Friday, June 22, 2012

All I wanted was to vacuum...

Last year, we decided to take the TV and computer out of the livingroom and make it a reading room.  I loved it.  It was peaceful and quiet (well as quiet as it can be with 5 kids). 

It had this wonderful ambience without the TV or computer blaring.  Our 1940's rental doesn't have a family or media room so it took some planning but we made it work.

Last  week James and I decided we would buy one large family gift (meaning an  XBox ) for Christmas and then maybe one or two small presents for each kid.

So in anticipation of our Christmas purchase, James and I moved this lovely TV armoire that our friend Beth gave us out of our bedroom. 

I was pretty sad to see it leave.  I was even more sad to say goodbye to our quiet livingroom and reading nook and my projectless summer.

Moving the armoire in the livingroom meant something had to go to make room.  So,  I started with our little burgundy colored love seat that James ' colleague gave us when he moved to Washington State.  Lucky man and lucky us because we inherited a bunch of furniture his wife didn't want to drag across country with them.

I also had to move the China cabinet because the only cable cord available in the entire room just happens to be on the wall dividing the diningroom and livingroom. 

Then the bookcase didn't look right on the far wall so I tossed all the books and trinkets in a couple of baskets (which sat there for the rest of the week) and then I dragged the computer armoire out of the sunroom.

And I still hated it. I hated the kids eating in front of the tv and the computer constantly on and the blah feeling I had every time I walked in the room.

And then I gave up and left the whole mess for the fall.

Except on Monday, I figured I should vacuum. Because maybe a clean floor will help me love the room more. It didn't. I still hate the room and you know what I hate those beige accent walls the previous tenants left too.

So while my husband was off at work, I painted them blue. Then I painted the fireplace white.  

Then my husband (who really liked those beige walls) came home.   And I had to plead guilty to painting the walls because I was the only one covered in blue and white paint...or that may have been some gray hair.  And then I said, "I'm pretty sure there is something wrong with me. Maybe it's a painting addiction or maybe I can only go so long without a project?" 

And then he smiled and hugged me and said he like them.  So, I think I'll keep him.

And then we all went to bed except I couldn't sleep so I got up at 11 pm and I dragged our burgundy loveseat back into the livingroom.  I found an old yellow slipcover in my curtain box and slipped it on.  It has several holes that I had stitched up previously but it should last a while longer. 

I pushed the computer armoire back into the sunroom (where I made a solemn vow to never move it eye rolling please) and pushed that heavy duty tv armoire all the way to the other side of the room where it will stay until we move. 

And then I slid the buffet table from the diningroom to the livingroom, dragged the trunk from the sunroom  and then I climbed into bed around 1am exhausted.

And then 4 hours later, James' alarm went off.  He rolled over and kissed me and said "Goodmorning.  I love you."

And then I slowly pulled the pillow over my face and said, "I see you haven't gone into the livingroom yet." 

And then I complained that my whole body hurt from pushing and pulling furniture.  And then he chuckled and got out of bed and went to survey the damage.

Then he stuck his head in the door and said "I love you.  It looks good."

And then I rolled over and said.  "Do you love me enough to drill a hole in the floor and reroute the cable for me before you go to work?"

And guess what he did and he never complained once. 

So, here's our new livingroom.  It's bright and cheerful!  I love it. 
I was able to recreate a relaxing sitting area and little reading nooks all over the room.

I borrowed the "Family Rules"  board from the breakfast nook.  Right now the frames are empty.  I haven't decided whether to put family photos in them or to add more rules in each frame.  But I've got all summer so I'm in no hurry.

I couldn't afford to buy new furniture, curtains or paint so I looked around the house and worked with what I had. The best part is I made all the changes for about $75.  I picked up the pillows for $8 each at Dollar General.  I already had the paint from last summer when I painted an accent wall in the laundry room and kitchen.  I picked up some different spray paints for about $15 at Walmart.  I also found the green contact/shelving paper at the Dollar Tree for $1.  It was a great find and helped inspire the rest of the room.

This is what the trunk looked like before.

These 2 photos are the same except for the clock near the fireplace.  I'm not sure whether to keep it or not. What do you think?

I stashed little baskets full of books throughout the room and nestled some old cushions from a loveseat we took to the dump at the end of the couch along with all the old throw pillows from our current couch so the kids could relax reading or watching tv on the floor.

Oh and so I had to play around a little in the diningroom too because I moved the buffet table to the livingroom.  I just added a small shelf and used the same green contact paper I used on the trunk and large picture frame to make a menu board.  Oh and I vacuumed.  (  =

Oh and I may have rearranged the sunroom.  But for now I have sworn off any more house projects.  (  =


  1. Yeah, I was wondering how long your no project summer was going to last :)! Anyways it looks so great, I love the paint and the trunk and the pillows, it looks awesome, I am way impressed!

  2. It's a disease! I need help! Hope your summer is going well and you are enjoying your new sweet baby!

  3. Looks good! Great living room space!!! This sounds like something I would do, I mean rearranging furniture in the middle of the night that is. BTW, I would say no to the clock.

    1. Thanks, Carla! Sometimes the night is the best time to work when the house is all quiet! I've already taken the clock down. ( =

  4. I didn't know what it looked like before, but it looks way cute now! Love all the reading nooks and the repainted chest. And must have a compulsion to do that all in the middle of the night.

    1. It looked like the first 2 pictures on the post. ( = Speaking of posts, now that you are off to graduate school are you going to start posting again. Now that you have all this free time? ( =