These days I’ve been oscillating in a few directions looking for an interesting place to land and try my hand at something crafty. I thought it would be the laundry room (as I detailed here) and it may still be, but, well… I think my interest there might have petered out around the time it came down to needing to paint the walls and baseboards. I used to love painting, but this place needs so much prep work that the element of instant gratification (my absolute favorite part of any DIY project) is out the window.
Instead, I’ve been thinking about ways to brighten up the den. Thanks to the huge window directly across from the doorway it’s an impossible room to photograph so please excuse this dismal shot (brightened only by two adorable gentlemen).
This room needs a lot of help. It houses all the furniture from our last home that doesn’t really have a place in our MCM abode. But since we can’t really afford to upgrade the furniture at the moment, I’ve been trying to brainstorm some ideas for keeping this space more in line with the clean lines in the rest of the house. We don’t use this room a ton, but it has a huge 5′ pocket door right off the entry hall that makes it a highly visible space.
Here’s a shot of the wood wall from move-in day (we’ve since yanked the carpet and laid hardwood bamboo floors). It’s beautiful, right? The shelving system could be improved and the countertop is laminate but those are things we will address another day.
Here’s what we’re working with:
- The walnut paneled wall and built-in console are original and not going anywhere — we love them. But they are so dark that this room feels like a giant black hole.
- The shag rug is a remnant from our last home and its deep colors aren’t doing this room any favors.
- Our off-white couch on the off-white wall? Also not the best look.
- The lounge chair is a hand me down from my mom. It’s a very nice chair, but we’d like to trade it for something more contemporary.
- The coffee table is a Lane cedar chest that holds some of Logan’s toys, but I’m not particularly partial to it anymore.
- The MCM desk and yellow chair I grabbed for a steal at a consignment store last summer. They’re the only things I really love in this room.
- Somehow I also need to convince Kirk that his Cal Ripken prints don’t fit that wall… he’s not going to like that.
- Oh, and the vertical blinds have to go.
In a fit of mania I pulled up the carpet the other night and it made the room feel five times larger and sunnier — if not entirely naked. I’ve got my eyes peeled for a lighter, graphic rug to replace it with (maybe like this one, or this one … but for way less money). We can’t change the color of the couch and I don’t want to paint the wall behind it a contrasting color since that would only be adding more dark colors to an already shadowed space (though as you can probably gather from all the dark blue paint samples taped to the wall in the photo above, I was once considering this option). Instead, I’m thinking of trying a fun graphic like this one that Mandy at Vintage Revivals drew with a Sharpie. How awesome is that?! The white on white seems to work really well in this space and it gives me hope for our den.
Update: I’ve listed the dark rug and the coffee table on Craigslist and am thinking of tossing the leather recliner up there, too. I just need to get my mom’s permission first! I’d love to replace it with something like this. It’s causal and comfortable, but it’s eclectic, too. And I think a lighter color leather will help in this room. How beautiful is that vintage leather?
I pulled this image off ebay, but the listing has since been deleted.
So that’s where my head is at. Any ideas? Suggestions are welcome!