Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One day

One day last week I woke up and decided I couldn’t stand my front room for one more minute!! I’ll be frank…I have always hated this room. Why is it that the architect who designed this home decided to make a tiny front room and a slightly larger family room (that connects directly to the kitchen), instead of making ONE decent-size room (and an entry wouldn’t have killed him)?? It’s been my bane for the last eight years. It’s a room that really serves no purpose.

I tried to improve it two years ago. I failed quite miserably. The idea was to make it kind of a ‘library’ room. Yah, it didn’t really happen.

decor 005

These bookshelf/cabinet/thingies were virtually my first furniture-painting project. They really didn’t out too bad…but the fact that I felt I got gypped in purchasing them always bugged me. They were advertised as “real wood.” They were so not “real wood.” I foolishly did not go to look at them myself, though, and by the time they came home, there were no backsies! I painted them anyway, and they weren’t horrible—but the white primer that showed through the “distressing” also bugged me.

In the picture above, you can also see my first major upholstery project on the left. There were two of those chairs, and I didn’t like them either! They left about a year ago, to be replaced by these:

chocolate 066

They were free chairs, so I was only in to them for the cost of materials to reupholster them. Again, they weren’t my favorite. The table, on the other hand, is my French Twist table, and it only joined the room a couple of months ago (replacing another early painting project). It’s still in my good graces.

In front of the window I had an antique writing desk I got in trade from some refinishing work. Underneath it is an old steamer trunk that belonged to my great-grandparents. These are both keepers!

SAM_0230

Do you want to see what the room looks like tonight?

bedroom 027

Quite a change, huh? I sold the two arm chairs and the big black shelves. (Believe it or not, I got my money back out of them! I couldn’t be happier.) The steamer trunk and the writing desk have moved to my bedroom. I’d love to sell the rug—it’s always clashed with the flooring. And I’m not married to those curtains, either.

bedroom 026

Piled on the floor is all the stuff that came out of or off of the big black shelves! It’s been hard to find a place for it all.

Now it’s confession time:

I. don’t. know. what. to do. now!

It’s still a tiny, useless room (about 10’ x 13’). Just with less furniture. Winking smile Still, it’s a relief to have the ugly stuff gone, so I can start fresh. Taking out the wall to combine the two rooms is not an option--it's a load-bearing wall.

Any suggestions for me? I’m open to all sorts of ideas!


34 comments:

Mommyblogger said...

I really struggle with decorating so I can't be any help at all to you. The good news is you have a blank canvas to work with so dig for inspiration & I'm sure when your done it will be great. Can't wait to see what you do with it :0

Brooke said...

Can't wait to see what you do with it! Thanks for the sweet comment about my dresser makeover at www.spruceyournest.com. I am a new follower :-)

Mindy said...

a larger cute corner cabinet, (the real wood ones with lots of character) and maybe an interesting long 2 tiered table with a large mirror over it, then maybe two matching chairs and a table in between??
Mindy~
i cant wait to see what you choose!

Ali Richardson said...

Awesome!!! I always love a fresh start. Can't wait to see what you do!

Kristal said...

I like the idea of a library and the room looks like the right size to be nice and cozy. But how much traffic does the room get. Can you turn it into a nice little office/studio for yourself? Just throwing out a few suggestions. I'm sure whatever you decide will be gorgeous!

XoXo,
Kristal

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I'm proud of you for emptying out the room! Who cares about putting it back...just taking the first step to tackle that job (especially the shelving) was a big thing.
I struggle to decide these things!
...and decorating, though I used to be 'good' at it, I find it tedious these days.

I'm coming back to see what you do in here. I can use some inspiration!
...sorry I'm not much help, Pat

Rebecca said...

I know it's a pretty giant task, but would it be possible to cut an opening in the wall that adjoins the other family room, just like you said the builder should have? That way this space will be much more connected and open-plan and you'd probably actually use it!

I know it requires a bit more of a cash injection to start knocking holes in walls, but it sounds like it would do wonders for the usefulness of the space for you!

I'm assuming I interpreted your description of the layout of the rooms correctly and that they are in fact right next to each other... if not, I have no idea :)

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a library. A full wall of bookshelves and a couple of comfy chairs in front and an ottoman.

Anonymous said...

Just an idea for a library. I love what they did in this one. It's a small almost useless room, but this is perfect. http://www.maillardvillemanor.com/2011/08/new-library-rug.html

Twice Nice said...

I have that room too! Mine is supposed to be the "Formal" Dining room. I don't think you could ever put a table in there to seat more than 6! What good is a formal DR if I can't use it for Thanksgiving (which is the only reason I've ever used any of our DR for)?! Currently mine houses the piano, a buffet full of extra dishes/cookbooks, the kids backpacks hung up,and a lot of furniture I just refinished for my sale. In other words it's a dumping ground. I'll be eager to see what you do with yours so I can copy! Ha! Deb

Beth said...

I love the idea of an office/ studio (if you don't already have one). I am imagining lighter furniture and a bright, floral rug. A desk/workstation...maybe a small farmtable or an Ana White desgin. Open shelving and a couple of cozy chairs with a table in between. Have fun!!!
Beth

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I have to agree with you on the area rug, Korrie. I'd take it up and try to sell it. If you decide to keep the curtains maybe something solid with a band around the edging in a rug. What do you want the room to be? Do you still want to go with a library feel?

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I think everyone has a room or two that is just frustrating! Starting from scratch is really the ideal way to get a fresh new look. I guess the first question to ask yourself is how exactly do you want to use this room. Have fun!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

it is so girly and pretty now! and u have to say like sharon, ask what you want to use it for? or what you need it for? a homework room? a craft room? a room to just get away???

fran @ eleven-o-one said...

You have 6 kids right? Try a ping-pong table! I'm sorta kidding since I know you want it to be fun but when I was growing up, my parents suffered through a ping pong table in our family room and I remember lots of fun parties and fun competition with my brother.

Ok... on a more serious note, I'm with others who ask "How do you want to use this room?" And is the a budget to knock out walls? I also like the "lose the rug" idea. It looks like a nice rug but it blends with what looks like really nice wood floors.

Sorry I'm no help. Hope you hook up with Debra at Common Ground for the Design Challenge.

Anonymous said...

It is always fun to start a room from scratch. I plan to move soon, so I will be looking at a lot of blank rooms also. My motto this time is going to be "less is more", which will really be hard for me! Also I am planning to continue the same color theme (with a few different accents)through out, so my house will flow. So my decorating advice is to paint the walls a neutral color and then have fun decorating in the accent colors you love. Enjoyed your post and can't wait to see what you do...I'm sure it will be great!

T.@WhatWeKeep said...

Korrie...check your email!

You must be exhausted from this job. Stare at it a few days...it'll come to you. : )

Tina

Gayle said...

Any way you can knock the wall down and connect it to the next room?

Suzy-Q said...

I could not agree more regarding the front room/ separate family room! We made ours a dining/ sitting area

Ido said...

I heard some body complain about all the houses in Utah having exactly the same layout, it sounds like my home is similar to yours and I am using the living/entry room as a library too, my book shelves aren't as nice as the ones you got rid of, they are just plain cheap bookcases from wal-mart. I also have a rug and a table in the center which serves her purpose as homework table, but I agree with you, is more like a useless space. Can't wait to see what you do with your living room!
XXX Ido

ImSoVintage said...

Korrie, Congratulations on getting started and love your keepers. I think you should step back and give the room a chance to speak to you. Take down the curtains and pull out the rug that you don't like and when it is down to its bare bones it will probably let you know what to do. (You can always add them back in) You are so creative, I know it will be beautiful.
Laura

Marcia (One Heart) said...

Ooh, how fun, a blank canvas. I'd so go for the very opposite here--light, light, light, and I'd start by taking out the carpet followed by taking down the curtains. Not sure if you have a window in there, but I'd open that up with soft sheers or pull string shades. Not sure if you have a color scheme or theme in mind but that would be next--walls, fabric, etc. Again, I'd go for a light and airy library vs. a dark one.

My friend, Leslie, from Goodbye, House. Hello, Home! has a music room/reading room which I am in love with. You can check it out at http://goodbyehousehellohome.blogspot.com/2010/06/welcome-come-on-in-our-foyer-music-room.html.

Anywho, keep us updated on your progress. Have tons of fun!!!

bj said...

I just hate rooms that no one uses. So useless and wasteful. FORMAL living rooms..FORMAL dining rooms..don't like 'em at all.

I agree, if you think you'd use it, in a library. I'd paint all the walls a beautiful white, add either white wooden shutters or at least the plantation blinds to the window/s. Remove the rug..have hubby to build plain shelves along the entire wall..just white boards held up with pretty brackets...from floor to ceiling...
Then I'd add a round rug in front of the wall of shelves, put a small round table and 4 comfy chairs around it for sitting and reading..having coffee...or both.

Wow..you will have such fun with it.

I have to tell you that I, too, wanted a wall of shelves at one end of my large living room. Hubby figured and came up with about 300 dollars for material. I walked into a thrift store 2 days later and, leaning up against their wall, A WHOLE WALL OF SHELVING..I nearly had a heart attack. I bought the whole thing for 80 dollars and I am in love...forever. :)

gail said...

I am no help! However, I'm glad you emptied it. If you don't like the rug and curtains, ditch them. Then you will be able to see it with fresh eyes!
gail

Stephanie said...

I would say to keep going with the purge and sell the rug and curtains too. Start fresh! I'm thinking you need a faboulous antique mantel - the kind with the sides - love!

Linda R said...

I would start with a completely naked white room - love the library url someone suggested! I would find one chair (the kind of big cushy ones I love to curl up in which would make you want to use the room) with a throw handy so I could curl up in my new sanctuary to read each new Somerset magazine I acquire ;-) Good luck - no hurry just put things you love in there as you acquire them.

Lesley said...

You will never make it a studio for yourself because it is at the front door. A library will not get used. It sounds nice in theory, but we never use the space. Someone above mentioned that you have a ton of kids. Have you considered asking THEM what they invision?? Will the room fit a billiards table?? Or a game table that converts to different type games like ping pong, carems? Where is the natural light?? Are those curtains blocking the light?? Let some in!! Just my thoughts.

Darling Details said...

the rug is a great size. could you paint it to match your vision for the room? Might save some $$. I like the round table set up that DJ mentioned. then it could be for homework, games, VT, whatever. I think the Game table idea is fun too. I'm sure it will be great whatever you decide.
Marci

Darling Details said...

k, just checked the links mentioned above. I love the http://www.maillardvillemanor.com/2011/08/new-library-rug.html room. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Just a super crazy silly idea.....could you make it a entry alcove "fancy" mud room? I have seen blogs, where they made closets awesome "nooks"........maybe figure out if something along those fun & different ideas?

Anonymous said...

http://theletteredcottage.net/reading-room-redo

Karyn said...

Good Luck with the room transformation...I'm excited to see what you do. I'll pass what you do to all my friends as they have similar rooms/problems.

Ruthie's Renewed Treasures said...

Way to go for deciding to do it and making a change!!! I have a blog with lots of decorating tips and ideas. I'd love to have you follow. Glad to have found your blog!

Ruthie

K said...

Even load bearing walls can have windows, doors and arches built into them. What made the diff for me was finding the right builder - a good old boy lookin' dude who turned about to be the Martha Stewart of ideas - he asked about the flow of life in the house, about what I wanted to do,and then came up with ideas I never could have come up with myself. And a room looks bigger with lighter, fresher colors - and big mirrors and there are ways - there ARE ways.