It has been a long time coming. 2 houses. 7 years worth of dreaming and designing them. Now, they are reality and they are MAJESTIC.
I am a huge advocate for organization. I do not believe in wasted space. Everything should have a thought out place. I am slowly making my way through this "typical, characterless, pleasantville, suburbia" house and adding more organization & built in elements. Ahh, I miss all those amazing bungalows in Chicago...
So far, we changed our back catch-all closet to a second pantry (pictures soon). We had our contractor close in a front entry room to create our beautiful office with custom built ins. Then, it was time for him to tackle our family room. We knew we wanted him to create our new built ins in the same style as the office so the house would have a consistent feel.
1. Our daughter started walking and we wanted the TV to be up and off the floor.
2. Create organizational cubbies so all future knick-knacks and family photos have a home.
3. Create a visual showstopper!
I am happy to say that all criteria have been met. I walk down the stairs slowly now, just to peek around the corner...to make sure it is real and I am not dreaming!
Some of the furniture has been updated and other pieces (couch especially) were on hold until the built ins arrived for sizing and placement. We also have a whole side to our room back and we have some canvas family photo art in mind. Think big black and white photo of a grandfather in a Yankee uniform...
I was so happy when we finally started demo on the old fireplace surround. It was too high and there was not enough visual weight to it.
After some brainstorming, my husband and our contractor devised this "tubing system" to hide all the tv components and power cords. We also have a tube for any future "see-you-later-cable-internet-only-tv-watching". It is an easy system. Feed the cord through the bottom left cabinet and it shoots up through the opening behind the TV.
The board, TV wall mount and power box installation for that seamless finish.
The tile that we chose for the new fireplace surround. This was the hardest part. We went to a lot of places and I photoshopped some of the contenders. We were looking for something neutral. That way if we choose to paint the room orange or something down the road, the tile will not have to be replaced. We chose stone and mother of pearl 1 inch x 1 inch tile and finished it with a charcoal grout. We looked at a neutral grout, but the tiles did not stand out as much, so we ended up with a darker grout.
Here is how the room looked 2 years ago. Yikes! (excuse the mess. the baby was new.)
**Yes, I have a very neutral palette in the room. I like layering neutral textures (hello Candice Olson). It is so easy to rotate in some color for the holidays.
**Our contractor, Tim Burton of By Others Construction, is TOP NOTCH. Period. I will not let anyone else work on my home. Trustworthy, knowledgable, loyal, fair and I would say middle range pricing, but worth every cent. I think I would call him artisan as well as contractor. He can do anything. Indy people...if you need his contact information I would be happy to share. CONTACT ME. National people...he travels quite often for jobs. Email me if interested. Not sure I want to share him...but I will with all of my close friends!