Monday, September 16, 2013

Boring Living Room to Bright Airy and Organized Living Space (with a bonus separate entry!)

our first real update...getting rid of our jail bars dividing the living room and kitchen!

When we bought the house, we were so excited and even spent a little bit higher than our budget allowed just because it was so "move-in ready". As in, it had decent paint and updated enough fixtures everywhere. But as I'm sure all first time home buyers learn, "move-in ready" isn't exactly the vibe that says "this is our house", "we live here", or  "we love it here". You also come to find that you really just need time in a place to try out different arrangements or color schemes or new ways to make a place your own. Which is why our flat screen tv sat on the same wall that the front door and main entry opened up onto. That is why we did not see the possibilities in this room for so long. We had a couch that looked at the tv that sat on the wall that the main door opened on. Can I just say that again for you? We had a couch that looked at the tv that sat on the wall that the main door opened on! My's a bit difficult not to get embarrassed by that statement. How awkward our initial ideas for our living space were! 

Our design ideas weren't all bad inititally. We knew that the separation from the living room and the kitchen was super weird and eye-sore like, so not long after moving in, Phil broke out the power tools and sawed off the dated rails. I even got to help liberate our tiny kitchen from it's jail cell! 

spacious but boring living room

see what I mean by the TV directly in the entry way!?

Maybe it's thanks to all that time we spent watching HGTV reruns or reading design blogs like Young House Love or the rediculous amount of hours logged on pinterest during the remodel, but somehow we got our act together with a better plan for this living room. While we were shivering or snuggled up against our space heater in extension cord city, I began to realize a few things about the space. #1) I wanted a seperate entry area, even if that meant decreasing the actual square footage for the living room (which is basically our living room/family room/play room/occasional dining room/and more). #2) We really needed to have a focal point and #3) we needed a lot more storage! Thanks to numbers two and three, I finally landed upon a fake fireplace as a focal point (we still need to top it off with some kind of statement wood peice) and more Ikea Expedit units as built in shelves for extra versatile storage.

 We also redesigned the windows during the remodel, which helped make the area a little more cozy and comfortable too. All the windows were aluminum frame and original to the 1940's, which meant they did nothing to help insulate the house. So, we jumped on the opportunity to add additional insulation and of course add to the design.  We made our picture window a bit bigger with three frames instead of just the one big one. On the adjacent wall, we took out the awkwardly placed one medium sized window and instead replaced it with two small picture windows to give it that craftsman feel. 

still unfinished, but so much better

still needs paint, but love the built ins!

can't wait to deck out my faux mantel!

just needs paint!

and a cozy little entry way!
Even though the room is now smaller, thanks to the seperate entry way, it makes so much more sense! I am digging all the design aspects, including the old exposed chimney as you walk in (it used to be hidden in our coat closet). The best part about the design is that it is proving super functional! We still need to do some paint touch up work (including painting the storage shelves since they are only primed currently), trim out the mailbox area, connect the lighting above the chimney, as stated before find a nice piece of wood for the mantel, and hide all those wires for the electronics (the wall is already set up for that to happen, we just have to actually do it).

smaller, yet smarter!

Welcome home. Mi casa es tu casa.

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