Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Den

Just a reminder of what it looked like before we bought the house:


And here’s what it looked like very early in the redo – furniture was already in the middle of the room and the floor was taped off:

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Here I’ve painted the fireplace and primed the walls:

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Next I had to remove all the cabinet doors and the hardware:october 2009 012

It’s always a good idea to use some ziplock bags for hardware or switchplates when you’re painting or remodeling. Don’t think you can put them aside somewhere and keep them all together. (Trust me on this one.)october 2009 014

My Purdy paintbrush took a beating with this project but it did the job. If you invest in a good brush and take care of it, it will last a long time. I like Purdy brushes and for this angled 4” brush you’ll pay around $12-$15.october 2009 017

Here’s what the den looks like now:october 2009 027

That’s the garage you see outside the windows. I was unsure about what color to paint the door, and I started with white that matched the trim. It wasn’t right though and it really drew a lot of attention to the door, which is not where I want the eye to go. A deep chocolate brown was much better. I didn’t have money to buy new hardware for the cabinets so I used some dark brown Valspar spray paint and gave them all new life. $3 for a can of paint was much better than paying $3+ for each knob plus all the hinges!october 2009 033

Here’s a view standing near the tv corner. There’s the pass through into the kitchen. (That used to be an exterior window – this whole room was an addition in the 70’s. I painted both closets the same color as the walls (“coffee” by Valspar) since again, I didn’t want to paint them white and have them take up a lot of visual space.....Never mind about the pass through window - my picture was cropped by blogger and you can't even see it! october 2009 035

I love this little area! I’m still working on it (the baskets you see are temporary until I find a little side table about that height that I can rehab). The shelf thing has vintage door knobs as the hooks and it’s quite distressed (naturally!). I’m still thinking about what I want to go above it or on it. The chair is a $15 thrift store find and the plan is that this area is for putting on and taking off whatever huge snow boots we will be wearing for the next three years of our lives. (yea!)october 2009 024

This weird metal bug belonged to the former owners. Why would somebody own this? How funny. Funnier still is the fact that I haven’t removed it! Kind of a creepy little guy, huh? What a great white elephant gift. Maybe I should hang on to it?

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And in order to not close with a freaky looking bug picture, here’s one last look at the room. I really had a difficult time arranging furniture. The shape of the room plus the fact that there’s not a lot of usable wall space - due to window seats and closets – had me pretty frustrated. It finally worked when I put the tv on my grandmother’s old sewing table and stopped worrying about blocking some of the cabinets. I used a $.50 garage sale suitcase to give the corner some height and to anchor a lamp sitting on a couple of vintage books. The wicker ottoman is purposefully under the tv in order to add texture and to hide lots of cords. The container of sticks and eucalyptus was the final touch for that corner. It really finished it out. october 2009 028

So there you have it. A very different (and I think much better looking!) room for the cost of paint (about $50) plus a few garage sale and thrift store accessories. If I had the cash, there would be beautiful bamboo shades on all the windows plus some better decor for the fireplace. Also some pillows for all the window seats. I’ll probably make some pillows this winter though and the shades will just have to wait. Besides, I like the view outside!

This was one week’s worth of work that, to me, is very worth it……


  1. Very pretty. I think I painted my fireplace the same color!!! I love your huge vase in the corner. I've been trying to find something just like that to put in the corner of my room on the fireplace hurth.

  2. dang la! i think you missed your calling. you shoulda been an interior decorator. :D LOVE IT!

  3. you're the bomb girl! the absolute bomb!!

  4. I happen to know first hand that painting that much paneling just plain stinks. Great Job! It looks like a different room.

  5. Very nice. Could the "ugly bug" actually be a boot remover? Just wondering....enjoy the winter in the cold country!!! Burrrr!

  6. You did a great job, what difference! I know that took a TON of work. It was worth it, it looks great. I had to smile when I read the thing about the snow boots. I remember taking those on and off for our 3 years in Russia. The snow would be covered all over the floor, oh the mess it would make. It was a fun though. We even had little boots for Piper our dog! Ha!