In this home (built in the very early 1900’s), there are several unique spaces to figure out how to utilize well. There have been some very nice updates done, and over the years, it appears some additions and other remodeling projects. Here, I was trying to help with how to better utilize the main living spaces on the main floor. The north side of the home is three connected rooms: Kitchen opens to one room (maybe a formal dining room previously), and that room opens to a larger living room. The residents were using the center room as their living room and the larger room on the end as an office/music room. My first suggestion was to swap the room uses. The larger room is brighter and seems more conducive to a living room. The center room is smaller and sort of awkward, in that it is also a hallway between the kitchen and the end room. After giving some ideas of new layout and new furniture, the couple discussed my thoughts and decided to move forward.
The above photos show the center room “before”. Again, awkward and cramped for a living room. I did take some “after” photos of this room, but it was still in-progress when I left. The general idea is to move in the desk and other workspaces as needed, create a collage wall of artwork on the large wall where the entertainment center was, and move in the large lounge chair from the other room.
Below are the “before” and “after” photos of the office/music room turned living room.
For this room, it became obvious more shelving would be needed. We decided on an additional Billy bookcase (“as-is” section score at IKEA!) and an additional narrow IKEA Hemmes series bookcase. The larger Billy bookcases skirt the west-facing window behind the couch. There is sufficient walking space behind the couch, and the exercise bike found a new spot back there as well. The Hemmes bookcases will frame in the TV area (one still needed to be purchased when these photos were taken). The “new” entertainment center was created by re-purposing (and laying to horizontal) the IKEA Kallax shelving unit that was being used for album storage in the former living area. Artwork was moved around and new artwork (vintage book cover art) was framed in the affordable Ribba frames from IKEA. The new rug came from Target, as did the coordinating couch pillows.
In order to help facilitate more eating space (without taking food to the living room all of the time), we found these great bar stools on Craigslist at about half of the cost of the new ones we were looking at. This added seating allows guests to hang out in the kitchen (where all the action is) or in the attached breakfast nook, instead of being all the way across the house.
I thoroughly enjoyed doing this quick makeover!