Daily Archives: December 18, 2013

Room by room: Living Room

As we approach the end of the year and, as such, our first anniversary owning our little urban home, it’s only fitting that we do a little room by room update as we head towards January 25th (our closing day- our official anniversary!).  Remember, we only moved in in May so we’ve spent the last few months really trying to make thing feel more like home and getting the last of the boxes unpacked as we prepared for the holidays.  It was our first year hosting a major holiday, Thanksgiving, with BOTH families in attendance.  It was a blast and we loved having everyone down in our neck of the woods, but more on that later!  Setting the deadline of Turkey Day, operation ‘make this place feel like home’ really kicked off.  Starting with the Living Room, here’s where we were at up until just before Thanksgiving:





Here’s the run down of what we did:

Recessed Light

Ceiling Fan (oh, and actually had a ceiling installed)

Retained the original archways and patched/repaired all the plaster and trim-work

New windows

Refinished floors

New Curtains and rug – All the other furniture is from our little rowhouse (couch, arm chairs, TV console, etc.)

Still to do:

SOMETHING about that fireplace, beginning with making it function!

Finish painting all the trimwork!

You’ll notice that we did lose one of the corners to make way for the expanded coat-closet-turned-half-bath. But as you can see in the photo below, the windows are still, ‘almost’ centered in the wall with the bump out (on the left) and it still leave plenty of room for a future, larger sofa and endtable, so there was no great loss and we gained a great 1/2 bath on the first floor – win win!


One thing that was missing was a place to put some of our, um, 10,000,000 books.  In our old house, we spent entirely too much time planning the use of every inch of space which led to the creation of lots of built-ins.  This house? Nada.  Not.one.shelf in the entire place.  And with boxes and boxes of books, we had to start planning for some book storage.  We have some larger ideas for a built-in entertainment/shelving system in the living room, but we are still evaluating exactly the size and location of that.  One thing we did notice as we settled in was with placement of the windows, fireplace, and door to the playroom/sunroom, there was a dead corner in the room.  (You can see the junk pile beginning on the right side of the sofa in the photo above!)  A dead corner plus a need for some book storage led to some very simple bookshelves.  They are not 100% done (there is clearly a need for some additional trim and molding) but they are doing the trick at the moment.


Just some of the stacks of book boxes!

They marched right down and almost put themselves on the shelves!

(Don’t mind the mess beyond in the playroom – that’s the joy of having a dedicated space for toys, the living room gets to remain generally toy (mess) free!)

Building the shelves the same height at the fireplace also helped us try to make some sense of and balance the existing doorway.  We thought if we made them too tall, it would look funny and top heavy…and too short would look strange so close to the fireplace size.  In the end, we think they are a good addition to the room.  Until we build some others, these are jam-packed with books and albums in an attempt to empty as many boxes as possible, so please, don’t judge on the ‘stylizing’.  And yes, that is an enormous clock and yes, Naomi is in love with it.  I could do without it but N really wanted an oversize clock for the house – Ikea to the rescue!  Once she laid eyes on it, she had to have it and at less than half the price as come other clocks she’d been looking at, I said OK.



December 18, 2013 · 3:47 pm