When I was visiting with Dorie
last week, I mentioned that I had been mentally rearranging the furniture in my house all week. My husband finally asked me what I was doing one night, and when I told him, he just had this look of terror on his face. She laughed and told me that her husband says that when she does it she's "living in her dollhouse world" where furniture can be moved with no effort and it's fun, not work, to come up with new configurations.
I told her about how our house seemed great until it came to arranging furniture. An open floor plan with an eat-in kitchen instead of a dining room means there are hardly any walls on which to place furniture. Also, almost half of the living room is lost because it's walkways between rooms, hallways, and the entry.
Some of the suggestions she gave me were things I had thought of myself as possibilities, so this weekend I said "What the heck!" and rearranged the furniture. Yup. Pretty much all the furniture in my house. We started with the living room.
My number one problem with this room, other than the layout, was the bookshelf situation. I love books, and cannot imagine living in a house without them (ooh it makes me mad when they get rid of all the books on home design shows!) but the tall black bookshelves were just too dark in a room with hardly any windows. With all the furniture grouped on one end of the room and surrounded with those tall, black shelves, it just felt cramped and dark.
I am a bad blogger and didn't take "before" photos. I found this one
from Christmas and one
from when we were moving in.. Just imagine another one of the wider shelves placed on the wall to the left. There was a coffee table and our sofa placed in front of this, maybe six feet away? It was, um, cozy.
Well, we took all those tall shelves and the black dressers out of the living room to start. The couch was flipped around so it's facing the entry and that big dead space. Now instead of the walkways feeling unused and forgotten, they're part of the seating area and help to open the space to breathe. The piano got moved into the living room. I like it there a lot better. We don't really use the bar in the kitchen and never got around to buying bar stools so it's not like the space was a loss. Bonus - in a pinch, that piano bench will serve as extra seating!
The hutch with all my milk glass was moved to the back corner by the patio. It's a lot closer to the kitchen now so it makes a bit more sense in it's placement.
I moved the smaller (2 x 4) Expedit
out of my craft room and laid it on it's side behind the sofa. All the toys that used to live in the black dressers under the tv are now tucked neatly in there, out of sight! Obviously I could not scoot the couch all the way to the back of the room, because of the patio doors. I wouldn't want to anyway because I'm not a fan of the "all furniture up against a wall" look. This means there's a little area back there where the boy can play and his mess is hidden. It also gives me another flat surface on which to display things since I lost all the display space I had on the bookshelves.
One of my very favorite things about this arrangement is that I can have a lamp on the side table for reading or needlework now! When your seating area is in the middle of the room, there's no way to do this unless you have an outlet in the floor or are okay with cords being strung everywhere. We plugged a surge protector into the wall and put it under the couch so we can plug in our laptops without having cords (on which we all frequently tripped!) all over creation.
On the wall by the entry where the hutch was before
you'll now find the tv. I'm thinking I would really like to mount this on the wall here. If you remember my "before" photos, you'll recall that my "mantel" was merely a long shelf placed over the television. If I mount this on the wall, I lose my mantel area, which is a bummer. I just feel like the tv would work better mounted on the wall here.
The dresser was hauled out of Bubba's room. I was thinking of selling it to buy a bigger one for when we have our second critter, when I realized I could probably use it, at least temporarily, in another room. Eventually I'd like to find a different cabinet for under the tv. Slightly wider and a bit more visually interesting, with some shelves instead of all drawers. For now, since it's taking the place of those black dressers, it works.
Now... just to come up with a paint color for in here!!!
Speaking of paint...
I finally decided on a color scheme for our bedroom. I found that duvet a while ago but could not think of what colors I wanted to put with it for our bedroom. This week I finally settled on bright orange, bright yellow, pale cool aqua, and chocolate brown. Obviously this room still needs a lot of work. We painted the walls and moved the old headboard and nightstands into the garage. They'll be sold on Craigslist. The dark dressers from the living room were moved in and are doubling as nightstands. I had these full length mirrors in the garage so I stuck them over the bed to serve as a temporary headboard. They're a little off center because I scootched the bed over after I had hung them. I don't think I like them - they're excessively modern looking.
I want to make yellow and white curtains with a wide railroad stripe (like these
, only yellow and white instead of black and white) for the wall with the window. Since the space between the window and the wall isn't very wide, I'll have them cover that area. I'd also like to find some yellow lamps for the dressers. I like the shape of this one
and this one
. I'm hoping I can find a set at Goodwill that look cool; I can always spray paint them to the color I want.
I was going to stick my armoire in the closet of the craft room with the rest of my clothes, but it's too wide. I can either open the drawers or open the door, but not both because the sliding doors are in the way. Lame. I'm thinking of painting it bright yellow and tucking it into the corner of the bedroom by the window. We'll see.
So, what did I do with all those bookshelves? Well, I moved them into the craft room! If you remember my post
about the room from when it was first completed, you may be wondering how on Earth I managed to get them in there since the room was pretty full.
I moved the piano out of the room, which freed up some space. I had to get rid of some things, which is not terrible since this room tends to be slightly
cluttery. The bigger (4 x 4) Expedit was moved into the space the piano previously occupied. The stamp table was moved to the space where the smaller Expedit had lived. That freed up the biggest wall for the shelves! I did lose some storage by moving that small Expedit into the living room, so I will be using part of the proceeds from the sale of the headboard and nightstands toward one last shelf for that big empty space. Overall though, I feel like the room seems bigger since the Billy bookcases don't stick out as far as the Expedit and stamp table did. I also like how it looks kind of like I have my own little library in here. Ever since I was a kid, I've always dreamed of having a house with my own library.
Yeah, I was kind of a nerdy kid.
As you can tell from looking at the table, there is still a lot of cleaning, sorting, and purging to do. I also need to get all of my knick knacks back on top of the shelves. It will be fun to get to redecorate them. That's not the only redecorating I need to figure out here though.
There is also the matter of this huge, blank wall that was once covered in bookshelves. Do I decorate it as one wall? Do I do it in zones, since half of it serves the seating area and half the area behind the couch with Bubba's toys and the dog bed? Can I hang the shelf for my mantel here or will it look weird? I have no idea!!!