Friday, January 29, 2016

Living Room Tour

In my last post I showed you the smallest room in the house. This time I'm showing you the biggest (unless you count the kitchen and dining room as one room--which it kind of is, but whatever). Last time you got a sneak peak of our living room from the doorway of the front entry. Below is the view from the dining room doorway looking towards the entry.

Our living room runs the whole width of the house (north to south, parallel to our road). It is a long and mildly awkward space and also the only space large enough to accommodate our two largest pieces of furniture--our hand-me-down china hutch and our free piano.

I've struggled with the furniture arrangement in this room. If I had my preference I would probably divide it into a sitting area but with a love seat and a couple of chairs instead of a table, and an office area. It kind of functions that way at the moment anyway. From 5:45 to 6:45 am every school morning, all the high school kids from church meet in this room to study the scriptures before school (Early Morning Seminary). When a friend asked if I would like this table last year I thought it would be a perfect replacement for the cheap folding table the students had been using. I think it looks great in the space and it is functional as well. We bought the rug at a local bargain place for $30 (it is a flat rug with no backing but I'm pretty sure it is real wool) when we noticed that the floor was getting a little scuffed up where some of the high school kids were scraping their chairs on the floor. It ended up not being quite large enough to help with the scuffing problem but it looks nice.

My china cabinet is to the north and west of the table. I use it more as a kind of library/display cabinet rather than just filling it with dishes. Right now it's just housing some simple winter decorations but Valentine's Day trimmings will be making an appearance in it soon. I've been wanting to paint this piece for years but for some reason I am just really kind of chicken to start such a big project. I don't know why. Maybe 2016 will be the year I get it done.

I love for the the things that I decorate with to have a story. I love this angel. It is a souvenir from the Cassidy's ancestral home in Donegal, Ireland. I was able to travel their with my mom and sister last summer.

The piano is situated opposite the china cabinet. We got it for free several years ago when we lived in Rochester. It plays but it has a weird black finish that almost seems like someone just rubbed the whole thing down with black shoe polish (the black comes off easily with a damp cloth). It's fine. I've gotten used to it and I don't think it's hideous or anything so it will probably stay the way it is for a long time. Maybe forever. My friend Mary helped me recover the bench around 4 years ago, but it needs to be recovered again, so I'll add that to the list as well.

Meet Diana (AKA Artemis). She belonged to my grandpa. I love her. It's so nice to have another girl in the house sometimes. ;)

The blue chair next to the piano was a hand-me-down we got from a friend (who originally purchased it from a thrift store) when she was moving around 10 years ago or so. It's in need of a little TLC. I really like the shape of it and I'd like to reupholster it at some point but that is something else that I don't know how to do so again, the chicken part of me comes out. Bock, bock, bock, bagawwwk. I received a beautiful painting for Christmas that I'd like to get framed to hang above the chair. The shelf will go somewhere else when that happens.

On the end of the room opposite the make-shift seminary classroom, we have our office area. This is the only place in the house that we have an Internet hook-up available so it is situated here by default. Ah, the joys of living in an older house! We have a small desk that is really only large enough for the computer (which my husband refuses to place on the floor), monitor, and the phone, and then a separate table (behind the desk in the adjacent corner) where the wireless printer and a lamp live. The desk was another bargain find. We paid under $100 for it. It is solid wood but the finish was kind of cheap and although it looked great when we first got it, it is in dire need of a paint job. In my dreams I have a computer hutch of some sort--large enough to accommodate all the computer paraphernalia and with doors that we could shut to hide away all the ugly, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon. Instead I have these salvaged shutters on the floor to hide the cords and router. I am open to suggestions for other ideas if anyone knows what to do with computer cords to get them out of sight.

Get this print for free HERE.
Near the computer you might have also noticed our dinosaur of a wall-unit air-conditioner. It may not be much to look at but it works wonderfully. There is no central air in this house, but this old gal makes hot summer days tolerable. I'd like to figure out some way to camouflage this when it isn't in use.

Like the entry, this room has sandpaper walls--textured paint over old paneling--and a dropped ceiling. There are a couple of beams that I'd like to wrap to give them a little more character and presence. If they have to be there anyway why not embrace them, right? I want to paint but my husband keeps saying let's wait until we re-Sheetrock the walls and ceiling. The floor is laminate. It isn't unattractive but it isn't holding up very well either. With four boys we put a lot of wear and tear on our stuff. There are no ceiling light fixtures other than the hanging light over the table that I put up with a $15.00 hanging light kit, so sometimes it feels like a cave (especially in the winter).

Here's a view of the two ceiling beams.
Looking towards the stairs.
Looking towards the street.
 So, to re-cap, here is the wish list of changes I'd like to make in this room if this ends up being our forever-house:
--Paint the china cabinet
--New drywall, ceilings and paint
--Install overhead lighting (we're leaning toward recessed lighting)
--Wrap beams
--Hardwood floors
--Computer hutch of some sort
--Reupholster blue chair
--Reupholster piano bench
--Camouflage wall-unit A/C
--Get art for the wall behind the chair framed

The list of improvements to take care of in this room isn't too daunting, but a couple of the things we do need to address are kind of big. I've lived with it this way for two years without being too sad about things though, so as with the other parts of the house we'll just do a little at a time and make it work with our budget.

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