Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Name this room!

Since repainting about 2 months ago, I still haven't finished putting the things I want to keep back up on many of the walls. I couldn't stand the pile of frames on my desk anymore so finally, as part of a very productive day of checking things off my to-do list, up they went. There was one exception to this procrastination though.  I think the day after the painting was complete I anxiously found a home for my beloved Audubon bird prints, previously mentioned here:
I found these treasures at Bernat Antiques this past winter for under $25 each and I used gift certificates to buy them.
I hung them above my desk where a few family photos previously were:

I took the framed family photos and Anagram letter words (more on those game pieces here) that hung above the desk before repainting and I moved them to the other side of the window around the top of our filing cabinet. I added a few other existing pieces that used to be on a shelf on this wall before the filing cabinet made its home here.  This is the display:
The three frames were an Eddie Bauer set I got at a yard sale for $1 each years ago. The framed flowers/vase is also a previous yard sale find. I like it because the vase and flowers are slightly raised so it has a 3D effect. The little wreath was a bridal shower or wedding gift from my friend Naomi that has stood the test of time.
The filing cabinet (which we have no problem filling with paperwork) was actually a freebie from our church when they were cleaning out a few years ago:
Oooh, noticing the third draw down has no label on the front. Good thing I'm not OCD or I'd have to put one in right away. It doesn't bother me that its blank... :)
Though I probably would not have chosen the dark green color for a new filing cabinet, it actually coordinates well with the other colors in the room, all dictated by the rug.
I found this lone design at Ocean State Job Lot a few years ago when all of our trim work was still the original terra cotta color from when we moved in. I'd been keeping my eyes open for a cheap rug along these lines after my oldest was done potty training. :) This was the right size and colors so I snagged it before it was gone. It's actually a very nice quality rug for under $100. Here's to hoping it survives potty training child #2. So far so good.
On top of the filing cabinet sits a yard-sale treasure I've had for many years:
This little wicker and bamboo cabinet has served various functions in different rooms over time but for the past few years it has been used to store some of my most-used blank cards, stationary and thank-you note sets, which now include the two new boxed sets I just got at a yard sale:

So everything is back up on the walls but that's not to say this room is "done." This room has been going through a bit of an identity crisis as its evolved over the last couple of years. Right now, one wall functions as the office with a desk on one side of a window and the filing cabinet on the other side. The opposite wall functions as the foyer with a "table" for dropping keys, a mirror and coat hooks. Since the room opens over built-in bookshelves to our dining room, the only other wall is mainly taken up by the front door and porch windows. This area below the windows with a boot tray and seating functions as the mudroom:
There are are two wicker chairs. One is reserved for sitting in (through anyone rarely does) because the other one becomes a dumping grounds for bags. The ottoman really has no function - it just gets in the way and usually collects clutter. 
I picked up these three real wicker pieces, along with a matching love seat (that's currently in storage), at the Salvation Army a few years back for a total of $75. Though they are a lighter color than I would have chosen brand new, I thought it was a great deal for something I had use for at the time. All four pieces originally made their home on our 3-season screened-in back porch for a couple years until we converted the porch into a finished family room.

I've been hesitant to get rid of the wicker set because just in case someday we move on to a place with a nice big farmer's porch or another screened in back porch, I'll want to use them. Having no long-term storage solution for all the wicker, I've tried to make it work in the house. Well I've finally given up because they are just not an efficient use of space in our little house. Plus, I need to remove them in order to implement my vision for the next stage of evolution in this room - a bench that runs the length below the windows. Under the bench I want cubbies and/or baskets so everyone has a designated spot for stuff like shoes, hats/gloves, backpacks/diaper bags, etc. Something that functions like this:
On top of the bench I want a pad and/or a few throw pillows. I'm about 97% confident of my decision not to put back up any fabric window treatments in this room because I like the exposed trim work around the windows.  I'd prefer to add a little more color and pattern with fabric on the bench instead. And I want to do all of this for cheap and fairly easily but without sacrificing quality (as in not new particle-board from WalMart). If you've got resources or how-to ideas, please pass them along! And if/when this vision becomes reality (my biological clock's deadline for everything on my project list is mid October) I'll be sure to share it here.

An "identity crisis" room like mine is what happens when you have a small house without the luxuries of a separate mudroom, foyer, or office. Even though the room serves these three functions right now, we still refer to it as "the old living room" or sometimes I just call it "the front room." Any suggestions on a new name to give this room a proper identity??? Do tell!

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