living room: after

before we begin, our living room has really be in flux since we moved in, so i don’t have true before photos. first, our living room was our dining room, and then we just had a couch and a coffee table (and a christmas tree) in there while we waited for a new window. then, when we thought the window was arriving, we took down the blinds and trim, and then no window came, and so the room has looked really pitiful (rotting window frames will do that) for the last few weeks. some evolution photos of our living room can be seen in my end-of-year-one house tour post, so check there if you want a comparison.

here are the “after” shots:

with our new window installed, pierre and i made pretty quick work of finishing the living room this week. we already had the paint (from doing the dining room in december), and the shelving unit (delivered by the kind folks at upside dive a month or two ago), and we were reusing all the rest of our furniture, keeping the floors, etc. so we knew it would just take a few days to whip the room into shape.

with the tarp already down for the window guys (cute twins, i might add!) and all our furniture shoved into other rooms — you really feel it in a 710 sq. foot house when one of your rooms is out of service — we got to work on tuesday night, priming and painting the new window trim and the old baseboards.

the new window is fabulous — our old one (besides the whole leaking thing) only had a tiny square that opened to let in a whisper of a breeze. our new window is a double-casement that opens fully, and that’s going to make a huge difference this summer (no ceiling fans, no a/c).

we have board games and dvds tucked into this white cabinet, with magazines and surplus records in the black cabinet below. whiskey and wine bottles are in the open cabinet; the door just needs one more coat of paint before it can be screwed back into place.

working in publishing, i get a lot of free books. i used to take everything i could get — ohmigod! free books! — but in recent years i’ve become way more selective. when we first moved from our apartment to our bungalow, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say 25% of what we moved was books. fifteen rubbermaid bins of them! when we moved our books to our basement in december, i decided i wouldn’t be moving them all back upstairs. we didn’t have room in the new living room for one thing, and wait, why did we three copies of the sun also rises? (answer: i wouldn’t lend books to pierre when we were first dating — who knew if i would get it back? — so he had to buy his own copies of the books i recommended. we had a bunch of duplicates when we moved in together. i’m still bad at sharing.)

i recently took the giant leap from being selective about what i take in the first place to purging books i already owned. fifteen bins became three, and you’re looking at what’s left, with the exception of all my children’s books, which we’re keeping downstairs until we actually need picture books at the ready. once i got going, purging the books was surprisingly easy. did i even like this book? would i ever read it again? did we have more than one copy? did i buy it for 50¢ at a garage sale? no, no, yes, yes: gone. you’re welcome, patrons of the toronto public library.

unpacking the books that made the cut yesterday was like opening presents on christmas morning. i’ve picked out a few to reread, like on the road and valley of the dolls. and now that our living room is all put together, i have a spot to do just that.

i mentioned that the teak shelving unit has one other cabinet door, which is currently drying in our basement. i used the same colour of yellow on it that i did on my sewing table, but the jury’s still out on whether or not it will stay that colour. the black and white cabinet doors were black and white to begin with, but i repainted them to match our particular shades of black and white (black satin and sugar cookie), so they’re freshly painted, too.

we just need to pick some art for the wall and install new blinds on the window before we can deem this room done. we went brick-to-brick with our new window, so it’s about 2.5 inches wider than our old one and our old blinds no longer fit in the frame. i’m pretty sure our neighbours are getting tired of seeing us drinking coffee in our pajamas, so blinds are on my to-do list this week.

a very quick before and after post for the shelving unit to come, once the yellow is dry!

13 thoughts on “living room: after

  1. Looks AWESOME!! The shelving unit is perfect for that wall. Remember one simple (and inexpensive if you hit the dollar store) trick while you are waiting for your blinds is to put waxed paper on the window. Lets in lots of light but gives you privacy. can’t wait to see it in person when we finally get the BBQ onto the back of the truck. 🙂

  2. I collect elephants and a lot of them sit on my bookshelf with my books so I had to click on your blog when I saw your elephants. I love it. Your room looks lovely.

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