stain color from the previous homeowners.
  • Brick Fireplace.  The brick on the fireplace isn’t horrible.  I’m just wondering how it would look to white-wash or lime it.
  • Door Hardware.  The interior doors in the house are stained solid wood, which I LOVE.  In order for the hardware to disappear into the doors, I have decided to go with Baldwin’s Venetian Bronze finish.  That will come later down the road, but we did go ahead and switch out the deadbolts on the exterior doors.