Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From Passing Through Room to Living Room in One Holiday Weekend

First off, let me tell you there are no before pictures of my revamped living room. I was about halfway through the process when I realized I had forgotten to take any before photos. My bad. I started the project of deep cleaning the apartment and redecorating the living room in May when I went off contract for Yale and had hoped to be done by the time my Festival job started on the 31st. Ha ha, totally didn't happen. 

What I did accomplish was to downsize my shelving system. I am a huge fan of the IKEA Expedit series of bookcases. When I first moved into my apartment in 2004 the New Haven IKEA had just opened. I picked up a 4 cube in the As-is section for $60. It had a birch exterior with dark brown shelves. Over the years I added two 2 by 4  birch bookcases and a large computer cabinet. I flanked the room with my storage which worked, but ultimately made the room crowded.  After digging around on Apartment Therapy I found this house tour with a living room layout exactly like mine. (Even down to the wall molding detail.) I particularly liked how their shelving ran along the wall between the doors.

However, now I was faced with 10 feet 3 inches of bookcase and a 10 foot wall. Yikes! I tried to make all the bookcases work with several rearrangements, all made more complicated by the fact that I didn't want to move the TV and wireless setup. So I decided to downsize, which ironically required buying another bookcase. (A small 2 x 2 for the TV to live on.) Long story short, I went from 32 cubes to 20. No mean feat, especially considering my book hoarder tendencies. But I managed to create this arrangement by the time Festival rolled around:

Then for the next 4 weeks everything came to a grinding halt and cat hair covered the giant pile of bar ware and trays living on one side of the room. The furniture was arranged awkwardly. My fabulous amoeba coffee table was leaning up against the front door requiring me to move it whenever I got the mail. I spent most of my time in the kitchen or bedroom, I'd merely pass through the living room, shuddering as I went. So after a weekend full of hard work, and a mild panic attack when I thought my vacuum cleaner died, I can present you all with a finished living room:

The windmills of Dusty's mind preside over the bar. I FINALLY found a great piece of mid-century art for $7 at Savers. It's from Holland.

The Nashco's are above the TV, which is also thrifted in a way. My friend Ray was moving to the UK for school last summer and sold it to me before he left. I have never owned a new TV, I have always gotten them second hand. True fact.

Macrame owls are now grouped:

Oregon and other Pacific northwest paraphernalia:

I don't think I've ever shared this lamp before. It's a Goodwill find originally spotted by one of the Vinyl Whores. I love it because it's so heavy, the cats can't possibly knock it over. I also love it because it's so cool!

The bookcases now push the flow into the room, making it less of the passing through room it had become. (It is also reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw's Vogue storage.)

Soon the computer cabinet (the big white thing) will be on it's way out. I've got my eye on a mid century secretary at an antique mall in New London, hopefully I'll pick it up in the next week or so. I'm also on the lookout for a new couch to replace the overstuffed brown chair and ottoman. I have found a few fabulous ones, but they are always white!

It feels great to have this project done. I'm so excited to start living and working in my new space. Though I am going to try to move some of the "working" outside of the apartment. I'm hoping that will increase my productivity. Onward to Measure for Measure designs and online sales!


  1. Looks fab! Great to find inspiration on the web, think our room needs a bit of a rejig too!

  2. Congrats on a job well done! I can't quit looking at the photo of that wonderful Goodwill lamp. That thing is incredibly gorgeous. I love the little upswept part right below the harp. Amazing!

  3. wow! so impressive!! looks like your holiday weekend was a success

  4. Love your style! I, too, like having souvenir treasures up on the wall - your groupings are fab. Your place looks cozy and inviting!

  5. Thanks ladies! Cozy and inviting was the goal, I had friends over on the 3rd and they all said the same thing.

    Dana-I love the upsweep too, I was worried that it would take forever to find a shade but I got lucky and found that one within a week. I also really like the gold and turquoise detail on the base.

  6. I love how you've displayed your vintage collections. It's cozy, welcoming, with plenty of white space so it doesn't look cluttered or make visitors feel anxious.

    Beautiful space ;) to sum it up.