We gave everything a good scrub, took down those dusty curtains and hung temporary paper blinds in their place. (Little did we know those blinds would hang for two years!) Then we moved in.
What happened next was chronicled on this very blog oh so long ago, here, here and here.
Enter a good friend and carpenter who happened to stop by one afternoon to talk shop with Mike. He took a look at our wall and I told him my plans to replace the bookcases and add a mantle and somehow put the TV up there because the room is so small and we need all the floor space we can get, and how should I reframe those windows and blah blah blah. His response? I could do that for you, totally easy, no big deal.
Our jaws dropped. Are you serious? Are you some sort of angel sent from above? YES! YES! YES! Was our resounding reply.
Verdict: LOVE. They are aesthetically simple and very functional. The varied heights are more interesting than what was there. The glass doors are a nice touch and the bottom cupboards are great storage. Our friend built and installed the cabinets and mantle. What did Mike and I do?
• Cut the fireplace tile down by one and a half rows so that the TV wouldn't be too high.
• Added insulation to the flue, sealed off the smoke chamber of the fireplace with a board since there was no damper. Should be added we also put a steel cap on the chimney outside, per our inspector's suggestion.
• Caulked and painted everything—walls, trim, bookcases, mantle, tile and inside of the fireplace.
• Hung some doggone blinds, thank you very much
The top shelves I use to display objects inspiring to me—a collection of mini-zines, my favorite Campus Cuties etc. It's a work-in-progress. These shelves are not nearly full enough!
The rest of the living room follows suit. Half for Thora, half for Mommy and Daddy. I hope to one day remodel the addition on the back of our house into a playroom/guest room/home office and all of this will move back there. Until then, this works out dandy.
Here is her little Kritter table and chairs set from Ikea. That doll was a birthday gift, handmade in my hometown and others are available here. Apparently her name is Meep.
Expedit bookshelf full of toys. Expedit is a requirement for all 21st Century parents, don't you think? This is one of two that we own. The other is in her room and doubles as a bench. That glider has got to go. It served its purpose for nursing and things, but today it is a hazard. I'd like to replace it with a pair of chairs and have been on the prowl for ages.
What's next? After finishing the bookcase wall of course...
A new couch. I hate that couch. I am so over that couch. It's a pullout that we bought when we first moved to Northern California. It was from the clearance section of a now-defunct Levitz. And I hate it. We used to have this amazing sofa from Williams Sonoma that I got off of craigslist when we lived in San Diego, but it didn't fit in the moving truck! Tragedy.
Obviously, the floors need to be refinished. I'm actually glad we didn't do this right away. If we had I would've stained them very dark. Today, I would do a lighter, slightly grey, walnut look. Cha-ching.
New windows of course. I'd like to do real wood windows here and in the dining room, since they are part of our curb appeal. Then vinyl throughout the rest of the house.
Decorate! We need art in this room. Bad. Some personalization would be ever clever.