Monday, August 18, 2008

Our New House: Not the Bedrooms Edition

Come, step this way to see the rest of our new house. Thank you all for the kind words about the bedrooms; I have enjoyed using my pregnancy-induced nesting instinct for good, rather than evil.

Living Room

Here is our living room, awash in its robins' egg blue paint. I was going for the color of a Tiffany box, a greeny turquoise-y blue that I just love, and I am really happy with how it turned out. The black-and-white photography is all from our honeymoon in Yosemite. Although you don't have to be Ansel Adams to take really gorgeous photos in Yosemite, after a few more years of photography experience I feel like some of them could be improved upon. Oh well; they're still lovely and such a fun reminder of a special trip.

Living Room

We still have not reupholstered that funny orange chair! Wasn't I planning on doing that before Grace was born? It will get done eventually and we will trade out the funky mid-century scratchiness for something more contemporary. I do love the shape and structure of that chair. Both the chairs in our living room (the one that has successfully been to the upholstery place and the one that has not) are hand-me-downs from Rob's grandmother; you just can't buy chairs with such interesting shapes and good quality frames these days anywhere near our price range. The antique sewing machine belonged to one of my grandmothers; I think it might still function but it's life now is the lazy one of an objet d'art.

Living Room

And here you get a glimpse of both Grace drowsily waking up from her nap and the TV situation we eventually settled on. Having the TV in our main living area is not the Platonic ideal of either home theaters or living rooms, but it is working out fine and manages to not offend either my design sensibilities or Rob's home theater sensibilities. The one downside we've discovered so far is that if one person is trying to play Rock Band after another person has gone to bed (hint: I am the person in bed), said person must play Rock Band very quietly, which doesn't have quite the same impact. The bedrooms are a little too close to the living areas.

Dining Room

Turning to the right, we find our dining room. The paint in this room was in great shape so we have left it white for now (almost the whole house was white when we moved in). It's on the small side, which is fine for our lifestyle but is a bummer because we can't fit in the dining furniture we had before. That furniture is also from Rob's grandmother and we really like it so it is sitting in storage for now. The storage bills definitely add up, though, so we will probably have to re-evaluate in a year or so and think about how long we plan to be in this house, how much do we really love that furniture, etc. In the meantime, here is some affordable IKEA furniture to the rescue! I originally planned to paint this room red (in another year or two) because I love the idea of a red dining room and it is a small room that could use some definition and pop, but now I am leaning toward painting the new baby's nursery red. I love a red room, but more than one in a single house is a bit much even for me.


A little bit further forward we find our study. This was originally the one-car garage and at some point in the house's 50-year history someone converted it to this handy room. I really like how they dealt with the old garage door opening; the big windows are very low on the cheesy garage-conversion scale. We have this room outfitted with the computer, my sewing area, and some playthings for Grace.


Oh, how I love my new sewing area! This is the first time I've ever had a dedicated sewing table in a little area set up just for that purpose. I am just loving having it all organized and set up on a permanent basis. This room in general fits our needs so well; it's still in a central area of the house (which I wanted) but tucked away enough that when you first walk in, you aren't faced with too much computer/sewing clutter.

The downside of this room, which you may have used your razor-sharp skills of observation to find, is the paneling. Boo, paneling! It is especially offensive because there is all this non-matching wood putty in nail holes and seams, which I think you can see in the picture. Doing something about the paneling is definitely a high priority. Ideally I'd like to take it down and put up normal drywall, but just painting it is also an option. I think we're going to take a wait-and-see approach and see if we can manage to budget enough savings for the first option. If not, we'll likely paint sometime next year. I'm thinking a soft, slightly warm dove gray color...


amydove said...

Normally I am very opposed to paneling, but I think that what you have looks good in the pictures. It looks kinda like a sauna, not a 70s basement, and in the pic of dining room it matches the wood floors nicely so it looks like it was meant to bring the rooms together. The carpet going a foot up the wall is a little strange, though... :)

botanyhead said...

I agree with amydove. I don't like the 70's style cheapie, actually-made-out-of-cardboard type fake wood paneling but, real wood paneling, (maybe knotty pine) just feels kind of cozy to me. But, yes, the carpet going up the walls isn't speaking to me so much. Odd. Beautiful house though Julia and I'm so jealous of your sewing area and we have pretty much the same couch!

Eva said...

After having the whole tour I can only say that I absolutely love the colors you chose. They are bold and very festive. Niv shares my opinion and he also happens to like the wooden paneling.

I'm amazed that you got the house to look so good in such a short time. You guys are impressive!.

Nikki H. said...

Julia, I love your new house! When Paul and I finally buy a house (someday), I'm hiring you to be our interior designer. ;)

The Beholder said...

I've enjoyed the pics of your new house! You've got a really great design eye--I'm a little bit disappointed I never got to see your CT house! If you ever want a career change, I'm sure you could find it in some design-y field. :o) (PS: I LOVE the color of your living room! Awesome!)