Oct 7, 2011

house 5.5 floor plan + initial thoughts

i had a lot of plans for the last 6 weeks of my life.
i was going to be completely unpacked by last week.
this week, all the rooms i planned on painting were going to be painted.
i was going to keep up with the laundry and the housekeeping like i was june cleaver.
i was also going to lose 10 pounds and fly to the moon...ok, not really. but that's about how absurd those "goals" seem to me now.

we have been in our new house for a month now, and the boxes in the garage are still at shoulder level. i would feel so much better if they were at waist level, but hey...that's life, right? not a day goes by where i don't ask myself, or get asked by someone in my family, "where's my---------?" what ever it happens to be... i have NO idea. maybe i'll know by christmas.

i wanted to give you a glimpse of the floor plan of the house...or, at least the rooms that i will be trying to tackle first. i can't find my scanner , so excuse the lousy iphone photo. (proof of how bad the unpacking situation is...i can't find a scanner/printer!?)
the rooms that i am going to focus on first are the library, my office, and grady's room.
first priority: the library.
i want this room to be a library. *duh. where most of our books are stored.
a sitting room.
a room where my kids can do their homework, we can sit and talk, entertain a guest or two,
play a board game, and curl up with a book.
i originally envisioned my leather sofa, centered on the back wall, flanked by our two large black bookcases. i wanted to add some sconces to the sides of the bookcases, put my two metal ottomans in front of the sofa, and use temporary wallpaper on the wall space in between the bookcases. it was going to be spectacular, y'all.
fast forward to moving day, and i realized that there were these DUMB plant ledges on the top of the right and entry wall. (we had only been in the house twice before we moved in, and i failed to notice this detail.) UGH. that totally threw off my plan! how could i not have spotted those? so, the bookcases could NOT fit along the right wall OR placed symmetrically along the back wall. they also can't be placed on either side of the entry. what a bummer, right?
those bookcases HAVE to either go in this room, or my office. since my office (the room to the left of the entry) is rather small and awkward, i felt the bookcases would overwhelm them. so, i had to figure out a way to use them in this room. the solution i came up with was to place them on either side of the window. this will add some symmetry and visually balance the visual weight of the bookcases.

another challenge is the corner bookcases that we had custom-built for the dining room/library in house #5. this room is LITERALLY the only room in the entire house where these bookcases will fit. it was either put them in here, or put them in the garage. as you can see from my terrible pictures below, they are in front of a small window. i am planning on completely ignoring this window by covering it up with art or a mirror. it doesn't really add anything to to room, and since part of it was already covered up, i figured i would just pretend that it doesn't exist. i realize that this is a huge decorating sin to some people, but it's my house, and i can commit all the sins i want. (insert evil laughter.)

so, here is the revised plan/vision:
remember my thrift store chairs?
i spent $60 on the pair, and they have been sitting on my garage for the last 2 years. i want to paint them, recover them, and place them in front of the large window with a table (probably my aluminum one) in between. the octagonal table (a hand me down from my parents) will be placed about where it is now...maybe shifted towards the bookcases a tad. i would like to have at least two chairs around this table, (i love these, but they are way out of my budget!) and possibly some small stools that can be used for extra seating of ottomans for the thrift store chairs. this will be the homework/game table.

the corner bookcases need to be painted, i just can't figure out what color yet. painted white? the same color as the walls? i can't make up my mind. i also have a few other chairs floating around my house that i would need to recover and possibly place in the corner where the bookcases end. i would love to see the chair that was in my last family room in here. it's comfy, and totally due for an upholstery job, as it is just over 9 years old, and has desitin and toothpaste smeared all over the back of it. (the product of one very mischievous and curious 2 year old boy named grady.)
the cow hide rug will stay. i originally had it my son's room in house #4, but haven't had a place for it in the last 5 years. i was excited to see it come out of storage.

as far as colors...
painting the bookcases is a NO. they are laminate, and my husband had them custom built for his office once-upon-a-time ago, and he is very attached to them and does NOT want them painted. (see, even i lose some battles in my own house!) so, i have these two, big black hulking bookcases i have to deal with. in my last house, i painted the walls black to make the bookcases blend in. i love the way it looked, but i would like to try something else this time around. (or maybe i don't? i don't know...) i want to room to feel cozy and intimate, and have considered painting the walls a dark grey, a deep blue, or just a "better" neutral than they are now.

up first...deciding what color to paint the corner bookcases. i can't put the shelves in and unpack the books until i have figured out what to do.
what would you do?
paint them white so they can transition into any space in my next house?
pick a wall color and paint them the wall color so they look more built-in?
paint them black to match the bookcases?

please let me know. as you can tell, i am feeling a bit overwhelmed, and i change my mind about this at least 5 times a day.  any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! 
have a great weekend!


  1. About those chairs... they look to be a pewter grey in the photo, a VERY "in" color right now especially paired with purple or yellow. I wonder if you could simply paint the wooden edges of the chairs to match the already-fabulous-grey cushions and see how that feels, maybe with a yellow or purple throw pillow in one or both? Also, the black bookcases, totally fits in with a palette of grey, and easy to make fun with super pops of color?? It's a more modern look, for sure, but is achievable fairly easily and sooo in right now!

  2. stacy. thanks for your thoughts. the chairs are actually a very faded out light blue. the upholstery is in horrid condition and needs to be replaced. i will most likely paint the frames either a soft white or a darker color, like a grey and then take them to the upholsterers to get redone.

  3. paint the bookcases white with the backs of them the color of the wall- or a fun color- or put up a patterned wallpaper. I love that look. Hope this helps- I do this too. There are SO MANY options! How can you choose one??

  4. I am no expert but I would probably look at painting the corner bookcase black so it relates better to the already black book cases (sad that you can't paint those but you win some you lose some). Maybe taking some cues from the cow hide do the room in black and white with grays so it doesn't look so harsh. Not that you live in a chic city condo but this was along the lines of what I was thinking... http://www.hgtv.ca/sarah101/episodes.aspx?sectionid=432&categoryid=7233973092702435170&postid=195876. I am sure whatever you chose to do it will be awesome!

  5. My favorite item is the cow hide rug. I like the idea of the cow hide in a black and white room. Also, a note about the window you're "pretending doesn't exist". How about covering it, then choose some type of covering for that wall? I have an interior decorating friend who had a window problem. She covered the window opening then used a sheet to cover the wall. The wall was gorgeous. You'd never know the window was there.

  6. Those chairs are fabulous!!! I also always make unrealistic to-do lists. The best thing when you feel as if nothing is getting done is to make a list of all the things you did do. You'll be surprised how much you've been able to do and it will make you feel productive.
    Can't wait to see the space all decorated:)

  7. Hi Autumn! If it were me, I would paint the bookcases black to match. I think the rug would pop even more that way (which I love btw!). Enjoy the process...it is hard to not want to hurry and get it done, but it's okay...everything continually evolves and if it weren't that way we would get horribly bored! :D

  8. I'm actually in the process of re-doing my front room as well. It's currently painted a deep blue (Tempe Star by SW) and I love it, just tired of it. I'm planning on painting the room a creamy white (Frostine by BM Affinity) and doing a stencil like this in maybe kelly green http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/wall-stencils-damask-stencils.html. I also have brown bookcases that flank a brown media/tv unit and I'm going to paint all of them Dolphin by BM Affinity. It's a deep gray and looks great on furniture/cabinets. Some thoughts for your room -
    * paint the corner units same color as wall to give them that custom built-in look
    * paint the chair frames black and keep the fabric in a soft linen type color (I love a chair in fun fabric, but you seem to be like me in wanting to change things all the time, so keep it simple since it's expensive). Use throw pillows for color/pattern
    * paint or stencil foam poster board and put it in the backs of your black bookcases. Or, put fabric in the backs of them

    We just finished putting up board/batten in the foyer/hallway and I painted the wall above in Storm by BM Affinity line. It's a true grey without any blue/purple/yellow undertones. I went through a lot of greys!!
    I have a lot of black furniture and I'm slowly replacing and painting all of it. It just totally sucks the light and energy out of a room and it gets dusty fast!! Carin

  9. thanks for the feedback everyone! i have to admit, that i am leaning towards painting the bookcases the same color as the walls so that they blend in...now, to decide on a color that i like enough to live with for the next several years!!

  10. Hi Autumn
    I'm going against the grain apparently....because I see the corner bookcases painted the same color as the walls also, keeping the room from feeling to heavy,allows more room for contrast and textures...you will have enough dark pieces (the rug, framed art etc.) to complete the flow of the dark bookcases. Can't wait to see it!